The Truth About Campbells Lies On The BC Rail Giveaway

I came across this article by Barry O'Niell while searching out another project on BC Rail. This man had great forsite when he wrote the article .

I wonder how the PAB will spin this.


By Barry O’Neill

NDP leader Carol James is right to call for an election on the BC Rail sale. And she is right to agree with her predecessor about Gordon Campbell’s inability to tell the truth.

The premier says that our railway has lost $860 million.

The truth: BC Rail has paid $137.7 million in dividends to its shareholders – the citizens of British Columbia – over the past 15 years. In 1999 they paid out $40 million. The $860 million is a writedown or reassessment of the value of the company and has not affected its profitability at all. There is no cost to the taxpayers of a writedown, and it hasn’t affected BC Rail’s profitability.

Campbell says BC Rail is $500 million in debt.
The truth: Yes, BC Rail is $500 million in debt. They are in debt because they bought assets, just like you would likely be in debt if you bought a car. CN Rail, which just bought BC Rail, is financing the purchase with debt. It has about $6 billion of it.

B.C. taxpayers don’t finance BC Rail’s debt. The interest on it is paid by BC Rail as an expense each year. The dividend, or profit, comes after the interest is paid. The debt does not show up in B.C.’s public accounts. And to put it in perspective, B.C.’s total debt is $36.5 billion.

In fact, B.C. taxpayers will be paying more in taxes after the sale, because they will not be getting the annual dividend that BC Rail has been paying.

Campbell: The B.C. government is getting “$1 billion in cash”.

The truth: The first $500 million will pay off the BC Rail debt. The government will get the other half, but only if Canada Customs and Revenue Authority agrees that it can transfer BC Rail’s past losses and debt to CN. If not, taxpayers will have to indemnify CN to the tune of about $250 million.

If they do agree, CN will get the tax writeoffs, which will mean that they don’t have to pay, in their own estimates, $250 million in taxes, of which $10 million would have gone to BC. Therefore, there is a potential $10 million loss in taxes to British Columbians.

Campbell: Selling BC Rail could give rail line municipalities tax payments of $8.3 million a year compared to the $1.8 million paid now as an annual grant in lieu of taxes.
The truth: The Liberals promised to give municipalities the right to tax Crown corporations. If they had kept that promise, the municipalities would have had the right to the $8.3 million in taxes without selling BC Rail.

Campbell: The sell-off is a great deal that will increase investment.

The truth: CN, in pitching the deal to financial market analysts, says the company will begin recovering its investment by disposing of “redundant assets”. That means selling 35 per cent of the locomotives, 15 per cent of the rail cars, closure of rail yards in North Vancouver and Squamish, and the merger of the two yards in Prince George. There will be a 35 per cent reduction in the workforce.

Campbell: Promised he would not privatize BC Rail.

Bill Clinton: Said he didn’t have sex with Monica Lewinsky.


kootcoot said...

I'm curious as to when this article was published and just when the Gord was giving these particular responses or making these statements. Also when did Carole James demand an election over the BC Rail Sale? I'll probably look up my own answers, but I find the piece confusing as published in terms of what was foresight and what was statement of fact/fiction!

Gary E said...

Well Kootcoot, How've you been.

This article was published on November 28, 2003. I figure the forsightedness was in the last paragraph where he mentions the shutdown of North Van and Squamish Yards. There had been no mention of that fact, publicly, to my knowledge until after he gave the railway away.

All I ever heard was that Mayor Barb Sharpe was going to get new body orifices because she vehemently opposed to the giveaway.

Hope this helps. If you have more, let me know.

North Van's Grumps said...

Have you seen any maps that show BC Rail's lines having been changed to "C.N.R. R/W", like it is in Squamish?

I think that this particular map on page 2 of the link below, dated 2007 (Thank you Leah), came from BC Rail headquarters.

A slip on their part, maybe.


Gary E said...

I haven't seen anything like this NVG. And thanks Leah.
I assume that the R/W means Right of Way. And according to Campbell it is BC Rail "Right of Way"
Most of the maps I have are very old. So this will bear some looking into.
I wonder if they are just quietly changing things so that in 99 yrs everyone will assume its their property.

North Van's Grumps said...

To change things like this requires it to be recorded at the Land Registry. There has to be some trace of it, an audit trail.

I wonder how one goes about accessing that sort of documentation..... I'm asking that...Hmmmm.

North Van's Grumps said...

Okay, I'm about twenty minutes into it........ Statutory rights of way and asked for a definition of the phrase (I added in BC), and came up with this..... in your back yard.....


BC Parks Silver Star Provincial Park is being used for commercial purposes as a Sewage treatment plant, as a golf course, as a ski resort......

"A statutory right of way is normally used to authorize linear uses of Crown land for transportation, communication, energy production and utiity developments. The tenure holder is granted a legal right of passage over the land for a specific purpose. It does not generally confer the right to exclusive use and enjoyment of the area, nor the right to exclude or charge the public for the use of improvements." SNIP

Take a look at the section on "Late Breaking News"

I'm going back to looking for Right of way; Rights of Way down at the Land Registry....http://www.ltsa.ca/search

North Van's Grumps said...

I forgot to mention this, that is available without paying a fee, at the BC Land Title and Survey.


"Bodies able to hold Statutory Rights of Way"

You can copy the info into a spread sheet and then sort via name, DATE, Legal Description.

There sure have been a lot of activity when it comes to IPP... Independent Power Providers (Players)

North Van's Grumps said...

"A statutory right of way resembles a common law easement. Both tools permit someone who is not the owner of a piece of land to acquire the right to cross over the land. Both common law easements and statutory rights of way can run with the land and, therefore, bind future owners of the piece of property. So, if a landowner grants a statutory easement in favour of Ducks Unlimited Canada, for example, to come onto his or her land and to do some activity, Ducks Unlimited would have the right to enter the land and carry out that activity even if the current landowner sells the land to someone else."

Source: http://www.wcel.org/wcelpub/5110/5110c19.html

In other words.... If CNR has been given a Statutory right of way, it can come onto BC Rail property to do some activity, like operate a railway company for 900 years.

I just don't remember this being made public, have you?

We may still own the land, but CNR has unfettered access to it to do as it pleases.... eg. for something other than running a railway, A ski resort, a golf course, a sewage treatment plant, communication towers......billboards.

Gary E said...

Man that's a lot of reading.I'll go to Access BC next week to check out some of these things which don't seem to appear on the gov't website.

And I certainly haven't seen any of this published.
Did you also notice some of the "changes " dates. Commencing in 2001 and really accelerated since 2005?

Many thanks NVG for this extensive information

North Van's Grumps said...

You're on dial-up, I'm on high speed, therefore to save you some time in looking..... and OH By the way... Thanks for mentioning Access BC (Land and Property), I didn't know about it.

For the latest in free topographical information in BC go to this page:


Then use the Find Location command and enter the Longitude/Latitude boxes minus N and W:

123 9 2.1
49 42 13.4

set Scale, bottom left corner, to 1:2062 and then when you have zoomed in to downtown Squamish go to the Layers tool, ICIS Folder and click on CROWN OWNERSHIP

Hit refresh.....

There are plenty of R/W RP but no Canadian National Railway R/W

kootcoot said...

"Bill Clinton: Said he didn’t have sex with Monica Lewinsky.

Frankly I couldn't give a shit if Bill had sex with Monica and it is only the gentlemanly thing to do for him to deny it.

However I DO RESENT as a taxpayer that we pay Lara at least a quarter of a million dollars per annum PLUS expenses and travel and it is clear that part of her duties is to have sex with and produce offspring to be even more parasites on the province (mini-Gordos).

I don't know if prostitution should be criminalized, but I shouldn't have to pay for others, whores, unless it was my buddy and I thought it was a gift he would appreciate!