Friday, October 29, 2010

Shadow Toll, Shadow Boxing on contract numbers


Now we all know how much maintenance of highways cost, or we would like to know the costs in 2010 dollars, but the above document has the numbers in 2004 dollars when the Sea to Sky Highway Improvement didn't even exist, fact is neither did the Golden Ears Bridge.   So just to make sure the BC Liberals don't delete this page from OUR website, let's just preserve it.

And the value, at the time of Signing, below is dated Sept. 25, 2006, not good enough, its 2010, now

I wonder why the S2S isn't recognized on this list?  Would it be because they would have to make the contract with the Concessionaire be published in plain English just like the other contracts from 2006?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Liberal party insider quits post after calling for Gordon Campbell's resignation

My title above needs to be accompanied with this story in the Vancouver Sun from September 10, 2010:

But the above photo (by Ian Lindsay/PNG Files) was used in black and white in the Vancouver Sun this morning with the headline of "Campbell rolls out major income tax cut" on Page A2.   Is the Vancouver Sun strapped for cash?  Couldn't they have picked up the all now too familiar photograph that every other news media is using today, of an open necked shirt, without the 1996 plaid.

OR is this a spoof on the part of the Vancouver Sun to let the readers decide on who was paying for this $100,000 Infomercial for the BC Liberals, and are they (the Vancouver Sun) doing a subliminal message by calling for the resignation of Premier Gordon Campbell?

Note the podium label in the above photograph, and below in black and white.

 Today's news, is best shown via last night's pre-recorded video clip with Premier Gordon Campbell on the same level as the viewer, eyeball to eyeball.  There's none of this stuff of his standing on a podium which is owned by someone else, the BC Liberal Party.

Vancouver Sun alert:
Premier Gordon Campbell's televised address cost $240,000 to produce, air and advertise, Campbell said Thursday. He said that amounts to about five cents per person in the province.

The Vancouver Province photo (Global B.C.) this morning from page A4:

Sea to Sky Highway License Plate reader

Case Study Sea to Sky Highway


"I'm Laila Yuile, and This Is How I See It"

A government spokesperson has responded from the Ministry of Transportation on the topic of Shadow Tolls on the S2S. Dave Crebo writes

"There are no shadow tolls on the Sea-to-Sky Highway. As part of the operations and maintenance portion of the contract with the concessionaire, performance measures are in place for such things as lane availability, efficient movement of traffic and safety as measured by accident statistics. Additionally, these performance measures are monitored and audited by Ministry staff on an ongoing basis. That means if the concessionaire does not meet these standards, then penalties are applied and they don’t earn their full payment. This helps ensure good value for taxpayers, as outlined in the report Achieving Value for Money Sea-to-Sky Highway Improvement Project available on the Partnerships BC website. The details of these contracts are also publicly available on the Partnerships BC website. As well the Auditor-General has reviewed and approved both the contract with the concessionaire as well as the value for money report."

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Shadow Toll Concession being sold as a "miniperm"

May, 10th 2010

"Iridium, operating through its subsidiary ACS Infrastructure Canada, and the Canadian company Ledcor have been chosen by the province of British Columbia in Canada for exclusive negotiation of the contract to finance, build and operate a brand new, 40-kilometer freeway in the area south of Vancouver.

Construction is slated to last 45 months and will be followed by 20 years of operation and maintenance.

The South Fraser Perimeter Road is a key component of British Columbia’s Gateway Program for the development of the region south of Vancouver and enjoys considerable political support at both the provincial and federal levels.

This is the second time that a proposal by Iridium has been selected as the “best offer” in Canada and the fifth overall in North America in just four years of activity in the region."

ACS closes soft miniperm for South Fraser Perimeter

August 14 2010

"The ACS Infrastructure-led Fraser Transportation Group closed on the C$200 million (($192 million) private financing for the South Fraser Perimeter PPP concession near Vancouver on 12 August.  The bank financing is the longest tenor for a PPP in British Columbia since the Surrey and Kelowna Vernon hospital projects in August 2008.  The 30-year debt is, however, structured as a soft miniperm, ....."

 But let's not forget the first "miniperm" that was stopped by the voters of British Columbian,

The fine print along the bottom says:   In May 2003 (remember the BC Rail deal was going down) it was announced that the operation and maintenance of the Coquihalla Highway, a 186km highway through British Columbia's southern interior, together with its toll revenue, would be turned over to a private operator under a 55-year...... "

Toll revenue, would that have been a double dip toll, one up front, one but a shadow of itself.   Is this why the BC Liberal were pushing so hard for sale of ....ooooops..... lease of the Coquihalla?

UPDATE:  **********************************************

                         Briefing note Presented by The Canadian Union of Public Employees BC Division
                                            Barry O’Neill, President   January 2010

"Accountants and academic writers have reached the same conclusion in BC, where the same methodological approach is used for public private partnerships.
Unfortunately, while Partnerships BC’s methodology is now public, the details of how it reaches its conclusions are not released. While net present value figures are released the critical comparative nominal cash flows used in their comparisons has been kept secret using the Cabinet secrecy provisions of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. In many cases details of the value of risk transfer have not been released. In their review of four P3 projects forensic auditors Ron Parks and Rosanne Terhart found that:
Critical information and documentation in support of the Value for Money reports was for the most part denied in response to Freedom of Information requests. In our view this suggests a general lack of transparency and public accountability.37
This is of particular concern given that the same agency identifies possible P3 projects, advises government on whether or not the process should be used and then evaluates their “success” through value for money reports.
 British Columbians over the last seven years have been locked into $10 billion worth of public private partnerships in contracts as long as 35 years. There has been no independent analysis of individual projects, or of the methodology used including the potential conflict of interest on the part of Partnerships BC.
In British Columbia, as in Quebec and Ontario, only the Auditor General has the ability to require that information be made available to him so that he may analyze and comment on value for money received by citizens.
We believe independent analysis by the Office of the Auditor General will find that public private partnerships in British Columbia use the same methodology as that used in other offices and suffer from the same flaws found by other Auditors General."  


Thursday, October 14, 2010

"RailGate Rewound....Codswallop Our Premier Sold Us... " Pacific Gazetteer


The image above was taken on Nov 25th, 2003 by Chuck Stoody of the Canadian Press and was included in the photo stream that ran with Mark Hume's piece in the Globe yesterday (Photo #2, here).

It shows Premier Gordon Campbell announcing the thousand year lease (minus ten) of BC Rail to CN's Claude Mangeau and E. Hunter Harrison (seated) and a couple of huge TeeVee screens behind them.

Let's focus on the numbered statements on the left screens for a moment (because the blather on the right screen really is pure propaganda repeated over and over and over and over again -feel free to click on image to enlarge it just in case you have a chicken bone stuck in your throat and you would like to initiate the gag reflex).



Here we go......

#1 Continued Public Ownership.

Every single member of the British Columbia public alive today will be dead when this deal 'expires' in the year 2993. Heckfire, even the 3,465th incarnation of the Hal-9000 will be junk by then.

#2: No More Public Debt

There never was any significant public debt. The concerted and repeated efforts of cabinet ministers and other quislings to wurlitzer a story of financial armageddon were all based on a bogus accounting exercise designed to provide both cover and leverage to foist this deal on the members of the public that are still very much alive.

#3: 600 New Rail Cars
Dumber Than Dumb.

Say what? Did Kevin Mahoney and Brian Kenning et al. actually buy us (ie. the public) a passel of shiny new rail cars while they were sitting in luxury boxes at Canucks games, working on their golf swings, and/or collecting hundreds of thousands of the public's hard-earned dollars for doing essentially nothing (for years!) AFTER they made sure the deal went down as planned in the fall of 2003?

#4: Lower Rates And Costs
A Phantom Menace.

Just ask the shippers.

#5: Improved Access To Markets
Says Who?

Is there any hard evidence that CN has laid even one single centimeter of new track that has improved access to anything.

And finally let's consider that really big whopper at the very top of the screen.....

$1 Billion

Show us the money Mr. Campbell.

And when you do, prove to us that the 'indemnification' of the tax credit default swap that you have hanging over the (still very much alive) public's collective head is, right now (ie. at this very minute in time in 2010, not 2993), is NOT more than $900 million*.


*And prove to us also, Mr. Premier, that the indemnity is NOT growing, thanks, we can only presume, to some fantastic 'strategic advice' received by Mr. Mahoney et al. way back when, at the rate of approximately $4 million every single month.
Many thanks
to North Van Grumps who alerted us to the 'picture' and reminded us that it really is all about 'The Indemnity, Stupid!"