Some things just need to be said...

Monday, January 17, 2005

BC Rail sale - taxpayer rip off #52

In April 2003, months before the BC Rail deal was finalized, energy and mines minister Richard Neufeld told the legislature,
“I see a bright future for the coal industry in the province, and we want to work closely with those that are in the industry so that it can continue to expand.”

In January 2005 - We learn the CN will receive up to $45 million annually from the shipping of coal. Not only did the BC Liberals sell BC Rail for next to nothing, they used deflated numbers for the value of coal in the sale.

Kevin Falcon the Minister of ("Give Away BC") Minister of Transportation told CP coal revenues were not included in negotiations because the coal industry was seeing hard times at that point, and no shipping deals were in place when the negotiations took place.
“The coal industry was virtually dead,” he said. “People generally don't pay for what ifs or they don't pay for what we might hope will happen.”

The government did forecast an upturn in the coal industry’s fortunes months before the deal was finalized—a fact Falcon acknowledged. His cabinet colleague Richard Neufeld, Minister of Mining, had forcasted this much earlier. Were the Liberals not listening, or were they deliberatly devaluing BC Rail?

Another promise broken, another gift to big business, reported in Terminial City January 13, 2005.

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