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.Lie.
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 DebtCodswallop.
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 CarsDumber 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 CostsA Phantom Menace.
Just ask the shippers.
#5: Improved Access To MarketsSays 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.....
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 idemmity 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!"