Friday, February 03, 2012

RailGate Insiders: Why Didn't They Say Anything To The 'Fairness Advisors'?


To my mind, the central issue of the entire RailGate affair has never been resolved unequivocally.

And that unresolved issue is whether or not the fix was in for CN Rail from the very beginning.

Now, to be very clear here, one of the other bidders for BC Rail, CP Rail, certainly thought that the fix was, indeed, in.

So much so that they screamed bloody murder and pulled out of the bidding before the deal went down.

As a result, the government of Gordon Campbell was forced to bring in a group of 'fairness advisors' who quickly concluded that, according to then Transportation Minister Judith Reid, the entire bidding process was, indeed, 'fair and impartial'.

Which is all fine and good, as far as it goes.


What if there were folks working for the Campbell government and/or BC Rail at the time of the 'Fairness Advisor's Report' (ie. in the fall of 2003) who had reason to believe that there may, indeed, have been a prior direct connection between BC Rail and CN Rail?

Don't you think that if there were folks with, as The Boss would say, such a 'Reason To Believe' that they would have spoken up then, or at the very least in the ensuing seven years, when this became a huge issue for the Campbell/Clark government, for BC Rail, and, most of all, for the people of British Columbia?

I'd like to think so.

But here's the thing.

To the best of my knowledge neither the then Deputy Minister to Premier Gordon Campbell Ms. Brenda Eaton nor then BC Rail Vice President Kevin Mahoney have ever mentioned the following, which comes our way thanks to the work of Mr. Ian Reid:

....According to an email trail released to me through a (freedom of) information request, (Kevin) Mahoney wrote to (Brenda) Eaton late in the day on November 1st (2002 by Email), “I have had a request from Patrick Kinsella to attend (a confidential meeting between BC Rail and it's customers) as an observer. We have no problem with it however, I would like to run it by you before I get back to him. Any concerns with adding him to the list?”

Eaton responded an hour later, “On the Patrick Kinsella front, he doesn’t fit any of our categories of invitees does he?”...

{snippety doo-dah}

...“Patrick (Kinsella) doesn’t fit in any of the categories,” writes Mahoney to Eaton about 90 minutes later. “However, I believe he has been advising some of the railways (CN/BNSF) on how to approach the issue of the potential sale of BC Rail. Patrick has also provided us a bit of guidance from time to time however, we understand if he is not on the list as it may create a more obvious political link than you might want.”...


I remind you.

This later became a huge issue.

First during the bidding process itself, in the legislature.

Then, later during the RailGate pre-trial period when it was revealed that Mr. Kinsella was paid approximately $297,000 by BC Rail in 49 monthly installments of $6000 between 2001 and 2005 to provide them (i.e. BC Rail) with 'strategic communication counsel and interpretation of public policy initiatives'.

But never once, again, to the best of our knowledge, did either Ms. Eaton or Mr. Mahoney, both of whom went on to ever bigger and better things in the service of British Columbians, ever speak up about this issue.

Imagine that!

Mr. Mahoney went on to become the President and CEO of BC Rail...During his tenure as CEO Mr. Mahoney oversaw the last 40km of track the public company controlled after everything else was 'leased' to the fine folks at CN Rail....You may recall that Mr. Mahoney was compensated very well for doing so....
Mr. Kinsella, reportedly, later went on to work on the BC Liberal Party Leadership Campaign of the current premier, Ms. Christy Clark.



BC Mary said...


I'm going to grab an URL and rush back to my place to alert anyone out there who hasn't seen your posting for today ... is that OK by you?

That time period leading up to November 2003 is rich with ghostly inuendo ... like the issue of so many key people knowing the raid on the Legislature was coming, and with plenty of time to re-arrange the furniture ...

RossK said...

Of course Mary - post away.


Ian said...


Dave said...

Oh! This is delicious! And I have another one for you.

Gordon Campbell offered up the BC Ferry system ... for sale.

No bidders. Stena looked at it and barfed.

More in the near future.

lenin's ghost said...

lol......gordo would sell his own mother if there was some dough in it for his corporate cronies......looking forward to it, dave

islandpapa said...

What ever became of Judith Reid? I for one would be curious if she is feeling very much a pawn of Gordon's Demockracy. Saw her hubby, Keith, in a Nanaimo restaurant but a quick search turns up nothing of her whereabouts.