On March 24, 2005, the following items were tabled in the Quebec National Assembly. Copy of a letter, dated 24 March 2005, he sent to Mr. Jacques Saint-Laurent,Chairman of the Commission d’accès à l’information, asking him to investigate the conduct of Mr. Thomas Mulcair, Minister of Sustainable Development, the-environment and Parks, during Routine Proceedings, . . . → Read More: Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Thomas Mulcair in Contempt of Greenpeace, Maude Barlow and Canines
On March 24, 2005, the following items were tabled in the Quebec National Assembly.
Copy of a letter, dated 24 March 2005, he sent to Mr. Jacques Saint-Laurent,Chairman of the Commission d’accès à l’information, asking him to investigate the conduct of Mr. Thomas Mulcair, Minister of Sustainable Development, the-environment and Parks, during Routine Proceedings, at the sitting of 22 March 2005.(Sessional Paper No. 1702-20050324)
Copy of a letter, dated 24 March 2005, addressed to Mr. André Dicaire, Secretary General of the Government, by Mrs. Line-Sylvie Perron, Executive Assistant to the Leader of the Official Opposition, concerning the observance of sections 30 and 33 of the the Act respecting Access to documents held by public bodies and the Protection of personal information.(Sessional Paper No. 1703-20050324)
On March 22, 2005; Thomas Mulcair, then Minister of Environment, failed yet again to present the necessary documents, requested by the opposition, to explain his actions in several matters. This put him in contempt, and the matter would eventually make its way to the Supreme Court. (1)
It might have been simpler just to buy a big black magic marker, like the one that Harper used when he was found in contempt, and produced heavily redacted documents. But Mulcair dug in his heels, citing cabinet confidentiality. His reputation for obstinance was well known.
Michel David in Le Devoir spoke of that reputation when in opposition, stating that “he literally horrified his opponents” with his “brutality or vulgarity”, earning him the moniker, “pit bull”. (2) David had hoped that Mulcair would be a “green pit bull” fighting for the environment, but it was not to be. Instead Mulcair fought for the economic interests of the multinationals.
In fact, one of the debates held on the day in question, centred around the appointment of William J. Cosgrove, to chair the public hearings on the environment. In that position, Cosgrove could select his own people to conduct the assessments, a red flag given who Cosgrove was.
He was President of The World Water Council, a group calling for the privatization of water services worldwide, and promoters of public-private partnerships, to control not only the environmental concerns, but the selling of water in bulk, to multinational corporations.
Maude Barlow, a foremost authority on the issue of water, has attended protests against the World Water Forums , held every three years, run by the WWC. In 2009, she was interviewed by Democracy Now during the event held in Instanbul.
They [the WWC] basically say that they are the collection of people around the world who care about water, and they come together every three years to have this great big summit. And every single year, the police presence gets more and more like the World Trade Organization, every single year, from the very beginning, when there was none, to this. But basically, the World Water Council, which puts this on, is really the big water corporations and the World Bank and some UN agencies and some northern development agencies, some academics, the odd small NGO — small as in, you know, NGOs, but really, it is the corporations, and it’s a big trade show. That’s what this is about. They’ll put on sessions on gender and water, but they don’t mean any of it. This is really about one development model for water, and that’s the privatization model. And that’s what they’re promoting, and that’s what their consensus is, and they refuse to include the notion of the right to water and, of course, the public trust into their documents.
Mulcair not only said that “he does not share the fears of people like Maude Barlow”, but that he found no problem with using PPPs to monitor water safety. Steven Guilbeault of Greenpeace told Le Devoir:
“one wonders what ideological alignment the new president of the BAPE gives commissions of inquiry when they have to decide on the adequacy of public facilities where PPPs are concerned, works that touch water in one way or another or, for example, on projects small private stations. Ultimately, one wonders if it is not a government strategy to reduce the moral authority of the BAPE, which annoys many developers.
Despite being called a conflict of interest, since Cosgrove worked for corporations trying to privatize the world’s water supply, he was allowed to stay in that position until 2007, and Mulcair would continue to allow PPPs to flourish, even in the building of a highway.
I am a huge fan of Maude Barlow. A respected voice on progressive issues and supporter of the NDP, when they were too. But did she ever think, during her many protests of the WWC, that it’s president was once lauded as hero (March 22, 2005) by the current leader of the NDP? It defies logic.
She has spent decades fighting for something, not realizing that she was held in such low esteem by Thomas Mulcair, who got his talking points from a man inside the walls, protected by soldiers, that kept her on the other side of them. I wonder how many times her name was brought up?
“Minister Mulcair, concludes Jacques Boivin [vice president of the of the Quebec Association for a World Water Contract] has just shown his true colors …it will not be economic development that respects ecosystems but ecosystems that must comply with the requirements of economic development.
So he is different from Stephen Harper, how?
1. CANADA, PROVINCE OF QUEBEC, DISTRICT MONTREAL, Citizens Committee of the peninsula-Lanaudière c. Quebec (Attorney General), 2006 QCCS 4861, SUPERIOR COURT; No: 500-17-023251-047, August 24, 2006
2. Green Pitbull, by Michael David, Le Devoir, December 7, 2004
. . . → Read More: Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Thomas Mulcair in Contempt of Greenpeace, Maude Barlow and Canines
Almost a year ago, blogger Laila Yuile reported on retaining wall defects along the Sea to Sky Highway. Pictures were included: Troubling photos spark Ministry of Transportation inspections of Sea to Sky retaining walls, creating new concerns over Kiewit construction.
Laila followed that with additional information, including: Sea to Sky retaining wall questions continue as . . . → Read More: Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Laila rules
Infrastructure Ontario CEO Bert Clark says the $8 billion premium the government spent to build public infrastructure under the public-private partnership model doesn’t tell the whole story. He’s right, but likely not in the way he’s suggesting. Remarkably Tuesday night … Continue reading →
Site C not necessarily a slam dunk: Bennett, Business in Vancouver, October 15, 2014 “Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett says he is still torn on whether his government should give the green light to BC Hydro’s $7.9 billion Site C hydroelectric dam…”
Vaughn Palmer quoting Bill Bennett, The Vancouver Sun, October 17, 2014 “Despite . . . → Read More: Northern Insight / Perceptivity: You can’t handle the truth: BC Liberals
This week, British Columbia saw evidence that corporate media does not report adverse details about public finance unless the material is dropped on desks in digested form, complete with defensive spin from government or industry.
The issue of BC taxpayer subsidies to the oil and gas industry is not new. Auditor General John Doyle . . . → Read More: Northern Insight / Perceptivity: All the spin that’s fit to print
News item, June 10, 2005: “VANCOUVER (CP) – The British Columbia government has signed a deal with a transportation consortium to design, build and manage improvement to the Sea-to-Sky Highway north of Vancouver.
“Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon said the project is on time and on budget after he announced the $400 million agreement with . . . → Read More: Northern Insight: Sea to Sky Highway subsidy $12-$15 each vehicle
BC’s recent Budget and Fiscal Plan states total provincial debt is $63 billion. This amount, 62% higher than in 2009, is 27.3% of gross domestic product. Five years ago, the ratio was 18.7%.
By any standard, that is rapid debt growth. Unfortunately, those numbers present only part of the story.
In addition to admitted . . . → Read More: Northern Insight: At least Liberal inconsistency is consistent
The public private partnership (“P3”) hospital scandal in Montreal is getting even worse, if that is possible. As reported earlier, a police corruption investigation showed how SNC-Lavalin officials allegedly arranged payments of $22.5-million to McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) chief executive Arthur Porter and his side-kick Yanai Elbaz in exchange for ensuring SNC . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: Hospital P3 scandal gets worse, but Ontario Liberals and PCs say bring on more!
Built almost 40 years ago, the Cowichan Community Centre (now known as the Island Savings Centre) provides Cowichan residents with a swimming pool, hockey arena, gymnasium, library, art gallery, and a performing arts theatre.
Local officials anticipate the facility will require significant renovations or replacement within the next decade-and-a-half, and the . . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: No Guarantee P3 Financing For Community Centre Will Save Money
Hospitals are often stereotyped as providers of acute care services. In fact, acute care accounts for a relatively small portion of total hospital services. As noted a few days ago, costs per acute care patient (or, more exactly, per “weighted case”) in Ontario are significantly below the national average, coming in at $5,174 . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: Are hospitals primarily providers of acute care?
A commission of inquiry has heard that SNC-Lavalin deliberately went around Quebec’s political party financing rules, leading to a flurry of donations to the governing Quebec Liberal Party in 2009. The donations came as the engineering firm was bidding on a major hospital construction project, the media reports.
What is not reported, however, . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: Are Ontario P3 projects plagued by corruption?
The majority of the costs reported by the Auditor General for the cancellation of the Mississauga gas plant were payments to the U.S. based investment firm that provided financing for the project — $149.6 million.
The private company doing the project (Greenfield) negotiated expensive financing for the project with this U.S. investment firm — 14% annual interest. . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: Ontario P3 fiasco: $90 million cost to finance $59 million loan
The corruption scandal rocking a public private partnership (P3) hospital project in Quebec has raised some significant doubts about P3s in Canada. Over the weekend even the normally pro-privatization Financial Post ran a story considering su… . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: P3 transparency? Hardly: private profit prefers privacy
Nouveau CHUM The Canadian Council for Public Private Partnerships has honoured the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM), the Collectif Santé Montréal (CSM) and Infrastructure Québec with its 2012 “Gold Prize” for financing co… . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: P3 corporations give award for crap financing deal
MUHC The Washington Post reports that the sales “of Canadian project-finance bonds are lower this year as an ongoing investigation of alleged corruption in the Quebec construction industry makes the debt more expensive to issue.” The American paper… . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: P3 costs rise as scandal sours investors
Patients in Britain could see their health care services cut as a result of botched public private partnership (P3) hospitals. The Public Accounts Committee of the British House of Commons has flagged special concern about the “unaffordable” P3 deals. Public Accounts Chair Margaret Hall said, “We are particularly concerned that the financial viability . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: P3 hospital debts threaten quality of health care
The growing crisis of public private partnership (P3) hospitals in Britain has now forced the health minister to announce that he will be sending in “hit squads” to make savings at twelve hospitals where the P3 contracts have gone “horribly wrong” the conservative Daily Telegraph reports. This is a follow up from the government’s February announcement that the . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: P3 deals are "millstones" says Health Minister
Did I read that right? Did Stephane Dion, former head of the Liberal Party of Canada, just come out in favour of proportional representation? Better late than never!
Well, that’s not entirely fair. Dion has shown a willingness to consider electoral reform in the past, as he did by backing the resolution in . . . → Read More: Song of the Watermelon: Stephane Dion’s Shiny New Voting System