Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Suspicious old me ....

A while ago, the BC Liberals weren't even considering selling the BC Liquor Distribution Branch. Now they are suddenly scampering to get a deal done before they are thrown out of office. Why?
Freedom of Information documents released Thursday by NDP critic Shane Simpson suggest that the government had no interest in selling its liquor warehouses - one in Kamloops, one in Vancouver - until Exel Logistics presented a plan to MLA Shirley Bond during a golf game. And Liberal insiders Patrick Kinsella and Mark Jiles lobbied several other government ministers on behalf of Exel relating to privatization of the province’s liquor distribution system.

Keep in mind that BC is one of the largest importers and distributers in North America for liquor, about 900 million dollars a year! A very rich plum to control for a private company. Sales per capita in BC are far above those of Quebec and Ontario.
Kinsella served as an adviser to Premier Christy Clark during her successful leadership run. He was also Gordon Campbell’s election campaign manager in 2001 and 2005. (Yes, the same Gordon Campbell who has run up huge bills in London as High Commissioner to Canada.)
Exel has a monopoly in Alberta where it is said liquor prices are 30% higher than before privatization. 

 Shirley Bond wrote in August 2011 to Exel; “At this time, the government is not considering making any changes to the existing liquor distribution system.”
So what changed their minds?  Yet here in July 2012, she is saying, "We need to get this done." As if SHE thought it up for the good of the people and as if there is some urgency in handing a private company millions of dollars. Well what can be made of this?

The BC Liberals,  seem to be shepherding the process so a deal can be contracted by March of 2013, only 10 WEEKS before an election! Where in all likelyhood, and probably partly because of this deal, they will get thrown out.

Adrian Dix has already said the NDP can't work wonders and tear up legitimate contracts. (Yes, I recall the BC Liberals doing just that a few years ago, but we're talking about integrity here.) Yet that doesn't mean that Christy Clark and the cabinet members involved in selling away assets wouldn't be susceptible to criminal investigation and charges, for ignoring their fiduciary responsibility in handling BC assets.

Suppliers who sell in both B.C. and Alberta, where Exel Logistics handles distribution in that province, said supply and delivery costs are double in the neighbouring province than what they are in BC. That has to reflect your retail costs.

 If one had a suspicious mind to nefarious deals, and I do, one could think there is a payoff built into the process somewhere. A payoff that would not exist with a new government who would be unfriendly to the likes of Kinsella et al. So in order for someone to collect that secret fund, or commission, or payoff, or graft, or bribe, or finders fee or whatever you want to call it, the deal would have to be in place before it could be rescinded by an NDP government.

Suspicious minds are built over a length of time or by a series of events that don't make sense. Is there some reason why anyone would NOT be suspicious of anything these Liberals do? Shirley Bond had a meeting with an Exel official at a golf event in Prince George. After which it was a go to sell off more BC assets. Isn't that the exact method mafia boss John 'the Teflon Don' Gotti used to avoid planted police microphones and FBI surveillance? By meeting his mob buddies on open golf courses? It remains to be seen how slippery these BC Liberals are, but taking a cue from our former Premier, pretty slippery.

You can't wonder why I am suspicious.

Just sayin'.