Rockets red glare

Forests and Range Minister Rich Coleman has long had a reputation for being one of the biggest wheels in the provincial Liberal's fundraising machine. But Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon seems to have become quite a big cog himself. Earlier this month, the Surrey-Cloverdale MLA held a fundraiser aboard Concord Pacific Group Inc. president Terry Hui's yatch The Azure - which became a front row seat at the Celebration of Light. The ticket price for those attending the August 2 event: $3,000. About 40 people were onboard the boat - although it's unclear how many of them received complimentary invites.

17 Comments

I chatted with some folks involved and Falcon is giving 50% of the proceeds to the Party - if I were PGC, I'd get more Ministers out there carrying the flag and raising funds.

Who would attend such a crazy thing? $3,000 each just to watch the fireworks! Geez.

There was the usual strong Surrey Indo group but the $3,000 plate notables were all developers and well known party high rollers.

Terry Hui, CEO, Concord Pacific Group (host)
Mike DeCotiis, Chairman and CEO, Pinnacle Develp.
Robert MacDonald, CEO, MacDonald Development Corp
Gary Bailey, Pres., B&B Contracting
Alex Tsakumis, Snr. V. Pres., Trigate Develpment
Gino Nonni, Pres., Wescan Group
David Balzar, Pres., Ocean Park Developers

Under the Conservatives new amendments to the Canada Elections Act at the national level, individuals will be limited to donating $1,000 per year. Would that we had similar limits in British Columbia. I wonder what explanation Mike Harcourt or Glen Clark, or their Attorneys General, Gabelmann and Dosanjh, would offer for failing to implement such a limit when they had the opportunity?

One could have staked out a few logs on the beach in front of the fireworks barge, brought
some Cokes, snacks, and had a great time and seen the same thing.

Cost: About $5 a person.

One wonders why Kevin is raising money. He had money left over from his 2005 campaign, and his
riding association is running on a full tank.

Filling the unseen tanks behind the shed for the leadership run?

Falcon is a star. One of the few Ministers who's able to polish his own apple. That's a game of keep away everyone else plays with Gordo the Micro(manager).

He put together quite an impressive group. Maybe Carole really isn't running. If that's the case, you can welcome Premier Kevin Falcon. That even sounds good. It's between the two of them.

Falcon is in ovwer hs head right now. Mind you if BC is interested in wind power, the way he waves his arms around we wouldn't need water to spin the turbines.

My only question was the salmon wild or farmed ?

Falcon has distinguished himself by being unafraid to push road and highway projects that need doing despite opposition from real estate and property interests who control the Burnaby and Vancouver city governments, and who cleverly operate on both the right and left hand sides of the political street.

But Falcon is also a big disciple of the P3 approach, which is nothing but a turbo-charged provincial version of the national Sponsorship Scandal, a game of mutual interested back scratching, winking and nudging designed to fleece the taxpayer for a great deal more than could be hand under normal tendering approaches. The myth that risk is being transfered to the private sector is a joke. These international concerns can easily walk away if the numbers start to go south on them.

On balance, then, Falcon would have a hard time. Taylor hasn't alienated Vancouver's wealthy westside types by pushing Gateway with the enthusiasm that Falcon has, ... and neither is she as closely connected to the growing P3 menaces like the Abbotsford hospital. Those who once wailed about the cost overruns on the Pacificats project had better make sure their lungs are good and their sinuses are clear when the reports start coming in from that one!

Budd - please say something that makes sense!

Whoever wants to be the next Premier of the Province would serve themselves well not to cater to the West Side of Vancouver.

In terms of Gateway, not sure why you want to continue to condemn homeowners and businesses in Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford to the mind-numbing waits to cross the Port Mann every day. I guess its because you and Derek Corrigan never drive it!!

On P3's - what is wrong with asking the private sector to deliver projects for the taxpayer on time according to a fixed budget???

Umm, I guess Budd you are not one to let the facts interfere with a good 'ole fashioned left-wing rhectoric.

Budd just loves to do crazy talking. What is the difference between P3 and the national scandal? With P3, Kevin Falcon made sure the taxpayers slept with mega-corporations, and in the national scandal, the liberals themselves slept with mega-corporations. Either way, we the taxpayers would rather struck a deal(/sleep) with the devils than with anyone who would bankrupt my piggybank.

Budd - please say something that makes sense!
...
In terms of Gateway, not sure why you want to continue to condemn homeowners and businesses in Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford to the mind-numbing waits to cross the Port Mann every day. I guess its because you and Derek Corrigan never drive it!!

On P3's - what is wrong with asking the private sector to deliver projects for the taxpayer on time according to a fixed budget???

Posted by Drover Johnson on August 18, 2006 01:12 PM

Drover you don't know what you're talking about and you don't read well either.

I am in favour of Gateway, including Port Mann and Hwy 1, and I have stated that clearly in this thread and countless other times that the opposition from various Vancouver and Burnaby politicians, from Corrigan on the left to Ladner on the right, is nothing but a front for entrenched property interests. On Corrigan's part there's also a calculated move to wring more money out of the BC Govt for the attendant improvements to Burnaby roads, and it may be that this is his whole game. In any case, be assured that I regard the twinning of Port Mann and the widening of Hwy 1 as an important national project, and if the BC Govt were to ever adopt, for whatever declared reason, a No Build position on Port Mann/Hwy 1 it would be up to the Federal Govt to use Section 91 of the constitution to do the job themselves in the national interests of Canada.

P3s will not work. They will not insulate the taxpayer from serious cost overuns, nothing can do that. The private contractor is not going to keep on building and building if to do so is going to put them deeper and deeper in debt in the case of serious overuns, they will simply walk and it will be up to the Crown to decide what in the Hell to do with a half completed project. The best example right now of P3 deals is the Canada or RAV line. In fact, as you well know, it's the taxpayer is on the hook to the developer if the ridership doesn't materialize!

"I am in favour of Gateway, including Port Mann and Hwy 1, and I have stated that clearly in this thread and countless other times that the opposition from various Vancouver and Burnaby politicians, from Corrigan on the left to Ladner on the right, is nothing but a front for entrenched property interests. On Corrigan's part there's also a calculated move to wring more money out of the BC Govt for the attendant improvements to Burnaby roads, and it may be that this is his whole game. "

Burnaby has reserves available, and only a fraction of that is needed to reseal the roads where needed.

Corrigan has been a boil on the behind for the
GVRD for decades. He didn't go after the NDP when they were government for road money.

In fact Burnaby shouldn't go after the province for road money since civic roads should be paid for by civic tax dollars.

"In any case, be assured that I regard the twinning of Port Mann and the widening of Hwy 1 as an important national project, and if the BC Govt were to ever adopt, for whatever declared reason, a No Build position on Port Mann/Hwy 1 it would be up to the Federal Govt to use Section 91 of the constitution to do the job themselves in the national interests of Canada."

Phuleez. The constitution again? The most simple fact is for the federal government (including those idiot federal Liberals) to expressly dedicate fuel tax money or 80% thereof to highway infrastructure improvements and to return the money to the provinces on the basis of how much was originally collected, with the premise that the money is returned for the maintenance for interprovincial highways such as
Highway 1 and Highways 3 and 16.

Same type of system exists in many other countries. No reason why it wouldn't work here,
but the federal Liberals insisted on all tax money go to general revenue.

Reason for that was the benifit of the Liberanos'
friends and the few "plain envelope" across the
restaurant table sessions.

"P3s will not work. They will not insulate the taxpayer from serious cost overuns, nothing can do that. The private contractor is not going to keep on building and building if to do so is going to put them deeper and deeper in debt in the case of serious overuns, they will simply walk and it will be up to the Crown to decide what in the Hell to do with a half completed project. The best example right now of P3 deals is the Canada or RAV line. In fact, as you well know, it's the taxpayer is on the hook to the developer if the ridership doesn't materialize!"

The ridership will materialise, since it is a high volume route compared to the alternative which the creme de la creme didn't want staining their neighbourhood despite the fact that there is unobtrusive rights of way already there.

It will take time.

Budd will want to try out the new Canada Line himself (like everyone else) but will deny it and will say so here.

For all you K. Falcon supporters and those championing a leadership run, there is a finacial iceberg looming - RAV. If ridership fails to materialize and costs soar and if there is a criminal investigation, it's adios Falcon!

The ridership will materialise, since it is a high volume route compared to the alternative which the creme de la creme didn't want staining their neighbourhood despite the fact that there is unobtrusive rights of way already there.

It will take time.

Budd will want to try out the new Canada Line himself (like everyone else) but will deny it and will say so here.

Posted by Vanciddy Man on August 18, 2006 06:55 PM

I don't want to try out the new Canada line anymore than I want to be forced to use a Skytrain. They're cattle cars. I prefer the West Coast Express. That's the type of service we should have over longer haul routes of 15 or more kilometres, and with track improvements it could be doing better speeds. Using LRT, ... which means Light Rail Transit throughout the world, except in Vancouver where propagandists have brainwashed the public into thinking it means Light Rapid Transit, ... for these longer haul routes is a deliberate abuse of the commuters. It's part of the property owners interest group politics that lie behind the anti-freeway gosped that's been hanging around Vancouver, and the GVRD, ever since the days of the late Walter Hardwick.

If you're so sure the ridership will materialize, why are there ironclad guarantees in the agreement that the taxpayer will pay the fares of these phantom passengers if they don't use the line?

I'm with Ken, not Kevin, upthread, especially if he includes a cooler full of Revellos.

.

Those of you who believe in the tooth fairy and that RAV's ridership will materialize, I have some Bre-X shares for you to buy! Airport ail-transit lines just do not attract ridership; subways do not attract ridership; transit systems that demand transfers, do not attract ridership.

Don't believe me? Read something about public transport and not just picture books! New york's Airtrain (a Mk.2 SkyTrain connecting JFK with the metro system), has only achieved one third of it's predicted ridership and is carrying 10,700 passengers a day and yes, they have turnstiles!

It is now assumed that the total cost of RAV (including debt servicing) will now exceed $6 billion! So bad an investment is the Canada/RAV line, that SERCO, once in partnership with SNC Lavalin, jumped ship! The banks will bot lend money to this lemon and the liberals had to take money fron Public Service pension plans to fund this.

Ridership on RAV will be about 50,000 a day or about 50% of projected ridership. Why? Simple chaps, that's the demand on the route! Lack of stations in Vancouver will greatly deter ridership and TransLink's commuter (money making) bus lines feeding into RAV will slowly lose ridership. For those South of the river, using RAV will increase travel time by at least 20 minutes. It will be just easier to use the car.

Richmond is the real loser as the line is truncated and single tracked. The real winner is YVR's airport authority, which for a $300 million investment, will get a prestigious $6 billion + rapid transit connection, subsidized by regional taxpayers!

RAV will be an Albatross around Falcon's head, just like the FastFerries were for the NDP, only with RAV, you can'r make them dissapear!

The Gateway project is just a Liberal vehicle to take taxpayer's money and give it to the Road Builder's Association, legally, just like RAV!

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