Saturday, December 22, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

We are being treated like dirt.

A few years ago, I saw a photograph that I cannot erase from my mind; the image of Canadian citizens waiting outside a government building, in the rain, to apply for a passport.
Hundreds of people standing in the rain, for hours, outside the Sinclair Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The Trudeau government did not treat ordinary people like serfs, underlings.  
In 1979, I applied for a Canadian passport in Toronto, and I did not have to wait for hours outside a government building on Yonge Street. I waited inside the building, sitting on a comfortable chair in a carpeted room. I was always treated respectfully at Manpower offices, train stations, post offices...
Recently, the Government of Canada announced the closure of 100 Service Canada offices; and the Ontario government is closing Service Ontario terminals.
Federal Crown corporations are fixated on saving money, not on providing services to the general public.
The mandate of Via Rail is "to provide a safe and efficient passenger rail service in Canada." Yet Via Rail is reducing or cutting Sarnia, Kitchener, Stratford, Belleville and Maritime Canada routes.
The government of Canada cannot intervene, because Via Rail is an "arms-length" Crown corporation. Unfortunately, Via Rail is not "arms length" from the Canadian treasury, the Consolidated Revenue Fund. Since 2007, a billion dollars have been transferred from the CRF into the coffers of Via Rail.
We, the people of Canada, are the shareholders of Via Rail, Canada Post, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the national museums, the Royal Canadian Mint, Canada Mortgage Housing and Corporation, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, National Arts Centre, National Capital Commission...the list goes on. Without our money, these institutions would not exist.

Stop privatizing Crown corporations -the bargain-basement sale of the CNR, the People's Railway, was a major boondoggle, that benefited a few (Hunter Harrison and CNR shareholders including Bill Gates) at the expense of many.

CFS Alert is a Canadian Weather Station and Signals Intelligence Base located at Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic.

My father George Shaw at CFS Alert in 1969.
Air Transport Command Hercules unloading fuel oil on a re-supply mission to Alert Base, NWT.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Above the Law - Crown corporations are not accountable to the people of Canada.

The Museums Act (1990) applies to the directors of Canada's national museums--they have the power to sell, exchange, give away, destroy or otherwise dispose of works of art and other museum material.
And real property can be sold to the highest bidder---Canada Post and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation privatized billions of dollars worth of Crown property, to the point that the CBC has been delisted from the Federal Directory of Real Property website.
The Canadian Museum of Nature, ironically, paved over green space to create parking lots. According to the newsletter "Green Space and Parking at the Canadian Museum of Nature"-Updated October 2012:
      "During the six years of renovations of the museum from 2004 to 2010, the museum reviewed and got approval from the City of Ottawa on appropriate changes-this included obtaining a building permit, even though we were not required to do so as a federal institution."
The National Capital Commission wants to see underground parking at the Museum of Nature...that will pave the way for---CONDOS.  A few years ago, the Museum of Science and Technology in Ottawa planned to sell property along St. Laurent Boulevard to a developer. Apparently that idea was scuttled, so the lighthouse, radar antenna, Convair Atlas Rocket, pump jack, Dominion Observatory telescope, windmill and CNR train will not be:
or sold to an American museum, the Crown Assets Distribution Centre, or an auction house.
Canada is the only G8 country without laws to protect heritage buildings.
Silo #5 in Pointe-du-Moulin, Montreal.
The Saint-Vincent-de-Paul Penitentiary in Laval, Quebec.

The Lachine Canal National Historic Site of Canada - a residential project called "Les Bassins du Havre" is being constructed along the banks of the Lachine Canal.

The Cape Spear Lighthouse National Historic Site of Canada - Fisheries and Oceans Canada decided that 1,000 lighthouses in Canada were "surplus", including Peggy's Cove.

Toronto Union Station National Historic Site of Canada - Via Rail owned the railway station at one time; the building is now owned by the City of Toronto, and parts of the landmark are being demolished.

Winnipeg Union Station National Historic Site of Canada - The train station was sold to a numbered company through a Privy Council Order-in-Council.

The Chateau Frontenac Hotel National Historic Site of Canada - The hotel in Quebec City is now owned by a multinational corporation, Fairmont Hotel's and Resorts.

Senneville Lodge was bulldozed in 2008,

    The George Derby Lands in Burnaby, British Columbia were also owned by Veteran's Affairs Canada.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Once the Canada Lands Company buys a federal property, the property becomes Non-Federal Owned.

Canada Lands Company holdings, Page 1.

Page 2.

Page 3.

Page 4.

Page 5.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Prime Minister Trudeau tried to return Canadian Pacific Railway land to the people of Canada.

MARATHON REALTY, a subsidiary of the Canadian Pacific Railway, sold millions of acres of land that should have been returned to the people of Canada. Sir John A. Macdonald gave the CPR $25 million dollars and 25 million acres of land, on the condition that any land not needed by the railway would revert to the government of Canada.
Instead of returning the reversionary land, the CPR created a real estate company to sell land, hundreds of train stations, roundhouses, rights-of-way...The mega corporation General Electric and Oxford Properties bought MARATHON REALTY  in 1996. And GE, Husky Oil, timber, mining and metal companies either own CPR land, or they have drilling, timber and mineral rights.
 In 1980, Prime Minister Trudeau tried to return the railway  land to its rightful owners:

MARATHON REALTY sold CPR land, federal Crown property, to multinational corporations. (The document is from "The 1984 Report of the Auditor General of Canada"---Section 6.90.)
Gordon Campbell, the current High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, and a former premier of British Columbia, was a Marathon Realty executive from 1976 until 1981. General Electric, the corporation that bought Marathon Realty, is involved in the massive Bute Inlet Power project in British Columbia. The Bute Inlet project will privatize rivers, lakes and streams, create 17 dams, 440 km of power lines, 250 km of roads, and 100 bridges. During the summer of 2012, the federal government's Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency cancelled an environmental assessment on the Bute Inlet Project.
The long-suffering, over-taxed people of British Columbia paid for the Sea-to-Sky Highway, but they sure didn't profit from the chainsaw massacre of thousands of trees to create this Olympic fiasco. A timber company probably raked in the profits from the construction of this totally unnecessary highway. I wouldn't be surprised if toll gates are added to the Sea-to-Sky Highway, one more way to gouge money from ordinary people.

Premier Campbell demanded that the Provincial Capital Commission provide him with a list of Crown properties that could be sold. In the year 2012, 100 PCC holdings will be privatized. The Provincial Capital Commission owns harbours, park land and many historic buildings, including:
The CPR Steamship Terminal Building in Victoria, B.C.

812 Wharf Street in Victoria, B.C.

The Crystal Garden in Victoria, B.C., leased by the CPR until 1964, then the property reverted to the City of Victoria.
 I find it interesting that the Canadian National Railway and Via Rail refused to tell Public Works Minister Erik Nielsen how much property the Crown corporations owned.
Parts of Union Station in Toronto are being "selectively" demolished, see the website "Port Lands/Explore Projects/ Waterfront Toronto." The entrance plaza on Front Street will be reconstructed, and more space will be provided for commercial establishments. Where are you hiding, heritage groups in Canada?

Jane Jacobs at the "Save the Penn Station" rally in New York City, 1962. Notice the similarity between Penn Station and Toronto's Union Station.
Canadian National Railway subsidiaries: CN Marine/Marine Atlantic
Terra Transport
Air Canada/Trans Canada Airlines
Via Rail
Canadian National Hotels.
The general public believes that CN Rail and CP Rail are rivals. Nothing could be further from the truth:
  1. Hunter Harrison, the former head of CN Rail, is now the CEO of CP Rail.
  2. Gordon Campbell sold a profitable B.C. Crown corporation, B.C. Rail, to CN Rail.
  3. CNCP Telecommunications was a subsidiary of Canadian Pacific Limited.
  4. At one time, the  Angus Shops in Montreal encompassed 1,240 acres of land.
  5. In 1988, the  government sold the  Canadian National  Hotels, federal Crown property, to Canadian Pacific Limited. A few years later, Carl  Icahn and Fairmont Hotels and Resorts bought the iconic hotels.
  6.  Via Rail has to share railway tracks with CN and CP. Freight trains have first priority over passenger trains, and Via Rail pays the railway companies to use their tracks.
  7. Order-in-Council - April 26, 1990 - Canadian National Railway to enter into an agreement with Canadian Pacific Limited which provides for the sale to CP of certain spur lines situated in the vicinity of Peterborough as well as any real assets. (The OIC volumes can be found at Library and Archives Canada on Wellington Street in Ottawa.)
  8. Order-in-Council - January 18, 1991 - Canadian National Railways Act - Approval of the entry into a sales agreement between Via Rail Canada Inc., Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Limited of the Ottawa Station Building. (The Conference Centre, see photo of the building below.)           
The Government Conference Centre in Ottawa, Ontario, where I worked as a cleaning lady in 1981/82. Believe me, I will fight to my dying breath any attempt to privatize this building, convert it into a hockey museum, sell it to the City of Ottawa or bulldoze it.