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.)

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. 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.
  5.  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.
  6. 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.)
  7. 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.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Princess Diana at the official opening of the Ottawa police station on Elgin Street ---June 21, 1983.


Terry's Tune - a song written by sister Nancy Shaw as a tribute to Terry Fox.

                                                     Terry's Tune
You're the man who ran for everyone
While the country stood by your side
You'll not be forgotten for many years
We'll always speak of you with pride.

Oh, Terry, you have not failed us
You've given much more than anyone else
Your country is so proud of you
For giving so much of yourself.

It's a long, long way to Thunder Bay
Millions of dollars you've raised
And those who ran and those who watched
Will speak of your courage with praise.

Oh, Terry, you have not failed us
You've given much more than anyone else
Your country is so proud of you
For giving so much of yourself.

The song was recorded in 1980, and was played on a British Columbia radio station; at a B.C. Lions football game, and a Macleans Magazine article mentioned that a young woman in B.C. wrote a song about Terry Fox. Nancy also visited the parents of Terry Fox and gave them a copy of the song.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana at the Terry Fox Canadian Youth Centre in Manor Park, Ottawa--June 22, 1983.


Princess Diana visits Parliament Hill in Ottawa, June 20,1983.