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. Either Canfor or another timber company 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 who live pay cheque to pay cheque; and have to pay city, provincial and federal taxes. (Gordon Campbell and Carole Taylor introduced the much-loathed carbon tax in BC)..In a perfect world, politicians would serve the people, not themselves and global corporations.
Gordon Campbell was a real estate man from 1976 until 1981, and Gordon Campbell was a real estate man when he was premier of British Columbia. When Carole James was the provincial NDP leader, she said that the Campbell government gave away 120,000 hectares of forest land to private interests. (From: "James announces plan to acquire Jordan River land." ---No Strings Attached: Laila Yuile on politics and life in B.C.---April 29, 2009.)
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, see my November 10, 2012 blog "Rockcliffe Landing---a home for between 12,00 to 15,000 people." CN Real Estate/the Canada Lands Company was created to "dispose of" Canadian National Railway property; while the Canadian Pacific Railway sold Union Station to Via Rail. Union Station, unfortunately, is now owned by the City of Toronto:
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 "Marathon Man" 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. Canada Lands Company redeveloped the CPR land.
  5. In 1988, the Mulroney government sold the  Canadian National  Hotels, federal Crown property, to Canadian Pacific Limited. A few years later, Carl (Gordon Gekko) Icahn and Fairmont Hotels and Resorts bought the iconic hotels.
  6. The  Canada Lands Company decimated Canada's railway infrastructure. Thousands of miles of CNR railway tracks were extracted from the ground, and probably sold to companies in Hamilton (Steel City) Ontario. 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.

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