Sunday, March 31, 2013

The federal government is closing the former American pavilion at Expo '67, because of "budget cuts".

                                   
Photo of me, A. Shaw, during a visit to Expo '67.
   Buckminster Fuller and Shoji Sadao designed the iconic American pavilion at Expo '67, a geodesic dome. In August of 1990, Environment Canada bought the pavilion for $17.5 million dollars, and the site became "The Montreal Biosphere".
     I believe the Canada Lands Company is behind the decision to close the Montreal Biosphere. I'll give you proof:

  1. In 1997, Jean Charest and the federal Conservatives outlined their vision for Canada in a policy manual called "Let the Future Begin". One recommendation - merge four federal government departments---Environment Canada; Natural Resources Canada; Agriculture Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada.  Thousands of civil servants who work for the four departments have recently been given layoff notices; research institutions were shut down (including the world- renowned Experimental Lakes Area); Environment Canada's Environmental Assessment Review Agency has essentially been gutted; Fisheries and Oceans Canada decommissioned Coast Guard stations at Kitsilano, B.C. and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and 1,000 lighthouses were declared "surplus". In the year 2000, 780 hectares of land at the Agricultural Research Farm in Nepean, Ontario were transferred to the National Capital Commission. The Farm was bordered by Fallowfield, West Hunt Club, Woodroffe and Greenbank roads. Environment Canada owns the Montreal Biosphere.
  2. From:"Let the Future Begin" ---The responsibilities currently undertaken by DFO, Environment Canada, NRCan and AAFC will be transferred to "The Department of Sustainable Development". In 2008, the Conservatives created a law called "The Federal Sustainable Development Act."
  3. The Canada Lands Company is the lucky recipient of "surplus" Environment Canada, NRCan, Agriculture Canada and DFO properties. "Let the Future Begin" recommends that $40 billion dollars worth of federal real estate be transferred to the Canada Lands Company. The CLC plans to redevelop the NRCan Booth Street Complex in Ottawa---the CANMET lab has already been moved to McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.The Dartmouth DFO rescue station will be sold to the CLC. Agriculture Canada is mothballing several experimental farms, including the Cereal Research Centre in Winnipeg; Delhi Research Farm in Ontario, and the Indian Head Tree Farm and Community Pasture in Saskatchewan.
  4. Cite du Havre was "The Gateway to Expo '67." According to an August 7, 1984 classified ad in the Montreal Gazette newspaper, "LA POINTE DE LA CITE DU HAVRE" was a Special Recovery Project for Canada Lands Company Limited.(LE VIEUX PORT DE MONTREAL) In 2007, Canada Lands Company sold Parc de la Cite du Havre to the City of Montreal.
  5.  Canada Lands Company is currently redeveloping Montreal's harbourfront, which includes land at Cite du Havre - Parcel A is 22 acres, and is zoned commercial and residential; and Parcel B is four acres of land, zoned as park land.
  6.  Canada Lands Company owns Canada's most historic, iconic buildings and structures---the CN Tower; federal penitentiaries; Dominion Buildings, the de Havilland Building, Bunker and Hangar at Downsview Park; Old Port of Montreal; and the Sailors' Memorial Clock and Silo No.5 in Montreal. (A  Dominion Building in Niagara Falls, Ontario was the police station in a 1953 Marilyn Monroe movie "Niagara". The building, previously occupied by Canada Post, Canada Customs, a police department and Manpower is boarded up and vacant.) I would not be surprised if the Dominion Public Building in Toronto, Ontario is sold; the property has already been given an assessed value, which is often a kiss of death for historic buildings. The Kingston Pen is apparently worth $17 million dollars.
  7. The Montreal Biosphere is being mothballed, because some well-connected developer wants the land. I hope the Americans repatriate Buckminster Fuller's geodesic dome, and place it in a museum or site worthy of its stature. Although it will break my heart to see it go - most of the 90 pavilions at the World's Fair are gone, despite the fact that Mayor Jean Drapeau of Montreal wanted the entire site preserved. The most popular exhibit at Expo,owned by the U.S.S.R.,was dismantled and transported to Moscow.
  8. The Montreal Biosphere conducts research on water and ecosystem protection. Environmental laws have been gutted in Canada; and Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement gives multinational corporations the right to sue the Canadian government, if any public policy or government action denies them investment opportunities or profits. The government of Canada is giving an American company access to glacier water in a national park--- the subsidiary of a Phoenix, Arizona company, is building the Glacier Discovery Walk in Jasper National Park. And the federal government privatized the operation of hot springs at Kootenay, Jasper and Banff national parks. Environment Canada is responsible for Parks Canada, and thousands of Parks Canada employees have been told their jobs are in jeopardy.
Environment Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Agriculture Canada and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans are being dismantled. 
Our national parks are being devolved to the provinces.
Revenue Canada will merge with the Department of Finance.
Welcome to Canada, Incorporated. Not Canada Limited, or the Dominion of Canada. Multinationals will go to great lengths to profit from this country's resources and historic buildings. 
READ: The North American Free Trade Agreement.
             Jean Charest's Plan Nord project.( Jean Charest was the federal Minister of the Environment from 1991- 1993.)
            Let the Future Begin by Jean Charest and the Conservative Government.
            Introduction When a Country by the Fraser Institute.
            Blue Gold: The Battle Against Corporate Theft of the World's Water by Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke.
The Montreal Biosphere was the American pavilion at the 1967 World's Fair in Montreal, Quebec.
  1. Expo 67 photographs of my stepmother.
               
                         

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Kingston Penitentiary is not crumbling.

     Kingston, Ontario is called The Limestone City because many of the city's landmarks were built with limestone: Fort Henry; the Martello Towers; Royal Military College; Kingston General Hospital; Rockwood; Kingston City Hall; Queen's University; the CNR train station on Montreal Street; Collins Bay Penitentiary and the Kingston Penitentiary.
Kingston Penitentiary in 1895 - The West lodge and tower from the west wharf. (Sent to A. Shaw from the Federal Heritage Building Review Office in Gatineau, Quebec.)
Limestone is one of the most durable building materials in the world. The Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, almost 4,000 years old, was created with limestone.
Pictures of Fort Henry in Kingston, Ontario - Summer of 1992.

Most of the buildings at Kingston Pen are in good condition, according to a recent government report:                                                    



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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is selling waterfront property in West Vancouver.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is selling five acres of land at the Centre for Aquaculture and Environmental Research, according to an article "Exclusive: Kits Coast Guard base not being sold by feds-but West Van property is" by Bob Mackin, Business Vancouver News--February 26, 2013.
The land is worth $11 million dollars.
The Centre for Aquaculture and Environmental Research at 4160 Marine Drive in Vancouver, BC.
DFO is hollowing out or closing major Canadian research and development institutions:
The Experimental Lakes Area in Northern Ontario - closed; cabins are being destroyed and employees belongings are being removed, see the article "As dismantling begins,shuttering of research station called a 'travesty'" by Gloria Galloway, Globe and Mail - March 16, 2013.
The Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. The government is phasing out research on the biological effects of oil and gas and the effects of oil spills. Several employees at the Bedford Institute will lose their jobs. Coincidentally, the Bedford Institute is located near Shannon Park, a military property that is being transferred to the Canada Lands Company.
Maurice Lamontagne Institute in Mont-Joli, Quebec. Thirty people have been told their jobs may be eliminated, and the world-class library is being shut down.
St. Andrews Biological Station in St. Andrews, New Brunswick - The Contaminants and Toxicology Department has been eliminated, the library has been dismantled, and several people are losing their jobs.
Pacific Biological Station in Nanaimo, British Columbia - Staff are worried about possible job cuts.
 CFB Nanaimo was acquired by the Canada Lands Company, a Crown corporation that sells DND and DFO property to developers. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation is privatizing social housing.

     The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation was created in 1946, to house returning World War 11 veterans and their families. In subsequent years, the federal Crown corporation built affordable housing; funded urban renewal projects; preserved historic neighbourhoods; gave Residential Rehabilitation grants to homeowners, to repair and upgrade their houses; gave Research and Development grants to scientists; redeveloped Granville Island in Vancouver and built Habitat in Montreal; launched a Green Building Program...The CMHC was given the United Nations Peace Medal in 1982 for "promoting a better understanding among people of the ECE (Economic Commission for Europe) countries, as host of a study tour on housing, building and planning." 
   The Conservative government of Brian Mulroney basically privatized and commercialized the agency---properties worth millions of dollars were divested, including Habitat by architect Moshe Safdie.
Habitat '67 in Montreal, Quebec.
In 1985 "The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation Act" was created:
Section 28 (1):
     "The Corporation has the power to manage, acquire, hold, lend, lease and dispose of real and personal property."
 (The Mulroney government planned to privatize Canada Post and the Coast Guard, see Page 296 of the book "On the Take" by Stevie Cameron.)
The Kingstonian Apartments at 780 Division Street in Kingston, Ontario were built on public land, with public money. But the housing development was denationalized:
A 2007 classified ad from the Globe and Mail newspaper. The Kingstonian Apartments were renamed "Frontenac Place".
In 1991 the Mulroney government planned to sell Benny Farm, located at Notre-Dame-de-Grace in Montreal, to property developers. And in 1998 the residential land holdings of the CMHC, worth $62 million dollars, were transferred to Canada Lands Company, a Crown corporation that "disposes of" government buildings and land.
The Fraser Institute lobbied for the devolution of all Canada Mortgage and Housing holdings in British Columbia, to the province of BC.
 British Columbia, a beautiful province tainted by years of political corruption--- Expo '86; BC Rail; BC Ferries; closure of campgrounds at provincial parks; Sea to Sky Highway; the renovation of BC Place; sale of provincial buildings, parkland and waterways...
A Fraser Institute document, calling for the devolution of CMHC real estate to the province of BC.
The "piece of vacant land in North Vancouver" the Fraser Institute referred to is probably the 672 acre Blair Rifle Range and Mountain Forest (CMHC). And the land is worth billions, not $80 million, check out Google Maps for all the proof you need. Hundreds of thousands of trees would have to be sacrificed, to accommodate residential housing.
The Blair Rifle Range in North Vancouver was owned by DND from 1927 until 1967, when it was sold to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. (Image is from the Directory of Federal Real Property.)
As far back as 1995 the Government of Canada wanted to redevelop the Blair Rifle Range:
                                                         ORDER-IN-COUNCIL
National Housing Act - 1995-1825 - Authority to enter into a SUPPLEMENTARY AGREEMENT between the Crown, the Province of BRITISH COLUMBIA and the CANADA MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION which provides for future changes in the active party responsible for the development of the land comprised of the former BLAIR RIFLE RANGE, located in the District of North Vancouver.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Kingston Penitentiary will be closed on October 1, 2013..

Kingston Penitentiary is a National Historic Site of Canada, and the Main Cell Block and North Lodge Building 2 are Classified Heritage Buildings. However, when KP and the Isabel McNeil halfway house are transferred to the Canada Lands Company, the complex will lose all heritage designation and protection:
A GUIDE TO WORKING WITH THE FEDERAL HERITAGE BUILDINGS REVIEW OFFICE
     The Treasury Board Policy on Management of Real Property stipulates that departments must manage the buildings they administer so as to conserve their heritage character throughout their lifecycle...Crown corporations do not fall under the policy. It applies only to real property owned by the federal Crown.
( From: Page 2.)
Document mailed to A. Shaw from the  Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office in Gatineau, Quebec.
 The Canada Lands Company is an arms-length, commercial Crown corporation that "disposes" of strategic properties that the government of Canada no longer wishes to own. Canada Lands Company owns the CN Tower, CFB Rockcliffe, Downsview Park...the list goes on. Canada Lands will demolish the Kingston Penitentiary, one of Canada's most historic landmarks, because the land on which it sits is valuable waterfront property. And I will cry when that day ultimately arrives; just as I burst into tears when a relative drove me past the Prison for Women in Kingston a few years ago. A YouTube video documents the destruction of a wall that surrounded the prison: "P4W walls coming down".

     Classified Federal Heritage Buildings include:
 The Parliament Buildings in Ottawa.
 Clock Tower at The Old Port of Montreal.
 Connaught Building National Historic Site (Revenue Canada Building) in Ottawa.
 The Supreme Court of Canada at 241 Wellington Street in Ottawa.
 Royal Roads Military College in Victoria, British Columbia, and
 The Main Cell Block and North Lodge Building 2 at Kingston Penitentiary:

According to the document "A Roadmap to Strengthening Public Safety" (2007):
-A mega prison will be constructed in Kingston, Ontario, and "the complex would be populated from the consolidation of six existing institutions-Pittsburgh; Joyceville; Warkworth; the Regional Treatment Centre; Kingston Penitentiary and Millhaven". (See: Page 197).
- The private sector will build the mega prison.
- Older prisons that have "outlived their usefulness" will be decommissioned." (Note: Does that mean Collins Bay will be shut down?- A.S.)
-Joyceville and Pittsburgh Institution farmland is worth $2 million dollars, while the sale of the Ontario Regional Headquarters at 440 King Street West in Kingston could net $17 million dollars.
A July 27, 2010 letter I wrote to my Member of Parliament in Nepean, to try to save  Canada's prison farms.
440 King St. West in Kingston.

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Kingston Penitentiary.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

"The Balkanization of Canada" - a documentary.


Key Players:
Gordon Campbell - High Commissioner to the U.K; former premier of British Columbia, former executive at Marathon Realty, a company that sold millions of acres of CPR reversionary land. Gordon Campbell is an Alcan shareholder.
Moya Greene - CEO of the Royal Mail in England; privatized Canadian National Railway property when she worked for CN Real Estate; former CEO at Canada Post.
Brian Mulroney - former prime minister of Canada; planned to privatize the Canadian Coast Guard and Canada Post; his North American Free Trade Agreement led to the exodus of thousands of companies; gave hundreds of thousands of federal civil servants "pink slips and running shoes."
The Water Barons - Vivendi; Suez; Nestle; Coca-Cola; and Thames Water.
General Electric Corporation - a multinational that bought Marathon Realty in 1996.
The Fraser Institute - an influential organization that gives policy advice to provincial and federal governments in Canada. Recommends that all federal property in British Columbia be privatized or devolved to the province of B.C---including the real estate holdings of DND, Agriculture Canada; CMHC; CBC; National Parks; Canada Post; Corrections Canada; Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Canada Place in Vancouver:

The devolution of federal property to the province of British Columbia.
Groups and individuals opposed to closure of the Kitsilano Coast Guard Base in Vancouver, British Columbia:
Save Kitsilano Coast Guard Base.
Save Kitsilano Coast Guard Station.
The Kitsilano Coast Guard Base is Going Under - We CAN Save It.
Don Davies Blog Archive - Save Kits Coast Guard.
Save Our Kits Coast Guard Station - Fin Donnelly.
Thank you Kitsilano CCG Base - A survivor tells her story.
Cummins to Harper - Don't close Kits Coast Guard Base.
SOS Kitsilano Coast Guard! Rally to save Kits Station.
Vancouver MAYDAY - the Conservative Government's Titanic Mistake.

Community groups and individuals fighting the sale Government of Canada property:
Nova Scotia Lighthouse Preservation Society - In June of 2010, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans divested 1,000 lighthouses, its entire inventory. Lighthouses were navigational aids for mariners. The Peggy's Cove Lighthouse may be demolished.
Save Canada's Lighthouses.
SAVE OUR LIGHTHOUSES.

Save Downsview Park - Toronto, Ontario.
S.A.V.E. Senneville - Senneville, Quebec. The Lodge and golf course were Veteran's Affairs property.
Action - Save the Garden City Lands - Richmond, British Columbia, a former DFO Coast Guard Transmitter Station. Canada Lands Company sold the property to the City of Richmond, for $59 million dollars. The Dartmouth, Nova Scotia Coast Guard Station was decommissioned in late 2012.
Upton Farm Preservation - Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.
Save the Senator Herve J. Michaud Experimental Farm in Bouctouche, New Brunswick- the Farm will close in 2013.
Save Kingston Penitentiary and the Regional Treatment Centre - Kingston, Ontario.
Peter McQueen wants to save NDG and Snowdon Post Offices - Montreal - February 4, 2013.
Preserve Postal Station K- Facebook - Located at Yonge and Eglinton in Toronto - The building was the site of Montgomery's Tavern, headquarters for William Lyon Mackenzie during the Rebellion of 1837. A developer recently bought Station K, and the building will be converted into condos.

People who tried to wake us from our slumber:
Stevie Cameron - Author of "On the Take: Crime, Corruption and Greed in the Mulroney Years" (1995).
Karlheinz Schreiber - a German-Canadian businessman; in November of 2007, he told The Star, a national Canadian newspaper:
     "I tell you, Canadians will learn stuff from me and they will go out of their minds when they hear what these guys have done."
Glen Kealey - calls the bargain-basement sale of the Canadian National Railway "GRAND theft - train tracks."














Saturday, March 9, 2013

The BC Liberal government is selling $625 million dollars worth of real estate and other assets "to balance the budget."

Gordon Campbell is British Columbia's de facto premier---his fingerprints are all over the February 19, 2013 provincial budget.
              BRITISH COLUMBIA - Budget and Fiscal Plan - 2013/14 - 2015/16
                           Release of Surplus Assets for Economic Generation
   The public sector routinely disposes of properties and assets considered surplus to its needs...Since 1981, almost 1,500 surplus government properties have been sold in BC. Six hundred and sixteen properties were sold in the 1980's. Between 1991 and 2001, surplus government properties with a value in excess of $500 million (excluding the SUCH sector) or more than $1 billion in today's market. During the 2000's, 406 properties were sold with a value of $381 million. More than 100 properties have been identified as "surplus":

  • a vacant lot on Watkiss Way near Victoria General hospital.
  • a large surplus parcel on Tranquille Road in Kamloops.
  • a surplus parcel at Mission Memorial Hospital.
  • two large vacant lots in Surrey on 192nd Street.
  • a former elementary school in Surrey.
  • a large vacant lot in Burnaby.
  • a former health care facility in Vancouver's Grandview-Woodlands neighbourhood.
  • a vacant lot in Lion's Bay.
  • a former school board office in Surrey.
  • a vacant lot on Keith Road in North Vancouver.
  • the Pearson-Dogwood healthcare redevelopment.
  • North Saanich Middle School.
  • a six-hectare vacant lot in the Panorama neighbourhood in Surrey.
  • a parking lot near the Legislative Buildings in Victoria.
  • a seven hectare site north of Kelowna that was being tentatively held for the new correctional facility.
(From: Pages 42 and 43 of the British Columbia Budget - February 19, 2013.)
The Pearson-Dogwood Redevelopment is a 25.4 acre residential, office, retail and institutional project, located on Cambie Street in Vancouver:

Friday, March 8, 2013

The B.C. Provincial Government is transferring Crown property to the Vancouver Island First Nations..

  The Provincial Capital Commission is a Crown corporation that owns valuable real estate on Vancouver Island.
Between 2003 and 2005, Premier Gordon Campbell demanded that the Crown corporation provide him with a list of properties that could be sold. Revenue from the sale of PCC property will not "balance the budget" --- the Crown corporation is permitted to keep the money from the sale of land and buildings.
In Ontario, the Ontario Provincial Police raided the offices of a Crown corporation that privatizes public real estate, and forensic auditors investigated over 2,000 Ontario Realty Corporation transactions. The ORC owns the Don Jail in Toronto; the former Kingston Psychiatric Hospital and Rockwood in Kingston; Guelph Reformatory, the old Bowmanville Prisoner of War Camp...the list goes on.
Provincial Capital Commission properties that may be privatized:
Victoria's Inner Harbour
The CPR Steamship Terminal Building.
The Crystal Garden:
The Crystal Garden, 713 Douglas Street, Victoria.
812 Wharf Street is a landmark in Victoria; an Art Deco building with a stepped tower(ziggurat).

St. Ann's Academy, another landmark in Victoria, B.C.:
St. Ann's Academy National Historic Site of Canada.
The Stores Building, a 1912 former CPR building.
Cuthbert Holmes Park:
Cuthbert Holmes Park in Saanich.
613 Pandora Avenue, the Headquarters of the Provincial Capital Commission.
A waterfront parking lot near Wharf Street in Victoria.
Undeveloped PCC properties along the TransCanada Highway in Langford.
Forest property on Skirt Mountain.
The Galloping Goose Trail at View Royal.
Quadra Park.
(From: "Public land on the chopping block?" by Roszan Holmen, Goldstream News Gazette, February 24, 2012; and the Provincial Capital Commission website. The article includes a map.)

In late February of 2013, the BC Government announced the transfer of several Crown properties: "Victoria properties transferred to First Nations in treaty deal." by Rob Shaw, Times Colonist, February 26, 2013.
The First Nations now own the headquarters of the Provincial Capital Commission, 613 Pandora Avenue in Victoria.