Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Binder 5: New Democrats plot against the B.C. Rail sale, and the government gets the e-mails

Note: See post above. Paul Ramsey says he's never seen and didn't write any of these e-mails. Which raises a whole lot of questions about how bogus e-mails ended up in Finance Ministry files.

But how did e-mails supposedly between former NDP cabinet minister Paul Ramsey, ex-Liberal leader and later New Democrat Gordon Wilson and defeated NDP backbencher Helmut Giesbrecht end up in finance ministry files? Wilson was replaced as Liberal leader by Gordon Campbell; Ramsey represented a Prince George riding until 2001, and Giesbrecht represented Skeena until 2001.
Assuming the trio were not keen on telegraphing their plans to attack the sale of B.C. Rail, how did the Liberals get their hands on the 2003 e-mail exchange?
A mole in their midst? Carelessness? Or are the e-mails faked?
The e-mails are among some 8,000 pages of material — much of it blanked out — released to defence lawyers in the B.C. Rail corruption case under FOI requests. The NDP has posted them here .

“We should fine tune our strategy on rail,” Wilson allegedly wrote in a July 10 e-mail to Ramsey and Giesbrecht. “It will go to cabinet on July 23. Believe me gentlemen this is going to be more controversial than the Coq deal. We have the potential to really nail the coffin shut. Its clear the only thing Campbell cares about is the bottom line. We need to hit them fast and hard on this.” Wilson says cabinet will give the sale the “green light” at the meeting. “It is obvious from what I have seen from our friends, the tax advantages make it almost certain that CN will be the only suitor for B.C. Rail. Paul have you spoken to Joy or Lois? Even the stuff on raiding pension funds is good. Campbell won’t be able to find a place to hide. He will regret his promise not to sell bcr. Everywhere you look the word sale is mentioned.”

Giesbrecht's supposedly sent a response to Ramsey and Wilson within 15 minutes.
“I agree with you. Our good fortune is really hard to comprehend. I spoke to Lois the other day she is working hard with the unions. She spoke to nettleton yesterday and convinced him to write a strongly worded letter to reid. Once the negotiating team is given their obvious bottom line mandate, that will be the time to crank things up considerably. The order of the bids is not what I would have expected. Campbell will dread the word ‘sale’ every time it is mentioned!” (Reid likely refers to then transportation minister Judith Reid and Nettleton to Prince George MLA Paul Nettleton, who by then had been bounced from the Liberal caucus. Lois would be former Prince George NDP MLA Lois Boone.)

Ramsey allegedly responds to Wilson and Giesbrecht that evening.
“I spoke to Lois yesterday. She is beginning to ratchet up the pressure. I advised her to lay low until cabinet decides on july 23. The comments by cibc have been incredibly helpful. That just confirmed to me this was already a done deal. The job losses will be staggering… I can’t believe our stroke of luck. Please ensure you do not pass those documents to anybody else. Let’s keep them under wraps. I have put a call into Lois. I did speak to Joy. She called ron cannan to touch base and stir the pot some more. When I hear what transpired I will fill you in. It’s my understanding Campbell will be trying to sell this to his cabinet up in sechelt. Let’s hope they don’t develop a backbone overnight.”
(CIBC World Markets had been hired to organize the sale and a company analyst had caused a stir by suggesting CN was the logical buyer. Ron Cannan was then a Kelowna councilor who opposed the sale; now he’s a Conservative MP. The cabinet met in Sechelt on July 15; Reid did a telephone press call that day to try and ease fears about the sale and potential job losses.)

Finally, Giesbrecht is supposed to have e-mailed 10 former NDP MLAs on July 11 – Jom Doyle, Lois Boone, Corky Evans, David Zirnhelt, Erda Walsh, Steve Orcherton, Pietro Calendino, Glenn Robertson. Bill Goodacre and Moe Sihota.

“This is the latest. When we get a decision after July 23 I will follow up at that time.”

And there the record stops.


RossK said...


How did they get them?

Cyber-plumbers perhaps?


Was it really common knowledge by July 2003 that there was only one truly legitimate suitor/bidder?


Anonymous said...

The Machiavellian intrigue continues and this time the NDP has their hand in the puddle.

Anonymous said...

All Bullshit!