Sunday, January 27, 2008

Susan's Best

Susan Heyes, enraged and lobbying-for-justice Cambie merchant, has written her best piece yet on the scummery of the Canada Line in a letter to Vaughn Palmer:

Re: Voice of BC with Falcon

I'm sure the show drew a lot of response, Vaughn. It reminded me of theTwilight Zone.

On Cutting Edge one morning, both you and Keith said to me that you haddoubts about whether the despicable way we have been treated on Cambie wouldhave any impact on the Fiberals or City at election time.It most certainly will.

Broadway has woken up to the realization that anyplan for their "disruption and inconvenience" are just guidelines, really,and once again, it's TransLink that will decide the scope of the plundering,er...project.And now Peter Ladner has a motion before Council to bore under the Broadwaybusinesses instead of plough them under. (Where was his concern for Cambie 3years ago?) This political gesture is certain to have no influencewhatsoever in the absolute rule enjoyed by the puppets atTransLink......kind of like Falcon's idea of "extensive publicannouncements, er....consultation".How are these circumstances possible in a democracy?

3 years ago I had hopethat with a few good people in public office standing firm for our rights,the coming perfect storm for business failure would be acknowledged - andthis known fatal hardship would be avoided or adequately mitigated.Shamefully, this did not happen.This bunch of publicly funded thugs have taken our tax money and willfullykilled our once successful independant family run shops and services; ourlife's work - month after month, year after struggling year. (Where is the2-3 months in front of any given shop, eh Jane?)

This has been life changing in many ways. Our stress is unimaginable. Thiswill not be forgotten.The eye of the hurricane is passing over Cambie now, and heading downBroadway - right in Clambull's front yard. There is visible devastation inits wake as a warning, unlike the happy spin and lies that preceeded theRAVaging of our neighbourhood by the RAV/Canada Line PR army.

I'm mad as hell. At 50, after working dilligently for TWENTY FIVE YEARS tobuild my successful business, and paying what amounts to MILLIONS in taxes -my own government just demolishes all my earned equity in these effortsalong with my plans for a secure retirement. I've nearly lost my house, forgawds sake! My financial future is in jeopardy, and what do we get from thelikes of Cambully and his bird of prey? "Piss off - it'll be great when itsdone. Quit yer whining - wish it was more like China here, where governmentworks in secret and has absolute power.....oh, wait a minute - we alreadydo."The human tragedy of the Canada Line is just beginning to be told, as moreand more desperate people cling to what's left of their dream ofself-employment and financial security.

This disaster was preventable, had anyone at any time in the lengthy processof approval, acted with integrity. They all knew what would happen when theydropped this bomb on our village, and they arrogantly GREEDILY went aheadanyway, with no factored in financial help for the small businesses. Toomuch profit at stake for the Province, and the project, and we were aperceived weak target and written off as collateral damage.And it's profits we're talking about here. SNC Lavalin's 3rd quarter reportshow profits up 63 million! Right out of our pockets. The Billions inProvincial surplus are largely fed by all the tax contributions made by thesmall business community and homeowners and employers who run them - but itis the big corporations and big developers who are enjoying the spoils.

Thisentire project was designed to capitalize on this man-made disaster, in theform of radical re-zoning and huge shocking re-development. The fix was infrom the start. We didn't stand a chance.

Sam Sullivan has said alot of shameful things in his embarrassing stint asmayor, but his recent remarks about how the Canada Line project was adecision of the "last administration" really has me wondering about hissanity. He was there. As a City Coucillor, he often voted against motionsfrom other coucillors cautioning to take another look at how to help thebusinesses and community. What a weasel. He looks down on all of us writhingin pain, and has done nothing but try to whitewash the whole mess with sparechange for pretty banners that future retailers will enjoy. To do somethingmeaningful might harm his cozy relationship with all the big developers ifhe interrupted the flow of their profits (and funding for his bid foranother term).

Vaughn, we're tired of all the 'you know what' being flung at our community.They better watch out - there's been a change in the wind. We're not backingoff our right to deserved financial compensation. And the much neededlegislation to ensure that this expropriation of our livelihoods neverhappens again.I'd love to see Falcon and Corrigan have a debate. But I think the Falcon ismore like a chicken!




Elizabeth James said...

David: A rhetorical question and a comment re: Susan's Best - A cry from the heart:

Q. If union members were being treated a la the small-business owners of Cambie Street, do you think Barbara Sharp would have been sitting silent? You know, the former Mayor who 'representing' the North Shore on the TransLink Board, had to vote three times to get it right for Mr. Falcon.

C. Lest readers are not aware, there were three so-called bidders on the RAV project: The longtime-federally-subsidized Bombardier and the "winner" "winner", SNC-Lavalin, which just happens to be corporately-entwined with said Bombardier...Oh, and Siemens which was along for the ride, albeit grumbling about the bid process.

"Well, I'm prepared to support this going forward to the Best and Final Offer (BAFO) stage; but only if it will cost no more than the $1.35 Billion we have on the table," alibied Ms. Sharp. Of course, that condition didn't even last out the meeting because, suddenly, the bored Ms. Jacobsen sat up straight to protest, "Oh no, Mr. Chair, we can't send it forward like that; we need some flexibility." See how, for the most part, bureaucrats+politicians are all alike? Remember Glen Clark saying he needed, what was it, wiggle room or wriggle room?
Whatever - the last FOI, now about a year out of date - revealed that the RAVing Canada Line costs were, at that time, already $1.2 billion OVER budget. If any of Falcon's re-election team are listening?
"HAVEN'T YOU HAD ENOUGH YET?" I know I have - and I'll wager Susan Heyes and all her Cambie Street neighbours have had MORE than enough!
Roll on the law suit, Susan.

Gary said...

This is one of the Worst travesty's in recent history in this Province. And there are many to measure it against. But, there is one more to come.............. when the voters in Surrey-Cloverdale return that pimply faced punk to Office come the next Election. I am sorry if I offend the other pimply faced punks out there with my comments.