Thursday, January 31, 2013

Monday, January 28, 2013

Worthy of a Post of its Own

 By the way, The current CEO of Lanolin was given an op-ed piece in The Sun the other day. When his company is guilty of paying off the Gadhafi clan, why do we want to hear this man's opinion?

Evil Eye has left a new comment on your post "From the folks who brought you CANADA LINE & other...":

David, this is how the scam goes. Please bear with me.

In the late 1980's Ontario's UTDC sold the proprietary SkyTrain light-metro system to Lavalin. While Lavalin tried to sell a SkyTrain to Bangkok, Thailand, they went bankrupt (Siemens won the contract and their elevated metro system is called SkyTrain but has no relation to our SkyTrain!)

From the ashes of Lavalin, Bombardier bought the rights to the SkyTrain system, did a large retooling of the proprietary light-metro and now sells it as Automated light metro.

SNC bought what was left of Lavalin and the new firm was now called SNC lavalin. There is also a relationship between SNC Lavalin and Bombardier Inc.

When one buys with a UTDC/Bombardier SkyTrain you are married to the product as no other metro is compatible with SkyTrain.

Millions of dollars were spent on ensuring that TransLink would use SkyTrain for the third metro line in the Vancouver region as they bought off the NDP with promises of jobs, jobs, jobs from a small ART assembly plant in Burnaby. The promise of jobs, jobs, jobs, just did not materialize as no one buys with SkyTrain!

With Gordon Campbell, came another wrinkle, he wanted a showcase P-3 project for the next metro line but because SkyTrain is a proprietary light-metro, a true P-3 was impossible.

Now, SNC Lavalin being no slouches, doubled down with Bombardier and Intransit BC bidding on the project and effectively bounced both Siemens and Alstom from the project, leaving SNC a winner no matter what.

Bombardier was pipped at the post by Intransit BC who dumbed down a standard ROTEM metro car operating on a truncated metro line. With other bits of nastiness such as doing away with safety features and not paying compensation to merchants and businesses along Cambie St. where cut-and-cover construction devestated local businesses, SNC Lavlin made a killing.

(there is a rumour that SNC types hobnobbed with some Supreme Court types to quash a certain lawsuit claiming damages due to cut-and-cover construction, which would greatly hurt SNC's bottom Line)

With the Evergreen line, no silliness about a P-3 there and the Bombardier/SNC Lavalin group will make a lot of money building the forgotten bit of the NDP's Millennium Line.

Building with SkyTrain means SNC wins by default.

By forcing SkyTrain to be built instead of much cheaper and just as effective LRT, means the BC taxpayer is paying a lot more money to SNC, in fact the BC taxpayer maybe paying up to 10 times more money that they should by building with the SkyTrain light-metro!

The big prize for SNC will be the proposed $4 billion SkyTrain subway to UBC and it would be interesting to see who SNC is cozy with at Vancouver city hall, the province, the NDP, and TransLink.

P.S. Remember a certain Vancouver cop found a briefcase with a cool $1 million in a trash can at Clinto park in East Vancouver and this was right around the time of the great switcheroo by the NDP by demanding SkyTrain be built instead of LRT for the then Broadway Lougheed rapid transit project, now known as the Millennium Line. I just love coincidences!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

From the folks who brought you CANADA LINE & other good cement deals

SNC-Lavalin document provides details of alleged bribes to Gadhfi family

Engineering firm accused of paying Moammar Gadhafi’s son $160 million in kickbacks

An RCMP officer stood guard at the main security desk last April as the RCMP executed a search warrant at SNC Lavalin in Montreal.

MONTREAL — SNC-Lavalin says an unsealed affidavit used to obtain an RCMP search warrant of its headquarters last April contains new details about the company’s alleged ties with Libya’s Gadhafi family.

However, the embattled engineering giant says it cannot confirm the veracity of the new information and is reviewing the document to see what actions it may take. It has vowed to act swiftly if the allegations are proven.

In the sworn statement unsealed by a Quebec court Friday, former officials with the Montreal-based company are accused of paying the son of the dictator Moammar Gadhafi $160 million in kickbacks to obtain major contracts in Libya, some of which police say paid for luxury yachts.

The search warrant document says the bribes were paid to Saadi Gadhafi by former SNC vice-president Riadh Ben Aissa, who is now jailed in Switzerland.

Published reports say the RCMP document also implicated Ben Aissa and former SNC-Lavalin controller Stephane Roy in an alleged effort to smuggle Gadhafi’s son and his family to Mexico as the regime was failing in 2011.

SNC-Lavalin (TSX:SNC) says the affidavit contains some unspecified information that it voluntarily provided to authorities in March.

“It also contains some information of which we were not previously aware. We cannot determine the veracity of certain allegations in the affidavit,” it stated in a news release.

It noted that affidavits contain “unproven information and allegations” gathered by authorities in the context of an investigation that are submitted to a judge in order to obtain a search warrant.
SNC-Lavalin has taken a number of steps to improve its governance and requirement that employees adopt ethical behaviour.

It hired former Watergate investigator Michael Hershman as an independent compliance adviser to SNC’s president. He will complement the work of former FBI director Louis Freeh’s risk management company, which has been assessing the progress of the implementation of the company’s ethics and compliance program.



Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Armstrong should have taken a page from elite-liar playbook

Disgraced cyclist has told some whoppers, but he is hardly in the league of master prevaricators such as Clinton and Mulroney

Lance Armstrong confesses to Oprah Winfrey in a televised interview that he used performance-enhancing drugs, reversing more than a decade of denial.

Photograph by: George Burns, Harpo Studios Inc., The Associated Press, Postmedia News

Suffice to say the reviews of Lance Armstrong's performance on Oprah Thursday night were not good. Commentators debated whether it was more accurate to describe him as a sociopath or a psychopath. "He's got no morals and he's a disgusting human being," said a champion British cyclist. Arrogant, smug, evasive, he was all these things, it was said, and less.

All this, after an interview in which he admitted most of the major charges against him: that he had cheated his way to seven Tour de France victories, lied about it for years, then harassed and bullied those who called him out. I don't mean to say he laid himself completely bare: on several points he fudged, or refused to answer, as if an invisible lawyer were whispering in his ear, warning of the lawsuits and investigations to come.

But by the standards we have come to expect in these things it was relatively candid, blessedly free of self-pity. He'd told a lot of lies. Now he was telling the truth. Yet if he was expecting this confession to staunch the flow of vitriol, it appeared to have the opposite effect.

Because if there is one thing we expect of professional cyclists, it is that they will compete fairly and stay clear of drugs. And if there is one thing we expect, no demand of our public figures, it is that they will tell the truth.

Oh really. Listening to all this high dudgeon, I was carried back to last September's Democratic convention, and the rapturous reception given to Bill Clinton, the former president and noted perjurist in the matter of Jones v Clinton.

That may have been the most famous of his lies, but it was hardly the first. Clinton was well known as a liar - an "unusually good" one, according to Bob Kerrey, the former senator - long before he ever reached the White House. As early as 1992, the question posed by his candidacy, as defined by Michael Kinsley, was not is he a liar, ''but is he too much of a liar?" By the end the lies and abuses of power had piled up so high that Christopher Hitchens was forced to title his scathing account of the Clinton presidency No One Left To Lie To.

To be sure, this was very nearly his undoing at the time. But in the years since the impeachment drama, he has paid no price of consequence, beyond the temporary suspension of his membership in the Arkansas Bar Association. His books are best-sellers. His speeches pay six figures. He has become a revered figure in some circles, even as the word "Clintonian" has entered the language to describe an answer so precisely framed as to allow a claim of factual accuracy, while remaining fundamentally misleading. Talking of Brian Mulroney, he, too, is having a lovely time of it, is he not? Never known for his excessive devotion to the truth - "In office," wrote Mordecai Richler, "Mulroney lied regularly, even when it wasn't necessary, just to keep in shape" - the former prime minister only really hit his stride after he left office.
I speak, of course, of his clandestine receipt of $300,000 in cash from the international arms dealer, convicted fraudster and self-confessed briber of politicians, Karlheinz Schreiber. Mulroney has never adequately explained any of this business - what he did for the money; why he took it in cash; why he kept it in cash; why he did not declare it on his income taxes until years later; why the whole business was conducted without invoices, receipts, expenses or paper trail of any kind etc. etc. etc. - and each time he has been obliged to try has left more people convinced he was lying.
These eventually came to include the judge appointed to conduct an inquiry into the affair, Jeffrey Oliphant. Not only did he find Mulroney had given misleading testimony in deposition for his celebrated libel case against the government of Canada - wherein he claimed he "had never had any dealings" with Schreiber, beyond "a cup of coffee ... once or twice" - but that he had done the same at multiple points in his appearance before the inquiry.

Again and again, Oliphant's report dismisses Mulroney's testimony as literally unbelievable. "I must view with skepticism Mr. Mulroney's claim ... (I) question seriously the credibility of Mr. Mulroney's testimony ... I found Mr. Mulroney's evidence on this issue to be troubling at best and, at worst, not worthy of any credence ... I do not accept the reasons proffered by Mr. Mulroney." And so on.
To repeat: this is the former prime minister of Canada, testifying in a judicial proceeding, on the issue of his financial relationship with a man who had been in and out of his office as an unregistered lobbyist while he was prime minister and who had been paid $20 million in secret and illegal commissions by a European aircraft manufacturer for the sale of planes to Air Canada. And what have been the consequences of his repeated untruthfulness? None that I can see.

As Maclean's describes it in its current issue ("He's Back"), Mulroney is on a roll, feted as a statesman, in demand as a speaker, a member of several prestigious boards of directors and partner in the law firm of Ogilvy Renault. They're even naming halls after him. Throughout, Mulroney is lauded for his charm, his magnetism, even his "aura." It all sounds eerily like Clinton, to whom he is explicitly compared. So let us drop the pretence that we're all so scandalized by Armstrong because he lied. Granted, he lied about cycling, rather than mere financial dealings or affairs of state. But the reason he is in such obloquy, and Clinton and Mulroney are not, is not because his lies were worse, but because he's not as good at it: because he is not as charming - shall we say manipulative? - as they. Frankly, when it comes to conning the public, he is not in their league. Anyone can pull a con like Armstrong's. You just lie and keep on lying until someone catches you. It takes a master to keep the con going even after you've been caught.

Friday, January 11, 2013