Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Concerned Citizens for BC leader Jim Shepard & $1 million anti-NDP campaign has BC Rail skeletons in closet, lots of unanswered questions


Jim Shepard, Concerned Citizens for BC leader, in recent TV interview 
Skeletons in closet add up for group behind $1 million anti-BC NDP heavy duty negative TV and radio ad campaign
Bill Tieleman’s 24 Hours/The Tyee column
Tuesday February 5, 2013
By Bill Tieleman
"Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth."
- Buddha
An advocacy group asking tough questions about B.C. New Democrat leader Adrian Dix in a $1 million attack ad campaign is being very shy in providing clear answers about skeletons in its own closet.
And as the election nears, Concerned Citizens for BC may face increasing questions about the role of its leader, retired corporate executive Jim Shepard, in the controversial $1 billion privatization of B.C. Rail in 2003.
Shepard, whose group is airing radio ads making negative allegations about Dix's past in the NDP government of the1990s, was a director of B.C. Rail when the B.C. Liberal government broke its election pledge not to sell the Crown corporation.
And it's unclear who is running Shepard's current ad campaign.
What's up Wazuku?
The Tyee and 24 Hours Vancouver newspaper first exclusively revealed last month that CC4BC is spending $1 million on the multi-media campaign, according to the group's internal communications.
Wazuku staffer Kirsten Avison confirmed the consulting company was running the campaign for CC4BC leader Jim Shepard, the former Canfor and Finning CEO and former advisor to Premier Christy Clark.
But last week senior Wazuku partner Steve Kukucha emailed 24 Hours, claiming that CC4BC wasn't one of its projects.
"CC4BC is simply renting office space from Wazuku.  I've passed this on to Jim via email though.....I hope this clarifies things," Kukucha wrote me on Jan. 28.
Yet a day after that, Avison sent out an email (see sidebar) to CC4BC supporters written by Shepard -- obtained by 24 Hours and The Tyee -- stating that:
"In the days ahead, we will be airing some very direct, but factual ads that will bring the contrast between the NDP and free enterprise into even sharper focus."
Neither Kukucha, Avison nor Shepard responded to Tyee inquiries by deadline.
An email address provided by Kukucha for Shepard was incorrect.
Ad backer was BC Rail director
CC4BC's current radio ads claim Dix was responsible for problems in the 1990s, when he was chief of staff to then-premier Glen Clark.
But Shepard needs to answer questions about Wazuku's role in his $1 million ad campaign. Wazuku's other partners include Brad Zubyk, a former NDP staffer who switched sides and worked on Clark's leadership campaign.
Both Zubyk and Kukucha have been active in federal Liberal Party election campaigns.
Wazuku Advisory Group's Michael Watson, Brad Zubyk & Steve Kukucha - website photo
And Shepard may not want to answer questions about his own political past, such as his leading role in the controversial $1 billion privatization of B.C. Rail in 2003.
Shepard was appointed to the board of directors of B.C. Rail in 2001 by the new B.C. Liberal government of then-premier Gordon Campbell, and was on the board through 2003.

Campbell promised in the 2001 election campaign that he would not privatize B.C. Rail, having lost the 1996 campaign in part by pledging to get rid of the Crown corporation that served northern B.C.
But shortly after the election, Campbell reversed himself again and the B.C. Rail board and government eventually approved the sale to CN Railways for $1 billion.
A month after the sale was announced police made an unprecedented raid on the B.C. Legislature, seizing documents from the offices of David Basi and Bob Virk, two then-B.C. government ministerial aides.
Basi and Virk were later charged with breach of trust and fraud for providing confidential government documents to lobbyists for OmniTRAX, the other and losing B.C. Rail bidder. Two other companies, CP Rail and Burlington Northern Santa Fe, had dropped out earlier, with both complaining the process was "unfair."
After years of B.C. Supreme Court pre-trial hearings, Basi and Virk made a surprise guilty plea after only two witnesses had testified -- and the province was shocked when the government admitted it was paying the entire $6 million in legal bills despite the pair admitting their guilt, a complete contradiction of government policy.
Independent B.C. Auditor General John Doyle is probing why the government approved that payment in a report that will raise new questions about the scandal.
And as he becomes an increasing public figure due to his massive pre-election advertising campaign, Shepard may be asked some pointed questions about his past as well.
Questions for Shepard
One of the only two witnesses to testify in the Basi-Virk trial was fellow B.C. Rail director Brian Kenning, who was appointed at the same time as Shepard in 2001 and who claimed in court that the board spent almost a year trying to convince Campbell to sell the company despite his election pledge not to.
Kenning also confirmed that he was paid a retainer of $15,000 a year and $1,500 to attend each B.C. Rail board meeting.
How much was Shepard paid as a B.C. Rail director?
B.C. Rail expenditures were severely questioned by defence lawyers in the trial and pre-trial hearings, with the court hearing that controversial consultant and past-B.C. Liberal election campaign co-chair Patrick Kinsella had been paid $297,000 in a 49-month contract for "business advice" that one B.C. Rail executive was unaware of for three of those years.
As a B.C. Rail director was Shepard aware of Kinsella's contract? Did they ever meet to discuss B.C. Rail business?
Meanwhile, Shepard is extolling the success of CC4BC, claiming that CC4BC has helped narrow the gap between the B.C. Liberals and the NDP (see sidebar):
"People thought we were wasting our time trying to return a free enterprise government. They don't doubt us anymore," he wrote. "Over 95 per cent of the money raised has gone directly into purchasing advertising so please continue to spread the word."
But if Shepard can spend a million dollars to ask questions he better provide answers about his own politics as well.
Disclosure: Writer of this opinion piece Bill Tieleman supported Adrian Dix's leadership nomination campaign.

CC4BC SAYS ATTACK ADS HURTING NDP

What Concerned Citizens for BC says in its email to supporters obtained by 24 Hours/ The Tyee - this is the complete email:

From: Kirsten CC4BC
Sent: Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013 03:28 PM Pacific Standard Time

To: undisclosed-recipients 

Subject: CC4BC Update - sent on behalf of Mr Jim Shepard 
 
Dear Supporters,
I just wanted to thank you for all your support over the past months. Our hard work is paying off!!! When we started our campaign the NDP had a 28-point lead in the polls. Remember those days? People thought we were wasting our time trying to return a free enterprise government. They don't doubt us anymore.
Today, Mustel Research released a poll showing that the gap is now 10 percent. Think about that for a moment. In three months, we have gone from being almost 30 points behind to 10. And there are still three months left until the election.
These numbers are the result of our accelerating commitment and hard work. In the days ahead, we will be airing some very direct, but factual ads that will bring the contrast between the NDP and free enterprise into even sharper focus.
This will make our ability to keep on raising money even more important so that we can get our message out to as many people as possible.
Our website now accepts credit card donations and there is no contribution too small. Over 95 per cent of the money raised has gone directly into purchasing advertising so please continue to spread the word.
Thank you again for your commitment. I am looking forward to seeing you all in the days ahead.
Sincerely,
Jim Shepard

Chair,
Concerned Citizens for British Columbia

55 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your negative ads are turning me off to the Liberals. This type of advertising is demeaning and is a low for organizations such as yours. I won't vote Liberal or any other party using these types of attacks. Focus on the issues facing British Columbians, not on the individuals.
PS. Will the blog moderator post this publicly? Probably not as it does not fall within your beliefs.

Anonymous said...

If gouging taxpayers is free enterprise, then it HAS to be anyone but the Lieberals.
This trick proved extremely un successful in the US Federal Election. Just as pollsters thought Romney was turning things around, Obama won with a stronger mandate than last time.

Anonymous said...

I doubt CC4BC has had much influence in the narrowing of the gap between the NDP and Liberals.

People may have thought about it, but their supporters are fooling themselves thinking they had a major part of it.

Secondly, the current distance of the Liberals still means that they have another 20% to go before they will ever make government.

Not going to happen, unless the NDP chokes.

Dix needs to start rowing rather than drift with the current. State positions on some major issues very soon (most likely after the budget).

Wonder why the NDP did not adjust the Woodland's compensation when they were in power since the facility closed in 1996. They could have widened out the compensation.

Clearly a problem originating with the NDP.

Reign in his MLAs. Harry Lali broke the rules with those ads of his that got into the local paper.


Anonymous said...

Wow! Same old news from the 90's

This Sheppard guy reminds me of an old cup of coffee. The scum always rises to the top!

Anonymous said...

The NDP will have the same problem.

Be here when it does.

Anonymous said...

The Liberals solution to the $60 Billion dollar debt is like putting whipped cream on a turd. Spend millions on an ad campaign brainwashing voters into thinking the NDP were worse than what we are now stuck with. Not even close.
The NDP will inherit this problem. Hopefully they will learn from the current bunch of criminals.

Anonymous said...

Back in the 90's, did the NDP buy power at $90 per mw and sell it for $30 per mw?

Anonymous said...

The man and his supporters are toons, strickly liberal shills, doing what they can to prop up Snookie and a corrupt, spent government. The clown is wasting his time and money. The liberals are desperate to keep an incoming government, not of the liberal minded type, from opening the closets of skeletons full of scandals. Yes, there are many.

Your money would be better spent giving to a charitable cause...alleviating some of the child poverty in this province, something that the families first agenda of Snooki does not seem to be able to do.1011

Anonymous said...

Think I saw on the first ad that it was Fusion Communications producing them. Dean Mailey is the guy in charge there. Any connections to all this?

Anonymous said...

B.C. Liberal Party is throwing out an increase in the PST (or HST)today. They have destroyed what was once a robust economy.
Thank the Liberals.

Anonymous said...

No they haven't. It's just a proposal from Translink. Nothing has been approved to set the PST to include a Translink skim-off as it has to be by a vote in the legislature as it changes existing Tax legislation.

Re-read what was in that MSM that every one here hates but obviously still reads and watches even though they won't admit to doing so.


Anonymous said...

B.C. Lieberal Party and Translink. Both out to fill their own pockebooks. Both have sucked out what was left in taxpayers pockebooks, and are desperate to create a phantom balanced budget.

Anonymous said...

Pretty good considering it was the NDP that formulated Translink in the first place.

Then there was Glen Clark's fudgit-bugit passed right before the 1996 provincial election.

BC8CC said...

Shepard appears motivationally conflicted. While all the doomed BC Liberals endorse CC4BC's stupid attack adds and are motivated to loyally parry with their political nemesis for partisan reasons, only the ones terrified of the upcoming BC Rail Inquiry are motivated to desperate measure. Until the election, the two motives are indiscernibly coincidental; after the Inquiry they will become more distinct: one will probably continue its partisan rhetoric, odious and puerile, yes, but legitimate nonetheless; the other might finally disclose why anyone would work as hard as possible to avoid having a BC Rail Inquiry at all.

Anonymous said...

Sorry not all BC Liberals endorse CC4BC's ads. Where did you get that dumb idea? Do all NDPers support the BC Fed? BCTF? BCGEU?

and what upcoming BC Rail Inquiry? There's no definitive start date
nor even a "within 'x' months starting time set by Adrian Dix on it.

Anonymous said...

Where would someone start?
B.C. Rail?
B.C. Hydro?
B.C.L.C.?
I.C.B.C.?
Screwed up Stadium?
Screwed up bridge?
Basi/Virk?
B.C.Ferries?
German Ferries?
Undersold FastCats?
Foreign made Sea Bus?
B.C. Transmission debacle?
2012 Olympic sized debt?
Sea to Sky Hidden tolls? Overruns?
B.C. Gas? Sold!
Vancouver Trade and Convention overrun?
H.S.T. STILL HERE!
Torn up HEU contract?
Raw logs to China?
$60 Billion debt?
NDP will be busy fixing this mess!
But where to start?

Anonymous said...

And, how about...

Bollywood-corruption extraordinaire?
Coleman vs. Surrey?
St. Marys Hospital?

Anonymous said...

Ooops, Olympic size debt started in 2010.

DPL said...

I do agree with the comments listing some of the strange and expensive deals that Clark and earlier King Gordo cooked up.

Yes a group is collecting money to try to save the Liberals and of course get more of the same. But lets not figure a Dix and associates are a slam dunk to blow Christy and crew out of office. The NDP will need financial support to counter the BS being spread. So it's time that NDP supporters open their wallets and contribute to make sure the decade of Liberal screw ups don't happen again. The election looms, dirty tricks and nasty adds will try to swamp the programs Dix is rolling out, so be prepared to put a few dollars into a government in waiting. at least letters of support on physical support by doing the rounds of candidates meetings. We are all waiting in anticipation of a Dix win, but waiting alone doesn't mean success. Best of luck is fine, but boots on the ground is better. We all want to see the backs of that sleazy bunch for the good of the upcoming generation who will be paying for Liberal blunders.

Anonymous said...

jim shepard,is a wrinkled skinned old fart that was the prez.of bc rail when all the crap was going down(like telling us that bc rail was a money looser) your dam right he doesn't want dix to get in even though there will never be an inquiery with any teeth relax shepard your tracks will be well hidden even after a change of (LOL)so called stewardship.if anybody thinks things will change your sadly mistaken,many new palms to grease and many contract buyouts on the horizon thie electoral system needs to change and the police and judiciary need a shakeup from the top down and that my patsies is the truth whip out your wallets and pay the dishonest piper he's playing the tune and if you don't like it put your fingers in ears and say lalalalalalal. Just my two cents but thats the way it is by the way soon we won't be able to put our two cents in anymore how ironic but it's always been that way.

Anonymous said...

Well stop whining and get out there. Any one can list problems of the past.

What sets the smart ones are those who come up with workable solutions and new workable initiatives that people go for.

What is "new" in New Democrats?

New ways and new topics to whine about.

Anonymous said...

Undersold FastCats and BC Ferries...

get real.

If NDP had gone with steel hulled ferries after the Spirit of Vancouver was completed, there would not be any FastCats to complain about. The NDP cxouldn't sell the FastCats, and if they were able to, there wouldn't be any disposal auction. So all of that rests with the NDP.

The NDP ran BC Ferries onto the rocks. Political appointments (Gordon Wilson was real beauty).

Another charm was Jack Munro who was appointed to CFI. Knew alot about forestry, none about ferries.

Anonymous said...

More old news again.
I thought this was the 21st century.
Is that all you Libs got?
Ho hum.
German Ferries are crap and gas guzzlers.
Gordo gave the Cats away. Period.
Wit a 7.5% and rising unemployment, why does B.C. insist on hiring foreign Asian workers. Screw our own workforce? Screw the Libs!

Anonymous said...

Hahn and his $1 Million dollar salary ran B.C. Ferries into the ground. Get it right for a change.

Anonymous said...

"What sets the smart ones are those who come up with workable solutions and new workable initiatives that people go for."

So just what is you solution or solutions besides bringing up the past?

Anonymous said...

Snookies close and personal friend Sukh Dhaliwal is having his own problems this week being charged with tax evasion. Are we surprised?

Thank the Lieberals

Anonymous said...

Major thing wrong with BC Ferries and Hahn was hiring Hahn in the first place.

German ferries?Fuel efficient according to an engineer's report.

Gordo didn't give the Cats away. The NDP tried to sell them and weren't able to. Care to defend that one? No? What about the NDP admitting the FastCats were a mistake? Dan Miller said so, and so did Joy McPhail.

Unemployment was high during the NDP's time in power.

Sorry not defending the BC Liberals.

But the NDP will be on their own.

They will make errors but not as huge as the BC Liberals, but will make some big errors.

Be here when they do.

Anonymous said...

Stephanie Cadieu is incompetent, useless and should be voted out.

Anonymous said...

Just where the hell does this government get the money to twin the Freeway east of Kamloops? A competent government would pay the previous bills before more debt.
This government just tries desperately to buy votes with Chinese (etc.) money. Desperate for votes?

Anonymous said...

Sachi Kurl is right in stating her objections to this Family Day farce. Businesses already are crushed by lack of business, and sales across the border. Now they have to pay time and a half and business are NOT happy.
It's no surprise that Sinclair likes it.

Steve Cooley said...

Today's 'Northern Insight' by Norman Farrel has an interesting tidbit about Jim Shepherd's CC4BC site. While Jim castigates Adian for dishonesty, he has used a photo he claims to be group of BC people. It is a stock photo from a website of photos for every occasion!

Anonymous said...

One name summs up todays B.C. Liberal Party.

Sukh Dhaliwal

Anonymous said...

"Just where the hell does this government get the money to twin the Freeway east of Kamloops?"

The same source that paid for the Inland Island Highway when Glen Clark built it.

It's a 10 year construction program. It will provide local
contractors with good work and good paying jobs (and no none of those are "Chinese workers"

"A competent government would pay the previous bills before more debt."

The NDP didn't, and won't.

You honesty think the NDP will stop all spending that adds new debt
before all bills are paid?




Anonymous said...

Just like Moe Sihota summs up the NDP.

Sukh Dhaliwal is an idiot. Just like Moe Sihota.

Norman Farell writes opionions as a hobby. Stock pictures are used all the time. Even the NDP has used those.

Will be interesting to see what he writes after the NDP becomes government.

DPL said...

The BC Liberals just lost te guy who was to run for them till his tax problems went public

Anonymous said...

Guess the previous poster has a good start on his career in investigative journalism for The Democrat newspaper.

Not Anon said...

No anon I didn't hear ior read in the Democrat. It was , I believe on the CBC

Anonymous said...

Moe Sahota?
Extremely old news.

Anonymous said...

No he isn't. he's still involved with the NDP's HQ as President.

Anonymous said...

As I said, dreadfully old news.
Try the 21st century.

Anonymous said...

Sihota is currently front and centre in the NDP in the 21st Century.

Will be interesting to see if this guy gets any political appointment
from an Adrian Dix government.

Anonymous said...

Moe is 21st century:

http://www.ctvnews.ca/moe-sihota-re-elected-as-b-c-ndp-president-1.738895

Anonymous said...

Go ahead and compare Moe to the current bunch of crooks. Makes Moe look like an Angel. It's like comparing a porch and a casino to the 10's of billions in corruption in the last 11 years.
Makes you look kind of racist, too.

Anonymous said...

Well Moe had his Moe Moments. \

Not exactly a saintly past.

How exactly is mentioning Moe racist? Did the poster ever mention what he is?

Is mentioning Kash Heed by Bill here in repeated posts, racist?

and 10's of billions in corruption?

Care to point out that Glen Clark insisted on union level wages for the Inland Island Highway? Is that corruption/favouritism for the construction unions?

Give it a rest.

The NDP is going to be real gem once they insist on that $10 a day daycare considering there's no money to pay for it.

Anonymous said...

Be there when they don't.

Anonymous said...

This Shepard used to be a CEO. A study in the US claims 1 in 25 CEO's are psycopaths. That was a few years ago so I would expect it is now 1 In 10. The money he is spending is a loan. Hopeless Harper was out here awhile ago. He has the expertise in ROBO CALLS Did he advise Shepard and Clark on how to do it? Have you ever seen a government so desperate to cover their past corruption.They are spending millions of taxpayers dollars. to basically cover their corrupt ass. NDP governments are for decent wages and benefits. from our resources. Liberals and their corrupt corporate supporters are for cheap labor part time labor and no benefits.

Anonymous said...

Son to his father
"I'm considering a career in organized crime.
Dad to his son
"The Liberal government or the private sector."

Anonymous said...

Corruption is running rampant within right wing governments and their supporters (federal provincial and municipally right across Canada. They also raise a lot of money from people with addictions How low will they go?
I suggest there is a lot of corruption within the Lottery system.
.

Anonymous said...

We came from the praries where a SHEPARD liked to mingle with the sheep,

Anonymous said...

I am personally fed-up with all the "garbage talk". The politicians we elect are paid by us to do what, in their opinion, is in the best interests of the citizens who elect them. It is clearly impossible for them to know everything about a matter they will be required to vote or give an opinion on, so they are required to use their best judgement at the time a decision is required. If an elected politician knowingly makes a decision that is not in the best interests of their constituents, those constituents should have the right of immediate recall with nullification of any vote or opinion given.
We must not use hindsight to judge performance. It is always the best interests of the electors which must be evaluated.
Humans will make mistakes but we elect and pay them to manage so make them do their jobs. Whatever party they belong to is irrelevant. They are elected and paid to represent their constituents. SO, GET ON WITH IT!

Anonymous said...

I am personally fed-up with all the "garbage talk". The politicians we elect are paid by us to do what, in their opinion, is in the best interests of the citizens who elect them. It is clearly impossible for them to know everything about a matter they will be required to vote or give an opinion on, so they are required to use their best judgement at the time a decision is required. If an elected politician knowingly makes a decision that is not in the best interests of their constituents, those constituents should have the right of immediate recall with nullification of any vote or opinion given.
We must not use hindsight to judge performance. It is always the best interests of the electors which must be evaluated.
Humans will make mistakes but we elect and pay them to manage so make them do their jobs. Whatever party they belong to is irrelevant. They are elected and paid to represent their constituents. SO, GET ON WITH IT!

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, the only thing worse than a public official who has admitted to have been dishonest while in office is one who looks, smells, walks and talks like they're dishonest, yet won't admit it since they've always been able to blame someone else (at least so far) for their misgivings. That is the BC Liberals in a nut-shell. I'm no NDP-endorser by ANY means. I've never before voted for the NDP in my life and still haven't made up my mind who I'm going to vote for this coming election, yet I'll be damned if I vote Liberal. Do they think we're all stupid? With their track record, from all the problems with BCLC under their tenure to the rushed sale of the fast-ferries to the BC Rail fiasco to negotiating for the HST before even getting into office (even after making a pre-election promise not to accept it or any other new tax) to running deficits (even with the so called 'balanced-budget amendment' that they created, which is basically meaningless and powerless if you know how it was worded), and it goes on-and-on-and-on. The instant I heard about the previously-mentioned attack ad, I thought that it must be a Liberal-insider of some sort behind it and lo-and-behold I come here and discover that the leader of CCFORBC is a retired corporate exec. with ties to the BC Rail sale! I have 3 questions (and 3 associated answers for everyone that might read this post and/or contribute to this forum). 1. Might the NDP mess up if given governance for the next 4 years? answer: of course. 2. Could they mess it up worse? answer: possibly but not likely. 3. Does it send the proper message to any incumbent politician(s) (and their respective party(s)) to vote them back into office after such a horrendous tenure? answer: DEFINITELY NOT! As far as I'm concerned, these Liberals just don't deserve another chance. If the NDP or whomever else is elected to BC provincial office this spring don't do a good job, then we can get rid of them as well in 4 years (or less). If you ask me, the ONLY message that these Liberals will interpret if they are given another 4 years of office is that they can keep on abusing the good people of this province at will because we apparently don't learn anything, or even worse, we simply just don't care.

16 Lakewood Dr Vancouver said...

These are standard BC Liberal tactics. This group has been spamming social media with fake grassroots "concern". What I want to know is what exactly Shepard's role was in the BC Rail fiasco and what vested interests he's acting as the front man for.

Anonymous said...

Sad that the liberals have to keep running these ads, it makes them look pathetic and weak. I'm voting NDP e cause you cannot get a straight answer from the liberals. You have rich coleman calling the NDP disgusting, why because they're taxing banks? Chins thought NDP said taxing small business, Rich coleman helped his friend who owned the beer company, remember tax, a tax break? I wonder how many other friends they're helping with tax breaks! Smart meters, what a waste of money. Hydro Dam C all Coleman's friends got huge contracts from that. I cannot wait to get this corrupt government out!! Bollywood waste of tax dollars. All these promises Clarks going to make on Sunday funded buy natural gas maybe? Oh yeah in 10000 years from now. Can't wait for her lies..she's harpers puppet.

Anonymous said...

These ad attacks on the NDP are just too obvious and annoying. It actually motivates me to convince more people to vote NDP.