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Rumours & Speculation & Rants
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   Author  Topic: Rumours & Speculation & Rants  (Read 21319 times)
wiggle_wagon

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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #860 on: Jan 7th, 2013, 5:22pm »
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I've found the ICF doesn't keep up their website up to date and mostly links positive press when its written for them.  
Their business model doesn't seem to be based on other (successful?) railroad models. I'm not sure what their business model is based on.  
 
Edit: The ICF cannot separate themselves from the land claims issue. Its too entrenched. One half of the board of directors represent First Nations interests and the "CEO" is a lobbyist on behalf of Cowichan Tribes. (see: Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada's report on Graham Bruce / Granneke Management and Consulting Services . http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/012.nsf/eng/00197.html#subject )
 
From the ICF page: ( http://www.islandrail.ca/about-the-icf/financial-reporting/ ) "The Board has contracted with Granneke Management and Consulting Services to provide the Chief Executive Officer services and the daily management functions."
 
Question: what daily management functions does Graham Bruce provide specifically for the railway?


« Last Edit: Jan 7th, 2013, 5:40pm by wiggle_wagon » Logged

The artist formerly known as FSD8014!
cobblehillian
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #861 on: Jan 7th, 2013, 6:53pm »
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Thank you Mr.WW for providing additional information on ICF management.  Your facts further bear out my contention.  If the ICF cannot remove itself from the native land claims fray it cannot properly oversee the operation of a railway whose property is the subject, or may become the subject, of land claims.  
 
I was aware of the investigation of Mr. Bruce's lobbying activities for the Cowichan Tribes but did not make the link between that and his position in ICF.  You are right, his leadership (and his "long term interest in First Nations issues and involvement in the community" as mentioned in the investigation report) would tend to make the ICF a lightning rod for further assertion of land claims.  N.B. I am not commenting in any way on the validity or merits of any land claims.  I am merely suggesting that the ICF is not the venue for their disposition.
 
I share your question on what constitutes daily management functions.  Whatever the ICF is, it does not seem to be working.  It has no expertise in railroad operations, and so far as I know has never engaged a third party to advise on its negotiations with SRY.  Mr Graham has publicly, and uncritically, lauded the SRY for its devotion to the ICF and Vancouver Island.
 
Maybe we should be lobbying the appointed ICF board members from our respective regional districts.  At least a little accountability from them should give us a small, perhaps clouded, window into what is really happening.


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wiggle_wagon

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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #862 on: Jan 7th, 2013, 7:27pm »
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I will not comment on any land claims issues personally. A railfan forum is not the place for such a thing anyway.
 
However, since the subject has been broached, the land claims issue was one of the factors that created the ICF in the first place.  
A quote from Judith Sayers blog on First Nations in British Columbia Portal (borrowed from the Facebook rail page) states: "Rail has existed on Vancouver Island for 125 years and its history has not been a favourable one for First Nations. In 1884, without regard to First Nations title and territories, the federal government handed over 405,000 hectares of land as payment for the building of the E&N railroad on Vancouver Island. As a result today, much of what used to be Crown Land is now fee simple leaving the true owners of the land-the First Nations without land available for treaty settlements. As a result the Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group that represents 6 First Nations commenced a complaint with the Organization of American States regarding this action of the federal government. You can find more about this at: Despite this dark history for First Nations, some of the First Nations along the line have chosen to embark in a joint venture with Local Governments to make a positive out of a negative history while still pursuing just compensation for the land grant of their territories.www.htg-humanrights.bc.ca/HTG%20vs%20Canada%20Backgrounder%20-%20Case%20with%20IACHR.pdf "     ( http://fnbc.info/we-saved-rail-vancouver-island )
 
Yes, this is seen as a way to pursue just compensation for the land grant of their territories. Do you still believe its just about the railway or that this issue can be taken separately from the ICF?


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The artist formerly known as FSD8014!
cobblehillian
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #863 on: Jan 7th, 2013, 8:02pm »
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I was careful to point out that I cannot comment on the validity or merit of various land claims,  However there is a bigger unavoidable issue here, and that is the process of land claims settlement.  I do not believe that this was anticipated or addressed in the setting up of the ICF.
 
If one sees the ICF as the venue for a proper and final disposition of claims, then, perhaps, the operation of the railway should be organizationally separated.  Having been involved in FN land claim issues and railway operations at a professional level I would suggest that the two don't mix.  The organization with rail operations expertise is not the same as one with the talents to negotiate complex land claims, a 10 to 50 year legal process.
 
Currently FN land claims are a matter of the First Nations, the Provincial and Federal Governments.  The ICF was not designed to accommodate such activities.  It just happens to be a locally available focal point for generating public awareness and political attention.
 
There is reason to suggest that the both FN's and the railroaders can be accommodated.  We just have to find a mutually satisfactory way to do it.
 
I would much rather be discussing rail operational matters here, but yes folks this is an issue.  Railways  and FN land issues are part of Canada and have been so for a long time.


« Last Edit: Jan 7th, 2013, 8:24pm by cobblehillian » Logged
wiggle_wagon

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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #864 on: Jan 7th, 2013, 9:51pm »
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When I look at this I can't overlook the hiring of Granneke Management and Consulting Services (Graham Bruce) as 'Chief Executive Officer and daily management functions' as an odd choice. He (Bruce) has no railway history and seems to not actually manage the railway on a daily basis. Rather, this seems to be deferred to SRVI staff and management. Bruce is notably absent when situations and crises arise and one would reasonably expect some comment from the CEO or management of the railway. The situation is so bad that some on here believe the ICF is some kind of 'secret society', as it were.  
 
I take a different view. Bruce was hired because of his political background as well as his history with Cowichan Tribes. On the one hand, existing relationships with (then, 2005 & later) current Liberal party insiders and on the other hand a strong supporter of First Nations issues. Who better to front a group representing six First Nations and six local government interests in the ICF?  
It could also be a "thank you" of sorts from both sides, he otherwise being largely unqualified to run a railroad. And it seems, he doesn't run it, but the ICF pays a salary of $151,000 a year for whatever it is he does. ( http://www.islandrail.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/2012-ICF-Budget.pdf )  
Note: this is on top of his pension as a former MLA.  
Pretty sweet deal. (for him, not us.)


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The artist formerly known as FSD8014!
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #865 on: Jan 26th, 2013, 6:44pm »
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People have had concerns about the "new" icf since they turfed the "railroad people" when Graham Bruce came on board.
 
I was wondering about the legality of a "consultant" legally being allowed to run a "company"?
 
We need to demand public meetings and accountability from the ICF.
 
I don't see any other way to get to the bottom of what is REALLY going on.
 
For example the latest "cluster ----' with the Top Shelf Feeds incident.
 
Why did that happen?
 
Seems like the rail operator tried to make a decision on their own without the ICF being consulted.
 
Funny how the Native Reserve in Northern Saskatchewan can get hundreds of millions of dollars but why can't the First Nations here get money from Ottawa for the railway?
 
I understand that when the repairs finally do take place, First Nations people are going to be utilizing this for on the job training and college credits?
 
I would imagine they could apply for and get without question, money to help upgrade the line and assure First Nations people with employment for many years to come.
 
I was interested to see that out of all the revenue for 2012 a grand total of $20,000.00 was spent for track maintenance, hmmmm.


« Last Edit: Jan 26th, 2013, 6:49pm by Gyralite » Logged
Chris_C
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #866 on: Jan 26th, 2013, 7:49pm »
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Not sure exactly what you are looking for - it is pretty clear what is going on?
 
All levels of government are waiting for VIA and SRVI to work out the operating agreement for the Malahat. Once that is done then all of the funds are released and work begins?
 
Top Shelf - SRVI's marketing probably didnt understand what maintenance or operations were doing - everything is back to normal so  
 
As for revenue .. if you think the line is making money you have to be kidding me!


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cobblehillian
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #867 on: Jan 26th, 2013, 8:09pm »
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My theory is simple.  The SRY refused to run over the bridges to shake ICF's cage and put a little heat on to ensure the negotiations with VIA were proceeding on a timely basis.  Top Shelf after being warned of shut down in 30 days of course got after the ICF.  The ICF would have had a public disaster on its hands if SRY pulled the pin.
 
The quick resolution of this impasse was a very choreographed communications response (including pre-arranged CTV cameras and reporters) by ICF, and a successful SRY who got reassured that VIA negotiations were moving along.
 
SRY officials have repeatedly stated that they need VIA.  The VIA subsidy meets the payroll and keeps the passenger train running.  VIA is also responsible for stations and servicing facilities for the RDC's, as well as a user fee of some sort.  Without VIA here SRY would probably be gone.  
 
Mr. Gyralite seems imply that First Nations in Saskatchewan got funding for railways.  Do you have more details on that?
 
Some of the technical schools in Western Canada have partnered with the railways to train people for the running trades and track work.  NAIT (Edmonton) is partnered with CN on track work training.  BCIT and SAIT have programs for the running trades.  The BCIT students do part of their practicum on the Alberni Pacific.  SAIT is partnered with the CPR.  The model for these training partnerships was transplanted from the UP and BNSF.


« Last Edit: Jan 26th, 2013, 8:11pm by cobblehillian » Logged
Chris_C
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #868 on: Jan 26th, 2013, 9:01pm »
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While your theory is fascinating, the ICF isn't the one negotiating with VIA, it is SRVI. They are working out the operating and maintenance agreement as SRVI will be running the VIA Rail trains again (like they always have).
 
SRVI tells them how much $. VIA argues. And they settle somewhere in the middle. After that VIA basically just makes a payment of $X.XX every year.


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wiggle_wagon

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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #869 on: Jan 26th, 2013, 10:38pm »
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SVI has an operating agreement with the ICF paying $75,000 a year to operate the railway. The right of way ( and therefore the track and aging infrastructure ) remain the responsibility of the ICF. The bulk of the revenue from the ROW is from Telus ( $300,000 per year ) for its leases, other fees and leases net $105,000 and they get $50,000 in GST rebates. Thats still $530,000 in net revenues.  
I'll keep copying and pasting this until someone else notices that their expenses don't make sense. http://www.islandrail.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/2012-ICF-Budget.pdf  
 
My theory is also simple: The ICF gets $75 grand a year for someone else to operate the railroad and as long as that keeps happening they're content to wait on money from all levels of government to come in. A deteriorating status quo as it were. If SRY is also the one negotiating with VIA then Graham Bruce has even less to do. The "secrecy" is due to the fact that he's not really doing the job of " Chief Executive Officer services and the daily management functions" for the railway.  
Personally, I'd love to make $12,500 a month to do what Graham Bruce does for the E&N Railway.


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The artist formerly known as FSD8014!
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #870 on: Jan 27th, 2013, 3:05am »
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I said Native RESERVE NOT Native RAILWAY.
 
You know-the one where the chief and her boyfriend made $100 million disappear and won't tell anyone what they did with the money.
 
Anyway-just seems fishy that Graham gets $151,ooo.oo a year for doing?
 
I think HE should get 20 grand a year and spend 150 grand on the track.
 
87 grand for administrative costs?
 
Who is paid that much a year to be a secretary for a "private charity"?
 
Who gets the $25 grand a year honorarium?
 
Island Rail Days did not happen in 2012 so where did that money go?
 
15 grand for travel? For who?
 
20 grand for communication? Are they using satellite phones?
 
Just wondering.


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Highliner121
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #871 on: Jan 27th, 2013, 2:35pm »
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on Jan 27th, 2013, 3:05am, Gyralite wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I said Native RESERVE NOT Native RAILWAY.
 
You know-the one where the chief and her boyfriend made $100 million disappear and won't tell anyone what they did with the money.
 
Anyway-just seems fishy that Graham gets $151,ooo.oo a year for doing?
 
I think HE should get 20 grand a year and spend 150 grand on the track.
 
87 grand for administrative costs?
 
Who is paid that much a year to be a secretary for a "private charity"?
 
Who gets the $25 grand a year honorarium?
 
Island Rail Days did not happen in 2012 so where did that money go?
 
15 grand for travel? For who?
 
20 grand for communication? Are they using satellite phones?
 
Just wondering.

 
The ICF apologist's on this forum don't care where the money goes. They're willing to be taken to the cleaners, just so they can have some trains to take pictures of.


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Jamie_Masters
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #872 on: Jan 27th, 2013, 3:44pm »
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If hoping that the ICF succeeds in reviving rail on this balkanized island makes one an apologist, then so be it. You don't have to worship at the ICF altar , or believe everything out of their mouths is gospel , to hope their stated goals for the E&N can eventually become reality. And yeah , as shocking as it may be to have a biased opinion like this on Railfan.Net Forums, I do want trains to take pictures of here on the Island.

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railpuck
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #873 on: Jan 27th, 2013, 4:36pm »
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There has been talk that Graham Bruce, has influence in the control of SVI, and if that is the case, its a conflict of interest.
Before Graham was hired there were volunteer appointed boards that were Professional Railway people, like retired CPR Supt, E&N Engineer,and others with backgrounds from working on railways,that reported on the affairs of the railway and SVI. There was also a Community Liaison panel, that also reported  to the ICF, that addressed issues all around the operation of the railway in the towns and communties.
When Graham Bruce was hired within 6 months, all of those volunteer boards were dismantled, and Graham took over control of everything, which is why people question the secretiveness of the ICF, and SVI.
I would favor a Vancouver Island Rail Authority, with elected board to take over the ICF, and get the railway back into operation, and hire people to market the line for business which currently seems to lack in.


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wiggle_wagon

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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #874 on: Jan 27th, 2013, 7:03pm »
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First off, there is nothing wrong with wanting to take pictures of trains on Vancouver Island. There is still a railway to save here to take pictures of.
There is a another railway to take pictures on up at Englewood too, by the way. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Englewood_Railway  
 
Thank you Gyralite for seeing some of the mistakes in the ICF's accounting. I'm amazed MNP couldn't see some of those errors in their review (similar to an audit) of the document.  
 
The ICF will continue to have both supporters and detractors. This isn't a pro or anti- ICF forum, we all have opinions about that but we all want to see the E&N succeed.


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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #875 on: Jan 28th, 2013, 12:10am »
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With respect, Mr. Chris C the SRVI would not be negotiating with VIA were it not for the ICF.  Railways only negotiate with VIA over operational matters.  VIA's presence here is a matter of ICF prerogative and facilitation.  I think this is abundantly clear in the various linked articles quoting Mr. Bruce, and published this weekend.  It also makes sense that the operator is only empowered to discuss operational matters.
 
The ICF owns the property and SVRI is the tenant.


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Gyralite
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #876 on: Jan 29th, 2013, 12:03am »
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OK once again-the TAXPAYERS own it, the ICF MANAGES it and  SRVI is the TENANT.

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chrisale
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #877 on: Jan 29th, 2013, 1:55am »
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on Jan 29th, 2013, 12:03am, Gyralite wrote:       (Click here for original message)
OK once again-the TAXPAYERS own it, the ICF MANAGES it and  SRVI is the TENANT.

Not quite.  
 
SRVI is the tenant and contracted operator.  The ICF manages the Operator (SRVI) and any other service providers or funding sources as well as the leases. (VIA, Government, Telus, etc).  The ICF is the title holder of the lands (according to the BC Government land registry).   They are still considered Private lands. Taxpayers and First Nations manage the ICF through the Board to which they appoint or elect Directors (since some of the directors have been or are current Mayors or Chiefs)


« Last Edit: Jan 29th, 2013, 1:57am by chrisale » Logged

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Highliner121
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #878 on: Jan 29th, 2013, 9:44am »
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on Jan 29th, 2013, 1:55am, chrisale wrote:       (Click here for original message)

Not quite.  
 
SRVI is the tenant and contracted operator.  The ICF manages the Operator (SRVI) and any other service providers or funding sources as well as the leases. (VIA, Government, Telus, etc).  The ICF is the title holder of the lands (according to the BC Government land registry).   They are still considered Private lands. Taxpayers and First Nations manage the ICF through the Board to which they appoint or elect Directors (since some of the directors have been or are current Mayors or Chiefs)

 
Smoke and mirrors.


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chrisale
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #879 on: Jan 29th, 2013, 1:06pm »
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on Jan 29th, 2013, 9:44am, Highliner121 wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
Smoke and mirrors.

 
Actually it is quite straight forward to anyone willing to put an ounce of thought into it.


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