Gary Korpan's Site

Commentary, insights, rants, photos, etc.

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Gas Franchise Fee Scandal--2014 update

Latest $ Lost in Continuing Gas Franchise Fee Scandal

The latest data on the millions of dollars we lost in 2014 due to one of the greatest scandals in BC history, the continuing egregious Vander Zalm Vancouver Island Gas Pipeline scandal, have now been updated. You and your fellow citizens continue to subsidize the gas company for something that has long been paid for. The further outrage is our communities are prohibited from receiving the same level of compensation for damage by the gas company to our infrastructure (cut roads, sidewalks, water, sewer & storm lines) that is received by most of the rest of BC. The new data show in 2014, for example, while Kelowna received $1.2 million, Kamloops $1.1 million, Prince George $1.1 million, all Island communities received zero dollars ($0.00)! Contact your MLA's and demand an end to this travesty. Full information on this is available at http://garykorpan.shawwebspace.ca

(click on table for more readable image)

Serious Continuing Issue for Vancouver Island & the Sunshine Coast taxpayers

An outrageous abuse of Vancouver Island & Sunshine Coast local taxpayers specifically, and BC taxpayers in general, continues to be most serious.

Essentially, our poorest citizens, who will never benefit, are subsidizing the richest, and a private company. Vander Zalm's egregious Vancouver Island Gas Pipeline Act of 1989 continues to prohibit our communities from receiving the same level of compensation for damage by the gas company to our infrastructure (cut roads, sidewalks, water, sewer & storm lines) that is received by most of the rest of BC. (See attached and above the latest updated table of millions of dollars received by cities we are compared to and must compete against economically.) As a result of this discrimination, Vancouver Island & Sunshine Coast communities received zero franchise fee compensation in 2013 while eg. Kelowna received $1.3 million! Since this scandalous policy was implemented (without warning or consultation with those detrimentally affected) our communities have lost tens of millions of dollars in revenue (see table above). The result of this policy has been that every property owner (residential, commercial, industrial) in this region is subsidizing the private gas company. This additional burden makes job-creation all the more difficult as it puts regional business at a property tax disadvantage compared to their competition elsewhere in the province. Decisive rectification is long promised yet still long overdue. Our Premier must end this travesty.

We must demand all MLA's pledge to restore regional equity, end subsidization of the gas company by taxpayers, and hold accountable those who sold us out. Demand the following being enacted at the next sitting of the legislature session.

1) End the restrictions prohibiting communities from being compensated for the damage to their infrastructure.

2) Public audit by the Auditor General of all pertinent funds to determine how long the project has been paid for and seek reimbursement of overpayment.

3) Freeze the annual BC payment (now over $30 million) until proof of need is made.

4) Declare the original agreement void for fundamental unfairness and possible illegality.

5) Appoint a judicial inquiry with subpeona powers to investigate how such a bad, unconscionable agreement was made.

6) Send those who unjustly and illegally enriched themselves to jail.

I attach above updated tables comparing the substantial revenue to "other area" municipalities with the totally deprived communities on Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast. Thank you for your consideration and assistance in rectifying this long-standing inequality. Yours truly,

Gary Korpan - Nanaimo Council (1984-2008), Nanaimo Mayor (1993-2008),
Council Representative on Task Force to Attain Natural Gas to Vancouver Island (1984-1990)
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Confirmation of the accuracy of this information can be made by viewing City of Nanaimo Policy Position Paper on Gas Franchise Fees here:
http://www.nanaimo.ca/search/nanaimosearch.asp?zoom_query=Gas+Franchise&submit.x=19&submit.y=15

UBCM 2008 resolution (repeatedly re-endorsed almost annually since 1993)

B1 GAS FRANCHISE FEES sponsor Nanaimo City

WHEREAS section 22 of the Community Charter provides that a council may, by bylaw adopted with the approval of the electors, enter into an agreement that grants an exclusive or limited franchise for the provision of a public transportation system, water through a water supply system, sewage disposal through a sewage system, or gas, electrical or other energy supply system;

AND WHEREAS such agreements traditionally include a service fee with utility companies to compensate for the costly disruption and repair of roads, water, sewer, storm drains and other municipal infrastructure caused by installation of the utility system works;

AND WHEREAS section 7(5) of the Vancouver Island Natural Gas Pipeline Act revoked the ability for municipalities and regional districts on Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast to set such rates or charge fees by means of section 22 of the Community Charter, thereby passing the infrastructure repair costs onto local taxpayers (including those who will never be connected to natural gas):

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) urge the provincial government to amend the Vancouver Island Natural Gas Pipeline Act immediately in order to restore equal rights on this matter and provide fair and equal treatment for all local government taxpayers in British Columbia;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that UBCM appeal to the Auditor General to undertake a review to determine if the pipeline has been paid for.

ENDORSED BY THE ASSOCIATION OF VANCOUVER ISLAND & COASTAL COMMUNITIES

UBCM RESOLUTIONS COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION: Endorse

UBCM RESOLUTIONS COMMITTEE COMMENTS:

The Resolutions Committee notes that UBCM membership has endorsed previous resolutions in support of revoking those clauses in the Vancouver Island Natural Gas Pipeline Act that prevent the provision of adequate compensation to Vancouver Island communities.

Adopted unanimously September 25, 2008

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
- attributed to Edmund Burke
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Postscript - A few recipients have suggested that this long standing problem is "only now being publicized", suggesting some ill-motive. My response has been:

Actually, both Mayor Leach and I have led each Nanaimo council to annually seek the support of the Assn of Vancouver Island Coastal Communities and the Union of BC Municipalities to pass motions calling on the various Socred, NDP, & Liberal governments to rescind Vander Zalm's sellout legislation. Every time, those resolutions pass unanimously. I have personally presented the annually updated data to each Premier, each Minister of Finance, each Minister of Energy, each Opposition Leader, since the Act was slid thru in 1989. Every time they agreed this was terrible and they would look into it. Nothing has happened. All media in the region have been regularly updated as well. The rip-off continues. You and your fellow citizens continue to subsidize the gas company for something that has long been paid for. So instead of shooting the messenger maybe you should call your MLA candidates to ensure they pledge to end this travesty.

Gary Korpan

Thank you from: Gary Korpan

Home & Office 250-758-9445

Gary's Website http://GaryKorpan.shawwebspace.ca/

City of Nanaimo Website www.Nanaimo.ca

Thank you for your support

Thank you for your help and support in the election campaign. I greatly appreciate the hard work of the team working on my campaign.

I extend my congratulations to our new mayor, Bill McKay and the new Council. Good luck on your deliberations and efforts to make our beloved Nanaimo even better.

Gary

 


Running for (re-)election as Mayor

See also what great volunteers have done at http://korpanformayor.weebly.com/

Candidacy Announcement October 9, 2014
Stop the Spending Spree
Gary Korpan running for (re-)election as Mayor

Hello. I truly believe that my calling in life is to serve Nanaimo.
I am offering my training, knowledge, and experience in
municipal government as a candidate for Mayor.
I wish to help in our unending goal of making Nanaimo an
even better, healthier place to work and live.
By any objective standard, I have the best qualifications
among the candidates. I have a degree in political science;
a degree in law with emphasis in constitutional law; post
graduate courses in municipal government; 20 plus years
running a law practice; 9 years City Councillor; 15 years
as Nanaimo Mayor (1993-2008); 20 years on the Regional District.
I have the widest range of community knowledge that benefit
a Mayor from economic to environmental to social issues
and especially experience in dealing with emergencies.
Needless to say, my experience with City operations and
budgeting, and actually enforcing Roberts Rules of Order,
are second to none.
My first priority will be to Stop the Spending Spree.
Citizens are demanding fiscal restraint. I hate wasteful spending.
Once elected and sworn in as Mayor I will move a motion to
rescind the $5 million subsidy for the theatre rehearsal hall.
That is NOT a priority that Nanaimo taxpayers should be
burdened with. I challenge all candidates to state their positions on this waste before the election.
I support a core review of all City operations be conducted
to ensure your tax money is well spent.
All organizations receiving tax subsidies will undergo a hard
audit to ensure they truly deserve your money.
I will use the Mayor's authority to have all questionable funding decisions and budget line items reconsidered by a recorded vote in open session. We'll know exactly who wastes your tax money and who acts to ensure you get good value.
I am committed to restoring good governance to City Council. I will chair meetings fairly, ensuring Councillors respect each other, staff, and, most importantly, the citizens they are supposed to represent. The current blatant abuse of the secrecy rules will be stopped immediately.
Nanaimo deserves better job opportunities so everyone can
prosper. Council's top priority must be to encourage
investment and spur business expansion and job creation
within a sustainable community that ensures
a great quality of life for all its residents.

Together, Nanaimo has a great future.
Gary Korpan
Questions anytime to 250-758-9445 or via
GaryKorpan@Shaw.ca

Feel free to forward this to anyone you think would be
interested. Thank you.

I'll be the first admit my faults, but, no doubt, not the last.
But, you have to admit, I'm looking pretty good in comparison.
Remember: Don't compare me with the Almighty...compare me to the alternatives.
That is why my unofficial slogan is:
Vote for Gary, the lesser of 10 evils...grin.

----
Stop the Spending Spree
End the Secrecy
Cut the Subsidies
Cease Council Idiocy
(Re-)Elect Our Mayor, Gary


November 15th I, Gary Korpan, respectfully ask for your vote.

Abolish the Senate!

Sent: May-23-13 12:01 PM
To: Nanaimo Daily News  and other publications 
Subject: Letter to the editor - Abolish the Senate

Abolish the Senate!
Abolish that gross insult to our democracy, the Senate.
Federal and provincial governments all claim they will
"reduce the size and cost of unnecessary government."

They all admit that Canada is over governed.

Memo to PM and Premiers: Do what your principles claim. Abolish the Senate!

The Senate is an embarrassment to the  very concept of democracy. It is a disgrace that Canada maintains an appointed legislative body when most of the world finally agrees an assembly elected by the people is the proper way to govern. Our Senate is nothing more than a haven for political hacks chomping at the taxpayer funded trough. Enough. End this disgrace now.

No real friend of democracy (federal or provincial) would stop a constitutional amendment abolishing the Senate. Get on with it and save over eighty million wasted dollars ($80,000,000) a year and Canada's dignity.

In the interim, just fund it $1.00 per year. Let`s see if any Senator stays on the job as a volunteer.

Gary Korpan

 

Gary Korpan
250-758-9445
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Feedback
Hi Brian
Thanks. Yes, I was aware of that. I am optimistically calling on all the pertinent components to, at long last, do the right thing for Canadian democracy.
Even if it is against their own personal vested interest.
Call me naive...grin
Gary
-----Original Message-----
From: peckfordconsult [mailto:peckfordconsult@shaw.ca]
Sent: May-24-13 9:40 AM
Subject: Re: Letter to the editor - Abolish the Senate


38. (1) An amendment to the Constitution of Canada may be made by proclamation issued by the Governor General under the Great Seal of Canada where so authorized by

(a) resolutions of the Senate and the House of Commons; and

(b) resolutions of the legislative assemblies of at least two-thirds of the provinces that have, in the aggregate, according to the then latest general census, at least fifty per cent of the population of the provinces.

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What I actually wrote re Multi-plex editorial in DN

 

Sent April 11, 2013 to the Nanaimo Daily News
Please publish this as my letter to the editor.
Gary
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Disingenuous editorial
I read and re-read your editorial. It is disingenuous of you to say in the title "multiplex that won't cost us", then spend the bulk of the editorial listing a number of ways where Nanaimo taxpayers provide
costly subsidies. Revenue deferred by giving a tax holiday is as much a cost to taxpayers as sending over a cheque to some special interest group. It is fascinating of you to decry a tax holiday for a purported hotel builder then propose it for the benefit of some Alberta millionaires wanting to make hockey profits off the backs of Nanaimo taxpayers.
The reason the City of Nanaimo would not "guarantee...purchasing ice time" from previous advocates
of a multiplex was because the amount they wanted to charge our taxpayers was beyond exorbitant.
I repeat, all studies indicate we are far from having the size of population with
sufficient disposable income (ie. rich enough to pay high admission fees) to make a multiplex financially viable. If your design and project is so good, pay for it yourself.
A subsidy is a subsidy. Your bafflegab won't change that.
I have studied the real costs of multiplexes and I am not fooled by delusional rationalizations by those
with vested interests. Larry McNabb was not fooled either. "Gary, hockey is a great game, but I ain't putting Nanaimo taxpayers in the poor house. I'll be damned if I'm going to let Nanaimo taxpayers subsidize Alberta millionaires to get it. Not now, not ever!"
I trust Nanaimo taxpayers are not fooled either.
Gary Korpan

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What they printed (note the totally mis-leading title) 

Expect taxpayers to pay for any new multiplex
Gary Korpan, The Daily News
Published: Monday, April 15, 2013

Re: 'City needs a multiplex that won't cost us' (Our View, April 10)

I read and re-read your editorial. It is disingenuous of you to say in the title "multiplex that won't cost us," then spend the bulk of the editorial listing a number of ways where Nanaimo taxpayers provide costly subsidies.

Revenue deferred by giving a tax holiday is as much a cost to taxpayers as sending over a cheque to some special-interest group.

It is fascinating of you to decry a tax holiday for a purported hotel builder then propose it for the benefit of some Alberta millionaires wanting to make hockey profits off the backs of Nanaimo taxpayers.

The reason the city of Nanaimo would not "guarantee . . . purchasing ice time" from previous advocates of a multiplex was because the amount they wanted to charge our taxpayers was beyond exorbitant.

I repeat, all studies indicate we are far from having the size of population with sufficient disposable income (i.e.: rich enough to pay high admission fees) to make a multiplex financially viable. If your design and project is so good, pay for it yourself.

A subsidy is a subsidy. Your bafflegab won't change that.

I have studied the real costs of multiplexes and I am not fooled by delusional rationalizations by those with vested interests.

I trust Nanaimo taxpayers are not fooled either.

Gary Korpan Nanaimo 

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Fascinating that they would delete Larry McNabb's quote, which was witnessed by 3 people at the time.