Friday, July 19, 2013

Federal officials working overtime to cover their butts on train disaster

Edward Burkhardt isn't the only one doing the 'tain't-my-fault boogie in the wake of the Lac Megantic disaster.

Have a look at the regulators who gave the thumbs up every time Burkhardt found another corner to cut.

Oh golly, now they are concerned about his insurance coverage?

And oh my goodness, you don't mean that there is a remote ever-so-tiny possibility that the TAXPAYER could end up on the hook?

While the sentiments expressed are cleverly engineered to arouse contempt for the railway and sympathy for the regulators, the fact is, this is how it usually works in Canada.

The highly efficient private sector rapes the land/forests/waters what have you, and when the plundering is done and the efficient private sector is long gone, the tax-payer moves in to clean up the mess.

Who remembers Peggy Witte and the Royal Oak Mines saga?

There was a time when you couldn't open a business paper in Canada without reading some obsequious testimonial to the woman who had fought her way to the top in the macho world 'o mining.

She was the "woman of the year" here and the "miner of the year" there and by God you couldn't turn around without bumping into a half dozen stories about what a genius Peggy Witte was.

Peggy is long long gone but the Canadian taxpayer is still cleaning up her mess.

It's actually worse than that; if you read the story through you realize that for a billion dollars of taxpayer money, we're not actually cleaning up the mess, but merely deferring the cleanup.

So don't be taken in by the self-serving cries of alarm coming from the regulators.

The taxpayer always foots the bill after the efficient private sector geniuses have skipped town.

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