Transportation planning the Langford way!

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Everyone is thrilled to hear the city of Langford will now permit new subdivisions in the traffic-snarled north end BEFORE building new roads or interchanges or anything. This is how our council solves traffic problems, obviously! Because uncontrolled development solves every problem, even problems caused by uncontrolled development.

The five-year moratorium on new development north of the TransCanada Highway and the unfinished Spencer Interchange is history. On Monday, December 20, city council scrapped policies that were intended to halt new residential construction until the interchange is finished. Increasing traffic congestion on Millstream Road was the reason for imposing the moratorium in 2005.
For your convenience, today's WTF? commentary is composed entirely of footnotes. From the Goldstream Gazette:
Even if rezoning applications start rolling in now,1 high-density property developments wouldn’t start adding cars to the congestion for two or three years,2 [Mayor Stew] Young surmised, buying the City time to build a pool of money,3 while securing grants from senior governments.4 Young expects to raise $4 or $5 million from amenity fees in the next two or three years.5
“We figure we have at least two and a half years before feeling the impact of lifting the moratorium,"6 Young said. “Once a plan is in place, we can move forward and apply for (federal and provincial) grants.”7
Notes:
1 Whose rezoning applications? Bear Mountain Resort and South Skirt Mountain Village already have zoning in place.
2 Don't worry about the hundreds of dump trucks, bulldozers, earth-movers, cranes, and contractors coming and going during the years of construction. They won't add to the traffic problem.
3 A shallow pool in an ocean of debt (see notes 1 and 5).
4 Wrong. Spencer Interchange is privately-funded and doesn't qualify for grants from provincial and federal taxes. Way back in 2008, Langford council passed a bylaw to borrow $10 million on behalf of Bear Mountain and South Skirt Mountain, over the objections of more than 2200 citizens. It's now council's responsibility to get the loan paid off. A federal bailout sounds like great idea, but the city is not permitted to download the debt onto taxpayers who had no say in electing them. Oops.
5 The interchange is expected to cost around $32 million.
6 In two or three years, Millstream could have gridlock for hours every day.
7 See note 4.

UPDATE: Barrie busted

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Update: The WTF Langford editorial board would like to apologize for announcing that Len Barrie was arrested for tax evasion. Apparently, no such thing has happened, and it's a simple misunderstanding with Revenue Canada. (Ha! Of course!) The entire staff of WTF Langford has been fired over this error. 

However, we still plan to attend Len's criminal trial, now set for FEBRUARY 19-21, 2013 at 850 Burdett Street, Victoria. That's when Len goes on trial for two counts of Epic Tax Fail. He will be tried separately on FOUR MORE counts in 2014.

Screen capture from Court Search Online. Click for a close-up.

Barrie faces foreclosure, loss of his 15,000-square-foot McMansion

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His resort is bankrupt, his properties are facing repossession, and his half-built interchange sits abandoned and un-paid-for. But Len Barrie wants you to know he's still in the game! He could make an offer, anytime! But maybe he doesn't realize he's at the mercy of the Curse of Bear Mountain, the torment of all greedy and stupid people who disturb native grave sites. Here's how the curse works: first it sucks away your money, then your mind, then your soul! Bwa ha ha!

Len Barrie's house, a stone's throw from the native cave he blew up. Photo: A News.

Once upon a time, Barrie's house was mortgaged for almost $14 million. Now the interest is $1400 a day, and the bank is calling in the loan, and all the other loans on the other properties. The moral of the story is: don't screw people over. The end.

For sale: brand new overpass, never used

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Bjola lies in the weeds

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Update: Bjola's motion was dismissed by the court, with no explanation.

Oh ho! Les Bjola, the Vancouver Island developer who was once Len Barrie's right-hand man, has mounted a strategic challenge to the bank that now owns Bear Mountain Resort, because it is not being fair to him!

Locals will remember how Bear Mountain wound up owing $250 million to HSBC bank, and how the bank started creditor proceedings back in March 2010. Well, Bjola himself is one of those creditors, through his company, Turner Lane. And he is so outraged over HSBC's high-and-mighty court orders that he's thrown down the gauntlet.

Bjola, it turns out, hates tyranny so much, he would turn down any chance at getting his money back rather than accept HSBC's evil Restructuring Plan. The plan is evil because it is "unfair," Bjola complains in an affidavit filed July 20, 2010 in BC Supreme Court. It is unfair because HSBC gets a larger vote than the other unsecured creditors.
[HSBC] chose this process, and it should not now be allowed to make a sham of it by structuring the Plan so that the vote on the approval of the plan is a foregone conclusion, particularly where, as here, the principal re-organization effected by the plan is the transfer of virtually all of the respondents' assets to a new entity wholly owned by HSBC.
Bjola acknowledges that if Bear Mountain Resort crashes without the intervention of HSBC -- through foreclosure or bankruptcy, for example -- his company gets nothing. But, never mind that! "HSBC must not be allowed to trump a fair process."

Putting on his Vengeful Fortuneteller hat, Bjola predicts HSBC's Restructuring Plan will fail. HSBC has promised to pay off creditors like Bjola once the resort starts making money again. But our boy LB says he has the inside scoop about the resort, and apparently it will be a cold day in hell before they make a dime. So he's decided to piss in everybody's cornflakes, because that is the only intelligent thing to do.

But the high-and-mighty HSBC lawyers are having none of Bjola's piss-soaked cornflakes. They should be bending over backward for the Man Who Pimped Bear Mountain. Clearly, he belongs in a class by himself! But instead, they issue this snippy response:
Turner Lane was given notice of these CCAA proceedings and of the hearing of the Petition. It chose not to file an Appearance in these proceedings ... It is too late for Turner Lane to object to the Plan ... Had Turner Lane simply filed an Appearance, it would have had notice of that application and could have made submissions during the two days over which the motion was argued. Instead, it has chosen to lie in the weeds and raise its concerns weeks after the Procedural Order was made.
Shocking! No one has ever accused Bjola of "lying in the weeds" before. "Prevaricating in a council chamber," maybe. "Misrepresenting on a berm," definitely - but that's just a multi-million dollar lawsuit and probably won't amount to anything.

Speaking of lying, Langford folks will recall that Bjola got himself put in charge of redeveloping Colwood Corners, a billion-dollar project which never got off the ground. Then part of it suddenly burned down in a mysterious fire, and certainly no one is suggesting that there's a connection to anyone's cash flow problems or organized crime issues. Ha ha, no, not at all! At any rate, Bjola has hustled off to Prince Edward Island until things cool down.

However! Bjola's Kettle Creek Station project is going great, by all reports, and none of it has burned down. You can still choose from many different styles of 400-square-foot housettes (porches and carports optional) with neighbours close enough to touch and an unobstructed view of the industrial park. They are very cheap!

Insiders laugh at Kettle Creek and call it the Langford Ghetto, which in Langford, is really saying something. But they are just jealous! Everyone knows people are desperate to live in crackerboxes.

In summary, we should note that in today's real estate market, expectations must be downsized. The experts agree it's a race to the bottom. And Les Bjola is WINNING!

Social Networking with Mayor Stew Young

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How cool is this? Stew Young, our very own mayor-for-life, has mastered the hot, hip, new social media of blogging and Facebooking! Young has forged bravely into the second millennium and started up his very own blog on Blogger, where he personally posts summaries of exciting City of Langford press releases. For example:

New Sports Field is a Hit

and in case you didn't get it, here it is again:

New Sportsplex Will Benefit a Growing Community

Yes, the new Sportsplex will "fill a void in the region for bowling enthusiasts." How admirable is that? But it gets better! Someone has created a Stew Young Fan Page on Facebook! And it's been up since February! Let's check in.

Congratulations to Stew Young - winner of this year's WTF Award for Excellence in Social Media!

(Update: The fan page pictured above has been DELETED. Well, if you can't win, don't play!)

Bridge to Nowhere re-named in honour of Langford mayor

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In a simple but heartfelt May Day ceremony, Langford's finest installed this tribute to Mayor Stew Young at the Bear Mountain Interchange.


Hundreds of commuters enjoyed the salute to Langford's mayor, and plans are in the works for a permanent marker to acknowledge Young's unique contribution to the half-built, unfunded interchange. The banner memorializes Young's heroism in smacking down residents who questioned the wisdom of borrowing up to $25 million for the project, and those who argued that a sacred cave and rare ecosystems were more important than enhanced highway access for a bankrupt resort.


Now that the Bear Mountain and Skirt Mountain developers have defaulted on paying back the cost of construction, Langford residents are taking the initiative to honour the mayor who made it possible. From the beginning, Stew Young led the charge to push the project through at any cost. The climax came in February 2008, when he arranged for a hundred RCMP officers to descend on a small protest camp in a military-style raid. The cops kept onlookers away while city crews cut the trees and filled the sacred cave with rebar and cement.

Artist's concept of a permanent Stew Young memorial

The original name of the bridge, Bear Mountain Interchange, was axed by Langford council in favour of Spencer Interchange, a confusing term that refers to Spencer Road half a kilometer away. The label Bridge to Nowhere is more accurate, but it may be trademarked by former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, so it should be avoided for official purposes.

The STEWPID Bridge, on the other hand, is PERFECT.

You won't have Len Barrie to kick around anymore

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He's gone! But can he still play golf in the club?

Well, that was quick! Who wants to be next?

Eco-group destroys democracy

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UPDATE: Our long nightmare is over - the verdict is in, and the court gave us its blessing. Hooray, let's get back to work destroying forests and heritage sites for cheap little condos! If these eco-people will let us. Hm, how likely is that?

Apparently some little eco-group that no one's ever heard of thinks it can take the City of Langford to court! This so-called "Forest Action Network" has the NERVE to try to overturn our council's fast-tracked approval for South Skirt Mountain Village, the most amazing new condo-tower development ever in the history of the world. This case could spell the end of all forms of economic development in Langford, causing everyone to lose their jobs and eventually forcing us to hunt rats to survive.

Everyone knows Langford has an infinite amount of undeveloped forest land. INFINITE. We will never run out! Forests exist to be used and exploited. So don't just sit there, go cut down some trees! It will be good for the economy.

Furthermore, we're assured by South Skirt Mountain spokeslizard Ron Coutre that this "Village" will be super-extra-double-plus-green-and-sustainable, designed as a public service to transform a barren mountainside – home to a ridiculous number of wildflowers, native trees, animal species, seasonal creeks and indigenous cultural sites -- into an eco-paradise of pavement, condo towers, shops, and industrial parks. This will be accomplished in an environmentally-sensitive way, by blasting the hills to smithereens and filling the valleys and wetlands with tons of rubble, and then paving over most of it.

The South Skirt Mountain developers have given their solemn word that they will destroy only 60 percent* of the rare ecosystems and indigenous sites between the abandoned interchange and the insolvent Bear Mountain Resort. So what's the freaking problem, already?

Clearly this mega-sprawl plan is FULL OF AWESOME. And yet, it's not enough to satisfy mouthy tree-hugging doomers. Well, they can suck an egg. We spit on people who think they can hold Langford Council to account for its "unique" brand of decision-making. People who are negative are killing Langford's economy, and democracy! Clearly, anyone who stands up at a public hearing and disagrees with the Mayor should be flogged and ridden out of town on a rail.

GO STEW!!!

*Or more. Whatever.

Len Barrie: Debt of a Salesman

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Hey, so -- everything's just fine up at Bear Mountain Resort. Yes, we know they had to close the real estate sales office in Langford. But it's OK! Len's cutting costs -- by reducing sales and advertising and customers and staff and revenue. Lean and mean, that's the new Bear Mountain machine!

Anyway, most of Bear Mountain is about to get sold, for a million billion dollars. This time, for real! None of us knows anything, but we are absolutely breathless with anticipation.

And yes, we know Bear Mountain hasn't paid the $4.9 million it owes for the Langford highway interchange, a bill that's been overdue since March 2009. But that's OK! Langford's city council doesn't care if or when Len pays the money. They can always borrow more, or get the taxpayers to pay, or get the new owners to cover it, or something. Len has plenty of other debts that are much more important than a measly municipal government, so shut up and get in line.

We do realize there's ten thousand lawsuits* pending against Len Barrie and Bear Mountain, but never mind that. That's normal for an edgy, hard-hitting business guy and ex-hockey dude. It's good for the economy -- keeps the lawyers at work. So shut up about that too, while you're at it.

In fact, all you complainers can stuff a sock in it. Len Barrie has plenty of friends. He doesn't need you. Unless you have a million billion dollars -- in that case, please get in touch ASAP.

*Plus or minus 9,980 or so. We can't keep count.

A Good and Righteous Killing (Updated)

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Updated Feb 1, 2010

Introducing the West Shore's hottest celebrity family: the Brotherstons! A "pioneer" family made famous by rugged logger and municipal-councillor-turned-killer Ken Brotherston, with help from sons Ken Jr. and Greg. The three men faced second-degree murder charges in the brutal beating and strangling death of Keith Taylor, a Colwood man with a fondness for cocaine, in front of his friends last May.

On Friday, January 29 2010, Ken Sr, Greg, and Ken Jr. were found not guilty by BC Supreme Court justice Janice Dillon. Reasons for judgement here. (Caution, graphic content.)

According to cops, paramedics, and the defendant's testimony, Ken Sr. beat and strangled Taylor nearly to death while his sons prevented witnesses from interfering. Then the men put Taylor's body in Ken's black pickup truck and drove it to the West Shore RCMP detachment in Langford.

The brutal and brazen beating death shocked a community, most of whom are hearing the horrific details now for the first time. So, what does it all mean, and why?

To answer that question, we've enlisted the super sleuthing skills of WTF? secret agent Totallycanadian, our code-named private investigator posing as an anonymous CBC.ca commenter in Kelowna.

Totallycanadian reached the verdict before the trial even started: It was a good and righteous killing.
you mess with the bull you get the horn.

i hope theses gentlemen get to go back to their families and resume their lives.

let me know where to send my twenty bucks in support of the brotherstons
UPDATE 1 from secret agent Knotalone, who is also disguised as a mild-mannered CBC.ca commenter:

To bad the guy died. It appears he may have tried to intimidate the wrong person.

We all know what would have happened had Ken Brotherston gone to the police and complained about the threat.

I would bet that he went over there to give Taylor a beating that he would not soon forget and would think of before he threatened someone's family again.

A lot of people would do the same.

You can threaten most men and even get into an altercation with them with no serious repercussions.

Threaten there family though and there protective instincts kick in.

Brotherston doesn't sound like the type of person who has spent his life beating on people, he must have thought the threat was serious.
DEAR SECRET AGENTS TOTALLYCANADIAN and KNOTALONE: Thank you for solving this murder! We will all rest easy knowing that if some oversized "pioneer" got offended and decided to bash our brains out in front of our friends, it would be TOTALLY RIGHTEOUS. Because that's what justice looks like, here on the West Shore.

Our secret agents have shown us that this is how a community SHOULD function. Might makes right. God bless, and please don't kill us.

(PS - if you're throwing money around, we could really use the twenty bucks?)

UPDATE 2: More Brotherston supporters are wading in, with suggestions on WHO ELSE should be savagely beaten to death, for good and not for evil!!

At CBC.ca

gulfislands wrote:
Posted 2009/11/17 at 11:57 PM ET

Justice has been done. More people should look after things themselves, as the courts will not look after them
Via Craigslist:

rave murders (westshore)


Date: 2009-11-17, 4:37PM PST
Thank god they did us another favour, one less drug dealing scum that litters our streets thinking they are a street punk/thug, guess he finaly met his match. f*** off you little puke. You wreaked havoc on the kids and druggies in town wich leads to the breakins beatings muggings and drug trade.

Good for the brotherstones for settling it once and for all wich the courts dont have the balls to do. Now hopefully the courts are as screwed up with the brotherstones as they are with all the other drug scum and they basicaly walk away, did they take a life, maybe, but none worth much and was more destructive to society than any minute benifit they gave. Good riddence i say, let others like the brotherstones clean up victoria and the westshore
Lock up the women and children -- looks like the good old boys on the Wild West Shore are getting ready to start a rampage! Let's call it the Street Justice Honour Killings League of Gentlemen rampage. It will be good and righteous and everyone can join in and be a hero.
From the WTF? comments:
Anonymous said...

WTF?WTF; A RIGHTEOUS MURDER?? That would only be one if it involved several internet "reporters".
Ahem! Us internet "reporters" have politely and officially asked NOT to be killed (see above) during the Street Justice Honour Killings League of Gentlemen rampage. The deal is velvet handcuffs, not baseball bats, OK? Please, get with the program.