Tuesday, July 23, 2013

When a Railroad Goes Deadbeat

You guessed it, we're talking Montreal, Maine & Atlantic, the railroad company that incinerated the luckless villagers of Lac Megantic, Quebec.

MM&A has stopped paying contractors working on the clean-up of the disaster causing the town to demand $4-million within 48-hours to pay the contractors MM&A itself hired.

MM&A chairman and jester, Special Ed Burkhardt isn't taking calls.  I'm guessing he's not planning on leaving his sanctuary in the States to put in another appearance in Quebec anytime soon either.


Anonymous said...

I watched a video of Burkhardt's press conference and could hear the angry calls from the citizens for accountability. I wouldn't have shed a tear if they had lynched him. Hang the rich.

Elliott Taylor said...

Privatize profit and socialize loss.
Seems legit.

Lorne said...

Ah yes, Mound, the capitalist credo - when facing the prospect of having to pay for your sins and thus reduce your profits, let the government (aka the taxpayer) foot the bill.

Rene said...

An article on Burkhardt's Rail World in the Globe and Mail, July 7reports " Rail World purchased the assets of what became the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway out of bankruptcy in 2003".
The Globe and Mail article continues :

"Edward A. Burkhardt’s Rail World Inc is a privately held rail management and investment firm based outside Chicago. The little-known Rosemont, Illinois, company also has current ties to freight railways in Poland."

"Burkhardt’s privatization approach spread to deals with investment firms to pick up government-run railroads in New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Australia, according to media reports at the time. The deal in New Zealand later led to Burkhardt being named the honorary consul for that country in the Midwest, a role he continues to hold today."

Burkhardt is a railway tycoon, profiting from government privitization and de-regulation of railways by purchasing firesale railway assets in Poland, Estonia, the Ukraine and even Britain, Australia and New Zealand the way Donald Trump flips real estate. He's like a slum landlord investor, except he deals in defunct, bankrupt and broken down railways which he repackages and sells, not exactly a poster boy for a modern efficient railway and for railway safety.

Burkhardt spearheaded the privatization of rail services in New Zealand, serving as President of Tranz Rail Holdings ltd from 1993 to 1999, he was likewise President and CEO of English Welsh & Scottish Railway Ltd from 1995 to 1999 and President of Tasrail in Australia from 1997 to 1999. After his Commonwealth railway privitization and deregulation tour, Burkhardt turned his attention to the former Soviet bloc, buying , reorganizing and selling railway assets in Poland, Lithuania and the Ukraine. Public outcry notwithstanding, Burkhardt would buy and resell Chernobyl to private land developpers if circumstances allowed and he could bribe the right officials.

karen said...

Doesn't MM&A have ties to Irving Oil?

Anonymous said...

Rene? It sounds exactly like the Mitt Romney method of doing business.

The Mound of Sound said...

It was briefly mentioned that MM&A in the past year or so applied to the Harper transport department for and was granted an exemption of the 2-engineer rule which meant the death train had only one engineer. Just one guy to check the systems, one guy to make sure the brakes were set properly. There was nobody attending that train while the engine was left idling, nobody present to detect the fire that broke out.

The opposition, true to form, decided to hang fire instead of hammering the Harpies into the mud and tying their reckless de-regulation with every incinerated corpse in this town.

The Harpies, ever quick to spot an opposition failure, have now "strengthened" the rules. Instead of being pilloried they now emerge looking like a concerned party of action.

If they won't act when they have a chance to hammer Harper for something this awful, how in hell are they going to win an election?