The abnegation of social responsibility by the US government and media | TONY SEED
This morning a train went off the tracks while crossing a highway bridge in Washington State. Train cars can be seen teetering off of the tracks and curling onto the highway on one side and a forested area on the other. Washington Gov Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency, noting in his proclamation “significant structural damage to the overpass, railway and highway infrastructure” and saying the combined effects of the derailment and road closures amounted to a “public disaster”. In a separate statement he called the derailment a “serious and ongoing emergency,” saying his office was still gathering information from Amtrak. Seventy-seven people have reportedly been hospitalized while the number of fatalities is being described as “multiple.” Continue reading
Ellen Dannin, Truthout (Jan. 31) – The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette announced that the administration of Gov. Tom Corbett finally decided to take action on the state’s crumbling bridges. The action it is taking is to sign a 40-year contract to privatize Pennsylvania bridges.
Nova Scotia is one of the provinces – along with Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland – that Canadians have to pay to enter by road, unless they shunpike through the Wentworth Valley to get around the toll highway. Now the fee each vehicle pays for using the Cobequid Pass will be going to the United States. To ensure finance capital collects its pound of flesh, the government even levies high fines on truckers using adjacent roads to force them to use the toll road.
By TONY SEED
Shunpiking Magazine, 2001
IT WAS A MERE 15-second blip on the radar screen that the media calls “news,” but the paper on Nova Scotia’s toll highway – along with a private toll highway in Ontario – has passed into the hands of foreign capital.
CIT Group Inc. of New Jersey is to take over Newcourt Credit Group of Toronto, the world’s second-largest commercial finance company, in a $4.2-billion deal, creating North America’s largest non-bank lending company.
Newcourt underwrote some $51 million toll revenue bonds to finance the Cobequid Pass in Nova Scotia – part of the Trans-Canada Highway – at an estimated $2 million higher cost than had the provincial government borrowed the funds.
An estimated more than $300 million in tolls have been produced on the Cobequid Pass for a deal in which private financiers put up $66 million. According to a report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, the Nova Scotia government is also paying an effective interest rate of 10 per cent for 30 years, twice its rate of borrowing.