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  • authored by remote viewer
  • published Sat, Oct 1, 2005

Beaver Tales: UFCW Spin Doctoring Pension Fiasco

A glossy magazine filled with weird pictures arrived in the mailboxes of UFCW members across Canada last week.

Volume 1 of a glossy mag-rag called "Our Union" was dedicated entirely to the UFCW's beleaugered Canadian Commercial Workers Industry Pension Plan, specifically the reaction of Canadian UFCW leader Michael Fraser to a report of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario which identified numerous issues in the administration of the pension plan and the investment decisions of its Board of Trustees.

Fraser and other UFCW luminaries have been hissing at the FSCO since the report came out in May, lamenting loudly about unspecified inaccuracies and alluding to "additional information" (also unspecified) that, they imply, might somehow wipe clean the 80 or so pages of the regulator's damning, troubling and just all around shocking findings.

While it's clear that "Our Union" is an effort by UFCW leaders to ally members' fears about the state of their pension plan, the optics send quite different messages. The Freudian slippage in this latest attempt at damage control is really quite remarkable. We've been ROTFLOAO since Sharyn Sigurdur's copy arrived a week or so ago.

Really - we're still not sure whether the whole thing is part of some fiendishly clever PR strategy designed to distract worried members by getting them to think about beavers or whether UFCW leaders approved a bunch of amateur artwork while badly under the influence. Either way, the whole thing is a study in how arrogant guys bob and weave, distort and dissemble when caught with their pants down.

It all starts with a bizarre sexually-suggestive cover. Yes we know the beaver is Canada's national animal (a source of occasional yuk-yukking among us Canadians) but over the years, the name of our national animal has acquired other meanings. So far nobody we know who's seen the cover has remarked, "Oh it's a picture of an attractive young woman is looking at...Canada's national animal."

Then (turn the page) there are the three grim-faced robotic-looking business people holding placards with the message "CCWIPP IS YOU". What's the message behind that? Who knows. There are so many reasons to look grim and catatonic when considering what's been going on with this pension plan, it's hard to know where to begin.

And speaking of looking catatonic, check out the blurry pic of UFCW Canada Director Michael Fraser. He looks oddly like GWB in one of his What-the-f-just-blew-up-? moments.

And there's Cliff Evans - the great beaver god himself - looking toasted in front of what appears to be a shot glass.

And then there are those fresh-faced young CCWIPP members - Kim, Amy, Maurice et al - who look suspiciously like the models on the front page of the UFCW Canada web site, and their testimonials - none of which sound like stuff that is likely to roll off the tongue of anyone but a nervous pension trustee.

If you're able to stop laughing long enough to read the text, you're in for an adventure in dissembling that's over the top even by UFCW standards. When you consider what's said and what isn't said, the distortions are really quite breathtaking. Here are a few of my favourite whoppers:

While some pension plans are having "solvency" shortfalls "that isn't true in the case of CCWIPP", National Director Fraser states. This might actually be true if it weren't for CCWIPP's $400 million (give or take a mil or two) solvency deficiency which, for some reason King Beaver doesn't mention.

His statement that "The FSCO report concluded that...some minor administrative procedures may require updating" might be accurate if the FSCO report actually said that. We've poured over the report and can't seem to find it, although we see a lot of other conclusions and findings that, again, aren't mentioned in "Our Union".

The FSCO's examination of CCWIPP was the result of "malicious, unsubstantiated complaints by unknown complainants" appears to ignore the fact that both the complainant who blew the whistle and his reasons for doing so appeared in a story published in the Toronto Star two months ago.

For whatever reasons, the authors of "Our Union" chose not to take issue with anything that appeared in the Toronto Star's series of stories about their pension plan. Nor did they mention the 20% reduction in pension accrual that was implemented in January 2005 to address certain "funding difficulties", nor did they shed any light on what prompted the trustee-directed lending spree that put hundreds of millions of dollars of members' pension money into the hands of a bunch of guys who haven't paid a lot of it back, nor do they say what they're doing to get it back.

Come to think of it, all that the UFCW leaders who issued this rag really said is that there is no problem with the pension plan (although very obviously there is), that they refuse to take responsibility for the current state of the pension plan (which they along with their employer partners control) and have learned nothing from their mistakes. This doesn't exactly bode well for the future of all those thousands of members and their pension plan. It's time that the FSCO, which has extensive powers of enforcement, puts the hammer down on the beaver boys.

Fun and Educational:

The UFCW's "Our Union" mail out is, in our view, another example of union members' money well-squandered. But we might as well get something out of it. The whole ridiculous thing is a good study in the use of distortion and spin doctoring when desperate guys resort to desperate measures to do damage control.

So read it over and, bearing in mind what you already know from reading the FSCO report, see how many statements you can spot that present a distorted picture of reality about the pension plan. We've already listed a few but there are many others. List your findings in the forum thread that accompanies this article.

  • posted by weiser
  • Sat, Oct 1, 2005 3:35pm

 -

I'm glad that I'm not the only one who noticed that the pictures are obviously stock photos and the member comments are cue-card perfect or manufactured to go along with the rent-a-pictures.

I loved the fact that Mike boy seems to be calling the FSCO dudes a bunch of lyin' bastards.

He says that the FSCO reviewed every last investment right back to the beginning of time, but the FSCO said they only did a limited review of some of the real estate investments. They even took the time to count every last piece of paper and came up with a count of 100,000 copies. I can understand how a photocopier might log how many copys were made, but who in their right mind would count the pages that weren't copied?

My bullshit dector went off full volume when I read Mike's paper count.

Mike seems to be sayin' to the CRA, "Hey, you lookin' at me? You lookin' at me?" when he tells the world that the CRA has looked at the CCWIPP books and given them a clean bill of health.

These guys might be able to get away with calling the FSCO inept doofuses and liars, but it's a dangerous game to ask the CRA to step outside.

It would be more appropriate if the young beauty on the front page had a picture of a crappin bull on a piece of cardboard.

  • posted by Aware
  • Sat, Oct 1, 2005 6:10pm

When I inquired about transferring my accrued benefits into my own plan, the person I spoke to at CCWIPP used the term "SOLVENCY DEFICIENCY" to describe the state of the plan. I could not transfer the full amount at this time because the plan was suffering from a "SOLVENCY DEFICIENCY". Therefore I would have to wait five years to transfer the remaining amount.

This is straight from the plan administrators themselves. Unfortunately I think the bulk of the plan members will be "soothed" by this load of crap. Why are they suing Biovail for $100 million if everything is fine? I haven't received my glossy yet, but what a waste of money. Take the money spent on this crap, put it into the plan to try to fix it. While they're at it, cancel the stupid national conventions and put the money into the plan.

  • posted by siggy
  • Sun, Oct 2, 2005 9:10am

Page 2 of the glossy is right out of kindergarten. I think the three flash cards have some deep significance - subliminally they spell M O M!

M -> is for the many things ccwipp gives me

O -> is for the only plan to have

M -> is for the many things ccwipp gives me

The entire glossy is an insult - truly.

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Sun, Oct 2, 2005 6:59pm

I thought the subliminal message in the placards was "CCWIPP Is You - CCWIPP is f***ed so you are f***ed"

What's even more stunning than the stupid pictures and the liberties that are taken with the truth in the glossy rag is that it was mailed out to members who aren't even in CCWIPP. Assuming that they sent this piece-o-poo out to the entire Canadian membership, that's over 200,000 copies (and about $100,000 in postage).

Are they crazy? Are they desperate? I thought they had some big PR firm working for them to do damage control. I can't believe that a PR firm would put together a crap show like this.

  • posted by siggy
  • Sun, Oct 2, 2005 7:38pm

quote:


Assuming that they sent this piece-o-poo out to the entire Canadian membership, that's over 200,000 copies (and about $100,000 in postage).


It's the only way to explain why copy of that rag was in my mailbox - isn't it - I am not a ccwipp plan member.

Ever since fsco released the revealing report on ccwipp, ufcw pension plan members have been plagued with "don't worry be happy" damage control blurbs on local sites and in mailouts. But this is the first time they pulled out the ufcw beaver.

  • posted by press
  • Sun, Oct 2, 2005 11:03pm

quote:


"What is **a** (beaver) CCWIPP?


That quote is completely different and much more suggestive than "What is (beaver) CCWIPP" or "What is the (beaver) CCWIPP".

The fact that the lady is looking down, instead of smiling at the camera, is a great idea too. The Quim boys just seem to be getting crazier and crazier. Maybe they've been having 'Cuban woman' withdrawal (pun intended) pains. They just need another vacation.

In 1991 a memorable caricature character was written into the classic film "Thelma and Louise". The Trucker. He symbolized the disgusting, chauvinist pig that women many times deal with. The screenwriter Callie Khouri said that she went overboard in writing "The Trucker", but if she ever met the CCWIPP boys, she'd reverse that opinion.

So fellow MFDers. Throw Cliff, Mikey and Bernie a trucker hat each and roll camera. ACTION!..

quote:


EXT. SIDE OF ROAD - DAY

He walks up to the car.

Louise and Thelma get out of the car.

THELMA
Where you goin'?

TRUCKER
Fresno.

LOUISE
We been seein' you all along the
way.

TRUCKER
Yeah. I been seein' you, too.

THELMA
We think you have really bad
manners.

Louise nods.

LOUISE
We were just wonderin' where you
think you get off behavin' like that
to women you don't even know.

This is not what is supposed to be happening.

TRUCKER
What? What are you talkin' about?

LOUISE
You know good and damn well what I'm
talkin' about.

THELMA
I mean really! That business with
your tongue. What is that? That's
disgusting!

LOUISE
And, oh my God, that other thing,
that pointing to your lap? What's
that supposed to mean exactly? Does
that mean pull over, I want to show
you what a big fat slob I am or...

THELMA
Does that mean suck my dick?

TRUCKER
You women are crazy!

LOUISE
You got that right.

THELMA
We think you should apologize.

He is getting a little panicky.

TRUCKER
I'm not apologizing for shit!

LOUISE
Say you're sorry.

TRUCKER
Fuck that.

Louise pulls the gun they stole from the State Patrolman.

LOUISE
Say you're sorry or we'll make you
fuckin' sorry.

He looks at the gun.

TRUCKER
Oh, Jesus!

THELMA
You probably even called us beavers
on your CB radio, didn't you?

TRUCKER
Yeah... sure did.

THELMA
Damn. I hate that! I hate bein'
called a beaver, don't you?

LOUISE
Are you going to apologize or not?

TRUCKER
Fuck you.

Louise looks at his truck off in the distance. She points
the gun at it, takes a second to get a bead, then SHOOTS
two of the tires flat. The truck slowly sinks as the air
escapes from the tires.

TRUCKER
Oh goddamn!! You bitch!!

Louise and Thelma look at each other. They both turn
towards the truck and FIRE rounds into the tankers until
they EXPLODE in a huge ball of fire. The truck driver
screams at the top of his lungs. Louise starts the car
and starts driving in circles around the truck driver.
Thelma and Louise are both howling at the top of their
lungs. Thelma is sitting on the back of the front seat
with her legs on the dashboard.

TRUCKER
You fucking bitch!
Aaaaaaarrrgghh!!! You're gonna have
to pay for that!!! I'm gonna make
you pay for that!! You hear me??!!

Louise stops the car right next to him.

THELMA
Shut up.

Louise takes off again and Thelma falls into the back
seat. They drive off trailing a huge cloud of dust.


And cut. Great job boys. So realistic... as if you weren't even acting!

  • posted by press
  • Wed, Oct 5, 2005 12:39pm

The Jamaica Observer is putting on the pressure...

Pension fund owner of Hilton Kingston still under probe in Canada

quote:


"I cannot provide any comment at this time, but we are continuing to review documents," said Rowena McDougall, senior manager of public affairs at the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO).


100,000 pages. Review one per day. Rowena should be done shortly.

  • posted by press
  • Wed, Oct 5, 2005 2:09pm

Holy crap!! The CCWIPP boys might be changing their strategy...

quote:


"It was accrued interest, and there were other factors, but we are doing our very best to be in compliance and we are cooperating with these very good regulators who care about the pension and the workers," said Allen.


Today's FSCO brown-nosing follows the article in the last post. They really don't want to lose the Jamaica laundry machine (which is suddenly making money- don't get me started)...

Hilton owners: we are here to stay

  • posted by Aware
  • Wed, Oct 5, 2005 4:49pm

"100,000 pages. Review one per day. Rowena should be done shortly.

So sad it's funny! Nice one.

  • posted by press
  • Thu, Oct 6, 2005 8:10pm

Anyone know the story on this property? I'm skeptical about condo conversions. Actually, I'm skeptical about anything that the CCWIPP does.

Crane Ridge

  • posted by siggy
  • Thu, Oct 6, 2005 8:40pm

quote:


The Canadian pension fund bought the hotel property in late 1998, just after sealing the acquisition of the Hilton Kingston from NCB that year.


Would that be over and above ccwipp's already over and above foreign investment allowed under pension rules mentioned in fsco's report?

  • posted by weiser
  • Sun, Oct 9, 2005 1:24pm

The big question is "Who be the other owner(s)?"

  • posted by press
  • Wed, Oct 12, 2005 3:39pm

Some CCWIPP related news...

http://www.canada.com/national/nationalpost/news/toronto/story.html?id=d2a308a0-a9e5-4294-9a4d-d0c0be1862cc

Ontario finance minister Greg Sorbara has resigned and has the RCMP all over his ass, moreso than usual. He's up to his neck in the Royal Technologies mess (as is the CCWIPP). A land deal! Who woulda thought? And he's in charge of FSCO... that great provincial institution that we all know and love.

If CCWIPP did have him in their pocket... they better hope the RCMP doesn't slip a hand in there looking for a good time.

  • posted by siggy
  • Wed, Oct 12, 2005 4:01pm

 -

  • posted by weiser
  • Thu, Oct 13, 2005 6:35am

It's amazing what some people might say or who they might implicate when they strike a plea bargain. Look at that nasty piece of work Radler. He turned on Black in the blink of an eye.

  • posted by siggy
  • Thu, Oct 13, 2005 7:01am

Let the turning begin! The article doesn't seem to indicate what may have prompted sobara's most awesome misadventure. I guess that's part of the big game gamble - one never knows from whence the squealing begins.

  • posted by press
  • Thu, Oct 13, 2005 9:46am

Let the turning, backstabbing, vomiting, and hysterical laughter over at MFD begin. A great read...

from Globe and Mail

quote:


Those records show Harpenden was created in 1990 and remains active. It is also linked to NHD Developments Ltd., which is among the seven companies of interest to the RCMP. Sorbara/St. Mikes was established in 1999 and is also still active, according to incorporation records.

...

The internal review uncovered 13 real-estate deals, worth $41-million in total, involving so-called related parties. The largest transaction concerned 185 acres 75 hectares of land in Woodbridge, Ont. According to the review, a company owned by Mr. De Zen, Mr. Dunsmuir and others bought the land in 1998 for $20.9-million. Immediately after the deal closed, they sold it to Royal Group for $27.4-million and pocketed the difference, the company alleged.

As for the land in Brampton, Royal Group sold it on Oct. 9, 2001, for $3.1-million to D'Angelo Brands Ltd., a beverage company owned by Frank D'Angelo, property records show.

Property records show that on the same day he bought the property, Mr. D'Angelo took out two mortgages worth $3.1-million in total. One mortgage, for $650,000, was from a company owned by Mr. Dunsmuir and the other, worth $2.5-million, was from another Royal Group subsidiary.


You read all this shit and you think... wow! A group of Woodbridge boys that act exactly like a group of CCWIPP boys. What are the odds on this planet that the two groups could be connected (in the siamese twins way)? Even the great Ron Kelly was still messing around up here during all this.

http://www.share.ca/files/pdfs/Acting%20Like%20Owners.pdf

quote:


Similar allegations have been raised
by the Canadian Commercial Workers' Industry Pension Plan as lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit against Royal Group Technologies.


Wow, CCWIPP always seems to find the best places to 'invest' other people's money. They have such a great knack for it!



Edit add-on: This article didn't mention the Royal St. Kitts resort that was also funnelling major money out of RGT... just in case you needed some more CCWIPP imagery.

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Fri, Oct 28, 2005 7:43am

More intriguing developments in the Sorbara-Royal Group Technologies fiasco today in the Toronto Star.

Joseph Cecchini. Where have I heard that name before?

  • posted by siggy
  • Fri, Oct 28, 2005 10:04am

quote:


Young then raises the spectre of a man named Joseph Cecchini, but key sections of his connection to Baron or Royal are blacked out.

"Cecchini was charged for first-degree murder on his pregnant spouse. The first trial ended with a hung jury while the second trial ended in an acquittal," Young said.

"His fingerprints were found on a shotgun by York Regional Police and the shotgun had been recently fired."


That's the first I've heard the Cecchini name - probably not the last tho.

  • posted by brotherwolf2
  • Fri, Oct 28, 2005 5:08pm

These guys should be in jail. Instead, the government will ignor it so long as the UFCW Canada agrees not to cause too many problems for their employer "partners". UFCW members are doomed as long as this leadership is held hostage by their dirty laundry.

  • posted by weiser
  • Mon, Oct 31, 2005 1:02pm

Information is already starting to flow.

There's a saying "the ones still in the pen when the butcher arrives wind up as sausage meat."

There have to be some people who are seriously thinking that its best to leave with today's news rather than be told that her or his news is worthless 'cause it was provided by someone else yesterday. In that case, it's back into the pen to await the knife and grinder.

The CRA already has a lot of news.

  • posted by weiser
  • Thu, Jan 12, 2006 9:34am

Apparently the FSCO Report on the CCWIPP has now spawned an addendum. From what I've heard the FSCO is now the poster boy for ED.

The limp dicks have in the most pleasant of ways told the CCWIPP dudes that they are borked and their pension plan is still not in compliance.

That being said, I'm told that they did raise their nuts by chastising the great Mike Fraser for his diatribe in their magazine.

Tet a load of this:

quote:


Some officers of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) also serve on the Board of Trustees of CCWIPP. In a recent article, published in the UFCW Canada Membership Magazine, Michael J. Fraser the National Director of the UFCW and a member of the Board of Trustees indicated that 'the examination was undertaken as a result of malicious, unsubstantiated allegations made by unnamed complainants'. The communication went on to state that 'The FSCO report concluded that while some minor administrative procedures may require updating, absolutely no instances exist (or ever have existed) to cause concern to any UFCW members with regard to the ongoing viability of CCWIPP.'

CCWIPP has stated that this communication represents the Union position and not CCWIPP's.

However, FSCO is concerned that at least some of the members of the CCWIPP Board seem to be down playing the seriousness of the situation. While Mr. Fraser may characterize the allegations as 'malicious' and 'unsubstantiated', the findings of the Report indicate that some of the allegations were not without merit. Some of the findings included contraventions under the Act and a lack of oversight leading to questions about the Board meeting their obligations under Section 22 of the Act. These are substantive findings. In addition, FSCO considers these findings to be more than 'minor administrative procedures'.


  • posted by press
  • Thu, Jan 12, 2006 10:13am

quote:


While Mr. Fraser may characterize the allegations as 'malicious' and 'unsubstantiated', the findings of the Report indicate that some of the allegations were not without merit. Some of the findings included contraventions under the Act and a lack of oversight leading to questions about the Board meeting their obligations under Section 22 of the Act. These are substantive findings.


Get your camera's guys!!! I'm about to give FSCO a real compliment!! I died laughing at the bolded line above.

It came across as a sarcastic "God, Mikey Fraser, you are a true idiot. An idiot who goes on record with more lies, not even a tissue of factoids. Printed lies that will only come back once again to bite you in the ass. Thanks for being the punchline in a press posting. We needed the break. You friggin' idiot."

  • posted by Richard
  • Thu, Jan 12, 2006 11:46am

This is an understatement:

quote:


FSCO is concerned that at least some of the members of the CCWIPP Board seem to be down playing the seriousness of the situation.


  • posted by LloydDobler
  • Thu, Jan 12, 2006 2:20pm

All is well!

CCWIPP: Pension Plan Trustees Correct Regulatory Errors In Response To FSCO Examination

quote:


TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 12, 2006) - Following a lengthy examination, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) found no evidence to support anonymous allegations that trustees or plan officials of the Canadian Commercial Workers Industry Pension Plan (CCWIPP) benefited personally or received improper payments from the plan.


Statement by Board of Trustees Canadian Commercial Workers Industry Pension Plan January 12, 2006

  • posted by weiser
  • Thu, Jan 12, 2006 3:14pm

It's obvious that the CCWIPP crew were reading a different addendum.

quote:


Some officers of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) also serve on the Board of Trustees of CCWIPP. In a recent article, published in the UFCW Canada Membership Magazine, Michael J. Fraser the National Director of the UFCW and a member of the Board of Trustees indicated that 'the examination was undertaken as a result of malicious, unsubstantiated allegations made by unnamed complainants'. The communication went on to state that 'The FSCO report concluded that while some minor administrative procedures may require updating, absolutely no instances exist (or ever have existed) to cause concern to any UFCW members with regard to the ongoing viability of CCWIPP.'

CCWIPP has stated that this communication represents the Union position and not CCWIPP's.

However, FSCO is concerned that at least some of the members of the CCWIPP Board seem to be down playing the seriousness of the situation. While Mr. Fraser may characterize the allegations as 'malicious' and 'unsubstantiated', the findings of the Report indicate that some of the allegations were not without merit. Some of the findings included contraventions under the Act and a lack of oversight leading to questions about the Board meeting their obligations under Section 22 of the Act. These are substantive findings. In addition, FSCO considers these findings to be more than 'minor administrative procedures'.


Furthermore, the Addendum states:

quote:


When an examination report reveals issues of non compliance, the administrator is expected to take all steps necessary to bring the plan into compliance. However, this does not negate the prior issues of non compliance and FSCO must give consideration to the issues to determine if they are of sufficient severity to warrant further action under the Act. Further action may include prosecution under the Act. (emphasis added by weiser)


Furthermore, all as the addendum did was to correct a few minor reporting errors. It in no way changed any of the findings of the Report:

quote:


The final report is prepared and issued setting out the findings and reporting on contraventions of the Act and Regulation. If as a result of the examination, the administrator changes a procedure to address an issue raised in the report or take steps to bring the plan into compliance with the Act, Regulation or sound business practices, this item is still written up in the report since at the time of the examination, the Trustees were not following this practice. These findings are not removed from the report. Also, items that were missing and located after the Report was issued are still included in the report. (emphasis added by weiser)


I've now seen the addendum, and it sure as hell doesn't give the CCWIPP a clean bill of health.

After reading the twisted CCWIPP media release why the FSCO dudes are

quote:


concerned that at least some of the members of the CCWIPP Board
seem to be down playing the seriousness of the situation.


While the CCWIPP dudes are spoutin' about the operation of the Plan, perhaps they could tell us what the hell Cliff Evans was doin' buyin' a house from a developer who was borrowin' $1 million from the CCWIPP:

quote:


22. I am advised by John C. Hubble and do verily believe that upon being cross-examined in this matter by solicitors for the Plaintiff, Clifford Evans testified he entered into an agreement with Mr. Scarponi pursuant to which he was to purchase one home in Mr. Scarponi's subdivision at a cost of $60,000.00. He further testified that he paid the sum of $60,000.00 to Mr. Scarponi and, in return, received three Agreements of Purchase and Sale showing deposits of $20,000.00 on each of three homes. Mr. Scarponi has sworn in an Affidavit filed in these proceedings that, in actuality, Mr. Evans was purchasing three homes and that the Agreements of Purchase and Sale were legitimate.


BTW, $60 thousand for a brand new house in the GTA is a pretty fine deal, I would think.

  • posted by sheila
  • Thu, Jan 12, 2006 3:29pm

quote:


posted by siggy:
Page 2 of the glossy is right out of kindergarten. I think the three flash cards have some deep significance - subliminally they spell M O M!M -> is for the many things ccwipp gives me

O -> is for the only plan to have

M -> is for the many things ccwipp gives me

The entire glossy is an insult - truly.


Siggy - how freudian - In crimnal law studies
the acronym M.O.M stands for the following:

M- Means

O - Opportunity

M- Motive

Subliminal message? You betch ya.

  • posted by Richard
  • Fri, Jan 13, 2006 6:59am

quote:


22. I am advised by John C. Hubble and do verily believe that upon being cross-examined in this matter by solicitors for the Plaintiff, Clifford Evans testified he entered into an agreement with Mr. Scarponi pursuant to which he was to purchase one home in Mr. Scarponi's subdivision at a cost of $60,000.00. He further testified that he paid the sum of $60,000.00 to Mr. Scarponi and, in return, received three Agreements of Purchase and Sale showing deposits of $20,000.00 on each of three homes. Mr. Scarponi has sworn in an Affidavit filed in these proceedings that, in actuality, Mr. Evans was purchasing three homes and that the Agreements of Purchase and Sale were legitimate.


There isn't any way anyone could buy a house in the GTA for that price unless he was being given the deal of the century.

  • posted by weiser
  • Fri, Jan 13, 2006 9:27am

The CCWIPP boys and girls must be dreaming:

quote:


In a statement released to coincide with the regulator's final report, the trustees said that most allegations were unfounded. However, the trustees said that they recognize the seriousness of the findings in the FSCO report and have taken substantive actions in response.


You'll notice that the FSCO hasn't said that most allegations were unfounded. In fact the FSCO says quite the opposite. The FSCO emphatically stands by its damning report on the CCWIPP.

The FSCO addendum clearly states:

quote:


Finally, FSCO wishes to emphasize that the findings of the Report, except as noted in this Addendum, are not changed by this Addendum. The issues brought to the attention of FSCO are, for the most part, issues about certain administrative issues. The substantive findings of the Report including the non compliance issues remain. (emphasis added by wieser)


The CCWIPP release makes no mention of the $100 million law suit against it by associates who allege that the CCWIPP was engaging in activities designed to thwart the FSCO investigation. It makes no mention of the law suit by New Providence Development Corporation to foreclose on the South Ocean Golf Course.

The CCWIPP release makes no mention of the peculiarities surrounding the Purely Supreme bankruptcy or the "concerns" that the FSCO had about the board of CIBO Capital. They make no mention about the overvalued land deals such as the one bought through IF Propco 7 (Ontario) Ltd.

If the real estate holdings were valued using "independent" appraisals, why was Evans calling the shots at how much to value land?

quote:


Propco No. 7
Summary:
In July 1990, Propco 7 purchased 5.266 acres of undeveloped land situated at the
northwest corner of Highway 27 and Rexdale Boulevard in the city of Toronto for $6.3M.

Concerns:
The property is still not developed. we are not aware if policies for investment in real estate have been developed as indicated in page 6 of Alberta's April 16, 1999 examination report.

April 19, 1993 letter from James Dennis Investments Inc., indicated that an appraisal report issued in October 1992, placed a value of $641,000 per acre. The land in question was near to Propco 7 and does not have access to Rexdale Boulevard and Highway # 27. Based on the appraisal report, Mr. Dennis concluded that it would be reasonable to deduce that Propco 7 land was worth $1.2M per acre. "It would seem reasonable that the corner land is worth as much as twice the value... would not be unreasonable."

April 6, 1995 memo from Denco Properties Canada Inc. to M. Rogerson implies that the value of $1.2M per acre is unsupportable, "The long term value of approximately $1,200,000 per acre would have to be deferred until such time as market conditions support a development of that type of land." Clifford Evans' note of April 26, 1995 indicated that the $1.2M valuation was to be used.


Oh! And how did the CCWIPP come into compliance on some of the issues? Get a load of the latest comment from the FSCO:

quote:


However, it should also be noted that some of the decline in these holdings has occurred not only as a result of sale of assets but in some part as a result of the bankruptcy of some of the original holdings as well as a write off and write down of the value of some of the investments. (emphasis added by weiser)


Ya, that's right, when the light was shone on the investments, there was no option but to value them accurately and petition a bunch of 'em into the garbage heap. They were on the books as if they were actually worth something.

Me thinks the CCWIPP boys and girls should run out an buy a nice big bottle of ketchup. They are going to need it when they eat their plate of weasle words.

  • posted by LloydDobler
  • Fri, Jan 13, 2006 9:08pm

quote:


Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It's what separates us from the animals ... except the weasel.


/Homer Simpson

  • posted by press
  • Fri, Jan 13, 2006 10:43pm

I apologize... but I don't have the strength for a rant on this subject right now. I promise to make up for it later.

I did get to read the report today and kind of enjoyed the little sparring match between the big, tough regulator and the offended little pension plan. The subway ride was just that boring!

Fucking useless sissies on both sides (but nothing a class action and outside audit can't fix).

My favorite part. Drum roll pleez...

quote:


CCWIPP's SIP&P does not make it clear what type of appraisals/valuations will be required nor when formal appraisals will be required. In addition, FSCO was not provided with any documentation to indicate that formal valuation guidelines or rules (as established by the Investment Committee in accordance with the SIP&P) did exist and were being followed. CCWIPP did indicate that the investment counsellors are responsible for the valuations in years where formal appraisals are not obtained, however, the onsite review indicated the appraisals/valuations were being done by the investment committee members. In addition, copies of any formal rules, policies and
procedures related to the appraisals/valuations were not made available. It does raise a concern that CCWIPP appears to have been relying on valuations done by the investment committee members who were several thousand miles away from the properties in question.

When independent appraisals by professionals appraisers were undertaken the values of the assets were revised and some investments were written down or written off.


Ah, to be at those valuation/get-sloshed sessions!

This report paints a really great picture. A bunch of scammers caught with their pants down... a prudish 'regulator' that is scared to look at the little willies... all trying to pretend that things are gettin' better (meaning the past don't count).

It counts. And the fuckers on both sides will pay.

  • posted by weiser
  • Sun, Jan 15, 2006 8:02am

The CCWIPP goes further than "spin doctoring" they do "shit in a blender" and try to pass it off as a milkshake. Check this out:

quote:


In addition, and consistent with its policy of obtaining appraisals for each property every three years, CCWIPP commissioned 38 separate independent appraisals of its real estate assets between 1998 and 2004.

In view of strong buyer interest by major international developers and investors, the Board believes the Caribbean properties should realize positive gains for the plan. CCWIPP is also offering for sale industrial, commercial and residential land sites in Ontario and a small hotel in Niagara Falls. The plan owns a shopping mall that is being redeveloped to enhance its value as well as various small equity investments.


Who the hell did the valuations--Bill Stone and Colliers International? If that's the case, and FSCO should know, then the question arises about how "independent" the relationship is between Mr. Stone, RHK, the Propcos, Ron Kelly and the CCWIPP really is. How much and what sorts of services does Mr. Stone provide these guys?

Furthermore, what use is an "independent" appraisal if Cliff Evans seemingly overrides it and ensures that a potentially bogus amount is inserted in the books?

quote:


April 6, 1995 memo from Denco Properties Canada Inc. to M. Rogerson implies that the value of $1.2M per acre is unsupportable, "The long term value of approximately $1,200,000 per acre would have to be deferred until such time as market conditions support a development of that type of land." Clifford Evans' note of April 26, 1995 indicated that the $1.2M valuation was to be used.


With activity like that,who can believe any value on the books?

The CCWIPP milkshake manufacturers fail to tell us that they are suing a dude in relation to the now bankrupt hotel in Niagara, the shopping mall is a horror story in itself, the industrial land is mentioned above. And the Caribbean properties....

Give me a friggin' break! Strong buyer interest? You betcha! One of the potential buyers is suing the CCWIPP for $100 million. The owner of the leased golf course is suing to foreclose. The other supposed buyer is involved in deal on another CCWIPP hotel in Hamilton (more about that later). According to one law suit, the whole Caribbean sale thing was designed to throw the FSCO poodles off the trail.

Ya we're sellin' development properties all right:

quote:


Propco No. 3 Original Value: $3, 075,000
Current Value: Approx. $450,000.
Summary
In October1989, Propco 3 purchased 61.5 acres of undeveloped land in the Town of Newcastle. The purchase price of the property was $3,075,000 or approximately $50,000 per acre.

Concerns
lack of full due diligence on file.
proposal to purchase property provided by Pensites, a new company.
five months after purchasing the property, Pensites revealed that the company's philosophy was to purchase land for a quick profit or purchase property for development. Pensites' 15% share originally cost $8,536 which was purchased by Propco 3 for $965,000 and Pensites, in turn, invested $500,000 into another joint venture in Liftlock Golf and Country Club.
solicitors letter dated October 24, 1989 indicated that Propco 3 had a marketable title. The position of the charge was not stated. (ie. first or second). registration number for the charge was hand written rather than stamped.
a report dated October 5, 1989 stated that since land market was volatile, a full appraisal be obtained.
lack of evidence of a formal participation agreement with parties involved in the transaction.
in a letter dated July 31, 2002 from Canadian Waste Services, the company indicated its intent to develop a Transfer Station that would receive 150 trucks daily and process 800 tonnes per day of non-hazardous wastes.
see additional concerns with regards to overdue property taxes under Internal Control, Property Taxes. CCWlPP provided information on February 24, 2005 that confirmed the purchase price of $965,000. As well, CCWlPP confirmed that $51 5,000 ($500,000 principal and $15,000 in interest) was applied to the industry fund in connection with the Liftlock Golf Course project.


Like, aren't the appraisals supposed to be done before the land is bought? If you don't do that then some bugger might make a fortune doing a land flip. That wouldn't be a good thing, now would it?

Hey CCWIPP dudes, it was a nice attempt to weave a cloak if respectability, but you accomplished little more than manufacturing a moth-eaten rag that dangles in shreds upon your shoulders.

Safeway, George Weston and others are going to have a lot of 'splainin' to do. Luuuuuucy! You are a pension guru. How the hell did you let this shit happen?

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