Bradlee Bravery the Pride of the Southern Post

The Washington Post’s famous editor Ben Bradlee is a legend among those defenders of the American constitutional right for, “Freedom of the Press”.

In the early 70’s he backed his two young reporters, Woodward and Bernstein, and their dogged investigative work on the Watergate break-in. Few other papers had the courage to take on the story.

There is a classic scene in “All the President’s Men” when Bradlee under siege from the powers to be, writes on his note pad that “we stand by our story”.

Such was not the case last week at Canada’s National Post.

The Post should be ashamed with regards to last week’s correction. Corcoran, I am sure, had no choice in the matter and I suspect neither did his editor,

Speculating, I suggest that this correction was ordered by Asper at the request of Riseman or Bronfman. Or, Steiner may have sent a letter to the editorial board that is so factually misleading that the Post is not totally at fault. Nevertheless, the Post should have checked the sources prior to the correction.

Imperial Oil, in fact, both owned and leased property in the portlands. They wanted out of the downtown and were looking to relocate their oil tank farm to a more logistically efficient location north of the city.

The Harbour Commission actually held the Imperial lease for decades. Imperial, had agreed to pay a hefty sum to walk away from the said properties due to this liability. On the eve of completion, the city via TEDCO scooped the Toronto Harbour Commission on this deal and ended up keeping all of the money which was more than the stated $10 million. Imperial had been prepared to pay far more with the Harbour Commission.

Back then the environmental restrictions on contaminated property was far more stringent. TEDCO and Imperial Oil drilled hundreds of bore holes testing the soil. Consultants for both sides determined the payment according to the difference between the fair market value and the cost of the environmental liability.

Imperial wanted a solid indemnification in exchange for the monetary settlement. They would not accept one from the newly formed TEDCO, and when the city solicitor refused to endorse the deal the province was induced to eventually sign.

Now how can TEDCO possibly claim that this money, collected more then a decade ago is being used for the Filmport? Furthermore, the subsidies that the Filmport is receiving are in the hundreds of millions. A far cry from the $10 million reported in the Post.

Also, a percentage of the Filmport land is not even being built on the former Imperial Oil land.

The Post is either weak-kneed, incompetent, or alternatively, the cover-up of the Filmport development has spread from a political and judicial front, to now include the media.

Follow the money.

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