Thursday, August 16, 2012

Why does a foreign prince own the Queen Elizabeth Hotel?

John Lennon and Yoko Ono recorded "Give Peace a Chance" on June 1, 1969 at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal. The song became an anthem for a generation, one of the most powerful anti-war songs ever written.
Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal.

"Give Peace a Chance" .


On December 22, 1969 John Lennon and Yoko Ono returned to Canada and met Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. The international peacemakers were very impressed by Mr. Trudeau, and Yoko Ono said:
    "Right now we are just overwhelmed meeting Mr. Trudeau because he is such a beautiful person, more beautiful than we expected." and John Lennon said:
     "We talked in generalizations...we all have views...we want hope for the future and in that respect our views are similar...Talk is the basic start to any communication." (See the YouTube video "John Lennon after meeting Prime Minister Trudeau".)

On the 30th anniversary of the death of John Lennon, crowds gathered at the Centennial Flame at Parliament Hill, held candles and sang "Give Peace a Chance and "Imagine".  People sang "Give Peace a Chance" at the Moratorium to End the War in Viet Nam during the 1970's; and at the Occupy Wall Street encampments. I find it bitterly ironic that Carl Icahn, the Wall Street investor, owned the Queen Elizabeth Hotel, where "Give Peace a Chance" was recorded. Gordon Gekko, a character in the movie "Wall Street" is based on Carl Icahn.

Actor Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko, who uttered the immortal words "Greed is good".

The Chateau Laurier, Jasper Park Lodge, Hotel Macdonald in Edmonton, Newfoundland Hotel, the Bessborough in Saskatoon, the Hotel Beausejour in Moncton and the Hotel Vancouver should belong to  Canadians not to foreign billionaires, who have have no respect or love for Canada's history and its people. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal supposedly rescued the Fairmont Hotel chain.

Canada is not the only country in the world that is selling its cultural history to the highest bidder.Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi promised that he would not sell the Colosseum, the Leaning Tower of Pisa or the Uffizi Gallery; but everything else was up for grabs--an 800-page document listed beaches, the island of Pinosa; the San Vittore Prison in Milan, Italy; archaeological sites, museums, castles, the remains of Villa Jovis, where Emperor Tiberius stayed in Capri...(see The Colosseum is not (yet) for sale-The Economist-November 28 2002.)

Larco Investments, owned by the Lalji Family, formerly of Uganda, bought the following buildings:
Joseph Shepard Building in Toronto
 Thomas D'Arcy McGee Building in Ottawa - Canadian politician Thomas D'Arcy McGee, a Father of Confederation, was assassinated in 1868 near the site of the McGee building.
Sinclair Centre in Vancouver
Government of Canada Building at 401 Burrard in Vancouver
Harry Hays Building in Calgary, Alberta
Canada Place in Edmonton, Alberta
The Skyline Complex in Nepean, Ontario
The Revenue Canada Building in Montreal
RCMP Headquarters in Montreal. 
The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) was opposed to the sale of the federal buildings, see the YouTube video "PSAC National President John Gordon delivers speech". NDP MP Peggy Nash said:
     "Our job representing Canadians on the Government Operations and Estimates Committee is to ensure that spending from the federal government is in the best interests of Canadians. We are the democratic custodians and stewards of the tax dollars paid by Canadians. So you would think, that with a sale like this, hundreds of millions of dollars of Canadians assets, public assets, that we would be informed as to the details of such a huge sale that is going to affect the well-being of Canadians. Why do I say the well-being of Canadians? Well, because not only us, but our parents and grandparents have worked very hard over the years and our tax dollars have paid for the buildings, for the assets of the people of Canada. These are our buildings."

Old Toronto Post Office/Old Bank of Canada National Historic Site - Canadian financier E.P Taylor bought the federal building in 1959; the building became the headquarters of Argus Corporation. The Greek Revival building later became headquarters of Hollinger Inc.

The Expo '86 land - A Hong Kong billionaire bought the Expo '86 land in Vancouver,175 acres, for a bargain price.
-1984 Report of the Auditor General of Canada
Chapter 6
Management of Real Property
6.90 - Reversionary interests under the National Parks Act - In December 1980, the Department of Justice advised Parks Canada that the Crown had a reversionary interest under the National Parks Act in certain lands situated in the Banff National Park townsite and owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR). The property is part of the former CPR station grounds. It consists of several hectares in downtown Banff and, based on appraisals of similar properties in Banff, it has a value of over $1 million.
6.91 - According to the Department of Justice, the property, although owned by the CPR, is subject to a reversionary interest on the part of the Crown pursuant to Section 6 of the National Parks Act, which states that if any lands in Federal Parks granted for "right-of-way or station grounds cease to be used for that purpose, they shall revert to the Crown."

The town of Banff, Alberta.

-1984 Report of the Auditor General of Canada
6.82 - Lands entrusted to Canadian National Railway (CN)
The  Canadian National Railway Act of 1919 gave the government the power to entrust the management and operation of certain lands to CN. According to an inventory prepared by CN in 1979, the entrusted lands total some 32,000 hectares. In 1980, the Department of Transport reported that the total value of the entrusted lands and railway equipment was $820 million. That report did not provide separately the value of the lands and equipment.

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