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Showing posts from May, 2005

HOCUS CROCUS

And so, with a wave of the Auditor General's magic wand, the truth is revealed.

The Crocus Investment Fund stands before us exposed as a bedraggled panhandler and not the jaunty bon-vivant we have always believed.

Auditor General Jon Singleton has shown us a nearly broke fund with a useless board of directors made up of the deaf (to complaints), the blind (to truth), and the dumb (and we don't mean mute), who have been misleading Manitobans for at least three years over the true value of its investment portfolio.

Foremost in his recommendations were a series of references to numbered sections of the Criminal Code. We are sure the Special Prosecutor from Ontario will bring his handy-dandy pocket version to refer to, as he wades through the miriad of findings of questionable conduct and misleading statements.

But we will help the layman, by explaining that the sections refered to by the Auditor for legal review generally start with "F" - he was too polite to use the word, …

Crocus Fund and the Mystery Loan from Quebec

Today's topic: Will Crocus Bloom in Spring?
[originally published January 28, 2005]

You would think spring has sprung from all the references to Crocus this week.

Sadly, they were talking about the embattled Crocus Fund, and the only sign of rejuvenation at Crocus is the PR campaign launched to coincide with the month-end conclusion of an independent review into evaluations of the fund's investments.

First came the leaks to the Winnipeg Free Press over new board members. Then former director Wally Fox-Decent showed up on CJOB to say that while he always put investors first, but, well, James Umlah ...you know... I can't say any more.

Next, Bob Jones, the former director of marketing, popped up. He had quit the fund for another job, but now he's back and talking to the press. Saying little, but talking more.

And, wonder of wonders, the week was capped with the appearance of acting CEO Alfred Black right there in the flesh on CBC Television answering questions (NOT) for the lov…

The Black Rod previews the Crocus Audit

The entire board of directors of The Crocus Fund has been replaced as a result of the provincial Auditor General's report.

We can't overstate this fact.

The entire board.

Yet, what should have been front page news, under a huge headline, has been reported in a whisper, proving once again how easily manipulated the mainstream news media can be.

The transformation of the Crocus board occurred in a piecemeal fashion to hide what was really happening.

The latest announcement has been a delay in the release of the Provincial Auditor's report until at least May 27, but The Black Rod sees no reason not to reveal what's in the report now.

So, based on half a dozen announcements made after those on the inside got to read a draft of the Crocus report, we will tell you today exactly what the Auditor's findings are.

The Black Rod's preview of the Crocus report is based on these developments:

1. Crocus plans to chop the value of its shares by almost a third as soon as trading re-…

CBC Confirms our Dumas exclusive / Support your local Bandidos

The Black Rod has learned that CBC television news has taped an interview confirming our exclusive story that Matthew Dumas was seen fighting with police in the back lane to Dufferin Avenue moments before he was shot to death.

But the CBC has chosen to suppress the information.

Our source, a CBC insider who is extremely familiar with their coverage of the Dumas shooting, has seen the tape and provided us with quotes.

This shocking information underscores how the mainstream media, like the CBC, act as self-appointed gatekeepers of information, releasing only that which supports their agenda. In this case the CBC agenda is to portray the police as villains who failed to act properly and handcuff Matthew Dumas when they had the chance and forestall the need to shoot him.

However, the evidence uncovered by The Black Rod, and now confirmed by the CBC, shows that Dumas was initially taken into custody by a lone policeman who found him hiding in a back yard. The teen was led back to the lane w…

O'LEARYGATE: Land development, NDP style

O'Learygate, the latest scandal sweeping over Manitoba's NDP, is remarkable for the disappointing facets of the government and the press that are being revealed. To see how this played out in Question Period has been very disturbing and only The Black Rod seems to be paying attention.

On its face, the scandal is about how Seven Oaks School Divison chairman Brian O'Leary managed to engage in land speculation under the noses of two NDP Ministers of Education, in blatant disregard of the Public Schools Act which expressly forbids land development with taxpayers money. Premier Gary Doer has ordered an investigation into how it happened.

But, as we've seen with previous NDP scandals (read Hydra House), an NDP "investigation" often means something entirely different to the government than it does to the citizens of Manitoba.

It's interesting to see how the mainstream media have successfully filtered out any mention of O'Leary's close connections to the NDP