Richard Hughes-Cowichan Conversations
It is when events like the recent bunker oil spill in English Bay take place that the value of independent writers, thinkers, and bloggers like Rafe Mair display their real value.
Here is Rafe’s take on this mess in English Bay that has spread around the harbour.
It is a disgusting, but only a drop in the bucket to what lies ahead if we do not put a halt to the insane notion of shipping oil, refined or compressed from Tar sands products, through our coast and harbour.
Whether it be by water or rail the certain accidents will (Read more…)
Privatized playground at North Vancouver’s Cousteau International French School angers parent Cousteau International French School has leased the grounds of former Fromme elementary school
CBC News Posted: Feb 24, 2015 7:37 AM PT Last Updated: Feb 24, 2015 8:23 AM PT
When we read comments bemoaning the fact that people just aren’t as ready to volunteer, to help with charitable causes, when those interminable pleas for money infect our public broadcasting choices, we often despair of the public perception of selflessness, even as we resent the intrusion of such dunning in our lives.
This particular story may seem trivial, but (Read more…)
Are you unhappy with rapidly increasing electricity rates and the general state of BC Hydro finances? Are you looking for the party responsible? Well, the Vancouver Sun has the answer. It’s a person named Clark, but not the one presently in the Premier’s office.
Vaughn Palmer thinks readers should be reminded of past NDP sins so he offers Gordon Campbell’s words from 2001: “Under the New Democratic Party, BC Hydro has been viewed as little more than a cash cow for the government,” declared Opposition leader and soon-to-be premier Gordon Campbell on the eve of the 2001 election campaign.
“Since (Read more…)
Kevin Logan-Cowichan Conversations Contributor
The LNG Tax Bill currently winding its way through the BC legislature will impact the very fundamentals of this Province and paves the way for a massive transfer of wealth extending decades into the future.
It’s an unprecedented time.
The BC Liberals had to prorogue the house and start anew with a Throne Speech that completely rewrote everything they built their re-election campaign on.
In other words, they were forced to halt proceedings, rewind the clock on their election platform and instead of delivering prosperity, strong arm British Columbians into accepting the dictates of foreign oil (Read more…)
One of the greatest whoppers the British Columbia Liberals have told is that B.C. Ferries is an independent operator. This has been the story since the Liberal government “privatized” the ferry service – handing the ships, terminals and other infrastructure to a private, shell company – while the government remained the sole shareholder.
This way when BC Ferries got into a labour dispute or opted to buy ships from Germany or Poland, the government could duck the flack by claiming these were the decisions of a private company, not the government.
That facade got shattered this week when word (Read more…)
When you read or listen to resource industry advocates, especially ones masquerading as objective political pundits, compare their concerns in 2009 about burning natural gas to generate peak-demand electricity to their current support for burning natural gas to liquefy natural gas. The following was first published at Northern Insight on August 4, 2009.
Despite deep cynicism about those backing Gordon Campbell’s Liberals, I’ve long held respect for the writing of Vaughn Palmer. My reservoir of appreciation seems now to have run dry. He has been bright, skilled and articulate, usually worth reading throughout 35 years with the Vancouver Sun.
Now, (Read more…)
Yeah, folks. If you’re inconvenienced and frustrated by empty public schools, Premier Photo Op has the solution. She tried it, she likes it.
And if you can’t afford the tuition, do something about it – like Christy did. Befriend a few rich folks and get yourself elected.
Then, you can send your brats to places like this:
Stephen Hui of the Georgia Straight reported annual fees at St. George’s ranged from $16,085 to $48,250, three years ago. So, not accounting for inflation, your 2.5 kids will only cost $40,212 to $120,625 for schooling.
Of course, those fees are not (Read more…)
Here is Iglika Ivanova’s look at the BC Liberals economic rationale.
The disconnect between economic growth and teachers’ wages
We are being governed by an anti public education Premier Christy Clark, who it seems has embraced her pique at being caught cheating in SFU Student elections.
B.C. teachers’ strike: government agrees to Vince Ready as mediator Teachers have been calling for a mediated solution to their strike since Thursday
CBC News Posted: Jun 20, 2014 2:58 PM PT Last Updated: Jun 20, 2014 7:13 PM PT
A four year bachelor’s university degree, or a Master’s Degree for secondary teaching, coupled with something along the lines of an unpaid internship (PDP- Professional Development Program) where you are interning with in the system , unpaid, and put in 12-16 hour days for the duration, then spend, if you are lucky, several years of poorly paid (Read more…)
Long time Cowichan activist Bill Woollam has offered this guest post critical of fracking and David Black’s refinery proposal.
Bill has his own blog that covers wide-ranging issues. It can be found here.
Bill Woollam Guest Post
I recently wrote to David Black, newspaper owner/manager, in response to his support for the oil/gas pipelines and refinement industry. After watching the ‘Gasland part 2? documentary http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96AEzQYangE, even he had to admit the toxicification of our aquifers by fracking for natural gas is, quote, “Alarming”.
In one out of every five completed hydraulic fracking shafts, the concrete which encases (Read more…)
Franklin D. Roosevelt, “Taxes, after all, are dues that we pay for the privileges of membership in an organized society.”
If you’re older than 30, you remember the nineties. Hard times, according to Milton Friedman, were produced by government mismanagement rather than by any inherent instability of the private economy and mismanagement is what occurred in BC for the decade that ended May 2001. Business writer John Greenwood recounted the disaster in a 2005 piece for the National Post. “…By the late 1990s, mining — once an engine of the economy — had shrunk to a point were companies (Read more…)
CTV Vancouver: Money laundering rampant in casinos, April 10, 2014 “Confidential documents are shedding light on a host of suspicious behaviour at B.C. casinos, where patrons routinely carry bags loaded with small bills onto the gaming floor.
“Government reports obtained by CTV News highlight dozens of instances of suspected money laundering and loan sharking, most at the River Rock Casino in Richmond. And the problem only appears to be growing…”
Link to Video
Unforseen events occasionally damage property and injure people and no preventative actions were possible. Last year’s Chelyabinsk meteor in Russia was an example.
In (Read more…)
Kevin Logan-Cowichan Conversations Contributor
In this post Kevin zones in on BC Liberal Government claims of prosperity ahead.
Recently the BC Government published an online quiz to “test the knowledge” of British Columbians on the coming LNG revolution.
It amounted to a propaganda exercise with the sole purpose of testing how well the BC Liberal LNG rhetoric has pierced the minds of the BC populace.
The infamous Harold Evans, long time Editor of the Sunday Times of London and author of many books is quoted saying, “Propaganda is persuading people to make up their minds while withholding the facts (Read more…)
Lots of the debate around Michael Chong’s proposed Reform Act to, among other things, allow a federal parliamentary caucus to fire the party leader, has taken place in the abstract. We need to do something, it’s better than nothing, you’re with reform or you’re with the terrorists, and so forth. Let’s take it into the real world though. If Chong’s legislation was in place in British Columbia, who would be Premier today: Christy Clark, the NDP’s Adrian Dix, or some other BC Liberal? That’s the question I found myself mulling in a Courtenay, BC Dairy Queen over Christmas, as I (Read more…)
Governments prefer indirect taxation partly because politicians assume they’ll take less heat if hands of tax collectors slip into our pockets surreptitiously. That’s done in BC by instructing crown corporations to overcharge customers and transfer surpluses to the public treasury. This allows BC Liberals to make a claim like one on the finance ministry website:
“The general corporate income tax rate in B.C. is among the lowest in North America and the G7 nations.”
Liberals also could say that oil, gas and mining companies pay among the lowest royalty rates anywhere in the world. But, low corporate income (Read more…)
Vancouver Island To Be A Province If Separatists Get Their Way
The Huffington Post Canada | Posted: 08/06/2013 2:43 pm EDT
I have often spoken and written about Vancouver Island becoming it’s own province, and now someone is doing something concrete about it..
I have links, below, to both the Federal and provincial petitions being circulated (these need to be printed out, signed and returned.)
We have consistently voted against the rest of the Province, most of the time anyway..and we are almost solidly NDP..’We have a vibrant agricultural, fishing and forestry sector, the arts are alive (Read more…)
Richard Hughes-Political Blogger
I have been a member of the BC NDP since the early 70′s. Like so many others I have been on a full tour of duty including a ‘Mission Impossible’ run to be the Malahat Juan de Fuca MLA back in 2001.
Today we face yet another leadership crisis following the mind numbing loss on May 14th. Truly, Adrian Dix rescued defeat from the jaws of victory.
Few NDP leaders seem to know when it is time to leave.
The BC NDP, if it is to survive to become a meaningful political force again must shake the (Read more…)
Richard ‘Hub’ Hughes- Political Blogger
Andrew Weaver is not wasting much time putting his oar in the water. As the only and BC’s first Green MLA he is under a lot of pressure.
I wish him every success pushing both the Liberals and the NDP into greener pastures.
Some of his earlier moves are puzzling however spiked with his partisan edge. I welcome the edge but it cuts both ways.
Supporting the BC Liberal budget feeds into a concern that many have about the Greens illusions that they can cozy up to the Liberals and the corporate boys. They can, (Read more…)
Richard Hughes-Political Blogger
When Gasland first hit for many it was an early wake up call. Nominated for an Academy award Jeff Fox blew the lid of the dangerous risks and terrible damages done by fracking for natural gas.
The same threats face BC residents as the BC Liberal government accelerates catering to the ‘Fracking Industry’ and refusing to allow for independent scientific reviews of threats to our water aquifers.
Ironically promoted as a ‘Clean Option’ it is anything but. Methane leakage from fracking operations dramatically increases our ecological footprint and established BC as a major polluter at a time when (Read more…)
Richard ‘Hub’ Hughes- Political Blogger
OK so the BC Election is over and we can get back to normal, sort of, but let’s face it folks we are in for a rough ride.
What a mess we are facing politically. The BC NDP has lost its way. They have distanced themselves from left leaning policies and essentially are far too concerned about criticism from the established power culture.
Seeking validation from their opponents and living in fear of the MSM calling them radical has left them both debilitated and ineffective.
The posture for far too long now has been a tepid, muted, don’t (Read more…)
Jerry West is the Publisher, Editor and Janitor of the Gold River Record. He is also a regular contributor to Rabble.ca. Here is his wind up look at what happened in the May 14th Provincial Election, what will not happen as a result and a little bit of why.
May 29, 2013
Editor’s Corner Jerry West
The election has been over now for two weeks, and the media has been full of articles dissecting what happened in an attempt to explain what to many came as a shocking surprise.
It is easy to see what (Read more…)
By now the entire country knows what happened here in BC…the re-election of the Provincial Liberals (or Con-Lites) …to say that I am depressed is to state the case in an all-too delicate way.
If I can derive any tiny bit of satisfaction from the election, it is that… a) my old home riding, Kitsilano in Vancouver, did not elect Christy Clark as their MLA – and this is Gordon Campbell’s old riding, where we fought long and hard to unseat him (unsuccessfully, I should add)… and b) Vancouver Island, my current home base, stubbornly true to form, went (Read more…)
Christy Clark may have led her party to a stunning upset against all predictions, but she lost her own seat to the NDP’s David Eby.
Elections BC: Vancouver-Point Grey results.
My two cents on why the NDP lost: Conservative party support swung to the Liberals to stop the NDP, and the youth vote, which strongly supports the NDP, didn’t show up to vote.
Vote Green! Brought to you by the BC Liberals
I was tooling around on Facebook this morning, and some of my Green Party of BC FaceBook friends were talking about this full-page advertisement for Jane Sterk and the BC Greens in the Times Colony. You know, one of the most read newspapers on Vancouver Island. The thing is, this advertisement is bought and paid for by the BC Liberals. What I know about Provincial politics in BC could fit into a medium-sized tea-cup. I do know that it is a hypercompetitive, take no prisoners environment, and this ad highlights that (Read more…)
This item is written by a regular Northern Insight reader who I’ve known for years. He’s done business regularly with the BC Government but in recent years, it’s been a problematic relationship because he has refused all exactions issued by the “Pay to Play” BC Liberals. For that refusal, his business was targeted for injury. It’s a business style we used to think was confined to third world nations. It is not so confined while Christy Clark, Rich Coleman and friends are in charge.
“For valuable consideration mutually given and received.”
This ubiquitous phrase in legal agreements has taken (Read more…)