Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream

In-Sights: Investing our money in companies that kill us

BC Gov't pension managers invest over $125 billion without any stated plan to invest ethically. #bcpoli #climatechange

— Norm Farrell (@Norm_Farrell) November 3, 2015

BC Gov't pension investment managers placed nearly $600 million in 11 of the world's dirty dozen companies. #bcpoli

— Norm Farrell (@Norm_Farrell) November 3, 2015

BC Gov't pension investment managers placed over $600 million in tobacco merchants of death. #bcpoli

— Norm Farrell (@Norm_Farrell) November 3, 2015

BC Gov't pension investment managers placed over $1.4 billion in 41 of the world's coal mining companies. #bcpoli #climatechange

— Norm Farrell (Read more…)

In-Sights: Ministerial responsibility dictates immediate resignation

A trial that began April 8, 2013 – seven months after appointment of Minister of Children and Family Development Stephanie Cadieux – concluded this week when Justice Paul Walker released lengthy Reasons for Judgment. The findings relate a thoroughly dysfunctional ministry but, rather than commenting directly, I’ll let the judge’s final words speak for themselves.


[1071] The Province is liable for misfeasance, breach of the standard of care, and breach of fiduciary duty on the part of the Director and her agents.

[1072] The misfeasance of [ministry supervisor] Mr.Strickland set in motion a series of events, including (Read more…)

In-Sights: Liberal strategy emerges to contain health scandal

Rob Shaw’s article in the Liberal Party’s urban newspaper of record indicates a search for new scapegoats in the Health Research Scandal is underway. It is reported that departed ministry advisor Alana James is still worried about “conflicts of interest, contracting, privacy breaches, data handling and financial matters involving ministry health research and contracting.”

This is more spin from friends of BC Liberals. James admits that MacIsaac — the person most deserving of sympathy — was a scapegoated victim but only refers to the other fired individuals as low hanging fruit. She reiterates accusations about “conflicts of interest, contracting, privacy breaches, data handling (Read more…)

In-Sights: Wild fantasies and planned deceit

It is now clear that LNG claims made by Liberals before the 2013 BC election were wild fantasies and carefully planned deceit. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives — an organization targeted for a tax audit by the Harper Government — recently published A Clear Look at LNG. The main conclusions: Liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports from the west coast of Canada have been heralded as economic salvation for the province of British Columbia. This report undertakes a reality check that reveals several major problems with this narrative, both in the stewardship of finite non-renewable resources by provincial and federal (Read more…)

In-Sights: Blood on their hands

An earlier In-Sights article included: I have no doubt BC Liberal involvement with Big Pharma is at the root of high-level government decisions to knee-cap research into the safety and efficacy of more than $25 billion worth of pharmaceuticals sold each year in Canada.

Writing in the Vancouver Observer, family practitioner Dr. Warren Bell emphasizes and enlarges upon my inference: B.C. Premier Christy Clark and her senior ministers are using every tactic in the book to avoid any sort of public disclosure of what happened behind the scenes when eight health researchers were illegitimately fired, one after the other, (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Harper, BC Tory MPs have oil on their hands from English Bay spill

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…)

Left Over: Left Over 2015-02-24 12:32:11

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…)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Distracting, dissembling, deflecting – lest you forget

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…)

Cowichan Conversations: BC Liberals LNG Tax Bill equals Unprecedented Wealth Transfer and Will Pass Unopposed

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…)

The Disaffected Lib: Another BC Liberal Lie Gets Shattered – In Record Time

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…)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Careless or captured?

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…)

Northern Insight: Qu’ils mangent de la brioche

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…)

Cowichan Conversations: CCPA Looks at BC Liberals Claims That Teachers Would Benefit With Better Economy

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.

Left Over: School is Out, Do the Teachers Get Ready?

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…)

Cowichan Conversations: The BC Liberal Government Is Foolishly Moving To Allow Fracking On Farmland-Videos

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, 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…)

Northern Insight: Ignorance occasionally has a purpose

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…)

Northern Insight: Money laundering and casinos, who knew?

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…)

Cowichan Conversations: Exploding BC LNG Myths – Part One

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…)

A BCer in Toronto: If Chong’s Reform Act were in place in BC, would Adrian Dix be Premier today?

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…)

Northern Insight: Consumers targeted by BC Liberals

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…)

Left Over: Vancouver Island: A New Provincial Idea…

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…)

Cowichan Conversations: It is Time for the BC NDP to Clean House. No More Reviews are Needed.

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…)

Cowichan Conversations: Green Party MLA Andrew Weaver Changes Colours-Green Mixed with Red Makes Brown

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…)

Cowichan Conversations: Josh Fox on Gasland Part 2, the Fracking-Earthquake Link & the Natural Gas Industry’s Use of PSYOPs

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…)

Cowichan Conversations: BC New Democrats Have Lost Their Swagger and Don’t Know Where to Find It.

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…)