Here are a few quick, initial thoughts on Vancouver’s transit referendum, where new transit funding paid for by a regional sales tax was rejected roughly 60% to 40%. You might want to read on even if you’re not from Vancouver: after all, it isn’t the only property-value-driven urban “utopia” where public services, public spaces and people themselves are being pushed out by elites.
(1) The result is unhappy, but not unexpected. The process was designed to fail and it has succeeded at that task with flying colours: the provincial government took an area of long-standing funding responsibility, turned its expansion into a vote on (Read more…)
Richard Hughes-Political Blogger
The watering restriction notices are out throughout the Cowichan Valley. The systems operated by the Cowichan Valley Regional District and some of the Water Improvement Districts have issued directives, so far
Replace “driver” with Translink cop.
I had a hard time reading all the way through this article, the one about Translink cops terrorizing bus passengers on Friday night.
I also had a hard time reading about the two Translink cops found guilty of assault on Friday.
I’m sure it was just a coincidence that they both happened on Friday.
And I find it astonishing that Neil Dubord, the head of the Translink police [or his social media lackeys] would choose to follow my largely apolitical personal Twitter account [unless he also like Pink Floyd and the Baltimore Orioles].
Also (Read more…)
What fraction of a decade would it take to completely get off fossil fuels [oil, gas, coal] and create a post-carbon energy/transportation infrastructure if the clean, green energy sector were publicly subsidized at $10,000,000 per MINUTE, or $5,300,000,000,000 [yes, that’s $5.3 trillion] for 2015?
Please, I dare you to attack me for the numbers. They don’t come from some tree-hugging enviro-hippie think tank. They come from the spinal fluid of neoliberalism: the IMF.
So, when people say it’s not feasible to get off carbon energy, let them know that worldwide, taxpayers are subsidizing them more than everyone in the (Read more…)
By Emily Griffiths
In the wake of the oil spill a few days ago, I set out this morning with my partner to see the aftermath first hand. I really didn’t want to go, because I don’t enjoy feeling depressed or enraged, but denial isn’t a healthy choice, either.
We arrive at English Bay around noon. It’s almost as if nothing has happened. It’s like any Saturday, folks are just out here, doing their thing; people jog, walk, or cycle along the seawall, a mass of tankers blocks the horizon. We know something’s up, though, as a helicopter hovers by (Read more…)
It couldn't have been a more monstrous or absurd sight.A day after a ship leaked about 3,000 litres of bulk oil into Vancouver's beautiful English Bay, And a few hours after the province's premier and the city's mayor blasted the slow federal response.The monstrous Con beluga James Moore broke through the oily sheen to spout off at his critics. Read more »
Tuesday night in the back room of The Tipper bar/bistro/restaurant on Kingsway at Victoria we are holding our Inception Meeting for a new kind of co-working space in Vancouver, one structured as a co-op.
You can read about the project in The Georgia Straight piece last week, and on the project webpage at Incipe, the consulting workers’ co-op that is spawning this co-op. Incipe, in-CHEE-pay, is Latin for “Begin!” And you can register for the [free] meeting here. And if you want to be involved and informed, you can sign up for the e-newsletter here.
We (Read more…)
And I don’t mean we need to become Denmark, but we need to have the dialogue about why they can do what they do and we choose not to.
When Canadians are surveyed, a very large majority of us support these public goods. But those desires get subsumed with corporate, neoliberal, right wing government-cut rhetoric.
We need to explore the political sociology of Denmark to understand how they embraced the tax commitment to provide these public goods.
We can be Denmark, but we choose not to.
We need to respin the messages from the tax-hating corporations and make the economy (Read more…)
If you’ve ever wondered how a really really bad provincial MLA explains how to define contempt for the population, you must watch this.
At least twice!
February 2, 2015 The So-Called Transit Referendum: Don’t Be Duped! (0) February 18, 2011 Endorsing Alnoor Gova for the Burnaby-Douglas Federal NDP (3) November 29, 2014 International Day of Action for Burnaby Mountain and ALL Land Defenders (0) March 18, 2013 #SpinAlert: Light Rail for the Valley Instead of a UBC Subway (17)
I have a populist piece in The Tyee this morning on how last week’s paltry $0.20 minimum wage increase in British Columbia actually reflects stagnant wages across the economy and why the Fight for 15 is everyone’s fight. Here it is in full.
Last week, the B.C. government reacted to the increasing push for a higher minimum wage… by giving minimum wage workers a 20 cent raise. Even Business in Vancouver magazine quoted UBC labour economist David Green calling the new higher wage “laughably low.” What perhaps hasn’t received enough attention is that the two-dime bump in (Read more…)
Privatizing education in BC has been largely subtle and hidden. Absurd conflicts like this below [Restricted Vancouver playground access sparks angry exchange between [PRIVATE!] school principal, parent] help the general public see what’s actually been going on for a long time with private schools. Mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine. Not ours. This is unacceptable!
Note the editor conspicuously omitted the word “private” from the headline’s description of this school principal. Spin alert!
And why have we given a free pass to the premier for sending her child to a private school? That’s not (Read more…)
By Emily Griffiths
Pink Shirt Day is almost upon us. The annual campaign to raise money and “awareness” on the issue of “bullying” takes place on February 25. As this date approaches, I’m sure you’ve noticed an inundation of bright pink. Even at this very moment, I am sipping my tea from a Blenz paper cup, wrapped in a festive Pink Shirt Day cardboard sleeve. Blenz is one of “a bunch of great businesses [that] are holding fundraisers during the month of February with proceeds going to Pink Shirt Day.” Blenz doesn’t actually give money; they just provide us (Read more…)
By Emily Griffiths
The Transit referendum “Yes” campaign has been asserting itself all over Facebook, Twitter, neighbourhood news boxes, and I can’t help but ask myself, Since when is increasing a flat tax a leftist thing to do?
Oh! The word “transit” has been attached to the newest proposed consumer flat tax increase, therefore rendering it “left” and “sustainable”. Have we forgotten that the poorest members of our community are already shelling out $91-$170/ month just to be able to ride a crowded bus to work and back without risk of being detained by over zealous transit police (the only (Read more…)
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: The So-Called Transit Referendum: Don’t Be Duped!
Well, it’s that time again: Foundation Skills Assessment in BC.
There are so many things wrong with the FSA tests. I won’t go into them here, but you can read about many of them in these places:
Foundation Skills Assessment: Another Dirty Trick The BCTF on the FSAs.
And so you know, the BC Ministry of Education has an information FAQ for parents and a brochure. Neither tells parents that/how they can exempt their students from this silly test. No surprise. While the government “says” it doesn’t support the use of test results for school ranking, the BC (Read more…)
Well, it’s the Poverty Reduction Coalition!
One of their many activities is to send recommendations to the government when the government deigns to ask people for their ideas. The Finance Committee is an all-party committee of the legislature, so the government usually ignores their recommendations.
As citizens, we need to make the government respond to our demands, particularly when legislative committees provide pretty good recommendations!
Here’s what’s going on this year, from the Poverty Reduction Coalition.
Read it, below Then email, phone [250.387.1715], tweet or Facebook the premier and tell her to listen to the Finance Committee (Read more…)
We live in tumultuous times:
Ferguson and other non-indictments of white police who murdered people of colour ISIL and other extremism Stephen Harper’s continued assault on democracy and embrace of soft fascism [has he had CRA audit YOUR favourite progressive group yet?] Accusations against Jian Ghomeshi Accusations against Bill Cosby The epidemic of campus rape, and necessary reflection about why it has taken this long to take this seriously Victoria’s Times-Colonist newspaper’s racist editorial cartoons, and necessary reflection about why it has taken this long to take this seriously Pipelines, fracking, dirty energy, tankers The destructive Site-C dam (Read more…)
Advocacy groups and concerned citizens have signed an open letter demanding that the British Columbia government and Science World cancel their province-wide community seminars promoting the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry.
The post Groups call on BC and Science World to end LNG promotion appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
Peace River Valley
No to pipelines, yes to Site C?
Here’s a piece I wrote for Ricochet after getting riled up by *some* of the arguments against Site C. The full piece is here.
To shift off fossil fuels we’ll need more large scale, public energy infrastructure
As the movement against pipelines rapidly grows, more and more often you can hear the question, “We know what you’re against. What are you for?” The debate over the future of power generation in British Columbia offers some lessons for how to answer this question and not fall victim to a privatized (Read more…)
So the ride-sharing app Uber is urging Vancouverites to sign a petition on its site to put pressure on the City to allow Uber to operate. An ad for the petition invaded my Twitter feed and I decided to take a closer look. Here’s the petition with my commentary. Spoiler: no, I’m not signing.
Uber begins by laying out “the situation”:
British Columbia and Vancouver are home to the quintessential winter playground, shining examples of liveable cities, and a launching pad for countless innovators and trailblazers across many industries.
That’s why so many residents are disappointed by Vancouver’s limited transportation (Read more…)
In BC and Canada, politicians actively ignore the people and their own scientists. Why?
OK, you tell me.
What do you call politicians who ignore their own scientists?
It’s not a trick question.
What if scientists tell their political bosses about the climate impacts of ramping up a mythical $1 trillion LNG industry, then the politicians ignore the warnings so they can go frack ahead anyway?
Ignorant? Stupid? Corrupt? Bought-off by industry? Science-deniers?
I don’t really know. It’s just so irrational.
But are they fit to lead? No.
If it’s all about the mythical job-creation capacity, green jobs create more (Read more…)
This is an international day of action, so check the event page to see what’s up in your town, for TOMORROW!
And if there’s nothing at your home, be the change!
Let’s consolidate our recent victories and continue moving public opinion to transitioning to the post-carbon energy infrastructure: wind, solar, tidal, geothermal, rail, transit, energy retrofits, solar roadways, ET3 hyperloop system.
via International Day of Action for Burnaby Mountain and ALL Land Defenders.
August 11, 2014 Welcome to the 1,000th Politics, Re-Spun Editorial! (1) June 16, 2014 Hey, BC: Want More Jobs? Dump the LNG and Pipelines! (1) July (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: International Day of Action for Burnaby Mountain and ALL Land Defenders
OK, I’m fine admitting it. I focus on entitlements a lot. I’m often trying to encourage people to examine our unexamined entitlements: race, age, economic class, gender, sexuality, etc.
But one way to understand entitlements is to understand how unentitlements work.
I’m guilty of overlooking this. Until today.
Read this, below, then read the rest of it. See if you don’t weep.
And ask yourself if BC Liberal MLAs can read this and understand what they don’t know about unentitlements.
This same boy, earlier in the year when the weather was just getting cold, was wearing flip flops (Read more…)
Today’s episode is focused on the economics and politics of climate change, both more globally and locally.
To get a global perspective on the state of climate negotiations and the recent US-China climate deal, I speak with Leigh Phillips, a science writer and journalist who has written for Nature, the EU Observer and many other publications. His article on the China-US climate deal is here and he also has a book coming out early in 2015 so be on the lookout for that.
My second guest is economist and former head of (Read more…)