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Politics, Re-Spun: Reject the Slow Motion Privatization of K-12 in BC

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…)

The Disaffected Lib: Even Christy Clark Gets It.

British Columbia premier, Christy Clark, thinks Harper’s new security legislation, Bill C-51, is dangerous.  Clark warns Canadians could come to regret the freedoms taken away by Harper’s proposed legislation.

“We should be very careful in Canada, in a country where so many people have sacrificed their lives to preserve our freedoms, to make sure that we aren’t — in the effort to protect ourselves against unknown threats – really diminishing our personal freedoms,” she said.

“We will regret that forever. When you give up personal freedoms, it’s very hard to get them back.“

Canada’s privacy commissioner, Daniel Therrien, (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Who Cares About Fixing Poverty in BC?

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…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Carter Price offers another look at how inequality damages economic development. And the Broadbent Institute examines the wealth gap in Canada – which is already recognized as a serious problem, but also far larger than most people realize:

- Paul Buchheit discusses how the U.S. is turning poor people into commodities or criminals. Chuk Plante reviews some facts about child poverty in Saskatchewan – with a particular focus on the need to measure and reduce the alarmingly high rates of child poverty among First Nations children. Suzanne Moore points out how (Read more…)

Left Over: A Bridge Too Close?

Gabriola Island Bridge project prompts new opposition from residents Bridge-Free Salish Sea group plans to mount a petition campaign to gauge concerns over proposed bridge

CBC News Posted: Oct 29, 2014 11:06 AM PT Last Updated: Oct 29, 2014 11:07 AM PT


I think that all of us who live on the Big Island and the littler ones had better get used to this; not only is it a direct threat to the NIMBYs on the smaller islands who don’t like the big rise in ferry fares (none of us do, but it keeps my limited income on the (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Alex Hunsberger argues that the Good Jobs Summit reflected a gap between labour strategies aimed merely at trying to take a slightly larger cut of a corporate-owned system, and those which actually propose and fight for something better: The most useful and engaging part of the weekend occurred not in the plenary sessions but during the small group discussions on Saturday, where participants had a chance to talk to one another in more depth about questions related to labour’s strategy to improve conditions for workers…Participants asked questions such as: Why bribe (Read more…)

Left Over: BC’s Future Goes Back to the Past…

Temporary foreign workers needed for B.C.’s future, says premier Christy Clark: ‘There’s going to be a spurt in the number of workers that are required.’

By Tamsyn Burgmann, The Canadian Press Posted: Oct 03, 2014 10:23 AM PT Last Updated: Oct 03, 2014 10:23 AM PT


Living on the Island, where it is almost impossible to find a decent paying job, even part time, and forcing our kids to leave to find work, have to wonder what it is that Clark is talking about..we don’t need more foreign workers, we need decent pay, benefits and local (Read more…)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Nature has inviolate principles, Christy Clark does not

A comment left by Lew on an earlier article deserves to be featured. Here is Christy Clark, the premier of our province, speaking as a radio show host just before leaving to run for leadership of the BC Liberals: “Ferry fares go up on Friday. It will be the eighth fare hike over the past five years, and this time BC Ferries says it needs to do it to find the money for rising fuel costs, and since the provincial government refuses to chip in, they’re dumping almost all of those new costs on users.

The impact of the new (Read more…)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Puffery, misrepresentation or outright lies?

Puffery is an exaggeration or overstatement expressed in broad, vague, and commendatory language. According to Law for Business (Barnes et al., 1991), “The elements of misrepresentation are ordinarily given as: Misrepresentation of a material fact justifiably relied upon to the detriment (causing harm to) to the person relying.”

As I noted a few days ago, Andrew Carnegie, a 19th century robber baron and 20th century philanthropist, once said, “As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.”

Tuesday, Elizabeth Denham, British Columbia’s Information and Privacy Commissioner gave us (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: More Misinformation Than Facts on Mount Polley Disaster

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Kevin Logan accompanied Alexandra Morton on a trip to the disaster area shortly after the tailing pond disaster hit. Mystery Film on Quesnel Lake!

They were the first to really bring us any pertinent information on what happened and what the impacts were from possibly the worst mining based disaster on record.

Prior to their visit and reports there were only the vaguest of reports and the beginning of a major disinformation campaign.

Here Kevin Logan’s post sheds light and perhaps more importantly raises questions that Imperial Metals and the Christy Clark BC Liberal Government would (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…)

Left Over: SuperCrusty and the Lazy Opposition Don’t Come to Blows

B.C. teachers’ strike: Union rejects premier’s demand to suspend strike Union says government remains entrenched, inflexibile and unwilling to bargain.

CBC News Posted: Sep 03, 2014 10:51 AM PT Last Updated: Sep 04, 2014 7:58 AM PT

All of you 5 cent a comment Liberal trolls can say and think what you like, but here are the facts..and how do I know? Because the gov’t tactics mirror those of almost any organization out there with a union that has had enough…ignore them for months at a time, refuse to set any dates for bargaining until a week before (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: BCTF Is On Strike-President Jim Iker- Streaming Video -Uncut

Richard HughesPolitical Blogger

The Christy Clark BC Liberal Government’s refusal to bargain in good faith and to refuse to abide by Supreme Court Rulings is a deliberate attack against education, teachers and the public system of education. It affects us all because it is an attack against a civilized educated society.

Here is the latest streaming video report from BCTF President Jim Iker.




Northern Insight: Thoughts on Education From the Inside

By Brad Farrell High school teacher and concerned parent

“What do you do for a living?” A question. A common question. One people ask to start a conversation. One that comes up when meeting new people. One I’d bet most of you have heard, probably many times. One I hesitate to answer. Not because I don’t have an answer. I have a job, a career even. Not the best job, not the worst. A job that isn’t as rewarding, fulfilling or enjoyable as it used to be. A job that will only get less so if things continue as (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Right-wing Rage Machine readies the Full Neil Young Treatment for Archbishop Desmond Tutu

South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu will now be subjected to the full Neil Young Treatment for speaking out against overdevelopment of Alberta’s Bitumen Sands. (CBC Photo.) Below: Progressive Conservative leadership candidate Ric McIver; Mr. Young, back in the days when Albertans were still allowed to love him.

Retired South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu presumably knew perfectly well when he made his now-famous comment about Alberta’s Bitumen Sands yesterday that it doesn’t much matter who you are, you’re bound to be the subject of hysterical ritual trashing if you dare to speak out in this province against the Sands’ development.

(Read more…) - Alberta politics: And then there were three (white men)

TweetAs the deadline for candidates to enter their names (and $50,000 fee) in the contest to become the next leader of Alberta’s Progressive Conservative Association came to a close yesterday, three politicians have put forward their names – bank vice-president and former federal cabinet minister Jim Prentice and former provincial cabinet ministers Ric McIver and […]

Alberta Diary: Explaining the screams for easy-to-exploit Temporary Foreign Workers: Canadians are just too uppity for many low-wage employers

Chinese workers building Canadian railways – another sordid story of “temporary foreign workers.” Below: B.C. Premier Christy Clark and Alberta Federation of Labour President Gil McGowan.

British Columbia Premier Christy Clark rose in that province’s Legislative Building in Victoria yesterday and apologized for a stream of racist laws and policies that began to be introduced almost a century and a half ago to control and exploit Chinese immigration.

“While the governments which passed these laws and polices acted in a manner that was lawful at the time, today this racist discrimination is seen by British Columbians – represented (Read more…) - Alberta politics: The All-Calgarian PC Party leadership race

TweetAnother Calgarian has entered what has been, at least so far, an all-Calgarian Progressive Conservative leadership race. Announcing his candidacy in the contest to become the next PC Party leader and premier, former Infrastructure minister Ric McIver declared he would bring a “common-sense new approach to replace insider, establishment thinking, with new common-sense thinking.” The first-term MLA and former three-term […]

Cowichan Conversations: Maroc’s Public Letter to John Horgan Probably The New Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition

Don Maroc-Cowichan Conversations Contributor

It looks like the power brokers have decided that you are the NDP’s last hope for revival. Of course no one is saying anything like that John, but that’s what’s being bantered back and forth out here among what was once the NDP backbone.

Don’t be complacent when the party’s fixers hand you the mantel of leadership, that’s an empty shroud unless you can re-establish the NDP/ CCF link with the working people of B.C., the folks who built and maintained our once vibrant culture.

They are also the folks who have to get (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: If Alison Redford won’t voluntarily step aside, Alberta’s Tories are likely finished

Alberta Premier Cruella de Vil brings some of her rebellious MLAs to heel. Actual Alberta politicians may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: High-profile caucus rebel Donna Kennedy-Glans; Stephen Mandel, former mayor of Edmonton and about the only person who could unseal the Alberta Tories’ doom at this late hour.

The departure yesterday morning of Donna Kennedy-Glans from the Alberta Progressive Conservative caucus makes it pretty obvious the message is sinking in with disaffected PC MLAs that casting Alison Redford as Premier Cruella de Vil and then putting her on double-secret probation may not have been the most astute strategy (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Will Christie Clark Infect British Columbia with the Alberta Disease?

When a government mired in debt and deficits allows itself to become dependent on royalties from a non-renewable resource to make up 30% of its general revenues it might just as well go for the meth pipe.  It’s an addiction that cannot end well.

There are unsettling indications that Christy Clark may be looking to hit that pipe herself only with British Columbia’s fracked natural gas filling in for Alberta’s bitumen.  While Clark’s government claims to have a balanced budget, that’s propped up on a lot of tinkering and wishful thinking. 

Clark has said the provincial government’s (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…)

Alberta Diary: Caught in an apparent conflict like Chuck Strahl? No problem! Just double down!

Manning Centre-Security Intelligence Review Committee Chair and Enbridge lobbyist Chuck Strahl. Below: Former would-be Reform Party prime minister Preston Manning; Reform Party prime minister in waiting Jason Kenney. All these slightly out-of-focus profile shots were taken by your blogger during his infiltration of the 2013 Manning Centre conference in Ottawa.

When people at the top levels of Canada’s Reform-Conservative government are criticized for controversial behaviour, their instinct seems to be to double down and increase the size of their bet.

The latest example of this phenomenon is Chuck Strahl, the former Reform Party, Canadian Alliance and Conservative Member of (Read more…)

Northern Insight: Christy Clark arrest may be imminent

Sunday, RCMP announced arrest of Qing Quentin Huang for attempting to communicate knowledge of Canadian ship construction to China. Huang is employed by an Ontario based subcontractor of Irving Shipbuilding.

At a Toronto press conference, Chief Supt. Jennifer Strachan said, “Sharing of information may give a foreign enemy a tactical, military or competitive advantage.”

Larry Tremblay, another RCMP Chief Superintendent, added, “It is about protecting Canadian interests and taking the steps we need to protect our Canadian sovereignty…”

According to the Globe and Mail, China regularly seeks information to help dull economic advantages held by the West. That (Read more…)

Susan on the Soapbox: Alison Redford’s Vision for Alberta–”Trust Industry” (gulp)

Brian Mason (NDP) is right. The only way to find out what’s going on in Alison Redford’s head is to pay to attend a function in her honour.

Glenbow Museum

So on Monday night, Mr Soapbox and I were milling about at the Glenbow Museum, debating about whether to sneak off to see the A Y Jackson exhibit or parade dutifully into the lecture hall to hear Premier Redford expound on her vision for “Building Alberta”.

We’d paid $65 each for the privilege so we opted for the lecture hall and spent an hour watching Dylan Jones, president of (Read more…)