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Cowichan Conversations: Tom Mulcair and His Centralized Control Leaves NDP Democracy Begging

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

NDP Federal nominee Ian Morrison sent out this email to many Cowichan-Malahat-Langford members as well as our MP Jean Crowder-National Vice Chair of the Federal Campaign.

Ian’s email followed yet another top down decision from Ottawa delaying the second scheduled nominating convention without explanation.

Clearly the centralists in Ottawa want to control the nomination to decide who that will be, democratic process and membership be damned.

This may well be happening right across Canada. Democracy in the NDP today has been reduced to sit down, shut-up send money.

I have included nominee Ian Morrison’s email below followed (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Tara Ehrcke-BC Teachers Strike-Lessons Learned

Victoria Teacher-Activist Tara Ehckre


Tara Ehrcke

Teacher, Activist, Citizen. Currently on the executive of the Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association – 1400 dedicated and hardworking professionals.

Victoria BC



Read this informative opinion piece from Tara Ehrcke’s Blog-‘Staffroom Confidential.’BC Teacher strike – Lessons learned

On the evening of the vote results, I found myself, with great difficulty, repeating the tried and true advice: “Don’t mourn, organize.” Because it is correct. There is much to do. And there are always setbacks and disappointments on the way to a better world.

That said, it (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Election Issue-CVRD Senior Staff Out of Touch Pay Formula Stalled For Now

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

CVRD Chair Rob Hutchins is an old pro at dodging bullets. Sending a resolution, calling for changes in the way senior staff compensation is determined, back to committee until after the upcoming round of local government elections mid November signaled that perhaps, change is in the wind.

Few if any want to be seen supporting the discredited formula that has guided them for a decade plus.

CVRD Director Bruce Fraser

CVRD Director Loren Duncan .

This effort was designed to allow the politicians a reprieve of sorts as long as it does not become an election issue, but (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: Election Issue-CVRD Senior Staff Out of Touch Pay Formula Stalled For Now

Cowichan Conversations: BC Teachers Should Reject Tentative Settlement

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

While initially enthused about the marathon bargaining sessions with the experienced Vince Ready mediating, the reality is beginning to sink in. This is not a good deal for students, teachers or the province of BC as a whole.

The 80 million advanced by the BC Government is only a 5 million dollar increase.Three times that amount is needed and was identified by the BCTF.

Tara Ehrcke, a Victoria teacher and activist appeared on various media outlets this morning calling for this tentative deal to be rejected.

She blogs on ‘Staffroom Confidential‘ and astutely asks:

(Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: RMR Rick’s Rant Against Harper’s Secret Trade Deal (FIPA)

Cowichan Conversations: Cowichan Valley Political Scene Shows Signs of Heating Up

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Municipal elections in November and Federal Parties seeking nominees for next years Federal election have brought some new life to politics in the valley. Say goodbye to the ‘Dog days of summer’s is time to reshuffle the deck in political circles.

Locally there looks to be changes ahead at both the CVRD and North Cowichan political tables.

Sonia Furstenau has declared for Shawnigan

Word has it that present Shawnigan Director Bruce Fraser will not seek re-election. Sonia Furstenau has declared her intention to seek the Shawnigan Director’s seat and she may be joined in the contest by (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: The Mbira Spirit and Our New Journey

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger


I found this on Amy Matamba’s Facebook page.

Amy & Tafadzwa were playing music in Trout Lake.

What wonderful music, enjoy.



Great trip to Vancouver! Loving the Mbira Spirit and our new journey. A very thoughtful passer-by sharing a video he took of us playing music in the most natural setting we could find…. Trout Lake! In such a big city, we were happy meet new friends and old, too! Life is good.

Cowichan Conversations: Obama Begs for More War

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

From the outset we have been lied to and misled by US President Barack Obama, and our tag-a-long Prime Minister Steve Harper, operating through NATO and facilatating the overthrow of a democratically elected government in Ukraine just two weeks before the election.

Now many credible reports are surfacing that clearly demonstrate that this is one more failed US mission in a long list of military excesses and intrusions. You will not see or hear much about the in the corporate media but NATO’s bagging of right wing thugs and Nazi’s is not going well.

CounterPunch – Obama (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: The Ukraine Crisis Remains Unresolved — Paul Craig Roberts

Dr. Roberts was associate editor and columnist for The Wall Street Journal and a columnist for Business Week and the Scripps Howard News Service. He was a nationally syndicated columnist for Creators Syndicate in Los Angeles. In 1992 he received the Warren Brookes Award for Excellence in Journalism. In 1993 the Forbes Media Guide ranked him as one of the top seven journalists in the United States.


The Ukraine Crisis Remains Unresolved

Paul Craig Roberts

Some Western commentators interpret the cease fire in Ukraine obtained by President Putin as a victory for Russia. The reasoning is that the cease fire leaves (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Deep Green Resistance

Deep Green Resistance is a pro-woman, social-justice environmental organization. As radicals, we hold a class analysis on injustice, and we are fighting enmeshed systems of oppression.

Industrial ecocide & misogyny are inherently connected. The way the land is treated and the way that women are treated are both part of a male-oriented domination culture of exploitation and abuse.

The freedom of women as a class cannot be separated from the resistance to the dominant culture as a whole.

We are enmeshed in overlapping systems of sadistic power built on stolen wealth, white privilege, misogyny, and human supremacism. As individuals, it (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Independent Legal Perspective on BC Liberal Government’s Proposal E 80-VIDEO

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Peter Fassbender is beginning to show the stress of pretending to negotiate all summer. Added to that he is now facing shutdown classes throughout British Columbia. He tell us us that the BC Teacher’s Federation’s misinformation campaign over the contentious E 80 clause that the Premier insists be included in any negotiations is driving him crazy!

Here is Global TV’s report that includes an independent legal analysis of proposal E 80.

Cowichan Conversations: 15-year-old Elizabeth Eckford encountered an angry mob when she attempted to enter Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.

A Mighty Girl

On this day in 1957, 15-year-old Elizabeth Eckford encountered an angry mob when she attempted to enter Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Eckford was one of nine teenagers, known as the Little Rock Nine, who became the first African American students to attend the previously all-white Little Rock Central High School after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled school segregation unconstitutional in its famous Brown v. Board of Education decision.

While the nine students had planned to enter the school together, the meeting place was changed the night before and Eckford, whose family (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…)

Cowichan Conversations: Clark Government Out To Bust Teacher’s Union and Usher In Charter Schools

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

There is lot at stake in British Columbia. This is so much more than a collective bargaining issue. The public education system itself is on the block and this struggle could lead BC into a ‘General Strike’ showdown before it is through.

There may not be a choice if public education is to survive the attack from Christy Clark!

Here is an insightful ‘Opinion Piece’ by Tom Kertes, carried in the Tyee.


Why Teachers Fear the Worst From Clark Government

By Tom Kertes

Today, public school teachers in British Columbia will vote to end their job (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Rob Douglas – North Cowichan Council Campaign Launch

Campaign Launch For Rob Douglas

Dear Friends and Supporters,

As many of you know, I am running for North Cowichan Council this November. We need new voices in municipal politics, and I want to bring a co-operative approach, fresh ideas and a long-term vision to local government.

Please join me for my campaign launch on Tuesday, September 9th at the Duncan United Church. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. There will be live music, opportunities to chat with like-minded people, and a potluck dinner. Please bring a dish to share, and feel free to bring your kids and grandkids as (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Russia Wants War!


Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

There is an abundance of information out there showing that the US purposely funded extreme right wing militants to over throw the elected Ukrainian government, a task that they accomplished a mere two weeks before the scheduled election.

The map above pretty much tells the reality of the Americans real goals of achieving world dominance while blaming the Russians of aggression.

The MSM media for the most part just parrot the spin and talking points without question or challenge.

Take a look at this and see if it makes more sense than the pabulum fed to (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Blaise Salmon: Elected CVRD Directors Pawns of Management

Mill Bay’s Blaise Salmon has been monitoring the financial affairs of the CVRD with a special focus on runaway salaries for top management personnel.

Guest Post by Blaise Salmon

It’s not surprising that top CVRD management is able to ”justify” their outsized salaries. How else would they be able to attract such excellent people? If some of them have to be fired for incompetence – three so far this year, including the $200,000-a-year chief executive – who knew? There is simply no choice but to continue paying outlandish amounts for “top quality” people.

What is surprising is that the elected directors go along with this nonsense.

CVRD Chair Rob Hutchins

(Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: Blaise Salmon: Elected CVRD Directors Pawns of Management

Cowichan Conversations: Christy Clark’s Personal Fight Against BC Teachers Is Taking its’ Toll

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

In 2002, then BC Liberal Education Minister Christy Clark ripped classroom composition provisions out of the legally negotiated contract.

The teachers in 1998 had negotiated a contract with the BC NDP government that funded the changes in classroom conditions, forgoing any wage increase. It was 0-0-0 for three years in favour of funded classroom size composition provisions needed to meet the changing circumstances of the classroom reality.

Christy Clark Struggles with Truthiness

Students and teachers have suffered the consequences and the BC Liberal governments have continued yanking an estimated $275 million out each year since. As a result BC spends (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: John Horgan: Time for premier to set a new tone with teachers

BC NDP Leader John Horgan

Tuesday should have been the first day of school in our province. Instead, it brought another day of frustration and disappointment for children and their families.

Premier Christy Clark and her education minister have tried to say the things they think people want to hear — such as that they are willing to meet 24/7, and that class size and composition issues are important — but their actions speak much louder than words. The premier’s only actions as the education labour dispute came to a head this week have been to inflame the situation further (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Amazon Indian Warriors Beat and Strip Illegal Loggers in Battle for Jungle’s Future

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger


This amazing photo journal by David Sim, International Business Times, was posted on Facebook.

The warriors are fighting to protect the slaughter of their forest so crucial for their existence and to combat global warming.

Could this be the future of resistance to pipelines in British Columbia?


PHOTO REPORT: By David Sim. Amazon Indian Warriors Beat and Strip Illegal Loggers in Battle for Jungle’s Future.


A Ka’apor warrior chases a logger who tried to escape after he was captured(Lunae Parracho/Reuters)

Last year, the Brazilian government said that annual destruction of its Amazon rain forest (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Opposition Leader John Horgan: “The Teachers Should Keep Up Their Action.”

BC NDP Leader John Horgan- We’ve Got Your Back!

NDP Leader John Horgan speaking at the BC Fed-BCTF Rally in Vancouver today said that members of the teachers’ union have rights that were hard fought for and they shouldn’t give them up.

“To Mr. Fassbender I say you failed at negotiation, you don’t understand mediation, you couldn’t spell arbitration, so how about resignation,” Horgan told the crowd, ending by saying the teachers should keep up their action.

“We’ve got your back,” he said.

Cowichan Conversations: Video: Deconstructing Christy Clark spin on teachers strike and lockout

Charlie Smith was heard on CBC’s ‘On the Coast’s ‘Political Panel this afternoon. Bill Tieleman and Alise Mills were the other panelists. Charlie was cut short when responding to Alise Mills. Is this video his reply?

Press Progress, which is an arm of the Broadbent Institute, has released a video rebutting Premier Christy Clark’s talking points on the school strike.

Clark said on September 3 that the B.C. Teachers’ Federation is demanding twice as much as the settlements for other public-sector workers.

Press Progress points out that other public sector workers received four percent in 2012 and 2013.

Teachers, (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Ukranian Soldiers Captured and Then Released by Ethnic Russians (Video)

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

We have read accounts which differ substantially from the MSM line accusing Russia of sending troops and military equipment into eastern Ukraine. Here is some video which expands on that.

Is it true? This is certainly at odds with unquestioned MSM reports that dominate the news cycle.

Are the Russians over running Ukranian troops or are the Urkrainian soldiers being out manouvered sent in poorly prepared and being over taken by Russian ethnics?

Obama’s “Catastrophic Defeat” in Ukraine

. . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: Ukranian Soldiers Captured and Then Released by Ethnic Russians (Video)

Cowichan Conversations: Ricochet

I found this site the other day and was encouraged to see the youthful energy, the quality of journalism offered and the potential ‘Richchet’ bring us.

Ricochet is a new Canadian crowd funded digital news source that is much needed worthy of our support.

Ricochet is a new Canadian crowd funded digital news source that is much needed worthy of our support.

Check it out here.

Cowichan Conversations: Why I Left The NDP-Sana Hassainia, the MP for Verchères-Les Patriotes

Sana Hassainia MP – Left the NDP

One week after her resignation from the NDP, Sana Hassainia, the MP for Verchères-Les Patriotes in Quebec, speaks about why she left and the direction of the party under Thomas Mulcair’s leadership.

Editors’ note: This is a translated version of an interview originally conducted and published in French by Gabrielle Brassard-Lecours for the French edition of Ricochet.

The original version can be found here.

“For many weeks I thought about my involvement with the NDP. Before my resignation, I was thinking of simply not running in the 2015 election because the NDP no longer (Read more…)