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Cowichan Conversations: Hey BCTF Teachers-Loose Lips Sink Ships–Tell Media to Call BC Federation President Jim Iker

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

It is a cynical game being played out by some media types regarding the BCTF struggle to negotiate a collective agreement with Premier Christy Clark’s anti-public education BC Liberal’s

Watch out for the media game of trying engage teachers in second guessing over their leaderships tactics.

This is not helpful folks. You elect a President and executive members to represent your interests. Do not let the media suck you in and then later listen to them say that there is a difference of opinion amongst BCTF members.

Do not play their divide and conquer game, it will (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Ultra Zionists Protest Marriage Between An Israeli and a Muslim- Other Israeli’s Stood In Support of the Wedding

meaningful Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

This video clearly shows the extremist views that drives the hatred fuelled attacks against Palestinians that our Canadian Government supports and extols.

Other supporters of the marriage also gathered and offered their contrasting views.

Similar expressions of hateful anti-Semitic forces can also be seen where Arabs call for the eradication of Israel and its inhabitants.

It seems that the moderate and progressive voices have been drowned out and do not form a part of the narrative. The politically moderate must step up and participate fully.

I believe we that are the majority and the alternative is (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: BCTF-BC Government Continue Talks Behind Closed Doors

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Day 2 of talks with mediator Vince Ready, now seemingly immersed, are going well enough that are continuing and we are not hearing exactly how it is going. The longer they are at it the better chance of reaching an agreement.

Chatter out there that has schools possibly opening on the scheduled September 2nd seems a little misplaced to me. Many teachers will be going to new schools and classrooms without out time to set the room up to be ready for the students and that does not happen without a lot of work and preparation.

Remember (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Pivotal meeting underway between mediator Vince Ready, BCTF and BCPSEA

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

This is really the first day where there is any chance of progress since the Strike-Lockout began. The gamey Education Minister Peter Fassbender had been insisting on numerous pre-conditions.

I suggest that if he does not remove those specious pre-conditions the talks will not last long.

I cannot see seasoned mediator Vince Ready playing games such as those advanced by Education Minister Fassebender.

“Hope” is the operative word as union and government negotiators meet behind closed doors with mediator Vince Ready today in Richmond.

Heading into a private meeting room at a hotel, Ready made it clear today’s (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Canada-EU trade deal threatened by EU lawmakers

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Every once in awhile commonsense and decency trumps greed and avarice, not often, but it is news when it happens.

Our PM Steve Harper has polished up an apple for the corporate world in an attempt to pave the way to huge profits through yet another crippling trade deal. This time with the European Union. (EU)

Looks as if he has hit a few bumps as he tries to set the terms and position the US to follow in with a sweetheart deal that would further entrench the corporate world at the cost of local authorities and (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: New York Times-As Truce Holds, Dazed Gazans Get Down to Business

From the New York Times


GAZA — The banks reopened, the markets were crowded, workers began repairing downed electric lines and bulldozers cleared rubble blocking roads in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday as an open-ended cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian militants took hold.

Life did not exactly return to normal, after a summer of more than 2,100 deaths and vast destruction. But many residents who were displaced by seven weeks of Israeli attacks returned to their homes, fishermen ventured into deeper waters again and brown-uniformed security officers spread out in border areas to make sure that (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: New York Times-As Truce Holds, Dazed Gazans Get Down to Business

Cowichan Conversations: ‘Severe… Pervasive… Irreversible”: IPCC’s Devastating Climate Change Conclusions

Here is a stunning report from Common Dreams

by Jon Queally, Common Dreams staff writerA draft of the UN panel’s synthesis report on the global scientific community’s assessment of human-caused global warming offers the starkest and most strongly-worded warning yet of the dangers ahead

That’s the assessment of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which has sent world governments a draft of its final “Synthesis Report” which seeks to tie together previous reports the panel has released over the last year and offers a stark assessment of the perilous future the planet and humanity (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Canada rated as peaceful but risking environmental practices that threaten natural beauty

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Canada has been described as a beautiful country, peaceful and inhabited by warm, friendly people.

For decades we were respected and in part earned our reputation way through ‘Peacekeeping efforts’ but how that has changed.

This post was excerpted from a piece in and seen on Facebook.

Look what they say about us!



Having one of the best standards of living in the world, Canada is also one of the safest countries on Earth. It has a population of approximately 33 million people, yet it’s the second largest country in the world by area. (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Shawnigan’s April Sanderson Works To Save The Blue Throated Macaws

The photo of this brilliant Blue Throated Macaw caught my eye and drew me in to read Cowichan Citizen reporter Kevin Rothbauer’s story about the amazing work of Shawnigan’s April Sanderson. She has dedicated her efforts to save this beautiful bird from extinction.

Many of you have already seen the story, but in case you missed it, here it is again.

A blue-throated macaw, one of 17 bound for release in Bolivia after being raised locally, nibbles on a walnut in a large cage at a Shawnigan Lake aviary. Photograph By Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen


By Kevin Rothbauer Cowichan Valley Citizen

(Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Russell Brand absolutely demolishes Fox News over Ferguson coverage

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Our MSM had left a large opening for challenging, inquiring interpretaions in regard to the events of the day.

Turns out that artists, musicians and comediens often fill the missing gap with hard hitting commentary, satire and editorial assessment.

Jon Stewart’s Daily Show, Stephen Colbert and many in their circle often provide content that is avoided by most of the MSM.

Across the pond Britain’s Russell Brand brings a hard hitting contrast and he does not mince his words.

Russell Brand (Credit: AP/Ellis O’Brien)

Russell Brand eviscerated Fox News’ coverage of the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, on (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Violence is NEVER EVER a choice that a man should make. Ever!


A longtime outspoken advocate for survivors of domestic violence, renowned actor Patrick Stewart gave this touching impromptu speech about his own experience with domestic violence in response to a fan’s question about what non-acting work he’s most proud of. Stewart, who grew up in a home where his mother suffered frequent abuse from his father and has called violence against women the “single gr… See More

Cowichan Conversations: Toronto G20, 4 years later: 18 disturbing facts all Canadians should know

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger


Let us remember that while the US cops are often out of control that it can happen here in sweet old Canada, and has happened many times.

The G20 is a reminder that many would like to sweep under the rug and leave it there.

Cowichan Conversations: “The Russian Aggression Prevention Act” (RAPA): A Direct Path to Nuclear War with Russia


By Steven Starr Global Research

The Russian Aggression Prevention Act”, introduced to Congress by U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), will set the US on a path towards direct military conflict with Russia in Ukraine.

Any US-Russian war is likely to quickly escalate into a nuclear war, since neither the US nor Russia would be willing to admit defeat, both have many thousands of nuclear weapons ready for instant use, and both rely upon Counterforce military doctrine that tasks their military, in the event of war, to preemptively destroy the nuclear forces of the enemy.

Read the full story

. . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: “The Russian Aggression Prevention Act” (RAPA): A Direct Path to Nuclear War with Russia

Cowichan Conversations: US-NATO Preparing For A Military Clash With Russia!

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Following the collapse of the USSR there was hope of a new dawn, an opportunity for the great powers of the USA and Russia to de-escalate and disarm their nuclear capabilities, but that was not acceptable to the Americans.

Since that time the US has pursued a path of world domination and have drawn in much of Europe through the NATO alliance. Germany however appears to be somewhat uncomfortable with the rhetoric and build up of a deliberate showdown with Russia.

The demonization of the enemy, in this case Russia and their President Vladimir Putin, has been (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Where Does She Keep It All? Absolutely Amazing Ballet Magician!

Cowichan Conversations: A YouTube video shows a blue film floating on Quesnel Lake. Area residents are concerned.

Richard HughesWho do you believe?

The BC Liberal Goverment is without doubt fully responsible for the disastrous spill from the Mount Polley mine tailing pond.

This is in part due to the lack of regulatory enforcement and drastic staff reductions since 2001.

It seems that most of their energy has been directed at trying to gloss over this disaster, as a minor occurrence.

Alexandra Morton-Marine Biologist has questioned their findings based on their very small samples. Telling residents that they can drink the water and eat the fish is highly irresponsible under the circumstances.

Imperial Metals, owners of the mine, (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Alexandra Morton’s Full Report on the Mount Polley Mining Disaster-Videos

Alexandra Morton-Marine Biologist


I have been posting blogs on my onsite investigation into the situation around the largest mining disaster in history that tragically entered Quesnel Lake, where 1/4 of the Fraser sockeye rear.

Full updated post available here

The BC government’s first response was that all the grey slurry pouring out of the mine was just sand, no different than an avalanche and that we got “lucky” – the water is safe to drink. That is not at all what the situation looks like and the people in the area and downstream have virtually no (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Pretend News vs Real News

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

The superficiality of much of the news provided by the corporate media is not only insulting, it is a conditioning mechanism. Latest figures out of the US (probably about the same in Canada) show the large corporate media outlets have lost 50 percent of their market share in 2013.

Have your news reading, watching, listening habits changed over the last few years?

Cowichan Conversations: The Corporation-A Must See Doc Even If You Have Seen it Before-Enjoy

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

I realized that I wanted to watch ‘The Corporation’ again, and you can as well. There also may be other videos that you would like to see. Clip on the ‘Video” tab at top of the page for a growing seection of, worth your time moves, documentaries and videos.

Cowichan Conversations: Cowichan River Water Quality Advisory Lifted

Nice to read good news from time to time. The concern over drought conditions that threatened our cowichan River was troubling and Don Bodger’s report is a comfort.

By Don Bodger-Cowichan News Leader

The water quality advisory for recreational use on the lower Cowichan River has been rescinded.

The advisory was put in place Saturday for the area of the Cowichan River downstream from the Allenby Road bridge to the mouth of the river. That’s an approximate six-kilometre stretch.

According to Val Wilson of Island Health Communications, samples of the river taken on Monday demonstrated it had returned to its (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Rafe Mair: Why Bill Bennett Needs to Resign

The tradition of responsibility is a concept that has in the past served our parliamentary system well. Strong emphasis on, in the past.

The BC Liberals under Christy Clark are a destructive, negative and corrupt force. I honestly wonder if she will last her full term or will her mishandling of the province result in her stepping down or even dumped well before the BC Liberals will have to face a rejuvenated John Horgan led BC NDP.

Rafe Mair

Tradition decrees he take ‘ministerial responsibility’ for Mount Polley mess on his watch.

Mining Minister Bennett: Quitting would send a message (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Alexandra Morton On The Banks of the Hazeltine River

Cowichan Conversations: Why Not a Community Investment Fund for the Cowichan Valley?

Rob Douglas

Since 2001 the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) has operated an in-house economic development body to help the regional economy prosper and grow.

With an annual budget exceeding $800,000, Economic Development Cowichan (EDC) now employs several staff and oversees a range of activities to expand the agricultural sector, market tourism and attract the film industry.

While some would argue EDC is succeeding on a number of fronts–including building a strong regional brand, producing a number of impressive economic development studies, and hosting events such as the Cowichan agricultural fair—others have long questioned its value.

Critics point to EDC’s (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Alexandra Morton-Mystery Film On Quesnel Lake

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Kevin Logan accompanied Alexandra Morton on this trip to investigate what Premier Clark would just as soon you do not see. They have provided a great deal of film and information otherwise not available.

The original spin was too quick to say that the water was safe to drink and most everybody knows that. Christy Clark is so far out of her depth that it is both embarassing and frightening.

How often is the water being tested and is it really safe? The response to the disaster has been so inept and incompetent that it leaves you (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Liberals refuse to release Mount Polley Mine documents

BC NDP Leader John Horgan

Liberals refuse to release Mount Polley Mine documentsTen days after the tailings pond failure, the B.C. Liberals have still not released the most basic documents about the Mount Polley Mine, say B.C.’s New Democrats.

“We have been calling for the full release of documents related to this mine for more than a week, and we’ve seen nothing from the B.C. Liberal government yet,” said New Democrat Leader John Horgan.

Horgan noted that the mines ministry response to a request on behalf of the Official Opposition for a copy of the (Read more…)