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In-Sights: Orderly, efficient and accountable

Mainstream and alternative media have given a fair degree of coverage to Clark Government efforts to ensure few papers document its activities. Rather too little attention has been paid to the motivation for this blank public record.

For almost three years, the Information and Privacy Commissioner has been providing advice to improve information handling. Even today, caught in a maelstrom of controversy, the BC government avoids Elizabeth Denham’s recommendations. Instead, they recruited David Loukidelis from their roster of loyalists, aiming to push the issue down the road and ultimately gather suggestions that will serve Liberal needs and protect them from (Read more…)

In-Sights: Truth does not serve needs of crony capitalists

SNC-Lavalin Inc. is the kind of ethics-light corporation that BC Liberals likes to have as a partner.

With considerable public flourish, after departure of Chairman Gwyn Morgan, the company announced an amnesty program, effective from June to August 2013, to encourage senior employees “to report potential corruption and anti-competition matters in which they may have been directly or indirectly involved.”

However, questions were soon raised about the sincerity of SNC Lavalin’s amnesty. Executives Michel L’Abbé and Michel Emond admitted they had been involved for years in rigging bids and hiding illegal political contributions by using nominees who were secretly (Read more…)

In-Sights: "Throw him some work"

Regular readers know my complaints about corporate media found-ins taking payments from parties affected by media coverage. People taking the cash don’t feel need to explain or excuse and indulgent colleagues seldom raise the conflict issue.

Vancouver Sun political pundit Vaughn Palmer might believe the practice does not influence reporting, but Premier Clark’s Executive Director of Communications and Issues Management has a different view, revealed by Leslie Campbell in When spin doctors make policy, published by Victoria magazine Focus Online: After a year and a half of waiting, Focus received records that show in some detail how the (Read more…)

Politics Canada: Can I be friends with a Harper supporter?

I have always prided myself on my ability to separate work/business from personal. I am very adept at removing emotion from an issue and looking at the issue in cold logical terms. This is very much related to my ability to separate political from personal as well. I have had friends from varying places on the political spectrum. One thing I admire about the traditional Canadian political culture was its ability to respect political opponents while at the same time disagreeing with them. It was a good feeling to admire certain qualities in a politician with whom I did not (Read more…)

Scripturient: 17 Pages of Blather

Zero point zero zero zero three eight. That’s the percentage of the population of Collingwood who made the effort to comment on council’s much-touted, revised, 17-page code of conduct before it was approved, Monday night. That’s 0.00038%, based on an estimated 21,000 residents. In other words: eight people. Only eight people out of 21,000 cared enough […]

Scripturient: Team Assessment

Following my last piece on the relevance of Patrick Lencioni’s book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, to Collingwood Council, I felt I should explore some of Lencioni’s ideas, as well as look at how a team’s performance is assessed. Teams (or groups) can be assessed several ways: the best way is internally (by their […]

Scripturient: The Horns of a Dilemma

Poor Borg. One almost feels pity for their confusion. The members of Collingwood’ Council’s block-thinking collective were faced with a difficult dilemma on Monday: should they stick to their pettifogging ideology or break from it and support one of their own? Dogma versus friendship and loyalty. Monday night, another report from the Integrity Commissioner bashed […]

Dead Wild Roses: Winning on Golden Balls – Is it Game Theory or just How much of an As*hole are you?)

This is what happens when you combine game theory, psychology and sociology on a gameshow you get the phenomena called Golden Balls. I have not watched an entire episode, but merely some outcomes of the final decision in which two people are given three possible outcomes for splitting, usually, a large sum of money.

What happens is each contestant is given two golden balls, within each ball there is a little sign that says ‘split’ or ‘steal. That gives us three possibilities…

1. Split – Split = contestants split the pot.

2. Split – Steal = (Read more…)

Scripturient: Time of Use Billing

Until I sold my business, a few years ago, and started working from home again, I didn’t realize how much of an aggressive assault on many Ontarians – especially seniors and stay-at-home parents – our hydro time-of-use (TOU) billing is. I had a naïve belief that it was fair. A user-pay balance. A tool to encourage […]

Scripturient: Another Secretive, Self-Serving Committee

This week, Collingwood Council passed a motion to appoint the Block Five to a new standing committee. The standing committee system, you will recall, is a system of secretive committees that operates predominantly out of the public eye, with limited council attendance, and often without even media presence. Committees conduct town business beyond the pale of […]

In-Sights: Patronage, corruption and cronyism

July’s sale of BC Petroleum and Natural Gas Rights realized little more than a million dollars, bringing the seven month total in 2015 to $8 million. In the year before Christy Clark became Premier, the total for the same months was almost $664 million. During January to July of 2008, rights sales brought in $1.6 billion, almost 200 times the amount in the current year.

When Christy Clark became leader of the BC Liberal Party, a key member of her transition team was Gwyn Morgan, a person with boardroom ties to two of the Liberals’ favourite corporations: Encana (Read more…)

Mind Bending Politics: Big Media Influencing Canadian Election For Political Favoritism

As the debates over the debates has raged on over the past several months, one thing is becoming increasingly clear. Journalists in Canada seem to be throwing out their duty of independence and holding our political parties to account for political favors; thus Canadians can’t rely on the media to do their traditional role of […] . . . → Read More: Mind Bending Politics: Big Media Influencing Canadian Election For Political Favoritism

Accidental Deliberations: On teasers

Yes, this will do nicely as the trailer for the long-awaited film The Fall of the Harper Conservatives:

But let’s make sure people know where to find the full screenplay. (And putting some more of it in front of the camera may not hurt as we approach the election campaign won’t hurt either.)

Dead Wild Roses: Rick’s Rant – Canadian PM either Psychotic or Lying.

Remember when the PMO was actually accountable to Canadians? I do, and I can certainly remember when it stopped…oh hello there Canadian Conservative Party…

Filed under: Canada, Ethics, Humour Tagged: PM either Psychotic or Lying, PMO, Rick Mercer Rant

Scripturient: What’s Up With Tim Fryer?

Fledgling councillors may be excused for gaffes, gaucheries and solecisms they make in their first month or so in office. They’re new, inexperienced, dazzled by their recent election success, so we cut them some slack. And there are all these shiny things to distract a councillor: procedure, voting, reading, motions, shuffling paper, approving minutes, showing […]

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: 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…)

Scripturient: Connection Got It Wrong

The story in this weekend’s Connection about Block 9 underground parking incorrectly suggests council is doing something right when it was actually trying to do something wrong. But they tried to take credit for doing good when their efforts at malice failed. I expect mistakes like this from the Enterprise-Bulletin because it doesn’t have anyone on […]

In-Sights: Socialist hordes at the gates, this time for real

Merriam-Webster:“Socialism: a way of organizing a society in which major industries are owned and controlled by the government”

For years, leaders of the BC Business Party (AKA Social Credit or Liberal) echoed W.A.C. Bennett’s 1972 warning, “The socialist hordes are at the gates of British Columbia.”

Maclean’s Magazine reported in 1999 that Liberal leader Gordon Campbell “is promising to weed socialist apparatchiks from the civil service.”

In 2010, Liberal campaigner Jim Shepard said,

“You know, we lived through socialism in B.C. for 10 years. I know what it looks like and it is not (Read more…)

In-Sights: Remembering the desperate nineties

Much of British Columbia’s recent political history has been written by a Liars Club sponsored by beneficiaries of corrupt public administrations. One fable claims that BC Liberals rescued the provincial economy in 2001 after a decade of socialist mismanagement. Yet facts assembled by Statistics Canada paint a different scenario.

I’ve previously demonstrated that the NDP (1991-2001) bested Liberal (2001-2014) results in a number of significant areas, including: Gross domestic product value growth, Job creation, Provincial debt management, Natural resource revenues.

Prior to the last election, Jim Shepard, fronting the quadrennial Concerned Citizens for BC, warned that any vote but a (Read more…)

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: No notwithstanding clause on assisted suicide

In the three months since the Supreme Court of Canada handed down its decision on assisted suicide in Carter v. Attorney General of Canada, there has been a lot of thumb twisting about what to do. The Court gave Parliament a year to come up with something new before the law is officially taken off the books. Given a fall election, it’s hard to imagine our legislators will come up with a new law - Alberta Politics: What the NDP platform said about ethics in government

After 44-years of one-party government, Alberta voters stampeded to the polls to remove the Progressive Conservatives from office in the May 5 election. The defining narrative of the election was accountability and ethics in government and on this issue voters coalesced around Rachel… Continue Reading →

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: The Not-My-Fault Dance

There’s a story in this weekend’s Collingwood Connection about the PUC board meeting this week. The board confirmed that council’s dumping unexpected costs on the utility will mean an unplanned increase in the cost of your water this year. One of our council representatives tried to dance around it as if he wasn’t among the causes of that increase. This hurtful rate increase […]

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: "You cain’t pray a lie" – H. Finn

Canadian Press, April 7, 2013: [Premier Christy] Clark told a Vancouver Island economic summit her government’s highly touted September 2011 jobs plan — with its focus on increased trade with China and Asia and promoting liquefied natural gas exports, new mines and exploring innovations in technology and agri-foods — was working.

Vancouver Sun, April 15, 2013: There was Premier Christy Clark Monday, dedicating herself to the goal of a “debt-free British Columbia,” and telling reporters that debt reduction has always been “a central value for me.”

As a central part of her campaign, Christy Clark promised more (Read more…)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Myth busting

Andrew Nikiforuk wrote advice for Albertans in his recent article Eight Steps to Reform the Broken Petrostate: Behave like an owner: Alberta’s oil and gas resources belong to Albertans. The Tories’ “strip it and ship it” approach was not only wasteful, but also environmentally destructive.

…Governments that run on taxes raised from the general population represent their people. Governments that run on resource revenue represent the resource and its multinational extractors.

…The Tories consistently avoided transparency on bitumen revenues, and the impact of volatile prices or mining of unconventional resources on royalties. They gutted their own expertise on the (Read more…)