Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream

Cowichan Conversations: iPolitics–Is Mulcair Just Another Harper With a Beard?

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

In the quest for power Federal NDP leader Thomas Mulcair has abandoned previously held NDP principles and beliefs and that is causing heartburn on the left, and centre-left.

The shift to the right that has taken place has left many NDP supporters wondering if the NDP is where they want to be. Others have already turned and walked away.

New Democrats for ‘Fairness and Transparency (nd4ft) posted this piece where Anne McGrath promised hands off fair and open nominations.

In truth and reality the National Director, Anne McGrath has banned two long time members, Paul Manly and Laurie (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: NDP Continue Blocking Members Seeking Nominations

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Long time New Democrat Laurie Gourlay, MLA Doug Routley’s-Nanaimo-North Cowichan’s Constituency Assistant, was blocked from competing for the nomination in Nanaimo-Ladysmith. He was the second and one of 14 across Canada.

Here is his opinion piece that ruffled the somewhat jumpy and trigger happy NDP National Director and one presumes Thomas Mulcair as well.

Gourlay seemed surprisingly at ease after being rebuffed for his role in promoting Vancouver Island separation from BC and the establishment of a new Province of Vancouver Island.

Laurie Gourlay-NDP Loyalist rebuffed by Federal Party

He told me yesterday that National Office was concerned (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Elizabeth May backs Green Party motion condemning ‘illegal’ Israeli settlements

Convention motion could attract support from disgruntled New Democrats, author suggests

By Kady O’Malley, CBC News

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May has co-sponsored a policy resolution condemning Israeli settlements that is expected to come up for debate during the party’s policy convention in Fredericton this weekend. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)


The proposed resolution is on the list of policy proposals slated to come up for debate during the party’s weekend convention in Fredericton.

The Federal NDP Thomas Mulcair said:

“Since the start of the most recent tensions, the NDP has been in contact with Israeli and Palestinian representatives in Ottawa. (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Thomas Mulcair-Anne McGrath Stop Interfering In Local NDP Nominations

Richard Hughes-It is time the NDP risked democracy

The Federal NDP often tries to favourably compare themselves as being more democratic and grass roots driven than the Liberals or Conservatives. It may well have been that way in the past but they certainly cannot claim that high ground today.

The Nanaimo Ladysmith Riding has seen the National Director Anne McGrath step in and block the right of two long-term party members to seek the nomination. What is worse is that the inner circle have refused to state the reasons in writing.

Paul Manly speaking on his own behalf offered this: The (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Another Court Loss For the Miserable Mean Spirited Harper Government

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Another beautiful day in the neighbourhood, brightened by this Federal Court decision that slaps down the ‘cruel and unusual’ treatment of refugees at the hands of our out of sync PM Steve Harper.

Judged harshly and sharply the Harper crew are going to appeal this decision.

When the governments refuse to accept court decisions they are called __________!

PM Harper, mean spirited, out of sync with Canadians

Step by disgusting step Harper is indeed dismantling Canada. He constantly embarrasses and humiliates us on the world stage and is ruining our reputation as a friendly, progressive, fair minded (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Prime Minister Harper’s Traitorous Attack On the CBC

Richard Hughes-CBC Is Under Attack!


PM Steve Harper’s hatred for anything of benefit in the public domain has manifested itself through an intended assault on the CBC and its’ programming is unprecedented in our history.

Here from Press Progress is a sobering history of the CBC and an ananlysis of what is at risk.

Get used to a lot less CBC.

That’s a key takeaway from the public broadcaster’s new five-year plan that will see between 1,000 and 1,500 jobs eliminated by 2020 (on top of 657 staff already cut earlier this year).

No wonder CBC is slashing (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Tsilhqot’in Nation Gives Canada a New Chance to Do It Right

Step by step the Canada’s Supreme Court is humanizing Canada in spite of our mean spirited Prime Minister and our chequered past treatment of First Nations peoples, culture and values.

This Mitchell Anderson Opinion piece ran in the Tyee recently and is well worth your attention.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs: the terms of the deal are no longer the same. Photo credit Times Colonist

Culture and natural resources may seem to have little in common, but their intersection is about to become very important in Canada.

The sweeping decision by the Supreme (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Mulcair Denies Paul Manly the Right To Seek Nomination In Nanaimo Ladysmith

Dear Friends and Supporters

I would like to thank you all for your support and encouragement for my bid for the nomination to be the NDP candidate for the new federal riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith. It is with regret that I write to tell you that the federal NDP has refused to allow me to stand as a candidate.

The local riding executive approved my candidacy for the nomination but the NDP National Director, Ann McGrath, has not approved me and the federal NDP executive will not let me stand as a candidate.

I have done nothing illegal or immoral, nothing (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Enbridge-It does not matter what Steve says

Cowichan Conversations: Rafe Mair: Why I’m for Massive Civil Disobedience

We are indeed in for the struggle of our lives.The Enbridge pipeline proposal is just one arm of the current energy frenzy that has gripped Alberta and British Columbia, but even alone it could cause irreperable harm on an unimaginale scale.

Rafe Mair is as knowledgable as any in BC regarding the threat that we face. Here is his analysis on what we face and how we can push back against it.

Gateway approved, now ‘British Columbians will learn the stuff they’re made of.

By Rafe Mair

The Conservative government’s decision to approve the Northern Gateway pipeline is the (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Here is Dan Murphy’s ‘Enbridge Video’ that the Province yanked

Many of you will remember Dan Murphy’s brilliant video satires that ran in the Vancouver Province. Well that is until Enbridge, who buy a zillion dollars worth of misinformation advertising, demanded that the pretend newspaper yank this video and they did.

Vancouver Province editors recognize that balance is a good thing, even desirable, but not when it means showing both sides of a story that upsets their advertisers.

Cartoonist says Enbridge spoof pulled under pressure.

Recently I read that the corporate media across the US had lost half their market, probably similar here in Canada. Little wonder when they roll (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Harper Declares War on British Columbia-Stop ‘Smokestack Steve!’

Cowichan Conversations: Wynne’s Win, and the Agony of Right-Wing Pundits

Three election opportunities lost, Nova Scotia, BC and now the Ontario results flatten the calculating NDP strategists decision to force an election and shift to the so called middle.

Here is Murray Dobbin’s assessment as carried in the Tyee

Bad voters! You failed to opt for communal suicide. 

By Murray Dobbin

While I realize it is churlish to take so much pleasure in the whining and wingeing of the usually arrogant right-wing pundits, I just can’t help myself.

This gaggle of ideological nut bars rarely get angry at the fact that most governments in this country have been doing (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Guest Speaker on Canadian Health Care System

The Cowichan BC NDP has invited Guest Speaker Dr.Damien Contandriopoulos to speak on the Canadian Health Care System today.

Dr. Contandriopoulos is an associate professor at the University of Montreal Nursing Faculty and researcher at the University of Montreal Public Health Research Institute will address the sustainability of the Canadian health care system.

His main areas of research are focused on the analysis of health policy-making processes, the use of evidence in decision-making and the analysis of highly performing models of healthcare delivery.

Current research projects examine the policy debate on the privatization of healthcare services, the characteristics of (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: At Convergence 2014: Protecting Our Sacred Waters march, Grand Chief says Harper may delay pipeline decision

The clock is ticking as British Columbians countdown the time for a decision from of PM Steve Harper, but wait there is more, or perhaps less.

Photo by Valentina Ruiz LeotaudSpeaking in front of a large crowd gathered for the Convergence 2014: Protecting Our Sacred Waters rally on Sunday afternoon, Grand Chief Stewart Philip said the federal government may delay its decision on the controversial Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline.

“We’ve heard through the grapevine that the Harper government is going to announce a delay,” said the Chief Phillip said to the hundreds of people gathered to protest the bitumen (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Former Bank of Canada Governor Speaks Of the Dangers Of Radical Fundamentalist Capitalism



Now here is a voice of reason that is well worth watching and listening too. Carried by Press Progress and made available courtesy of Huffington Press.

Well, this ought to cause a stir at this summer’s garden parties among Canada’s elites.

Mark Carney, former Bank of Canada Governor (now the Governor of the Bank of England) has come forward to condemn what he calls “unchecked market fundamentalism.”

He delivered the remarks last week at the Conference for Inclusive Capitalism, an annual gathering of global political and financial elites that featured keynotes by Carney along with Prince Charles (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Control Freak PM Steve Harper Is Monitoring Anti Fracking Protesters

Richard Hughes


With our paranoid PM Steve Harper it is all about control and with this reality in mind we head into what promises to be a hot summer of discontent.

He has empowered his ‘Government Operations Centre’ to monitor all anti fracking protests.

Monitoring is really just a polite term for spying. Canadians have come to expect this from a desperate PM Harper who is under ever-increasing pressure to deliver on his promises to Chinese government investors as well as major oil and gas corporations who have invested heavily in what can properly be described as the worlds (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: President Obama Is Setting The Stage For Climate Recovery. Our PM ‘Smokestack Steve’ Has Refused To Act

Did you ever think that we would see the day when Canada would fall behind other nations including the Unites States when it comes to reducing carbon pollution?

Check out this report from Eco Watch and then commit yourself to being a part of a great Canadian pushback to rid our nation of the most arrogant, unaccountable threat that we have ever faced in peace time. Think about what you can do to give ‘Smokestack Steve’ the boot. Let’s take Canada back again!

As the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it would seek to reduce carbon pollution (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan And Kinder Morgan On A Collision Course

‘GreenUp or Brown Out’

Skirmishes over access for Kinder Morgan and Spectra to Lower Mainland properties show the debate over Canada’s energy future is washing up on local streets.

Common Sense Canadian’s Damien Gillis covers the latest developments that has Kinder Morgan spinners altering the proposed route and now want to tunnel under Burnaby Mountain.


Cowichan Conversations: Can Anyone Explain Why the Canadian Government is Subsidizing the Fossil Fuel Industries?

Cowichan Conversations Contributor

Why are we some of the most world’s most profitable companies receiving what amount to public handouts when we are supposedly living in a time of austerity?

Last year the International Monetary Fund (IMF) published a report on global energy subsidies that analyzed 176 countries. It concluded that the world’s developing and industrialized economies are subsidizing the energy sector at a rate of $1.9 trillion per year, accounting for 8 percent of total government revenues.

Globally, 95 percent of these subsidies were directed to oil, gas and coal.

In Canada, the federal government subsidizes the fossil (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: BC LNG: Promised Land of Prosperity or Gas Fueled Race to the Bottom?

Kevin Logan-Cowichan Conversations Contributor

On this the first day of BC’s much ballyhooed International LNG conference, it is worth noting, comparing and contrasting BC’s LNG “model” and that of competing Nations around the world in the natural gas industry.

Particularly noteworthy is today’s announcement that Russia and China have signed the biggest gas deal in the “history of the world.” (watch this before reading the rest of this piece)

This is of importance given the reliance the current government has with China as a destination market, and its strange propensity to sanction Russia over the contentious Ukrainian issues that (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: University of Saskatchewan Fires President Ilene Busch-Vishniac Over Professor Buckinghams Dismissal

Cowichan Conversations: Make No Mistake, Academic Freedom and Tenure are Under Attack at the University of Saskatchewan

The fallout over the recent attack over the heavy-handed firing of Saskatchewan University Professor Robert Buckingham is rapidly gathering momentum, especially in the academic and educational circles.

In attempts to bring readers up to date here is Don Maroc’s original post followed by comments from a University of Saskatchewan Senator, an opinion piece from the Tyee’s Crawford Kilian, a career educator and finally a multi party Media Release.

Initially Cowichan Conversations ran this Don Maroc post regarding the shocking firing of University of Saskatchewan Professor Robert Buckingham.

Don Maroc

Taking over as provost of McMaster University, in Hamilton, Ontario, in 2007, Philadelphia born (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: The Truth About Ukraine-AMTV

Cowichan Conversations: The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Sets The Record Straight

Chief Justice Beverley McGlachlin

Does the government’s enemies list now include judges?

Faced with insinuations of improper conduct from the Prime Minister’s Office and reported widely in the press, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court sets the record straight in the press release below:


In response to recent media reports, the office of the Chief Justice of Canada, the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, P.C. is releasing the following statement.

At no time was there any communication between Chief Justice McLachlin and the government regarding any case before the courts. The facts are as follows:

On (Read more…)