Politics in BC
Some things just need to be said...
Monday, November 09, 2009
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Here is the media release from the Legal Services Society. They stress they are at arm's length from the government, an independent society mandated to provide legal aid to British Columbians. Trouble is they are embarking on further cutbacks.
The Legal Services Society is closing regional offices, replacing them with a local lawyer who will act as an agent. If you can't reach the Lawyer, you can always call the legal aid helpline and supposedly you will be put in touch with a lawyer at a convenient time. Perhaps that convenient time will be just before you are to head into court, five minutes will be ample for them to counsel you to plead guilty and take a light sentence so you don't inconvenience your lawyer who is far too busy with other clients, five minutes at a time.
Not only are offices and staff (some 58 staff) being closed and laid off, but the legal aid LAWLine that provided Civil law advice is being shut down, just after the Ides of March, 2010.
This is happening just as another province is introducing a new service to support middle income citizens. Manitoba sees that the poor need legal aid and the rich can right cheques for lawyers. Those in between need help. BC on the other hand says, "Stupid, hide your money or get rich."
If it were so simple.
I just hope the folks that vote in the riding listen to what she is not saying. It's the same message that Stephen Harper is giving us today.
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Just about everything you buy will go up by 7% in BC and 8% in Ontario.
See this CBC video report from the National.
"Yet our province's Conservative MPs have run for the hills on the HST, saying it wasn't their idea. The local Liberal MP has become suddenly opposed after having supported the budget, and after Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff committed to keeping the HST if he wins the next election." - Denise Savoie op-ed inTimes ColonistHarper will be bringing in legislation to allow the harmonization of the GST and PST sometime this fall or before March 2010. Liberal leader, Ignatieff has stated he would keep the tax change if he becomes Prime Minister. Layton, the federal NDP leader has stated he will vote against the new tax.
Check here for resources opposed to the new Tax.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Its a thriller that one day could become a TV movie. Imagine hush hush backroom deals in smoky strip lounges, political interference matching Watergate, and the public hanging of two political aids only to discover they were acting with the consent of Cabinet Ministers and maybe even the Premier.
That could be the story when its all said and done. Gary Mason has more on how Pat Bell, the Minister of Forests and Blair Lekstrom, Minister of Petroleum Resources may have more to say about what happened and their dealings with rival CN bidder OmniTrax.
Mason's line is here and be sure to check out TheLedgeTrials, Laila Yuile, The Gazetteer and Bill Tieleman blogs for more on BC Rail.
BC has one of the most well run liquor distribution systems in the world. The profits go to the government to assist in paying for health-care, educations, building new roads, fixing old ones, replacing schools with newer ones etc.
Its a darn good bargain for the people of BC. Alberta went the other way a decade or more ago. They decided to sell off government liquor stores. It was good at first for price watching public as prices for everything fell. That lasted all of 15 minutes. Today Alberta is littered with little corner liquor shops, selling some things as a loss leader, but largely charging the same prices as BC or Saskatchewan.
The Alberta experiment has failed. It has only hurt the people that work in the liquor stores. These people use to make a decent wage, have a pension and security. Today they make minimum wage, no pension and no security. The profit in privatizing liquor stores went to people that could buy the license. The savings that were heralded from the roof tops for consumers never happened.
Today the profit from liquor sales goes to the owner of the store. Like always, the little guy loses. The little guy pays the price. Now look at what beer costs you.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Where to get information on the HST Fight:
No BC HST
Online petitions opposed to the HST in BC
Sign them all!
BC NDP online petition against the HST
Stop the HST
BC ANTI HST Petition
BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association petition
Prince George-based petition started by City Councilor Brian Skakun
MLA Email Address List
|Abbotsford-Mission||HAWES, Hon. Randy |
|Abbotsford South|| van DONGEN, John |
|Abbotsford West|| de JONG, Hon. Michael |
|Alberni-Pacific Rim|| FRASER, Scott |
|Boundary-Similkameen||SLATER, John |
|Burnaby-Deer Lake||CORRIGAN, Kathy |
|Burnaby-Edmonds||CHOUHAN, Raj |
|Burnaby-Lougheed||BLOY, Harry |
|Burnaby North||LEE, Richard T. |
|Cariboo-Chilcotin||BARNETT, Donna |
|Cariboo North||SIMPSON, Bob |
|Chilliwack||LES, John |
|Chilliwack-Hope||PENNER, Hon. Barry |
|Columbia River-Revelstoke||MACDONALD, Norm |
|Comox Valley||McRAE, Don |
|Coquitlam-Burke Mountain||HORNE, Douglas |
|Coquitlam-Maillardville||THORNE, Diane |
|Cowichan Valley||ROUTLEY, Bill |
|Delta North|| GENTNER, Guy |
|Delta South||HUNTINGTON, Vicki|
|Esquimalt-Royal Roads||KARAGIANIS, Maurine |
|Fort Langley-Aldergrove||COLEMAN, Hon. Rich |
|Fraser-Nicola||LALI, Harry |
|Juan de Fuca||HORGAN, John |
|Kamloops-North Thompson||LAKE, Dr. Terry |
|Kamloops-South Thompson||KRUEGER, Hon. Kevin |
|Kelowna-Lake Country||LETNICK, Norm |
|Kelowna-Mission||THOMSON, Hon. Steve |
|Kootenay East||BENNETT, Hon. Bill |
|Kootenay West||CONROY, Katrine |
|Langley||POLAK, Hon. Mary |
|Maple Ridge-Mission||DALTON, Marc |
|Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows||SATHER, Michael |
|Nanaimo||KROG, Leonard |
|Nanaimo-North Cowichan||ROUTLEY, Doug |
|Nechako Lakes||RUSTAD, John |
|Nelson-Creston||MUNGALL, Michelle |
|New Westminster||BLACK, Dawn |
|North Coast||COONS, Gary |
|North Island||TREVENA, Claire |
|North Vancouver-Lonsdale||YAMAMOTO, Hon. Naomi |
|North Vancouver-Seymour||THORNTHWAITE, Jane |
|Oak Bay-Gordon Head||CHONG, Hon. Ida |
|Parksville-Qualicum||CANTELON, Ron |
|Peace River North||PIMM, Pat |
|Peace River South||LEKSTROM, Hon. Blair |
|Penticton||BARISOFF, Hon. Bill |
|Port Coquitlam||FARNWORTH, Mike |
|Port Moody-Coquitlam||BLACK, Hon. Iain |
|Powell River-Sunshine Coast||SIMONS, Nicholas |
|Prince George-Mackenzie||BELL, Hon. Pat |
|Prince George-Valemount||BOND, Hon. Shirley |
|Richmond Centre||HOWARD, Rob |
|Richmond East||REID, Linda |
|Richmond-Steveston||YAP, Hon. John |
|Saanich North and the Islands||COELL, Hon. Murray |
|Saanich South||POPHAM, Lana |
|Shuswap||ABBOTT, Hon. George |
|Skeena||AUSTIN, Robin |
|Stikine||DONALDSON, Doug |
|Surrey-Cloverdale||FALCON, Hon. Kevin |
|Surrey-Fleetwood||BRAR, Jagrup |
|Surrey-Green Timbers||HAMMELL, Sue |
|Surrey-Newton||BAINS, Harry |
|Surrey-Panorama||CADIEUX, Stephanie |
|Surrey-Tynehead||HAYER, Dave S. |
|Surrey-Whalley||RALSTON, Bruce |
|Surrey-White Rock||HOGG, Gordon |
|Vancouver-Fairview||MacDIARMID, Hon. Dr. Margaret |
|Vancouver-False Creek||McNEIL, Hon. Mary |
|Vancouver-Fraserview||HEED, Hon. Kash |
|Vancouver-Hastings|| SIMPSON, Shane |
|Vancouver-Kensington|| ELMORE, Mable |
|Vancouver-Kingsway|| DIX, Adrian |
|Vancouver-Langara||STILWELL, Hon. Dr. Moira |
|Vancouver-Mount Pleasant|| KWAN, Jenny |
|Vancouver-Point Grey|| CAMPBELL, Hon. Gordon |
|Vancouver-Quilchena|| HANSEN, Hon. Colin |
|Vancouver-West End||HERBERT, Spencer |
|Vernon-Monashee||FOSTER, Eric |
|Victoria-Beacon Hill||JAMES, Carole |
|Victoria-Swan Lake|| FLEMING, Rob |
|West Vancouver-Capilano|| SULTAN, Ralph |
|West Vancouver-Sea to Sky|| McINTYRE, Joan |
|Westside-Kelowna||STEWART, Hon. Ben|
The news is startling given the "tony" make up of the riding. People feel the Liberals and the Premier should have told them before the election they planned to implement the new 12% Harmonized Sales Tax (HST). In fact it would appear the Premier would be in the fight of his life if an election were held today. We know he would lose the province if there was a vote today, and its my bet he would go down big time in his own riding.
The poll was conducted for the BC Federation of Labour by Environics Research Group Ltd. See the full poll and questions asked here.
Monday, September 21, 2009
The BCCLA has uncovered plans to turn homeless shelters into jails and if they are right, BC just became a Police State.
Instead of building adequate shelters for the homeless, or better yet, building more affordable housing, providing a decent housing allowance, the BC government has come up with this hair brained idea. Under the guise of protecting the homeless from extreme weather, the government has come up with a means of getting the homeless off the streets during the Olympics.
A police officer and or a social worker will tell the homeless they must go to a shelter and if there is no room at the inn, they will provide you with a nice warm cell. That's right, they will hold you there until it is deemed safe outside for you to leave.
Lower mainland jails ought to be full for two weeks of the Olympics. No need to show the world our ugly underbelly now is there...
The Liberals put out a press release on Friday, Public Eye has it on their website, that goes on as to what a "bad" Premier Bill VanderZalm was.
As Vander Zalm told Public Eye, "I guess when you can't win the argument (that) the HST is the wrong-way to go, that it's a bad thing you begin attacking and marginalizing and discrediting. And that's what they're trying to do. And, obviously, they're selectively picking things."
Its a common tactic used by those in indefensible positions, try to turn the discussion to grounds you can win on, or discredit the messenger(s). The BC Liberals must have known how much opposition they would face with this decision. That is clearly why they did not announce this in the run up to the last election. Clearly they have decided to hunker down and ride this storm out, hoping to see the storm through.
So when you have nothing to use to protect yourself, you try to discredit those speaking against your position.
Look at this line, usually used to attack those reckless freespending socialists...
As Premier, Vander Zalm introduced or increased over a dozen taxes in nearly every budget that punished families and small businesses - including introducing the Property Transfer Tax and increasing the Small Business Tax to the highest level ever. - BC Liberal Press Release Friday, September 18, 2009 (from Public Eye)
I can't recall another time when Gordon Campbell or any of the current BC Liberals have ever attributed anyone other than the NDP with having raised taxes higher than you can reach! Carole James and the NDP better tuck that quote away for use later on.
Surely the signs of a worried Liberal government. If you live in the South Cariboo, election day squeaker, Donna Barnett says she will listen to constituents, however she supports the new HST. You might ask why she would be so fast off the mark.
I suspect it could have something to do with who benefits if the HST becomes law. The Forest and Mining sectors look to reap 140 million and 80 million respectively. Needless to say these industries support the HST and contributed a great deal to Barnett's election campaign in May of this year.
From Elections BC, Barnett's Donation listBarnett's campaign donations list several key individual donations that come from those working for or are owners of forest companies. With that kind of investment in Donna Barnett, I dare say they will see a big return should Barnett support the HST in the Legislature.
$4,648.71 - West Fraser Timber, Imperial Metals - $1,500, Taseko Mines - $2,000. In fact Barnett received $41,758.71 from corporate donors.
The HST issue is dead in Ontario but something of a different story in BC. Read the link below for a good description of the lay of the land...
"I have two words for Gordon Campbell and Colin Hansen: Be afraid.
That’s right. You read that right.
Be very afraid men, because in my opinion, the prospect of the HST is the proverbial straw that broke the camels back, and as everyone knows… camels have loooong memories – as do the people of British Columbia.You have both earned the contempt of a good majority in this province, and among them are the very people who voted you in last fall -who, in my experience yesterday, are not afraid to loudly voice their disappointment. I personally spoke to hundreds of people prior to the rally and each one had the same things to say: NO HST and Enough of Gordon Campbell." - laila yuile's blog
What the heck is going on in BC. Premier Gordon Campbell has pulled the wool over the eyes of the media and the public for eight plus years now.
Lets look at his record so far. He has run the largest three and by the time he is done, four deficits in BC history. He has accomplished this despite coming to office in 2001 with a one billion dollar surplus. Campbell talked about a structural deficit that lead to the huge deficit in 2002. What he did not mention was his move to slash taxes by very large numbers, to the extent that it crippled the government's ability to deliver on services to people, to maintain health-care and education funding.
This manufactured circumstance of lower revenues lead to the Campbell government claiming they had to reign in health care costs. He did this by gutting health care workers rights, reducing wages and benefits by 40 to 50 percent. It was one of the most aggressive attacks on workers benefits in Canadian history.
Cutting health care was not enough with shrinking revenues to balance the budget. Campbell had promised in the election not to raise tuition fees. He kept the promise for one year. The fees have risen every year since. BC went from having the second lowest tuition and post secondary fees in Canada to rivaling those in Alberta, Canada's highest cost education.
Further measures by the Campbell Government like cuts to the Corporate capital tax put another big hole on the revenue side of the ledger. This was a tax that applied to paid up capital in the province and was intended to address the companies that did big business in BC but had corporate head quarters else where. In the case of the banks, BC received nothing in income tax as they are all headquartered in Toronto. Ontario gained the income tax for banks on business done in all the other provinces, including BC.
So Campbell managed in 2001 to lay the ground work of undermining the government's ability to fund health-care, education and other government services. This is the first step often employed by right wing governments in the USA and now Canada, to remove government's ability to support improvements to health-care and education.
Premier Dave Barrett was slaughtered in the 1975 election in part due to the Social Credit promise to eliminate the Capital tax. The tax survived and has been place at various levels since 1975, with governments of all stripes relying on it to support government services.
If government can't support these issues then you pass it onto the individual. The liberals have systematically removed procedures from coverage on MSP. They have drastically reduced the financial support for seniors drug plans and for others.
MSP premiums are going up 6% this year. That's faster than US Health care cost increases! In future posts I will look at each of these items and add more with respect to taxation, or the lack of taxation and how the government agenda is one to privatize BC's public services like BC Hydro, BC Ferries, and the payoff of a big time liberal contributor with the sale of BC rail.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
So much for my favourite potato chip, I guess I'll have to Lay off my Old Dutch for awhile. What's crazy about all this is Old Dutch is doing well during this recession.
Help out by picking up a bag of other brands and be sure to tell the cashier, (nicely) that you won't be buying Old Dutch until they start treating their workers properly.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Prime Minster Mulroney has appointed B-C Court of Appeal Justice Robert Bauman as the new Chief Justice of the B-C Supreme Court. Bauman replaces Donald Brenner who resigned earlier this year.
Sent at 7:45am
That was the breaking news I just received for CKNW folks. Did we even have email when Brian Mulroney was Prime Minister? Its likely the first time I ever thought having Mulroney as Prime Minister was a good thing. It would certainly be better than the current one, Right?
Looks like it was a mistake after all...
hide details 10:54 (28 minutes ago)
CKNW Breaking News...
Prime Minister Harper has appointed BC Court of Appeal Justice Robert Bauman as the new Chief Justice of the BC Supreme Court. He replaces Donald Brenner who retired from the court last week.
Sent at 7:50am