Some things just need to be said...
Monday, January 31, 2005
I am all for this increased death benefit for the familes of American soldiers. These families have payed a price for American Foreign Policy. The best deal and the right thing would be to get them out of Iraq!
As of Monday, 1,415 Americans had died in the Iraq war, according to the Pentagon's count, and 156 had died in Afghanistan and other locations deemed part of the war on terrorism.
See Yahoo News: Pentagon Would Raise Military Death Pay
Yes its now official, promises made by politicians do not have to be kept. Mr. Justice Paul Rouleau in Ontario said,
"our system of government would be rendered dysfunctional. This would hinder, if not paralyze, the parliamentary system."We know all about that under the Gordon Campbell Liberals.
Campbell, book him! (The Vancouver Scrum)
From the Globe and Mail Toronto "It's official: Politicians can break campaign promises with impunity."
An Ontario Superior Court judge has absolved Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty of breaking an elaborately signed contract promising not to raise or create new taxes, saying anyone who believes a campaign promise is naive about the democratic system. Read more.
Joy MacPhail and Shane Simpson (Vancouver Sun)
Shane Simpson a well known local city planner will be the NDP candidate. Simpson won on the second ballot.
Joy spoke at the nomination meeting where she told Gordon Campbell every time he lies in the house she and the NDP will call it what it is, a lie. Shapes up to be a very busy and exciting round in the legislature in BC.
Saturday, January 29, 2005
Yes our westend party boy is beaming over the new Safe Streets Act proclaimed a couple of days ago by the Campbell Liberals as panhandlers cold be sent to jail. Th AG seems to confirm this in today's Vancouver Sun.
Lorne Mayencourt doesn't get it, of course he is the guy that brought the legislation forward and the Liberals changed it a little and passed this unneeded law. Everything the law allows the police to do, was already available to police. The law was brought in to help Lorne in his re-election efforts, efforts that are looking dimmer now that City Counselor and former MLA Tim Stevenson is running against him.
It was another case of grandstanding by Mayencourt, to look like he is addressing an issue that has ticked off some snotty condo owners in a big way. The number of people panhandling has increased substantially in the last two years, largely attributed to government cut backs to a broad range of programs and supports in the community.
Mayencourt is being pressured by his rich condo buddies because fines were introduced and no jail time under the new Act. "People can be detained for not paying fines-- I'll make sure the Attorney-General clarifies this," Mayencourt told CKNW. Mayencourt is so bent on looking like he is addressing a problem he has lost sight of the problem. Fines given to street kids or any citizen for that matter will not lead to jail.
The fine becomes a debt, and a debt will not put you in jail, we did away with debtor prison many decades ago. Lucky for Mayencourt we did. Mayencourt declared bankruptcy some years ago. He promised to repay the debt if he became the MLA. Still waiting for an announcement on his progress to date.
Still you have to wonder about an MLA that fails to look at why someone panhandles, why there are double the people on the streets in two years? Lets put them jail he says. Great grandstanding but disingenuis on his and the AG's part to suggest a pandhandler will end up in jail for pandhandling.
Friday, January 28, 2005
The Federal Conservative party having lost the name of Progressive when they joined in a political same-sect marriage with the Alliance knew they would have some troubles down the road. The troubles are here and it appears they will get worse not better.
Harper's effort to stop same-sex marriage is foolish. Canada has many more issues to address, issues that are in dire need of attention and the Conservatives have decided too "take advantage" of a potential wedge issue. Between Christians and secular, between immigrants and non-immigrants, and something not reported on todate, between younger and older immigrant populations.
As the old saying goes, Harper has signed a pact with the devil. He has signed on and accepted to efforts and financial support from the Evangelical or born-again movement. A movement largely led by American evangelists, including the ever powerful James Dobson. Dobson runs Focus on the Family and many spin off action committee and research organisations. All designed to support the efforts of the parent organisation.
Now some of you will wonder about the deal with the devil. Isn't he working with Christians? He is and the deal with the devil refers to the backlash this deal will have on the Conservative Party. No longer Progressive, (many of us predicted this) they have lost their chance to govern.
They sold that chance at power for a moment in the sun. By alligning the Conservative party with the Christian right, Harper has proven he can not be trusted as Prime Minister in a secular country. He now is not looked at as a Guy knows a lot of bigot, he is seen as one, when he should be rising above, telling his supporters on the christian right, he must stand up for the charter.
Abortion is the next issue Harper will have to fend off and he has just written Paul Martin's election strategy. Martin's backroom boys and girls must be dancing and swigging champagne. Martin, the Protector of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Harper the Dark Knight has shown he cannot seperate religion from government. In The United States today, Harper would be elected. In Canada, Harper has lost the fight before it really began.
Look for the Conservative Congress in Montreal this March to be a bloodbath. Old time progressive conservatives will be saying I told you so , and by the way, we want to pass policy protecting a woman's right to choose, a commitment not to revisit same-sex marriage and the list will be longer.
Harper will not be Conservative leader, not because Canadians have lost faith, though they have, but because the same-sect group he leads really wasn't so much the same.
The last laugh belongs to three who were left behind or left. David Orchard, The Rt. Honourable Joe Clark and Scott Brison.
Politicians rarely make New Year's resolutions--they are already in enough trouble from breaking their election-campaign promises.
Premier Gordon Campbell is no exception. In fact, some might ask if the B.C. Liberals were going for a record this term with both the number and the significance of the promises they have broken.So if you have already violated those heartfelt December 31 resolutions to yourself and your loved ones, don't feel bad: you could have a career as a politician that can only be described as "promising!" See the rest at the Straight!
Thursday, January 27, 2005
Premier Campbell has been saying that Prem Vinning never really started work for the government. Joy MacPhail contends Vinning was working since at least Monday of this week. It would seem a bit odd that Vinning would be at the Provincial Congress all day Monday with Campbell and not be on the payroll.
Adding some doubt to the Premier's line that Peter, I mean Prem never started work was a comment in the bottom of a CBC Story today. The last paragraph reads like this...
"Within hours, officials from the premier's office said Vinning had "withdrawn"from his new job. They added that the premier never knew about the ruse."
I suppose the Liberals could throw away the OIC used to hire him if they had not processed it and a guy that owned JackPine in Williams Lake and a fleet of trucks according to his phone call to the TV Talk show, won't miss the salary, or was he lying about the trucking company as well.
"We will be investing in our children through education and child care initiatives," he said. "We'll be investing in the health care system."
At the same meeting, the government announced it will increase the funding of transition houses for victims of domestic violence.
Finance Minister, Colin Hansen
Liberals investing in women and child care programs, what a conversion on the road to Damascus or there is an election soon?
Another guy fired, two former assistants face six charges each.
It just doesn't stop. First Prem Vinning is fired by the the Premier today and news that two others fired by the Premier are going to court asap.
Former finance minister Gary Collins top political appointee, David Basi, will face six charges, including breach of trust, fraud and influence peddling.
Like Basi, Collins no longer works for the government. He resigned late last year to take a job where there was harmony, at least in the name.
Bob Virk was the ministerial assistant to now former transportation minister Judith Reid, six charges including breach of trust, fraud and influence peddling. Reid resigned from cabinet in early 2004 as she had decided not to run again.
Remember the dramatic raid on the legislature over the Christmas holidays (Decemeber 2003).
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
The story made news today when Sean Holman, Editor of Public Eye Online wrote "Prem Vinning, a veteran Indo-Canadian political organizer, has been hired as the director of Asia-Pacific trade and economic development in the premier's office."
Seems Prem calls himself Peter when pretending not be working for the Premier. He called a weekend TV talk show and asked the Premier a soft question (likely a prearranged question). He admitted that today to Public Eye online. Prem was fired later in the day.
Did the Premier know his director of Asia Pacific Trade, Prem Vinning, was going to be asking a question? The Premier denied today that he knew it was Prem on the phone. The Premier's Office official line is "it was unaware the caller, who called himself Peter, was actually Vinning."
We have also learned tonight that Joy MacPhail, leader of the opposition confronted Vinning at a provincial gathering of MP's MLA's and Municipal reps in Vancouver on Monday and asked him about the deception. Macphail says Vinning denied it was him when she put it to him on Monday. "Mr. Vinning has a very distinctive voice." added MacPhail.
That is where we come back to, the Premier. The Premier has known Mr. Vinning for many years now, has worked with him with the Indo Canadian community a great deal. For Premier Campbell to say he did not know it was Vinning is darn close to being a deliberate out right lie.
Admit he knew and then get blasted or pretend he didn't know it was Prem. The Premier is caught between a Prem and Peter.
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
Gordon Campbell used to howl at the nearest microphone when in opposition, on Government's spending on advertising. He called it partisan and he would have none of it. Waste of tax dollars he ranted.
The Liberals were especially critical about government advertising on health issues. "The money should have beeen spent on health care" Liberals shouted. So if elected he promised not to do it.
Well, guess what, Campbell's Liberals spent millions on health care ads, more on "Achieve BC" then millions more this winter telling us BC is the best place on earth. Below is an excerpt from the Oak Bay news...
Truth in advertising? Hmmm.
And, to be fair, critics have reason to be skeptical. Remember, Campbell also vowed during the last election campaign to not follow in the footsteps of the previous NDP administration by spending wads of taxpayer cash on government propaganda between elections.Alas, the Liberals have indeed spent millions on advertising campaigns that bear a remarkable resemblance to the NDP ads that had the Grits up in arms last decade.
These include the recent "B.C. is the greatest place to live" series, along with campaigns last year espousing the success of Liberal health care initiatives.NDP leader Carole James said she will be watching carefully to ensure the Liberals stick to their promise. But she doesn't hold out much hope, based on what she says are a litany of broken promises by Campbell's crew.The public has a role to play in this.
Watch your TV, especially during the evening news, when viewership numbers are high. Listen carefully to your radio. And scour your newspapers.- from Oak Bay News
Monday, January 24, 2005
Update: March 10, 2005 - The Duct Tape is Off
NDP leader Jack Layton had the best quip of the 2004 federal election campaign when he said "Every conservative candidate is now wearing a strip of duct tape across their month, labelled do not open until June 29th."Stephen Harper has been busy trying to reapply that duct tape ever since the election going so far as to require all his MPs to clear their same sex marriage comments with his office. It appears the tape isn't sticking too well anymore.
Update: February 27, 2005 - Harper to lead "The Hidden Agenda Party"
Harper is going to face some angry people on both sides of the issue in Montreal at the convention. He may succeed there, succeeding in a general election on the slogan, "Vote for us, The Hidden Agenda Party" will prove difficult if not impossible.
Same-sex marriage debate reveals Harper out of touch with Canadians
Harper had it all going for him. He convinced the Alliance to join with the Progressive Conservatives. Along the way he also had to assure the PC's that he was a moderate, that the old Reform positions on equality were not about to take over in this new era of solidarity among Conservatives.
Harper needed this same-thought marriage to unite the conservative movement long since fractured with the creation of Reform. Harper succeeded having assuring words for the nervous new partner, that pro lifers and anti-gay elements would be held in check.
It was essential for this new party to appear fiscally conservative and socially progressive to establish a meaningful base in Ontario, for without it they could not hope to form a government in Canada.
As has been the case for every Reform or Canadian Alliance leader heading into a general election, they try to muzzle the the social and or religious conservatives, to keep them quiet. It works with some, yet there is always one or more that speaks up and as they do, the election is lost.
They must know the views being expressed by those in their party do not resonate with the majority of Canadians. Still they plod along, giving ammunition to their political opponents, no doubt thrilled to turn attention from their own failings to "Protect the Charter".
With the debate on same-sex marriage heating up, Bishops and Primate's speaking of using coercive power of the state to proscribe or curtail same-sex marriage, Conservative MP's are echoing the same sentiments.
To be fair to Harper, he is not the only one to have such MP's. The Liberals have a good number themselves and even the NDP have one that says she will vote against same-sex marriage.
Harper has decided to side with those opposed to same-sex marriage clouding it with his support for gays and lesbians to receive all the rights of marriage, just not the name. It rings hollow when you hear him saying these things. I get a bad feeling in my stomach.
That bad feeling is enough for many Canadians who in recent polls have said they support a law providing for same-sex marriage. The only group of Canadians supporting Mr. Harper's position are those over 60. A full 57% of Canadians support the same-sex marriage law.
The Reform and it's successor have always campaigned on voting on issues as their constituents want them too. How BC members of Harper's party, especially those representing urban BC ridings can now vote against same sex marriage in a province that has 60% support for it is very telling.
That alone will see this new less progressive Conservative party banish itself to being a western fringe voice, and Harper destined to follow its former leaders, Preston Manning and Stockwell Day.
Others in the former Progressive Conservative party saw this happening, they were not fooled by the new group. Joe Clark for one, told us all that a leopard can not change its spots.
The last leader of the Progressive Conservatives must be furious. He nor were any Conservatives MP's were consulted on the current ad campaign his party is running against same-sex marriage.
Two Conservatives have said they will vote for same-sex marriage, and I and others know of a few more who have indicated they may do the same. Belinda Stronach and James Moore will support the legislation. Both are from urban ridings. Both are socially progressive, fiscally conservative and would have been right at home in the PC's.
It is same-sex marriage that has brought to light the fact the Conservatives have not changed from previous days. A doubt that many Canadians feel in their gut. A feeling that they were right to deny Harper the keys to 24 Sussex Drive. That he must never get near the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
What will the Harper Conservatives go after next? Abortion rights, faster privatisation of healthcare, missile defense partnership with the United States, right to work legislation, we don't know.
Harper could have listened to Canadians, could have shown he was worthy of being entrusted with the Charter, instead he has chosen the vision shared by fewer Canadians with each passing day and election. He has demonstrated he cannot be trusted. Harper has created his own undoing. He is unplugged.
Non-Profit PEJ.org Zips Towards 60,000 Visitors In January
PEJ News: Victoria, Canada-- The newly incorporated Prometheus Institute announced today that it expects monthly visitors at PEJ.org to surpass 50,000 today or tomorrow, averaging over 700 hits per hour, and approximately 60,000 visitors before the month is over— a 50% growth in traffic over last month
Saturday, January 22, 2005
I have a different set than Gordo, Mayencourt and Hansen. (Mayencourt doesn't really have any, he just says yes to what Gordo does).
The NeoCons in Victoria like to think of the 3 P's as Public, Private Partnership. That deal is really Public Pay = Private Profit like BC Rail.
My 3 P's are People, Planet and Profit.
Thursday, January 20, 2005
Lets look at some history:
Promise: It was discovered Lorne had gone bankrupt - That can happen to the best of us, still he promised to pay back money if elected.
To date: Did he ever pay up? We don't know.
Mayencourt chooses interesting buddies
Promise: He will stand up for GLBT issues in caucus and the legislature.
To Date: Has rarely ever spoken in the legislature on GLBT issues. The one opportunity he had in caucus we know of was when BC's most active homophobe, Mary Polak was introduced as a candidate, he stayed while out gay MLA Ted Nebbling left the room calling Mayencourt a hypocrite.
Promise: PWA monthly health benefit would not be cut.
To date: Health benefit was cut from $400.00 to $225.00
Watch for future updates of just how the Westend's Partyboy has failed to live up to the lowest expectations possible for a government MLA.
Monday, January 17, 2005
“I see a bright future for the coal industry in the province, and we want to work closely with those that are in the industry so that it can continue to expand.”
In January 2005 - We learn the CN will receive up to $45 million annually from the shipping of coal. Not only did the BC Liberals sell BC Rail for next to nothing, they used deflated numbers for the value of coal in the sale.
Kevin Falcon the Minister of ("Give Away BC") Minister of Transportation told CP coal revenues were not included in negotiations because the coal industry was seeing hard times at that point, and no shipping deals were in place when the negotiations took place.
“The coal industry was virtually dead,” he said. “People generally don't pay for what ifs or they don't pay for what we might hope will happen.”
The government did forecast an upturn in the coal industry’s fortunes months before the deal was finalized—a fact Falcon acknowledged. His cabinet colleague Richard Neufeld, Minister of Mining, had forcasted this much earlier. Were the Liberals not listening, or were they deliberatly devaluing BC Rail?
Another promise broken, another gift to big business, reported in Terminial City January 13, 2005.
The unprecedented raid on the BC Legislature a year ago, December 28, 2003, has seen some interesting fallout leading to some very interesting questions being asked. Leo Knight at Primetime Crime.com asks about David Basi and Bob Virk,
"Why were they not vetted prior to their appointment?" The obvious answer is political expediency. Basi was able to deliver "bums in the seats." Both parties needed inroads, politically, into the Indo community. There is another shoe to drop in this matter. "
We learn now that Basi was rejected at least once before for employment by the Liberals after reference checks and other due diligence led to a decision not to hire him in 1996, Bill Tielemen reports in The Straight.
Further Basi was the only Ministerial Assistant not hired by Martyn Brown, the Premier's number one political aide. Basi was hired directly by former Finance Minister, Gary Collins.
As to the other shoe to drop, why have all three Cabinet Ministers directly affected by the raid resigned from cabinet. Clark resigned in September, Collins in December and Reid, Minister of Transportation stepped down from Cabinet as she had decided not to run again.
All three have cited personal reasons and on the face of it one might accept that, except for the fact each was involved in the BC Rail scandal. Coincidence? More questions, more scandal.
CBC News Indepth: BC Raids
The Straight Basi Hirings, Firings Intrigue
Public Eye Online: Unfinished Tales
Friday, January 14, 2005
Andrew Murie speaking to The Tyee.ca recalls, "The month after Gordon Campbell tearfully apologized to the public for his drunk driving arrest in Hawaii, he met with leaders of Mother's Against Drunk Driving and issued a bold promise. Raising in his hand a copy of MADD's province-by-province report card, the Premier vowed his government would become one of Canada's leaders in toughening impaired driving laws.
I promise ...
That's the way Andrew Murie, CEO of MADD Canada remembers the meeting, which included B.C.'s five MADD chapter heads. But on the second anniversary of Campbell's apologetic press conference, Murie says the premier's promised leadership failed to materialize. Instead, Murie told The Tyee,
"Campbell has "shied away" and "chosen not to be involved" in drunk driving reforms." Andrew Murie, CEO, Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
Another broken Promise - see The Tyee for the rest of the story. The Tyee also has The Premier's Tawdry Escape Act -Remembering the day Gordon Campbell spun his DUI, and the news media went dizzy.
At haveyouhadenoughyet he says, "Pledges by Gordo to improve Legislation against drinking and driving turn out, amazingly enough, more promises to be broken. Like so many other people in the province, the leaders of MADD, having almost certainly voted Liberal in that media-generated tidal wave of political mass hysteria peaking around 2001, couldn't bring themselves to reject a second-generation alcoholic they voted for, who downed two and a half bottles of wine before hitting the road." read more ...
MADD Chapters In BC ...
Cranbrook & District
Bob Rorison, Interim President
Upper Fraser Valley
Victoria and Area
Here's what I found ...
Searched for: policy
Results found: 0
Your query returned no results.
"0" that's what turns up. That is sounding like a lot of the promises in the ...
New Era for BC.
BC's Solicitor General, Rich Coleman, a former RCMP member said it was bad judgement but not unlike what many have done.
Rich Coleman, "It's not that big a deal."
I bet he was choking on the words he spoke in order to save the Premier.
That could be the only reason a man who has spent years stopping drinking drivers could have said what he did.
The New Era for BC has been a gigantic error for the heartlands. In fact it has been an error for all of BC. I hope to go over some of the promises made by Gordon Campbell and his BC Liberals.
BC Rail, Child Protection, better health care, respect contracts, lower taxes, better forest management, environment would be green and blue, life would be better after his first term, well its not.
The Premier may want to forget what he promised but I hope this will help remind him and a few of you as well!
In the Heartlands