Corky Evans, NDP MLA for Nelson Creston

The recent announcement and confirmation of the decision by Corky Evans not to run for provincial re-election in BC, and the Campbell governments arrogant decision to use closure on some (8) of the most important Bills this session which affect our everyday life, has prompted me to post this quote.

Corky Evans, NDP MLA for Nelson Creston: "You folks at home are being poorly served. You cannot hear the for-and-against sides because there's no 'for' side. When that happens in life, when you're offered two choices and you don't get to hear one of them, we could be forgiven — citizens could be forgiven — for thinking there might be a trick somewhere. What if one side of the debate has nothing to say and will simply pass it by virtue of a majority — a majority of silence? A majority of silence."

I'm sure we will miss this most colorful woodsman from the Kootneys via the USA. Not only has he been able to serve his constituents well but he has taken on some more diverse projects as well.

I wish you well Corky, but I have a question. Although we have politicians in the legislature that also don't always follow the pary line; Who could we get to fill your shoes?


Just What the Hell is Going on with this Government

The utter arrogance of a government elected to serve the people in not even listening to those peoples' concerns regarding what I allege is nothing but a photo-op grabbing political minded policy that does nothing to penalize huge earth polluting businesses. The only people that this benefits is big business. They get millions in credits to keep doing what they are doing while we pay at the pumps. There are a lot of retirees in this province Mr. Campbell, that are on fixed incomes and they absolutely cannot afford to bail out businesses that are poluting this planet. And then to have Ms Taylor do the dirty work for the premier while he gets ready to golf with his buddies is just plain sick.

I beleive sir that you have just put the final nail in your own political coffin.

B.C. mayor quashes carbon-tax protest plan

From Monday's Globe and Mail

May 25, 2008 at 9:18 PM EDT

VANCOUVER — A "blunt" telephone conversation with B.C. Finance Minister Carole Taylor has cooled plans by a northern B.C. mayor to launch a revolt over the groundbreaking carbon tax.

Scott Nelson, mayor of Williams Lake, was planning to urge his council to back a motion this week that would have seen the municipality refuse to pay the carbon tax on its municipal fuel bills in order to highlight concerns that the tax is unfair to northerners, and not revenue-neutral for municipalities.

Williams Lake is estimating it will pay $75,000 a year in extra costs related to the carbon tax.

But Mr. Nelson said he is backing down after a 25-minute chat with Ms. Taylor in which it appears she made it clear the tax was going ahead without concessions for northerners.

"She was pretty blunt, pretty to the point. They're moving ahead," Mr. Nelson said in an interview.

He may be backing down, but the leader in the community of about 12,000 people did not sound happy about the situation.

"[They] recognize there may be potential discrepancies across the province, but they want to move forward with it," he said.

"They're moving ahead regardless of any outcries from any municipalities, any regional districts, any hospital boards, any taxpayers."

He said there appears to be no way to move Victoria. "If the door is partly cracked, you can tend to put your foot through a little bit," he said.

"[This] door is so tight. And the shackles … they have thrown the keys away and said, 'We're moving forward.' "


The tax is to be revenue-neutral, which means it will be returned to British Columbians through tax breaks. There is also to be a $100-per-adult Climate Action Credit to offset its impact.

Some municipalities say the revenue-neutral promise won't work for local governments. Northerners have also said the tax is unfair because they consume more fuel than those in the south due to a colder climate, fewer public-transit options and the need to drive more.


Ms. Taylor declined to get into details about what she told Mr. Nelson, who has described himself as an enthusiastic supporter of Premier Gordon Campbell and the Liberal government, and also supportive of dealing with climate change, but wary about the fine points of the carbon tax.

But she noted the Liberal government is committed to offering municipalities funds to help them meet the costs of changing to reduce their demand for energy thus mitigating carbon-tax bills.

"From the government's point of view, we have set out an agenda that says we are going to reduce carbon emissions by a third by 2020, and one tool that we have is to price carbon, and it will be brought in on all carbon-emitting fuels in the province, and there won't be any exemptions," she said.

"The Premier has made that quite clear."

Ms. Taylor said her door is open for conversations with any mayors on the issue.

Mr. Nelson was proposing to divert funds for carbon-tax payment into a savings account until the province could prove the tax was revenue-neutral – an idea that won some support elsewhere in the north.

Seven resolutions raising concerns about the tax were melded into one package resolution and moved with massive support at this month's meeting in Prince George of the North Central Municipal Association, representing about 40 northern municipalities.

Mr. Campbell gave a keynote speech at the gathering, but made no reference to the resolutions that came a day before his appearance.

Mr. Nelson called the Premier's omission "extraordinarily bold" and "brazen."

"The most contentious issue in the north and it wasn't even spoken about in his speech."

Mr. Nelson said it did not appear the NCMA resolutions caught government attention, but his proposed protest did.

Some of his allies were caught off-guard. Nate Bello, the mayor of Quesnel, had offered initial support for Mr. Nelson's protest, but waited for written details he could discuss with his own council.

Jon Wolbers, a Williams Lake councillor who is also chairman of the Cariboo Regional District representing four regional communities, was also ready to back Mr. Nelson.

"I thought it was a pretty good idea. I didn't realize he had backed down," he said. "The bottom line is still that it's not a neutral tax. It's still a cause for concern."

Now I'm wondering either what did they have against the mayor or what was promised for him to back down? Were there threats?


Raw Log Exports and the "Roundtable"

Ben Meisner gets it right in his article in Opinion 250. If this government is serious about this "Roundtable" and not just building smoke and mirrors they might do well to read Bens' article.

By Ben Meisner
Wednesday, May 21, 2008 03:45 AM

If the Forestry Round Table hopes to achieve its goal, the members might want to take a walk about in Mackenzie this Friday when then group meets there.

If ever there is a case to be made of a community hard hit which has stood up and taken its lumps, it is Mackenzie.
You don’t hear mumbling and groaning from Mackenzie, just an effort to get through the mess and get on with life.
So what are we, as a province, doing to support them in their efforts?

The province has primed the pump with $2 million but that doesn’t go far enough in ensuring that the workers, those people who make that town, get the benefit.
That should be the mandate of the Forestry round table, to make absolutely certain that forest tenure is handed out in a means that those who take the risk of living in a small community, those who go north, and those who work in the bush are the recipients of the benefits of a Crown resource.

The suggestion by the B.C. Chamber of Commerce and indeed the Premier of the Province last week in an interview with Opinion250, that exporting logs has some merit is just hog wash.
It is a policy or an idea put together by people who have little idea of what makes this province go, to politicians influenced by mega corporations who stand to benefit if the policy is adopted.

The argument that "at least some people are working"namely those who harvest the logs and those who get them to the rail terminal for shipment to Asia, shows a complete lack of forestry knowledge.
Those who make the statements should know, but don’t, that harvesting of logs has become high tech. Gone are the days when it took a crew to cut, buck and, haul the logs. That can be accomplished with a small group of workers.
Now what happens after? Well let’s see, you haul the logs to the nearest container terminal, what a convenience, we have one in Prince George and also Prince Rupert and the ability to load logs along the way.
We have a railway that would be only too happy to haul logs in containers given that the back haul for the container ships has been low to nonexistent, making for a brand new bit of business.
We can then ship those logs to China to be milled with cheap labor at a facility owned by, again, a large Canadian company operating off shore, and then shipped back into Canada and the US, without any fear of a countervailing duty.
It's a win, win for the major companies, but for the guys and gals in Mackenzie and Ft St James it is the end of the line.
If the Forestry Round Table is interested in protecting our Crown resource, a resource that supposedly everyone in the province owns, they had better start off by putting raw log exports to bed.

I’m Meisner and that’s one man’s opinion.
And I'm Gary E and I concur.


The arrogance just keeps getting worse

What’s Wrong With Bill 42?
Bill 42, the Election Amendment Act, places extreme limits on public interest advertising and communication in B.C. from December of this year until the May, 2009 provincial election.

How does Bill 42 limit free speech?
Bill 42 changes the definition of third party advertising to include “an advertising message that promotes or opposes, directly or indirectly, a registered political party… including an advertising message that takes a position on an issue with which a registered political party or candidate is associated.” Read the full text here.

And Bill 42 limits any spending on public interest communication for a full five months before the election. Public advocacy organizations, environmental groups, unions and others will have their ability to print materials or buy advertising limited to $3,000 in a riding or $150,000 in total from December of this year to after May, 2009.

$150,000 seems like a lot of money, isn’t that enough?
The reality is, advocacy organizations, whether they’re speaking in the interests of a resource industry or public education are part of a democracy and they spend money to inform the public about their issues.

For example one 30-second ad on prime time TV can cost $14,000. Under these rules, that’s only one minute per month to talk about the importance of education or public health care or climate change to future generations.

Aren’t spending limits good for democracy?
Bill 42 actually places new limits on democratic participation.

Bill 42 DOES NOT restrict political party donations.

Bill 42 INCREASES political parties’ campaign spending limits to an amount that can only be reached by the BC Liberal Party, with the support of corporate donations.

And Bill 42 places new limits on ID requirements for voter registration that disadvantage low income and homeless people in our communities.

Read more about Bill 42 on The Tyee.
Find out what others are saying about Bill 42.
Gordon Campbell wants you to just shut up. Will you?


A Little Bit of Humour for British Columbians

Subject: History Lesson


Railroad tracks. This is fascinating.

Be sure to read the final paragraph; your understanding of it will depend on the earlier part of the content.

The US standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That's an exceedingly odd number.

Why was that gauge used? Because that's the way they built them in England, and English expatriates built the US railroads.

Why did the English build them like that? Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that's the gauge they used.

Why did 'they' use that gauge then? Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.

Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing? Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of the old, long distance roads in England, because that's the spacing of the wheel ruts.

So who built those old rutted roads? Imperial Rome built the first long distance roads in Europe (and England) for their legions. The roads have been used ever since.

And the ruts in the roads? Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels. Since the chariots were made for Imperial Rome, they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing. Therefore the United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specifications for an Imperial Roman war chariot. Bureaucracies live forever.

So the next time you are handed a Specification/Procedure/Process and wonder 'What horse's ass came up with it?' you may be exactly right. Imperial Roman army chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the rear ends of two war horses. (Two horses' asses.) Now, the twist to the story:

When you see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are solid rocket boosters, or SRB's. The SRB's are made by Thiokol at their factory in Utah. The engineers who designed the SRB's would have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRB's had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site. The railroad line from the factory happens to run through a tunnel in the mountains, and the SRB's had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track, as you now know, is about as wide as two horses' behinds.

So, a major Space Shuttle design feature of what is arguably the world's most advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a horse's ass. And you thought being a horse's ass wasn't important? Ancient horse's asses control almost everything... and-----

CURRENT Horses Asses are controlling everything else!!


The Other Side of the Mountain

And a mountain it is. Thousands upon thousands of pages of communications. Deals going South. Government employees charged with accepting bribes (but strangely, people offering the bribes not being charged [and that too is a crime under the Criminal Code of Canada]). A premier who tells us one thing and then does the exact opposite. That same premier saying that his government is not interfering in the biggest court case in the history of this province, when sworn affidavits apparently show us otherwise. Lackeys and former lackeys still defending the man when the evidence coming out shows otherwise. And a former (possibly still) insider who in my opinion thinks he is above the law. And appears not to care what he does because he has a different spin for everything. Apparently thinking he is covered in teflon.

And court dockets that don't always show the people what is going on that day in court. As well, court dates being changed without notice.

I was recently very disturbed over developements in the BC Rail Corruption Trial Hearings so I wrote an e-mail to some people and received a reply. This reply was so informative that I wrote back and asked for permission to publish it either in part or in full. That permission has been denied and nothing will be posted on that matter here. The reasons given for the denial is that there is a difference of opinion with the participants. Nuff said.

So instead I will post a very informative link that will give many people a view on Broadcasting in the Courts in British Columbia. BC Mary is not only passionate about the BC Rail trial, as are many of us, she also is pretty passionate about broadcasting this very important trial that has affected all of us in this province. You see like many of us who are interested we can't always be at the courthouse. This trial (#23299) is about the (in my opinion) give-away of our Publicly owned Railway. BCR. I say give-away because there doesn't seem to be a money trail here. A billion dollars and we see no cash changing hands. Mary will soon be writing on that angle as well.

The link refers to a BC Supreme Court opinion on broadcasting a different trial and applies only to that trial. It may have set a precedent, I'm not sure. I's a good read and you will be surprised at the participants.

Public vs. Private

Public:a of or concerning the public as a whole; not private. open to general observation or knowledge. accessable to all serving the people
Private:a secret, not public, Reserved for or belonging to, or concerning an individual only.
personal; scheduled; denoting soldier of lowest rank; not controllrd by State.
So in view of the recent candies given out to private schools, how can this be legal? This government is giving public monies to private institutions on one hand and refuses to bail out the mess created bytheir own ministry in the forest industry.
How hypocritical and self-serving can one government be?


David Schreck on Politics in BC

David Schreck at http://www.strategicthoughts.com has posted the most interesting thing about the legislature sitings. It is real scary to realize what could be happening in the legde today.
Ross k at http://pacificgazette.blogspot.com posted this in part with comments before I got permission to copy it in full
Many thanks to David Schreck for his kind permission to post this.

May 5, 2008"Not a Dime without Debate"
Many British Columbians don't know whether the BC Legislature is sitting or not, and many don't care. That doesn't stop them from becoming very angry when they learn what is happening; it is like taking for granted that your car is going to start until it doesn't. The Campbell government is on the verge of ramming 23 Bills through the Legislature with virtually no debate; that's much worse than a car breaking down, that's a fundamental failure of democracy. As of Friday, May 2nd,
23 Bills had not yet passed second reading, let alone passed the detailed committee stage that precedes third reading.Until Campbell came to power in 2001, the rules that governed the BC Legislature saw the government call the session to order and the Opposition adjourn it. In other words, debate would continue for as long as the Opposition wanted to examine the government's legislation and spending estimates. On most occasions that meant that BC's Legislature sat into June, and occasionally into July. Campbell changed the rules and implemented a fixed legislative calendar, except that in 2006 he didn't honor the calendar, not calling the House until late November. A major feature of the fixed legislative calendar, is that according to the amended rules of the Legislature all designated government business must pass by the pre-set date for adjournment in late May (or be voted on, which is the same thing, with a majority government). If the government and the opposition can't agree on how that will happen, the government introduces closure (time-allocation) to limit debate and force budgets and legislation through the Legislature with little or no debate.
Unless the Campbell government announces that a substantial portion of its 2008 spring legislative agenda will be set over to the fall, it will demonstrate an extreme abuse of power.
The pending legislation (10 of the 23 Bills were just introduced last week) includes substantial changes in how British Columbians live. The carbon tax, the cap and trade system for carbon emissions, limits on third party advertising before and during election campaigns, and a change to health legislation that puts a definition of "sustainability" on the same grounds as the concepts of universality, accessibility and comprehensiveness are but a few of the fundamental changes that the Campbell government appears willing to ram through without much debate by May 29th.
The legislature only sits for four days a week, no longer in the evenings, and it recesses for a week or more in every week in which there is a statutory holiday, hence, between May 5th and May 29th, it sits for only 12 days. It is outrageous that the Campbell government would contemplate substantial legislation with little or no opportunity for scrutiny. It is not just the Official Opposition that would be offended; during the period of legislative debate, those who know something about pending legislation engage the public through the news media and feed their concerns to the Opposition as well as lobbying the government. Limiting debate means limiting opportunities for public involvement in the democratic process.
If the government forces passage of all 23 Bills that are currently outstanding by May 29th, its abuse of power may become more of a political issue than the substance of any of its most controversial legislation.
tics in BC


CN Rail case #49026

CN Rails court case #49026-1 begins in North Vancouver Court this morning. Anyone who could attend and report her or to the Legislature Raids Blogsite (link in left column) would be greatly appreciated. The case is in Room 002 at the North Van Provincial Court House before the honorable Judge Moss at 9:30 am.

I think everyone remembers the disastrous derailment of chemical railcars that emptied into the Cheekamus River a couple of years ago.(dates forgotteen). But this spill was so disasterous that the governments (under)estimate was that 500,000 fish were wiped out. No one even talks about the bears, cougars, moose, deer, eagles, nor a miriad of other animals and water fowl that were affected.
Charges were delayed in this case until the Squamish Nation filed a lawsuit. Their patience had run out. But after the Nation filed, the environment ministry finally acted.
May of us here can't get to these courtcases in the lower mainland and would really appreciate some help.
I have a sneaking suspicion that the MSM (and I hope I'm wrong) is not going to cover this disaster which happened on Our BC Rail line.


BC Rail Basi-Virk-Basi Trial

Recent developements in the Basi-Virk-Basi trial (BC Rail Scandal) have prompted me to make some comments here.
First let me appologize to some other bloggers here. I have yet to figure out how to link my posts to multiple bloggers (if that's at all possible) . But there is a general concensus among us that BC Mary at The Legislature raids is in the forefront on this subject and that's the reason for linking to her sight. Although Kootcoot at The House of Infamy I think was the first. Others include, The Gazetteer, Somena Media, Bill Tieleman, Public Eye Online, and a host of others that could be linked from any one of the foregoing. Or just google them.
I first attended this case (#23299) in the BC Supreme Court at 800 Smyth st. in Vancouver in April of 2007. My reasons were many but suffice it to say I was disturbed at the developements in this case and was not getting enough information from the mainstream media (MSM). Ninety percent of the information we received was from two people. Bill Tieleman and Robin Mathews.
There were developements that were very disturbing to me so I started to read up on our Rights and the Crown Council Act. And wound up getting headaches because I had to read the constitution and the court act and on and on.
This case began over a drug related investigation, which caused investigators to tap the phones of some very high up officials in ministries of the Gordon Campbell Liberal Government.
As a result of these taps warrants were issued to sieze documents from The Legislature in BC on December 28,2003. Almost 4-1/2 years ago. Unprecedented in this country. The hearings are beginning to show that the BC Rail deal may have been corrupt. Three officials have been hung out to dry. (scapegoats for their political masters). And two government ministers as well as the Premier may be involved in a government cover-up. There is definately a lot of legal wrangling and delays in this case.
It must be noted here that I have only attended this court twice in the last year. April 2007 and again on April 14,2008. Pretty much a year apart.
On my second trip, last month, I heard some very interesting and highly disturbing news.
Previously the defence had wanted to call some people to trial to give evidence under oath. That was nixed by the government lawyer and the Special Prosecutor so Kevin McCullough arranged to send a letter to four people he needed to answer some questions. One of these people was none other than the premier himself. From conversations I heard in court I gathered that Mr. McCullough wanted these questions answered openly and honestly with no advice from lawyers or spin doctors or anyone else. Just the people to whom he posed the questions. It seemed like black and white to me, but he was having trouble convincing the judge. In requesting the conditions for answering questions he got a response from the government lawyer. "NO". that was it. No reasons, no discussion, Just NO. All I could do was shake my head.
The result of this conversation was that the Prosecution and defence were to try an resolve the impass outside court. Mr McCullough managed to get a tentative court date set May, 2, 2008 to put, I guess arguements, to the Judge if this impass could not be broken. They were to return to court to settle the matter if they couldn't resolve it on their own. I heard no other reasons for returning to court on this date.
We, as in other bloggers and myself managed to get an Anon-Y-Mouse down to the court on May second. That person took the trouble to get to the courthouse only to find that the already set date had been changed at the request of the special prosecutor to the previous day. May 1,2008.
This person in attempting to find out what happened apparently asked a sheriff and was told the Prosecutor didn't want to deal with the public.
There is a section in one of the acts that says "the public interest is Paramount" and Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett had even mentioned these words in her courtroom in case #23299.
Now, I'm a fairly straightforward person and when I have a question I ask it. Sometimes my attitude needs adjusting and sometimes I need to calm down. So in this case I have e-mailed the special prosecutor and asked a couple of questions. I am awaiting his answer.
The only other way to get access to these questions other than that is to read the transcripts and I don't live anywhere near the court.
Legislation is being changed every day to facilitate cover-ups in this country. I don't know myself how to challenge the changes put forth. But if there is anyone with suggestions, I would welcome them. I know I am not the only one who is frustrated with these actions, and I don't want to sit on my hands and do nothing or just ask the question "What can I do?"