The following came to me via e-mail and deserves printing here.
VICTORIA – The latest attempt by the B.C. Liberals to buy votes ahead of the HST referendum is just further smoke and mirrors, say the New Democrats.

“The B.C. Liberals aren’t telling you that the HST, at whatever rate, means families pay more for countless items previously exempt from the PST,” said New Democrat finance critic Bruce Ralston. “Their claim that it’s a choice between 10 and 12 per cent is absolute fabrication and a deliberate misrepresentation of what the HST vote is all about.

“The truth is voters will be voting to get rid of the B.C. Liberals’ 12-per-cent HST in favour of going back to a fairer system where items such as prepared food, nutritional supplements, basic telephone and cable services and countless other items would only be taxed with a five-per-cent GST.”

Ralston said Adrian Dix and the New Democrats have championed the fight against the HST deception for B.C. families, and people are tired of being deceived by the B.C. Liberals.

“This latest gimmick is just more of the same. The B.C. Liberals are also trying to tell you that the average family only pays $350 more per year under the HST but they don’t tell you that they count one person as a family, artificially deflating the true numbers,”  said Ralston. “The truth is a two-income-earning family with both members making $50,000 each – the average B.C. salary – will pay over $1,000 more per year under the HST.

“And that doesn’t even include the increase to big-ticket items such as a new house, renovations or a new roof for your home.”

Ralston noted that Premier Clark’s latest gimmick contradicts her earlier promise, and in her own words is an attempt to buy votes.

In March, just two months ago, Premier Clark said, "We aren't going to be talking about trying to reduce it by a point or two before the referendum. I mean, I think people will see that as buying them with their own money.”

“No one believes anything the B.C. Liberals say anymore, especially when it comes to the HST,” said Ralston. “Families know they pay more under the HST, and no amount of tinkering by the B.C. Liberals will change that.

“The only way to fix this B.C. Liberal mess is to vote yes to ending the HST, then vote them out of office in the next election.”


Christy Thinks She Can Solve The HST Mess

     Well Ms. Clark I have news for you. I would possibly be able to believe that you could do that if it were not for a few bumps in your road.

     The major problem you have as I see it is that you refuse to repeal the legislation. And that is precisely what the people want. We don't want this tax shift onto our backs. We want it gone. Your government has lied to us from the getgo. The government has said prices will go down. Lie number one. They have said unemployment will be reduced because of this money grab. Lie number two. They have said the province will have to repay the 1.6 billion. Lie number three. They have said that it will attract investment. Show me the proof of that. You have said it is revenue neutral, the biggest lie of all.

      The next problem you have is a finance minister that alludes in the press that he won't remove the PST on restaurants. All he is doing is inflaming the masses and alienating the restauranteurs from the rest of the business community. He makes crass statements and I believe he either doesn't have a grasp of the situation, or he is being deliberately provocative. Most likely the former.

     And your blatant spinning of the situation doesn't fool anyone. It's not that you rolled out this money grab wrongly, it's that you steamrolled it out at all. We don't want it.

     Every time your government opens their mouth on this situation you just keep putting your foot in it. You are fighting tooth and nail to placate the already under taxed big business in this province and the people see this sham for what it is. More money in the pockets of the rich at the expense of the poor.And done without the consent of the poor I might add.

     All the stall tactics in the world will not help you. And that is just what you are doing. Stalling. You are trying to move this as close to the next election as you can. And as I see it right now you know the people will reject the act. So your other option is to hold an election before the referendum. How are you going to run your campaign? By ignoring the voters town hall meetings? By keeping silent on this issue? By professing doom and gloom if it is repealed. Give us a break.

     Well, we're as mad as hell and we are not going to take it anymore.

     Save us the 6 million of our tax dollars that you plan to spend on your propaganda. Stop the lies. Remove the legislation.




Liberals Are Still Playing With Our Lives

Chrisy Clark and her Finance Minister are still playing the game. I ask how anyone in their right mind can trust these big business shills.

The following arrived in my e-mail from Fight HST. And it pissed me off so much I am seriously considering restarting the Recall Campaign in the Cariboo Chilcotin. So if there is anyone in the Cariboo Chilcotin who would act as a Financial Officer please get hold of me here. We will be doing things much differently this time.One step at a time.

Finance Minister Kevin Falcon won’t rule out adding PST to previously untaxed items like restaurant meals if HST is extinguished
Vancouver – (Monday, May 16, 2011) – In a stunning revelation, Finance Minister Kevin Falcon has admitted he may break faith with BC voters in the HST Referendum if they vote “Yes” against his wishes and extinguish the tax, says Fight HST Leader Bill Vander Zalm.
Vander Zalm says Falcon admitted last week in the BC Legislature he may expand the PST to a number of goods and services that were previously exempted, such as restaurant meals, if British Columbians vote to repeal the HST in the Referendum.
“That is a total betrayal of what the whole HST citizens Initiative petition and Referendum are about and he knows it. More than 700,000 people signed our Initiative because they wanted to return to the PST and GST exactly as they were before the HST. The proposed legislation attached to our Initiative petition specifically laid this out as what we intended.”
“Furthermore, when the question for the Referendum was drafted by Acting Chief Electoral Officer Craig James, he clarified to us that it means to restore the PST and GST to their previous status with the same exemptions,” said Vander Zalm.
Following is the email response from CEO James in answer to our concerns about the Referendum question meaning to include the previous exemptions for PST:
----- Original Message -----
From: "James, Craig EBC:EX" <Craig.James@elections.bc.ca>
To: "Chris Delaney" <chris@chrisdelaney.com>; "Boegman, Anton EBC:EX" <Anton.Boegman@elections.bc.ca>
Cc: "Bill Vander Zalm" <billvanderzalm@dccnet.com>
Sent: Thursday, November 18, 2010 11:11 AM
Subject: RE: Draft HST Referendum Question - Changes Need to Be Made
Chris -
The dictionary meaning of "reinstate" is to restore to a former position. I therefore don't see anything "implicit" in the question and thus no reason for the concern you have raised.
Craig James
“The Referendum is a legally binding process. The Finance Minister cannot change the meaning of it at his own discretion. If Mr. Falcon does not heed the result of the Referendum he will be breaking the law,” Vander Zalm charged.
Vander Zalm says the HST mistakes that cost both Gordon Campbell and Colin Hansen their jobs as premier and finance minister are now being repeated by Premier Christy Clark and Falcon. “The names and the faces have changed, but the lying hasn’t. These people are pathological. Every time I think I have never seen anything like it before, they top themselves. It is the height of arrogance and lawlessness for Kevin Falcon to tell people he will decide what the Referendum means. It’s unbelievable!”
Vander Zalm says his group will consider a legal challenge if the government breaks the law by not following the Referendum results.
Vander Zalm said an editorial in Friday’s Victoria Times-Colonist newspaper should serve as a warning to the government:
“Falcon won't say whether the government would impose the PST on restaurants if the HST is rejected by voters,” the editorial read. “The HST initiative petition certainly called for the restoration of the tax and exemptions. The government claimed [it was] willing to accept the referendum results as binding. If that commitment is not to be honoured, then voters -and the affected businesses -have every right to know.”
Vander Zalm called on the pro-HST business lobby group the Smart Tax Alliance to tell voters if it supports Falcon’s position that even a “Yes” vote to extinguish the HST will not bind him from removing the tax on restaurant food and other items previously PST exempt.
“If the Smart Tax Alliance is actually smart they will immediately tell Minister Falcon he is wrong and they profoundly disagree with his statements,” Vander Zalm said.
“What is the point of having a referendum if you won’t regard the result if it doesn't go your way? How can anyone align themselves with people like this?” Vander Zalm asked.

Just in case anyone is wondering, we have the numbers here to recall. What we didn't have was a firm commitment  from people. This time we get firm numbers first. This is possibly the only riding that could have succeeded but for a few glitches that were crucial to the campaign.

If Fight HST wishes to back us  that would be a good thing. We hope they will. Financing will be crucial.


HST Town Hall Is A Sham

 My phone rang last night. It hardly ever rings at night.
  The government  wanted me to participate in the biggest spin on the HST to date. According to them the audience was massive. Over 26,000 people online in the Interior (I still choose to use Interior over Campbells' rebranding us the hinterlands.)

  I sat through their automated instructions and then it started to get real phony. They asked an automated question about how I would like to redistribute the hords of money they were getting from us. Should they use it for things like Health, Education, Blah blah blah? The whole question misses the point. They assume by asking it that (a) we actually want to be ripped off or; (b) they are not going to get rid of it. Or (c) both of the above They did not give us an answer of "none of the above". And the framing of the question and answers tells me only one thing. They can take this back to the public saying that we want the HST and we want the money to go to specific social programs.

  As I type this I am sitting here wondering how god damn stupid do they think we are? They must be looking at some odds and are thinking they may have enough people out there to believe this crap. 

  So I listened through four people who had questions to ask. It struck me that these were not spontaneous but possibly prepared questions. The reason I say this is because I had a million questions to ask and couldn't narrow it down to one only.

  At any rate the answers were bogus. The are obviously framed as an election answer and scare tactics.

  The liberal government keeps referring to a question of how we are going to pay back the 1.6 billion bribe they got from Harper.

  First of all it's not our bloody problem. It's theirs. My answer is to set a special tax on big business who are benefiting from this and pay it back.

  Secondly $235 Million was seed money. A gift. Or as I call it, a bribe from the Federal Government to accept this deal. A deal by the way which was only accepted after the Liberal government mismanaged our economy. And don't give me any of this bullshit about how they were surprised about a recession. They saw it coming just as the rest of the world did. But they needed to get elected at all costs and I allege they did it with a lie.

  I finally hung up, yelling some of my choicest words into the phone, when it was mentioned very vaguely that the Federal Government would set the tax rates. 

  And that to me is the biggest problem other than it's a tax shift from the rich to the poor. If Harper wants more money then he will raise the HST rate. Don't think for one minute that when he says he will raise the GST that is true. As it stands we in BC do not have GST or PST. It's HST period. And the Liberals, nor any future government, having given away our right within the province to set our own provincial taxes can't even protest.

Then thre is this from the CBC
By CBC News
CBC News
An independent government report on the HST has concluded the majority of British Columbians are paying more at the cash register since the introduction of the HST, but low income families are actually paying less. But the report says that while many British Columbians are paying more tax now, rolling...
Click here to view this content.
Following is an added comment by a friend who sent me the CBC report:
 The independent report was developed by the Liberal government appointed committee. The report acknowledges that the HST is a taxation shift from business to the consumer that is not revenue neutral as claimed and will only increase in the taxes collected from the consumer as time passes.
And then my comment:
The report also uses unproven statements and gives us words such as "likely" to possibly scare us into thinking that we have a problem in cancelling this money grab. As I said at the beginning it is not our problem, it's the problem for the liberal party of BC. 

UPDATE: for a good review on the Dinning Report with a link see our friend Gran G at  The Straight Goods


Olympic Green Buses Turning Dirty? Oil Spill In The Peace Country?

In talking with an acquaintance recently they informed me that those Olympic Green Buses used during the the Olympics, the ones that burn Hydrogen Gas, have ALL been sent to the US for a refit.

A refit that will convert them from Clean Hydrogen Gas to Dirty Diesel Fuel.

I am still trying to get more info on this possible travesty. I can find no public information on this situation, and if I do I will report it here.
Also this just in.....An anonymous user reported at The Straight Goods that CBC was reporting on an OIL SPILL in the Peace Country. I am watching the news right now and can not find anything on this.

Rainbow Incident Information Page

On this page you will find a description of the Rainbow pipeline system, the incident that was confirmed on 4/29/11, media statements and remediation efforts.  Plains is under no obligation to keep this website updated; however, we will attempt to update this page as the situation merits.

Description of Rainbow Pipeline SystemPlains Midstream Canada, ULC is the 100% owner and operator of the Rainbow system, which consists of a 480-mile, 20-inch to 24-inch mainline crude oil pipeline extending from the Norman Wells Pipeline located in Zama, Alberta to Edmonton, Alberta and 114 miles of gathering pipelines. The system has a throughput capacity of approximately 220,000 barrels per day and transported approximately 187,000 barrels per day during 2010.

Description of the incident/initial responseAt approximately 7:30 a.m. (Mountain time) on April 29, 2011 we confirmed a release of crude oil along a remote section of the Rainbow pipeline, in the Evi area, located east of Peace River, AB. 

We have initiated our emergency response procedures. Valves in the pipeline have been closed, isolating the damaged area of the pipeline. Southbound flows from Nipisi remain in service. 
Environmental assessment staff, spill response specialists, and monitoring equipment are being mobilized. Our crews are working to contain the spill, minimize its impact, and begin clean-up efforts. 

Plains has contacted appropriate regulatory agencies, as well as local municipal government officials.
Updates (In reverse Chronological Order)
12:30 p.m. MST -- Thursday, May 5th

We have recovered approximately 300 m3 (~1900 bbls) of the oil.  (approximately 7% of estimated spill volume).   Recovery efforts continue 24 hrs per day. 
8:00 a.m. MST -- Thursday, May 5th
Physical pipeline repairs have been completed.  We are awaiting regulatory approval to restart the line.  The oil has been contained and recovery efforts are ongoing. 
1:00 a.m. MST -- Wednesday, May 4th

The pipeline has been excavated and examined by the Alberta authorities.  Based on this inspection and the recently interpreted results of
pipeline integrity tool runs, it appears this is a singular failure and not a systemic problem.  Plains is working to repair the line and bring it into service as quickly as possible. 
11:30 p.m. MST -- Tuesday, May 3rd
Plains Midstream Canada (PMC) is fully engaged in an aggressive response to a pipeline spill in northern Alberta on the company’s Rainbow Pipeline.  The oil is physically contained within a 0.8 kilometers (half a mile) by 50 meter (150 feet) area.

Facts about the emergency response:

  • Since day one, PMC has engaged in a 24-hour response effort. 
  • PMC Sr. Management was involved from the onset and arrived on the scene within 12 hrs to lead the response effort.
  • The spill site is located in a very remote and densely forested area, requiring a substantial construction effort in connection with oil recovery efforts.
  • Two roads were built through the forest so workers and equipment could be transported to the north and south ends of the spill site.
  • PMC secured 1400 wooden mats (“rig matting”) from across Alberta to build temporary wooden access roads over the soft muskeg conditions.
  • Approximately 100 response personnel are currently on the scene and involved in recovery and remediation operations. 
  • Specialty all-terrain heavy equipment were on site since day two, including 10 amphibious track-mounted vehicles for transporting workers and material. 
  • Three transfer stations with tanks and trucking facilities have been constructed to facilitate the transfer of collected oil and servicing of vehicles.
  • Electrical generators are on site and 25 lighting plants are being used so work can continue through the night.
  • 46 pieces of heavy equipment have been brought to the site to support the cleanup.
“We have a full complement of specialists at the scene,” stated Roy Lamoreaux, Director Investor Relations.  “We have secured all necessary people and equipment for our response and cleanup effort."
“The oil is in place, and we expect to retrieve a substantial portion of this spill with our recovery equipment.  A remediation program will follow the cleanup, which will include removal and replacement of contaminated soil and replanting vegetation on the affected area,” said Lamoreaux.  
PMC is working closely with a number of regulatory agencies including Alberta Environment and the Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board “ERCB,” and providing reports to other government agencies involved in the spill. 

1:30 p.m. MST -- Tuesday, May 3rd
- 3 skimmers are now deployed on site (up from 2);
- Another 2 skimmers are on site and will be established to increase collection rate;
- Oil collection and removal continues.
- 1st stopple fitting installed and plug set isolating the rupture from the north side further isolating the rupture from the north;
- 2nd stopple fitting welded, plug to be set Tuesday further isolating the rupture from the south;
- Replacement pipe has been hydrotested.   
- 3rd party lab has been appointed and protocols established for analysis of failed pipe section (to be sent to lab post inspection by ERCB);
- Target to have physical line repair completed by end of this week;
- Actual restart timing contingent on regulatory approval.
Investigation into cause continues.

5:40 a.m. MST – Monday, May 2nd
 -- Oil recovery operation continued through the night.

 -- Product collected on site and shipments to Nipisi commenced at 2:50 a.m. (ahead of the 4:00 a.m. target).
9:30 p.m. MST – Sunday, May 1st 
--Approximately 100 response personnel on site.

-- Road access with rig matting is complete at South entrance to spill site. (The spill site is located in a wet/muddy and wooded environment, which has required substantial
    work to provide vehicle access.  Work required to provide access includes: clearing trees and building a road of timber “rig matting” so rubber-tired vehicles can travel on the 
    newly matted roads);

-- Oil skimmers have been established and oil collection has commenced;

-- Plains Midstream Canada's Nipisi terminal (south of affected area) configured to accept delivery of skim oil;

-- Continuing to place matting to establish road access to the repair site and north end of the spill;
4:20 p.m. MST -- Saturday, April 30th   

-- Remediation efforts are ongoing and active 24 hrs per day.  The following resources have been deployed to assist in the remediation efforts:

- 63 response personnel are now on site, another 41 are enroute or on standby nearby;

- 46 pieces of equipment are on site including: vehicles, generator sets, office trailers, spill response trailers, medial aid equipment, etc.;

10:50 a.m. MST -- Saturday, April 30th
-- Approximately 50% of the daily volumes handled by Rainbow (movements from Nipisi south to Edmonton) are unaffected.