Preparing for Another Session
Bob Simpson MLA Cariboo North
January 25, 2012
Unlike Premier Campbell when we never knew if the legislature would sit, Premier Clark has posted the full legislative calendar for this year and it shows we’ll have full spring and fall legislative sessions.
Since we did not prorogue the last fall session, Premier Clark’s Throne Speech from the fall carries over and so does some of the outstanding legislation from that session, particularly the Local Government Auditor General Act that has been called into question by the Union of BC Municipalities.
New poll from Forum Research confirms size of NDP's lead in B.C.
By John Twigg
A new opinion poll of B.C. voting intentions reinforces a previous finding that the New Democratic Party has a solid lead while the B.C. Liberal Party support is being eroded by the upstart B.C. Conservatives, but my analysis of the numbers says the outcome of the next election still remains to be determined.
The telephone poll of about 1,000 people by Forum Research Inc. on Jan. 23 found NDP support at 39 %, up from 34 % in the previous month's poll and enough to deliver what Forum said would be a majority government of 57 seats to NDP leader Adrian Dix if that level of support held through to the May 2013 election; the New Democrats have and can win at that level when the opposition is divided but it's too far away to say the pattern will hold.
That uncertainty is reflected in findings for the B.C. Liberal Party and Premier Christy Clark that were somewhat improved from the previous poll, other findings for Dix were mixed and the findings for John Cummins and the B.C. Conservative Party were somewhat worse, so the poll does give "the Clark Liberals" a glimmer of hope for the May 14, 2013 voting day.
The Mainstream Press, Falsehood, and Loyalty to Stephen Harper.
by Robin Mathews
January 22, 2012
People in the world of the Internet and other “Social Media” insist the Mainstream Press and Media make up part of the large, private, corporate, capitalist elite that is destroying democracy.
The process the Mainstream Press uses to spread “disinformation”, “smear”, and half truth goes along with the practice of withholding facts, shutting the doors on those with other views, and selecting carefully what will be reported. All that is in favour of big Corporations as the rightful governors of Canadians.
My own experience in the B.C. Supreme Court gave me the opportunity to see those processes in action. Mainstream Press and Media (hereafter, MSM) would not report that the “journalist accreditation” system is corrupt. It uses MSM journalists (made in fact court officers) under a judge. Those journalists then are supposed to remove themselves from that role, report on trials and criticize the conduct of judges where necessary. The system is corrupt because MSM journalists are in a flagrant, obvious conflict of interest.
In four years of pre-trial and trial conducted in the BC Rail Scandal (Basi, Virk, and Basi) matter, not one MSM reporter criticized the actions of a judge – ever. Not one. Surprise!
Not one MSM journalist would report the wrongful appointment of the Special Prosecutor (which nullified the legitimacy of the Basi, Virk, and Basi process). Nor would any report that the presiding judge, Associate Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie, refused to act when fully cognizant of the illegitimate situation, and so was delinquent.
And, today, the Postmedia paper, the Vancouver Sun, gives another example of MSM conduct. Harvey Enchin is given three-quarters of a page to assault “anti-oilsands groups”. [Aren’t they properly called “the anti-tarsands groups”?] Will the Sun provide three quarters of a page to the opposition for a reply?
B.C.’s Christy Clark, Ken Boessenkool and Stephen Harper. A trap for B.C. conservatives.
by Robin Mathews
January 20, 2012
There are, in British Columbia, “conservatives” who care about Canada and B.C. and want to fix some of the broken things in the province. They are not in the Gordon Campbell/Christy Clark coalition of Right forces in British Columbia. They are not ‘profile’ federal Conservatives or other declared federal Conservatives in B.C.
That becomes clear when the new ‘love-in’ relation between Christy Clark and Stephen Harper is examined. It becomes clear, too, when the appointment of Gordon Campbell by Stephen Harper as Canadian High Commissioner in London is looked at - and the appointment of Ken Boessenkool as Ms. Clark’s Chief of Staff.
Commentators say Christy Clark is trying to tell conservatives in B.C. they don’t have to go with the renewed John Cummins B.C. Conservative Party. The B.C. Liberals are Right for them, she is saying. But that’s not all … by half.
2012 marks the 20th annual running of the Gold Rush Trail Sled Dog Mail Run, a milestone year for this unique event
[Editor's Note: The following information has been taken from the information card that is a part of the Gold Rush Trail Sled Dog Mail envelope. The QC Sentinel is indebted to the Gold Rush Trail Sled Dog Association for providing this interesting overview of its famous event.]
The Northern BC Winter Games were held in Quesnel British Columbia in 1993, and the first Mail Run was organized that year to add something just a little different to the Games and to highlight the unique gold mining history of the Quesnel, Wells, Barkerville corridor. Trail clearing, through waist-deep snow came right down to the wire, but the dog teams made it through during that first event.
Over the years, hundreds of sled dog teams have journeyed over what is now widely known as the Gold Rush Trail. The Mail Run represents the only place left in Canada and possibly in the world, where it is possible for regular mail to be cancelled and packaged by the post office, carried over at least part of its journey in a sled pulled by a dog team and then put into the regular mail system to be delivered to its destination anywhere in the world.
Clark's staff shuffle reflects need to keep anti-NDP coalition intact
Tory import Boessenkool must overcome a growing series of Liberal policy blunders
By John Twigg
The metaphor about cabinet shuffles being like "shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic" has been overused in politics and journalism but somehow it still seems to fit well on the tough situation facing the B.C. Liberal Party government now nominally headed by Premier Christy Clark.
Increasingly it is looking like Ms Clark and her many holdovers from the Campbell Liberals regime will be going down to an ignominious defeat in the next provincial election in May 2013, probably starting with dismal showings in two byelections expected to be called in coming weeks.
As we've pointed out here before, indeed in the first issue of my revived newsletters business, the problem is not merely the massive mound of garbage left behind by former premier Gordon Campbell but increasingly on top of that it is Clark and her cabinet and advisers who have been bungling issue after issue after issue, to the point that grumblings and biting critiques have moved from being only in a few top blogs like those of Alex Tsakumis, Bill Tieleman and others into the mainstream media columns of Mike Smyth, Vaughn Palmer and increasingly numerous others, with lots more echoes on open line shows.
The Rotten State of Law and The Courts In Canada: Madness
By Robin Mathews
January 12, 2012
The higher (and other) courts in B.C. are in the news again – this time because of the almost ridiculous state of financial deprivation the Gordon Campbell/Christy Clark government has put the court system into. Courts are starving. Judges are in short supply. Staff is minimal. Legal Aid support is a disgrace. Serious cases are being tossed as a result of unacceptable delay. Justice is being denied ….
Major court commentator (Vancouver Sun) Ian Mulgrew trivializes the situation by using it to insult a lawyer trying to do something to ease the injustice. Madness. But madness is afoot in a British Columbia staggering from high-level corruption. And the madness is incarnated in the Mainstream Press and Media, as Ian Mulgrew shows.
Begin by recognizing a fundamental point. Good, effective (especially) higher courts are a threat to corrupt governments and corporations. There could be a direct connection between that fact and the starving of the courts in B.C.
The rule of law is under attack in Canada – led by the Stephen Harper government which eludes justice in cases against it and laughs in the face of law, contract, and decency. Maybe I should say “led by the Stephen Harper government which is following the Gordon Campbell/Christy Clark government that violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in its first years by attempting to smash unions - breaking contract with the hospital employees union and denying teachers fundamental bargaining rights”. Both actions have been overturned by the courts. Christy Clark has yet to restore the rights of teachers, even after a Supreme Court of B.C. order more than a year ago.
How’s that for open contempt for the rule of law by the Christy Clark government? Open, public rejection of a Supreme Court order.
Clark gov't should try for better benefits for B.C.from proposed Northern Gateway oil pipeline
Exports to Asia could start asap with oil-on-rail to ports, project could add local jobs with new refinery near tidewater
By John Twigg
In keeping with the focus on opinion polls in the previous issue, it's all the more interesting to closely examine a poll released Thursday (Dec. 5) which reportedly finds considerable support in B.C. for the proposed $5.5-billion Northern Gateway oil pipeline that would carry refined bitumen from the Alberta oil sands to an export terminal in Kitimat, B.C.
Public hearings by the National Energy Board and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency begin next week on the project, which is backed by Enbridge Inc., a major pipeline operator with its share of accidents in other parts of North America, but the project has already been contentious for years and even was a difference-maker in some local government elections last year.
Many local interests are rightly concerned about the threat of polluting spills and many provincial interests even more worried about the threat of oil tanker accidents in B.C.'s rough waters, while First Nations interests naturally point out that there is a blatant lack of treaties along most of the proposed pipeline route and so far there hasn't been much in it for them except added risks to their environments and communities.