Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Lede That Will Define Clarklandia Forever


From Keith Fraser's report on quick winner Brian Bonney's sentencing deliberations:

Numerous senior Liberal government officials, including cabinet ministers and members of former premier Christy Clark’s office, knew about and directed the activities of Brian Bonney in connection with the Quick Wins scandal, but wouldn’t have believed they were encouraging him to break the law, Bonney’s lawyer said Wednesday.

Ian Donaldson, a lawyer for Bonney, said that emails and other documents prove that his client reported to people in the premier’s office, including the deputy chief of staff, to people in the Liberal government caucus and to two ministers.

“All of these different people occupying senior positions in different roles in the government, I say were aware of his activities and indeed encouraged and gave him positive feedback about many of those activities,” Donaldson told Provincial Court Justice David St. Pierre. “They set directions and had expectations of him.”...


With that in mind, you might ask yourself the following...

If the Clarklandians had won the last election would the usual suspects in the Lotuslandian proMedia now be telling us that none of this matters given that the people have spoken and the episode has 'faded from the public consciousness'?

And, just in case you think the above question is nothing more than the crazed rantings of an idiot blogger, you might want to consider...This.


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Three Dot, Third Party Vancouver Real Estate Monty....


A most interesting tweet from Glen Chernen, with attached letter from the provincial Office of the Information and Privacy commissioner yesterday...

What's it all about this time Alfie?


I don't know for absolute super duperest sure, but...

There is the following, from a post written back in the Spring of 2017:


Following up on the work, persistence and digging of concerned citizens like Glen Chernen and the Community Association of New Yaletown,  Sam Cooper has written a most interesting PostMedia piece on the big downtown Lotuslandian land swap that re-built some social housing (without increasing the stock) while simultaneously 'unlocking' the re-development potential of one of the chunks of (no longer) city land:

...Now, four years after the city gave 508 Helmcken to the developer at a $15-million value, it has been assessed as high as $130 million by B.C. Assessment, and documents show that it could be worth even more at market rates...


That lock sure did hold back a whole lotta moola.

Interestingly, the great unlocking also involved a loan from BC Housing (i.e. your money and mine) that apparently helped facilitate that decidedly un-social (three million dollar apartments for all!), unlocking:

...NDP housing critic David Eby has asked why B.C. Housing, which is mandated to provide social housing, provided a previously undisclosed $39-million loan to (the developer) Brenhill. The loan in 2016 required reporting of pre-sales progress in the luxury tower...


Alrighty then.

With that pre-amble out of the way, let's get on with the game!

Dot #1:

...Bob Rennie was involved in bringing forward the loan proposal to B.C. Housing’s board, while Rennie was a member of that board, in November 2013...

Dot #2:

...Rennie recused himself from the discussion and approval of the funding for Brenhill from B.C. Housing in the deal, documents show. But B.C. Housing officials refused to disclose to Postmedia why Rennie recused himself... 

Now, while you keep your eyes on those two dots just revealed, how about we hunt down that all important  Dot #3, which has actually been out in the open for ages, all the while being well-polished by breathless promotional pre-sales puff pieces that include money shots like the following from Claudia Kwan, also 'published' in PostMedia's prints:

...“With so many projects, people ask how big the units are, how much does it cost, and what’s the view,” says Tracie McTavish, executive director of project marketer Rennie Marketing Systems...

Game over?

I've said it before,
and I'll say it again...I've got a memory (and a search engine function on this here little old F-Troop listed blog) and I'm going to keep using it.


Monday, January 15, 2018

The First Rule Of Klout Klub...When In Doubt Distort.


Mr. Marissen, backing his latest horse on the Twittmachine, pointed towards a PostMedia story by Rob Shaw yesterday:

Only one problem for those actually paying attention, of course....

Which is the fact that Mr. Shaw's piece, which starts out with 'news' from the Lee camp, does not say anything whatsoever about sign-ups broadening BC Liberal support

Quite the contrary actually:

...Other (BC Liberal leadership) campaigns don’t dispute that Lee has signed up the most members — potentially as many as 10,000. But whether bulk sign-ups are the key to winning the race is unclear. The party has created additional security steps designed to curtail the mass collection of personal identification numbers and bulk voting. That may make it more important to have a smaller amount of motivated members who follow through and vote.

The geographic location of members will also be crucial to candidates, given the Liberal party’s weighted vote system in which each riding has 100 points up for grabs. The system rewards candidates who gather support across the province, particularly in rural ridings. A candidate who secures just a few dozen members to win a less-populated riding like North Island, could get the same 100 points as a candidate who signs up thousands of new members to win a heavily-populated riding in Surrey...

Imagine that!


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Good Obvious And Bad Obvious...As The Ron Goes National.


Mr. Mason of the Globe waded into the inter-provincial carbon tax thingy recently.

And some of the stuff he wrote, while obvious, was actually worth the pixels ink it was printed on.

Stuff like this:

...If Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Environment Minister ever hope to meet the exceedingly ambitious climate targets they have set for this country, they have to get serious now. And it starts with getting tough with those holdout (provincial) jurisdictions that feel they can let this matter drag out for a few years. That can't happen...

But then, as you might have expected (and/or predicted), Mr. Mason's column went off the rails in the kicker:

...That is why the new leader of the Saskatchewan Party, the one who has the unenviable job of following in the footsteps of arguably the most popular premier in the province's history, is going to have trouble backing up Mr. Wall's tough talk. Ottawa insists it has the legal authority to impose a carbon tax on the provinces and territories that don't create their own and I can't see why that would not be the case.

Which brings us back to Mr. Kenney.

At some point, he is going to have to come clean about exactly how he intends to get rid of a tax that the federal government is making the rest of the country pay. What is the legal foundation of the argument he plans to mount in court, assuming it ends up there? And refusing to spell it out on the grounds he doesn't want to tip his hand doesn't count as an answer.

Mr. Kenney could well be the next premier of Alberta. The job comes with awesome responsibilities, not the least of which is being straight-up with the people...

It's that last bit that really gets me.

In fact, I see it as nothing more than wishful argle-bargle in the real world politicians actually inhabit these days.


Because Mr. Kenney doesn't care about honesty, logic or even plausible public policy.

After all, when you're playing to a debased base that believes their being born on third base is an hard earned 'advantage'* as Mr. Kenney is, caring about any of those things is actually a demonstrable disadvantage.

Particularly if no one in the proMedia makes him really pay for that willful lack of care**


*Except, of course, if oil prices fall in which case Rachel Notley will be blamed for picking up the base and chucking it over the left field wall
**This is something Mr. Mason knows (or at least should) well, given that he was one of the chief bemoaners of the fact that nothing even remotely monetarily conflicty would stick to Christy Clark...And then a stringer for the NYTimes named Dan Levin stepped in and nailed Ms. Clark's government to the wall by reworking the copy of Mr. Mason et al. to demonstrate, definitively, that a whole lot of somethings were rotten in the state of Clarkland.
This week's Tip-Of-The-Podcast-Toque tip.... This is one I missed when it first came out a couple of months back, but is now worth a listen more than ever...It's Ezra Klein in a free-wheeling, yet still well-moderated, interview with EJ Dionne, Thomas Mann and Norm Ornstein who take no prisoners, media members included, as they speak at length on how "Both Sides Don't Do It" in the US, at least with respect to things that actually matter...The triumverate is a plain-spoken group of honest brokers...It reminds me of the old days of Gzowski with Lewis, Kierans and Camp on Morningside...It doesn't hurt that Klein himself suggests that Orstein, Mann and Dionne have come together like some kind of 'Canadian Indie-Band Super Group'...You can listen to them...Here.


Saturday, January 13, 2018

The Keef Report...Charlie Smith 14 Point Site C Edition.


First, the Keef:

And in response, Mr. Smith's 14 points:

1. The Site C dam was a voting decision for this so-called tiny constituency whom Baldrey has berated.

2. Many of these people voted for NDP candidates across the province because they believed, in their hearts, that a government led by John Horgan would halt the project.

3. This belief was rooted in the repeated pre-election criticism of the project from Horgan, Energy Minister Michelle Mungall, and Environment and Climate Change Strategy Minister George Heyman.

4. These Site C voters were confident that an independent evaluation by the B.C. Utilities Commission would show that the power from the Site C dam wasn't needed. Moreover, anyone following the renewable-energy field knew that clean power could be generated less expensively and with far more job creation through methods other than the Site C dam. And this fact would provide these NDP politicians with the justification to halt construction.

5. Indeed, the B.C. Utilities Commission review provided NDP politicians with these justifications. Domestic demand for electricity has been flat in B.C. for a decade.

6. Critics of the project are fully aware that some of the brightest progressive minds in the province think the decision to proceed with the Site C dam was stunningly stupid. These critics believe a major factor in the decision was more than $120,000 in political donations to the NDP from the union representing the operating engineers in the period leading up to the 2017 election.

7. Moreover, the NDP promised to follow the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which has never been an issue of much concern to Baldrey and some of his friends in the press gallery.

8. The hypocrisy of proceeding with completion of the dam while professing fealty to UNDRIP is, in the view of some, even worse than the B.C. Liberal approach, which was to simply pay no heed to UNDRIP and let the chips fall where they may in court. Writer Andrew Frank summed it up best when he referred to the NDP cabinet as "heavy-hearted colonizers".

9. Tremendous advances are being made in the storage of renewable power, which has always been the knock against investing in solar and wind energy. These advances in the storage of renewable power have gone largely unnoticed in the press gallery, but they were given a fair amount of attention in a recent book, Just Cool It! The Climate Crisis and What We Can Do, by David Suzuki and Ian Hanington. Anyone who's curious to learn more can read this article. The mainstream media's failure to cover this issue was a serious shortcoming in its overall approach to the Site C dam. Had this been fully explored, perhaps the NDP government would not have chosen to complete the dam.

10. Municipal and regional governments are making enormous strides in generating their own renewable electricity. Much more can be done in this area at a lower cost than producing Site C power. This point has often been made by one of the foremost critics of the Site C dam, Richmond councillor Harold Steves.

11. Steves has argued that the premier's decision to complete the dam is to provide the energy to power the liquefied-natural-gas industry. If he's right, this will bring the world one step closer to climate-change hell. Anyone who believes Steves on this point can only conclude that the NDP government wasn't being truly honest with the public in explaining why it was going to complete the dam.

12. The NDP's decision to flood massive amounts of farmland in the Peace River Valley is seen by critics as especially foolish, given that there's been no increase in domestic demand for the electricity. Farmland is the new gold, according to former CIBC World Markets chief economist Jeff Rubin.

13. Site C dam critics believe that B.C. Hydro will have trouble servicing its ballooning debt in a world where renewable energy becomes far cheaper and far more plentiful. This debt will then be transferred from ratepayers to provincial taxpayers, crowding out spending for hospitals, schools, and other necessary public services.

14. Some critics of the Site C dam believe that the changes taking place in the energy industry are akin to the transformation in telecommunications from landlines to cellphones. That was a dramatic and quick transition, making the old technology far less appealing. Hydroelectric dams are so 1950s. Distributed renewable-energy generation and storage, including in people's homes and businesses, will be the way of the world in the 21st century. The unions will hate this, but they won't be able to stop it from happening.

And, finally, from literally anyone who has been paying attention because they care about what happens in and to this province:

"This is NOT a game."


Tuesday, January 09, 2018

The Google Doodle Lotuslandian Double Rainbow.

The image above was on Google's front page today, Jan 9th, 2018. It depicts Gobind Khorana and the genetic code that Khorana helped decipher which led to his sharing in the Nobel prize for medicine in 1968.

Khorana grew up in India, earned his PhD in Britain, completed a post-doc in Switzerland, and did the great majority of the work that cracked the code in the U.S.

But, for a time, during the 1950's Khorana worked in Vancouver on the chemistry of nucleic acids which form the building blocks of the code.

And a young post-doc who worked with him at that time was a fellow named Michael Smith.

Smith, of course, is the guy who won the Nobel prize a generation later for work he did right here in Lotusland wherein he figured out a way to change the genetic code - one of the first examples of gene editing which is all the rage all over again at the moment.

Imagine that!


Monday, January 01, 2018

The Year That Was...2017.


So, here it is, an audio account of a few of the memorable things that went down, mostly in Lotusland, in 2017...

Below are the links to the posts, grouped by subject and tune, that back the blather above...

This Year.
Daniel Dale Totes Up The Lies Of Mr. Trump in 2017
This Year In Clarkland...Booze Laws Uber Alles
Site C Aftermath...The Gloating (ctd)

The Yo-Yo Ferry Conspiracy
Lady In Grey Pajamas Says Mean Things About Site C
The Griftwood Chronicles...Ron Doubles Down On The Obviousness Of The Coverage Of Clarkbekistan
Advantage BC...There Are Known Knowns And There Are Things That Only Mr. Hansen Knows

Deviltown Reprise.
What Did The Minister Know And When Did He Know It
Casinogate: Shutting Down The IGET In 2009...There Was Paper
A Local Journalist Actually Asks Rich Coleman Why He Shut Down IGET

The End Of The Golden Era.
Everything In My Throne Speech Is Dangerous!
The Leadership Resignation Is The Least Of It
This Weekend In Clarkland...Discredit Everyone

Site C.
The Poison Pill Hidden In The Codswallop
The Twisted Logic Of Cookie Dough Mike
Minimum Transparency (Norm Farrell's Irrefutable Numbers)
The Aftermath...Three Point Seven

BC Liberal Says New NDP Donation Rules Are Unfair To Rich People
An Ounce Of Prevention Is Worth Tons
Bye For Now (Merv Adey's Last Post)

Apologies for the sound quality...Went straight into the laptop's condensor mike on this one.
Finally, in addition to Merv Adey, this one is dedicated to Gary E, another local blogger we lost in 2017.


Sunday, December 31, 2017

Advent Jukebox...The Final Tally.



It's absolutely astounds and amazes me that anyone would even bother to click through at all.

Happy almost New Year!

(audio-ish annual bloggorific round-up coming...Maybe)


Friday, December 29, 2017

When A 'Democracy Centre' Becomes Monty Hall.



Because it's all 'Dealine' all the time where these very, very fine folks are concerned.

Imagine that!

Tip O' The Toque to Mark Shaw on the Twittmachine.
The Keef says that the LINO's have doubled their membership...Hmmmm...Wonder if the Klout Klub has been killin' it with the kitty kat set this time around.
Subheader?....Ol' Monty was from....Winnipeg.


An Ounce Of Prevention Is Worth Tons.


Another one of those important progressive policy moves from the BC NDP government...

Charlie Smith had the story in the GStraight. Here is his lede:

...Health Minister Adrian Dix has responded to concerns in the LGBT community that his government isn't doing enough to prevent HIV infections.

Today, Dix announced that people at high risk of contracting the retrovirus can receive a daily oral medication for free, starting on January 1.

Pre-exposure prophylaxis, a.k.a. PrEP, has been recommended by the World Health Organization and theB.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS as a means to reduce transmission of HIV...

And here is an important kicker from the government news release:

...In August 2016, the Common Drug Review recommended PrEP for coverage, contingent in part on a lower price for the drug Truvada being secured. This condition has been met through the availability of generic Truvada...

Things being done properly for the common good...


What a concept.