Tuesday, September 19, 2017

BC Liberal AG Critic Says New NDP Donation Rules Unfair To Rich People.


....Because they give too much power to people that don't have big wads of cash to bundle.

Or some such thing:

..."They've arbitrarily chosen a figure of $1,200 for the amount that is the cap for donations (instead of the $5,000 individual spending cap in the BCL's/Mr. Wilkinson's sham-of-shamsickleish 'bill'), and clearly that will suit their interests, there's no rationale for it other than it suits the interests of the NDP."...

Meanwhile, as Norm Farrell point out on the Twittmachine...

And yet, Mikey-Mike says says we, the people, will almost certainly make Horgan et al. pay for the per voter party subsidy portion of the campaign finance reform bill.


Like the way Mr. Smyth et al. made sure the voters penalized the previous gov't leader for things like monies shovelled off the back of wind farmy proximal podia and/or spent on bogus Bollywood bonanzas in purely unregulated, party-targeted, 100% publicly-paid for days gone by?


On the subsidy thingy....Credit where credit is due department...Rob Shaw's VSun piece is solid and well-contextualized (the comments, not so much).
For the record, nobody dug into the proximal podia money shovelling by the previous Premier more than Merv Adey (both the post and the discussion in the comments are fantastic)....


Sunday, September 17, 2017

The De-Cronification Chronicles (Vol. 2)....They're Shocked!


Well, whadd'ya know...

The fine, fine folks at the trough, errrrrrrr, Advantage BC are shocked!

Shocked, I tell you, to learn that their public money firehose is being shut-off:

Our staff and Board of Directors are shocked and disappointed by the introduction of legislation to cancel the International Business Activity (IBA) Program.

While we are still working to prevent the cancellation of the program, the AdvantageBC Board is eager for the organization to continue to fulfill its overall mandate of promoting British Columbia as a desirable place to locate international business. The IBA Program is an important tool in the toolkit; however, AdvantageBC’s work is broader than the IBA Program. Regardless of the future of the IBA Program, we will continue our work to attract the attention of companies and investors around the world...


What, exactly, has Advantage BC done for us for our money?

Well, as Dan Levin of the NY Times pointed out back in early May...

...Participating companies have created few jobs, according to government figures, while more than 140 million Canadian dollars have been doled out in (BC provincial) tax refunds since 2008, when the initiative was expanded (by the BC Liberal government).

The incentives operate under a cloak of secrecy that is unusual for similar efforts in Canada and the United States, critics say. The province (of BC) will not name the companies that get the breaks. The only information available about them is on the website of a nonprofit that promotes the program.

“This is essentially a temporary foreign-worker program for the rich, with secret government subsidies for multinational corporations,” said Dermod Travis, the executive director of IntegrityBC, a nonpartisan political watchdog group based in Victoria, the provincial capital. “The government is selling B.C. as a tax haven for the global elite to park investment here, but not have to contribute.”...

And just how 'successful' was the program?

Super, super-duper, uber-alles successful.


...At one point, the tax breaks were projected to create more than 13,000 jobs in British Columbia. According to ministry figures, though, fewer than 300 have been created as a result of the program, and possibly as few as 122...

So, feel free to keep-on-keepin'-on fullfilling that overall mandate of yours Advantage BC'ers.

Just as long as you do it on yours and/or your patrons' (i.e. not the peoples') dime.

Because we've got better things to do with our money.


You may recall the tizzy
that Mr. Levin's report set off amongst local  Club members given that an outsider came to Lotusland, dug around a little, and then wrote a(nother) big story about something that everybody already knew about but couldn't be bothered tell the rubes about a week before the election and all...

Tip-O'-The-Toque to Integrity BC for heads up on super fine 'blog post' from A-BC...


Friday, September 15, 2017

The De-Cronification Chronicles (Vol. 1)...


The dismantling of the BC Liberal perpetual chronification machine has begun.

And, in my opinion at least, one of the most egregious and malevolent flywheels in this machine is the guaranteed, locked-in contracts that have been handed out to our fine province's 'Independent Power Producers' (IPP's).

The new government has taken the first steps to ending this, as reported earlier this week by Andrew Macleod in the Tyee:

Buried in the British Columbia budget update this week was a major change for independent power producers who sell electricity to BC Hydro.

According to the utility’s service plan, it will cut payments to the private power producers as existing contracts expire.

BC Hydro will be “renewing contracts with independent power producers at prices less than what they are currently paid, recognizing that those producers have typically recovered most of their capital costs over their original contract terms.”

It will also be “reviewing the Standing Offer Program to reflect the declining costs of new power technology,” according to its service plan...


The Standing Offer Program, which has suspended new applications according to an Aug. 18 update on BC Hydro’s website, paid between $102.06 and $111.56 per megawatt-hour in 2016. Some of the earlier contracts paid as much as $120 per megawatt-hour, which is significantly more than BC Hydro’s normal cost to produce power, Black said.

According to a BC Hydro spokesperson, power produced using the utility’s heritage assets costs around $32 per megawatt-hour...


How much have IPP's gouged out of our backs so far, mostly for no real good reason at all?


As Norm Farrell has pointed out over and over and over again.

It is is billions.

With a 'B'. 



Thursday, September 14, 2017

Six Times...


From the 'Everything I Did Then Does Not Matter Now' file:

Quilchena Uber Alles, indeed.


Six is the number of times the BC Liberal government of Mr. Wilkinson and friends crushed campaign reform bills while they were in the MAJORITY.


One Helluva An Epitaph.


Grant Hart, half of the brains and heart and fury behind Husker Du, has died.

Here is how he explained why he never wanted/allowed a reunion of the band in an interview with Brad Cohan of the Village Voice in 2012:

...I’ve always lived with the doctrine of Patti Smith: “I don’t fuck much with the past but I fuck plenty with the future.” I tend to like that philosophy...

Hard to argue with that.

But pretty tough to follow.

Bob Mould's tribute to Hart, on the book of faces, is....Here.
Dan Epstein's take is...Here.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Will Railgate Never Die?


From Justin McElroy via the MoCo:

A legal dispute between West Vancouver and CN Rail over a popular seawall is heading to a tribunal.

The Canadian Transportation Agency will be holding public hearings during an ongoing lawsuit between the two bodies concerning the public's right to access the Centennial Seawalk.

"The fundamental question is whether or not the areas where the seawalk crosses into CN's right-of-way should be what the law calls approved crossings," said Scott Streiner, Canadian Transportation Agency CEO.

"We have many crossing cases, but the specific nature of this case is a little unusual."

CN Rail filed a lawsuit in B.C. Supreme Court on Feb. 17. The company terminated its lease with the municipality earlier this year, and is now seeking compensation of $3.7 million per year in rent for public use of the seawalk between 19th Street and 24th Street, which is on railroad land.

The District of West Vancouver had been offering $12,500 a year, indexed for inflation. The seawall was built in the 1960s, but CN Rail leased the right-of-way from the B.C. government after they purchased B.C. Rail...


You did, indeed, read that last part correctly. The cronies have come home to roost on a public seawall built in the 1960's (i.e. 40 years before they made their deal GordCo, Inc).

And they want $3.7 million for that roost, now fully 50 years after the fact.


I'm pretty sure that NVG will have much more to say about this soon...


Monday, September 11, 2017

And So It Begins (Kinda/Sorta/Almost)...


An account of the beginning, from Chris Young's Canadian Press report:

Toronto - Two top political aides to former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty pleaded not guilty Monday to charges over the destruction of internal emails about the Liberal government's costly cancellation of two gas plants...

And then, just as suddenly, it stopped:

...Foreshadowing what is expected to be a bitterly fought case, the long-awaited trial of David Livingston and his deputy Laura Miller finally began with an attack on the prosecution over the information it had provided the defence, leading to a week-long delay in hearing evidence...

Stay tuned.


Sunday, September 10, 2017

A New Sunday Pastime...


For those (few) of you have been wondering...

I'll get back to putting together new 'Sunday Sets', I promise.

Once the damnable grants are done (soon!).

In the meantime, another DIY kid who, together with her musical friends, knocks me out:

You can watch/listen to Reina del Cid's regular 'Sunday Morning' offerings, and there are bushels full of them....Here.

You can help Ms. del Cid make her music....Here.
Speaking of DIY kids...Had a great time watching my own, Bigger E, along with her friend S., doing their thing at 'The'Chickpea', a newly happening spot in Lotusland Central on Main in the high 20's, last night...


Saturday, September 09, 2017

Will All Of Small Paul's Riding Association Chickens Soon Come Home To Roost?


Couldn't help but notice the following most interesting passage in Laurence Martin's latest Globe piece on internecine political party wars:

...There followed on the Liberal Party side the Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin wars. Mr. Chrétien won two majorities, whereupon the insurrection of Martin rebels began. He won a third, only to see his antagonists gather in greater numbers and force him out. There's a book coming out on Mr. Chrétien next month by Bob Plamondon called The Shawinigan Fox. It has revelations, which I've read, about the feud. Warning to the Martin crowd: Duck!...


Whatever could that be all about 'inssurection of the Martin rebels' thing possibly be about?


I seem to remember something.

Something from 2007...

Something written by a by-then-already-blogging proMedia guy named Paul Willcocks.

Although this bit was published in BC Business; the passage I'm thinking of goes like this:

....The most infamous episode saw the Martin forces take over the riding association of MP and Chrétien supporter Herb Dhaliwal in 2002, while Dhaliwal was out of the country and his wife was dying of cancer. The takeover not only locked up delegate support for Martin; it killed Dhaliwal’s chances of running again. He blames (David) Basi and others on Marissen’s team, complaining of questionable mass sign-ups of instant Liberals. The riding association swelled from 250 to almost 3,400 members during the campaign to get rid of Dhaliwal. Liberal insider and Chrétien loyalist Warren Kinsella called it the worst kind of political thuggery, grim enough to make him consider quitting the party. “It always seemed rough, a take-no-prisoners knee-cap approach. It’s a B.C. style,” says political scientist Norman Ruff. Marissen’s organizational skills helped shape the battles, he adds. “He conducted politics like a military campaign.” But Ruff agrees that the federal Liberal party was a comfortable, closed club in the province. (“If it was a club, it was a small one,” adds a Liberal strategist who watched the battles from outside the province.) Marissen downplays the conflicts. But Christy Clark, no slouch at politics, is blunter. “Does anybody think that politics is just about being nice all the time? Politics is about winning,” she says. “In politics, in order for somebody to win, somebody has to lose. When winning requires you to be tough, that’s the style Mark will adopt.” But only when he has to, Clark adds...

Duck, indeed.

But only when you have to, of course.

Tip O' The Toque to Owen Gray for the heads up on the Martin (Lawrence, not Small Paul) piece.
Initially, I thought of using a 'TheBoyz Are Back In Town! sub-heading for this post, but ultimately decided that might be a little too on the nose....And besides, I didn't want to have to deal with the Earworm fallout....Ooooops....Which always brings to (my) mind (anyway) that part in 'Once' where the buskers tell the guy that they 'only play Lizzy'...
And my apologies, sincerely, to any and all Anon-O-Mice who become cranky upon landing here...'Tis something I will do my best to correct in the future...


Friday, September 08, 2017

Mr. Coleman's Six Minute Flip-Flop....


From the Twittmachine feed of the Globe's Mike Hager...

This, at 10:03 am this morning:

Followed by this, at 10:09 am:


Personally, I don't get why folks like the good Mr. Coleman aren't more upset with the fact that it was Ms. Clark who let the DipperGreen coalition off the BCLiberal-built faux constitutional petard in the first place.

If you get my drift.

And then, of course, there's....This.