Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Lotuslandian Pro-Media: There Is A Club...

...And Stephen Hume Is Not In It.

Mr. Hume's lede, in today's VSun, says it all:

Environment Minister Mary Polak says I was reckless to compare her government’s secrecy about tainted drinking water in the Interior with public health disasters at Walkerton, Ont., and Flint, Mich.

No, what’s reckless is government secrecy. Particularly in response to public concern over the possible health consequences of spreading millions of litres of liquid manure on an aquifer from which hundreds of people at Spallumcheen obtain drinking water.

That water is unsafe for babies, seniors and people with compromised immune systems. The government’s health officers say so. It’s contaminated with nitrates, often associated with agricultural run-off. Testing shows nitrates in the aquifer trending steadily upward.

Here’s what Polak said:

“The essential information is getting to the right people to make informed decisions about water quality, so people’s health is not put at risk.”

First, if tap water’s not safe for at-risk populations to drink — infants, the elderly, the sick — then by definition some people’s health is already at risk.

Second, who are these “right people?” Not, apparently, citizens with unsafe tap water...

There is a Club?....You bet there is.
Now...Can you just imagine if every Lotuslandian proMedia member went after demonstrable malfeasance by the Clarklandians the way that Mr. Hume does?


This Day In Clarkland...Is That What They Teach At The Sorbonne?


Via Mr. Smyth of The Province, our fine Premier explains why the Real Estate Board should just keep on keepin' on:

...Should the real estate industry now be trusted to investigate itself?

“They’re a self-governing profession, just like doctors or dentists,” Clark said. “We’re giving them a chance to fix it themselves.”...


And what are the pre-requisites, exactly, for getting into Real Estate School?

And what does the actual 'degree' consist of, not to mention the post-graduate training?

And isn't it funny that the good Ms. Clark did not mention teachers and self-governance and all that.
The piece by Tomlinson, Stueck and Hunter in the Globe is actually far superior, and gets much closer to the heart of the anti-regulatory matter, than does the usual toss-off from Mr. Smyth...Thing is, the header atop the Globe piece is likely all the Clarklandian Wizards care about ('BC promises action on 'shadow flipping' by province's realtors') because in a land filled with deflector spike spin that need last only 36 hours, max,  nobody really cares about the 2.6% of the electorate that actually reads the articles anyway, right?


Monday, February 01, 2016

This Day In Clarkland...Which Hand Is Which?


On the one hand...

The provincial government will pay for an external study on the impacts of foreign investment and ownership in B.C.’s property market, The Province has learned...


...In an email titled “Foreign Investment Research Initiative,” (BC Housing's manager of research Deborah) Kraus writes that, “B.C. Housing has issued a request for proposals for a consultant to conduct research on this topic and expects to engage a consultant by the end of January 2016.” ...

On the other hand...

Premier Christy Clark said Monday that B.C. has been researching the impact that foreign investment might be having on the local housing market for about a year.

The disclosure suggests her government is more concerned with the role offshore funds could be playing in Metro Vancouver’s red-hot real estate market than it had previously indicated...

All of which, of course means absolutely nothing for a leader who doesn't have the guts to actually govern.

And then, as Laila points out, there is also....This.


Saturday, January 30, 2016

Vancouver Real Estate...Cause And Effect?


The effect, as mapped by Andy Yan of Bing Thom Architects:

A cause(?), as laid out by Sam Cooper and Dan Fumano of The Province (go read it all):

In late December 2014 Vancouver realtor Liang Ming Wei walked into the frenetic dining hall of Floata in Chinatown.

With hundreds of diners and waiters racing around with steaming plates of dim sum, the Keefer Street restaurant was perfect for an obscure transfer.

Wei had arranged for three million yuan to be deposited in a Chinese bank and transferred to a Richmond currency exchange. Exchange owner Tony Xu called Wei and told the realtor his client’s cash had arrived and it was converted to $521,470 Canadian.

It was 10 times the legal amount individuals are allowed to transfer from China. And it was 50 times over the $10,000 limit that must be reported under Canada’s anti-money-laundering laws...

So, what do you think our fine Premier and her wizards will come up with as a 'top priority' on this file in their upcoming budget (and don't forget that Ms. Taylor will be in the room when the sausage is made this time)?


Songs From The Key Of Life.


January has been a bit of a weird month.

I've spent a good portion of the New Year talking younger colleagues off the ledge because of the changes to the big grant thing in the sky (and/or Ottawa).

Which scares the bejeebuz out of me too, but I've been around long enough to know that this too shall pass.

I think.


Anyway, overall, I can't complain as our lab did pretty well in January.

We finally got that big behemoth of a paper that I've been moaning about in, two kids who used to be in the lab but who have since moved won some awards and, late on Thursday night, we got the news that we've received a small grant (that is not from Ottawa) that will make it possible to take a shot at doing something really interesting and potentially exciting.

And so yesterday I was pounding away at the keyboard working on the next big thing when I got an Email from Bigger E. It was her birthday and she sent me a present - imagine that.

And, just in case you were wondering... I myself am working on something musical that nobody, especially Mr. Beer 'N Hockey, knows about yet...OK?


Friday, January 29, 2016

This Week In Clarkland...That Thing I Cannot Not Find.



Friday, 6pm: See Update at bottom of post...

Pursuant to the following previously commented upon New Year's day report from the good Mr. Tom Fletcher of the Black Press:

The B.C. government's quit-smoking assistance program is now available to people who drop by a pharmacy to qualify for free nicotine replacement products...


....The program also covers 12 weeks of prescription drugs Zyban or Champix, with cost depending on coverage under the Pharmacare program. Details are available here or from your doctor.

How come I, as a citizen of British Columbia can find no 'drug decision summary' or 'evidence report' for 'Champix' on what I take to be the appropriate the BC government website?

Why do I ask?



You know.

Update: Thanks to an Anon-O-Mouse in the comments, due to 2015 FOI request now have a copy of the BC Gov's 2011 review...Will compare to US FDA's 2011 decision...More to come...


This Day In Clarkland...Educational Puff-Fluffery Revisited.


From Andrew MacLeod's latest in The Tyee:

...(Mt. Pleasant By-Election candidate) Gavin Dew's biography on the BC Liberal Party's website says that after studying English literature at the University of British Columbia, "He went on to complete an MBA at Oxford and study crisis management at Harvard."

Asked for more detail from Dew on his time at Harvard, Liberal party spokesperson Jillian Stead said that in 2012 the candidate attended the Harvard Kennedy School of Executive Education where he took "Leadership in Crises: Preparation and Performance." ...


...Stead declined to answer whether the course was only one week when Dew took it. She did not make Dew available for an interview, and instead referred further questions to Harvard.

A school official at Harvard confirmed "Leadership in Crises" is six days long...

And why not?

After all, didn't the boss  do the very same thing when she trumpeted her non-graduational 'attendance' at Edinburgh and the Sorbonne while running for the BC Liberal Party leadership?



All this might seem kind of silly and not really worth remarking upon given the fact that the good Mr. Dew apparently received an MBA degree from Oxford.


There is the small matter of how the BC Liberal Party machine relentlessly went after an NDP candidate in the last election because she attended a much less prestigious school than Harvard or Oxford but actually graduated with a medical degree that is recognized by the BC College of Physicians and Surgeons.


Given all that, those of us who have been paying attention might have a hard time not concluding that hypocrisy is the Clarklandians new ivy.

Or some such thing.


And how much does that six days of prestigious academic tourism at Harvard cost anyway...Why, only a mere $10,000 Cdn....And what academic 'credentials' does one need to take the course...Well, as you might expect when such privilege and cachet requires only money...Absolutely nothing...Say It Again!


This Day In Clarkland...Getting To 'No' Teck.


From the lede to Mark Hume's piece in today's Globe:

Teck Metals Ltd. is expected to be hit with substantial fines after the company admits in court next week to causing pollution in Trail, in southeast B.C.

The provincial court registry shows Teck, which operates the largest lead-zinc smelter in the world in the small town on the banks of the Columbia River, intends to plead guilty Monday to 15 charges...

As we already noted, in response to Ms. Clark's ridiculous bit of PR deflector spike spin about the so-called forces of 'No' that was test driven for spring 2017 earlier this week...

When we, the people, see every effort at reasonable regulatory oversight constantly subverted and, just as often, perverted, we will, eventually, put our foot down.

For all the right reasons.



Thursday, January 28, 2016

BC To Become Last In Minimum Wage Again...How Will Clarklandians Respond?


They could call a press conference/photo-op every day for two weeks and keep re-announcing the previously announced paltry twenty cent-an-hour increase (that they knew would do nothing when they implemented) over and over and over and over again, pretending each time that it's 'new' and actually fixing the problem.

What's that you say?

The Clarklandians would never do a thing like that?

Of course not.


Link to Rod Mickleburgh tweet, pictured above is...Here. 
'Not' link, above, refers to a story of the 're-announcing' of previously decided upon seismic upgrade to a school in South Vancouver (see pg 6 for 'Kingsford-Smith Elementary') as if it were new after the final strong-arming of the VSB.


This Day In Clarkland...But Can She See The Flint River From Her House?


From a piece by Turner Cowles in the January 20th NYT:

A top aide to Michigan’s governor referred to people raising questions about the quality of Flint’s water as an “anti-everything group.” ...


...That view of how the administration of Gov. Rick Snyder initially dealt with the water crisis in the poverty-stricken, black-majority city of Flint emerged from 274 pages of emails, made public by the governor on Wednesday (January 17th)...


Who knew that the Iron Snowbird was now taking her deflector spike-spin cues from Republican despots in Michigan.

Tip of the Toque to @impishchimp on the Twittmachine.
We wrote about the Keef getting to know Ms. Clark's power of 'No' previously...Here.
The definitive take on the absurdity of this codswallop is still Laila's.