Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Bloggodome Files...

YouWon'tReadItIn
TheSundayPapersVille


In the wake of the pre-emptive resignation of one of her caucus members and his subsequent arrest, Merv Adey wants to know why the proMedia didn't even bother to try and have our fine Premier answer a question or seven:

A Special Prosecutor has been appointed and we are still in the dark. Christy Clark has been in front of network television cameras and as far as I know, nobody in the Press cabal had the balls to ask the following rational questions:

What is Pat Pimm accused of? Does it relate to his duties as a legislator? Is it a matter of personal behaviour? (“Personal behaviour unbefitting a human” is the most likely answer, but he’s been accused of that before and there was no veil of secrecy. The nature of the allegations in 2013 was made public, though the details were not as he was never charged).

Is there not a public interest when an elected official finds himself under arrest?

Do the citizens of Pat Pimm’s Peace River riding not have a right to know why their elected representative was in police custody, even in the broadest terms?

Premier Clark…How does it reflect on your leadership that you are keeping it all quiet? The people of Peace River elected your man to be a part of your government..now, perhaps for the next 9 months until he retires, he will not be a part of your government. Do they not have a right to know why? How do you feel about it Premier Clark?


****

Speaking of hiding matters of the public interest in plain sight, Laila Yuile wonders if BC Hydro is going out of its way to ensure that there will not be a robust public response to its two-tiered billing gouge.....errr...proposal:

...(O)f course BC Hydro would be before the BC Utilities Commission during summer vacation on two tier billing… something that really impacts customers who rely entirely on Hydro for power and heat. A big thank you to Dave for bringing this in the comments section of my last post:

“You only have till Sept. 2 to comment to the BC Utilities Commission on proposed tier 2 electrical rate increases, which in effect shift the burden from industry to residences to pay for needless site c expansion and independent power producers.

There have only been about 200 comments submitted so far from the thousands of customers affected. 30,000 customers per year are disconnected compared to 6,000 a few years ago.

There has been a virtual news blackout on this opportunity to comment on the financial burden this places on middle and low income families.

The only allowable comment form which you are instructed to fill out and submit does not download for the majority of computer users and even after being told about this, still the Commission has not corrected it. 
 

 We really should take the time to submit our comments or the Commission will report to their masters that there is really no opposition to the increasing subsidy provided by us, the residential taxpayers, to the Murray Edwards of Mt. Polley Mine Disaster and his ilk, since they can now defer their utility bills, pay very minimal corporate tax and pathetic royalties.”
That this is not front page for people to respond to, with such limited time, is a joke. I strongly urge you to share this with everyone you know who may be impacted,particularly seniors and those on limited incomes who will not be able to bear the burden and may not be able to access or submit comment.

One might actually come to the conclusion they didn’t really want you to comment on something that impacts you greatly, considering the rate increases to come.


****

On the BCL crony capitalization front, Dermod Travis of Integrity BC let us know all about one of the fine folks who has been cashing one of those coveted BC Hydro sole sourced contract chips:

...In 2007, former B.C. MLA Jack Weisgerber was on the board of BC Hydro. His fees that year rang in at $37,125.

Then the board itself directly awarded Weisgerber a Site C consultancy contract. Between 2008 and 2014, he billed the utility $917,231.

This is how Weisgerber described the awarding of the contract to the Alaska Highway News: "The initiative came from (then-Minister of Energy and Mines, now Senator) Richard Neufeld and the BC Hydro board."

When the consulting was finished, he retook his chair in the boardroom and pulled in $31,500 in 2014/15...


****

And, get this!

For one post at least, Norm Farrell put down his red ink-stained pen that regularly ferrets out the true wretchedness in BC Liberal government accounts to let us in on the secret of why one prominent Lotuslandian proMedia outlet has not be doing much reporting on that big foreign money tax cheatopalooza story:

...On Twitter, Chris Gailus explained why Global TV would not cover what might be one of Vancouver’s most significant news stories this decade:




Interestingly, and perhaps not unexpectedly, a whole lot of backpeddling, including from Global itself, ensued on the Twittmachine...

****

So.

Just what will the real legacy of the ten year reign of Stephen Harper be?

Alison of Creekside told us the answer to that question may have been accurately foreshadowed by a GW Bush appointee way back in 2006:

...(When the Harper government was) first elected into office, US Ambassador David Wilkins sent home a diplomatic cable outlining how the US could best support and direct a prime minister whose values were "not in line" with most Canadians.

He recommended Harper would be useful in "advancing the US agenda for Canada" and that giving him " a success story" like the softwood lumber deal would "shore up his credentials" with Canadians without appearing to "sell out to the Americans".

Ambassador Wilkins "transformational agenda" for Harper :


"Cross border law enforcement" "enhanced information sharing", "joint maritime operations", "more robust counter-narcotics efforts", "security perimeter", following the US lead on Haiti, Afghanistan, Iran, Venezuela, Colombia, ...


****

And, because past is not supposed to be epilogue....

From across the Rockies David Climenhaga had a distinctly non-hagiographic take Stephen Harper's first post-governmental adventure. My favourite part is a wee bit of a digression about the very real potential of a wee bit of a wingnuttian welfare fundraising overlap:

...Just what Canada and the world need! Another right-wing “consulting firm” with a murky mandate...

...Preston Manning, that tingling you feel in your spine may be related to the fact Mr. Harper is on the loose again, right in your own neighbourhood. He’ll be going to the same generous funders, too, as your eponymous Manning Centre. Heaven only knows what he’s going to be saying about your service to the conservative cause if he encounters a tapped-out donor...


****

And finally, the following by our friend Danneau, mostly because his thoughful take is the only one I've read anywhere that took any issue with our collective Canuckistanian response to last Saturday night's really big show:

...Whether or not I like the music of the Hip is somewhat irrelevant to the fact that this event has been blown all out of its proportionate importance as a unifier of Canadians and as representative of all that’s good in Canadian culture. I get it that lots of people really like this band and its music, and that there is an outpouring of empathy for a group of people handling a difficult situation with grace and aplomb, but the transmogrification of that grace and aplomb into our own Velvet Revolution is, as the French say, “de trop”. The two really fine items springing from this event have gotten some attention: Gord Downie apparently having called out Justin Trudeau on his ongoing lack of progress on improving lives, specifically First Nations’, in the North, and a comment I saw echoed on Facebook this morning about a broadcaster that puts up an event on national television with no ad breaks, no ticker ads and extends the broadcast when it goes beyond its allotted time, demonstrating the value of a publicly funded, owned and directed national broadcast system...

I'm not sure I agree with Danneau entirely, mostly because I can't think of anybody, and that included Lightfoot, who so consistently put a geographical mind-stamp on lyric poems of the universal than did Mr. Downie. Still, I did have to explain to an American colleague what all the fuss was about (and point her to a few videos of GD in his prime for good measure).

.

Monday, August 22, 2016

My Morning Ride...



Sunflowers and construction everywhere this morning; getting across Cambie in the high 20's was a nightmare.

But for the first time in quite awhile it was cool enough to wear long sleeves.

And then, somewhere on the Pt. Grey plateau I saw a chestnut on the road.

And when I looked around there a bunch of leaves around also.

Summer's almost over.

Which makes sense, I guess, given that I have to teach later this week.

And if it comes back in October (summer, I mean), I'm sure the Clarkandian's climate inaction plan will take care of everything.

.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Letter Tune For America, No. 4


ShiningLikeA
NationalGuitarVille


Like many of the true pilgrims that went to Memphis yesterday we, too, are home now.

The image above was taken looking into the fog from our favourite North Coast California motel on the trip back.

Funny how much of all the craziness that is really the Excited States is held at bay when you don't watch the TeeVee or read the real papers while traveling.

So much so that after a couple of weeks you tend to reach a bit of a state of grace.

Pretty sure that will all be gone by the weekend.

If not sooner.



_______
Thirty-nine years the King has been gone...Which is the same age my Grandma always told me she was pretty much right up until the day she knitted me 'The Sweater'.


.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Letter Tune From America, No. 3


SittingInThe
Morning(NotQuite)SunVille


Every two summers we return to the Bay Area (eastside division) where Bigger E. was born.

This time around, as we were walking up Hopkins from Monterey Market toward King Park in Berkeley, littler e. asked why the heck we ever left.

Which is a long story involving real jobs and the chance to raise our kids in Canada.

Anyway...

This trip we stayed in Emeryville, that tiny little chunk of pixellated mudflat squeezed between Berkeley and Oakland at the foot of the Bay Bridge into the City which is what you are looking at in the image above.

I took that picture the other morning while sitting there thinking of Mr. Redding...



_______
Will be back from holidays later this week...The Bloggodome Round-Up will return next Sunday...

.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Letter Tune From America, No. 2



On
HolidayVille


We're down in northern California now.

Out on the coast, at the southern end of Mendocino county.

Today it was swimming with littler e', first up the river because of the coastal morning fog and then in ocean waves after the sun broke through later in the afternoon.

And this evening it was Bigger E. and me at maybe the most fun and inclusive open mic I've ever been to (not that I'm really an expert or anything) at a fantastic little bar called 'The 215 Main' in Point Arena, CA.

It sure is a hard knock life being the father of two kids who want to do so much fun stuff with, uh...

...Their own Dad.

****

This is an old one,  originally done for our old friend and compatriot in Bloggodoming Ian Reid...




.

Monday, August 01, 2016

Letter Tunes From America.

HaveZoomWill
TravelVille


We have left Canada for two weeks in the Excited States.

We are currently in Southern Oregon, Ashland, where they have the summer Shakespeare festival, to be more precise.

The only federal election signs we have seen so far have been for he who would be king.

Don't know about you, but when I leave Canuckistan, I sometimes think of this tune...




_______
Subheader?...Longtime reader and musical-guy-of-all-trades Don F. sold me on a little multitrack Zoom recorder that I invested in and use all the time (although rarely taking advantage of all the tracks which would probably improve the guitar sounds if I did.



.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Bloggodome Files...

YouCan'tReadItInThe
SundayPapersVille


Norm Farrell, who has been on fire, lately has a really, really, really important post up on the 'Destruction' of BC Hydro:

...Until 1961, with a patchwork of private and municipal systems, many BC residents paid among the highest electrical rates in North America. Others had no reliable service at all. Bennett expropriated the largest private operator and formed BC Hydro, a public corporation.

In 2001, forty years later, residents and businesses enjoyed some of the lowest electrical rates anywhere. BC Hydro sold energy worth $7.9 billion, including $5.5 billion from exported power. Those numbers made the hearts of BC Liberal sponsors beat rapidly. However, it was not the value realized by taxpayers and BC Hydro customers that caused excitement, it was the prospect of privatizing those values. The first step in 2002 was “Energy for our Future: A Plan for BC” that included creation of BC Transmission Corporation, setting the stage for generation and export of private power...



Laila Yuile once again proves that all politics are local, for her in Surrey: 

...Last night, that lack of foresight and continued preference to rampant development (by Surrey council) was displayed again as council put a motion on the table to approve the development in the middle of summer when most people who were opposed, were on vacation,taking care of kids out of school or otherwise occupied.

There was no direct notice to the hundreds of neighbours impacted that this was going to occur and local resident Cindy Dalglish did not receive advance notice either. In fact several emails to the planning department and a councillor, left questions unanswered repeatedly.

Cindy was stunned last night, stunned that after council represented to the attending public big concerns for where the kids will go to school from this development ( keep in mind there are hundreds more units planned for this area as we speak) they would pass it just weeks later in such a stealthy manner. And other residents felt the same way. One I know called their realtor this morning to list, knowing school is going to be an overcrowded nightmare here for years – even the local highschool is vastly overcrowded as well...



The notorious NVG, who usually does his digging thing quietly, expertly and calmly, got pretty worked up this week over that 'vote' that our fine Premier took a (now apologetic) pass on:

...Premier Christy Clark has been missing from the action in the legislature so much that we've lost count, whereas Opposition Leader John Horgan's one absence was noted by Christy Clark in her 'replies' during Question Period when the BC NDP caucus popped the question, the same question over and over without the Premier giving any answer except .... I see your leader is not here.

Laurie Throness, who spoke against the transgender rights Act, didn't, doesn't, appear to have the balls to back up his responsibility to all British Columbians by his deliberately leaving the chamber in order not to have a black mark lodged against the BC Liberals.

Laurie Throness' duty is to vote, come hell or high water, its in his bible.

Throness was in the building! Throness WAS IN THE BUILDING up until Speaker Linda Reid called for the vote. Admonishment? Not bloody likely by the speaker.

The $50,000 stipend paid to Christy Clark for her working the BC Liberal fund raising circuit proves that the only family that comes first in British Columbia is her party membership family...



Grant G, as bombastic and over-the-top as he can be, is right, again, about the (economic-, not Dipper-, induced) Death of LNG:

...There are those who say that the Petronas proposal..PNW LNG in Prince Rupert is different..people like BC Liberal spin doctor Tom Cassada(Twitter @lotuslander1000)...He claims PNW LNG is different because the consortium are offtakers of the gas...in other words, partners, equity partners don't care what the price is...that according to Tom Cassada..

Shell Canada had as partners..PetroChina and Kogas..(China and Japan)..and they were offtakers of Shell's gas too..

What some people can't digest, and it is a very simple concept...Why spend $billions to ensure $10 dollar LNG when you can lock in longterm LNG buys for $4 to $5 dollars per MM BTU's...That way these companies keep their cash, and get cheaper LNG...



And, finally, Mr. Beer 'N Hockey gets down to the real brassiest of brass tacks:

...One of the best bits of news I heard all year came courtesy of one of the DCFP's fine readers correcting my belief BC's bush track crowd was not going to be able to put on a Race Day this summer for the first time. Your fellow reader informs me Desert Park is indeed racing August 20th! Post time is scheduled for 1:00 PM if that is ok with Christy Clark.

Seems the provincial f*cking government is getting in the way of my interior friends putting on more Race Days. One more reason not to vote for the crooked f*cks if you ask me. Horgan is up there this weekend. Hope he has made it clear to people up there the NDP will not stand in the way of people doing their god damnedest to keep racing alive and well outside of Dope City...




______
Earworm in sub-header got you goin'?....This!


.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Keef Report...I Told You (Idiot Bloggers) So.

HindsightIsTweefy
KweefyVille


Looks like one of Keef's latest offerings on the Twittmachine aims to rub some folks' noses in it by simultaneously calling back to....

...Himself.



So.

What did the Keef have to say back in January that we, the great unwashed need to read?

Well...

How about, this:

One of the more intriguing demands by those opposing the Site C dam is that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau step in and block its construction, using the argument that the dam infringes First Nations' rights and poses environmental risk.

The odds of the Trudeau government taking such an extraordinary action are, of course, fairly remote. But the root of the argument -- that the dam tramples on First Nations' rights -- remains very much alive even while the dam's construction proceeds every day.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, a leading First Nations leader in B.C., has tried to make the case that only by killing the dam will the Trudeau government show it cares about First Nations. Other dam opponents -- notably environmental and aboriginal activists -- have echoed his demand.

But politically, the argument is a non-starter. There is no way a federal government will override a provincial government decision that is constitutionally protected (provinces have power over non-renewable natural resources, and section 92(a) of the Constitution Act specifically gives provinces power over electrical energy projects, which is precisely what the Site C dam is).

If Trudeau were to indeed try to shut down the dam's construction, he would create a constitutional firestorm that would mortify all provincial governments. Provinces always look askance (or worse) when a federal government tries to stick its nose in their constitutionally-protected business, whatever it might be...


Now.

Here's the thing.

The real issue at hand, as Laila and others have pointed out many times (and which we discussed here the other day) is entirely procedural in that any and all provincial decisions on Site C have been exempted from oversight by the province's own watchdog the BC Utilities Commission.

Therefore, on that basis alone, separate from any and all First Nations and constitutional issues, Mr. Trudeau could have and should have rejected the permits.


_____
Oh and, for the record...The Keef just waves away environmental concerns given because they don't concern the provincial government....Therefore, ipso facto Neener! Neener! Neener!...Or some such thing.
A very sharp Anon-O-Mouse on the comment threads the other day suggested that Mr. Trudeau may actually be betting that the courts, ruling on the First Nations issues, will ultimately get him off the hook on this one.
Previous Keef Reports can be found...Here (scroll down).


.

Friday, July 29, 2016

This Day In Clarkland...Local ProMedia Organ Uses The 'L' Word To Describe BC Liberal Caucus Housing Tax Smear.

TheTurningOfThe
HerdVille


Yesterday, we noted the BC Liberal government caucus' baseless (some are calling it libelous) smear of Opposition member David Eby in attempt to deflector spike-spin his rising approval ratings in the wake of their cynical (geographically) limited foreign buyer housing tax.

Well.

It turns out that the caucus division of the Wizards of Clarklandia (who are being paid by you and me) didn't stop there. They also falsely characterized the NDP's longstanding (and long-called for) suggestion about how to slowly deflate the bubble without unfairly whacking anyone...


 Link


Interestingly, and potentially importantly, a single proMedia outlet has called this codswallop out for what it is.

The following is from a piece written by Martin MacMahon posted on the CKWX 1130 website:

...In separate Tweets, the BC Liberal Caucus appears to mischaracterize the proposed NDP speculation tax as one that would apply to all home buyers.

Which is a lie, right? At the very least, it’s an extremely misleading statement,” says (political scientist David) Moscrop. “Everybody knows that there’s going to have to be some sort of taxation measure that’s levelled to start dealing with this. Either that, or there’s going to be a crash. I mean, there could be a suite of things, but taxes are definitely on the table for this. That’s not what the NDP was proposing, whatever side you’re on.”....



Why is the inclusion  of the word 'lie' important in a local proMedia story important?

Because, unless our local proMedia herd turns, hard and starts calling the BC Liberals out for their lies, fabrications and misleading mischaracterizations, long and hard, we could well find ourselves with the same government this time next year.

OK?


_______
One small thing bugged me in Mr. MacMahon's otherwise excellent piece...Which is that he let a little bit of 'both sides do it' - type stuff sneak in at the end. That is not a good thing because it allows the dye-filled false equivalency boats to start floating which can be a real problem in the end (and is something truly cynical Wizards count on to muddy all waters).


.

This Day In Clarkland...Trudeau Green-Lights Site C.

Oversight?
WeDon'tNeedNoStinkingOversightVille


As Laila points out on the Twittmachine, it's hard to believe that the Trudeau government would approve permits for a massive hydroelectric project that the provincial government's own oversight body is not allowed to, well, you know...oversee.

It's something that makes you wonder if, indeed, Marky Mark and the Godfather still have some pull with the mandarins in Ottawash.

Anyway....

As Jonny Wakefield notes in Glacier's far northern press organs, many of the locals are not happy.

And that includes folks whose livelihood will be directly affected by Mr. Trudeau's 'permits' (and who likely have a decent Charter challenge in their back pockets):

Justin Trudeau’s government has authorized its first set of Site C permits, allowing construction to continue on the controversial $8.8 billion project.

Critics of the dam say the approval quashes any hopes they had of the new government delaying or further reviewing Site C...


{snip}

...The West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations continue to challenge the project in court, saying flooding the Peace River Valley will disrupt their ability to exercise Treaty rights. The two nations will be in federal court in Montreal this September...



Something tells me that this is not over regardless all of our fine Premier's word salad-spun promises to get the project in cronification 'past the point of no return'.




.