Friday, May 27, 2016

For Scotty On Denman....Wherever We May Find Him.


Saturday Morning post-Buckley Bay Tow-In Update...You'd be crazy not read Scotty's responses in the comments.


Who possibly could have predicted it...


Need a little context?...This.


This Day In (Not) Clarkland...Re-Establishing GordCo Inc.


Mr. Campbell may be out as Canada's High Commissioner and Johnny Baird Playhouse provider.

But that doesn't mean that his people are all on the outs too.

Including, it would appear, in Lotusland.

Bob Mackin, as he so often does on such matters, has the story:

Jane Bird, a protege of Ken Dobell (remember him?), is expected to take a senior management or advisory role on some major infrastructure projects around Southwestern British Columbia. My sources tell me that her initial assignments could include the controversial demolition of the Georgia and Dunsmuir Viaducts in Vancouver and the on-again, off-again Victoria sewage treatment plant

Bird’s resume includes stints under ex-Premier Gordon Campbell at Canada’s high commission in London, as CEO of the Columbia Power Corporation and CEO of the Canada Line, the SNC-Lavalin built-and-operated airport-to-downtown SkyTrain...

The Dobranos....

Will the re-runs, replete with replicants, never end?


Thursday, May 26, 2016

This Day In Clarkland: You Can Take The Darth Out Of The Constable...

...But It's A Whole Lot Harder To Get Out The Whine.

And/or the heavy breathing of the Deputy Premier on affordability and housing, and all that.

Martin MacMahon of CKWX has the story:

Claiming there are some people who will never be happy on housing, the minister responsible is defending the province’s record on that file.

Stating there’s a lot of provincial work that goes unseen, such as 20,000 seniors receiving cheques to subsidize housing, Minister Rich Coleman says the work that is done by the province isn’t always recognized...


...“I guess some people just have to get up and whine every day, I don’t know,” says Coleman...

I actually think I kinda/sorta get why Mr. Coleman might be legitimately upset by folks slagging his efforts on this file.


Because while Mr. Coleman's efforts here are only half-measures, at best, they do at least something real standing behind the photo-ops and the prop-a-gammon.

But, when you are part of a government that has been going full-bore photo-op since (at least) 2011...


How do you expect people to react to half-measures?

And, for those of us who have been paying attention...We also recall where affordable public housing has been lost in Lotusland...
And for those who pay attention to minutae (for the irony)...We also recall how a certain fine fellow who once championed a notion that became the fast-ferrified Ice Bomb bridge around our collective necks used to tell anyone that would listen that Mr. Coleman was going to turn the social housing landscape into Valhalla...


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Tar Sands Aerosols 'R Us.


As I've noted before, the ladder of (peer-reviewed) science knows a top and a bottom.

And the journal Nature is right at the top of said ladder.

Here is the lede of the actual abstract (no MSM filter required) from one of the latest articles published in said journal that was written by scientists at Environment and Climate Change Canada, the University of Calgary and Yale University:

Worldwide heavy oil and bitumen deposits amount to 9 trillion barrels of oil distributed in over 280 basins around the world1, with Canada home to oil sands deposits of 1.7 trillion barrels2. The global development of this resource and the increase in oil production from oil sands has caused environmental concerns over the presence of toxic compounds in nearby ecosystems3, 4 and acid deposition5, 6. The contribution of oil sands exploration to secondary organic aerosol formation, an important component of atmospheric particulate matter that affects air quality and climate7, remains poorly understood. Here we use data from airborne measurements over the Canadian oil sands, laboratory experiments and a box-model study to provide a quantitative assessment of the magnitude of secondary organic aerosol production from oil sands emissions. We find that the evaporation and atmospheric oxidation of low-volatility organic vapours from the mined oil sands material is directly responsible for the majority of the observed secondary organic aerosol mass. The resultant production rates of 45–84 tonnes per day make the oil sands one of the largest sources of anthropogenic secondary organic aerosols in North America...

'Nuff said?

And, as an aside, it is interesting to note that the paper was first submitted (i.e. 'received' by the journal on November 9, 2015 which is just a couple of weeks after....Well...You know...


Monday, May 23, 2016

This Victoria Day In Clarkland...Some Wins Are Quicker Than Others.


Well, well, well, whaddy'a know....

Last week the Clarklandians subverted a Supreme Court of British Columbia ruling and, essentially, granted a bunch of Sparkle Pony purveyors environmental review-free building permits.

Charlie Smith of the Georgia Straight has the story. Here's his lede:

The B.C. Liberal goverment recently announced that some natural-gas projects won't have to undergo provincial environmental assessments.

This is despite the government losing a court decision to First Nations, who objected to the province's refusal to subject the Northern Gateway pipeline to an Environmental Assessment Office review.

The Spectra South Peace pipeline, Spectra's Dawson gas plant, Spectra's Fort Nelson North plant, Nova Gas Transmission's Groundbirch pipeline, and Nova Gas Transmission's Horn River mainline extension were exempted under an order-in-council last week...

Entirely coincidentally (of course!), the fine folks from Spectra, whose home office is in Texas (Oil and Gas Team Forever!!), have someone most interesting working for them on the ground here in Clarkland, as also noted by Mr. Smith:

...Premier Christy Clark's former deputy chief of staff, Kim Haakstad, is Spectra Energy's manager of technical workforce strategy...



Just in case you don't remember a specific, most fascinating aspect of Ms. Haakstad's tenure as Ms. Clark's deputy chief, how about we dig up a few wise words taken from one of the Dean's last good, pulled punches-free columns, like, ever:

The date was Jan. 10, 2012 and Premier Christy Clark’s inner circle was hard at work on a strategy to capture the ethnic vote.

“Anecdotal reports suggest that some ethnic communities, particularly Chinese, feel that they are ignored by government between elections,” wrote the premier’s hand-picked deputy chief of staff Kim Haakstad in a confidential memo to key staffers in the government...

{snippety doo-dah}

As for the means by which this might be accomplished, the premier’s office urged the pursuit of “quick wins,” for instance: “Identify and correct ‘historical wrongs,’ such as the Komagata Maru apology in the house.”

For some, the aforementioned apology, like the one the Liberals are planning to deliver for the Chinese head tax, represent long-overdue redress for genuinely wrong actions in the provincial past.

But for Haakstad and her little band of hacks — the distribution list included Clark staffers Pamela Martin, Barinder Bhullar and Lorne Mayencourt — the apologies were merely a vehicle for scoring a quick win with ethnic voters...

{snippety doodle-dandy}

.... (A) thorough reading underscored a more insidious element. The premier’s office proposed to combine the resources of the public service and the resources provided to MLAs to represent their constituents — both taxpayer funded — and bend them to the partisan purposes of the Liberal party...


There you have it...

Four years and some months later, pretty much everybody wins.

Except, of course, for the designated fall guy.

But, in the end, we're pretty sure he, too, will be taken care of.


And, yes, that link, above, back to the glory days of GordCo Inc's 'Oil and Gas Team' is a post from back in the dinosaur days of June 2004, the first month of this little F-Troop blog's existence...Boy, am I ever an old guy...In more ways than one....Weirdly, though, the BCL's crony-tricksterims are amazingly similar, then and now...


Friday, May 20, 2016

This Document Dump Day In Clarkland: What Was Missing From...

...The Globe's Latest 'Quick Wins' Piece.


There was this article in the Globe yesterday titled: "Ethnic Outreach Scandal Won't Sway Election, Deputy Premier Says".

The piece was written by Justine Hunter and Laura Stone, and the money shot from Deputy Darth (a.k.a. Rich Coleman) is the following:

...(Mr.) Coleman told reporters he doesn’t think voters will be swayed by the matter: The substance of the allegations were already known before the 2013 election campaign and the BC Liberals still won. “We went in 26 points behind and came out with a win, so it’s not going to be the top-of-mind issue"...

Now, to be fair,  Ms. Hunter and Ms. Stone (whose job here, I believe, was to collect a little word salad from the Premier in Ottawa) did tell us a wee bit about what the Dyble whitewashing....errrr...investigation found prior to the last election:

...An investigation on the eve of the 2013 election by the Premier’s deputy minister, John Dyble, found (former government staffer) Mr. (Brian) Bonney played a key role in the creation of an elaborate and wide-reaching “multicultural outreach strategy” on behalf of Ms. Clark’s government.

Mr. Dyble found several government officials breached the public-service code of conduct and that government resources were misused for political purposes, leading Ms. Clark to dump two officials, including her deputy chief of staff, Kim Haakstad, and Mr. Bonney.

As well, her party repaid $70,000 to government for the time Mr. Bonney spent conducting BC Liberal business while he was on the public payroll...

But what Hunter and Stone did not tell their readers was that the massive Dyble investigation-associated document dump, which included an Email in which BC Liberal Party and/or government types discussed buying off a disgruntled associate because what they knew could hurt the Premier and/or the party that, all reasonable people likely assume formed at least part of the basis for, at the very least the original Quick Wins charges, did not come out until...

Wait for it...

After the LAST provincial election (see Deputy Darth's comments above).

I mean, seriously, this really is like RailGate all over again what with the never ending 'Can't talk about it because it's before the courts!' dodges and the 'temporary' publication ban on said court proceedings having been thrown into the mix.

And then there is the fact that it now looks like the latest Quick Wins-associated charge will probably not be dealt with until after the NEXT provincial election.



Thursday, May 19, 2016

This Day In Clarkland...In Which The Dean Chooses To Ignore The (Slightly Stinky) Elephant In His Own Front Room.


The Dean of the Lotuslandian Legislative Press Gallery, Mr. Vaughn Palmer, published a column in the pixellated version of the VSun last night that attempted to explain why he and his fellow club members are justified in not doing any digging to find out where, exactly, the stench of pay-to-play money-grubbing and/or voter manipulation clinging to the rotting carcass of Clarklandian ethics is actually coming from.

The following is an excerpt from said column to that is being presented to you, dear reader/cult member in an attempt to prove that point:

...“How did the premier get to become the premier in what was a controversial process involving Mr. Kevin Falcon, who was apparently the front-runner until they counted the vote, which was part of the submission I think Mr. Butcher was reviewing as well,” (opposition leader John) Horgan alleged.

I emphasize the “alleged.” Although a senior member of Horgan’s staff briefed me some time ago on the NDP’s reading of the Dix submission as it related to the Liberal leadership, I saw only unproven allegations that relied heavily on the claims of a single informant. Other journalists also received advance confidential briefings about the supposed implications for the Liberal leadership.

But as anyone could see from reaching the charge sheet this week, Bonney was accused of breach of trust in connection with a train of events that unfolded starting Oct. 16, 2011, six months after the conclusion of the leadership race.

While the special prosecutor concluded there was enough evidence to lay a serious criminal charge in connection with the quick wins scandal, there’s no indication from what has been presented in court that he made anything of the allegations involving the Liberal leadership...


Mr. Palmer doesn't believe, based on what he has been shown, that there is anything to the matter of how Ms. Clark came to be BCL Party leader.

Which is fair enough, I suppose, as far as it goes, particularly given that it would appear that Mr. Palmer is loathe to do any further digging on his own.

But seriously...

Why wave away the potential seriousness that the criminal charge to Mr. Bonney could have on Clarklandian fortunes (as Darth Vader did elsewhere today) because he, Mr. Palmer, cannot see how this can possibly be connected to the above-mentioned leadership race?

Especially given that previously published reports and the work of  the premier's own scullery maid (who does a great job with the white's, by the way) indicate that at least part of what Mr. Bonney was up to related to plans that were being hatched inside the Premier's office.

And while we're talking about all things premier...

Why, also, is Mr. Palmer ignoring the matter of that $150,000 cheque that was given out by the premier just prior to a local election in a far-flung (and windy!) corner of the province that, by the premier's own admission, occurred because she, herself, responded to a direct request from a candidate in said far-flung local election?

I mean, it's almost as if there is a pact among Lotuslandian Legislative proMedia club members to immediately stop digging whenever they get a whiff of the stench clinging to the premier and/or seeping out from under her office door.


Maybe it paralyzes them or something.

Cults 'n members 'n all that? (for actually caring about the stench)...Darn tootin'. 


Artfully Dodging The Tax Scofflawallory Of The Rich...

...And Not Yet (In)Famous.

Given the history of this particular Made-In-Canada thing, particularly the 'secret amnesty' aspect of it, it's hard avoid thinking that the current artful dodging, based on the following by Harvey Cashore and Kimberley Ivany of the CBC, is being done on purpose:

The Canada Revenue Agency routinely failed to meet deadlines under the Access to Information Act after receiving requests for documents about the KPMG offshore tax scandal and private lobbying meetings with the accounting industry, according to a summary provided by the agency itself.

CBC News began making requests to the federal agency more than a year ago for information about compliance officials and their meetings with KPMG executives, Department of Justice officials, and industry lobbyists — yet deadlines to produce those records have repeatedly not been met...

And how, exactly, you might be asking yourself can the CRA get away with this egregiousity?


It turns out that there are no consequences whatsoever:

...As for when the bulk of the documents might be produced, (the CBC's Dean) Beeby says there is no way of knowing when CRA might finally comply. Beeby says the act contains no penalties, so there is no incentive to provide documents in a timely fashion...

But when Josephine Q. Citizen gets a letter from the CRA demanding information and documentation in a timely manner...


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

#QuickWins In Clarkland: Three Things You May Have Missed.


From Bob Mackin's excellent, context-laden piece in today's Tyee...

Number 1: 'The Publication Ban' (a.k.a. Railgate pre-trial days re-visited):

"...On Tuesday afternoon, Election Act charges against (former Christy Clark Gov't staffer Brian) Bonney and former Liberal party official Mark Robertson over payments to a 2012 byelection worker were dropped. The charges were from the same investigation. Their numbered company, which does business as Mainland Communications, pleaded guilty and was fined $5,000. 

Bonney's offence is alleged to have happened between Oct. 16, 2011, and Dec. 31, 2012 in Vancouver. Details are covered under a temporary publication ban..."


Number 2: 'Seventy Thousand Is Less Than A Tenth Of It' (a.k.a. How to spend seven figures of public money without ever 'implementing' the plan):

"...The (QuickWins) documents also showed almost $1 million was siphoned from the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation to increase the nearly $2.5 million budget for the multiculturalism portfolio a year before the provincial election campaign..."


Number 3: Disappearing The Documents With Deniability (a.k.a. Hiding in plain Google-free sight):

"...Bonney's charge came eight days after the B.C. government's Open Information website was redesigned and the Quick Wins documents removed from the home page. Since June 11, 2013, the three links to the Quick Wins document dump were displayed under the heading Special Information Release. The documents are not available in the new search engine database.

After a Tyee query, Cindy Kukucska, an Information Access Operations manager, sent a link to the March 14, 2013 announcement about the Dyble report where the three missing links had been added to the bottom of the archived news release. "Their current location is appropriate," Kukucska said..."

That last one really bugs me because, given this government's track record, it is hard to see the 'timing' of the latest legal developments and the very recent deniable disappearing of the documents as being entirely coincidental.
Bob Mackin has provided us with the link to the disappeared docs via the Twittmachine (please note his most interesting comment about the deniable hidification).


This Day NOT In Clarkland...Something The Cronies Would Be Loath To Get Behind.


This just in, from Ontario:

Groundbreaking provincial legislation being introduced Wednesday will give Toronto and other Ontario municipalities long-awaited tools to force builders to include affordable housing as part of new residential developments, the Star has learned.

But municipalities will also be required to contribute to the cause by offering development charge rebates, density bonuses and property tax waivers, according to sources familiar with the legislation.

If passed and used by Ontario municipalities, it would be a first in Canada...


Not only would Clarklandia's biggest big money devoper donors very likely not get behind such an initiative, I would be willing to bet that that they would (will?) actively work (not by asking Darth Vader to do so 'directly', of course) to stop it.


Given all the money those developer donors are donating, some of which passes through the BC Liberal money laundering machinery before it lands, grease-laden, the Premier's palm, how can we possibly stop them from using their big money to kill such an initiative if it turns out this is something that we, the people actcually, want?

I think we all know the answer to that.

(and I think we all know why such an initiative is being initiated in Ontario now rather than, say, this time last year).