maybe she could do it.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
maybe she could do it.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
"....The matter played out one day last month in front of Associate Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie, with a lawyer from the office of the special prosecutor facing off against one representing (NDP Justice Critic Leonard) Krog.
The special prosecutor's arguments against Krog's application ranged from the merely technical to the mildly insulting. The former involved readings of various court rules, the latter ... well here's the judge's summation of the key argument from lawyer Janet Winteringham for the special prosecutor:
"The Crown opposes Mr. Krog's application for unrestricted access to the materials because Mr. Krog has not identified what he intends to do with the materials.
"Instead, the Crown proposes a two-stage process. In the first stage, Mr. Krog would be able to view the materials. The second stage would require Mr. Krog to make a second application in which he would advise of his proposed use of the materials. The Crown would then consider its position on release of the materials including whether conditions should be attached to Mr. Krog's use of the materials."...
".....At this stage in the review, the New Democrats are scratching their heads over why the special prosecutor fought to withhold this material in the first place. One can only note that it is not the first time someone has had to go to court to gain access to information regarding this case.
Nor was it the last. Krog's experience in some ways resembles that of Auditor-General John Doyle, which will be the subject of a column later this week...."
Monday, June 27, 2011
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Friday, June 24, 2011
But many questions remain.
(David) Basi and (Robert) Virk admitted taking bribes from Erik Bornman, a lobbyist and political foot soldier, and Brian Kieran, a lobbyist and former journalist. The men were lobbyists for one of the bidders for B.C. Rail.
But they were never charged.
In statements to obtain search warrants - not tested in court - police swore Bornman told them he started paying bribes to Basi even before the Liberals were elected in 2001. The money was to pay "his political support, his support in referring clients to my business and for assistance on client matters," Bornman told police.
That suggests other well-connected people were paying for preferential "assistance" in other areas. The government seems uninterested in establishing the facts.
A police search found that Bruce Clark, a federal Liberal activist, lobbyist and Christy Clark's brother, had B.C. Rail sale documents "improperly disclosed" by Basi and Virk. Clark was working for the Washington Marine Group, which was interested in buying the B.C. Rail line to the Roberts Bank superport.
But it's never been explained why Basi and Virk shared the material or what Clark did with it. (Christy Clark is now lobbying the federal government to help the same company win a shipbuilding contract.)
The government has consistently ignored important questions raised by the B.C. Rail scandal. The auditor general is standing up for the public interest...
And remember....All that codswallop that used to be flung the public's way about how questions couldn't be answered (or even asked) because the matter was 'before the courts' is now nothing but dried spittle that can no longer be licked, either in Victoria or Vancouver, or even, dare I suggest it, London England.
The company has asked for tax incentives similar to the film industry, but not everyone agrees it should be given subsidies. B.C.'s eventual decision on support will be included in Seaspan's final bid."
Thursday, June 23, 2011
VICTORIA -- Premier Christy Clark has hired former CTV news anchor Pamela Martin to be her new director of outreach.
Martin, who started the job on Wednesday, will make an annual salary of $130,000.
A job description for the role says Martin will develop Clark's "vision of creating open government by reaching out to British Columbians."
It also says Martin will "improve public awareness and engagement and ensure communication is a two-way conversation," and that she will "help the public's concerns be translated into action by sharing with the Premier the challenge British Columbians face navigating government."
Martin will also be expected to co-ordinate events such as town hall meetings for Clark......
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
David Basi: "So basically, um, what we have is the draft RFP."
Bruce Clark: "Okay."
Basi: "Um, that uh, we have t' make changes and y'know, uh, um, we can draft it anyway we want now, right: so..."
Clark: "Whose, wh', whose hands is it in?"
Basi: "It's, it's in our hands right now."
Basi: "Uh, and then it'll go back to transportation. And then they'll look at it and then they'll uh, um, issue the official RFP."
Clark: "Okay. What are the time lines like?"
Basi: "Uh, two weeks."
Basi: "So, I can sit on this thing for two weeks. So if you come back next week then you can take it and look at it, show it to them. They can, they can, y'know, change some of the words around, that's obviously, some buzz words they wanna see in there, right?"
Basi: "And these, these companies know how to, how to, y'know, get the fluff out of this shit and how to tailor it to themselves, right?"
Clark: "Of course."
Clark: "Wonder, wonder if it would be better if you got it couriered from here or not?"
Basi: "I don't care. Whatever you want. I don't care."
Clark: "Okay, well maybe I'll get you to courier it to Europe for me, or something."
Basi: "You want me to courier it to Europe?"
Clark: "Sure, you could do that."
Clark: "Or uh, or, or can it be faxed or something or?"
Basi: "Oh it can be faxed, yeah. Do you wanna give me a fax, secure fax number?"
Clark: "Yeah, I'll get you a secure fax number and we can do it that way."
Basi: "Yeah, you get me a fax number and I'll fax it to you.
Clark: "Sounds great my friend."
Monday, June 20, 2011
Sunday, June 19, 2011
I have a wonderful wife and two great kids.
I also have a job I actually like, where most of the time I get to do what I want while working with people (also mostly kids) to produce stuff we are all really proud of.
And that job pays me well; not hockey player money well, but I make more than I ever dreamed of. Which, of course, means that I make just enough that we can afford to live in our own house within the Vancouver city limits.
In fact, I guess some might say that I am upwardly mobile enough that I should quit all my complainin' because I'm one of the lucky ones that actually benefits financially from many of the 'rich folks first!' policies of Mr. Campbell et al.
But here's the thing.....
I am most definitely not one of those 'ladder puller-uppers'
You know, somebody who's got theirs, and now says, "Screw you Jack," to everybody else.
I'll tell you why.
It's because of my Dad.......
My old man was a Union man.
And the folks in the Union fought like bastards...and they fought constantly, usually for the tiniest of things in each successive contract...things like an extra quarter percent on a COLA clause, or one little add-on like an extra free filling per year on the dental plan.
And when I was a kid, especially during that time when I was a barely no-longer-a-teenager-aged kid, I thought the folks from the Union were just a little bit off their nut....all that energy going into what, exactly?
After all, it was the 80's, and Dave Barrett and the Socialist Hordes were long gone, and the Wild Kelowna boys were rolling along, and Unions were bad, and Expo was coming, and Trudeau was going, and John Turner was hiccupping, and Mulroney was lurking, somewhere off in the distance....
....And if you were a half-bright, apolitical science-geek kind of kid like me, breezing your way through college and thinking about graduate school, you laughed when you saw the boy wonder from Burnaby, Michael J. Fox, shirk his Family Ties and ape the young Republicans while making fun of his willfully neutered Leftie of a Dad on the TV screen...
....And if you were that kid, you thought that you were living in a golden age that was tied, not to the social democratic reforms of the past, but to the coming of Free Trade and the promises of the Reaganites from the South...
...And from that perspective you sure as heck didn't always get the irony of Bruce Springsteen singing about the plight of the working class in 'Born in the USA'.
But now that I have spent a good chunk of time in USA where I started a family of my own before coming home, I do get it.
I understand that my Dad spent his entire adult life hauling logs up and down the West Coast, working his guts out to help keep the robber baron families rich because he had to make a living to support his own family....
....And I get the fact that, because of the Unions, my family's standard of living gradually improved, bit by bit, over the years so that by the time I had grown up to be that callow young man described above my parents had saved enough to help me go to University....
....And I get the fact that I was the first one in my family who got to go to University....Ever.....And it wasn't because I was so damned smart....
....And I get the fact that, while my parents' limited financial help and support was important, it would never have been enough to get me into the same good schools if I had arrived on the scene a single generation earlier or, perhaps, later....
....And I get the fact that those Wild Kelowna Boys, and all the other neo-cons that have come since, have been doing their damndest to destroy the dream of a University education for all, and instead have instituted an elitist education for some and one-trick-pony Technical training for everybody else.....
....And I get the fact that, if it wasn't for folks like my Dad and the other lefties of his time, my current world, one in which I make a living with my eyes and my mind wide open, would not be what it is today.....
....And most of all, I now get the fact that my Dad was, and is, my hero.
Friday, June 17, 2011
Putative Pollster: "Hello, I am _______________ and I'm calling from Campaign Support on behalf of the Smart Tax Alliance to get your opinion about the upcoming referendum on tax harmonization."
Putative Pollster: "Are you in favour of extinguishing the HST and reinstating the PST along with the GST?"
Potential Response: Yes/Undecided/No/Refused/Hostile/ Business Number/ Add to DNC list/ Caller Hungup/ Voter Not Available Out of Riding/ Language Barrier
Putative Pollster: If they say yes (to extinguish HST).....
"Thank you for your opinion. Did you know the provincial government has announced improvements to the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) ahead of the July 22 Referendum that will see the HST rate drop by two percentage points for all consumers by 2014, and the government will provide children and seniors with $175 cheques to transition to the new rate. At a ten percent HST rate, the average BC family will pay $120 less than under the old PST."
Putative Pollster: If they say yes (to extinguish HST)..... "Thank you for your opinion. Did you know the provincial government has announced improvements to the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) ahead of the July 22 Referendum that will see the HST rate drop by two percentage points for all consumers by 2014, and the government will provide children and seniors with $175 cheques to transition to the new rate. At a ten percent HST rate, the average BC family will pay $120 less than under the old PST."
Potential Response: (to 'qualifier' above): Yes/ No / Refused/ Caller Hung Up
Putative Pollster: If they say yes (to the qualifier above)..... End /Complete..... "Thank you again, and have a great day/evening." [Close survey and set disposition as Do Not Call.]
Putative Pollster:: If they say no (to the qualifier above)......"I would just like to confirm (who I am speaking with)"..... And do you know if other members of your household are in favour of extinguishing the HST and reinstating the PST along with the GST?"
(then there is a bunch of record keeping that the putative pollster is supposed to do)
(then there is a bunch of record keeping that the putative pollster is supposed to do)
Pollster: "Thank you. Keep an eye on your mail as your mail-in referendum ballots will start arriving between June 13 and June 24. If by June 24 you don’t have your ballot, please do not hesitate to contact us"
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Asked how many players are hurt on his team Tuesday, he said: "Everybody is fine."
Does that mean they'll be fine today or next week?
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
"....The Smart Tax Alliance is a collection of 43 B.C. business and industry groups brought together for the sole purpose of supporting the HST, and encouraging people to vote "no" in the referendum.
First I asked who was calling ... Campaign Support, working for the Smart Tax Alliance. I inquired further and was told the STA supports the HST.
I said I would vote yes. Then the poller asked if I knew that the government was rolling back 2%, every family would gain $150,and so on. I said I did know, they hung up.
But it wasn't hard to pick up the poller's bias, since the anti-HST forces aren't push-polling, at least as far as I know.
Monday, June 13, 2011
The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, the Coal Association of Canada, the Council of Forest Industries, the New Car Dealers Association of British Columbia and the Railway Association of Canada. What do these organizations have in common? Well, for starters, each of them is a lobby group. That means they're responsible for promoting the best interest of their members. But there's one other thing they have in common.
Each of them - along with 38 other lobby groups - is a member of the Smart Tax Alliance.....