Tuesday, May 31, 2016

This Day In Clarkland.... (notquite) Everybody Wins!

EvenTheLosers
GetLuckySometimesVille


From the Clarklandian mind-hiving machine...

Hey, Rubes!

Don't look now, but we've fixed the problems for those of you still dumb/unlucky enough to be sending your kids to public school...

What?

What's that you say?

Those ingrates!


****

What's it all about this time Alfie?

Well...

Of course...

This.


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This Day In Clarkland...Create A Huge Problem And Then Trumpet The Half-Corrective Measure.

WeWillReallyMessYouUpAndThen
HandYouARattyOldCombWithoutTeethVille


This just in from a press release from the Clarklandian MLA for Cariboo North is just unbe-freaking-lievable:

...Quesnel School District 28 and all of B.C.’s school districts have been informed that they will not have to pay their share of $25 million worth of provincial charges this year, and instead can redirect that money into front line services for students.

Oakes has expressed she would like to meet with the school district’s chair quickly to discuss this funding and options to keep rural schools open, ensuring the region’s smaller communities continue to be well-served and minimizing the time students need to travel to-and-from school on buses.

“I hope this announcement will encourage trustees not to dismiss the recommendations from rural communities and try to keep their schools open, ensuring these important financial resources continue to benefit the entire district. It’s important we work in collaboration to ensure our region’s students continue to receive the high-quality instruction that has made B.C. a world-leader in educational outcomes,” Oakes added...




Clearly, the focus-grouping being done by Dmitri's drone brigade is showing them that they are in big, big trouble on the public education front.

Meanwhile...

They are still giving $350 million, plus, of public money to private schools to keep the riff-raff out.


_______
Tip O' The Toque to Andrew Kurjata on the Twittmachine.
NW's Shane Woodford is reporting that the huge problem is costing school boards $54million while the Clarklandian's 'fix' to the problem is $25 million....Which by my calculations is about 40 cents on the dollar or...put another way...$29 million for the Cronies and/or the Saints that need it most!

 
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Monday, May 30, 2016

This Day In Clarkland...Conflicty-Free Steve Gets On His High Horse.

JustHagglingOverThe
PriceVille


But doesn't have the guts to go after the MoCo directly...



______
 Here is a link to the GStraight's story by TLupick, which itself links back to a recent CBC story, that Mr. Smart took offense to.

Just in case you've forgotten about the conflictyness 'ruling' by the then MoCo's Ombudspersonage back in the day.


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This Day In Clarkland...Turning The Junior Segrettists Loose On A New Target.

TheyOnlySmearThoseThey
FearMostVille


And, weirdly, they are doing their best to smear Bob Mackin as 'anti-youth':




Why?

Well, there's the real reason (i.e. because the young folks Mr. Mackin calls out on the Twittmachine are, in the main, BC Liberal Party operatives-in-training).

And then there's the likely true (but not necessarily truthful) Segrettist reason, which will be so that one of them can start a blog and/or InstaChatSnapNappy site where they bemoan how it is all the press' fault for sowing cynicism amongst the younger. Then, bingo-bango, they hook a 'real' proMedia clubmember to wurlitzer it up and they're legend.

Sound far fetched?

Well...

There was that wee matter of how just such a conflation was pumped full of helium to full, exploding deflector spin effect back in 2013.

Laila covered that story, in full, as only she can.



________
Segrettists?....This.



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Friday, May 27, 2016

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

WACRollingAndWrithing
InHisGraveVille

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


Gosh.

Who possibly could have predicted it...


Sheesh.

______
Need a little context?...This.


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

RehabilitatingTheMadeMan'sMen
AndWomenVille


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?


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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...

{snip}

...“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.

Why?

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...

Well.

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...


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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Tar Sands Aerosols 'R Us.

Ethicalize
This!Ville


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...


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Monday, May 23, 2016

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

FourLong
YearsVille


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...

****

Now.

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...



So.

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.

Right?

_______
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...


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Friday, May 20, 2016

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


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


So.

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.

Sheesh.


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Thursday, May 19, 2016

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

QuickWinsIsNotTheBCLiberalLeadershipRace
PretzilianIllogicalSongVille


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...



So.

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.

Gosh.

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?

Well.

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...


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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

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

It'sLikeDejaVu
AllOverAgainVille


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).


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

Affordable!WeDon'tNeedNoStinkingAffordability!
LotuslandianDeveloperVille


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...



Heckfire!

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.

So.

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).


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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Keef Report...In Which Our Hero Gets Full-Metal Pouty-McPout-Faced.

AllTheLotuslandianWorld'sA
KeefVille


...All because he lost his full-on insider scoop-a-holic access with the climate team folks.

Or some such thing.


______
Kudos to 'Always Vote'  for the facial description of the Keef on the Twittmachine.
Thanks to reader Lew E. for the heads-up...Lew also notes that 'Hell hath no fury like a Keef scorned!'
Previous Keef Reports can be found....Here (scroll on down).


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This Day In Clarkland...The Quick Wins After, After, After Party..

SubJudice
This!Ville


A most curious add-on to the statement from the provincial criminal justice branch (CJB), as noted by Rattan Mall in The Voice Online (who has the most complete proMedia coverage so far, with true context and everything, by the way):

...As all charges arising out of this matter are currently before the court, the CJB and the special prosecutor will not be making further comment on the details of the files. The CJB said that it is important that the integrity of the court process be respected and the matters be allowed to unfold in the ordinary course.

If, at the end of all related court proceedings, the special prosecutor determines it to be in the public interest that further information about this matter should be provided to the public, including information about other charges that may have been considered during the course of the RCMP investigation and not approved, the special prosecutor will issue a Clear Statement in consultation with the CJB...



Gosh, who'd-a-thunk-it...

It's all before the courts for the duration.

And not only does this provide cover on the specifics of the single breach-of-trust unveiled today, it ensures that there will be no discussion of anything else that the Horseman brought to the special prosecutor until 'after' the fact (if ever).

Heckfire!

This is even better than the 'forgetting' and the Dyble report for limiting the hangout!

****

So...

Anybody willing to lay odds on whether this matter is dealt with before next May's election?

After all, it's not as if the matter didn't come to light five years, and one general election and a few bye-byes ago already.


______
Cassidy Olivier of the Province also noted the passage quoted above on the Twittmachine. 
And, for those cult members who still stop by here occasionally...My favourite 'It's before the courts!' of Railgate, as captured by the then intrepid, but now professorial, Sean Holman.


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This Day In Clarkland...PAB-Bots On Parade.




AllYourContracts                                                                                                                                Link
'RUsVille


Gosh.

Who knew that the lowly PAB-Bots working the Clarklandian happy-talk threads would be so proud to be 'non-union' government workers.

Which has me wondering....

Contracted-out?

Or...

OIC-Bots?

Meanwhile, as we and others have noted previously, no money for park rangers.

Etcetera.


_______
Interestingly, as IntegrityBC has noted this little exchange disappeared from the gov't happytalk site soon after it was posted...Gosh, can they delete stuff like this if it is 'official' government business?
What's a 'PAB-Bot' you ask?...Well it's our affectionate name for lurkers and media/blog monitors from the old GordCo days when 'PAB' stood for 'Public Affairs Bureau'...Now it's 'Communication Geniuses Inc.', or some such thing...'OIC' = 'Order-In-Council' which is, essentially, a political appointment wherein the appointee serves at the pleasure of the regime leader...


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My Morning Ride...



This morning I learned that it really is the end of the world as we know it.

And, no, I'm not talking about REM.

****

I stopped in at the Sobey's New Empire Foodworld Emporium, or Safeway, or whatever the heck they will ultimately call it, on my ride in to work because I needed lunch-type supplies and I didn't have time to make the bend all the way down to South Campus to that place that Jimmy built (and one of our readers nominally helps run).

Anyway...

After I had explained, for the fourth time, that I didn't need a plastic bag and was getting ready to plug my card into the machine, the four dead guys came on the sound system.

And it wasn't even the tune you hear in every hockey arena everywhere now days.

Instead it was 'I Wanna Be Sedated'.

Somehow, somewhere, I reckon Mr. Spector really is firing that pop-gun at Mr. Colvin in a gleeful, wigged-out, crazy-trained, end-of-the-centurious celebration.

Or some such thing.


______
And, just in case my brother is reading this....I know, I know, I know... It was Marky, not Tommy, on the drums for Road to Ruin...


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Sunday, May 15, 2016

Choosing A Chief Councillor In Old Massett...A Tale of Two Elections.

Forty-TwoIsNotJustJackieRobinson's
NumberVille


Back in 2013, Mr. Ken Rea, the Chief Councillor of the Old Massett Village Council on Haida Gwaii, was re-elected easily:

Residents of Old Massett went to the polls on Dec. 2, overwhelmingly returning incumbent Chief Councillor Ken Rea to the community's top spot.

Rea was running against three other candidates for the position and received 184 of the 363 votes, giving him just over 50 per cent of the popular vote. The next closest challenger was Roger Smith, who finished with 88 votes....



Then, in 2015, Mr. Rea was re-elected again, but things were much closer this time around when he beat rival Mr. Kimball Davidson by just 42 votes.

Which might have reasonable folks wondering if there might have been some doubt about the outcome of the recent 2015 election in the last week campaign (i.e. in late November of 2015.

Interestingly, as was explained in a Globe piece written by Mark Hume just after the 2015 election, the winner, Mr. Rea, supported a wind farm project backed by Mr. Bruce Clark, the brother of premier Christy Clark, while Mr. Davidson, the loser, did not.

****

So.

Which election was preceded, by just one week, by the out-of-the-blue arrival of a private jet containing Premier Christy Clark bearing a $150,000 cheque for Mr. Rea and the Old Massett Village Council to explore the expansion of the village school?

Hmmmm....

Hang on a second while we go have a look at the photo-op laden records of Ms. Clark's government...

Ah, yes - here we are:



Now.

The following, in my opinion at least, is a very important question....

Where, precisely, is the written record of discussions within Ms. Clark's Ministry of Education that resulted in the executing of that cheque (that could not be unearthed by the BCNDP's FOIR)?

And why, exactly, is that a very important question?

Because if there really is no such record, and if Ms. Clark really did decide to do this on her own because she was asked to do so 'directly' by one of the people running in said closely contested local election...

Well...

Would it not be reasonable for reasonable British Columbians to wonder if, by not waiting until AFTER the closely contested local election was over to make a big splash and handout $150,000 to one of the people running, that, at the very least, Ms. Clark created the perception that she was trying to influence said election?

And with public money no less.


______
And, lest you think I am being overzealous in my request to see the record of what (if anything) went down in the Ministry of Education, do not forget that, when he was contacted by Mr. Hume about all of this last December, Mr. Bruce Clark said that he told Mr. Rea who to contact in the Ministry of Education, which is something that Mr. Rea confirmed...Additionally, Ms. Clark's spokesperson, Mr. Ben Chin told CKNW's Matt Lee that the government had been working on the issue for more than a year.


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Your Sunday Morning Read....On BC Liberal Government 'Spin'.

IDoNotReallyLikeThat
EuphemismVille


It's an Op-Ed in the VTC from Integrity BC's Dermod Travis.

It takes apart recent lies (my word, not Mr. Travis') from the Ol' Turdstormer, Cookie Dough Mike (there's a rap there, I'm pretty sure) and Darth Vader.

Read it.


______
Next up....A tale of two elections (on Haida Gwaii).


.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Sometimes At The End Of The Day...



...All you need is five minutes with the only band that mattered* when they were at the very top of their game.

On Tom Snyder's old middle o' the night show no less!

 
________
*At very particular times and places across oceans in a pre-interwebzian world...During a very short-lived Lotuslandian epoch you could glean specific shade of the mattering by the colour of the first album in an acquaintenance's record collectification.


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If No One Uses An Overpriced Ice Bomb Bridge In The Summer...


...Will It Melt Away?


And why might folks not be using the bridge in droves as the weather heats up?

Well...

In addition to the toll itself, there is that egregious userious overcharge if you don't cough up the dough right away:

The B.C. Supreme Court will hear arguments related to a lawsuit alleging illegal “late-payment charges” for tolls on the Port Mann Bridge at a class action application hearing before the end of 2016.

Jasper Lui had claimed that he missed paying $26.25 in toll charges in 2014, and said Transportation Investment Corporation — which oversees the bridge — billed him another $20 on top of the overdue payment.

Lawyer Nathaniel Hartney, who represents Lui, said on Thursday that the additional processing fee is illegal in Canada, since the law caps maximum interest per year at 60%...




But as for the melting away?

Likely not gonna happen, at least from a public payment point of view, given that Dermod Travis and Integrity BC have determined that the fixed price thing was a complete fiction from the get-go.

Because, in reality (i.e. not Dean-approved BC Liberal 'grocery list land'), it would appear that the IBB was at least $400 million over budget:

The original fixed price contract with Kiewit/Flatiron General Partnership to build the bridge was for $2.398-billion, documents obtained by Integrity BC show.

However the total amount paid to the Kiewit/Flatiron General Partnership is now $2.821-billion, according to research by Integrity BC.

“That’s more than $400-million. And it could get higher,” Travis said...




_____

Laila is on this one also.
We await the good Mr. Bateman of the CTF's comments on the ice balmy nine digit overrun given that... Well...You know.
Finally, if you care about how this province is being run (into the ground) and you are not following Integrity BC on the Twittmachine you are really missing out.



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The Republicans Savantian Spinnerama..The Racist Misogynist Nativist Carnival Barker They Can Suddenly Work With.

AsLongAsHeMakesADealToKeepTheTrainsRunOnTimeAndWallStreetRunnin'Wild
They'llSendALimousineAnywayVille


Apparently, making yourself swallow the Foxian spin-cycle induced throw-up in your mouth while you make nice with Donald Trump is not just for Paul Ryan anymore.

Case in point, here was Ann Coulter two month short months ago):

“Our candidate is mental,” Coulter told Breitbart’s Milo Yiannopoulos during the inaugural episode of his new podcast on Monday. “Do you realize our candidate is mental?” Coulter asked...


And this is what Ms. Coulter is up to now:

...Coulter will release a new book praising the candidate, "In Trump We Trust: The New American Revolution," this summer, her publisher Sentinel announced...

{snip}

...Sentinel describes "In Trump We Trust" as a "short but powerful book" that "explains why conservatives, moderates, and even disgruntled Democrats should set aside their doubts and embrace Trump."



Then again, I suppose there is no actual evidence that very finest of the fine folks like Mr. Ryan and Ms. Coulter actually dislike voluntarily engaging their pharyngeal muscles to send their own regurgitate southward when it is required for their self-preservation (and/or monetary reward).


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Second line of subheader bringing in the earworm?....This ought to help.


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Friday, May 13, 2016

The $150,000 Paperless Gift...Does The Premier's Spokesperson Know Something That The Premier Does Not?

TheirConversationsWereShortAnd
SweetVille


This week our fine premier responded to questions in the legislature from the leader of the Opposition about $150,000 of provincial money that was given to do a feasibility study to expand a school on Haida Gwaii that does not fall under provincial jurisdiction thusly:

J. Horgan: When you met with chiefs in September (2015), did they identify this school as a priority, and is that why you ended up in Haida Gwaii on November 26 (2015)?

Hon. C. Clark: I met with a lot of chiefs that day, and a lot of chiefs met with a lot of different ministers. I can’t give the member a full accounting of what all of them and all of their elected representatives talked to ministers and deputies about.



Interestingly, however, our fine premier's spokesperson said something slightly different to CKNW's Matt Lee back in December after the story first broke back in December of 2015 thanks to the work of the Globe's Mark Hume:

"...Spokesperson Ben Chin says the province has been discussing expanding the local school in Old Massett for more than a year, and that Premier Christy Clark was not aware of any wind farm proposal tied to her brother Bruce Clark..."


Gosh.

Do you see what I see (re: dates 'n stuff)?

And as for that wind farm proposal thingy backed by the premier's brother that the premier knew absolutely nothing about according to the good Mr. Chin?

Well...

It turns out that the Premier did receive a direct conversational/paperless request for the money from someone who does.

Know about the wind farm proposal from the premier's brother I mean.

OK?


_______
Blogger Merv Adey reported first on the re-emergence of this story....Here.
Laila follows up ....Here.
I have my say...Here.
As for the local proMedia?....Absolute crickets so far....



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This Day In Clarkland... A New Job For Our Fine Premier.

We'reSoakingInIt
LaunderThis!Ville


Mining compliance officer?




After all.

I hear, according to the Auditor General at least, that we might need a few.



_____
Alternatively....I guess it is possible, based on what we have learned in past couple of weeks, that our fine premier may have just stopped by to pick up a cheque (and to demonstrate how big it is) freshly laundered through the BC Liberal party machinery.
And, while she's in Princeton, maybe our fine premier could hop in the private jet chartered for all our mining compliance officers and see if she can deal with a small problem that seems to brewing in Kamloops...



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This Day In Clarkland...Is Another Shoe About To Drop?

YourSoakingInIt
BCLiberalDonorDollarVille


Based on goings on in the Ledge yesterday, specifically more questions from J. Horgan and the ensuing evasive answers from C. Clark, our friend NVG asks if another shoe is about to drop regarding folks in gov't with top-ups from the donor laundering machinery:

J. Horgan: The question was…. After reading the regulation change that said that political staff may hold jobs outside…. Maybe I'll be more specific. Does anyone in the Premier's staff receive stipends from the B.C. Liberal Party?


Hon. C. Clark: I take it he's talking about me.


I'm not aware of that happening in my office with any staff members.


J. Horgan: If I can be clear, then, the Premier does not believe that any of the staff working in her office receive stipends from the B.C. Liberal Party. Is she aware of any of the staff in her office holding any other positions, running a business or a consultancy?


Hon. C. Clark: No.


Hmmmmm....

We shall see.



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For The Record....Another Conversation In Clarkland.

TheirConversations
WereShortAndSweetVille


Yesterday, we were talking about the 'conversations' that Premier Christy Clark and her brother Bruce Clark had with Massett Village Chief Councillor Ken Rea that helped make $150,000 in public money appear out of (according to an empty FOIR response) out of thin air.

All of which got me to thinking about a 'conversation' that Mr. Clark had with a former member of the Gordon Campbell government that Ms. Clark herself ran away from as fast as she could back in the days of yore.

Neither of which had anything to do with anything untoward whatsoever.

Here is a transcript of that long ago conversation, for the record, based on a recording made by the RCMP for no reasons of untowardness whatsoverest, even if the discussion in the call was focussed on a draft  'requests for proposal' (RFP) for a certain railway spur line whose proposed  'sale' (which was to be based, presumably, on responses to the 'RFP') would later be cancelled based on completely, totally and absolutely unrelated reports of any and all potential untowardness from that very same RCMP:


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."

Clark: "Okay."

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?"

Clark: "Yeah."

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." 


...{snippety doo-dah}... 


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."


...{snippety doodle-dandy}...


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."



Gosh.

Wonder if there are any other 'conversations' recorded by the Horsemen from days of yore that we have never heard thanks to the sudden emergence (out of thin air again and/or the prying eyes of the cabinet or the treasury board) of $6,000,000 in public money?



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Thursday, May 12, 2016

This Day In Clarkland...The $150,000 Conversation(s).

SomeRequestsAreMoreDirect
ThanOthersVille


Back in December of last year we commented on Mark Hume's piece in the Globe which noted that premier Christy Clark made an unannounced trip to the small community Old Masset on Haida Gwaii to dole out a whack of our money for a project for a school under federal (i.e. not provincial) jurisdiction that was supported by a band leader named Ken Rea who just happened to be in the midst of a campaign for his re-election at the time.

Interestingly,  Mr. Rea's opponent in that election campaign, Kimball Davidson, was opposed to a business deal between the local council and a company named Broadwing Renewables, Inc. that is proposing to erect a wind farm there.

Perhaps just as interestingly, if not more so, Mr. Rea supports the deal.

And, perhaps most interestingly, it turns out that the president of Broadwing is a very, very fine fellow named Mr. Bruce Clark who also just happens to be premier Clark's brother.

Now, of course, Mr. Clark's office denied any political inference and/or skullduggery whatsoever.

But.

How did Mr. Rea get in touch with members of Ms. Clark's government in the first place?

Well, for that, let's return to Mr. Hume's piece, shall we....

...Mr. Clark said he had nothing to do with the grant (to the school) and denied doing anything to get Ms. Clark to visit Old Massett.

“I have trouble getting her to come for family dinners,” he said.

Mr. Clark said he did help Mr. Rea make connections with government education officials.

“I simply told [Mr. Rea], ‘If you have issues, here’s who you talk to,’” he said.



Now.

As you can imagine, at the time we wondered who, exactly Mr. Clark told Mr. Rea to talk to.

Which brings us, courtesy Hansard and the eagle eye of Merv Adey, to yesterday's question period in the legislature when the leader of the opposition John Horgan questioned Ms. Clark about who, exactly made the ask.

The following is Ms. Clark's money quote:

..."Chief Ken Rea made the request directly to me in a meeting that we had."...


'Nuff said?


_______
And, for the record...Mr. Rea won his re-election by 42 votes over Mr. Davidson in the wake of Ms. Clark's grandstanding (acomplished with the help of flight by private jet, btw) and cash shovelling...

And, by all means, please go and read Merv's post on this to get the full story on all of this, particularly with respect to the lack of proMedia interest 'round here and the complete and utter lack of any justification whatsoever from the Ministry of Education (or anyone else in gov't) for the 'grant'.


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This Afternoon In Clarkland...Another Sparkle Pony Down.

AMillionBillionTrillion
PMartinVille


Via the Canadian Press...

AltaGas Ltd's joint venture partner, Idemitsu Kosan Co., says it has stopped work on the Triton liquefied natural gas project in northern British Columbia.

The Japanese conglomerate says in its annual results issued Tuesday that it had suspended all efforts to export LNG from North America...



Hmmmm....

Must be the 1990's fault.


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Subheader?.....This!


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This Decade In Clarkland...Even Dirty Laundry Is Part Of The Pay-To-Play Long Game.

CroniesCroniesEverywhere
ThreadCountVille


Remember the following, from March of this year?

Looks like Ms. Clark has another event she can haul the entourage and, especially, the videographers to:

Hospital laundry services will be ending throughout the Interior Health region, leading to the loss of 93 full-time jobs over the next year.

A private, Kelowna-based facility will pick up much of the work, IH said in a press release Tuesday afternoon.

Millions of dollars are expected to be saved.

The Hospital Employees' Union called the decision deeply disappointing. The union maintains more than 100 jobs will actually be lost.

The 20-year agreement will see hospital laundry services contracted out to Ecotex Healthcare Linen Service Inc., a B.C.-based laundry service company that has provided laundry services to health-care providers at the Lower Mainland...


Twenty years?


Twenty freaking years?


Right out of the gate!?


Hmmmmm....


I think it's time to go look something up.



$127,940.

Bingo! 

****


Well....

We have now learned, thanks to the work of the folks at Integrity BC, that this kind of thing appears to be pretty much all pervasive in the Clarklandian laundry contracting out game:




Gosh.

Wonder how much of that money, on a purely proportional conflict-free basis of course, made its way into the palm of the leader's hand after it was laundered through the party's fundraising machine?



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And if you use the Twittmachine, you are missing out if you aren't following Dermod Travis and Integrity BC.


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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

This Day In Clarkland...A Place Where Monitoring Blogs Is More Important Than Overseeing Parks.

Priority
OneVille


About a year ago, when we learned that the average British Columbia family was going to be forced to spend even more for user fees to visit a provincial park, Mark Hume wrote a very important piece in the Globe.

One passage that caught my eye was the following:

...In 2001, there were 27 full-time park rangers in the province. Today there are 11, patrolling more than 13 million hectares between them.

Ministry of Environment documents released by the NDP last week show that there isn’t enough money to replace the aging infrastructure in parks or to hire adequate staff.

The documents state that with costs rising and the budget static for years, BC Parks has been “forced … to shorten operating seasons, eliminate park ranger positions, reduce preventive maintenance and implement other program cuts.”...



Why did this get my attention?

Because I wrote about the slow, decade-long strangling of the park ranger budget a long time ago, back in the last days of GordCo.

And, in so doing, I compared the miniscule number of full time park rangers left at the time (10) to the number of very fine folks workin' it in Mr. Campbell's 'Public Affair's Bureau' (223; affectionately known as PAB-Bots 'round these here parts back in the days of Railgate; the name has since changed 'Government Communications & Public Engagement').

Anyway.

Coming back to the present...


Despite this:



...Which was a recommendation of the Select Standing Committee On Finance And Government Services, an all party committee of the BC Legislature earlier this year, I doubt much has changed in Ranger land given that the Ministry of Environment (where Parks is housed) budget was flatlined in the latest budget:



But, so what if I'm wrong.

Because even if there was suddenly a 50% increase in full time Park Rangers there would only be 17 of them, which would still be way below pre-GordCo levels.

And it would also be below the number of very fine PAB-Botian folks, right here and right now, whose very specific job is to monitor the media, and that includes blogs, so that they can put little green (for Clarklandian favourable) or red (for Clarklandian unfavourable) squares beside the 'monitored' bits.

How do we know this is happening?

Because Laila discovered it yesterday and later confirmed, via Bob Mackin, that there are 18 of these Bots doing the deed. 

So, with all that in mind....

Next time you're in a park and need a ranger.

Well, you know whose job is way more important to Ms. Clark and friends.

OK?


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As for social workers, mental health workers, librarians, educational aides, etc....Who needs them when you've got an army of PAB-Bots ready to head out and do stuff like, say....This.


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This Day In Clarkland...They Only Smear The Ones They Fear Most..

DigitallyInfluenceEverything
RatF*ckVille


Hmmmmm.....

Their super-ninja polling must be telling them that Mr. Eby is making headway:



_____
And if you haven't read it already, I highly recommend you go have a look at Laila's piece on how the Clarklandian media monitors do their thing behind their not-so secret curtain...And when you're done at Laila's think of all the people that are not working for us (i.e. park rangers, social workers, education aides, etc.) because these fine folks are.


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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

This Day In Conflictyland...Rafe Climbs (All The Way) On Board.

RememberWhenThe'98WasReallyA
GiantVille

Regarding both Ms. Clark and, perhaps more importantly, her government's Conflict Commissioner:

"...I remember you when you were smart, Paul. But I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, since you don't think that the fact of your son's long and close friendship with Clark and that he is a politically appointed deputy minister in her government places you in a conflict of interest! Hell, Paul, you're probably right. I mean, who would ever dream that a lawyer making $269,000 a year from a legislature made up largely of Liberals would consider it in his interest to keep those Liberals kindly disposed towards him?..."



Gosh.

And, if I remember correctly, the good Mr. Mair himself is also lawyer.

But not a farmer.

Unless, of course, he also hates Email but doesn't mind  the feel of a Blackberry.

Ha!



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Sunday, May 08, 2016

This Sunday In Snookland...Word Salad Wednesday Comes Early.

AndWhoStenoed-UpThatMDayPieceForZussmanAnyway?
SmartVille


From our fine premier's shiny happy people appearance on the CBC's  'The House' yesterday:

..."I'd remind Americans that America was never made great, and no American president is remembered as great, because he built walls."...


Then again, 'studies' show that most folks who cross the border where Trump actually wants to build his wall end up working for minimum wage (or less).

Which, ipso-facto-Christyco, means that all those border crossers and the low end foreign wage earners that Mr. Trump apparently likes to employ in his fine wine 'n dine emporiums must be living at home while living in a foreign land.

Or some such thing. 


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And The Cronies Shall Inherit The Earth.

OhMarginMyMargin
TaxBracketVille


So.

Due to the egregious actions of the socialist horders, Alberta's income tax for the super wealthy (i.e. those earning more that $300K/year) is now only the third lowest in Canada.

Slightly better (i.e. higher) than B.C. and Ontario (but not really because their slightly lower top rates kick in down in the hundreds) and exactly dead even with the boffo Brad's super-slasher government in Saskatchewan.

All of which means that big money mining guy Murray Edwards, who once a raised a million dollars for the BC Liberal Party's premier palm-greasing laundering facility just before his un-monitored pile of dirt failed, has been forced to flee the province and, thanks to JTrudeau's heavy handedness also, the country.

Or.

Perhaps not.

At least according to the 180ish MoCo division in Calgary:

..."What (Mr. Edwards is) struggling with and what every businessman is struggling with is the sheer incompetence that's been layered over us at the municipal and federal and provincial levels by inexperienced governments," said Brett Wilson, a Calgary investment banker and close friend of Edwards...

Though Wilson told CBC he doesn't believe taxes are the reason Edwards left Canada...



Calgary investment bankers.

Now there's a source pool I sure would like to hear more from re: 'sheer incompentence' and the 'layering' and all that.

And while he's at it, perhaps Mr. Wilson, or the CTF, or the Fraser Institute, or the Calgary Herald would like to tell us what they think about kd lang and all that.

Sheesh.



_______
And, regarding Mr. Edwards failed pile of dirt at Mount Polley...The following is a Steve Earle tune that was Phil Ochsified at the time to try and explain what went down:
 

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This Weekend In Clarkland...Damning With Faint Obviousness.

Turnin'BackToTheHerd
ConventionalWisdomVille


I have to give Mr. Mason of the The Globe and (nolongerEmpire) Mail some credit.

Because he has, in my opinion at least, been the most active member of the local proMedia in telling British Columbians that there really is a big pile of super-secret money being funneled into the BC Liberal's Party gullet, some of which makes its way to the palm of our fine premier after it has been pooped out the other end.

And heckfire.

In yesterday's column Mr. Mason kinda/sorta almost tiptoed over the 'pay-to-play' line when he started talking about hunting guides, their five figure donations and grizzly bear trophies and such.

Which is all fine and good.

But I also found it interesting, given the events of the last week, that Mason did not mention the millions from mining co's and execs that are extremely well-correlated with the complete lack of oversight of said mining co's and execs that is now entrenched in British Columbia thanks to BC Liberal government policy and legislation.

Or all that money from bridge builders.

Or tunnel borers.

Or train makers.

Or, dare I say it, lawyers? (more on that to come because I'm still really angry about something)

Anyway, after his wee bit of tip-toeing was all done, a little further down the column Mr. Mason signaled that the time has come to really start pulling the punches because, well, the trains are running on time or some such conventionally whimsical wisdomish-type thing:

"...The NDP is likely to make the notion of fixing a corrupt electoral system a pillar of its election campaign. The Liberals are certain to make the next election exclusively about jobs, the economy and fiscal management – and their record on this front is unquestionably impressive..."


Hmmmmm....

Jobs, the economy and fiscal management and 'unquestionably impressive'?

Really Mr. Mason?

Let's see....

Is there somewhere we can go for an unbiased, in-depth look at such things that do not rely on deceptive accounting and/or the spinning of very short-term trend numbers that are often bucked-up by deep dives that occurred during the previous term and/or terms?

I know!

How about we turn to the 'Progress Board', that flaming pinko outfit that was put together by Gordon Campbell that did the in-depth/un-biased analysis to show that the 1990's were actually a little better than the 2000's by most measures.

I mean, maybe that outfit can tell us how 'Pay-To-Play-In-Extremis' has helped float all boats (or not) over the last five years?

Oh, wait...

Nevermind.


_______
Why does the turning back to the herd matter so much?....Because it keeps the public from understanding what is really happening to their province...Which, of course, is ironic given Mr. Mason's recent lament about how said public just doesn't get it...Oh, and just for the record...It was also Mr. Mason who said that the still-birthing of the LNG Sparkle Ponies doesn't really matter much because everything economic is just so unbelievably rosy 'round here...


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