Thursday, March 31, 2016

This Evening In Clarkland...But Do They Still Have Band And Strings At St. Georges?


From Shelby Thom's CKNW live tweets of this evening's Vancouver School Board meeting:


I wonder how many band and strings classes you can fund with three hundred million dollars?

Proving, once again, that...The more things change under the BC Liberals the worse they get for average British Columbians.


Translink Turnstiles Coming Down....The Hatman's Revenge.


First, the what:


From days gone by (a.k.a. '2008')....

The why:

When last we saw him, Kenneth Dobell was headed, as our man Mr. Young once put it, "for the turnstiles".

Transit turnstiles to be precise:

The premier's former special advisor and top bureaucrat has been talking to the Campbell administration on behalf of Cubic Transportation Systems Inc., an American company that "designs, manufactures and integrates automatic fare collection systems for public transit projects throughout the world." This, according to the provincial government's lobbyist registry. Ken Dobell registered as a lobbyist for the San Diego firm on November 23 (2007), declaring an intent to contact transportation minister Kevin Falcon and Partnerships British Columbia regarding "transit system gates and smart cards."



It's almost as if, as CoV Councillor Andrea Reimer noted awhile back...

If you get my drift.


Is BC Ferries Removing Life Jackets To Save Money For Its 'Spiritual' Trip To Poland?


Commenting on our previous post about the eight figure offshore expenditure to come to fix-up the made-in-BC Spirit class boats, long time reader (and musical maestro) Scotty on Denman filled us in on the latest regarding that new cable ferry to Hornby Island that not all of (none?) of the locals are all that thrilled about:

...(A)friend whom I was to pick up on Denman after walking over on the "BS Connector" ( "BS" short for "Baynes Sound"---and other stuff) or, as we call it here, the "cable-ferry", was made to wait for a later run because there are not enough lifejackets to go around.

That's right, the new ferry which nobody here or Hornby Island approved of, the one which we and our fellow Hornby Islanders were assured would provide the same service as the previous, self-propelled HMS Quinitsa, has HALF the number of lifejackets, this in order to reduce the crew from six to three deckhands...


...How did BCFS Inc slip this one past normally scrutinizing Islanders? The service which it promised would remain the same was expressed in numbers of cars, not passengers; thus, when, say, fifty cars with a driver and two passengers each is loaded (150 passengers), no walk-ons are allowed because it exceeds to number of lifejackets on board..


Once again under the BC Liberals...

The more things change the worse they get for average British Columbians.


This Day In Clarkland...Site C Jobs-A-Go-Go.


Well, well, well...

Would'a thunk that the Clarklandians would be caught fudging the Site C Jobs numbers.

Jonny Wakefield of the Alaska Highway and all its News has the story:

Only 65 per cent of the 482 people working on the Site C dam in November were from B.C.—below the 75 to 80 per cent previously claimed by BC Hydro and government officials.

That's according to documents obtained through freedom of information (FOI) by BC Building Trades, a labour group that's keeping a close eye on the $8.8 billion project...


...When asked that question in January, BC Hydro President and CEO Jessica McDonald told Alaska Highway News that in December, 75 to 80 per cent of Site C workers were from B.C. In December, Energy Minister Bill Bennett told the Vancouver Sun that B.C. residents made up 75 per cent of the Site C workforce...


Is it possible that Ms. McDonald and the Ol' Turdstormer were having a little trouble with that new fangled thing known as the old math (i.e. long division)?

But never mind all that.

Because John Yap is here!

Of course the real problem here is that Ms. McDonald's 'company' has gone with an 'open site' model that allows contractors to keep the door open to non-British Columbians.

Not that John Yap and his cabinet colleagues (and/or the fine folks running his even finer Premier) have anything to do with that or anything.


For the record, the actual FOI unearthed by the Building Trades folks is....Here.


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

This Day In Clarkland...Where's That Confounded Bridge?


Don't look now but the Clarklandian government caucus is ecstatic about the level of public support it has managed to wurlitzer up for the Massey Bridgification of Everything:

Except for.



Interestingly, all of this kinda/sorta reminds me of days gone by, back when a certain advocate for the building of the taxpayer intensive ice bomb bridge managed to wurlitzer up all kinds of alleged public support based on an organization that had the pledged support of precisely six members of said public...See if you can spot the most interesting name of a certain former political operative and recent CTF fundraiser in that old story...
Got a wee bit of an ear worm from the due to the 2nd part of the post header?....Well...This.


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Ron Obvious Is Shocked, Shocked I Tell You...


...To learn that this pay-to-play thing is going on in the land of BC Liberalism:

"...At a recent dinner hosted by Simon Fraser University chancellor Anne Giardini, 10 guests paid $10,000 each to mingle with Ms. (Christy) Clark and later sit down to a multicourse dinner. At a party fundraiser in Kelowna, a small group who paid $5,000 each got quality time with the Premier at a non-advertised, private reception before the main event. According to a source, admission to some of the more exclusive get-togethers with Ms. Clark can be as high as $20,000..."

I mean, seriously, fool us once, shame on them.


Fool us twice (for the 17,432nd time), shame on who, exactly?


All of which brings me back to Bigger E and my Lotuslandian version of an old Phil Ochs tune...

And, based on the latest over at Norm Farrell's place, we might soon learn more about apparent pay-to-play #17,433, citizen-based fundraising to pay for things our government should tell us for free willing, of course.
It's quite interesting to see the hard and fast pushback from the Clarklandian  'digital influencers' on all this (guess the wizards have focussed/polled on this and know they are in danger here; you can see a wee bit of the danger/fed-up-with-this-crap zone in the comments to Mr. Mason's story linked to, above, I reckon)....Essentially, the influencers are screeching long and loud about the Dippers' previous fundraisers...As for screeching/mentioning/whispering/miming about the NDP's previous calls to get big donations, regardless their origin, out of the game?...Well, not so much of that.


Sunday, March 27, 2016

Merry Trumpin' Easter.


From Henry Romero and Tomas Bravo of Reuters:

MEXICO CITY, March 26 – Mexicans celebrating an Easter ritual late on Saturday burnt effigies of U.S. Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump, whose anti-immigrant views have sparked outrage south of the American border.

In Mexico City’s poor La Merced neighborhood, hundreds of cheering residents yelled “death” and various insults as they watched the explosion of the grinning papier-mâché mock-up of the real estate tycoon, replete with blue blazer, red tie and his trademark tuft of blond hair.

Media reported that Trump effigies burned across Mexico, from Puebla to Mexico’s industrial hub Monterrey...

In other news....

Littler e's. eggs are hidden in the dryer.

Don't let on.


Friday, March 25, 2016

This Day In Clarkland...All Our Ferries Are Theirs.


As you all probably know by now, it's not just the Kraut Rock Celebrations that are not ours, it is now the Spirits too.

Andrew Duffy of the VTC has the story:

A Polish shipyard has won a $140-million contract from B.C. Ferries to conduct the mid-life upgrades of the two Spirit-class vessels.

Gdansk-based Remontowa, the largest ship-repair yard in Poland, won the contract after a competitive bidding process.

B.C. Ferries spokeswoman Deborah Marshall confirmed it is the first time the corporation has sent a vessel offshore for refit.

“But this isn’t just a refit, it’s a massive project, not the typical refit that we do,” she said...

With that in mind...



Now, there is a bit of tidy-up bit in A. Duffy's VTC piece that the Clarklandians' 'digital influencers' are using to whack folks up the side of the head with on the interwebz:

...Seaspan pulled out of the bidding process, however, since its three shipyards — Vancouver, Victoria and its drydock — are too busy to handle the work.

“We are at capacity at all three yards, and the National Shipbuilding Strategy work we are doing for the federal government is a major priority for us,” said Seaspan Shipyards president Brian Carter in a statement...

But here's the thing, as was pointed out when we talked about the awarding of the Celebration contracts off-shore years ago, and those long, long, long term laundry contracts much more recently...

When you pick the and, in the case of GordCo, Inc. and the Clarklandians too, these winners are more often than not those that have paid handsomely to do their playing, you eliminate the cronies' competition.

Which leads me to wonder, all over again, why the so-called political party of free enterprise hates it so much?

Free enterprise, I mean.


Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Keef Report: When Are 'Rumblings' Not Wild-Eyed Rumours?



When the Keef says it...

Not that we would ever dare to suggest that a phone call or three from Marky-Mark would ever constitute a rumour or anything.

Did anyone else notice the vagueness in Mr. Baldrey's 'report'?...Specifically, what the heckfire, exactly, does 'firmer' mean?...Interestingly, when a Twittmachine reader rejoiced at the 'good news' Mr. B. replied that there won't likely be an announcement for 'weeks' and noted that, regardless, this is 'reason to hope'...So, given all that, one can only wonder if Global's man in Victoria ever stopped to consider the possibility that he was/is being spun as an advance man of inevitability?
Why make a fuss about this particular tweet, at all?....Well, when someone else with their ear to the ground suggests that they have some inside info on a matter of import....Ya...You guessed it.
Norm Farrell points out a little bit of source-backed reality...Here...As does Grant G in the comments.
Finally, as always, previous editions of the Keef Report can be found...Here.


Laila Yuile Has Been Hacked.

Hi Folks,

Longtime Lotuslandian blogger, journalist and civic/people's activist in Surrey (and way, way beyond) has been hacked.

Norm Farrell has some details here.

Laila talks to CKNW here.

Her new Twitter account is here.

A webcache of her recent work, much of it about Site C, is here.

Thanks to reader e.a.f. for the heads-up.
Heckfire!....Even the Keef is aghast.


Monday, March 21, 2016

The Keef Report...Sometimes A Lake Is Just A Lake.


First, this, from the Keef back in January:

Next, this, from today, via CTV News Vancouver Island:

The BC Supreme Court has ruled that a controversial soil dump positioned above Shawnigan Lake’s drinking watershed is not a permitted land use for the site.

It’s a key victory for residents who have been fighting to stop the site from operating in their community...

And as for all that W5 digging and investigative journalism 'n stuff that happened in the interim that was driven by area residents?


That wasn't on the Keef's network, so who cares, eh?

Tip 'O the Toque to reader Lew on the Twittmachine.
Previous editions of the Keef Report can be found...Here.


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Is Dalton McGuinty Now, Or Has He Ever Been...

...A Farmer?

"...Ministries have a responsibility to abide by the law with respect to documentation and information. I can tell you again that in my office, for example, I did not have an office computer; I did not use a government email..."



Cookie Dough...


But who really cares anyway....After all, even if you are in government and you are triple deleting Emails and documents 'n stuff, it is for the most part, thanks to the recent actions of the Clarklandians, no longer illegal....'Tis, apparently, a bit of a different story in Ontario though...And, in my opinion, that is what the Dean should be really angry about, not just the fact that the Clarklandians, party division, are apparently being seen to be unseemly, or some such thing, in their recent re-hiring of their former and now current executive director who just happened to have once worked for the good Mr. McGuinty.


Friday, March 18, 2016

This Friday Afternoon In Do Nothing Clarkland: Keef, Counter-Keef.


Our fine premier released a press thingy earlier today and then threw together a little time-challenged word salad.

From that, it would appear, the Keef got to this:

On a more reality-based journalistic plane, the Province's Sam Cooper (who has banged Mr. Baldrey and Global's entire stable of reporters senseless, repeatedly, on the Bubblification of Lotuslandian Real Estate) had this to say:

Can the difference in approach (and feet-to-fire holding) be more starkly illustrated?

This has been a special edition of the Keef Report. Previous editions can be found....Here.


This Friday In Clarkland: Nevermind The Bollocks, Hear Comes The...

...Independent Advisory Group.

Our fine Premier's Office, presumably in response to the rising ire of the citizenry and the proposed legislation from the Opposition, has released a statement about how it plans to deal with the Lotuslandian Real Estate Bubblification of Everything:

Feel better now?


This Day In Clarkland...How Do You Like Your Precious Public Schools Now?


This just in from Tracy Sherlock of the VSun:

The Vancouver School Board says it is now facing a $27.78-million shortfall, up $3.1 million from their estimate made last month.

The increase is due to a $2.15-million reduction in grants from the province and an increase of $958,000 that the district will have to pay for network technology that is mandated by the province, VSB chairman Mike Lombardi said in an email...


Private school funding crossed the $300 million dollar per annum funding level this year.

Imagine that.


Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Lost Estates Of The Real Lotusland...Here Is Something You Have Not Heard Before.



At the very least it is something that I have never heard before.

But what the heckfire do I know about real estate and finance and all that.

Anyway, here it is, from a non-pro blog-post from FABula on the developer driven renovation of the old Canada Post building in downtown Lotusland:

...It was also kind of relief to hear about a project where the owner is planning for almost three-quarters of the units to be rentals, without city incentives. Just because pension funds like rental buildings for the income stream...

Must be a short game vs. long game thing for the investors, I reckon.

Regardless, pretty interesting to know, eh?

Especially if you think how, for example, the public could kick-start projects like this with a one time capital investment that could then be used to pay out public rather than private investment schemes (use your about an Arts enhancement fund run by people in the know rather than flipmeisters and marketers with big collections?).

It would be kind of like the IPP Ponzification-Of-Everything deal, only in reverse, wherein we front the money and then get money back in return to run entire social industries.

Not to mention garner a whole lot of long term social capital (see the south False Creek co-ops, for example).

Would that be crazy or is it realistically conceivable (and/or has it already been done)?


Is It Inevitable That Something Very Bad Is Going To Happen...

...At A Trump Rally?

The following is from a recent report from Ashley Parker who is covering the Trump campaign, if you can call it that, for the New York Times:

...As a reporter, I always try to anticipate where the story is headed, so I can get there first, or at least right alongside the news. And I quickly began jotting down notes on scenes of violence and near-violence, and gathering voices of angry, frustrated Trump supporters...

All of which is bad enough.

But then Ms. Parker writes the following, which to her at least seems so matter of fact:

...Sometime soon, I warned my editors, someone is going to be seriously wounded — or worse — at a Trump rally, and we’ll want to have a story ready...

Don't know about you, but that sure stopped me in my tracks.

For all kinds of reasons, including the fact that all of America seems to bracing for the inevitability of the coming thing.


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

This Day In Clarkland....The Dean Tiptoes Up To The Line.


There are a whole lot of questions in Mr. Palmer's latest column on the Health Worker firings, only one of which actually matters in my opinion.

But never mind all of that because the following is actually something almost kinda/sorta interesting tacked to the bottom of all the tip-toeing and froing:

...The government justified the multiple exclusions (in their redacted copy of the Comptroller General's report) on grounds of “personal privacy.”

But on comparing the original text, (the VSun's Rob) Shaw discovered that many of the censored passages contained no names or other matters of a personal nature. Rather they addressed general failings of the Health Ministry in handling contracts and provided extensive advice for rectifying the situation.

All of which raises the possibility that the censors were less concerned with protecting privacy than with protecting the government.

Hence The Sun’s decision to ignore government objections and publish (on the un-redacted version of the report) in the public interest. Shaw’s stories on the comptroller general’s report appeared in the paper Saturday and Monday...


One might almost wonder if the fine folks down at Vancouver Sun headquarters are getting ready to set up a war room or something.

Then again, I suppose doing something like that might be construed as cultish.

And we wouldn't want that now would we.


Monday, March 14, 2016

This Day In RailGate History...It's Before The Courts!


Interesting bit on one of my least favourite MoCo Weekend programs, 'The 180', yesterday resulted in this summary:

Consider this statement: "This matter is before the courts and I'm not going to comment on the specifics of the proceedings." It's the type of thing politicians tell journalists, and other politicians, saying they can't answer a question, because the issue is before the courts.

But Lorne Sossin, the Dean of the Osgoode Hall Law School at York University, says that while keeping your mouth shut during a trial might often be a good idea, it is not the get-out-of-jail free card that politicians seem to think it is.

"I'm often struck by how rarely journalists ask the follow-up question, 'What about the matter before the courts could constrain you from asking the question I've asked?', or at least get an elaboration on the scope in which a politician can answer questions."....


I remember one particular  'It's Before The Courts!' day in RailGate history (circa 2009), like it was only yesterday...


First, from our Hansard-assisted report of what went down in the Ledge in which the good Mr. Oppal went full-on Stonewally and refused to respond to absolutely anything about everything, including (surprise kids!) BC Hydro, because of the then still pending BC Rail Trial:

J. Horgan: Well, let's try a privatization scheme that's not yet before the courts. In 2003 Patrick Kinsella's organization, according to their own resumé, did the following: "Did a survey of the landscape and interviewed a number of stakeholders in the British Columbia government and B.C. Crown corporations and determined that the best opportunity for Accenture was B.C. Hydro."

Now, the minister of defence took this question on notice last week. So I'm hopeful that the Minister of Energy has been prepared for this, and he's able to stand in this place today and advise this House what role Mr. Kinsella, what role Mr. Martyn Brown from the Premier's office, had in the privatization to Accenture. 

Hon. W. Oppal: Those questions I expect will be answered by (RailGate's then presiding judge) Madam Justice Bennett


Mr. Speaker: Member has a supplemental.

J. Horgan: It's curious to me how the Attorney General can stand in this place and tell us that B.C. Hydro is now before the courts...

And second, two minutes of absolute gold captured by a camera wielded by none other than the then proprietor of Public Eye, the now professor Sean Holman, just outside the Ledge chamber (please note how all of the proMedia members concerned actually really do the real thing, which is one of the reasons I found it so memorable):

Imagine that!


Sunday, March 13, 2016

This Day In Clarkland...Who Set Up This Conflicty Drug Evaluation System Anyway?


This post will involve an analysis of some of the stuff raised by the latest Vancouver Sun piece on the Health Ministry firings.


Before we get to all of that, I highly suggest you first go and read Norm Farrell and then come back.

Go ahead.

I'll wait.................



What's this one all about Alfie?


Rob Shaw (and/or an associate or associates) of The VSun got their hands on an 'un-redacted' copy of a previously released 'comptroller's report' on how government money moved around for studies on drug efficacy testing under rules set up by the BC Liberal government.

And the comptroller apparently decided that two Health Ministry staffers from the smeared eight, folks who have since been reinstated and/or paid-off by the BC Liberal government, were in positions to be in conflict of interest based on the money trail and the way the research contracts were awarded. As a result, those staffers have been named in Mr. Shaw's story despite the fact that Mr. Shaw himself notes that the RCMP also saw the un-redacted version of the report and decided not to proceed with charges. In addition, Mr. Shaw also notes that the comptroller's folks never actually spoke to the two staffers concerned because they were concentrating on the documents and the financials rather than, presumably, actions and intent and all that. Thus, on the face of it, this seems to be pretty thin evidence with which to name these folks in the public prints (again at this point, if you haven't already, go read Norm Farrell).

But what do I know.

After all, I'm just an idiot blogger without any left unsaid insider information to go on (and/or top secret, super-sweet government spin doctor whispers from former ink-stained wretches echoing in my ears).

However, I do know the following because I have been paying attention all these years...

First... We used to have a process in this province where drug efficacy testing was planned without circling first through various levels of the Health ministry before decisions were made on how the money would be spent and who would do the research. And, most importantly, the previous process led to world class research being carried out that generated data and analysis that really mattered, both in terms of citizens' health and savings of government funds.

Second... The BC Liberal government used a big Pharma-assisted witch hunt to blow up that previous process.

Third... The BC Liberal government put the current process in place, a process that puts ministerial staffers, including part-time staffers, in the middle if they also have university and/or research affiliations in the field.

Which, to my mind, gets to the real heart of the matter here.

And that heart of the matter is the only portion of Mr. Shaw's VSun piece that I feel comfortable in quoting directly:

...Before 2009, the health ministry dealt directly with UBC’s Therapeutics Initiative on drug research projects through a $1-million annual grant.

But the pharmaceutical industry, which disliked the TI, in 2008 called on it to be scrapped.

So the ministry changed the system, cut funding to the TI and required competitive bids on research contracts through a small group of universities and researchers, some of whom wore multiple hats within the worlds of government, academia and research...



If you still haven't done so, go read Norm Farrell, and ask yourself why, exactly, this particular 'unredacted' report surfaced at this very moment.


And, to be very clear here, all this process destruction was started by the government of Gordon Campbell and continued by the government of Christy Clark....In other words, this is something that cannot, at least not by rational pundits (which, of course, does not include those fine folks that will suddenly start popping up all over the place, both on proMedia  talking head conventional wisdom shows and while riding atop dark money smear machines, over the next fifteen months or so), be hung on the neck of the 1990's.
Update/Add On Bit: Just so no one gets the wrong idea about my own specific situation, especially if you've come over at Norm's urging...I am an academic and I do work with, and even try to develop, compounds that have the potential to become drugs...However, all our work is basic/fundamental/pre-clinical...In other words, we don't stick stuff in people/do clinical trials and we certainly do not do anything even remotely approaching post-approval analysis of drug efficacy...Thus, I don't work with, or personally know, any of the people concerned in this matter and I do not have any super-duper inside information on any this stuff...The links above really do come purely from having paid attention (often to stories from Andrew Macleod in The Tyee and more than once after reading the words of Paul Willcocks over at his most definitely non-idiotic blog).


Saturday, March 12, 2016

I Hate...

...Illinois Nazis.

And the real BCFerrys knows precisely how to get there.


Friday, March 11, 2016

This Day In Clarkland...Who Has Not Been Charged In Triple Delete Debacle?


First, via the MoCo, as I'm sure you've already heard:

Charges have been laid against a former B.C. government staffer (to Transport minister Todd Stone) in connection with the so-called triple-delete email scandal.

George Gretes has been charged with two counts of willfully making false statements to deceive for allegedly telling a colleague in the transportation minister's office to delete emails linked to Freedom of Information requests about the so-called Highway of Tears....


Who was not charged?

Why, none other than a Deputy Chief-Of-Staff, not to Mr. Stone, but instead to...

You guessed it...

The Premier of British Columbia:

...Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham interviewed Gretes under oath as part of her investigation into the scandal. Her report said he lied under oath when he denied that he intentionally deleted Highway of Tears emails and records.

That report, titled Access Denied, also found that Michele Cadario, deputy chief of staff in the premier's office, routinely contravened freedom of information laws by bulk deleting emails on a daily basis. Denham's investigation cited Cadario as having no email records, despite working in the premier's office for two years.

Cadario was never charged in the case...

Like we've said so many times around these here parts...

It seems to be a special skill of the Lotuslandian proMedia to cease digging when matters enter the Premier's office.


To think of this another way...

If this is going on in the Premier's office, why WOULDN'T lower level staffers resort to such behaviour, even if they are not directly 'ordered' to do so?

And, unless I've missed it....Are we not still waiting for yet another Special Prosecutor to make a decision about any further charges (or not) in the wake of Premier's office-assisted 'Quick Wins' fiasco?
Update: Of the 'point-making' variety....Here.


I Actually Went Looking For The Vancouver Sun (Dead Tree Edition) Yesterday...


And guess what I didn't find on the front page?

I did, however, note with great interest that they ran a huge top-of-the-page banner about 'Justinmania!'.

And only one of the two Justin's that, I guess, bumped a pretty important retraction from the front page had the last name of 'Trudeau'.


All of which means I was only half-right in my original prediction....I thought it would be Mr. T. and Ms. Gregoire...Didn't realize that the VSun would, essentially, replace the latter with Mr. Beiber....Guess that just goes to show that when you are wrong you might as well be very, very wrong. 


Thursday, March 10, 2016

Tax Haven-A-Go-Go...Canada's Own Version Of 'The Wire'?


It's bad enough that high-rolling the tax avoidance addicts among us may be let off the hook.

But, as the Mound of Sound says over at his place, what about the pushers:

It's a pretty disgusting state of affairs. Under the Trudeau government, rich tax cheats get amnesty. It seems the Canadian Revenue Agency is only allowed to use the wheel, the rack and those thumb screws on the little people.

But what about KPMG, the accounting giant that seems to have masterminded the Isle of Man tax dodge scheme? When you raid a drug den you sweep up the addicts but you make damn sure to get the dealer because that's the one you most want, the trafficker. He's the one staring at real jail time...

Not that anybody is even remotely suggesting, in the absence of any legal repercussions, that the fine folks from accounting should receive the Omar Little treatment or anything.

Dr. Dawg gets to the real heart of this matter....Here.


This Day In Clarkland...The Latest Eby Smackdown.


Is it possible our fine Premier thinks that those folks in the tents are on holiday?

As for those in the mattress store....

Permanent slumber party?


This Day In Clarkland...And To Hell With The Poor People:


From a recent Andrew MacLeod piece in The Tyee:

...At a news conference about the progress on Site C, The Tyee asked BC Hydro president and CEO (Jessica) McDonald about the bill affordability proposal (to help low income earners).

"B.C., as you may be aware, has relatively very low rates for electricity," McDonald said. "This is something our customers don't necessarily know."

For residential customers, the rates are the third lowest in North America, even after increases in recent years, she said.

BC Hydro offers help with energy efficiency so people can reduce their electricity use and receive lower bills, she said.

The minister responsible for BC Hydro, Bill Bennett, said he hadn't seen the proposal, but also doesn't see a pressing need to make hydro rates more affordable...


Now I understand how they justify those outrageously high IPP contracts to their influential friends and buyout uncles everytime they look at themselves in the mirror each morning.



Wednesday, March 09, 2016

At The End Of The Day...

...Sometimes you actually wonder what will be on the front page of the Vancouver Sun tomorrow.

Specifically, will it be the kinda/sorta, but not quite (see if you can find the excuse!), retraction of the codswallop that was on today's front page.


Will it be something really important about what Mr. and Ms. Trudeau had for dessert last night?

And, yes, this is the time at the Pacific Gazette when we dance like....Idiot Bloggers.


This Day In Clarkland....Hit And Run Ratf*cking.


The following was NOT posted on the Twittmachine by the leader of the Official Opposition in British Columbia...


Who posted it?

Why none other than a self-professed 'social media intern' with 'Today's BC Liberals' (scroll up).

Which means, I guess, that it's all-Segretti-all-the-time for the Wizards of Clarklandia now.

Segretti?....You might remember him if you are old like me or, if after watching Spotlight win those Oscars, you decided to stream that other movie everybody kept talking about...

Of course, this just may have been a kid working completely on his own, on a lark....But it would appear that these fine BC Liberal-aligned digitally influential-type folks work in teams....And if this fine young fellow really is an 'intern' for the BC Liberals, does that not mean he has a boss?...So... I reckon there might be some Woodsteinian questions an enterprising young reporter might want to ask said 'boss'...You know, those questions of the 'What did you know and when did you know it?' variety.
Update: In which Mr. Shaw and his compatriot at the VSun prove that their initial front page story that spurred all of today's digital influencing and accompanying Ledge baiting was total codswallop.... Good thing the excellent reporters from the Sun are not 'idiot bloggers' without editors, eh?


This Day In Clarkland....The Pineapple Upside Down Bern Cake.



If the polls said Bernie Saunders was supposed to lose Michigan last night by an even greater percentage than Christy Clark was supposed to lose Lotusland in 2013, how, exactly, did he win?


There is that matter of Michigan having more than a few union folks left over from all those rusting manufacturing plants that are pissed about things like the TPP that Sanders has campaigned, hard, against.

But I reckon those folks were locked in to all of the pollsters algorithms, up front.

So (again), how did Mr. Saunders win?

Well, it looks like it might be for exactly the opposite reason why Ms. Clark won (the general) three years ago.

The Yutes (according to Commandante Markos himself) actually voted:

...(The f)act is, the polling composite had Clinton leading 57-39, so significantly cutting into that margin would’ve been a victory. But outright winning? No pollster came remotely close to calling this one (for Sanders)...


...A big reason for the upset—the youth vote actually turned out! Per the exit polls, they made up 21 percent of the electorate, a larger percentage than 65+ (20 percent). The only state to match that level of youth turnout was Texas, but that vote went 64-34 to Sanders, while the Michigan youth vote went 81-18 Sanders. That was the difference, by far...

You got that Dippers?

Or, put another way...

Look very hard and very closely at what Mr. Eby did in Point Grey and 'Provincialize' the strategy.



This Day In Clarkland...Word Salad Wednesday.

I guess this means Mr. de Jong grows lettuce when he is not kneading the cookie dough.

But who makes the dressing?

As Bob Mackin points out, Mr. de Jong sure does like banging out the E-Comm while he's hiding out in the barn...Or some such thing.
Lower snark quotient post on this matter (and why it matters) is...Here.


Tuesday, March 08, 2016

This Day In Clarkland: If At First You Can't Delete...

...Destroy! Destroy! Destroy!

Bob Mackin, working today in The Province, has the story. Below is his lede and a wee bit more:

Documents spanning more than 25 years of B.C. Place Stadium’s history were shredded last December and the NDP critic wants to know why.

“What’s in the records?” asked Spencer Chandra Herbert. “Some might be useful just for historic reasons, others might be useful because they could point to legal problems, or over-budget problems.”

An inventory, obtained under Freedom of Information, shows B.C. Place paid 1800-Shredding Ltd. $1,692.60 to destroy 403 bankers boxes of files from 1983 to 2009...


...Public-owned stadium manager B.C. Pavilion Corporation (PavCo) disclosed a copy of 1800-Shredding Ltd’s “Certificate of Destruction,” but it did not provide records about who oversaw the paper purge or whether anyone considered transferring files to the provincial archives.

“When you have an archive service, you work with it,” Chandra Herbert said. “You don’t just take the public’s records — they paid for them, after all — and delete them or shred them.”...


Is it possible that PavCo execs hate Email too?

But, all snark aside, and more to the point, what kind of BC Place/Casino-Industrial-Complex correspondence might have been in those boxes that could have been in the public's interest to archive?

Oh, I dunno.

How about something that was able shed a little light on something like, say...



The Keef Report: Who Needs Triple Delete...

...When You've Got Cookie Dough Mike?

What's it all about this time, Alfie?



And then, as you might expect, the following response to the Keef has come in from a second Minister of Clarklandia (please note the emoticon):


Do you think these fine folks even know that we're paying attention?

Because, you know, it's all just a game of 'inside baseball' that the real insiders like the Keef know all about and we, the great unwashed, should just shut the heck up about given that this is just the Minister who was in charge of the Health Ministry when all the deals were getting set to go down, deals that are now being investigated by the Ombudsperson (allegedly) because nobody knows what happened when the decisions about said deals were being made (and who made them) because there is no record of the what was actually going on when it was all being planned prior to its execution by the next (and now fully scapegoated) Minister down the line.

And, need I mention, that what went down as a result of those deals ruined peoples' lives for absolutely no good reason at all.

So Ms. Polak can take her emoticon and stick it where the sun doesn't shine.

Which is probably the same place where Mr. de Jong hides all his flaming post-it notes.

Or some some such place.


Previous Keef Reports, none of which has been written on a post-it note or, as reader MCG suggests, '4 ply', can be found....Here.


Saturday, March 05, 2016

This Day In Clarkland...Other Bids? What Other Bids?


Well, well, well.

What do know....

The Clarklandians will not release any information on the 'losing' bids for the Site C construction lead project.

Nelson Bennett of BIV has the story. Here is his lede:

On November 25, 2015, BC Hydro announced it had awarded a main contract for the construction of $9 billion Site C dam to a consortium called Peace River Hydro Partners (PRHP).

The consortium includes ACCIONA Infrastructure Canada Inc., Petrowest Corp. and Samsung C&T Canada Ltd.

It was one of four companies and consortiums that had been shortlisted in the bidding process.

BC Hydro did not give an exact number for what the contract was worth, but ballparked it at more than $1.5 billion. On December 25, 2015, it put the value of the contract at “approximately” $1.75 billion.

But was that the lowest bid?

When asked that question, BC Hydro refused to answer. And in a response to a freedom of information request filed on November 26, 2015 by Business in Vancouver, the B.C. government continues to refuse to answer the question...

And, of course, the BC Rail bidding process was never, ever the template for this kind of stuff.



Speaking of GordCo, Inc., the following is something just a wee bit interesting from the non-censored part of BIV's FOI haul:

...One email from BC Hydro CEO Jessica McDonald on November 16, 2015, suggests there was a bit of a rush to finalize and announce the awarding of the contract.

“There is a very tight timeframe for an announcement of this award,” McDonald writes in an email. That urgency is not explained as the following sentences are redacted...

Too bad they missed that October 19th deadline, eh?

Interestingly, one of the partners in the Peace River Hydro Partners consortium that 'won' the bid, Petrowest, is in a wee bit of financial trouble as was recently reported by the Alaska Highway News' Jonny Wakefield...Guess the fine folks of Clarklandia in general and Ms. McDonald specifically, missed that one in their rush to announce the 'winner'...


Trumpism Rising....Pleased To Meet You.


From CNN:

After seeing one of the most disruptive protests of the campaign last night in New Orleans, Donald Trump is beefing up his events with private security contractors working the crowd looking for protestors under the direction of his former private security detail...


What could possibly go wrong...


Trumpism Re-Defining...Whackos Of The World Unite!


Jacob Weisberg, the Editor-In-Chief of the now WaPo-less Graham Family's 'Slate Group' and a columnist for Newsweek, has written an analysis of Trumpism.

The header and the sub-header go like this:

An Eclectic Extremist
Donald Trump’s distinctly American authoritarianism draws equally from the wacko right and wacko left...

In the end Mr. Weisberg's point is, I think, that Mr. Trump is no longer just a Republican Party problem but is instead all of America's problem.


Where, exactly, is the 'whacko left' in all of this?

I combed through Mr. Weisberg's piece and despite the many, many, many examples of Mr. Trump's allegiance to the 'whacko right', the only kinda/sorta/maybe reference to the left side of the ledger is the fact that Trump is not averse to fanning the  'George Bush was to blame for 9/11' flames when it suits him.

Which, means, I guess, that 'birthers' actually sprung from the loins of FDR.

Or some such thing.


Why does any of this linking of Mr. Trump to the left (or, alternatively, blaming the left and/or Obama for Trumpism) matter?

Because Mr. Weisberg is no crazy nut-job idiot blogger.

Instead, the case could be made that he is just one level down from the biggest of big league proMedia purveyors of 'both sides' punditry like David Brooks and/or Tom (TheSixMonthUnit) Friedman.

Which means that codswallop like this could very quickly become conventional wisdom.

And, if that were to occur, it could become very easy for USians who are leaning Sanders, but not really paying close attention, to be flipped towards Mr. Trump after Ms. Clinton wins the Democratic party's nomination.

And that would be a very scary thing, indeed.

Especially if Mr. Bloomberg does jump in and less than 50% wins it.

Update: (Tip O' The Toque to reader Hugh for the heads-up)...And, right on time, here comes the good Mr. Black (formerly) of Cross Harboor (sic).

Tip O' The Toque for the heads-up on the Weisberg piece to a USian who pays attention to everything...Driftglass.
And, as an aside, I've got to thank Mr. Glass for a significant bump in traffic that swarmed north across the border towards this little F-Troop listed blog a couple of weeks ago because he included us in...This.


Friday, March 04, 2016

This Day In Clarkland...Suds 'N Dollars (ctd)


Well, well, well....

It would appear that it pays to go deeper than the press release.

When last we were reading 'Castanet' they were playing the privatization of the Kelowna Hospital laundry pretty much straight-up.

But now?

Well, it would appear that they're too are on to the story that has already been chased down by idiot bloggers and their readers.

Here's a bit of Castanet's latest under Wayne Moore's byline:

The company that will soon begin handling laundry services at several Interior Health hospitals has a long history of being a big supporter of the B.C. Liberal Party.

Abbotsford-based EcoTex Healthcare Linen Service Inc. contributed more than $130,000 to the party from 2005 to 2014. The company is a Canadian subsidiary of its Seattle-based parent company.

The last contributions were made in early March and late April of 2014, of $7,500 and $4,000, respectively.

According to records provided by Elections BC, there have been no contributions since April 2014. That means there have been no contributions since a decision was made to contract out laundry services within Interior Health.

The company contributed nearly $28,000 to the party in in 2011 and, during the last election in 2013, contributed $4,000 to the party and $10,000 to Abbotsford-based MLA hopefuls.

In all, the company contributed $125,940 to the BC Liberals, while president/CEO Randy Bartsch personally contributed $10,720 between 2006 and 2010...

Imagine that!

And, for the record, reader Lew has uncovered other 'related' contributions that are not insignificant.
Tip O' The Toque to an Anon-O-Mouse in the comments for the heads-up on the latest from the good folks at Castanet. 
The MoCo is now on the story....Barely.


Thursday, March 03, 2016

At The End Of The Day...

...I think this Twittmachine exchange between two former Lotuslandian journalists says it all when it comes to the meanness and the deep cynicism of the BC Liberal government:


Well, I guess there's just a meanness in this world...


This Day In Clarkland...In Which The PAB-Bots Keep On Digging With Clawback Shovels..


First, the digging....

Next, he who is wielding the shovel this time...


Now, we're sure that the good Mr. Grewal is just doing what he thinks is right and fine by the political party he most identifies with and the government that is currently being run by that same party that he just currently happens to be working for.

However, absolutely all snark aside, the following is the real question I have for all those who see this as nothing more than a 'game' to be won on the social media platforms and/or in the public prints (scroll down)....

Which line on that BC Liberal government drawn (and tweeted) histogram pictured above, each of which represents thousands of real people with real disabilities, needs our help the most?

Why 'PAB-Bot'?.....Because no matter how many times they change the name of the gov't communications folk, they will always be members of the 'Public Affairs Bureau' to me...In fact, back in the lazy, hazy crazy days of the soon-to-be-stopped RailGate trial they constituted the single biggest block of this little F-Troop listed blogs readers.
A little off-topic but maybe not really given all the BCL diggin' goin' down these days.....Why is the 'seventeenth' anniversary of a 'scoop' that wasn't suddenly so important to the fine folks at Global to trumpet (and look for the one sentence long true money shot that de-scoopifies everything in the avalanche of words, photos and video if you must)? 


This Day In Clarkland: Why Does The Free Enterprise Party Hate...

...Free Enterprise So Much?

Yesterday, we noted that a laundry company (that may or may not be 'BC-based' as the press release says) that has donated six figures to various and assorted sundry BC Liberals over the years has been given a big hospital laundry contract in Kelowna in the wake of the BC Liberal government's latest privatization enterprise. 

Interestingly, the contract is very long.

As in twenty years long, which surprised the heck out of me.

And then, our readers weighed in.

First came an Anon-O-Mouse with this:

10 years used to be the norm.

Here in Penticton the Mayor and council are hell bent on cutting 20 & 30 year NO BID deals for the commercialization of pristine waterfront parkland. 

Which, later in the comment thread, was followed by this, from Clever Elephant proprietor Paul Ramsey:

...(T)he government has signed a number of 10-year information technology deals over the past 10 years, which is borderline insane given the pace of change in the field. (Would a deal signed in 2006 include resources for mobile web technology? No, because the iPhone hadn't been invented yet, but that same deal would still be running today.)

20 years for laundry doesn't have the same in-built innovation problem (unless I misunderstand the clothes washing technology field) but it has crazy implications for getting good competitive bids. For something as commodified as doing laundry, why wouldn't we go out to bid every couple years, to keep a healthy competitive ecosystem around pushing prices down. If you award all the work to one company over huge time intervals, eventually there won't be any viable competitors around when the contract comes out to re-bid...

I chewed on all of that for awhile (i.e. during geezer rock band practice last night while all the noodling went on looking for this year's 'new songs').

And then, as I was putting the pedals away later, at home, Paul's last sentence became a 10,000 pound crap-hammer that whacked me up the side of the head, hard:

"...If you award all the work to one company over huge time intervals, eventually there won't be any viable competitors around when the contract comes out to re-bid..."

Why the crap-hammer?

Because, if you recall, this was, essentially the strate(r)gy of the BC Liberal's original 990 year privatization sin right from the beginning.

If you get my drift.


And, thanks to readers NVG and Hugh for raising the red flag on the 'BC-based' thing. 
My original pass at the BCL donations just used the company's name...This led to the number $127,980....Reader Lew added the company's CEO to the search...When you add that number to the first number the new number, based on the new math (i.e. A + B = C), is.... $138,700.