Thursday, June 30, 2016

This Week In Clarkland...Two Wizards Talking (Behind The Curtain).


Wizard #1: How can we rile the Rubes this week?

Wizard #2: How 'bout 'Poor people sell their compass cards for money!'

Wizard #1: Don't be ridiculous.

Wizard #2: How about nurses? There must be some kind of board certification scandal lurking there somewhere.

Wizard #1: Maybe later. Too close to bogus real estate agent certification issues at the moment.

Wizard #2: Got it. Here's one I've been saving for a not-so-rainy pre-long weekend day....'Malls! Filled to bursting with teachers and their school board overlords shopping during Pro-D Days!'

Wizard #1: Brilliant. Let's call Mikey.

Wizard #2: Ya...Let's get Mikey...And then we'll mobilize the intern army, because...They'll do anything!


Intern Army?...Uncle Bob explains.
And then, of course, there is Marky Mark's Klout Klub.


This Day In Clarkland...Will The Wizards Now Try To Get Woodford Fired?

Because, well...

You know.


All snark aside, this business of some local proMedia members starting to call out Ms. Clark on her word salad garnished with poop-laden pretzellian logic is a very encouraging sign.


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Moonlight Graham...1 Game, 111 Years Ago Today.


But no at bats.


This Day In Clarkland...One Member Of The Government Actually Acts In The Public Interest.


Earlier today our fine premier said a bunch of stuff about changes she plans to implement regarding who will enforce existing real estate regulations. Ms. Clark also stated that the penalties for flouting those regulations will be increased.

All of which has a lot of proMedia club members all excited despite the fact that, at least according to the news reports and/or PR puff pieces so far,  Ms. Clark did not propose to actually change said regulations and/or alter the tax regime around real estate transactions in Lotusland in an effort to deal with the underlying systemic problem.

But, regardless what she ultimately does or does not do about a matter of great import to the public, Ms. Clark's big announcement today appears to have deflector spike-spun another announcement from an officer of the legislature right off of the local proMedia radar.

Interestingly, this second announcement will likely really (and truly) do something to help a North Okanagan community deal with a problem that must be fixed as quickly as possible, if not yesterday. The announcement will also help other British Columbians get to the bottom of things when they are stonewalled by the provincial government for no good reason at all.

The following is from Info/Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham's 'message' that fronts her group's report titled 'Clearly In The Public Interest: The Disclosure Of Information Related To Water Quality In Spallumcheen' that was announced/released earlier today...

This report raises some very important public policy issues - issues that get to the heart of determining what is in the public interest.

The relevant facts of the situation are clear. The Steele Springs Waterworks District in the Township of Spallumcheen advised its water users in March 2014 that nitrate levels in the Hullcar aquifer had exceeded Health Canada‘s guidelines for drinking water quality. As a result the water was no longer safe to drink for infants and those with compromised immune systems.

The Ministry of Environment had reasonable grounds to believe that the spreading of liquid manure on agricultural fields was causing pollution to groundwater. The liquid manure was being applied to fields as a source of nitrate fertilizer for crops.

In the two years since the issuance of the water advisory, nitrate levels in the water supply have continued to increase, while at the same time the Ministry has continued to authorize applications of manure on farms over the aquifer. The board of the Waterworks, the Mayor and Council of Spallumcheen, members of the Legislative Assembly, and water users have repeatedly requested that the Ministry disclose the soil test results and analysis that justify the continued application of liquid manure despite rising nitrate levels. The Ministry has not provided this information; neither in response to formal access to information requests nor in response to verbal requests and requests through the media.

The Ministry stated in one response that it had released all of the information it was legally able to and that the federal Copyright Act did not permit the release of information such as soil testing results and nutrient management plans. While part of this report concerns the Ministry‘s duty to properly assist an applicant with their access request, the key focus was on whether the Ministry was obligated to disclose information that is clearly in the public interest. This obligation flows from s. 25(1)(b) of FIPPA – a section that, until very recently was seldom utilized because its threshold for application was inordinately high. Safe drinking water is a basic human need, and many of the residents of Spallumcheen lack confidence in the regulatory actions undertaken by the Ministry. While this is understandable given the lack of information available to the public, I do not wish to suggest that the Ministry has been anything but diligent in taking actions to address the water contamination. However, the reasoning behind those actions, particularly regarding the authorization of the application of liquid manure to fields after the compliance order, has not always been apparent to the public. Public confidence can certainly be enhanced through the publication of the soil test data and the Ministry‘s interpretation of that data.

In this investigation report I have determined that the disclosure of this information by the Ministry is clearly in the public interest in that it will enable the public to assure itself that the Ministry is appropriately discharging its duty in relation to environmental and human health. The disclosure of this information therefore meets the threshold for disclosure under s. 25(1)(b) of FIPPA...

Copyright issues (see bolded passage, done by me, above)?

Reminds me of the time GordCo Inc. refused to divulge information relating to the BC Rail Sale/Not Sale deal by claiming of bankers' privilege.

Or some such thing.

Interestingly, Bob Mackin has noted a past connection that may make some wonder about how independent Ms. Denham's replacement will ultimately be. 


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Forty Years Ago Tonight: Big Bird In Full Flight...

...On the mound against the damnable Yankees at old Tiger Stadium.


This Day In Clarkland...A (Very Different) Tale Of Two proMedia Club Members.


Remember back when Stephen Smart was the legislative bureau chief for CBC British Columbia and an uppity blogger by the name of Norman Farrell lodged a complaint with the corporation that he, Mr. Smart, had been put in a position of potentially being in a conflict of interest given the fact that his life partner's job was to control the flow of information from the office of the premier to reporters covering the legislature?

And remember also how the CBC's ombudsperson, Mr. Kirk Lapointe came to agree with Mr. Farrell and the similar complaints and concerns of others?

And remember, too, how the local proMedia howled with protest, from the Vancouver Sun's Craig McInness to Global's Keith Baldrey, and many Lotuslandian proMedia club members in between?



Fast forward to the present and ask yourself how many of those same club members have howled since Ian Jessop was fired from CFAX last week just as he was about to start unclogging the legislative info-flow in earnest.

Done asking/scratching your head?

Well, you can always use the Google.

To find.



Merv Adey has an excellent contextual post up on why the firing of Mr. Jessop is so problematic for members of the Lotuslandian citizenry that would like to learn what is really happening in Clarkland these days.
And where is Mr. Smart plying his stock-in-trade these days?...Well...You know.
A funny thing about all that howling over the Smart/Pointy affair back in the day...The Keef actually proved the point about the conflictyness of the thing when he was trying to, as is so often his want, demonstrate the opposite. 
And here, via Laila, is some very good news...Indeed.


Friday, June 24, 2016

This Day In Clarkland....Have Two Hundred And Forty-Seven Post-It Notes Gone Missing?


Via Buzzfeed:

...At the Western Premiers’ Conference in early May, Clark said the Lax Kw’alaams leadership “voted overwhelmingly in favour of moving forward into the next stage of this agreement on LNG.”

In an emailed response to Discourse Media about the meeting, the premier’s office stated, “First Nation officials carried out their own internal engagement processes prior to their vote and letter of support to the federal government.” The premier’s office stated that Lax Kw’alaams voted 244 to 3 in favour of developing Lelu Island.

Discourse Media’s investigation found no evidence of such a meeting. In May 2015, community members in Lax Kw’alaams voted to reject a benefits proposal from Pacific NorthWest LNG, which is majority owned by Malaysian company Petronas. No further band meeting appears to have occurred since a new mayor and council were elected in November 2015.

Neither the premier’s office nor the band council provided any documentation of any band council or community vote. Discourse Media also could not identify a single community member who attended or was aware of such a public meeting...

The full report, with extensive on the ground reportage from Brielle Morgan and Ash Kelly of Discourse media, which also includes an admission by a spokesperson in the Premier's office that their boss may have been mistaken on the 'leadership' aspect of things is...Here.



What really happened?

Will we find out for real this time, or...

Will the Legislative Press Club members (in good standing) once again run the other way as yet another apparent contradiction seeps out under the door of the premier's office?

Stay tuned...


Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Keef Report...Idiot Paywallers!


What's it all about this time Alfie?

I mean...

Is it just that the Keef doesn't like folks that might be smart enough to figure out a way to chop away at the decaying base of his paymaster's debt pile while making a go of it themselves?

Especially given that, as Sandy Garossino of the NatO points out, the paywall concerned is not actually built in the manner described by the Keef:


Is it possible that the Keef is just really riled by Ms. Garossino's latest NatO piece on the price that the entire public (really) pays for private schools for the few.

Not that those two things are necessarily mutually exclusive or anything.

Idiots, idiots,

Previous Keef Reports can be found...Here.


#IanJessopFired: What Scared The Wizards More...


Norman Farrell or...

Martyn Brown?


The above is a screen shot of the Googleplex taken the morning of Thursday June 23rd.

Luckily, those sharp boys with the search engine and the gigantic bags of money are a little behind because if you hit the link that takes you to the actual CFAX 'guest' page you will find that it no longer has any reference to an appearance by Gordon Campbell's former chief of staff who was previously scheduled to appear at 1:00 in the afternoon sometime this week.


One o'clock in the afternoon....

Isn't that Mr. Jessop's 'old' timeslot?

Not that the Wizardarian fear of either Mr. Farrell or Mr. Brown is necessarily mutually exclusive.
Do you not find it interesting that, what with all the PR and all the Spin and all the Astroturf and all the in-pocket media members they have at their disposal pretty much 24/7,  the wizards are still so scared of one talk show guy who has the occasional guest on that is willing to point out the realities of the actual public record that they felt the need to have him fired/silenced/censored?


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

This Day In Clarkland...The Sound Of (Media) Silence.


If you listen to CFAX 1070, which is a BellGlobeCTVEverythingElseMedia property, in the early afternoon you may have noticed that Ian Jessop is no longer there.

Thus, in addition to other things, you no longer get to hear intelligent, fact-based discussions of the goings on in Clarkland.

Especially when Norm Farrell was on.


Puget Sound Radio reckons Mr. Jessop has been 'terminated':

A usually well-informed source passes along word that Ian Jessop has just been terminated at C-FAX Victoria.

The talk show host in the 1-3 pm slot M-F has in recent months had his show repeated daily from 6- 8 pm. So one would assume he had been held in somewhat high esteem...



Something else?

The real tragedy of this is that Mr. Jessop is/was the ONLY local 'lectronic media voice that consistently looked hard at, and spoke the truth to, the Clark government...
TipO'TheToque to Alison at Creekside for the heads-up.
Seems to me that a weekly blogger-driven BCPoli podcast might be in order...Maybe something like, say, the following which was a discussion of  BCRail back in the days when the court case was heating up (i.e. just before the Six Million Dollar Deal brought it all to screeching halt) with fellow blogger 'TheReverendPaperboy' on his 'Maple Syrup Revolution' pod:


Has The Leader Of The Vancouver Island Party Removed His SoCon Stripes?


As Norm Farrell pointed out on the Twitmachine yesterday, the ostensible leader of the Vancouver Island Party, Mr. Robin Richardson, used to be a Fraser Institute guy.

So much so that the dear leader even wrote a book with the Big Muddy's main man Michael Walker.

Which is all fine, as far as it goes, given that the good Mr. Richardson describes his party as fiscally conservative.

But, according to CHEK News' Ben O'Hara, he also describes the party as something else as well:

...“We are fiscally conservative, socially progressive and environmentally green,” he (Richardson) writes...


Leaving aside the environmental thing for the moment, the bit above in bold is most interesting given that awhile back the Mr. Richardson tried to take the FedCon 'Alliance' party's nomination away from Keith Martin in Esquimalt because Dr. Martin was, at least in part, pro-choice.

The MoCo had the story back in the day:

...Alliance members in the riding of Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca will choose Saturday night between Martin and a more conservative challenger Robin Richardson, who opposes abortion.

"The opposite of 'pro life' is 'pro death'," Richardson says. "This 'pro choice' is just a weasely way out of it."

During public debates, he has argued that women who have abortions get diseases and die younger a claim that Martin has dismissed as "crap."...


Do you smell what I smell?

Please note the irony in Dr. Martin's description of Mr. Richardson's bogus claims about disease and death as a result of abortions given the short lived Canadian Reform Alliance Party monicker that was once associated with the pre-Steve party...
More later on the good Mr. Richardson's BCL-lovin' Stockboy connection...


Monday, June 20, 2016

"Music Is Good For You..."


That's the word from our Neil.

Age 70.

Talking to Marc Maron.

And, as so often happens on Maron's podcast, things get looser as the conversation rolls on and the subject realizes that the guy he or she is talking to is genuinely interested in what they have to say.

Listen to it....Here.



This Day In Clarkland...The Twin Tiering Of Education In British Columbia.


Paul Willcocks, writing in the Tyee, has the story.

Here is his lede and a little bit more:

We don't talk much about two-tier education.

Two-tier health care, sure. Governments reject the idea that a sick child from a wealthy home should get better treatment than a child from a poor home.

But B.C. governments have been happy to let parents with money buy their children a big educational head start over the equally bright poor kid a few neighbourhoods away.

And the BC Liberals -- like the New Democrats and Socreds before them -- insist that less-affluent taxpayers subsidize the private schools they can't afford for their own children.

But recent (albeit flawed) polls and a policy shift from NDP leader John Horgan could signal a long overdue change...


...(W)hy are taxpayers subsidizing posh private schools, when the government insists the public system is meeting students' needs?

St. George's School is among the elite B.C. private schools. Tuition starts at $20,460. Based on the school's budget, it spends about $34,000 per student, almost four times as much as the provincial funding for students in public schools.

Yet taxpayers will subsidize St. George's with more than $3 million this year...

Go read it all.

(and keep a water-filled spray bottle handy to help put out the fire that will produce the smoke coming out of your ears)



Sunday, June 19, 2016

For My Mom and Dad.

For those of you who have been stopping by here since the dinosaur days....

Why this post again?

'Cause it's a tradition (with little bits and pieces, one of them musical, added on each year)...

That's why!



As is usual at this time of year, I've been climbing in and out of the cigar tube a lot lately on my way to and from not-so-secret science geek bunkers dotted around the country where peer reviewers are fighting it out to the figurative death over the ever diminishing success rates for grant-funded basic/fundamental research (stay-tuned for that, by the way, because I think it is soon to become big news given that the federal minister responsible has just announced a review of government policies and programs on that front).

Anyway, I have written about this before, and I will write about it again, but that is not what I want to talk about today.

Instead, I want to talk a little about my Mom and Dad.


As I have also written before (see below), my Dad spent his entire adult life working for tow-boat companies hauling all manner of stuff up and down the west coast, from Alaska to California, and sometimes even across the water to Hawaii.

And he was pretty well paid for doing that job, especially once the 1970's arrived.

And while I know that part of the reason for my Dad's increasing salary, which helped make it possible for me to go to college, a first in our family, was the damned good job he did as he began to work on ever bigger boats like, say, this one, I also know that in large part I owe my shot at a higher education to his union.

How do I know this for sure?

Because I also know that my Mom, who was climbing the ladder working in ever bigger branches on ever bigger jobs with ever bigger responsibilities of one of our country's biggest banks at the very same time my Dad was hauling logs, got paid peanuts by comparison for doing her non-union job.

But that does not mean that my Mom's passing down of her ability to be analytical, sometimes in the extreme, did not help me get to college too and, maybe even more importantly, help me become a full-fledged science geek in the end.

My mom passed away early last fall after a long, slow decline that left my Dad doing a whole lot of the work and the worry after his days of working for a living/pay cheque were long done.

Anyway, below is my now traditional F-Day post for my Dad....


I really do live a charmed life.

I have a wonderful wife and two great kids.

I also have a job I actually like, where most of the time I get to do what I want while working with people (also mostly kids) to produce stuff that we are all really proud of.

And that job pays me well; not hockey player money well, but I make more than I ever dreamed of. Which, of course, means that I make just enough that we can afford to live in our own house within the Vancouver city limits.

In fact, I guess some might say that I am upwardly mobile enough that I should quit all my complainin' because I'm one of the lucky ones that actually benefits financially from many of the 'rich folks first!' policies of Mr. Campbell et al.

But here's the thing.....

I am most definitely not one of those 'ladder puller-uppers'

You know, somebody who's got theirs, and now says, "Screw you Jack," to everybody else.


I'll tell you why.

It's because of my Dad.......

My old man was a Union man.

And the folks in the Union fought like bastards...and they fought constantly, usually for the tiniest of things in each successive contract...things like an extra quarter percent on a COLA clause, or one little add-on like an extra free filling per year on the dental plan.

And when I was a kid, especially during that time when I was a barely no-longer-a-teenager-aged kid, I thought the folks from the Union were just a little bit off their nut....all that energy going into what, exactly?

After all, it was the 80's, and Dave Barrett and the Socialist Hordes were long gone, and the Wild Kelowna boys were rolling along, and Unions were bad, and Expo was coming, and Trudeau was going, and John Turner was hiccupping, and Mulroney was lurking, somewhere off in the distance....

....And if you were a half-bright, apolitical science-geek kind of kid like me, breezing your way through college and thinking about graduate school, you laughed when you saw the boy wonder from Burnaby, Michael J. Fox, shirk his Family Ties and ape the young Republicans while making fun of his willfully neutered Leftie of a Dad on the TV screen...

....And if you were that kid, you thought that you were living in a golden age that was tied, not to the social democratic reforms of the past, but to the coming of Free Trade and the promises of the Reaganites from the South...

...And from that perspective you sure as heck didn't always get the irony of Bruce Springsteen singing about the plight of the working class in 'Born in the USA'.

But now that I have spent a good chunk of time in USA where I started a family of my own before coming home, I do get it.

I understand that my Dad spent his entire adult life hauling logs up and down the West Coast, working his guts out to help keep the robber baron families rich because he had to make a living to support his own family....

....And I get the fact that, because of the Unions, my family's standard of living gradually improved, bit by bit, over the years so that by the time I had grown up to be that callow young man described above my parents had saved enough to help me go to University....

....And I get the fact that I was the first one in my family who got to go to University....Ever.....And it wasn't because I was so damned smart....

....And I get the fact that, while my parents' limited financial help and support was important, it would never have been enough to get me into the same good schools if I had arrived on the scene a single generation earlier or, perhaps, later....

....And I get the fact that those Wild Kelowna Boys, and all the other neo-cons that have come since, have been doing their damndest to destroy the dream of a University education for all, and instead have instituted an elitist education for some and one-trick-pony Technical training for everybody else.....

....And I get the fact that, if it wasn't for folks like my Dad and the other lefties of his time, my current world, one in which I make a living with my eyes and my mind wide open, would not be what it is today.....

....And most of all, I now get the fact that my Dad was, and is, my hero.

Photo at the top...My Dad and my youngest brother C., getting ready for a highly ritualized Samuri Fishing Rod Sword Fight (to the death!) up at Spectacle Lake at the top of the Malahat on Vancouver Island in the early/mid-70's.
Photo at the bottom...My Mom with somebody's kid, probably one of my much younger cousins, at the picnic table in our daisy-filled old back yard on Monterey Ave. in Victoria that was the scene of a thousand-and-one-before-and-after-dinner soccer and/or cream-'em games (although the latter were more often in the front yard for some unfathomable reason) also probably from the middish '70's...And if I'm wrong, rest assured that my brothers will be sure to correct me!


Saturday, June 18, 2016

This Day In Clarkland: Because Cheap (Is Not) How She Feels...

...About Renting Private Jets.

From a piece by Bob Mackin in today's Tyee:

Premier Christy Clark's controversial visit to Haida Gwaii to give $150,000 to a school under federal jurisdiction was her most expensive charter jet trip between late November and March.

The $8,170 round-trip on Nov. 26 was among 14 trips for photo opportunities and speeches that added $54,000 to the more than $500,000 Clark has spent on private jets since she became premier in March 2011.

Clark, four aides (including videographer Kyle Surovy) and her RCMP bodyguard flew from Vancouver to Massett on Orca Airways. She went to announce a $150,000 grant to the Old Massett Village Council so it could explore building a $4-million auditorium at an on-reserve elementary school...


Never mind the fact that it is still not clear what the actual motivations were for bestowing said 'grant', unannounced and out of the blue, to a school that is not under provincial jurisdiction while using a local politician as the intermediary who was just happened to be in the midst of a close election race at the time as well as being a supporter of a mega-project being proposed by a close relative of our fine premier.

Instead, for the purposes of this post at least, how about we consider the following question... 

How many monthly bus passes for disabled folks could that $8,170 spent on the Premier's ultra-fine three-hour-tour have funded at $52 a pass?

Well, using that new-fangled math thing called long division, I get 157.

Which means that 157 people, who otherwise could not afford to (thanks to the Premier and her policies) get to the grocery store, doctor's appointments, school, therapy, the rec center, their Mom's house and, maybe even, the beach, if Ms. Clark had foregone her cheque backed-stopped photo-op.


As NVG mentioned recently in the comments, more often than not Ms. Clark could learn as much or more on her jet-setting, fact-finding junkets much more cheaply if she were instead to use Google earth.

But, then again, if our fine Premier were to do that it would leave a digital footprint behind and she wouldn't get all that videographer-generated PR pablum on the side.

Of course, there is great monetary irony in the political jujitsu of the clawback, because, in spite of the faux accounting arguments given that the funds just travel between various arms of government, giving folks bus passes who need them most would actually cost the rest of us absolutely nothing...So, what is this really all about, in addition to the longstanding Campbell/Clark government policy of making the poor pay for all of their ideologically-driven austerity pool party bills?...Well, I reckon some wizardly apparatchik got a bee in their bonnet (and then jammed it into Cookie Dough Mike's bluetooth-free ear) when they learned that, gasp!, some folks were selling their passes....Now, here's the thing...Was the extra, say $75 bucks a pop making anybody rich...Or...Was it an entreprenurial way help them make ends meet given how long the disability support rates have been, essentially, frozen?
And, as for the videography...As best we can tell, the YouTubian record of the tour has a whopping total of  513 views so far...Now, before anybody does the long division with at aggregate $158K as the numerator, you should know that the number 513 (which falls nicely between 404 and 801) is actually pretty high when it is compared to almost all of the rest of the PR pablum found...Here....Truth be told, I, for one, am mildly surprised somebody doesn't have those whip-smart Bob Mackin-attackin', Klout Club-lovin' BC Liberal young-uns banging those levers 24/7...Or, is it just that there are too many levers and not enough recruits and/or summer interns to go around?


Friday, June 17, 2016

This Day In Clarkland...Coupling Deflector Spike Spin With An 'Agreement' With A Local proMedia Organ.


Friend and reader 'Bill' left the following as a comment at the bottom of our recent post on possible motivations for Gordon Campbell's resignation as premier of British Columbia (a.k.a. 'The Resource Extractors Made Him Do It'):

The day Christy Clark announced her sexual assault story it took all the MSM headlines (understandably). That same day another very important story - conveniently for the Liberals, did not get covered by any of 'their' local MSM (suspiciously).

Shell announced they had decided to stop investment in their LNG projects (world wide) due to oversupply and uneconomic business conditions. This decision would terminate development of two north coast BC projects. The Shell BG LNG Project planned for Prince Rupert (virtually DOA after being taken over by Shell) and Shell's Kitimat LNG project (which had already delayed their Final Investment Decision to year-end 2016) would stop being funded. This reality is a major setback, signaling just how tenuous the start up and viability of the industry in BC is - another deathblow signal for LNG in BC...


We pause Bill's comment for a moment to bring up something that Rafe Mair mentioned 'round here recently in response to a post on the wreckage being wreaked on BC Hydro:

...(T)he real story is that all this remained unreported in the mainstream media.

The dots are there for all to see.

Postmedia has a written mutual masturbation agreement with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers ( for a copy), the oil industry pays huge bucks to BC Liberals, their partners, the Sun, Province and National Post don't investigate Campbell/Clark and lay off stories unhelpful to it. The lying is not just what they say; even more it's what they don't say - deliberately...

With that, we now return to Bill's regularly scheduled commenture:

...The halting of all Shell LNG developments was reported in LNG World News, eastern newspapers and here in BC by Grant G. on his blog The Straight Goods. In the week since Ms Clark announced her assault there has been much follow up on that story and absolutely no mention on this bad news LNG story from any of the local MSM. A very significant LNG abandonment and what it foretells of future prospects went unreported.

I would venture thIis LNG bad news has not been reported because it it's not the kind of news the Liberal-captured and CAPP-funded MSM would be keen to highlight given their conflicted priorities. Certainly not the failed reality the Liberals want reported pre election.

My point?

Folks 'round here are often quick to blame our fellow citizens who are not #bcpoli junkies (i.e. most of the citizenry) for not understanding what's really going on in British Columbia.

Personally, I think that is a big mistake


After all.

If no one actually tells them what is really going on...



This Day In The King's Land Of Condos...The Money Shot.


From Kathy Tomlinson's latest piece on the total gougification of Lotuslandian real estate, condominium division, in today's Globe:

...These types of flips are done by contract assignment, where the original buyer sells the contract to another buyer before closing. B.C. has brought in new rules that limit the practice for single-family homes, but condo presales are exempt...


I wonder why that could be?

The exemption on condo-flipping I mean.


This Day In Clarkland...Expediency Incorporated.


I honestly wonder if there is absolutely anything the Clark government does that is isn't driven either by the greedeology of the cronies or political expediency*.

Case in point, this sudden dumping of cash on a handful of rural school districts as noted by Tracy Sherlock and Rob Shaw in today's VSun.

Here is their lede:

Frustrated school trustees say a last-minute dump of cash by the premier might save nine rural schools from closure but it also comes infuriatingly late in the year, undermines months of work by trustees explaining to outraged parents why closures were necessary and leaves districts scrambling to change budgets within a two-week deadline.

Premier Christy Clark announced Wednesday a $2.7-million fund that can be used by six school districts to save nine rural and remote schools earmarked for closure due to budget cuts or declining enrolment...


Does this mean that the 'independents'  weren't willing to swoop in and do something for the greater good?

*Of course the really Big!!! Win!!! for the Clarklandians and their Wizard Army comes when they can meld the greedeology and the expediency into one giant ball of codswallop that they are then able to convince the rubes to swallow whole....Examples abound.


Thursday, June 16, 2016

This Day In Clarkland...Which British Columbians Won't Be Able To Ride New Transit Infrastructure?


What is wrong with this picture?

And who won't get to ride, all smiley-faced with either the pols or the non-existent humanoid drivers?


You already know the answer to that one, right:

All which, according to the Dean at least, is really just a PR 'timing' problem (scroll down).

Because, I guess, our fellow citizens who need a little bit of our collective help most should always have to choose between transit and food.

Unlike, say, folks at the top of the tax bracket who just keep on gettin' theirs, and more.


As to the answer to the question at the top of the post....Note the number of the car....'404'....As in, 'Error/Deleted Page', which pretty much says it all I reckon....(tip o' the toque to Bob Mackin on the Twittmachine for that tidbit)


What Is The Real Reason That Gordon Campbell Stepped Down As Premier?


After demonstrating unequivocally, once again, that resource revenues to British Columbians continue to be negligible under the Clark government's policies, even compared to those raised during the last doomed days of the Campbell regime, Norm Farrell has this to say:

...When Gordon Campbell announced his resignation in 2010, the underlying reasons were never honestly reported by members of the Legislative Press Gallery. Bad approval ratings played a part but Campbell was being pushed hard toward the door by money men acting for natural resource industries. Mining companies and gas producers saw public wealth gained by private power producers and they didn’t want to continue paying substantial amounts into the provincial treasury. Campbell was not sufficiently responsive.

Special interests knew their treatment would improve under Christy Clark. The numbers prove them correct...

Which, it would seem, is something else you won't be reading about in the local proMedia prints anytime soon.


Well, there is the following to consider, at least according to Rafe Mair, based on a comment he left for us earlier today:

...Postmedia has a written mutual masturbation agreement with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers ( for a copy), the oil industry pays huge bucks to BC Liberals, their partners, the Sun, Province and National Post don't investigate Campbell/Clark and lay off stories unhelpful to it. The lying is not just what they say; even more it's what they don't say - deliberately...

I've already contacted Mr. Mair about his documentation.

Stay tuned.


Who Can Bring An End To The Campbell/Clark Wrecking Crew In #BCPoli?


In a word...


 From Robin Levinson King's TorStar report on the latest hard number breakdown on last year's Fed General from Elections Canada:

...Droves of young voters showed up to the polls last October, leading to the biggest gains in youth voter turnout since the new millennium.

Voter turnout increased across all age groups, growing 7.6 percentage points overall between 2011 and 2015 elections, according to data released by Elections Canada on Wednesday. The biggest gains were amongst youth between the ages of 18-24, which grew from 38.8per cent in 2011 to 56.2 in 2015...


...The next age group also made significant gains. Voter turnout for young adults between 25-34 increased by 12.1 per cent, from 45.1 per cent of eligible voters in 2011 to 56.2 per cent in 2015...


Without a shiny new face at the top of the ticket, how do the Dippers in BC get those kids to actually vote around here next May?

I have my own ideas, but I'll let you the reader weigh in first if you so choose.


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

This Day Along Highway 16: Finally...


...Something concrete is being done (via the CP):

A bus service will be available between Prince George and Prince Rupert by the end of the year on a notorious stretch of road known as the Highway of Tears, according to the B.C. government.

Eighteen women have been murdered or have disappeared along Highway 16 and adjacent routes since the 1970s.

Transportation Minister Todd Stone says agreements among 16 communities along the highway will allow B.C. Transit to operate a scheduled bus service, slated to start at the end of the year...

All for the cost of a lousy million dollars a year.

What, exactly, is our fine premier's private jet bill per annum again?


Has The Campbell/Clark Government Wrecked BC Hydro?


It's something that Norm Farrell, Rafe Mair and others have talked about a lot.

And now a former insider has blown the whistle.

Interestingly, (or perhaps not if you have been paying attention), only Andrew MacLeod of the Tyee has the story so far.

Here is his lede and a couple of bits more (but go and read it all):

A former senior British Columbia civil servant says the provincial government has manipulated BC Hydro's finances for political gain.

In a June 10 presentation to a B.C. Utilities Commission panel in Victoria, Richard McCandless called on the regulator to publicly probe the Crown corporation's finances...


...After the 2008 financial crisis and the economic recession, the provincial government made returning to a balanced budget its top priority and money from Crown corporations helped achieve that goal, he said. It used BC Hydro to balance the government's budget, promote private investment in power generation and subsidize industry by suppressing rates, McCandless said.

It was able to do that largely through the "abuse" of regulatory accounts that allowed it to defer expenses for years into the future, he said...


...Since 2010, BC Hydro has in total added about $3.1 billion to its deferral accounts, McCandless told the panel. "In the same period, the government recorded approximately $2.9 billion in BC Hydro net income, [which includes] $1.2 billion in cash dividend transfers to help lower the government's direct operating debt."

Put another way, the government claims in its budget revenue from BC Hydro, part of its narrow surplus, but that money is largely borrowed, he said in an interview. The government is saving taxpayers' debt and improving how its books look, but is instead loading it onto BC Hydro ratepayers, he said.

"If you stand back, it's not that intricate to see what they're doing," he said...

And please note, Mr. McCandless knows our provincial government, from the nuts and bolts perspective inside and out.


Because he was an administrative and financial planner as well as an assistant deputy minister in that government for 35 years.


It was Uncle Rafe who called Campbell/Clark Inc., the 'Wrecking Crew' the other day over at Norm's place....With all due respect to the original musical crew it's a heckuva an apt monicker if you ask me.

SubHeader?....Bigger E and me twist up a little Phil Ochs for you all...


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

This Day In Clarkland...All Your Foreign Buyers Are Ours.


Well, well well....

Whadd'ya know.

In addition to Singapore, Hong Kong and the state of Victoria in Australia, it looks like New South Wales (a.k.a. Sydney) is all set to start taxing foreign real estate speculators/money parkers/scrubbers.

Narayanan Somasundaram of Bloomberg News has the story:

Foreigners buying homes in Sydney will face a new property tax from next week when New South Wales becomes the second state in Australia to impose such a duty as soaring demand from China helps drive record prices.

Australia’s most populous state plans to introduce a 4 percent stamp duty surcharge from June 21 and from next year a 0.75 percent land tax surcharge on foreign purchasers, New South Wales Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian said in an e-mailed statement Tuesday. The measure, which comes on top of stamp duty that applies to all buyers, is expected to raise more than A$1 billion over four years...


Given that the Wizards of Clarklandia are now floating their economic 'boom' on the local REstate bubble and wurlitzering the bizarre notion that massive home price increases are leading us to a perpetual equity machine-driven Valhalla/Promised Land that is even better than a herd of Trillion dollar LNG Sparkle Ponies....

Is is it possible that...

The Wizards are actually rubbing their hands with glee at the notion that the attempts of other jurisdictions to soften the blow of a post-bubble crash will actually drive even more speculators/money cleaners to our shores?

Because, heckfire, if this keeps up even double-wide owners in Spuzzum will soon be paper millionaires!

As for the tax revenue that could be generated?....Who needs that when there are more MSP and ICBC premiums to be gouged out of the backs of the Rubes who actually live and pay taxes here (and who don't have a hope in heckfire of climbing aboard that perpetual equity train thingy)...
Super obscure ear worm wriggling out of sub-header?....This!


Lotusland's Real News, Served-Up With A One-Two-Punch.


Punch One....Norm Farrell's latest on PR-based proMedia 'journalism':

In the preceding article, I made reference to BC Legislative Press Gallery members producing commissioned articles. These are public relations pieces intended to serve particular needs of government or entities doing business with government. It is the kind of output that will ultimately be replaced by automated journalism. Mike Smyth’s recent Province column (on BC Hydro and IPPish-type stuff) provides an example...

Punch Two...Rafe Mair's response:

It’s damned near impossible to be civil! Read more of Farrell, read Erik Andersen, read Marc Eliasen, read the figures starting in 2002 when the Campbell/Clark wrecking crew took over – it’s not complicated and the numbers easy to comprehend. Only they and BCH seem unable to understand how to use renewables...

Go read/take them both (and then dish them out for all your friends and influential uncles....Here.


Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Keef Report...Bashed Up The Side Of The Head By Tiny Soup Pot.


...Wielded by, surprise!, a fellow member of the Club (National Div'n):


Is it possible that irony was just taken off life support by the Top 'O The Hashtag Twittmachinegorithm (as of 5pm Saturday June 11/16)?

Blatch-assisted, irony-induced afterglow?....It would appear that the Keef's social media gotcha baiting is now firmly on the side of operative.
Previous Keef Reports can be found....Here.


Saturday, June 11, 2016

This Weekend In Clarkland...#CowboyUp?


The Wizards of Clarklandia are, apparently, getting set to work themselves into a trademarked frenzy of Klout Clubbing.

The meaning of which is inexplicable to the uninitiated and/or unentitled.

I mean, as far as I can tell, that hashtag thingy in the good Ms. Miller's tweet is pretty much all about high school football, new boots, going to see Garth Brooks, and, well....


The scary thing?....This stuff (and, of course 8 figures in super-secret slushie money, ultra-super-dooper-secretly-funded astroturf groups replete with MoCo-approved spokespersonages, and a compliant/bamboozleable local proMedia herd) works 'round here.


Friday, June 10, 2016

My Personal Response To Ms. Clark's Letter.


My wife C. and I have two daughters.

I also work at a post-secondary institution in British Columbia.

Thus, I was very happy to see the Clark government support Andrew Weaver's private members bill that will ensure that all post-secondary institutions in the province have a sexual violence policy that, at the very least, does the following:

(a) addresses sexual violence involving students enrolled at the university;

(b) sets out the process for how the university will respond to and address incidents and complaints of sexual violence involving students enrolled at the university, and includes the elements specified in the regulations relating to the process;

(c) addresses any other topics and includes any other elements required by the regulations; and

(d) otherwise complies with the requirements set out in the regulations.

And, after reading Ms. Clark's letter in the Vancouver Sun, I very much understand how her awful experiences as an adolescent (experiences I hope, with all my heart, that my daughters never, ever have) helped her decide to support Mr. Weaver's bill. I was also heartened by the realization that in many ways British Columbia is a better place than it was in 1978 in that many kids do feel that they have the freedom to speak up about things that really concern them without fear of reprisal or stigmatization.

But, of course, there are many things in the areas of sexual violence and discrimination that still need much improvement in British Columbia. And considerable improvements could be made very quickly if Ms. Clark and her government were to act on key issues, programs and initiatives starting Monday.

As for the specifics of what Ms. Clark could do, these were laid out very clearly and succinctly by  Daphne Bramham in her recent VSun piece.


It is my honest opinion that if Ms. Clark was to take Ms. Bramham's advice things would immediately get better for all women and girls, and in some cases men and boys too, in British Columbia.
And no one, not even social media hot-button gotcha baiters like Mr. Baldrey and Ms. Mills, could argue with that.


A small note....Plugged the cover of Neko Case' 'Calling Cards' back into the jukebox over there on the left sidebar because it was part of the original post of Bigger E's and littler e's muscical extravaganzification linked to, above.


Thursday, June 09, 2016

Towers Of Trumpism...


...Piled high atop a penthouse filled to bursting with white supremacisms:

...Former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke defended Donald Trump on his radio show earlier this week from criticism of his comments about Judge Gonzalo Curiel, blaming "the Jews" in the media for propagating a long-running negative agenda against the presumptive Republican nominee...

That is all.

Tip O' The Toque to Driftglass.


Will B.C.'s Next Land Spec Boom Be...


From the latest in 'Western Investor':

"...British Columbia is the only western province that has no restrictions on the foreign ownership of farmland..."

I mean.

Perhaps we could just have no rules for the sale of absolutely everything, water, snow and sand included, 'round here?

That way we can sell absolutely everything to the highest bidder and live off the sky-high equity that we can then pass on to our great-great-great grandchildren in perpetuity.




Wednesday, June 08, 2016

This Day In Clarkland: The Biographer Speaks About...

...Big Money.


Update, Friday June 10/16: To be very clear, I wrote this post before Ms. Clark's letter was published in the Vancouver Sun which I consider to be a completely separate matter entirely..My response to Ms. Clark's letter is...Here.

From the good Ms. Tyabji's recent interview with John Ackerman of CKWX:

"...So, you want to talk about corporate donations, don’t say, ‘What are the donors getting for providing big money in intimate settings in a private house?’ Talk about what your suggestion is of what should happen otherwise, like, ‘Are you wanting the taxpayers to pay for political parties?’ Say that. If you’re going to go after corporate donations, go after across the field. Don’t target this premier in that highly sexual way. That is highly inappropriate..."


First there is the pretzel logic about how super-secret big money meet-ups with the Premier and members of her government are actually saving us all money, which is laughable in the extreme. So much so that I won't even bother to go into it any further here.

But then there is the seemingly bizarre claim that the citizenry's call for an end to big money in BC politics is tinged with misogyny and sexism (which are themes that Ms. Tyabji brings up elsewhere in the interview by the way).

Why 'seemingly' bizarre, you might ask?


It turns out that this type of inoculation strategy was used to great effect by a BC Liberal party operative in the run-up to the last election back in the spring of 2013.

Laila dealt with that story more effectively than anyone on the Interwebz and/or the public prints at the time.

Unfortunately, the local proMedia was not willing to get to the heart of the matter in the way that Laila did.

And, just in case you missed it, Laila has a new post up about something else about the words, deeds and actions of the Premier's biographer and the BC Liberal government that is making her go.....Hmmmmmm. 


Tuesday, June 07, 2016

This Day In Clarkland....It's Baaaaaaaaack!


And why not?

After all....

Why should the BCL government (and a closed circle of their closest cronies) be the only beneficiaries of all that regressive shifting of the tax burden onto the backs of those citizens that can afford it least?

R. Zussman and M. Laanela of the MoCo have the story.

Here is their lede:

The B.C. Chamber of Commerce is calling on the provincial government to replace the PST and with a new tax — but chamber members are not calling it the HST.

Instead, the business leaders are calling for a "value added tax."

"Our members are not looking to revisit the HST or the debate that went in to harmonizing with the federal sales tax," said Dan Baxter, the chamber's director of policy development.

The unpopular HST was brought in by former premier Gordon Campbell after the 2009 election, and was eventually dismantled after it was rejected in a referendum in 2011...


Subheader got you all earwormy?....This. 


Saturday, June 04, 2016

This Day In Clarkland...Funding The Biographer's Publisher With Public Money.


Sunday June 5th: Please see update, in red, below...As a result of the update, I've changed the title of this post and removed material from the original post that commented on information in the first run of a  Maclean's review of J. Tyabji's biography of C. Clark that was factually incorrect...I've also taken down all comments written before 5:00pm Sunday that refer to and/or comment on the same factually incorrect information.

From the deeply buried lede (i.e. the last sentence) in Nancy Macdonald's Maclean's (original) piece on Ms. Judy Tyabji's biography of our fine premier:

...It can’t help author or subject that Tyabji received grants from the B.C. Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts to write this book...


Here comes the updateish stuff...

Ms Tyabji tells the world, via Marky Mark's Klout Klub (aka, The Twittmachine), that she, herself, received no (presumably grant) monies:

To which Maclean's has responded thusly:

Clarification, June 5: This review has been updated to clarify that it was publisher that received standard financial support from the Government of Canada (Canada Book Fund), the Canada Council for the Arts, the British Columbia Arts Council, and the Book Publishing Tax Credit.


There you have it...The firewall between publisher and author have taken care of everything.

And, no, I don't have any problem whatsoever with Arts grants (to publishers or otherwise)...What I do have a problem with is using them to help fund abject shillophancy in the run-up to an election campaign, particularly when said 'phancy is authored by someone whose spouse is on the government payroll for 'phancy in another, more sparkly and ponyish corner of the realm.


All The World's A Twilight Zone Episode.


When blowardism met fascism.

Head on:

Two Boston brothers accused of urinating on and beating a homeless Mexican man and telling police "Donald Trump was right: All these illegals need to be deported," were sentenced to prison on Monday, prosecutors said.

Scott Leader, 38, and Steve Leader, 30, had previously pleaded guilty to indictments charging them with causing bodily injury while committing a civil rights violation, as well as assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, among other charges.

The Leaders were arrested on Aug. 19 on suspicion of beating Rodriguez, then 58, as he slept in a subway station. The men told police they targeted their victim because they believed he was an illegal immigrant.

The victim, Guillermo Rodriguez, said in a statement that he was in fact a permanent resident.

"I came to this country many years ago and worked hard in the farm fields to provide produce to people here. I actually became a permanent resident of this country years ago, although if I had been undocumented I still would not have deserved to be beaten this way," Rodriguez said...

There really are real life consequences for all this demonization-backed dealism that has absolutely nothing to do with bankrupt casinos, rapacious golf courses, shagadelic condo towers, and/or bottled water wrapped in purloined sirloin.



Friday, June 03, 2016

The Cigar Tube Life...


It has been a bit of a weird week.

Even for me.

It started early Sunday morning when, in order to save the folks I was working for, who raise their money one yellow flower at a time, a bit of money, I agreed to climb into the blue and green-coloured cigar tube for a flight to New Cleveland.

Thank the Goddess that particular airline's flight attendants have decided to tone down the dumb jokes, but I sure do wish they had something edible to eat on board.

Heckfire, I'd even be willing to pay for it.

Thirty-six hours later I was home and the next morning it was down to the local musical equipment rental goods emporium to get a PA for that night's big show in-front of the conference science geeks.

Luckily, our drummer needed absolutely no amplification whatsoever.

Then, first thing the next morning, Wednesday, it was back in the tube.

This time I was headed for Montreal for one of those two day grant reviewing blood baths wherein we geeks bash each other upside the head repeatedly trying to figure out how to eliminate more than 80% of our colleague's requests for operating funds.

And now it is Friday afternoon and I'm sitting in Dorval, exhausted, waiting for my last flight home.

And Martha Wainright just came my pod thingy doing that tune that always stops me cold.

For all kinds of reasons, including the one you might be thinking of if you know it well.


All of this blather is just my circuitous, digressive way of letting you know that, as so often happens when I've been traveling alone for awhile, that the melancholy is on me.

Which is something the good Mr. Isbell knows all about.



This Day In Clarkland: The Sheep Farmer Speaks To British Columbians about...


Via Rob Shaw's piece in the VSun:

Premier Christy Clark’s hand-picked advocate for liquefied natural gas says British Columbia has a “moral obligation” to develop the industry to save the lives of Chinese residents dying of air pollution.

Gordon Wilson, the controversial former leader of the B.C. Liberal Party, made the comment during a heated presentation to a crowd of almost 600 people in North Saanich this week, many of whom had attended the community meeting in opposition to a proposed floating LNG plant in nearby Saanich Inlet.

“So let me just say this, when you’ve got 500,000 Chinese dying each year attributed to air pollution specific to coal — and somebody finds that funny, I don’t,” Wilson said, interrupting himself to shoot back at a heckler...

That word...

I do not think it means what the good Mr. Wilson thinks it means.




And, as you might expect, given who is paying Mr. Wilson to say these things, there was also this:

Wilson’s comments were greeted with a mixture of applause, laughter and boos by the audience. In an interview, he said he was trying to point out that we are all global citizens who have a moral obligation to address climate change, but it was difficult to get the point across while he was being heckled by a small group of protesters he said repeatedly show up at his events.

“I certainly didn’t mean to lecture anybody and was certainly not trying to be disrespectful to anybody,” he said. “But I’ve now hit 37 different communities and you hear the same materials presented which are factually incorrect … at that point I think it detracts from the merits of the entire discussion.”...

To which we can only say, based on actual scientific analysis done by actual scientists and rigourously peer reviewed by other scientists that actually know something about the science...


...Assessment of the full impact of abundant gas (obtained by fracturing) on climate change requires an integrated approach to the global energy–economy–climate systems, but the literature has been limited in either its geographic scope or its coverage of greenhouse gases. Here we show that market-driven increases in global supplies of unconventional natural gas do not discernibly reduce the trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions or climate forcing. 


...Our results show that although market penetration of globally abundant gas may substantially change the future energy system, it is not necessarily an effective substitute for climate change mitigation policy...

Honestly, I do not understand why this paid shill is not dismissed, out of hand, by the local proMedia every time he opens his mouth...And speaking of purveyors of 'he said/she said' journalism...Why didn't Mr. Shaw go to the actual science instead of seeking an 'opposing' view from the politically opposing side, thus furthering the false equivalency?
Charlie Smith digs into the curious (proMedia-free) case of Mr. Wilson and his partner in biography, Ms. Tyabji....Here.
On the Twittmachine, PSquires notes that Mr. Wilson lost the crowd in the first two minutes, which is a good thing...But, never underestimate the deflector spin power of a lightning rod, no matter how woolly-headed.