Thursday, November 30, 2017

And A Homegrown One At That....

That is all.


The Wilful Destruction Of B.C. Hydro Explained...


As you might expect, it is Norm Farell who is doing the explaining:

... (BC) Liberal (Party) ideologues intended to privatize BC Hydro’s electricity division, as it had done with the crown corporation’s natural gas business and administrative services. However, because polls showed voter resistance to further disposition, an insidious program was developed as an alternative.

The plan was not to privatize the remaining BC Hydro assets; it was to privatize the company’s profits.

The public would hold all of the business risks associated with power distribution and sales while private companies would hold all of the rewards.

After BC Hydro’s long history of profitable operations, Liberals knew that turning the company into a money loser would have negative political implications. However, they had a solution: cook the books...

That's just a snippet.

Now go and read the whole thing.

Because Norm has the hard numbers and the charts and everything to fully back his conclusions.


Off topical, but....Only one more sleep until the start of this year's Advent Jukebox!


Monday, November 27, 2017

BC Leadership Race....Has Ron Missed The Most Obvious Point.


Mr. Mason of the Globe thinks that Dianne Watts has fallen back to the pack in the BC Liberal leadership crawl:

...There are those in the Liberal party who still feel it's a "stretch" for Ms. Watts to want to lead a party that she's had little time for in the past. Nonetheless, she is arguably the biggest name in the race and the consensus front-runner – at least she was.

To say that her campaign has been underwhelming would be charitable. The words most often associated with it are "a total disaster." That assessment has mostly been based on the three public debates the party has held so far...


...Right now, the race is wide open. Any movement has been front-runner Dianne Watts falling back to the field. For her, the momentum is swinging in the wrong direction.

But, here's the thing...

Nobody in the 'party' seems to be making much of a fuss about Mr. Watts' hard-con backstory.

Which, at this point at least, seems to be a battle already one for the good ship VacantWatts.


Of course, Mr. Mason's really big reveal was the super-dooper-non-Sam-Scoop(er) that...Wait for it...Marky Mark is running the campaign of the 'super-likeable' Michael Lee...Gosh, wonder who has been whispering in Ron's ear about the latter's soft-con, up-the-middleish-with-a-bullet, bonafides?...
Hey Dipper Braintrust!...While you all are doing your triangulating on Site C please add the following to the calculations...Unlike days gone by, many soft-progs who would never, ever hold their noses and vote PaleoSocred do have another place to park their votes now...
It's another cigar tube week for me...When I get back E and me will have to hustle to get the first of this year's Advent Jukebox tunes in the can for Friday...


Friday, November 24, 2017

Are Mr. Trump's Lawyers Cerebral Suitcases Completely Empty?


You want real analysis about what is really going on behind, around, below, and on top of, Robert Mueller's investigation into the Trumpian world (dis)order?

If so, you should be reading Marcy Wheeler's blog, which shows up over on the blog crawl, regularly.

Here's a little chunk from her latest post on the White House/Trump's legal team's response to the recent NYT and WaPo reports that Michael Flynn's fine fellows are no longer speaking to them:

...There’s something really funny about the White House’s confirmation that Flynn pulled out of the joint defense agreement, along with their pathetic claims this doesn’t mean Trump is in trouble.

(Because) confirming to the press that Flynn pulled out of the joint defense agreement involves confirming that the White House had a joint defense agreement with his lawyers. And that entails confirming that the President is being targeted in matters closely tied to Flynn’s own actions...


Can you imagine...

General Flynn playing the part of little Johnny Dean?

If that actually turns out to be the case we may not even need oval office tapes to hear from most, if not all, of the current presidents' men (and women) as they jump ship.


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

#VanRE....Is 'R Bubble Fully Inflated Yet?


The answer to the question in the header is, clearly....


And have a really good look at where, exactly, that specific land assembly is located (click on image to embiggen).



Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The November Rain...


It's that time of year where the young folks that are going to school where I work start to look a bit like walking zombies as the reality of the finals that are just around the corner starts to sink in.

And when the grey and the rain permeates everything like it did today...

Well, things get downright dreary.


Imagine my surprise when I spied a young woman racing across the courtyard outside my office window at lunchtime, bent forward at the waist with arms outstretched clutching two lines of truly tiny kids spread out in V-formation behind her.

And when this careening gaggle of chirping birds got to center of the square of soaking pavement everybody stopped on a dime and a riotous game of old-fashioned, honest-to-goddess square ball broke out.

Fifteen minutes later they were gone.

I headed back to the spreadsheets on the box, my coffee only half-finished, happy and content.


Below is my new favourite all abstract affective rain song by the East Nashville madman Aaron Lee Tasjan...


Monday, November 20, 2017

Why Are The Powers That Be Apparently So Afraid Of A Wee Bit Of Pilot Epidemiology?



Don't know about you, but I noticed an item in a Postmedia print organ last week that started like this:

A team of Université de Montréal researchers looking at a small sample of 29 women living near major natural-gas well sites found high levels of toxins in their urine.

Researchers found they had 3.5 times more benzene byproducts in their urine than the average person in Canada. But in nearly half the participants, 14 of them Indigenous women, the levels were six times higher...


That's interesting, not to mention potentially important, I thought, so I read further:

...The study was initially sparked by interest expressed at a Canadian symposium on toxicology, (researcher Elyse) Caron-Beaudoin said.

“We had heard that some communities in Peace River Valley in northeastern British Columbia were worried about the health impacts of living near fracking,” she said. “There was no bio-monitoring (for toxic chemicals) done in this region despite it being one of the most intensive hydraulic fracking regions in the country.”...

All of which sent me searching for the kicker, which is that the researchers should do a larger, more detailed study to determine what if any the association of this is with, well, you know...

...Researchers suggest the higher levels of benzene exposure in B.C. is coming from the fracking.

“But we don’t know for sure,” Caron-Beaudoin said.

Benzene is also found in cigarettes, petroleum products including motor fuels and solvents, as well as in drinking water. The study did not measure benzene in the participants’ environments, for example, in their tap water or in the air in their houses.

“The key message here is that we have a red flag,” she said. “We think there is higher benzene exposure in this region, and it’s particularly seen in the Indigenous participants, who already face social and health inequities. We need to look into this further and correct for the limitations we had in this pilot study.”

In her next study, Caron-Beaudoin expects to investigate the medical data of about 6,000 babies born in the region in the past 10 years...



You might have missed this story because it came out in the Montreal Gazette, presumably because the study, while done in BC, was carried out by researchers from the University of Montreal.

The thing is, it would appear that the folks at the Gazette may have missed a CAPPish-type memo or three.

Because two days later, seemingly out of nowhere, the Province ran an Op-Ed by Mr. Kenneth Green of the Fraser Institute titled "Attack On Fracking by BC Activists Ignores Science That Practice Is Safe". 

Now, as you might have predicted, the piece by the good Mr. Green included statements like to the following to support his thesis which closely matched the title of his piece:

...With regard to air pollution, a 2014 study conducted for the B.C. Ministry of Health found that short-term exposures to air pollutants were low enough that they did not pose a significant risk of adverse health effects in people living in the area, while long-term exposures to air pollutants from hydraulic fracturing were generally associated with a low potential for adverse health effects...


Do you see what Mr. Green did there re: the phrase: 'generally associated with'?

Regardless, surprisingly (or not), Mr. Green made no mention of the scientific U of M study cited above.

Furthermore, Mr. Green's piece also did not make mention of any of the following bits of unsettling science noted by Andrew Nikiforuk in the Tyee (in a piece on the U of M study that was published on the very same day as Mr. Green's Province Op-Ed):

...In Pavillion, Wyoming, a region of intense hydraulic fracturing activity, researchers have detected elevated benzene concentrations in air near homes located close to well pads. They have also found high muconic levels in urine as a result of benzene exposure...


...In 2015 researchers at Johns Hopkins University reviewed the records of nearly 11,000 births between 2009 and 2013 in heavily fracked rural areas of north and central Pennsylvania.

The researchers discovered that expectant mothers living in the busiest areas of shale gas activity were 40 per cent more likely to give birth prematurely (before 37 weeks of gestation).

In addition women were thirty per cent more likely to have a “high risk pregnancy” in heavily fracked landscapes.

And in 2014 as U.S. federal study found that pollution from the mining of natural gas in rural areas can increase the incidence of congenital heart defects among babies born to mothers living close to well sites...


Me thinks someone has been spooked enough to set their peer review-free deflector spike spin phasers to eleven for the duration.

The U of M's press release on the study is....Here....The actual peer-reviewed scientific publication is...Here.
Interestingly, the title of Mr. Green's non-peer-reviewed piece published on the house organ's website was slightly different than the title of the identical piece published in the Province. To wit: "Attacks On Hydraulic Fracturing In BC Defy Settled Science"
Separate from specific health hazard matters, check out the following bit of obfuscatory bait-and-switcheroozapalooza from Mr. Green when it comes to earthquakes: "On seismicity, the Canadian Council of Academies found that although hydraulic fracturing operations can cause additional seismicity, most of the earthquakes felt by the public are not caused by hydraulic fracturing itself, but by the underground injection of waste water"...Feel better now?
Norm Farrell also noted the U of M study on the Twittmachine on the weekend.


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Site C Boondogglepalooza...The Twisted Logic Of Cookie Dough Mike.


BC Liberal Party leadership candidate Mike de Jong travelled to Port Alberni for a grip-and-grin earlier this week and no one showed up.

So the good Mr. de Jong instead spent a whack of time talking to Mike Youds, a reporter for the PA News, and complained that he just couldn't understand why John Horgan et al. would even begin to consider dumping 24 fast ferry equivalents into the Peace River.

Or some such thing:

...The decision whether to cancel or continue with the energy megaproject — as laid out in the B.C. Utilities Commission report delivered two weeks ago — is a relatively simple one, he (Mr. de Jong) added.

“When I used to do this in the 1990s and visit Port Alberni, people were pretty outraged by the folly of building three fast ferries that didn’t work and having to write off $500 million. This is four times that, this is a whole fleet of them. This is (the equivalent of) 24 fast ferries...

Left unsaid by Mr. de Jong, of course, is the fact that with a now expected final price tag of ~$12 billion, his government's 'point-of-no-return' project, if completed, will eventually cost we the people of British Columbia approximately 72 fast ferry equivalents.

For no good reason...

At all.


Wondering about the sub-header?.....This.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The NoFunCouver Party Unanimously Declares Transparency A Conflict Of Interest.


There was a Vancouver City Council meeting going down today until, all of a sudden, all the NPA councillors disappeared, en masse, as noted by the Vancouver Courier's  Mike Howell:

What's it all about this time Alfie?

Well, Mr. Howell had that story also, recently (i.e. before the walk-out), in the printier version of the Courier:

...(Vision Vancouver Coun. Andrea Reimer) wants the public to know exactly where she and her colleagues on council make their money when not on the job at city hall.

That’s important, she said, when conducting city business and having the public know whether a politician has any pecuniary interest in a matter before council. She’ll be introducing a motion on this today at council...


Why might we, the citizens of Lotusland, want to know about stuff like this?

Well, back to Mr. Howell's story...

...NPA Coun. George Affleck lists himself as owner of public relations company Curve Communications Group Ltd. NPA Coun. Melissa De Genova says she owns consulting company Eventure Holdings Ltd. That’s just a few examples.

What concerns Reimer is that the public has no immediate way of knowing, say, who Affleck’s company does business with. Same goes for De Genova. The recently sworn-in NPA councillor, Hector Bremner, has yet to have his financial disclosure posted on the website, yet it is well known that he is vice-president of public affairs for the Pace Group. He’s also worked as an oil and gas lobbyist...


...So is Reimer going after the NPA?

“Not in a specific or personal way,” she replied. “Two of them have declared conflicts that aren’t listed on their financial disclosure and another one [Bremner] coming on could be in the same position. And given the intent of the Financial Disclosure Act, it seems reasonable to have something in place that allows the public to see where potential conflicts might lie.”

Which conflicts are you referring to?

“On several occasions, councillor De Genova has declared herself in conflict. The only source of income listed on her disclosure, other than council, is a holding company, and none of the conflicts have related specifically to that holding company, although apparently to things or clients of that holding company relates to.”

Added Reimer: “The same councillor has said on quite a few occasions that she works with a non-profit housing agency, which is definitely laudable. But if one looks at her financial disclosure, none is listed. It’s not that there’s something illegal going on here – that’s well within the rules – but I think the rules didn’t anticipate this kind of situation.”...

{snippety doodle-dandy}

...“I think she (Reimer)’s doing this to try and make a smokescreen story out of something that unfortunately Vision Vancouver is most guilty of,” said De Genova, pointing to the millions of dollars Vision has collected from developers over the years for election campaigns. “If she’s going to point fingers at other people, I think she needs to look within. Don’t throw rocks if you live in a glass house.”...


Not sure if we can be of any real help on any of this, but...

We do happen to remember that an early Cambie corridor land assembly effort led to a most interesting bit of close-quartered sign juxtapositionage back in the fall of 2011:


Is it possible that this was foreshadowing the formation of a most excellent non-profit housing agency to come?

Update: Bob Mackin has a little bit more....And NPA councillor George Affleck responds in a most strate(r)gic manner.


Lotuslandian Bloggodome Round-Up Thursday...


After pointing out the blue and red causes of the great Manitoba rail crisis Mr. Beer 'N Hockey gets to the heart of the matter:

...See what we have? A problem created by Conservatives being furthered by the Liberals and the Manitoba Conservatives. There is a better way and I am happy both my province and the province of Alberta chose it. If we must be governed more Canadians than ever had better stop voting for parties that are more concerned about tax dodges for the rich and start voting for parties who focus on the needs of the working people of Canada...

Laila is back at it, hammering away again at the true cost and the hypocrisy of Site C. Here is here latest lede:

I was working on some research when I first heard the decision on Site C would come by December 31st, 2017…exactly two years from the day I first started blogging about Site C in earnest. Since then a multitude of opinion editorials, articles and statements have been made by both those opposing and those in support. ( It’s here I’ll mention the only formal group campaigning in support seems to be the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association,spearheaded by rep Jordan Bateman. Yes, that’s the same Jordan Bateman,former taxpayers champion who worried about the costs of Site C )...


Grant G., as you might expect, goes deep into the Clarklandian duplicity re: Site C which he reckons was greately assisted by a cowed and complicit local proMedia club:

...(A)ny premier, of any province or territory in Canada who refused to send a multi-billion dollar taxpayer funded project to the regulatory body to see if the project was cost effective or even needed, then said premier, after denying a proper review told the public that the entire project was being fast-tracked and rushed forward for the stated goal to push the project past the point of no return...

Any premier who did that should have been vilified in the press, chased from office...

BC's (pro)media in late 2017 that same media is not silent they're are complicit in cheerleading a $12 billion dollar ill-conceived, not needed energy project...


Meanwhile, Norm Farrell curates the most interesting tweets on all things Site C and clearly illustrates the Dean of the Legislative's Press Gallery's ref-working techniques:

...(The VSun's Vaughn) Palmer wrote that Energy Minister Michelle Mungall was “chippy” but that MLA Tracy Redies, former CEO of Coast Capital Savings Credit Savings Union, demonstrated expertise and “was able to elicit significant information.” He could have added that the information was already on the public record but this was about painting a complimentary portrait of the woman who departed Coast Capital unexpectedly with a huge severance payout after the member-owned bank donated large sums to the BC Liberal Party...

Finally, while it is a bit of a cross-over act, the MoCo's Lotuslandian Central guy, Justin McElroy, has one heck of a poll going on the best of Canuckistanian Anglais Tee Vee going....The latest is the round of 32...Head on over if you've got 15 minutes that you never want back but want to kill pleasurably, regardless.


And, in case you've missed it...Pete Kelly has been posting some good, solid succinct and insightful #BCPoli stuff over at his place.
Speaking of things we're missing already... Stanley Q. Woodvine does an amazing job rooting out Lotusland's best non-smashed pumpkins still sitting on doorstops near you.


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

If Wishes Were Sparkle Ponies, Ms. Martin Would Ride.


The former queen of the sparkle pony rodeo's PR department, who once made that infamous trillion dollar generational Salty Hubbard-free claim of a 'bonanza' to come, is apparently heartbroken by this thing that Time magazine has just pointed out to her:

Please note, as Louise (who really is in BC) already did, where, precisely, the good Ms. Martin was tweeting from.



Casino Industrial Complexities....Irreparable Harm.


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

Those who service the Whaling industry do not want any more of that government information being released to reporters, especially those whose surname just might be Cooper.

Bob Mackin has the story:

...Lawyers for Great Canadian Gaming Corp. notified the Ministry of the Attorney General and Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner that they will appear Nov. 14 at the Law Courts in Vancouver to ask for a court order.

Great Canadian’s Nov. 9 petition to B.C. Supreme Court says the government plans to release the second phase of documents to a reporter on Nov. 14. Great Canadian contends the government has a duty under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act to consult it before any documents are disclosed.

“GCGC will suffer irreparable harm if the phase two disclosure is released without being provided with an opportunity to make the representation it is statutorily entitled to make,” said the court filing by lawyer Louis Zivot...

Imagine that!

Tuesday afternoon update: Mr. Cooper's latest Postmedia piece, which zeroes in on the duplicitous actions of the Clarklandians re: the role of offshore investment in the Lotuslandian real estate unaffordability bubble, has now been published....It's here.


Sunday, November 12, 2017

Keefin' It 1600 (More Years In The West Annex)


Before I get to the good Mr. Baldrey's latest linear type column for Glacier Media (most helpfully 'reprinted' by the Globalopoly), I present to you an actual fact that directly contradicts BC Hydro's longtime claim that energy demands are rising in BC, as rendered visual by Norm Farrell:

Now, off to Mr. Baldrey's latest:

...As our population inevitably swells, and electricity consumption rises as a result, what is the best way to meet that demand? A hydroelectric dam, which is the most reliable form of energy, or alternative energy sources as solar, wind or geothermal (all likely cheaper but far less dependable)?

Lost in the debate is that any alternative energy projects would likely be built by private companies, and not B.C. Hydro itself. If the Crown Corporation stops building Site C it is unlikely to add to its already-alarming debt load by building more energy projects.

Thus, the old debate on IPPs (Independent Power Projects) may be re-ignited. While in Opposition, the NDP and its labor allies strongly opposed the growth of IPPs. It would be deeply ironic indeed if the NDP kills Site C, only to watch IPPs come to life...

Do you see what I see, sans even the tiniest shred of 'irony'?

The above passage from the Keef is actually buried way below the lede which posits  that no matter how much Site C eventually costs us it will be the fault of the current Dipper government....Gosh...It's almost as if Mr. Baldrey never actually heard Ms. Christy Clark say that thing that even the Dean knows she actually, well, you know....Said.


Saturday, November 04, 2017

The Keef Report... A Knock On The Coalition?

You might think this is all about a Lotuslandian proMedia club member denouncing civility in a coalition government that is striving to make the art of the possible work and all that.

But what if it really is just about a disdain for...



Friday, November 03, 2017

How Obvious Can One Columnist Be?


Here's the title of a post that showed up on this lowly F-Troop-listed amateur blog a few weeks ago:

Thursday, October 12, 2017

What Is To Become Of Young Vancouverites?




I understand that it's a crowded field, the proPunditry field, and all, but...

It's pretty hard to believe that one of today's column's in the BellGlobeRDSTSNCTV'nEverythingElseMedia's flagship print organ sprang up entirely in the wake of one man's ingestion of Chichester Cathedral:

To be fair (while turning off the snark phasers for the moment), in his actual column Mr. Mason acknowledges a significant debt to a really excellent personal perspective piece by Jessica Barrett that was published in the interim in The Tyee.

But I'm telling you...

If I open the Globe next week and see a piece that ties road hockey to Sal Paradise, I'm going to be more than a little upset.

Because that, if it happens, cannot stand, man.


What is this obviousness and cathedral dinners all about anyway Alfie?....Well....It's all in the Pythons.
Will get back to more serious things soon.....Apologies...It's been a cigar tube week.