Some things just need to be said...
Thursday, March 31, 2005
Is a new Harpers like list for BC Political bloggers beginning ...
I hope so, The Gazetteer has one today, check it out and if you like it as much as I do, send him encouragement.
They have been nominated by Vancouver's foolishness committee for this year's King or Queen of Fools, to be crowned by public acclamation, begins at High Noon on Sunday, April the 3rd.
My vote would be for Lorne Mayencourt, even Liberals have to support that one!
For more on Lorne Mayencourt, Gordon Campbell, BC Liberals and BC Election use the technorati search box in the sidebar!
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
Grizzly Inquiry into Campbell Liberals FOI Case
A precedent-setting legal review before BC’s Freedom of Information and Privacy Commissioner is underway. The Campbell Liberals have refused to turn over public information with respect to where grizzly bears are killed in BC despite a court of appeal decision in April 2004 directing them too.
“A clear decision was already made by the courts. The outright defiance by the government to provide us with the grizzly bear data we need only makes me question what they are trying to hide,” said Chris Genovali, Executive Director of Raincoast Conservation.
The society is asking for the figures in digital format so it can easily measure scientific data to determine the health of BC’s grizzly population.
Broken Promise #1
"The most open, accountable and democratic government in Canada" - A New Era for BC
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
BC's political Odd Couple, Lorne Mayencourt and Polak will both be Liberal candidates in the May 17 election. Though Polak has a good shot at being elected, her partner, the Westend's "Uncle Tom" is not so lucky. "Uncle Tom" Lorne Mayencourt, previously known as the Westend party boi will be a one-term wonder.
Mayencourt still awaits the report of a special prosecuter into his "posse" like attempt to clean up the Westend's streets of all those unsightly panhandlers. If that doesn't go well expect the Liberals to drag out Lynne Kennedy to run. She has wanted this for some time. Or maybe the former Empress Jannie will run. Jannie is the ever present drag queen pumping Lorne where ever she goes. I wonder what she thinks of her man now. It must be so embarrasing pimping for this "Uncle Tom", perhaps she closes her eyes.
Should Mayencourt "escape" the special prosecuter he could ask Mary Polak to come downtown and campaign for him. Take her to The LGBT Centre Lorne, she can explain her stance against gay books in schools, I am sure if we heard it directly from her like you have that we too will understand. When you finish there go by YouthCO, BC's award winning youth AIDS prevention and education society. Mary can explain to them why she banned them from Surrey schools.
One final thing Lorne, did you ever start paying back the people you left debts with. You promised in the last election to do this if elected. Of course you being so Ga Ga over Big Daddy Gordon I expect you have learned how to break a promise or two.
I have other questions to ask our Uncle Tom concerning his days with two local AIDS organizations but that will wait for another posting soon.
You can find more on Lorne Mayencourt, Mary Polak, Gordon Campbell, BC Liberals and the BC Election using the technorati search box in the sidebar.
Polak won March 9 in Langley (Her new home to be) by four votes on the fifth ballot. Not such a ringing endorsement for one that is seen as a Liberal star.
Polak's nomination brings "way out" into the open the rise of the social conservatives in the Campbell Liberal gang. The loss of the likes of Collins, Clark, Stephens, Plant and a few others is creating a huge hole in the Campbell Liberal Government. The hole is being filled up with the likes of long time social conservative Rich Coleman and Mary Polak.
The Liberals did make an attempt to cover over this social conservative take over in getting Carole Taylor to run in Liberal safe Vancouver Langara. Taylor of course is the wife of former Vancouver Mayor Art Phillips who employed Gordon Campbell as an executive assistant for a period of time. Campbell then went onto be one of Vancouver's most polarizing mayors.
The question remains, did Gordon have some old debts to repay here and how much money was spent to pay off nomination costs of McCormick and Clarke both of whom withdrew from a heated nomination battle for one of the surest routes to Victoria for a Liberal, the Vancouver Langara constituency, to make room for Taylor.
Back to Langley where the anti-choice and homophobic Polak will get the news sometime this day that she is the Campbell anointed one. A prediction from Langley Liberal Jordan ....
"My prophecy: Polak by four, on the fifth count. Just like March 9. The system works."
- Jordan the purveyor of all things Liberal and Conservative at Langley Politics blog
You can find more on Polak, Gordon Campbell, BC Liberals and BC Politics using the Technorati search box in the sidebar to your left.
"This is more than establishing a standard of care, it's about establishing a standard of caring. Illness does not just exist in a clinic or as a subject of study for researchers, but is an on the ground life and death reality for people. The barriers which exist as part of the study are, nonetheless, barriers. For the participants of this study who are suffering this is not a pilot project, this could be a life saving intervention." - Dr. Dan Small of the PHS Community Services Society
North American Opiate Medication Initiative (NAOMI) study is underway in Vancouver. The study will also have trial site locations in Toronto and Montreal.
Read more here at Seven Oaks and the Vancouver Four Pillar Strategy
Also: background on the NAOMI
Monday, March 28, 2005
April 2-3, 2005
A Community Discussion on Poverty
April 2 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. - Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre
1607 East Hastings Street, at Commercial
This community discussion will bring together organizations working on poverty from a range of areas. Speakers on three panels will share who they are, what their mandate is, the hurdles they have faced, how they have overcome some of these hurdles , and the hurdles that remain. Participants will learn about policies that affect people in poverty, and organizational strategies aimed at making poverty a key election issue.
- Speakers confirmed for the Community Discussion include:
- British Columbia Coalition of People with Disabilities
- British Columbia Government and Service Employees’ Union
- Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
- Check Your Head
- End Legislated Poverty
- First Call
- Seniors Network
- Surrey Food Bank
A Political Dialogue on Poverty
April 3 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. - Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue
580 West Hastings Street at Seymour
Representatives from several provincial parties will share what they will do towards ending poverty in BC if elected in May. You can share your thoughts and ask questions that will bring poverty to the forefront of the election.
These are offered at no charge, but registration is required. Sign up now at www.thefulcrumproject.org or phone 604-986-9208 for more information or to register.
"the ability to share someone else's feelings or experiences by imagining what it would be like to be in their situation"
Compare sympathy (understanding)
"Fund for kindergartners, pre-schoolers to learn empathy."
I did not make this up dear reader. The Campbell Liberal government recently sent out a media release announcing funding for two programs that assist our young children "develop" empathy. The program was developed by the Vancouver School Board and now is being made available around the province.
There is something ironic (and just not right) about the Campbell Liberal government being associated with the subject of empathy.
Minister of state for early childhood development, Linda Reid says ...
“Helping kids feel connected to each other and showing them how they can be a good influence helps them to become the best people, parents and citizens they can be.”Monday magazine had this to say about the Campbell Liberal government's media release ...
"Most parents will tell you, however, that kids learn more from the examples we set than from what we say. So it would follow that a paternalistic government that wants to encourage empathy should act empathically, especially when dealing with people in need."Read more at Monday
This is the way of government largesse these days. If you want it then you are going to say something nice. It is not that odd, governments have done this for years, pulled in third party validaters or the people receiving the funding to say what they will be using the money for. Yet there is something different about the announcements these days.
"When the provincial Liberal government issues a press release announcing new funding for whatever, standard practice includes quoting the happy recipient of the cash thanking the Liberals for their generosity."
- Dee Hon, Terminal City
There is no real excitement about the news release. I recall early in the Liberals term of office, working for a respected non-profit community organization and the Premier was about to participate in a ribbon cutting ceremony, for a project that looked like it may be delayed or even cut. The host agency was beside itself in that their project had been halted by the new government and was under a review. The project was revamped somewhat and then allowed to proceed providing the agency with a great sigh of relief.
The difficulty then came after the project was allowed to continue. There had to be a ribbon cutting ceremony to tell the community the project was going ahead afterall. The Premier was invited, the guests were invited. Just one major difference this time out. It was a community event and with any other government it would have involved community. It was not this time, in a carefully controlled gathering the Premier and new local MLA made their lofty speeches, careful responses followed from the recipients of the funding and the project went ahead.
Agencies that receive provincial government funding are careful these days, very, very careful. Never before has there been such feeling in community. Frontline workers and board members rail in private about the government policy, the cuts to funding, the holes being created in the safety net. Not a peep is heard outside the inner circle, least the Liberals hear about it.
The agencies are caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place. The services they deliver today are a far cry from what they did only four years ago. The numbers of people requiring assistance from these agencies has gone up, yet they have less money from government to provide the service.
The column in the Terminal City with which I began this space with today, tells it clearly. Not only must an agency today suck it up, they are expected today to say something positive about the little bit of money the Liberals are giving back. Money that no where meets the amounts the Campbell Liberals slashed from these community service budgets.
The only people who feel safe to speak out today are those that have had all their funding eliminated. Yet it is the essence of that fear that should drive these agencies to speak out. They know there is real measurable pain and suffering being done to people by the decisions made by the Campbell government. They see it first hand day in and day out.The question now for these agencies is this. Are you really helping people with your silence? This government may win the next election, they will for sure if you remain silent and sign onto the nice little press releases. The least you can do is to not participate in the governments annoucements.
Read more on this issue at the Terminal City online here.
Sunday, March 27, 2005
also: Gordon Campbell's Liberals running boiler rooms?
And in other news... Dave Barrett has returned to his old form. Barrett is travelling around BC these days making speeches and rallying the left and middle class to defeat the Campbell Liberals on May 17.
Barrett was Premier of BC from 1972 - 1975. He ran for the NDP in in 1960 and was elected. Prior to being an MLA, Barrett was a Social Worker. In Prince George Wednesday Barrett often referred to his former social work skills with lines like this...
"This government is not fair, it's not decent, and if they stop now, they are in the range of my professional skills," he said. "They go on any longer, and they will need a psychiatrist."You can read more on Dave's trip to Prince George in the Prince George FreePress.
You can find more on the BC Liberals, Gordon Campbell and the BC election using the technorati search box in the side bar to the right.
Mall-Wort had the shirts for sale for a brief time. When it hit the media they pulled the remaining stock from the shelves. Want one, go to e-bay!
The company credits good weather for the profit. So one is left wondering what anyone at ICBC management did to deserve such whooping bonuses. Are they taking credit for being good money managers? For implementing programs that reduced accident rates? The answer is clearly no.
Have you had enough tells it like it is here
ICBC Pays Bonuses as Insurance Rates Do Not Go...
Yesterday it became public knowledge that ICBC intends to pay their management team bonuses of up to 45% of their ...
ICBC pays out millions in bonuses CBC British Columbia, Canada - 24 Mar 2005 The performance bonuses range up to $64,000 for the Chief Operating Officer. But the top executives aren't the only ICBC employees receiving extra money. ...
Consumers' Association of Canada: Consumers’ Association demands ...... FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 7, 2005 Consumers’ Association demands ICBC Reduce Auto Insurance Rates for BC Drivers in Response to ICBC’s Record Profits ...
James Slams Executive Bonuses at ICBC
NDP Leader Says BC Liberals Should Give Windfall Profits Back to Drivers
Saturday, March 26, 2005
Pharmacare, our provincial plan for drugs, is supposed to assist seniors and those with costly
prescription drug requirements.
Gordon Campbell and the BC Liberal Government introduced the "Fair" Pharmacare plan in February 2003. The plan shifted $90 million from government to those needing the drugs.
When the plan was introduced the separate seniors plan was wiped out as well. The previous plan provided lower deductibles and covered more drugs and services.
Todate according to the BC Health Coalition 50% of expenditures under Pharmacare are for drugs for seniors. That means almost one half of senior families in BC, or 175,000 families, are now paying more for their drugs.
The "Fair" Pharmacare program introduced in 2003 by Campbell Liberals came after a previous cut in pharmacare made in 2002. Deductibles were increased for most of us, including those on MSP premium assistance. A person on premium assistance saw their deductibles climb from $600 to $800 a year and 17 different drugs were de-listed under Pharmacare that year.
This is just another example of broken promises. BC voters had no idea that we would have a 50% increase in MSP premiums and loss of coverage for physiotherapy, chiropractic care, eye examinations, podiatry, massage therapy and naturopath services.
The Campbell Liberals have not lived up to their promises. Not only have our wages gone down, our costs have gone up. If the BC Government were a private company and we its board of directors, we would fire the CEO for such performance.
Graph from Strategicthoughts.com indicates BC wage earners have lost ground under the Campbell Liberals.
The last four years have been hard on BC wage earners as their incomes have been hit hard as a result of the economy in our province. Changes to employment standards and labour law has made it easier for employers to hire more part time employees and pay lower wages.
In the Okanagan we are used to hearing about the sunshine tax, meaning employees here have to accept low wages as a result of the great place they live in. Many employers here and elsewhere in BC have become experts in denying legal rights of their employees.
I came across one major employer that does not allow the required 30 minute break for an eight hour shift. Employees are expected to sign a payslip each day indicating they took the break.
This kind of intimidation (sunshine tax) has occurred for years here in the Okanagan. What is different today is the increased difficulty placed on employees and the employment standards branch to enforce the law. With staffing cuts and loss of enforcement powers employers have the employees over the barrel.
We have two economies in the Okanagan, one for them and one for us. Read more on loss of earnings under the Campbell Liberals at strategicthoughts.com.
Friday, March 25, 2005
Update: March 25, 2005 ~ Egale Link to Werner Schmidt's voting record on marriage issues and gay rights.
Campaign for Life has quoted Schmidt with saying in 1997, "(he) would consider resigning rather than vote against his pro-life beliefs..."
Earlier this year, MP Schmidt introduced a Bill proclaiming a stat holiday entitled "Family Day" to held in February of each year. Given the MP's record of voting against gay rights and same-sex marriage I wanted to know if he excluded gay families from Family Day. Here is his reply..
I am satisfied the MP did not exclude my gay family from his bill.
Subject: Family Day
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2005 17:03:25 -0500
From: "Schmidt, Werner - Riding 1B"
Dear Mr. Barnes:
In reply to your letter of February 15, please allow me to quote from a statement I made in the House of Commons on Monday, February 21, 2005.
"Today I wish to emphasize something which we all have in common. It knows no definition. At its best it is a source of strength, respect, cooperation, compassion. It has more value than money or status or success. It is that thing which weaves together people who become communities that become a nation. It is family."
Thank you very much for writing and I trust that this answers your question about inclusion of your family.
Werner Schmidt, MP
Werner was also mentioned in today's Kelowna Cap News Editorial as having refused to opt in to the federal MP's Pension, if this is true, then Werner is indeed a rare breed in the former Alliance reform group. ----------------
Werner Schmidt Calling It Quits
Kelowna Conservative MP Werner Schmidt is calling it quits.
The Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country announced Thursday that he will not be seeking re-election.
Schmidt a social conservative, known for his strong support for Christian values was elected October 25, 1993. (see update above)
Thursday, March 24, 2005
Wal-Mart t-shirt has Gordo Pic!
Its true, this shirt was for sale. See what happens when you go away for a couple of days! My blogging colleagues, The Gazetteer, Have you had enough yet? , Polite Company and Bad for BC all found this Marvelous T-shirt.
I have been further into the heartlands this week, up to the Cariboo country where the Liberals are worried. This area has always been a good area for Liberals and socreds, folks there will however vote for the person over the party. Case in point was David Zirnhelt. Zirnhelt took the riding three times, the last two being squeakers, but he took it.
Many folks up there look to Victoria to deliver, they expect their MLA to get their message through and to deliver. As I walked the streets in this small city, the kind of place the Campbell Liberals deleveloped the "heartlands" moniker for, I found out just how much trouble Campbell flag bearer Walt Cobb is in. As I was greeted, there was an air of enthusiasm for change. Granted most I spoke too were NDP supporters, they were however pretty keen on their chances of upsetting Walt Cobb.
Cobb was Mayor of Williams Lake for a few terms and a city councilors, local business man and an advocate for people with disabilities. He choose the right time to enter to political frey and left the municipal farm team to join the Big league in Victoria in 2001.
Many locals knew you could run just about anyone for the Liberals in 2001 and win. Again, most of us thought Walt would at the very least not be a hindrance. We did not expect him in Cabinet, but he was a local boy, who cared about local issues and people.
How sad it is that today weeks before an election and Walt's career as an MLA is less than an even odds bet. Not so sad for Walt really but the people of the Cariboo. For the first time since 1975 there was no cabinet minister from the Cariboo. For the first time since 1975 no one from the Cariboo was in the inner circle of government.
- Where was Walt Cobb...
- when the province eliminated the requirement of tenure holders to mill their wood in the community they took the logs from?
- when the government closed the Cariboo Forest Region?
- when the court house in 100 Mile House was closed?
- when the school that was closed in in Forest Grove?
- when the government changed the gaming funds distribution to local charities?
- when the Lytton Hospital was closed?
- when the government slashed staffing at the Ministry of Environment then eliminated the Ministry?
- when the Campbell government passed a 3.5 cents per litre tax on gasoline to pay for lower mainland infrastructure?
Unfortunately some nice guys cannot get the the job done. Walt should have stayed in municipal politics. That would have at least saved the people of the Laketown from current Wal-Mart schiller Mayor Rick Gibson.
The job is up for grabs and the people in the Cariboo will choose between the Campbell man and Charlie Wyse, a NEW New Democrat, former red tory, school teacher and budget guru for countless years on Williams Lake City Council.
Charlie can be a pretty dull guy, being the numbers kinda guy he is, the difference is Charlie knows how to deliver to his constituents, he knows what needs to be addressed and again unlike Walt Cobb, Charlie is building a list of things that have to be done and he will have a plan to deliver them.
I know these two men well, I worked with City Council as a community rep from a variety of groups from 1981 to 1992 and from 1992 - 1996 I worked for David Zirnhelt We accomplished a great deal in Williams Lake from 1992 - to 1996. While Mayor Walt attended anti NDP rallies, Charlie stayed back, plugging away at the issues, delivering!
Monday, March 21, 2005
Liberalized, The Tyee Report on BC under Gordon Campbell
The Tyee's new book on the Liberal reign in B.C. is still being written by Tyee regulars Barbara McLintock, Chris Tenove, Alisa Smith, Will McMartin and others, and will be published in March. But you can pre-order it and be amongst the first to get a copy.
Here is CBC's story ...
WINNIPEG - A local producer will stage a musical based on Winnipeg's 1919 general strike.
Danny Schur is seeking investors for the show, called Strike!, which he expects to open May 26 at the Theatre in the Park .
Schur composed the music, wrote the script and has raised $100,000, but he needs an additional $200,000 to bring the show to the stage.
He has workshopped the show since 2003 and produced an earlier version of Strike! last summer. More here
Weekend reenactment reminds Winnipeg residents of the past
Winnipeg General strike : Douglas - Couldwell Foundation
Remembering the Winnipeg General Strike: CBC Archives
Essay - Winnipeg General Strike: CUPE
Lesson Plan: BCTF
Winnipeg General Strike 1919: Wikipedia
Sunday, March 20, 2005
Perhaps retired Minister of Resort Development Sandy Santori, now running a country club in Trail knew something the rest of us did not know. Maybe Patty Sahota, the new Minister of Resort Devlopment will be able to shed more light on this policy development. It would of course be keeping wth the Campbell Liberals pre-election promise to be the most open and accountable government ever.
Be honest here, do any of you think Gordon Campbell will let British Columbians know what his plans are? We could call the Ministry of Environment I guess, they would at least be consulted on the plans to develop businesses in our Parks. Whoops, Gordon Campbell thought of that ahead of time, there is no Ministry of Environment.
caterwauls blogger opens up the issue...
All these folks leaving beg the question ...
Is the SS Gordo a s(t)inking ship?
Liberal MLAs not running this election
- John Wilson, Cariboo North;
- Reni Masi, Delta North;
- John Weisbeck, Kelowna-Lake Country;
- Lynn Stephens, Langley;
- Brian Kerr, Malahat-Juan de Fuca;
- Judith Reid, Nanaimo-Parksville;
- Karn Manhas, Port Coquitlam-Burke Mountain;
- Harold Long, Powell River-Sunshine Coast;
- Greg Halsey-Brandt, Richmond Centre;
- Val Anderson, Vancouver-Langara;
- Ted Nebbeling, West Vancouver-Garibaldi;
- Dave Chutter, Yale-Lillooet
- Gulzar Cheema, Surrey-Panorama Ridge;
- Paul Nettleton, Prince George-Omineca;
- Elayne Brenzinger, Surrey-Whalley
- Christy Clark, Port Moody-Westwood;
- Gary Collins, Vancouver-Fairview;
- Geoff Plant, Richmond-Steveston;
- Sandi Santori, West Kootenay-Boundary
Saturday, March 19, 2005
The Undoing of Stephen Harper and likely the Conservatives. Four years for Martin and the boys next election. Any bets?
Thursday, March 17, 2005
The "polling" (use the term polling with a grain of salt people) masquerade as a legitamete polling company. The person receiving the call is not told the caller is working for a political party. Elections BC states that this type of activity would be classed as advertsing if done during an election. Read more here.
Today the Straight is reporting another new developing voter contact scandal for the BC Liberals. The scandal is not so much in the voter contact but in the way the employees are being treated according to sources previously employed by Total Impact.
The Straight exposes the BC Liberals have contracted with people well known in BC Liberal backrooms to call voters in BC.
"Total Impact Communications Incorporated, owned at least in part by J.P. Shason, a long-time financial and political supporter and a personal friend of Premier Gordon Campbell. Shason is listed as the only director and officer for the company in corporate records." - The StraightJ.P. Shason was contracted by the BC Liberals to produce a controversial mail out from the Campbell Liberals using Legislative funds prior to the last election. The contract was for over $700,000.00 of taxpayer money.
Here is what The Straight has to say about the working conditions the BC Liberal's contractor subjects its workers too ...
Read more of Bill Tieleman's report at The Straight. The Straight reports that they will have more on this developing scandal next week.
"According to the discontented callers, 80 phoners work daily at Total Impact for $9 an hour in four-hour shifts in two “crap hole” rooms nicknamed “Echo” and “Foxtrot”. In total, about 200 to 300 individual callers are employed part-time and full-time and turnover is high. The phone room uses an expensive “predictive dialer” to maximize calling efficiency, but the computers being used to input the data are in poor condition and running on Windows 98 operating systems.
Total Impact may be in violation of government taxation and employment regulations because its callers, according to the sources, are told by the company that they are “independent contractors” and, therefore, no employment-insurance premiums, Canada Pension Plan or Workers Compensation Board contributions, or taxes are deducted from their paycheques.
Former B.C. Employment Standards Branch regional director Dave Ages told the straight thathaving done hundreds of investigations on independent contractors, there seems no doubt the phone-room callers are actually employees.
“From what you’ve told me and knowing about boiler-room operations, there’s no question they are employees, not independent contractors,” Ages said, adding that the phone-room workers are being denied the four-percent vacation pay that employees are entitled to, as well as possibly missing statutory holidays and overtime. "
You can find more on the BC Liberals, Gordon Campbell and the BC election using the technorati search box in the side bar to the right.
Mayencourt did not put the ad there, Google uses a system that matchs ads with webspace content. Seems they know Lorne Mayencourt and the Gordon Campbell government. Read more here ...
I can hardly wait for the controversial Mary Polak, Lorne's homophobic friend and Liberal candidate in Langley to buy webspace, could SpongeBob Squarepants and Tinky Winky share the same World Wide Web ?
Use the search technorati search to the right on this blog to find more on Mayencourt, Polak and Gordon Campbell.
The presumptive legislation, which received all-party support and was passed
unanimously, grants career fire fighters automatic Workers Compensation Board
(WCB) coverage for brain, colon, bladder, urethra and kidney cancer, as well as
leukemia and non-Hodgkins lymphoma. With the new rules, it is presumed that if a fire fighter suffers one of these cancers, it was work-related.
Why is it that Conservative Alberta can pass this legislation the Campbell government continues to stall. Every major city in BC has passed a resolution calling on Gordon Campbell to pass presumptive legislation.
The BC NDP have met with fire fighters across BC and have expressed their support for presumptive legislation.
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
Kelowna fire fighters have finally received an endorsement from the City of Kelowna this week in support of their efforts to have Presumptive Legislation passed in BC. Over the past three years Fire Fighters in BC have been working hard to have legislation passed that provides them with Workers Compensation should they develop certain cancers as a result of their employment.
“We want to congratulate the local fire fighters for all their efforts to secure the support of the city,” said John Pugsley, NDP candidate for Kelowna Lake Country. “It's great the city council is supportive and now it is time for Gordon Campbell to stop making excuses and support our firefighters.”
Carole James, leader of the BC NDP met with fire fighters and has expressed the party’s support for presumptive legislation. The legislation is required due to the higher than usual number of specific types of cancer seen in fire fighters and WCB’s failure to provide compensation to affected fire fighters.
“It’s wrong for WCB to deny claims from fire fighters in their time of need,” said Nicki Hokazono, NDP candidate in Kelowna-Mission. Hokazono met with local firefighters last fall to discuss the issue and attended a special meeting with Kelowna fire fighters and their families two weeks ago. “These people were there during the wild fire for us, its time we were there for them and their families in their hour of need.”
“We know fire fighters are affected by thousands of toxins, many of them cancer causing,” added NDP Okanagan-Westside candidate Joyce Procure. “Every time they enter a burning building they are at risk. The Campbell Government’s refusal to act is an affront to the people of our community and to the fire fighters that risk their lives to protect us.”
“The NDP will continue to work with firefighters here in the Okanagan and around BC to pass Presumptive legislation,” concluded Hokazono.
What is presumptive legislation?
Presumptive legislation presumes for the purpose of worker’s compensation that certain cancers are the result of employment.
Geoff Plant was the first Attorney General to receive a vote of non confidence from BC Lawyers, he implemented the biggest cuts in legal aid in Canadian history, held a public referendum on treaty rights that was so flawed that it was widely ignored, and has watched while the Campbell government systematically ripped up legal and binding contracts with Teachers and BC Health care and community social services workers.
Plant has also sat back while the Government contracted with American owned companies to collect, manage and maintain BC health, medical and financial (BC Hydro) information, putting the privacy of BC citizens at risk. Plant closed court houses across BC forcing many people to drive two or three hours to deal with legal matters.
Women have been especially hard hit by the AG's ministry. The AG removed manatory charges in the case of domestic disputes. Often women were intimidated into dropping charges so the Crown would file charges in the event a woman is assualted in a domestic dispute.
Now the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) is taking the BC Government to court over the cuts to legal aid. On February 19, 2005, the CBA announced a blue ribbon legal team to launch a challenge British Columbia’s legal aid plan.
“We believe that a constitutional right to civil legal aid must be established in this country, and we believe that the situation is urgent,” said CBA President Susan McGrath of Iroquois Falls, Ont., in making the announcement at the 2005 CBA Mid-Winter Meeting. “Without legal aid, access to justice is a hollow phrase, as many people simply cannot take advantage of their legal rights.”
The legal team is headed by CBA Past President J.J. Camp, Q.C., of the Vancouver law firm of Camp Fiorante Matthews, the team includes Sharon Matthews of the same firm, and Melina Buckley, Ph.D. and Gwen Brodsky, Ph.D. also of Vancouver.
BC Liberal party strategists are burning the midnight oil trying to paper over the latest unemployment numbers out of Statistics Canada. Despite all the hype about a "golden decade" and "best place on earth...", BC's unemployment rate moved up significantly last month. Another 13,000 people were added to the unemployment totals for BC, taking the provincial total to almost 160,000. Our provincial unemployment rate now stands at 7.0 percent, up from 6.5 percent for the previous month. - Count Me In
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
"What did Premier Campbell have to promise former CBC chair Carole Taylor in order to entice her to run provincially?"
Two potential candidates who had been working diligently to win the Liberal nomination in Vancouver-Langara were pushed out of the way in order to assure that Taylor's run for the nomination would be uncontested. The seat is one of the safest Liberal seats in the province; Val Anderson has held the seat since 1991. With 67% he won by a margin of almost 9,000 votes in 2001, up from 60% in 1996.
The other question out there, What did the Gordon Campbell promise the two contenders to pack it in giving the soft landing in Victoria to Carole Taylor?
Me I am always concerned when I think Campbell has made a promise. Abour the only promises he keeps are those for his friends and those promises seem to cost us in more ways than just dollars.
Sunday, March 13, 2005
Some of the candidates have asked for a recount as the anybody but Mary round has begun. The recount could change things as the method used by the liberals is confusing even for those voting. Counting it is even more confusing. Seems the yet to be transplanted Polak has ticked off more than a few in Langley.
All of this reaction to Polak should not surprise anyone that has followed her rise to fame. Mary has even managed to tick off family members with her attitude and approach to politics which is very much "take no prisoners" style.
You can read more on the Langley uproar at Langley Politics. This is a site run by a diehard Campbell Liberal and he has a way of getting to the bottom of stuff.
I hope they go with Mary Polak. It can only help moderate BC candidates in other parties in the next election if the Liberals are willing to accept Polak who is anything but moderate.
The liberal riding feels Campbell and Kevin Falcon set the stage for Polak, delayed the nomination meeting so she could sign up members and then after the nomination meeting the Liberal Party president refused to meet with the runner up. Any doubt that Mary was anointed?
Saturday, March 12, 2005
This privatisation puts the confidential health records of British Columbians (and visitors to British Columbia) in the hands of US law enforcement personnel through the USA Patriot Act. Opponents of the privatisation will go to British Columbia Supreme Court on Monday, March 14, 2005 to try and have the contract declared illegal and the privatisation stopped.
Read more at PEJ NEWS
You can more at the Canadian Democratic Movement!
caterwauler wrote this on the Campbell Liberal Government's privatisation of health records, in December, 2004. He asks some pointed questions, ones we should consider as the election nears.
How did so many in that provincial government agree to sell us out? Did we elect traitors? Do they have a secret web of sinister intent? Is there no integrity among them? How is it that these ministers all stand by like cud-munching cows while we are betrayed by Gordon Campbell? Do they have no pride in British Columbians?
You can also check out:
Right to Privacy Campaign BCPWA calls MAXIMUS deal a betrayal of thousands of HIV-positive British Columbians and a dangerous rejection of the considered advice of the Privacy Commissioner – see news release. [ News Release ] [ Privacy Commissioner Report ] [ Campaign Website ] [ More Information ]
Vancouver is served by four daily papers, two local and two national papers. The Vancouver Sun, The Province the two local dailies are owned by the same company that owns the National Post, CanWest. CanWest also owns Global TV and its flagship station BCTV. BCTV has a 70%+ market share in BC for the 5 to 7pm prime TV time slot.
A recent Senate committee was in BC to look at concentration of the media and not one reporter from CanWest was there. I am not that surprised, why would they want to tell people that the Senate is concerned about media concentration? Not in their profitable interest!
One of BC's independent source for online news, The Tyee askes, "What's it like to live in Canada's media concentration capital?" Check them out for news you won't find in CanWest or the Globe, unless they bury it deep inside.
Rafe Mair the often ugly anti-left columnist and radio talking head (aren't they all) wrote a column on freedom of the press for the Ryerson Review of Journalism. They spiked the story, luckily, Mair made the story available to a left leaning paper in Vancouver, The Republic.
The end of free speech
by Rafe Mair
There isn't a nook much less a cranny in Canada where the writer is not required to self-censor, with the exception of a couple of remaining privately-owned community newspapers and in our part of the country, the estimable Georgia Straight which, it is feared, may soon be sold. (I write for part of the David Black chain in BC and feel free to say what I wish). But even most of the community papers are owned by the Aspers or someone like them.
Read the rest of Rafe Mair's guest column at the The Republic.
You may also want an example of how media concentration decides what you read about government and political parties.
Friday, March 11, 2005
I was looking for this story the other day and came across it at the Comox Public Interest Research Committee
Just a reminder for our collective memories as to the intentions of the Campbell Liberal government and just what they did!
Here is a piece of the article from Russ Francis;
But other bonus criteria smacked of the unusual:
Deputy Human ResourcesMinister ROBIN CICERI was to get a $15,400 bonus if she reduced the growthrate in disability assistance by two per cent. As well as cut the number o fwelfare recipients by two per cent during her first year.
Usually, welfare cost efficiency involves cutting off those who don'tdeserve it -- a move most citizens would support. But Ciceri's task was tocut the numbers -- regardless of demographics, eligibility or the economy. And she did! There were 123,000 fewer people on assistance last Dec. 1 than when the Liberals took office in June 2001, a 22 per cent drop. Ciceri'stotal salary and bonus: $169,400.
Read the rest here at the Comox Public Interest Research Committee
"A heli of a long way down in an effort to mollify his miserly public image, MLA Lorne "Saint Bernard" Mayencourt presented the Canadian Avalanche Foundation with a cheque for $125 000 recently. Citizens may take comfort in the fact that those who can afford heliski-ing vacations and mountaineering tours will now receive public funds in order to learn just how dangerous these activities are.
CAF spokesperson Justin Trudeau was on hand to receive the rather liberal handout from the Liberals. Luckily, Mayencourt's Robson Street office did not enforce its Safe Streets Act, and Trudeau was not charged with "aggressive panhandling." Not aggressive, just eggregious."
Just a couple of questions here,
Why would Lorne Mayencourt, the MLA for Vancouver-Burrard be chosen to present such a cheque and not an MLA from the Kootenays? That's just dumb.
What does the Westender have against Saint Bernards? Expect the Canadian Kennel Club to demand an apology from the Westender!
Mayencourt has led a pretty controversial term in office and cannot seem to get any respect. The gay community is upset with him over his failure to bring in recommendations addressing homophobia in schools, Westenders in general are not happy with his publicity stunts like the week he went out camping, then there was the occasion he flashed a wad of money in his wallet at panhander and he had to rush to his car for protection, renters with pets feel he let them down after promising to to advocate for their right to have a pet then voting against an amendment by the NDP to provide that right.
The list goes on, AIDS groups are silently hoping he will get trounced in the election due his lack luster efforts to resolve their funding problems, YouthQuest and The LGBT Centre have no certainty or assurances funding will continue, in The Centre's case they have had to apply for project funding vs core funding.
Renters are now at the mercy of landlords after the residential tenancy rewrite he supported, affordable housing projects are few and far between.
What really galls many is Lorne's efforts to take credit for The Dr. Peter Centre and Mole Hill Housing.
Finally, people are ticked at the urgency with which Mayencourt places to calls he receives on his ever present cell phone. It is a common site to see Lorne in the middle of a conversation with constituents reach for the cell. Not smart.
For more on Mayencourt use the Technorati search box in the side panel.
Dave Basi, his cousin Aneal Basi and Robert Virk charged in the infamous raid on the BC legislature may go to trial this September. The breach-of-trust case involves the sale of BC Rail and allegations of bribery and influence peddling.
No that's not a new law firm but they are all connected through the BC Liberals.
What a day it will be for the BC Liberals.
Dave Basi, Aneal Basi and Bobby Virk, former BC Government aides are in B.C. Supreme Court to swear to direct indictments on fraud, breach of trust and bribery charges stemming from the raid on the legislature.
Geoff Plant the last "moderate" leaves politics and the BC Health Coalition Seniors' Working Group holds a press conference to highlighting the Liberal governments dismal record with respect to seniors healthcare.
Ironic that Plant announces his resignation on the same day Liberals involved in the Legislative raid scandal are formally brought into court!
Review: here are some entries I posted recently connected to the Legislative Raid
Basi and LIBs Make News in India
34 days ago
(Dave) Basi and Bobby Singh Virk on 10 counts of accepting bribes, committing fraud and laundering
From the Heartlands 4 links from 4 sources
Just another Liberal news day 43 days ago
to court asap. Former finance minister Gary Collins top political appointee, David Basi, will face six charges, including breach of trust, fraud and influence peddling. Like Basi, Collins..., at least in the name. [IMG] David Basi Bob Virk was the ministerial assistant to now former From the Heartlands 4 links from 4 sources
BC Legislature Raid - Clark, Collins and Reid... 52 days ago
Crime.com asks about David Basi and Bob Virk, "Why were they not vetted prior to their appointment?" The obvious answer is political expediency. Basi was able to deliver "bums in the seats." Both... in this matter. " We learn now that Basi was rejected at least once before for employment by the Liberals
As reported here earlier, AG Plant has announced he will not run in this election. CBC has more ...
Geoff Plant will be resigning this morning. He will stay on as Attorney General through the election. Plant will likely state his resignation is due to family reasons.
Plant is the third high profile Cabinet Minister to announce he will not be running. Collins and Clark resigned in the last eight months.
The loss of Plant another moderate voice in the Campbell Liberal government paints a more conservative picture for the party.
Thursday, March 10, 2005
Here is an example: Forest Companies in BC have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to the BC Liberal party since 2000. What do these private companies have to gain or desire from the Liberals that motivates them to financially support them in such a large way.
Would they want the government to reduce their taxes, maybe remove the requirement that logs cut down in a community be milled in that community or is it fewer government inspectors. I am sure that a forest company doesn't really care about "good policy" beyond that which allows them to produce more each year, they are looking for three things, cheap skilled labour, low taxes, and few limitations on how they do their business. They have one private mission, profits for shareholders.
More examples coming in the weeks ahead. Tomorrow the Insurance business and their not so secret mission to force ICBC into irrelevancy.
In the interim if you agree with ending corporate and union donations and limiting third party advertising during an election do what I just did. I just signed this petition to get big money out of BC politics and thought you may like to do the same.
Krieger ~ Vancouver Province, March 10, 2005
"They claimed that they were going to have the most open and transparent government. Now we see they're going to run and hide."
- Joy MacPhail on the Campbell Liberals refusal to debate the budget
The Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) website is about to launch its smile teams. I am not making this up. The authority is going to go up and down Vancouver Island smiling at staff and if that smile is really bright, they will be giving away treats.
This is the same health authority that has cut thousands of jobs, extended working hours and rolled back wages and benefits by 15% of those health care workers that remained. And they think a smile will improve moral. This effort happening now wouldn't have anything to do with the election would it? Thats what Have You Had Enough Yet? concludes.
The advocates were very concerned with the lack of public accountability. The Canwest papers did not print the story in Vancouver area papers March 9. Was this an effort to cover Gordon Campbell's backside heading into an election? My guess it was. Not only does the publisher (Canwest) of the Vancouver Sun, The Province and the National Post donate real money to Gordon Campbell, they also make inkind donations. Sometimes it is more valuable in what you don't do than what you do.
The other large national daily, the Globe and Mail also failed to run the story. Seems the big media though in competition for advertisers can agree on one thing, Gordon Campbell.
The Straight had this to say today,
Editions of Greater Vancouver’s four daily papers didn’t report on March 9 that Premier Gordon Campbell had not responded to a letter last year from three former senior child advocates. On March 8, B.C.’s former children’s commissioner Cynthia Morton, former B.C. ombudsman Dulcie McCallum, and Joyce Preston, B.C.’s former advocate for children, youth, and families, released a letter they wrote to the premier last June expressing concerns about the lack of public accountability. The premier’s office never responded, even though their letter was hand? delivered and requested a meeting.
During question period in the legislature on March 8, all three NDP MLAs interrogated B.C. Liberal cabinet ministers on the topic. At one point, NDP MLA Jenny Kwan said, “These advocates write and I quote: ‘How will government report publicly on maintaining if not enhancing the health and safety to children while the budget has reduced its services to children and families? We have examined service outcomes of the ministry and are unable to see transparent measures to address these matters. This is inconsistent with the commitment that the Premier has made publicly to hold all ministries to account for quality outcomes.’?”
On March 8, reporter Dirk Meissner wrote a story on this issue for Canadian Press. It appeared on the CanWest Global Communications Corp. Web site [www.canada.com/] but not in many Vancouver-area editions of the company-owned Vancouver Sun, Province, and National Post, or in the Globe and Mail, which is owned by Bell Globemedia
Wednesday, March 09, 2005
Today a report was released by the Conservation Voters of B.C. The report argues that businesses and unions have too much influence, because there are no limits to political donations.
I agree. It is time to end this practice, corporations and unions are not voters and have too much to gain by donating. At the least we are filled with the picture of conflict if not outright conflict existing.
Carole James the leader of the NDP has pledged to bring forward legislation to ban all corporate and trade union donations to political parties. Where do the BC Liberals stand on this? They haven't said much, but then again, they received 74% of their funds from corporations. The NDP received 14% from unions last year.
More at CBC Vancouver.
David Beers at thetyee.ca makes a unique request of the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, The Honourable Iona Campagnolo.
The Honourable Iona Campagnolo
Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia
Government House1401 Rockland Avenue
Victoria, B.C., V8S 1V9
email address: GHInfo@gems6.gov.bc.ca
March 8, 2005
This letter is rather extraordinary, but we live, it seems, in extraordinary times. My purpose is to request that you utilize the powers vested in you and your office to safeguard the democratic rights and legislative interests of the people of British Columbia, which now are in imminent danger of abuse and neglect...
David ends his letter thus;
Your Honour, I again concede that my request is extraordinary. But you alone possess the constitutional and statutory powers to prevent the government's intent to abuse and neglect the Legislative Assembly, and to protect the interests of British Columbians.
Feel the same way. Send your own email to the LG at GHInfo@gems6.gov.bc.ca
Monday, March 07, 2005
This report from Kamloops City.com
A TNRD Director who gave up waiting for treatment at Royal Inland's Emergency Ward says it's just not acceptable. Ronaye Elliot went to the hospital and was told she would have to wait over 8 hours to be looked at. Elliot said she was too ill to sit and wound up going home. She says the blame for the problem rests with the Interior Health Authority. She reiterated recent complaints by others about ambulance attendants having to spend long hours waiting to turn over patients to emergency room staff, and says we need to find a better way.
Dr. David Poulin, spokesman for the Health Authority, says the waits are the result of a number of factors, including a lack of beds. He says the IHA is not the only health authority facing similar problems. He says they're trying to find the best way to deal with things with the money they have available. And quite rightly, Health Authorities around the province say a great deal of the problem lies with the amount of money that comes down from senior levels of government.
Cutbacks in ancillary services like labs and x-rays, along with the lack of acute care beds, has caused serious bottlenecks in ER's in almost every hospital.
Update 1: March 7, 2005 Mayencourt's Citizen's Arrest
Strategicthoughts.com has some dire news for Mayencourt
Campbell Liberal MLA Lorne Mayencourt received exceptional support from the government when his anti-squeegee kid private member's bill became law. Will Campbell stand by his man when police, and possibly crown counsel, report on Mayencourt's attempt to make a citizen's arrest of a panhandler? Read more
Police chastise Vancouver-Burrard Liberal MLA Mayencourt
"Little sister, don't you
Little sister, don't you
Little sister, don't you kiss me once or twice
Then say it's very nice
And then you run
Little sister, don't you
Do what your big sister done"
words & music by doc pomus - mort shuman
Vigilante action against aggressive panhandlers is the wrong solution, police say. "It's a matter of safety," . "It doesn't make sense to be confronting these individuals. If you're fearful of them, or if they're making threatening remarks or gestures, just walk away, call the police, call 911, and we'll do our best to get there." - Const. Howard Chow, Vancouver Police as reported in the Vancouver Sun today
Police are warning the public not to follow the example of Vancouver-Burrard MLA Lorne Mayencourt.
Mayencourt, the Liberal who initiated the Safe Streets legislation that outlaws aggressive panhandling and squeegee kids, is sporting a cut cheek after an altercation with a panhandler outside a cafe in his West End riding.
Mayencourt is a desperate politician these days, grabbing anything he can to keep from falling any further behind the NDP in Vancouver-Burrard. You don't need to take a poll in this Vancouver riding to know Lorne Mayencourt is trailing NDP candidate Tim Stevenson. Ask people on the street or in the coffee shops what they think of the Liberal MLA and you get some strong reactions. Few people step up to defend him, most see him as ineffectual at best especially within the large gay community.
After the Police advised the public against vigilante action, Mayencourt told the Vancouver Sun, "That's good advice." What else could Mayencourt say. He is wearing more than a cut to his face.
What is an aggressive panhandler according to Vancouver police. Const. Howard Chow told the Vancouver Sun ...
"It's somebody who's in your face, who doesn't permit you access, who's threatening, who may actually start pushing you or shoving you out of the way or preventing you from getting past."
More on Mayencourt's sad sad adventures here:
Citizen Lorne or Bully?
Poor Bashing MLA, Mayencourt says he was bashed
BC's Worst MLA
Mayencourt on Jailing Street Kids
Lorne does the streets with Cell Phone
Sunday, March 06, 2005
The Westend and downtown of Vancouver has seen a large increase in panhandlers and homeless people over the last 3 years. Many of these people are dealing with concurrent disorders of drug addiction and mental health issues. And a good number of the panhandlers are people that just cannot afford to get by in Vancouver.
Seems Lorne and his supporters, largely condo owners in units so high above the panhandlers you wonder how they actually met a panhandler, are becoming upset with seeing these poor folks on the street with the nerve to ask for some change or wash a car window in exchange for coin.
Lorne worked to pass the Safe Streets Act and Trespass Act. Poverty activists, police and others told Lorne we already have laws to address aggressive panhandlers, people that assault others etc. The law was passed anyway, now when less than 3 tickets (they fine people who panhandle for money to buy something to eat) have been issued province wide. Lorne is upset, accusing the Vancouver Police of ignoring his new law. He is furious that crown prosecuters are reluctant to take cases forward.
That's where Lorne decides he is going to force the issue. The MLA for Vancouver Burrard challenges a panhandler outside a popular coffee shop on Denman Street. He calls 911 three or four times to tell them a panhandler is being aggressive. The police do not respond in a time period appropriate for our Citizen Lorne, so he decides to make a citizens arrest.
In attempting the arrest, the honourable member of the BC Legislative Assembly receives a cut to his face and his glasses fall off according to Michael Smyth of the Vancouver province. The police arrive and an investigation ensues.
Lorne is in deep doo doo this election. He is well known for how he has failed seniors, renters and the gay community, including gay youth in our schools. He has three other claims to fame; 1. has never said no to a Liberal piece of legislation; 2. keep poor people off the streets act (Safe Streets Act) and 3. No one uses their government paid for cell phone more than he does.
Perhaps after the election we can get the government to consider a new act, The Save our Streets from our Honourable MLA Act.
Friday, March 04, 2005
The maps are also useful in establishing the locations of first nations villages, hunting areas and trade. Without access to this information, first nations negotiators could end up missing vital information that establishes their legitimate rights.
It would be awful to think this was the reason behind the Liberals efforts to "downsize" land titles. It is more likely that they did not even think about it and now that it has been raised they are going to carry on anyway, which is worse. Open, honest and accountable government began almost every Gordon Ca,mpbell speech in the 2001 election. They have not lived up to their pre election promises.
Add this to the list of broken promises in BC.
Thursday, March 03, 2005
Bear 604 says, "If this actually happened and isn't another one of Mayencourt's rough tricks/publicity stunts, this could be the first time this page advocates violence against an elected official. I hope Mayencourt wasn't seriously hurt, but I also hope he was hurt enough to make the realization that if you bash the poor long enough, the poor bash back."
Update 3: March 5, 2005 - See Haveyouhadenoughyet
MLA gets aggressive with aggressive panhandler. Vancouver police have so far refused to arrest and lay charges against a panhandler alledged to have aggressively hassled people on the streets of Vancouver, or an MLA alledged to have aggressively hassled a panhandler. Lorne Mayencourt, Liberal MLA for Vancouver Burrard, a leading centre of BC's growing panhandling industry, survived an alledged physical altercation with an unidentified person, with only a bruise to the face. Injuries to the other party were not reported.
UPDATE 2: March 4, 2005 - The Vancouver Sun interviews people in the heart of the Westend, asks people about panhandlers, the Safe Streets Act and Mayencourt. Its not pretty, Mayencourt, the Liberal MLA for Vancouver Burrard is not well thought of.
UPDATE: CBC adds this to the story, "And I think they need me to not say anything about this until such time as they've completed their investigation," (Mayencourt) he says.
Mayencourt tells Vancouver Sun he cannot say more, then tells CBC he cannot say more, but he adds more to the story. It is not surprising given Lorne's desire to be seen on TV. The new information Liberal MLA Mayencourt added and reported by CBC is, "Mayencourt says he doesn't know if his attacker knew him – or whether his campaign for the Safe Streets Act had anything to do with the attack.
Quick, someone send in BCTV, he will talk under the hot lights!
Just what would be the odds ...
Lorne Mayencourt, the man who has made a life trying to be something important has reported an incident involving a street person and himself in the Westend of Vancouver, an area he represents as the Liberal MLA in the BC Legislature.
According to news reports Mayencourt told police he was assaulted by a street person on Sunday. He has a scrap on his face he alledges came from an altercation with the panhandler. Mayencourt is being uncharacteristically quiet about this. When contacted by the Vancouver Sun he told them he would wait for the investigation to be completed and then have his say.
Mayencourt was visibly incensed recently when he was told that it was unlikely someone would go to jail for violating the Safe Streets Act he helped bring into law.
Anyone that has lived in Vancouver knows that although some of the panhandlers can be rude, it is extremely rare that an assault occurs. There is a noted increase in the number of panhandlers on the street over the last three years and some of these people do have a more desperate demeanor. The Vancouver Sun today reports that in the more violent cases reported, the panhandlers and squeegee kids are often those assaulted.
Mayencourt and the Liberals brought in the Safe Streets Act under the guise of providing the Police and Municipalities with a tool to address aggressive panhandling. The law provides for fines to be given for those breaking the law.
The recent incident reported by Mayencourt to the police has a bit of stink to it. He has been under considerable pressure from his condo owning buddies to solve the panhandling problem and now the MLA better known for being the Westend Partyboi, is attempting to show them he meant it when he said he would clean up the problem, single handedly if needed.
The Vancouver Sun said today, "Mayencourt has been described by newspaper columnists as a colourful politician with a "hot-headed temper." In 2001, he reportedly told a woman at an all-candidates meeting to "shut up." There is more on another incident reported by The Straight that ran under the headline: Mayencourt Goes Postal on Letter Carrier.
All of this like Mayencourt's week on the streets is a bit bizarre. Most public representatives would have walked away and then reported the incident. Mayencourt should have walked away from the "problem" panhandler and maybe he did. And then maybe there is an election to be won.
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
The Campbell Liberal government had ignored the crisis successfully until now. It took less than two weeks for rookie MLA, Jagrup Brar to spur the Liberals into damage control and action. Brar is the new NDP MLA from Surrey Panorama Ridge.
All along the Campbell led Liberals have tried to distance themselves from decisions made by the Health Authorities. When an issue was raised in the Legislature, the Liberal government would tell the opposition the health authority has the funding and the the freedom to spend the funds they receive to meet local priorities.
The Liberals had hoped this would get them off the hook with respect to health care in BC. It hasn't worked as health care has remained the top concern of BC voters in poll after poll.
The Health Authority told the government in November that a new emergency was desperately required for Surrey Memorial Hospital. The government ignored the information. There was no money in the the recent budget to fund construction of a new emergency room for what is Canada's second busiest ER.
The Liberal government under pressure in the legislature to address the urgent needs for a new emergency ward at Surrey Memorial responded by blaming the messenger of the November request for urgent funding. The Health Authority fired their CEO in an effort to look as if it was his leadership that failed to address the ongoing problems at Surrey Memorial.
Health Minister Shirley Bond has directed the Health Authority to spend $28 million asap in correcting the problem. That's a good start and should have been included in the budget. It wasn't. The health authority will do as the government demanded and use the $28 million but that is just a bandaid for the problem. The $28 million was earmarked for training and staffing the emergency wards in the Fraser Health Authority. Now it is gone, who will pay for the training and staffing needed? Don't look to the budget, the dollars are not in there.
The problem in Surrey Memorial is compounded seriously by the government's failure to deliver on their promise to build 5000 new care beds. In fact the government has created less than 200 care beds province wide. The Fraser, Vancouver Island and Interior health regions have all lost care beds since the Liberals were elected.
Broken promises seem to be the hallmark of this government. Broken promises lead to broken families, broken communities.