Some things just need to be said...

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Read my Lips - "Wilkinson did nothing wrong"

Yesterday the "Liberal" Deputy Minister, Andrew Wilkinson, admitted to going to the Liberal fundraiser in Terrace and his way was paid by the taxpayer... from the Globe and Mail ...

"Mr. Wilkinson referred calls yesterday to the Liberal Party, but told a local newspaper that he did not know the event was a fundraiser.

Mr. Campbell's response was, "But Andrew Wilkinson did nothing wrong."

Enough here, I am sure you understand what you read.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Just A Common Sense Guy

Just A Common Sense Guy
- Derrick Newman

I've never been a political guy.
I guess that's my best excuse why
I voted like I did when B.C. was electing
the Liberals. I ain't right wing or left wing.
I always sat on the fence.
Now, ladies and gents,
you might think I'm dense
or accuse me of taking leave of my sense,
but I swear I was only voting against
all those New Democrats and their fast ferry wrangles.
I really wasn't voting for Gordon Campbell.

Now I guess that what we were hoping
was that government would be honest and open,
with no broken promises and no vacation mug shots,
and no questions about how much influence Dave Basi's drugs bought.
And speaking just for myself, where'd
the cash go? My shelf's bare.
My tax cut's spent elsewhere,
like the fifty percent increase for health care.
But my youngest is just turning twelve. There's
full time work for him since Graham Bruce mangled
the child labour laws under Gordon Campbell.

I ain't been to college. I'm just a common sense guy.
Play hockey. Go fishing. A few beer on the sly.
I like a wide open space underneath a clear sky,
and I want to leave a few fish for my kids when I die.
I'm a hard-working British Columbian,
and after four years I've come to an
end of my rope.
Out here beyond Hope,
they think we've forgotten
how they treated us rotten.

But I don't want to criticize blindly.
There must be some good in them we can find. See,
you've got to admire that tough talking manly nerve of his,
picking on women's and children's and family services.
From the Kootenay glacier to Skeena's
ice floes the meanest
thing that I've seen is
this collection of Liberals. Let's keep this between us,
but I think we need that guy, Pilarinos,
who got himself mixed up in Glen Clark's sundeck scandal.
Boy, I wish he would deck that Gordon Campbell.
Let's privatize the position of Gordon Campbell.
Buy a B.C. Rail ticket out of here for Gordon Campbell.

Sent to me via the Kootenay Cuts elist ...

Derrick Newman, rhythm guitar, lead guitar, bass, is a journeyman carpenterand hails from Vancouver Island, from folk, and from the blues. Andrew Occlesham, producer, drums, frames houses for a living. English-born, Canadian raised, he is a multi-instrumentalist and owner of Red Steps Studio. Marc Ruel, mandolin, plays percussion for the theatre group Swarm. He has traveled the world and currently starves for his music. Recorded April 24, 2005 at Red Steps Studio, Vancouver. 2005 Love and Fame.No Rights Reserved.

Unauthorized duplication or distribution is strictly encouraged.

Deputy Minister Charges taxpayer for Liberal Fundraiser

We have looked after it says Gordon Campbell.

Question: Would they have looked after it (returned the money) if it had not become public?

New development was made today. The Campbell Liberals hired the President of the Liberal Party in 2001 as Deputy Minister for Economic Development. Clearly he was hired for his party ties, but lets say most parties will do this. So this "wrong" is acceptable or we can't hit the Liberals on this.

Now we learn the Deputy Minister flew to a Liberal Party fundraiser masqueraded as Community Development meeting. Deputy Minister Andrew Wilkinson billed the BC Government $400+ to fly to Terrace to attend the Liberal fundraiser. Now lets wait to see if he claims his invitation came on Legislative letterhead.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

"touch me, touch me"

This is just too rich, Lorne Mayencourt chases a panhandler down the street and into an alley and then the panhandler gives off the vibes that Lorne explains like this ...

"At some point, the gentleman approached me with this sort of "touch me, touch me" kind of attitude and I did touch him" ~ Lorne Mayencourt, CKNW April 28, 2005

For more on Lorne Mayencourt and the BC Liberals use the Technorati search box in the sidebar

BC Leadership Debate - May 3

60 minutes of face to face to face. 7 - 8 pm, May 3. You can get it on CBC, Global, CTV, Channel M and Fairchild. I heard that some BC Radio stations will carry the debate as well. Likely CBC and maybe CKNW and CFAX.

Boy in the Bubble misses his Salvation

Salvation Army Captain Rick Zelinksy says he didn't even know the premier was coming to town. And he says things haven't gotten better for many of the disadvantaged in Williams Lake in the past four years, saying cuts to welfare have really hurt people in the Cariboo community.
From CKNW.

Interesting. Usually the Liberals could count on the Salvation Army to be quiet, what motivated the Salvation Army to speak out this time? The Premier is suggesting BC is Back. It would seem the Salvation Army in Williams Lake thinks the Premier has turned his back on some of BC's most vulnerable.

The case is the same across BC. In Kelowna one local non-profit provided 16,000 meals in 2001. At the beginning of 2005 they expected to provide 45,000. They are revising that number now, expecting to provide more than 55,000. The stunning fact is that 20% of the meals are being provided to people that are working. Many of whom have no home to live in.

Tomorrow I will be talking to a man that has two jobs, is living in his car trying to save money for a rent deposit and first months rent.

Mayencourt - "People slip through the cracks"

Homelessness report shows numbers have doubled under the Campbell Liberals.

Vancouver Burrard MLA Lorne Mayencourt refuses to take credit for this number going up. It seems BC Liberals are happy to take credit for China and India's fast growing economies driving demand for Gas, Oil and Coal and higher wood prices in the United States.
Lorne Mayencourt, Liberal MLA for Vancouver-Burrard, said he wouldn't speculate about reasons for the increase, but said "there are people who fall through the cracks." ~ BC Liberal Candidate, Lorne Mayencourt Vancouver Sun April 28, 2005
Homeless rate doubles in 3 years
Number on the street and in shelters jumps from 1,049 to 2,112

Mayencourt not telling all - Firefighters

Breaking news

Mayencourt's story with panhandler does not match with what a Vancouver City Fire Crew saw ....

This from CKNW ...

Some new information has come to light about the late February altercation involving BC Liberal Lorne Mayencourt and a man described as a panhandler.

Firefighters witnessed the dispute and describe some jostling, leading up to a punch to Mayencourt's face.

"According to the fire crew, Mr. Mayencourt used his open hand and he touched this gentleman on the forearm, where the other gentleman immediately punched Mr. Mayencourt in the face."

For more on Mayencourt, BC Liberals, and Gordon Campbell use the Technorati search box in the sidebar

MuniScam ~ More Municipal Donations to BC Liberals

Municipalities may have thought they had to attend Liberal fundraisers to get government support for projects and or funding.

Another Municipal government donated to the BC Liberals, this time in Nelson. MuniScam is developing to be more than we thought. An investigation is required to address the possible abuse of or intimidation of municipal leaders and staff.

The question; Were municipalities told that their project or funding they sought would be looked at more favourably if they attended a local Liberal fundraiser?

See CBC on the latest!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Liberals will rip the heart of our soul

Do you live near St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver?

Do you want it to remain where it is?

The Liberal Government is set to move it. They have rather conveniently delayed the decision until after the election. What is motivating the sale and move is considered a win win for Liberal backers and proponent for P3 projects.

Currently St Paul's sits on some extremely valuable real estate. The Libs see the sale of the land developers as a plus. Great one time return. The downside of course is that the development will seriously affect the Westend community.

The community has seen enormous development over the years. Past City Councils and Socred governments have wanted to rip the heart of the community out for years. Mole Hill is an example. This area of older homes had been slated to be torn down for park and highrise development for 25 years or more.

Many people in the community fought back. They saved it. Former MLA Tim Stevenson was a key figure is saving Mole Hill. He lobbied hard, presented the case to BC Housing and they found a workable solution. We saved it. As Tim's CA during this time, I know the effort he put into getting it done. Current MLA, Lorne "Uncle Tom" Mayencourt has tried to take credit for his Liberal government finishing the job.

St. Paul's like Mole Hill is a part of the character of the community. Sell it and that takes away part of the collective soul. How many people have taken their loved one there to be looked after. How many dedicated staff have worked there looking after the diverse community that makes up the Westend.

It's not just a building, its the people, the struggles, it belongs to the people, and like no other hospital in BC, you can feel its heart pumping.

I have been there to be with friends dying with AIDS. So many that I can not give you a number. I have spent night upon night with someone no one else knew anymore. I have been angry inside, demanding treatment and respect and we got it. I have been with nurses there that have cried with me, with their patients, I have seen families come back in after their loved one has passed away to thank the staff for the care and their support.

What I have seen of St Paul's pales in comparison to what my partner Steven saw. He almost died in there in 1996. He died in there on June 9, 2002. He knew the nurses, he knew every little piece of the hospital, he knew the people there before him. He knew the respite staff. He felt the soul of what was St Paul's. He was one of many that made up its soul.

Now today we are facing the loss of what makes St. Paul's different than any other hospital. If St Paul's is moved leaving behind a few services we will all be losers. How can the decision makers not see this. Is health care all about numbers to them? Don't they see the heart? Don't they see or feel the community soul?

A vote for Lorne Mayencourt, no matter what his position is on St Paul's is a vote to take away a part of the soul that makes the Westend home for me, even though now I live in Kelowna. If Lorne had any clout in the Liberal government we would not be talking about moving St. Paul's.

In the names of Cliff, George, Paul, Michael, Mike, David, Jim, Mikey, Daniel, Paul, Archie, Jessie, Jim, Ron, Ron, and my love Steven and many more, lets keep what made their last days, what is supporting so many today, what is the heart of our soul alive.

MADD - Disconect between Campbell and Impaired Driving Laws

MADD released a letter today sent to both Carole James and Gordon Campbell. The letter stated clearly the need to address the "Half measures" taken by the Campbell government.
"With respect to the B.C. Government's heralded impaired driving legislation, MADD Canada views the measures taken as 'half-steps.' Mr. Murie explains that for nearly two years, MADD Canada supporters were promised first by the Premier, and then by Solicitor General Rich Coleman and others, that the B.C. Government was going to be innovative and bold in its fight against impaired driving."

"Somewhere between the promises of the Premier and the drafting of the legislation, there was a disconnect -- and all we got was a half-step." MADD Canada CEO Andrew Murie, April 27, 2005

For more on MADD, Gordon Campbell, BC Liberals, Health Care and Broken Promises use the Technorati search box in the sidebar

Children and Families ~ School districts ~ will lose funding

Ministry of Children and Family Development on southern Vancouver Island face a cut of 18 employees over the next three years.

The Liberals in opposition used to rant and demand the then government spend more for the protection of Children. In Government the Campbell Liberals have slashed the budget over 300 million dollars. On South Vancouver Island this year they were 1.3 million over spent. The Ministry has said they have to be on budget next year. To do that Ministry senior management are looking at trimming 18 positions.

This is on top of 58 position lost in this area alone in 2002 and 2003.

These cuts would put the safety of the most vulnerable children in BC at increased risk. It is no wonder the Liberals did not want to debate the budget. This information would have come out in the debate and clearly the Liberals have many things they are trying to hide.

Education funding will fall after this year as well. This year's school district budget increased province wide by $150 million. But look forward to 2006 and 2007 it will rise by only $20 million each year. That increase will not cover inflation, let alone increases costs projected because of the Liberal governments mandated increases in Hydro or heating costs.

Tell your story on Campbell's Broken Promises here!

There is a website that collects seniors' stories about their problems getting long term care. If you, or someone you know, has a story to tell, consider posting it.

You can send your story of how Gordon Campbell's broken promise to seniors has affected our friends and neighbours. Pass on this website to anyone who wants to share their story.

The BC NDP have set up Liberals Broken Promises.

Pinning down Gordon Campbell

Do you know where Gordon Campbell is? Heck even the media that travel with the head of CUTS BC, (that would Gordon Campbell for you members of the well-heeled set) himself don't know until the last minute.

Have you had enough yet? points us to this exercise in pinning down the boy in the bubble!

For more on Gordon Campbell, broken promises, BC Liberals, Health care, use the Technorati search box in the sidebar

NDP candidate Joyce Procure - Does the right thing!

Castanet reports election sign issue in the Hurtlands

Every election political signs are vandalized. Political parties attempt to get the best locations, the best signs etc. Then someone comes along and thinks it is their right to destroy or knock them down.

Joyce Procure, a nurse running for the NDP in Okanagan Westside is like many NDP candidates. She knows signs cost money and that is hard to come by. You need to let people know who you are and signs are one way to do that. It is difficult to get the message to people that signs are not a "sign" of a well organized campaign, more aptly it is a "sign" of having money to burn!

The Liberal party almost always wins the sign wars due to the generous donations from corporations. Look up BC election spending and you will see in almost every election, the Liberals out spend the NDP by 2 to 1.

Procure came across many downed signs and then proceeded to not only put up her own signs that were vandalized but those of her opponents.

One good thing to remember. Signs don't vote, people do!

Kelowna Liberals break sign bylaw?

Another sign issue has risen in Kelowna. Liberal candidates have been accused of breaking the City of Kelowna sign by law, including Al Horning, currently a city counsellor who recently voted on a new sign bylaw. You might think he knows what the rules are given he passed the bylaw not more than a month ago!

BC Liberals misuse Legislative Assembly letterhead

The Tyee broke a story a couple of days ago. Seems the Liberals hid a Liberal party fundraiser as a government event. They charged Municipal officials to attend. They were told to make cheques out to the BC Liberals.

NDP candidates in Kelowna Nicki Hokazono and John Pugsley demand Liberals Sindi Hawkins, Rick Thorpe and Al Horning to condemn this action.

As a former Constituency Assistant to a MLA I was told that using the office for fundraising was a big no no. That meant using the telephone, computers, paper or any other resource that was paid for by the taxpayer was off limits.

The fall guy here is the Liberal Party executive president. Who gave him the Legislative Assembly letterhead? I would think he did not have the paper, it is more likely the fundraising letter was actually produced inside the constituency office. That is a much more serious misuse.

There needs to be an investigation here that also looks at the computer harddrives and review of cell phone records.

Liberal fundraising tactics under fire

Last updated Apr 26 2005 04:51 PM PDTCBC News
VANCOUVER – The B.C. Liberal campaign has been hit by controversy over taxpayers' money paid by municipalities in northern B.C. to attend a conference, with the dollars going directly to the local Liberal riding association. more here

The Pains of Privatization

The Campbell Liberal's New Era has affected many...

New report outlines the THE PAINS OF PRIVATIZATION
How Contracting Out Hurts Health Support Workers, Their Families, and Health Care

"Since 2003, British Columbia has witnessed the most sweeping privatization of health support services in Canadian history. To date, 8,500 pubic sector jobs have been eliminated and the work contracted out. Pay rates for the affected positions have been cut by more than 40 per cent. The newly privatized jobs in BC hospitals and nursing homes are substandard in all respects: low pay, meagre benefits, heavy workloads, poor training, and no job security. The clock has been turned back on a sector that formerly offered good compensation, decent working conditions, and respectful teamwork."

Media release from CCPA: Wage cuts and contracting out of health support jobs harming workers and health care system: reports

Letter writer says "usual politician scam of a so called "answer".

"That interview was so awesome"

Below is a letter sent to in response to a news video of BC Liberal MLA's Sindi Hawkins, Rick Thorpe and John Weisbeck. Reporters were invited to the beach near the Okanagan Lake Bridge by the Liberal government for what was stated would be an announcement about the bridge. What happened next was pretty unreal. Two MLA's, Liberal Sindi Hawkins and Rick Thorpe lost it when reporters said they had been hoodwinked into coming to a "non-news" event.

Generic Answers Questioned

To the editor:
In regards to the interview Castanet did with Sindi Hawkins and the other 2 politicians at the "bridge opening".

I just want to say that was the best interview I have ever seen. FINALLY some reporters with enough guts to ask questions and actually pursue the answer when they are given the usual politician scam of a so called "answer". It's so frustrating when you watch a reporter ask a really good question that should be properly addressed, only to get a totally generic answer and the reporter is too scared to ask again!

That interview was so awesome, I forwarded it to friends and I hope it's still floating around the INTERNET!!!

You guys could give those reporters at CNN some advice!!!

John Weisbeck was the only one that came out of that looking okay. The other 2 should be embarrassed. I was embarrassed for them! By the end of the interview they couldn't have seemed more arrogant. Do they really think that we are stupid enough to believe that all of their hoopla is NOT because of an upcoming election??

I hope to see more of you guys in the future and thanks for asking all of the questions that real BC'ers want to hear!!!


BC Liberals to give pay raise to Public sector!

Gordo reaches out to the public sector?

He told a group of well HEELED "nose in the air" folks at a Liberal fundraiser last night (I think they do that because they think we all smell) that part of that money (budget surplus) is going to be used for public sector wage increases and the New Democrat platform would use it elsewhere.

I think I read Gordo tell us all last time that he would respect contracts, he would not sell BC Rail and he would build 5,000 long-term care beds.

Shame on you if you fool me once, Shame on me if you fool me twice!

It was the commodity prices

BC Liberals can take credit for a few things, like broken promises, selling BC Rail, raising tuitions, closed hospitals, overcrowded emergency rooms, bigger class sizes, more homeless, and a rise in German ship building but they can not take credit for the economy.

This says it as well as anyone can...

Mr. Summerville, who joined the party for the first time last fall, said centre-left administrations such as that of Bill Clinton in the United States, Britain's Tony Blair and Manitoba's Gary Doer succeed because they don't just look at tax cuts. "Believe me, I took a lot of shots at the NDP during its second administration," he said. "I don't want to get into a pissing contest with other economists, but when you look at the basic structure of the B.C. economy, much of it has been driven by a massive boom in commodity prices." ~ Paul Summerville, a former chief economist for TD Securities, is a first-time NDP strategist, April 26, 2005 Globe and Mail
Take that Michael Campbell!

Monday, April 25, 2005

Polak ~ the Reformer Campbell endorsed

Polak says ...
"Stephens decided to make the move to collect an MLA severance package."

Mary Polak should be the last person in the world to talk about misuse of public funds. While on Surrey School Board, Polak spent more than a million dollars trying to keep books out of Surrey schools that provided positive views of gay and lesbian families.

The social conservative Christian majority Polak led knew they would lose, but decided to fight it anyway. It wasn't her money. Students paid the price in the long and drawn out battle that created a great deal of animosity and intolerance toward gay and lesbian students.

Tolerance is not one of Mary's strong suits. Stephens retired in part because Gordo was going to have someone challenge her for the nomination. Stephens wasn't "reform" minded enough and her own distaste for some of the cuts the Campbell government implemented helped her decide not to run for the Liberals.

People in Langley have known for sometime now she was not happy and Stephens made her thoughts about Polak parachuting into Langley an open secret.

For more on Mary Polak and the Surrey School Board, use the Technorati search box in the sidebar.

Ship of fools ~ Liberals sailing on

Have to like the Liberals choices of music ...

On the edge of oblivion
All the world is babylon
And all the love and everyone
A ship of fools sailing on

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Straight reports "Queer Hydro Bill"

CBV Collection Services Ltd. On April 13, the caller left a message at 7:36 p.m. stating:
Michael Bishop, you’re a queer. You need to pay your Hydro bill.”

Could this happen in BC? In 2005? It did. Michael Bishop says he got the call from a CBV collector. The company first denied the caller was from CBV. Now the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Authority (debt-collection industry advisory group regulator) has an open file on CBV Collection Services Ltd. Oddly enough Bob Richards vice-president of CBV Collection Services sits on this committee.

BC Hydro gave CBV Collection Services Ltd. a 35 year contract. This contract like the 990 year contract to CN Rail for BC Rail seems to be put in place so as to prevent any future government from acting. Who signs such a contract today?

It appears to be another Campbell Liberal payoff to their big business buddies.

"The writ has dropped and the gloves are ON!"

The writ has dropped and the gloves are ON!

Yep, Sean Holman at the Vancouver Sun gets the good stuff. I got this email as well.

From: Lorne Mayencourt []
Sent: April 20, 2005 12:32 PM
Subject: The writ has dropped and the gloves are ON!


The 2005 Provincial election campaign has officially begun. BC will be going to the polls on May 17th and Lorne Mayencourt needs your vote. Lorne Mayencourt is the incumbent Liberal candidate for Vancouver-Burrard.For the past four years, Lorne has committed his tireless energy to improving our community and making Vancouver-Burrard a place where Safe Schools, Safe Streets and Safe Communities is more than just a slogan. Lorne needs your help to continue the progress. (Yeah Right!)

For more on Lorne Mayencourt, BC Liberals, Mary Polak and Gordon Campbell use the Technorati search box in the sidebar!

Broken Promise number #7

Page 26, A New Era for BC

Broken Promise number #7

"No expansion of Gaming," said Gordon Campbell 2001 election

2,400 slot machines in 10 casinos when the Liberals took over.

8,000 slot machines today under the Liberals in Bingo halls as well.

Slot machines were restricted to casinos when the NDP was Government. Kelowna now has a state of the art, bar none, the best building in North America to separate you from your money. The Kelowna Bingo Hall and Chances moves people easily from Bingo to slots, to off track betting and sports betting.

The NDP took in 560 million dollars from gambling - The Campbell Liberals one billion dollars. BC has become the second jurisdiction in North America to go with Internet gambling.

The BC Lottery corporation wanted to do this with the NDP. The NDP said no!

Note: You will not find the New Era document on the BC Liberal election site. I have linked to a copy of it at the top of this site in the sidebar!

"Hypocrite of the Year"

Kamloops Thompson MLA Kevin Krueger named "Hypocrite of the Year," in the Kamloops Daily, Dec.16, 2004.

Some quotes from Kevin ...

"The way good managers deal with conduct problems is called progressive discipline. You whack them once. If they do it again, you whack them again. Eventually you turf them right out" Kevin Krueger(Hansard, July 9, 1996)
In Opposition Kevin Krueger, the Liberals most harsh critic on gambling. Krueger
brought a Grand Guignol style to his denunciations of expanded gambling, attributing every horror -- bankruptcy, suicide, abuse, family breakup, depravity -- to the casinos, gambling tables and slot machines.

But when I pressed Kruger about the apparent change of direction, never mind moral stance, he, too, proved to be remarkably flexible in his use of the language. "I don't accept that's an expansion," Krueger said in reference to more slot machines, bigger casinos, higher revenues, etc.

"We did not believe them."

Gordon Campbell names a bridge after William R Bennett, better know to most as Bill Bennett convicted of insider trading on November 4, 1988.

The Tyee reports ...
"At 10:09 a.m. on Nov. 4, 1988, the head of Doman Industries called Russell Bennett, a horse rancher and Bill’s brother. Herb Doman and Russell Bennett spoke for five minutes. During that time, Herb tipped Russell that a $250-million bid for his company by a U.S. foresty giant had collapsed."

"By 10:29 a.m., 20 minutes after Herb first called Russell, Bill Bennett had sold 324,300 Doman shares."

Here is part of the judgement against former BC Premier Bill Bennett, the man who has endorsed Gordon Campbell ...
"W.R.Bennett is a former premier of the province, the son of the late W.A.C.Bennett also a former premier of the province. W.R.Bennett was interviewed by Commission staff on November 18, 1988, two weeks following November 4, when he was represented by counsel and he knew he was under investigation for insider trading."

"Some of his testimony before us is inconsistent with that evidence, where his explanation for evidence that was very clear when given on November 18 is "It's not a question I would be expecting to answer or do any research on..." and "but those would all be answers in which I was making estimates or responding ithout particular knowledge." Some of his testimony we did not believe when we considered it with the other evidence. Some of his testimony was inconsistent wwith testimony given by others where we preferred the testimony of the others."

"Based on all the evidence and our findings, we find that R.J.Bennett and W.R.Bennett conspired together and with Mills and Dunn to give their evidence to Commission staff and their testimony before us which we did not believe. Some examples follow. They testified that, apart from casual conversation, they never discussed their purchases of Doman shares. We did not believe them."

"They testified that they met in the boardroom on the morning of November 4 following W.R.Bennett's call to McNaughton to discuss the sale of their Doman shares. We did not believe them. They and Mills and Dunn testified that the ranch meeting commenced around 11 o'clock on November 4, 1988. We did not believe them."

broken promies

The Campbell Liberals Broken Promises

Don't miss this! Tonight on BCTV at 7pm. 30 minutes outlining what the Campbell government has really done to BC!

Hokazono takes on Liberal "Missing in Action"

Kelowna Mission NDP candidate, Nicki Hokazono
at Media Conference

From the Kelowna Capital News ...

... As for Hokazono, who was the only one to take direct aim at her Liberal opponent, incumbent minister of state for interprovincial affairs Sindi Hawkins, she questioned Hawkins' service to the riding during her time in office. Hokazono was quick say she was not referring to the time Hawkins spent time in hospital and recovering from her well-publicized fight with leukemia. But the NDP candidate said on issues such as local health care service cuts and especially the firefighters fight to get WCB coverage for certain types of cancer contracted on the job, Hawkins has been missing in action.
"It's absolutely disgusting Sindi Hawkins has not been involved in this from the beginning," Hokazono said. The local teacher said she is running for the NDP platform and to "clean up the mess left by the Liberal government of Gordon Campbell."

Okanagan Lake Bridge (someday maybe...)

Lots of names coming out for the new bridge that the Liberals have said we were going to get right away some two years ago. It is already a year behind schedule and they have't done anything but dump a load of sand on the beach.

The people today in Pitt Meadows shouldn't put much stock in the Campbell promise to build a six lane bridge there. We have been waiting and waiting.

Seems the delay has been caused by rising steel prices and the Liberals don't have the money budgeted for the bridge. Vote online Do you like the Williams R Bennett name for the new unbuilt Okanagan Lake bridge here and here!

So names for the new bridge...

The Okanagan Lake Bridge is popular

The Golden Decade Bridge (Might be that long before we get it!)

The "Insider Trader" Bridge (can't we forget that!)

More broken promises From the Heartlands, Gordon Campbell, Lorne Mayencourt, BC Liberals, Health, use the Technorati Search box in the sidebar!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Sad irony in Kelowna

Nicki Hokazono pointed to the irony in an announcement made by BC Liberal Leader Gordon Campbell today recognizing the contributions of former BC Premier, Bill Bennett by naming the still to built bridge over Okanagan lake after Bennett.
"It was ironic the Premier would name the bridge after former Premier Bill Bennett in recognition of his contributions to BC.

Campbell has been busy trying to sell off parts of the Bennett provincial legacy. He sold off the railway Bill Bennett's father bought and in 2003 tried to sell the Coquihalla highway that was built while Bill Bennett was Premier."
~ Nicki Hokazono, NDP Candidate, Kelowna Mission, April 21, 2005

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Lorne "Uncle Tom" Mayencourt tries to defend his governments "Safe Streets Act" and suggests it led to the Mayors' Task Force on Homelessness. One is certain Uncle Lorne will try, say, do anything to get re-elected.

Tim Stevenson, my former boss has Mayencourt on the run on this issue. Stevenson, Jim Green and Mayor Larry Campbell were the people that got the discussion going on Homelessness.

From the list of unfulfilled promises of Lorne Mayencourt ...

He still has failed to answer the question put to him before the last election. Lorne was asked if elected if he would repay the people he left high and dry when he went bankrupt. It appears before his bankruptcy he made a unusually large donation to Friends for life. Good cause but what about his creditors. Lorne responded that he would send money to his former creditors if he was elected.

So my question is still this, "Did you start to repay your creditors Lorne or was this another "Campbell Liberal" like promise?"

Want more info on Lorne Mayencourt, BC Liberals and Gordon Campbell, Broken Promises ~ Use the Technorati search box in the sidebar

Peek-a-boo Premier

BC's Peekaboo Premier - Where is he and why do Young Liberals like Macdonald's restaurants so much, DeanRushes the Vote has more!

NDP Budget Surplus $1.573 billion 2001

The NDP left the BC Liberals with a surplus of 1.573 billion dollars.

The Liberals caught with a full cookie jar needed to do something. It couldn't be so. They announced on their first day a tax cut that insured BC would have fewer tax revenues providing them with the reasons to cut, slash and privatize government and crown services.

BC had suffered more in the late 90's due to the "Asian Flu" the historic collapse of asian markets for which 40 % of our exports were dependent on. The NDP government managed over the 90's not to cut health care despite record reductions in federal transfers to this province. Every other province in Canada had cut health care, the most drastic cuts coming in Alberta and Ontario, provinces that share Gordon Campbell's vision.

No need to take my word for this, Will McMartin has seen the briefings prepared by the Ministry of Finance for the new Premier, Gordon Campbell. You can read more here.
"A surplus topping $1.5 billion. That is what the figures in the binder recorded for the fiscal year 2000-01, the last full fiscal year of NDP government.... British Columbia’s economy was firing on all cylinders. The public debt had been reduced, the budget was balanced, and the treasury filled to overflowing." ~ Will McMartin, The Tyee April 20, 2005

"Far from inheriting a fiscal disaster from the NDP, Campbell and his party were given a provincial treasury brimming with cash. But the voting public was led to think very much otherwise." ~ Will McMartin, The Tyee April 20, 2005

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Right wingers not sure of the law?

Langley Politics, the excellent right winger site, ( I disagree with lots on there but Jordan does keep it updated and full of news) said this in reference to my earlier post today on the Polak run company, "iTrend"...

"Independent contracting versus employment is a sticky thing, especially for unionists. But a phoning company doesn't really have regular work--iTrend's load probably increases tenfold during elections. Should they hire these people and lay them off after three weeks? Then re-hire them eight months later, and lay them off again? Would that make the left happy?

Earlier post here - From the Heartlands - BC Liberal application of law ~ Polak style

These people are not being hired for three weeks. This operation in some form or another has been running for over a year! Finally it would not matter if they were hired for three days, three weeks or longer. The law says these people are employees. Of course it may help if you have a buddy as the local head of the Employment standards office. Not saying they did anything, just look at the 24 hour piece today.

Somewhere out there is a company calling for the BC Liberals that owes my daughter her last cheque. Could they do the honourable thing and email me with their contact information and then we can see that she is paid. A certified cheque please.

Ratzinger new Pope, Bad news for many

The New Pope of the Roman Catholic Church is Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger from Germany. He won on the fourth ballot.

Ratzinger is a former member of the Nazi youth and supported the Franco regime in Spain. Could there be a more conservative person to choose for Pope, that's unlikely. Ratzinger was and is very opposed to condom distribution, women clergy or deacons and gays.

Are any of you surprised?

More thoughtful reflection later... 'tis another sad day for those in Africa dealing with AIDS, for women and queers everywhere.

BC Liberal application of law ~ Polak style

Mary Polak (BC Liberal candidate in Langley) has done it again. Polak according to 24 hours columnist Bill Tieleman runs a company that is and has been breaking employment standards regulations. The company, Surrey's iTrend Research is used by the Campbell Liberals to identify support of voters.

It usually goes something like this ...
The company hires a worker and tells them, "Sign here agreeing to be a independent contractor." if the worker does not agree they are not hired.

This approach is used by some companies to avoid BC's Employment Standards that require employers to deduct taxes, employment insurance and CPP. Aside from defrauding workers of their rights this kind of action gives the firm a decided advantage over a company that adheres to the law and makes the appropriate deductions.
"My daughter was hired by a company that was calling British Columbian voters last year. She and her boyfriend were paid each week and no deductions were made. The calls were being made to BC residents asking them if they supported the BC Liberals. When my daughter enquired about the deductions she was told the company did not have to pay them. "

The call centre in Vancouver she was calling from closed up and both of them had their last cheque bounce. There was no way to identify the company or contact them. They just disappeared. So much for support for employment standards. Who ever hired the company to identify BC Liberal support got a week of free calls.

See Bill Tieleman's column in today's 24 Hours ...

A company run by controversial B.C. Liberal Party candidate Mary Polak is being accused of breaking employment standards' regulations by not deducting taxes from its employees or contributing their employment insurance, or Canada
Pension Plan premiums or providing vacation pay.

And the B.C. Federation of Labour says it can't even ask the local Employment Standards Branch to investigate because the regional manager is a political ally of Polak, the Liberals' Langley candidate.

What's more, employees of Surrey's iTrend Research are currently telephoning voters on behalf of B.C. Liberal candidates' campaigns.

more ~ Polak interprets rules Liberally

For more on the BC Liberals, Mary Polak, Gordon Campbell and Broken Promises use the Technorati search box in the sidebar

Monday, April 18, 2005

Is the province equipped to tackle the pine beetle’s long-term impact?

Guest Editorial (CCPA has made this available to bloggers and community papers)Please feel free to repost!

Is the province equipped to tackle the pine beetle’s long-term impact?
By Ben Parfitt

As many British Columbians know, the province is witnessing one of its biggest logging booms in decades. More trees are falling than ever in the Interior, and will for years to come. But today’s boom presages a dark future wherein resource-dependent communities and the provincial treasury both will be hit hard.

Legions of beetles killing millions of pine trees are behind the boom. The provincial government, intent upon extracting economic value from those dead trees, has approved unprecedented logging increases. In the next five years, nearly 55 million cubic metres in additional timber could be logged in the Interior — enough wood to fill logging trucks lined bumper to bumper across Canada nearly six times.

But then what? The simple truth is that beyond an immediate ramp-up in salvage logging, the province has no mid- to long-term plan for dealing with the epidemic. What happens to our forests and forest-dependent communities after the fall?

Properly done, forestry is a reasonably sustainable enterprise, unlike fossil fuel extraction, which the provincial government seems overly obsessed with. But when our natural gas reserves run out, we will still have forests. The big question before us is whether we make wise investments today to ensure reasonably healthy forests tomorrow.

Sadly, the response to date is far from encouraging.

Forestry is first and foremost a provincial responsibility. Yet at almost every turn, provincial politicians like Forests Minister Mike de Jong proclaim the need for federal dollars, saying that the magnitude of the outbreak requires investments on the order of $1.5 billion.

Given forestry’s importance to the provincial economy, Victoria has offered very little, especially when compared to Ottawa. For example, the Canadian Forest Service is spearheading a $40-million research effort aimed at understanding how we may more effectively respond to the ongoing attack. In addition, a few weeks ago Ottawa pledged another $100 million to BC. If that commitment passes committee, those federal dollars may be spent to help blunt the beetles’ forward momentum in some key areas.

Arguments may be made that given the outbreak’s severity and its potential to enter the cross-country boreal forest the feds should commit more funds. But Ottawa would be more than justified now in saying no given Victoria’s lackluster response and its drastic cuts to its own forestry staff.

In the past three years alone, BC’s Forest Service has lost 800 positions. In critically important areas of historic forestry responsibility such as inventory (the counting of trees), reforestation and research BC’s Forest Service is a shadow of its former self. Indeed, staffing cuts in these three areas over the past decade totalled 85 per cent, 80 per cent and 40 per cent respectively.

Last December, no less than the Association of BC Forest Professionals wrote Premier Gordon Campbell lamenting his government’s “minimalist, short-term thinking” and warning that the cuts undermined the ability of the Association’s 3,500 members to make “sound, science-based, forest resource management decisions.”

Two disquieting trends add further to a sense of unease. The first is declining public sector investments in reforestation. In 2001, under Forest Renewal BC, $45 million went to reforest a backlog of lands that had previously been logged, burned or overrun by pests and not reforested. A year later, under the Forest Investment Account, expenditures fell to $19 million. The next year, FIA investments were just $7 million. And last year they bottomed out at a paltry $3 million. This wholesale withdrawal of public reforestation dollars coincided with a beetle attack that claimed 800,000 hectares of forestland in 2001 and more than 7 million hectares last year.

By the province’s own accounts, deforestation is escalating. Beetles are overrunning forests that won’t be logged and replanted by the companies before the trees lose their economic value. If even a fraction of those lands were reforested, billions of dollars would be required. Yet in its latest budget, BC committed to spending just $89 million over the next three years on reforestation and other undefined responses to the beetles.

In the Interior, where logging, beetles, fires and global warming are contributing to an unparalleled forest health crisis, it’s time for bold action soundly grounded in research and, where appropriate, wise reforestation efforts.

Considering the province’s demonstrated lack of serious financial commitment to addressing the unfolding crisis, Victoria should count itself lucky to have got a penny from Ottawa.

In the meantime, logging continues rapaciously while Victoria shows few signs of responding with the kind of dollars that signal renewal is a priority. The riches of the hinterland bleed away, perhaps never to be seen again. Forests forever? Don’t count on it.

-- Ben Parfitt is the resource policy analyst with the BC Office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

ICBC Commits millions To Fund Private Insurers In Ontario

I received this email today and it is truly astounding. The Campbell Liberal Government has approved ICBC putting millions of ICBC funds into an insurance company slush fund to help bankrupt Insurance companies in Ontario.

This is ludicrous. ICBC would never utilize the fund as it operates only in BC and is backed by the government of British Columbia.

There is only one reason for participation in this fund. That is, the Liberals are planning to privatize ICBC.

Can there be any doubt the Campbell Liberals will do this now.

Consumers' Association Astounded That ICBC Commits millions To Fund Private Insurers In Ontario

Former Socred says James needs to be meaner

Rafe says Campbell’s Liberals Are Fat Targets!
But NDP "Gal" is too nice!

"Busted contracts . . . the sale of BC Rail . . . turning wilderness areas into private lodges where overseas gunslingers can take pot shots at record Mountain Sheep . . . and the list goes on. When I was a politician, this would be the sort of record to attack I wouldn’t have imagined in my wildest reveries."
The Campbell Liberal record certainly lays it out there to attack. Should the NDP attack full on or are people fed up with it. Rafe Mair has a point of view at the Tyee.

Banks to discuss growth in Kelowna Conference

Banks are meeting in Kelowna this week (April 20 - 22) to discuss growing custumer business. The BC banks will be meeting at the Ramada lodge Hotel to discuss strategies.

The Banks have seen rapid growth in BC at a time the economy seems to be doing well. Now most of you would not be surprised that the Banks are doing well and may even think this is a good thing for the economy.

The problem is that while regular banks are doing very well, food banks in BC tell the story of average BC families becoming members in record numbers. How can people in BC need food banks more than ever before in a province that is supposed to be doing so well? Thats a question you should put to your local Campbell Liberal Sales Affilliate.

Are there two economies in BC?

Canadian Association of Food Banks

BC Rail Scandal

Columnist Ben Meisner in Prince George has said the Liberals ought to be defeated for one thing. Meisner asks, "Who knew the deal was on its way? Did CN know it and keep quiet, or is the B.C. government that stupid? I think it's a bit of both."

A former Liberal supporter Ron East asserts, "Gordon Campbell lied big-time, and he should pay the price in next month's election." East went onto warn the people to watch other Crown corporations - BC Hydro, ICBC, and BC Ferries closely.

See full story at My Telus.

For more on BC Liberals, Gordon Campbell, BC Rail, Broken Promises, use the Technorati search box in the sidebar.

Lettergate again!

So a Liberal MLA's daughter, Sheri Cleugh, gets caught out writing about Daddy Bruce. This is just stupid. From what I have read the letter is a rant against the NDP and not very believable.
For me, I am happy Bruce has a supportive family. That they will write such letters as the one she sent to the Cowichan News Leader. Now if only a few more Liberal Children will do the same.

See the The Tyee story on this by Tom Hawthorn.

The letter has generated a response to the paper, always good when people open that up to you!

"... I wonder if anyone still really believes all the Liberal hype? I wonder, I wonder." - Chris Wipplinger.

Nova Scotia MLA starts blogging

NDP MLA Graham Steele in Nova Scotia will begin blogging the happenings inside the House of Assembly today. Steele told Halifaxlive blogger, "Political blogs are growing in popularity here, thanks to the recent American election. I thought it was time to bring this idea to Nova Scotia,"

The MLA's blog can be found here.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Conservatives always come back to the dollar

How is this for Hypocrisy ...

This time it is not about Gordon Campbell, the BC Liberals or Lorne "Uncle Tom" Mayencourt and his girlfriend Mary Polak. If you want that use the Technorati search box in the sidebar or scroll down and you will find lots on their broken promises.

I was over at The Gazetteer (one of my must read blogs every day) this morning and clicked on a new link he has. Inside the Hot Dog Factory. I checked it out and found a good piece about the hypocrisy that surrounded the Terri Schiavo case.

Inside the Hot Dog Factory describes the case of a woman in Texas trying to keep her baby alive, no hospital will do this. George Bush signed a law as governor of the great state of Texas allowing hospitals to give a parent 10 days notice that they will be cutting off food and or life support. It seems to be okay to do this to financially desperate families that cannot afford to pay hospital fees.

Guess it just confirms my suspicions, Conservatives always come back to the dollar.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Kitmat Mayor sues BC Liberal Government

The Mayor and the City of Kitimat have filed a legal challenge to force the British Columbia government to prevent aluminum giant Alcan Inc. to export power from its smelter in northwestern B.C. The City claims the ministerial orders that allow the export of power is illegal.

"We believe the B.C. government overstepped its authority in issuing ministerial orders that allow Alcan to ignore its obligations in the original contract that gave Alcan access to the Nechako-Kemano water resource that powers Kemano.

Those ministerial orders allow Alcan to sell cheap power at huge profits rather than create wealth for B.C. by fuelling industry, which is the explicit premise of the original 1950 agreement." - Rick Wozney, mayor of Kitimat in the Vancouver Sun, April 15, 2005

The Mayor met with one of Campbell's cabinet ministers earlier this week, John Les, Minister of Small Business and did not like what he heard. Wozney told the Vancouver Sun the selloff of B.C. water resources is costing industry about $168 million a year.

It would appear the Liberal government have sided with the big company rather than with the laid off workers in Kitimat. Are any of you surprised?

Broken Promise # 18 - "We won't advertise"

Another broken promise...

Remember all those feel good ads last year. Gordon Campbell said he wouldn't do them. I know the arguement has been "all governments do this" yet Campbell went beyond just saying this was wrong. He said ...

"They (people of BC) do think, in British Columbia at least, that we are going to give you some money, you people who are running for office and we want you to provide us with a health care system we can count on. That is what your job is. It's not to advertise it." - Gordon Campbell speaking to the HEU Guardian 2001

HEU Guardian: Are you making a commitment to end all government advertising?

Gordon Campbell: No, I 'm not making that commitment. But I can tell you this, we are going to end government feel-good advertising. All that government needs to do is provide you with information. Let me give you an example. You don't have to tell someone if they are sick to go to the hospital or to go to their doctor. People are smarter than that. They know that. They are probably a lot smarter than the government. So I 'm not going to run ads saying what a great job we are doing in health care or what a bad job someone else is doing.

People don't want to see us use their money for that. When I look at how much money government spends on advertising -- not just provincially here but federally -- I think people are appalled by that. It's not where they want their dollars to go. They do think, in British Columbia at least, that we are going to give you some money, you people who are running for office and we want you to provide us with a health care system we can count on. That is what your job is. It's not to advertise it.

The voters could go anywhere

2 in 3 BC Voters not sure

One thing the latest Mustel Poll has shown is that the voters in BC are not sure who they will be voting for on election day. A full two thirds have indicated that their support could change between now and a election day.

The real story here is that this poll shows the Campbell Liberals did not pick up any support as a result of the the spectacular spending spree they have been own. Last week the Vancouver Sun indicated that Gordon Campbell's Liberals have promised more than 2.4 billion dollars in new spending, a record by any standards. This last week they have added even more with 80 million in Prince George and Kelowna.

So with all the government spending you woulkd expect the Liberals would have pulled further ahead. It did not happen, voters are waiting to hear more from NDP leader Carole James. Those voters that know her like what they see, still 43% had no opinion on her in the Mustel poll. That is going to change as the election draws nearer.

James released the NDP's platform this week, likely the most detailed platform ever released by a political party in BC. It is costed out and suggests that much can be done by changing the priorities. James also acknowledged that its alot easier to tear apart things than it is to put it back together, suggesting the NDP will not be able to undo all the stuff the Liberals did.

"We want the public to be aware of these cuts ..."

BC's nurses are pretty upset with the state of Health care in this Province and are saying so with a leaflet they are distributing.

Peggy Eburne a nurse in Port Coquitlam told 24 Hours the situation in hospitals is dire...
"We have patients in the hallways. What kind of care is this? Every nurse wants to give the best care possible and it's no longer possible."

"Patients have been left sitting for hours in waiting rooms in agony, with nowhere else to go for help," Leckovic said. "We can relate this directly to the closure of beds." - Burnaby Hospital nurse Melanie Leckovic, 24 Hours April 15, 2005

The Campbell Liberals have managed to motivate two large professional groups to work to defeat them in the BC Nurses Union and the BC Teachers Federation (BCTF). What many people won't know is that in the past these two unions while supportive of NDP policies have been reluctant to enter the political battle during an election.

In the case of the BCTF, they have flirted with joining the BC Federation of Labour for years, always falling short until the Campbell Liberals ripped up their contract. Campbell's legislation has resulted in cash strapped schools, larger class sizes, fewer teachers and closed schools. Campbell inadvertantly has made organized labour stronger as a result. BCTF leadership has a history of being political and now its membership are into it in a big way.

When you have both teachers and nurses mad at you in huge numbers you have accomplished something no other Premier has since 1983 when Bill Bennett brought the BC to the brink of a general strike. Campbell's mean spirited and onesided exercise of governing has resulted in worsening the state of health care and education.

Nurses and teachers aint gonna take it!

Spending our Money

What would you do with a drunken sailor...

"I grow more disgusted by the day with Gordon Campbell's money shovelling.

Another day, another tens of millions of dollars in promises made with taxpayer money." - Liquid Thoughts, April 14, 2005 on the Campbell Liberals spending of slush funds

The BC Liberals are spending faster than the truck can refill, no wonder the highway pavers are on the road. They are trying to keep Gordon Campbell in the money. Forest companies are right in the thick of it. They have benefited from fewer environmental laws and even better the laws that are still in place have 800+ fewer Forest Service employees to check up on them.

Years ago I worked in the BC Forest Service, checking the data industry sent in that was to be used to calculate how much stumpage (taxes) they would have to pay for the wood they harvested. Our department of 15 people in Williams Lake more than made up our salary several tmes over, in catching errors either innocent or otherwise by these companies.

Some of you will recall the fire season in 2003. A mill burned down in a small community north of Kamloops. The company collected the insurance money and decided not to rebuild, 180 direct local jobs gone. Less than two years ago they would have been compelled to rebuild if they had wanted to maintain their cutting rights and access to crown timber. The Campbell Liberals removed this expectation from the Forest Act.

The Tyee has an article on who contributes to the BC Liberals. Check it our here. It should be time to eliminate the money that corporations and yes, unions give to political parties.

Don't hold your breath waiting for Gordon Campbell or his BC Liberals to end corporate and union dollars financing campaigns.

For more on Gordon Campbell and the BC Liberals, Broken Promises, Mary Polak, Lorne "Uncle Tom" Mayencourt, health care, use the Technorati search box in the sidebar.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Are you a worker in BC

Workers in BC are in for some big changes ...

That's what is being called for by the business lobby in BC. An editorial in The Vancouver Sun on Wednesday, April 13th from the Fraser Institute suggests BC needs major changes to labour laws.

Here is what they suggest needs changing ...

"Some changes that would improve flexibility and balance include allowing workers a choice as to whether to join and financially support a union; removing the ability of unions to impede investments in new machinery, equipment and technologies; allowing the renegotiation of collective agreements when companies are sold, and permitting the use of replacement workers during strikes."

What does this mean?
  • People will be able to refuse to be a member of a union, making it easier for the employer to encourage workers to break away and decertify the union
  • Unions will be prevented from bargaining protection and or compensation for workers when the employer brings in new technology that replaces workers
  • Workers will have to renegotiate their collective agreement every time a company is sold
  • Employers will be able to bring in replacement workers if you are on strike, meaning the company could go for months or even years making money while you are on strike.

These changes will likely limit the number of times the Liberals debate into the dark of night to pass laws ripping up contracts, they will be able to let employers control it.

Do you think the Liberals won't do this? Okay how about we sell you a railroad or maybe you would like to work in the German ship building industry, perhaps you need a job in health care making $9.50 an hour. Oh and good luck in getting your Grandmother into a care bed, you will need it.

For more on Gordon Campbell, BC Liberals, BC Rail, Health Care, Broken Promises ~ use the Technorati search box in the sidebar

Green Party and NDP release platforms

Two platforms released yesterday. The Green party released theirs at 10am. The platform is heavy on new taxes and short on how to implement it. The leader admitted that electing one MLA would be a success.

The NDP released a platform as well. The platform is likely the most detailed ever released to the voters before an election. The plan highlights indicate how realigning just 1% of the current budget priorities in the plan can be made.

This election must be tough to be Green. Vote for a green candidate and re elect the Liberal in your riding. I expect that there will be more than few Greens that wil be voting for the NDP this time out to prevent the Liberals from winning.

I guess now we just wait for the Liberal program. Don't fret, whatever it says will be different from what they do. We all know what Campbell says before an election is different from what he does after.

Is there a Virginia? NDP candidate Robertson wants to know

Gregor Robertson is the NDP candidate in Vancouver Fairview has told The Tyee Virginia Greene, the Liberal candidate has twice now cancelled participation in a debate.

"Greene pulled out of a yesterday’s rescheduled debate on CBC radio’s Early Edition less than 24 hours beforehand. The debate was originally scheduled for April 6, but Greene cancelled that appearance on short notice as well. Greene also disappeared from an all-candidates meeting organized by the False Creek Residents’ Association scheduled for April 11, according to Robertson, and vanishing from all-candidates meeting organized by the Health Employees’ Union members at Vancouver General Hospital." - The Tyee, April 14, 2005

This looks an awful lot like the Campbell Liberals repeat of the 2001 election when candidates refused to debate the NDP. Is this a continuation of Gordon Campbell's open and accountable representation we have seen over the last four years? You bet it is. They Campbell Liberals have made an art out of not consulting, announcing projects without input, and steamrolling any opposition.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Rafe Mair asks, What were they promised?

Taylor and Oppal, both quit high paying and better pensions behind them when they decided they would run for the Campbell Liberals. Both are denying they have been promised specific cabinet positions.

Rafe Mair tackles this absurd situation with a column at The Tyee
“M’Lord,” says Campbell, “We would like you to leave your 200 Grand plus seat on the Court of Appeal and join our band of brothers, our happy breed, in our next Crusade to Victoria on behalf of the citizens we love so well. I must warn you – may I call you Judge Oppal? – that I make no offers to you at all about cabinet posts. When you’re elected an MLA, you will be one of caucus.

After the election, and only then, will I decide who gets cabinet seats and who doesn’t. So – may I call you Wally? – you had best look at the possibility that you’ll be in that most horrible of all political posts, a government backbencher making a third of what you now make, without pension.” - Rafe Mair, April 13, 2005

Staff expected to keep quiet at Liberal photo-op

More news today that has government issuing gag orders to staff.

The BCGEU issued a media release today that claims Campbell Liberals are using care givers for a political announcement at the Garth Homer Centre for adults with developmental disabilities in Victoria.

Workers at the Garth Homer Centre in Victoria are outraged that they are being used as “props” in a government news conference this afternoon to announce yet another pre-election handout. The employees have been told they can not speak to the media.

“The Campbell Liberals slashed over $100 million in funding to community programs and services and forced caregivers to take significant concessions, including cuts to their wages and benefits. Some are working two jobs to make ends meet, others are looking for jobs elsewhere because the wages are just too
low. Staff turnover is high and morale is low.

And yet the Campbell Liberals have the audacity to trot workers out as props for a pre-election photo-op that is nothing more than a desperate attempt at vote-buying,” said James Cavalluzzo, who represents community social services workers around the province including the 60 workers at Garth Homer Centre .

Stan Hagen, Minister of Children and Family Development, and Sheila Orr, Liberal candidate for Victoria-Hillside, are expected to announce a $150,000 grant for an “eLearning” pilot project in collaboration with the University of Victoria at a 3 pm news conference at Garth Homer Centre today.

Those with the Gold get the Decade!

Doesn't this just say it all so well.

Check out the NDP's ecards! Send one to Gordon Campbell!

We could lose government funding

Providence vice president Dr. Jeremy Etherington warns
staff/Doctors about speaking to media (CBC link to pdf)

Doctors working for Providence health care have been warned. The non-profit group Providence, is a Catholic run agency that is responsible for St. Pauls Hospital located in Vancouver's westend sent an email out to staff telling them that the hospital could lose provincial government support if there is any negative press about health care provided by the hospital.

The email above was reported by CBC Vancouver

Another example of open, honest and accountable government?

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Local MLA not Helpful says Mayor

CKNW has reported former BC Liberal candidate and Mayor of Kitimat, Richard Wozney is less than thrilled with his local MLA and the Campbell government.

ALCAN one of the world's largest producers of aluminum has shut down its production of aluminum so it can sell the massive amounts of cheap hydro the plant can generate. Aluminum productions biggest overall costs are its power usage. ALCAN has a cost advantage over many competitors because of the its access to cheap hydro power.

This does little for the local economy yet generates enormous profits for ALCAN. The Mayor met with one of Campbell's cabinet ministers today, John Les, Minister of Small Business and did not like what he heard.

Wozney told CKNW that, "its now up to his community to decide what is going to happen next, suggesting they haven't had much support from their local Liberal MLA."

Can't get enough of the Campbell's mug?

Mug shot back in the news, Dean Rushes the Vote has a put together a list of links, some even come back here. Imagine that.

Campbell is a "great Conservative" says Klein

BC Liberal leader Gordon Campbell is like an Alberta Tory Ralph Klein stated. Here are some of his comments from a 680 All News Radio report

"Gordon Campbell is more of a Conservative than a Liberal, but that doesn't matter because Liberals in British Columbia are more like Alberta Tories."

"Campbell is a great Conservative although he calls himself a Liberal,"

tip to this came from Dean Rushes the Vote! who posted the link in a comment to The Gazetteer

BC Liberals and the BC Rail Scandal

From 24 Hours is a new daily paper available only in greater Vancouver. The story is vital in this election as British Columbians will be voting before possibly more damaging information will be released on the BC Legislative raid concerning BC Rail. At no time before has a raid ever been exercised on a Legislature in Canada. The people involved were highly placed BC Liberal government political operatives and were also an integral part of the the Federal Liberal Party's operations in BC.

Bearing witness


Make crime pay. Become a lawyer. - Will Rogers

Erik Bornman, a controversial central figure in the biggest scandal to rock the B.C. Liberal government - the police raid on the provincial Legislature - has become a key Crown witness against accused former ministerial aides David Basi and Bob Virk in their fraud, bribery and
influence-peddling case.

And 24 hours has learned that the reason why Bornman, has become a Crown witness may be simple - he is studying law at the University of B.C.

Bornman was a target of the police investigation because of his alleged role with Basi and Virk. But Bornman's legal career could have quickly ended if he had been convicted of any crime.

Bornman had strong ties to both the Prime Minister Paul Martin federal and Premier Gordon Campbell B.C. Liberal parties.

When Martin was Finance Minister he employed Bornman as a political assistant. Bornman has also been a Martin leadership campaign organizer and a federal Liberal Party in B.C executive member.

Bornman earned the nickname Spider-Man after he entered a locked federal Liberal Party office - which contained the B.C. membership list - through the ceiling.

Bornman also worked on B.C. Liberal election campaigns and was a provincial lobbyist for corporate clients until the December 2003 Legislature raid. A search warrant was executed by police on Bornman's Vancouver home, as well as the home of Bruce Clark, brother of former B.C. Liberal Deputy Premier Christy Clark.

Basi and Virk were allegedly offered a benefit by Bornman -help in getting $100,000-plus jobs with the federal Liberal government - in exchange for providing confidential information about the B.C. Rail privatization, according to search-warrant "information to obtain" documents released by police last year.

Read the rest of the story at 24 Hours

9 out of 10 prefer Campbell's Liberals

caterwauls blogger posts latest startling survey results ...

caterwauls says,

In a recent study undertaken by ourselves, we discovered 9 out of 10 groups prefer the liberal government of Gordon Campbell for many reasons. The question:

Who can say they'll fare better with another liberal government in British Columbia?

The answers:

1 - Maximus. This American corporation will continue to do well with more Gordon Campbell. Through a Canadian subsidiary, they have access to all our MSP and Pharmacare records, including medical reports, psychological reports, family status and history, date of birth, income, financial history and employment income, etc ad naseum. This will keep them in good stead with Homeland Security in the USA.

2 - Accenture Ltd, an American company operating in Hamilton, Bermuda (to avoid American taxes) will also do better with Gordon Campbell because they stand a good chance of getting Gordon to privatize more of BC Hydro, and they'll be running it and be able to put prices up to 'global levels' ignoring the fact that British Columbians, who once owned BC Hydro should benefit from having the lowest cost hydro power in North America.

3 - Flensburger Shipbuilding, the German company which has the contract to build 3 new ships for BC Ferries will continue to do well from BC Liberals, who are spending 500 million dollars on those ferries, of which, not one penny will go to British Columbia ship workers and their families to spend in BC. Premier Campbell of course ignoring the fact that the former ferries, fast or not, were built by local BC shipbuilders.

4 - Mystery company in Poland, which evidently has the contract to build another ship for BC Ferries. It will of course, be announced AFTER an election because, as even a liberal said, "It just don't look so good." They will do better with Gordon Campbell.

5 - Out of Province owners of BC Rail, (the name probably soon to be changed so that BC people won't think they still own it, as what happened to BC Gas = Terasen Gas, also involved with Accenture) They will continue to do well under Gordon Campbell because they'll be able to discontinue services for small BC towns while hooking up with America at Alaska, consequently giving the Americans what they've wanted for years; the ability to ship "goods" from Alaska to America without allowing inspection of freight travelling through British Columbia.

6 - Unethical large employers who can now use a training wage of $6.00 per hour with a minimum 2 hour day, instead of the minimum wage of $8.75 and a 4 hour minimum to 'test and train' employees for suitability for employment. Except of course that it seems none of them ever work out when the deadline arrives to pay them higher amounts and they have to be let go. Those companies are thanking Gordon Campbell.

7 - US Homeland Security and the Patriot Act will continue to do well under Gordon Campbell as he sends more private data about British Columbians to American companies. And there's more privatization in the works. Under the US Patriot Act, no company can withhold information about you, nor does this clandestine branch of the US Government have to reveal they even recorded your information.

8 - Foreign Fish Farm owners will do very well with another Liberal government and Gordon Campbell. They'll be able to continue ignoring any reasonable scientific reports on the dangers of fish farm salmon or the devastation of BC wild salmon stocks and get on with growing pen-fed Atlantic salmon which is advised not to be eaten by children or pregnant women. Did you know it was coloured? Sort of an "Agent Orange" colour.

9 - The Federal Liberals will be happy with Gordon Campbell's provincial liberals remaining in power. They'll be able to continue to send more "organizers" to BC from the Federal ranks, including any new suspected crooks that may be part of Paul Martin's secret cadre right now.

10 - And the group who will NOT fare better with another Liberal government; These remaining poor souls were part of the remainder of people who are unlikely to do well under continued management of Gordon Campbell and his "Anybody but BCers" policy;

- Senior citizens that may need long term care and would like to spend their remaining time together

- students and poorer people who need to have hope for better lives

- women in general who are on Mr Campbell's hit lists

- anyone who dares to believe the people of BC have the intelligence, skills, enthusiam and work ethic to make BC the greatest place on earth for PEOPLE and not political friends and foreign corporations.

- unscientific study but feel free to copy and post anyway -

for more information on Gordon Campbell, BC Liberals, BC Rail, broken promises - use the Technorati search box in the sidebar

Monday, April 11, 2005

Premier Maui Mugshot on Posters

Mugshot seen in Two Vancouver Ridings!

Seems the mugshot of Gordon Campbell that is too hot to handle politically, is showing up on posters in at least two upper class Vancouver ridings. The posters according to CBC Vancouver say,

"Voting for convicted criminals may be hazardous to your health."

Another poster has a picture of Campbell with the words

"Convicted Criminal" stamped across his forehead.

The Tyee remembers: Remembering the day Gordon Campbell spun his DUI, and the news media went dizzy.

It would appear the Premier Campbell has made a couple of people MADD.

Hokazono to take to Kelowna Voters

Kelowna Mission NDP Candidate, Nicki Hokazono, opens
campaign office on Sunday April 10, 2005

The Kelowna Mission NDP opened their campaign office to the public on Sunday with a BBQ and ribbon cutting. Over 100 people showed up for the opening and enjoyed burgers and a speech from Hokazono. The office is located at 505 Sutherland (at Pandosy) in Kelowna and open from 12 - 4 until the writ is dropped on April 19, 2005.

Hokazono's speech centred on the need to defeat the Campbell Liberals and elect a government that cares about average families.

Link to Nicki Hokazono's campaign website.

Kelowna MLA's tried to hoodwink the media

No news is bad news for MLAs

"I came here as a reporter, to report on what appeared to be news of some significance," said radio reporter Phil Johnson. "Instead, the media has become part of the (May 17 provincial election) campaigning. They've moved the campaigning into the newsroom." Even the mild-mannered Kim Calloway of CKOV got into the fray, complaining that the MLAs had wasted his time. - Kelowna
Daily Courier, April 9, 2005

See also: Good 'news' turns sour

" Fellow Liberal MLA Rick Thorpe accused reporters of being cynical and negative and not wanting progress."

"Reporters were wondering why the politicians were re-announcing the project and peppered the three local MLA's with accusations the event was nothing but pre-election politics." - CHBC TV, April 8, 2005

Sunday, April 10, 2005

BC Liberals in Kelowna lose it

Liberals lose it at Media Conference

Sindi Hawkins, Rick Thorpe and John Weisbeck called media to a press conference on the new bridge for Kelowna. The media asked them what was new they were announcing. What happened next is exceptional.

You have to see this for yourself. Shaw coverage of news conference unedited!

Castanet an Okanagan news service says ...
"Two major players in the construction process will be Grey Back Construction of Penticton and Emil Anderson Construction of Hope and Kelowna. Work will begin immediately and the project is to be ready for the fall of 2008. Other members of the SNC-Lavalin team are Vancouver Pile Driving, Buckland & Taylor providing specialized bridge engineering services, plus many more international companies. The pontoons will be built on a graving dock to be constructed on the Tolko land beside Bear Creek Park on the Westside."

Friday, April 08, 2005

Broken Promise # 2 - Health care when and where you need it

The Hospital Employees’ Union launched a television advertisement drawing attention to the Gordon Campbell Liberals’ cuts to health care services. The 30-second ad, highlights facilities in different parts of the province that have been downgraded, downsized or closed altogether.

The ad features a rolling list of hospitals affected by Campbell’s cuts set against the backdrop of a typical BC highway scene with a fading hospital road sign.

“This government invited British Columbians to hold them to account for their policies,” says Darcy. “We have every intention of doing just that, and will continue to do so from now until the election – and after.”

You can view the ad in the following formats:
Realvideo Broadband
Realvideo Dialup
Windows Media Player Broadband
Windows Media Player Dialup
Quicktime Broadband
Quicktime Dialup

For more on Broken promises, health care, gordon Campbell, BC Liberals use the Technorati search box in the sidebar

Campbell P3's costly

Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre Public Private Partnership is identified as one of a hundred failed P3 projects in a report released today by health coalitions across Canada

“Globally, P3s have been devastating for communities,” says Tara Scurr, B.C.-Yukon organizer for the Council of Canadians. “P3s are associated with cost overruns, delays, design and construction flaws, quality problems, and service cuts. B.C. is flirting with a model of health delivery that has failed in Britain, Australia, and many other countries.”

In 2004, the contract to finance and administer the hospital for the next 30 years was
awarded to the sole bidder – Access Health Abbotsford.

The problems with the Abbotsford P3 are mounting:

· The total project cost estimate has risen 94% to 1.4 billion, up from 720 million
· Construction costs rose from the original $211 million in 2001 to $355 million in January 2005
· New evidence shows that a public hospital would be as much as $30 million cheaper compared to the cost of the privatized hospital

“This isn’t just a bad deal for health care, it’s a bad business deal,” says Richard Neal, research
analyst. “Private health care investors expect profits in the range of 12 – 20% annually, and those profits
generally come at the expense of quality patient care.”

“P3s don’t represent additional funding for public services. These are loans, not investments.
They’re just a more expensive form of debt that must be repaid,” says Neal.

Between them, governments in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec are actively planning more than a dozen privatized hospitals – to be financed, designed, and administered through public-private partnerships that are guaranteed windfalls for profit-driven corporations.

In British Columbia, the Vancouver Hospital Ambulatory Care Centre is also a Public Private
Partnership project, and there may be more health P3s on the way.

Help stop the Abbotsford P3