Some things just need to be said...

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Not all BC Ferries cruising the Straits

Note: BC Ferries slogan some years ago, "Cruise the Straits with BC Ferries"

Update July 6: BC Ferries now in negotiations with boat owners, the Premier said it was the NDP's fault then kinda recanted when asked if it shouldn't have been fixed during the $35 million midlife refit that took place a few weeks ago.

The Transportation Safety Board stated the Queen of Oak Bay lost power, "This was caused by a disengagement of the clutch leading to a loss of propulsion," said Ginette Thibodeau, one of three TSB personnel studying the accident. The Ferry will taken on sea worthy trials this week, and maybe back into service in days if all goes well.

Now of course there is a the mess to clean up. BC Ferries will need to address the loss of income to several boaters, damaged boats and the issue of the Horseshoe Bay Ferry terminal being located in such a busy and small harbour. Lets hope that can deal fairly with all those involved.

BC Ferries is also expected to announce the winning bid on a smaller class ferry, one which many people have speculated was going to a Polish firm. The announcement was speculated to have been put off until after the election. We are now well past that date, what happened? Politics in BC will have more on tendered and untendered contracts at BC Ferries soon.


Update June 30, 2005 : You can find a web cam for Horseshoe Bay here. I believe that is the Queen of Oak Bay you see. It would be in berth one.

By now many of of you have heard about BC Ferries ship the Queen of Oak Bay losing power and drifting into a marina at Horseshoe Bay. The area for those unfimilar is located just north and west of Vancouver. The harbour is a small sheltered cove that has seen increasing traffic from private users and BC Ferries.

Early accounts so far seem to indicate the Captain of the Vessel determined he had to steer clear of the BC Ferry dock and chose to go into the small marina. It is evident that had the Ferry gone into the dock many serious injuries would have occured. No injuries or loss of life have been reported.

The Ferry lost power at approximately 10:10 this morning.

For updates go to BC Ferries website, this was on the site a few minutes ago...

"BC Ferries will provide continuous service between Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay, Horseshoe Bay-Langdale and Horseshoe Bay-Bowen Island to accommodate waiting traffic, rather than maintain its posted schedule for those routes."

I must say this is good news for many, especially on this Canada Day Weekend. BC Ferries despite a few problems getting the message out earlier today, has picked up and is delivering news and from the sound of it, passengers and cars to and from Horseshoe Bay.

Just days ago, BC Ferry users gave the private crown corporation an 88% approval rating. See Canned West news item here.

see some of the video, pictures and other reports in the links of today's crash can be found below...

BCTV (Global TV) Queen of Oak Bay crash (Home Video)

For Global's report on the accident: ,

See Images from CBC of Ferry Crash.

CBC ~ Ferry hits marina, no one hurt An B.C. Ferry smashed into dozens of boats at the marina next to the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal on Thursday morning. But there were no deaths or injuries. FULL STORY

CNN saw a "Ferry slam into a yacht club" in Vancouver? Close enough, it was a marina in Horseshoe Bay as we all know.

Bloggers on the story out here include new Progressive Blogger What the Deuce? Ferry crash and Vancouver Blogger The Inquisitive Engineer has a little too.

Mayor Larry Campbell won't run

Update: For the real reason, or word on the street as why Larry Campbell quit, the Gazetteer doesn't disappoint ...

Mayor Campbell will not seek to be reelected this fall.

"I am not a politician, but I did accomplish a lot in the last three years." ~ Mayor Larry Campbell at a press Conference, June 30, 2005.

Campbell has gone fishing. The best Mayor in Canada has decided not to run in the November elections this year. This after taking Vancouver to a leadership role in North America. Campbell has also managed to have great relationships with both the government in Victoria and Ottawa without selling out. Likely these senior governments were wanting to ensure they did not make an enemy of the popular mayor.

Campbell was a strong supporter of the Olympics, yet he was willing to put it to a referendum. There were many ticked off with this and Campbell was right. The people of Vancouver voted to hold the Olympics.

Vancouver's Mayor Larry Campbell gained support from all sectors of the city, retaining that support into the end of his first term. No past Mayor in recent history has managed this certainly not Gordon Campbell, though popular never managed to gain city wide support.

Larry as most people know him as, came forward several years ago challenging the City, Province and Federal governments to do something about the deaths from drug overdoses and to end the harm of drug use.

As one of the many people that worked to advance the four pillars program in Vancouver, I saw first hand the dedication and passion Larry had for these people and his common sense approach to addressing it.

The speculation is that the mayor will be in line for Senate appointment or may run federally. I suspect first on his agenda will be a trip Saskatchewan for some down time and fishing!

I will have more on Larry Campbell's decision not to run later today.

See Common Ground story on Campbell's inaugural address here.

CBC on "Larry Campbell calls it quits" Vancouver Mayor Larry Campbell says he won't run for re-election this fall. Campbell made the announcement at a news conference at city hall on Thursday morning. FULL STORY

CKNW News on Campbell's announcement today.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Section 15 explains Section 15

Section 15 has a good post explaining the Charter and same-sex rights!

"Given that SSM has passed, and given that I'm still reading claims that judges 'reading in' sexual orientation into the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is somehow in violation of original intent or the language of the Charter, I'd thought I'd go over the relevant sections one more time, and add in a bit concerning the design of the Charter..."

Would Klein say yes to Ashley?

Less than 24 hours after the vote, Alberta Premier Ralph Klein is admitting defeat. He has for some strange reason, reason beyond what I can understand stood squarely opposed to equal marriage.

Polls taken in Alberta over the last few years have indicated most Albertans are opposed to the idea of same-sex marriage. The numbers opposed have been falling but it may be a few more before it does move to the majority side of the ledger. Typically it is older people that tend to be opposed and younger generation supportive.

Klein is now saying the government of Alberta may get out of the marriage business all together, having the province recognize civil unions, leaving marriage to religious orders. That could be an interesting turn for the province.

''We simply wouldn't be involved in the solemnization of marriage,'' ~ Premier Ralph Klein, CBC, June 29, 2005

Alberta should now do what every other jurisdiction in Canada will do and move onto looking after the business of health care. Same-sex marriage has allowed people like Ralph Klein to make a lot of noise, divert attention from problems else where. Klein admits, ''There are no legal weapons. There's nothing left in the arsenal, we're out on a lurch.''

Klein could put this all to bed by toasting Ashley MacIsaac of Canadian fiddler fame. MacIassc talking about marriage last November and maybe getting married in Alberta someday, said...

"I'd love to have him (Ralph Klein) make a toast."

MacIssac was asked why he speaking out about Alberta's position o­n gay marriage. "... because Alberta artists haven't. If Jann Arden doesn't stand up and scream her head off as a rich Alberta artist, then me, as a lowly Cape Bretoner, I have to open my mouth," he said. "People should be screaming against this premier and his obviously anti-homosexual views," ~ MacIsaac to CP Reporter, November 19, 2004

For more information on equal, gay and or same-sex marriage, the civil marriage act, Paul Martin, Jack Layton, Stephen Harper, Conservatives, Bishop Henry, Evangelicals, James Dobson use the Technorati search box in the side bar here and at Queer Thoughts.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Collectively Canadians are richer

Bill C-38 passes! Civil Marriage ACT passed in Canada's Parliament
This day was envisioned when I looked into his eyes. I was pulled to him more strongly than if he were using a rope to bring me to him. I could not reject these feelings, I was in love.

The power of the love held us more than any glue, it held us up, it was a foundation of what would be our family.

A family unlike any other as it was my family, our family. It was something we both wanted and needed.

I asked Steven if he would be my partner for life,

The answer was yes and we began a life so rich I wish it for all.

Steven told me he had one wish before he left this world. "I want to know I was loved and I loved before I die." Steven asked me two days before he died if I remembered his wish. I did and let him carry on. "I have loved, I am loved. "

How can anyone deny our relationship, the love that existed, that it contributed to our community and extended families. Would the community be any richer if we had not been a family, would society be better off if we were not together?

We had become a family just like many others in this country, around the world. I suggest we may have had more than many however. How many gay men or lesbian women have lived a lie because they saw no alternative, how many hid their feelings, how many missed what Steven and I had because of the fear, threats real and imagined.

Steven and I were denied marriage. We had it in all but name and today, the Parliament of Canada passed into law the reality, recognised that Steven and I had and thousands of others have today. They have a family, they contribute to the community.

Our country and we collectively as Canadians are richer.

As I posted yesterday, Stephanie and I raise our glasses to the sky today, to the universe, "it is real Steven, it is real Dad."

Will you marry me Steven?

"...Fly me up to where you are
Beyond the distant star
I wish upon tonight
To see you smile
If o­nly for awhile to know
you're there
A breath away's not far
To where you are..."

The Liberals' controversial same-sex marriage legislation has passed final reading the House of Commons, sailing through with a vote of 158 for and 133 against. FULL S T O R Y
For more information on equal, gay and or same-sex marriage, the civil marriage act, Paul Martin, Jack Layton, Stephen Harper, conservatives, Bishop Henry, Evangelicals, James Dobson use the Technorati search box in the side bar here and at Queer Thoughts.

This has also been cross posted at Queer Thoughts.

Blogging version - Wittenburg Church notice

Following up on my post on the Christian Right being deemed a Hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, fellow blogger, Mike at Rational Reasons pointed me to this bit of information on the web...

Philosopher Peter Ludlow (Michigan) writes:...

Here's something you may not have known or suspected. When I grew up my family went to a conservative Christian church and I subsequently went to a Swedish Baptist college in Minnesota. I recently went back to my home town and was sickened by what became of the family church over the last 20 years. The received view is that the conservative christians have taken over the Republican Party. I think the reverse happened. The right wing of the Republican Party has taken over the church. Nothing could be more clear to me.

In a fit of revulsion, and with a nod to Marty Luther, I wrote up the following 95 theses on the relighous right: Download ludlows_95_theses_on_the_religious_right.doc .

In lieu of nailing it to the door of the Wittenburg Church I'm sending it to you instead. Not exactly the same thing, I realize. I'm not saying I'm a believer and I'm not saying I'm not, but I am saying that what has happened to the fundamentalist church is revolting.

In the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

1. Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, when He said "love thy neighbor", willed that believers should show *compassion* toward others.

2. This word cannot be understood to mean mere lip service ("I love them, but I hate their sin"), but genuine concern for the welfare of others.

3. Yet the Religious Right has forsaken compassion for a doctrine of institutionalized hatred and violence....

more here...

For more information on social conservatives, Stephen Harper, gay, same-sex or equal marriage, James Dobson, gay rights, evangelicals, Focus on the Family, Bishop Henry, The Pope, use the technorati search box in the side bar here and at Queer Thoughts.

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Conservative Blogger takes me to task

Kelowna Conservative blogger Ted Gerk has taken me to task for my posting on the Christian Right.

"I am so tired of slams against Bishop Fred Henry, James Dobson and now the Knights of Columbus. Gay activists seem to have lost the ability to argue from an intellectual standpoint...all they can do now is demonize their opponents into silence and submission." - Ted Gerk, Kelowna Politics, June 28, 2005

I do not class the Knights of Columbus a hate group, though some will. I recognize much good work they do. In fact in Williams Lake I know many KoC and they support my family and they do not promote hate.

I do feel that Bishop Henry has crossed the line, I do feel people like James Dobson do me and my family wrong when they say children cannot be raised properly by a gay man like myself. I do think that their actions in supporting removing children from their parents because they are gay is wrong.

If ripping apart families is not hate, then I do not know what is.

When checking out my fellow blogger Ted Gerk, please be respectful. We, although on opposite sides of several issues, have been able to discuss things.

For more information on social conservatives, Stephen Harper, gay, same-sex or equal marriage, James Dobson, gay evangelicalgelicals, Focus on the Family, Bishop Henry, The Pope, use the technorati search box in the side bar here and at Queer Thoughts.

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Harper falls off High Wire Act

The latest Mustel poll in BC indicates the federal Conservative party is in free fall. They have gone from 36% support one year ago to 22% or 7 points behind the NDP. The Liberals seemed to have benefited the most from the Conservatives fall.

The undoing of the Conservative party and leader Stephen Harper has everything to do with their intolerance for human rights, their handling of the Grewal tapes and their lack of an agenda other than to oppose everything.

They voted against increased funding for housing, for urban transport, for improving the environment for the simple reason they wanted to defeat the government. Defeat a government that will simply provide another government largely the same. Canadians have continually stated that they want our Members of Parliament to make it work.

77% of Canadians have said they want Parliament to decide the same-sex marriage law. Here again the Conservatives have failed to meet the test of judgment and to accept the will of Canadians. They have fought to delay the vote. Their opposition to the law is legitimate, their refusal to support a vote is not.

Yesterday Harper attempted his latest high wire act. He fell off. Harper declared the Same-sex law that is expected to be passed today lacks legitimacy because the majority of federalist MPs will be voting against it. This is red herring. The majority of MPs will vote for same-sex marriage. Some of those will be the Bloc from Quebec. They will be voting to support same-sex marriage in part because the vast majority of the people of Quebec support same-sex marriage.

Do Conservatives have desire to be government one day? Do they have a desire to govern for all of Canada? They have repeatedly displayed a desire to impose their views, rather than to listen to Canadians.

One Canadian leader has listened, has been working to make Parliament work and has succeeded where Harper and to some extent Paul Martin have failed. Jack Layton has grown in his job and Canadians are benefiting.

For more on Stephen Harper, Conservatives, same-sex, gay, and or equal marriage, Belinda Stronach, Evangelicals, Christian Right, Bishop Henry, James Dobson, Jack Layton, Paul Martin use the Technorati search box here and at Queer Thoughts.

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Monday, June 27, 2005

It's tomorrow Steven

Vote on Same-sex marriage could be tomorrow. Stay tuned! Look out Alberta!

I am in Vancouver at my sister's son and daughters grad. Will have reaction tomorrow.

If you can be watching CPAC as Canada makes history! I will be celebrating tomorrow with my step daugter, we will toast her Dad and my partner Steven.

Our glasses will be lifted to the sky, steven passed away before marriage was possible.

It will be a grand day

United Church on Equal Marriage - Media Release

The United Church of Canada, Canada's largest protestant church has asked Parliament to move forward with Bill C-38 in a timely fashion.

Can I say, Thank GOD for the United Church of Canada? I will anyway...


Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, News Editor,
Government/Political Affairs Editor


The United Church of Canada Urges Paliament to Vote in Favour of
Same-Sex Marriage Legislation

Toronto, Ontario, June 27 /PR Direct/ - In a statement released today, The United Church of Canada has called on the Canadian government to move in a timely way to end the debate on Bill C-38 and to vote in favour of same-sex marriage legislation.

"Marriage will be enhanced, not diminished, religious freedom will be protected, not threatened, and Canadian society will be strengthened, not weakened, as a result of this legislation," says Richard Chambers of the Justice, Global and Ecumenical Relations Unit.

Chambers says that further rancorous debate over this issue will only serve to polarize positions rather than contribute to building a strong civil society based on the values of inclusion, diversity, mutual respect, and fairness.

He says a significant, unique contribution that the United Church brings to this discussion is the denomination's own experience of making same-sex marriage ceremonies available to its members and, at the same time, respecting the rights of those within the denomination
who choose not to offer such services.

"Religious marriage is not, and cannot be, affected by the proposed legislation," explains Chambers. He says all religious communities in Canada, whatever their views on same-sex marriage, have the absolute right to determine for themselves who will be eligible for religious
marriage within their communities.

Chambers adds that the United Church also believes that the protection for conscientious objection to performing same-sex marriages, which is provided by the Charter and affirmed in the proposed legislation, does not conflict with the right of same-sex couples to marry.

"The enactment of the proposed legislation means that same-sex couples will be able to obtain civil marriage," explains Chambers. He adds that while some same-sex couples may not be able to obtain religious marriage, depending on the views of a particular faith community, that
is also the case for many other couples, such as interfaith couples. It does not deprive same-sex couples of their legal right to civil marriage.

In considering their vote on Bill C-38, Chambers says Members of Parliament should remember that they are called to serve and to care for the interests of all Canadians, regardless of their faith, regardless of their gender, and regardless of their sexual orientation.

"Freedom of religion does not trump equality, nor does equality trump freedom of religion; the rights must co-exist," says Chambers.

- END PRESS RELEASE - 6/27/2005

/For further information: Mary-Frances Denis
Communications Officer
416-231-7680 ext. 2016 (work) (website)

For more on equal, gay and or same-sex marriage, Civil Marriage Act, Stephen Harper, Evangelicals, Conservatives, Bishop Henry, James Dobson, Paul Martin, Jack Layton, use the technorati search box in the side bar here and at Queer Thoughts.

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Canada's Blogging singer and writer!

How Much is That Watchdog in the Window?

How much is that watchdog in the window? (arf! arf!)
Ol' Bernie Shapiro's his name.
How much is that watchdog in the window? (arf! arf!)
For a watchdog, he seems awfully tame.

Check out Canada's newest and most interesting song writer and singer!

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And another Canadian singer and writer, Stompin' Tom Connors didn't ask to play at LIVE 8 say the organizers. So ask him!

CBC NEWS – The organizers of Live 8 say Stompin' Tom Connors is not on the bill for the July 2 concert in Barrie, Ont., because he never asked.

The organizers say almost all of the acts that have signed on approached organizers, rather than organizers approaching them.


Sunday, June 26, 2005

Gordon Campbell has stuff in the Closet?

The Republic asks some good questions about the media and their relationship to BC Liberal Premier Gordon Campbell.

Is Gordon Campbell a "made man" reposted at Peace, Earth and Justice News (PEJ News)

The Republic - by Kevin Potvin: The media establishment in British Columbia is infamous for its vicious aim when it comes to public figures caught in the headlights of scandals. Or rather, it used to be. In the past, politics in BC was universally regarded as a blood sport, and that blood—usually that of whomever the sitting Premier of the day was—was largely spilled down the blades of grinning media hacks. But during the last four years, despite a thick odour of scandal wafting over the province, Gordon Campbell and the Liberals have miraculously escaped the slightest nick.

for more click here or here

Christian right a hate group - coming to Canada

The civil rights movement in the United States took a big step this past few months with the Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC) listing the Christian Right as an extremist group. The SPLC is known for their work in keeping people informed and educated on the activities of the Klu Klux Clan and white supremacist groups.

"Our bailiwick is extremism. We've avoided the Christian Right in the past, and we don't feel we've expanded to include the Christian Right, we feel very strongly they have entered our world [of extremism]. They have gone absolutely wild. The level of personal demonization was really quite remarkable. We felt we had to say, 'Thus far, no further,'" ~ Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center speaking to the New York

The Christian Right has grown in size and influence, using marketing and branding as well as Coca Cola and Wal-Mart to get their message and product to market. The goal is the return of Jesus Christ to America and to do that they have to take over America's political system.

Like any marketer they have to find a way to get their product into as many homes as they can. If you can't do that your business will go bankrupt. They have used the Soviet Union for years and then had to come up with another message to sell their product. After some careful and strategic planning they decided on abortion and homosexuality.

"Homosexuality itself is not important to most of these guys. But it's an important means to an end they believe in, and that is straightening out America to make sure Jesus can come back. Even if they're using anti-gay politics insincerely, they are sincerely interested in taking over the democratic process.

So that's why it became such a major issue. It came from the top down. This new, loud voice against homosexuality came through the parent-church leaders, like Falwell, who began to tell the world that homosexuality was a threat.

Then it trickled down to local churches, and now it has become one of the great hate movements, I think, in history. It's dangerous stuff, because it knows no questions. It hears no response. It is a juggernaut. It is a bulldozer. It is a blitzkrieg that doesn't stop to reason."
~ Rev. Mel White, founder of Soul force

The Christian Right is a real threat to secular society. They have one objective, to take over society and wait for Jesus. Many of them really believe this is what is needed. They are smart, use savvy marketing and branding to win converts to their cause. Tstrategicstategic in their efforts, focusing on targeting their money and resources in areas that they have the best opportunity to succeed, much in the way a political party may do or Coca-Cola would in selling their product to us.

From these bases of support they have been able to elect people that support them, get anti-gay laws passed or rolled back. A campaign that equates all the ills of America onto homosexuality. The end justifies the means.

The Christian Right though still a minority is well financed and able to deliver help to supportive politicians. The help comes in the form of motivating its growing number of members to get out and vote. It comes in sponsoring anti-gay media campaigns and referendums. Their clout and ability to target a politician that disagrees with them, make them evformidablermidible, leading to many endorsing the anti-gay message to retain political office.

In Canada we have been immune to the Christian Right, they have not been that well financed nor taken seriously by the majority of Canadians and politicians until recently. With the successes south of the border, they have been emboldened to act in attempt to duplicate the same results here. They have not been doing it alone however, the American Christian Right has been financing the smaller poorer Canadian cousins.

The Reform Party formed to provide an alternative for Conservative voters in Alberta and western Canada focused on tax cuts, less government and crime. The Christian right gravitated to this upstart party and elected many people that supported their values in nominations and then onto the Canadian Parliament.

The party attempted for the better part of a decade to appeal to conservative and ticked off voters in Ontario, having taken most of the west. Along the way there were many setbacks in this plan. Organization was poor and the off the cuff remarks and opinions of Reform candidates and MPs about issues like abortion and gay rights showed a level of intolerance that was not acceptable to people in urban Ontario.

The Reform party then changed its name and elected former Alberta Finance Minister and Christian Activist Stockwell Day leader. The effort was a bust. Day used too many poorly planned publicity stunts, messed up a few key press conferences during the election and thenvulnerableunerable to attack for his views on abortion and homosexuality. Here again, the Canadian public rejected the party's real or perceived extremism at the polls.

The party then struck a deal after much wrangling with the Progressive Party of Canada. The Tory's had a long history of tolerance and being socially progressive. The Alliance was seen as socially conservative. This marriage did not go without many setbacks. conservativeervative Party elected Stephen Harper as leader. Twoprogressiveressives in Belinda Stronach and Peter MacKay came in second and third.

Scott Brison, an out gay Progressive Conservative left the new party and joined the Liberal's. Joe Clark, former Progressive Conservative Prime Minister and leader campaigned for Brison now a Liberal during the electionprominentrominant PC's left as well.

The 2004 federal election was not the break through the Conservatives or Canadians expected. They finished second in a race they may have won were it not for some major stumbles. More commentsmarriagemarraige opened the door for the the Liberals to leap onto voters concerns about the Conservatives social agenda.

A bright spot for the Conservatives was the election in Greater Toronto of Belinda Stronach as a Member of Parliament. It was seen as proof the party was not intolerant. The Liberals Sponsorship Scandal took on new life and saw the Governing party fall in the polls, the Conservatives were riding high with numbers they had never dreamed of in Ontario. At the same time the Conservatives continued their assault on the same-sex marriage bill.

After the election at the first policy convention for the new Conservative party they reconfirmed voters fears of the social agenda. The Christian Right was evident everywhere. The Defend Marriage Coalition parked their luxurious motor-home office in the parkade. A national pro-life organization was out in force among the delegates. They had elected many delegates in hopes they could get the party to pass anti-gay marriage and anti-abortion policy.

The leadership of Defend marriage were filmed by the CBC during a convention strategy session. They all speculated on the mresolutionslution's final numbers, most saying 80% would be a good number. Then they turned to discussing the leverage they had over some Conservative MPs that would be voting for same-sex marriage in Parliament. One of them stated they had video tape of one of the MPs. What the video tape was we do not know. The indication inferred is that the tape put the membcompromisingrimising position.

Did the tape show the member in a sexual situation, was he doing something illegal or morally repugnant? One suspects these people would ignore the tape evidence they had in order to force the MP to vote against same-sex marriage. This is an example to the lengths the Christian Right will go to move its agenda. It begs the question, do we want these people leading our country.

Note: For the record, the vote on the anti-gay marriage motion was 77% and the vote to support access to abortion narrowly won with 54%.

The Conservative party was on a roll with the Liberals getting beat up day after day over scandal after scandal. Then Belinda Stronach left the Conservatives, dealing a serious blow to the party's credibility among social moderates in vote rich Ontario and Urban Canada.

The Conservatives then had their own scandal of their own making. Out came Conservative MP Grewal with allegations he was being offered a cabinet post and his wife would become a senator if they crossed the floor. Controversy dogged the MP as he alluded to secretly taped conversations. It turns out the evidence is not there and may be the conservatives doctored the tapes. Conservatives lose again, the large Conservative lead in the polls was gone.

This was all followed with news the Christian Right was targeting conservative nominations across the country. They had encouraged people to join the Conservative party and supporanointednnointed by the Christian Right leadership. The news here is that they have been successful. You can expect more to come.

Canada is seeing the birth of a very sophisticated Christian Right political movement. They are focused on the Conservative party modeled after the success in the United States with the Republican party.

They are being financed in part by Focus in the Family and groups like the Knights of Columbus. The Crusade has moved to Canada. We better be prepared.

For more on the Holy War see The Intelligence Project - monitors hate groups and extremist activities throughout the U.S. and publishes the Center's award-winning Intelligence Report.

See also: Christian Activism in Canadian Politics at Political Cycles

For more information on social conservatives, Stephen Harper, gay, same-sex or equal marriage, James Dobson, gay evangelicalgelicals, Focus on the Family, Bishop Henry, The Pope, use the technorati search box in the side bar here and at Queer Thoughts.

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Saturday, June 25, 2005

Belinda Idolized in Song

Classic Rock 101 FM in Vancouver have put this tune "The Saga of Belinda Stronach" together. It is a bit old now, as so much has happened, I almost forgot Belinda crossed the floor.

The very clever folks at Have You Had Enough Yet? pointed us to the song!

Manifest Destiny can mean torture

Manifest Destiny includes contracting with companies that can torture folks. Not only that, the company trades on the New York stock exchange.

One of my favourite blogs, The Gazetteer tells us of the United States contracting of an American company that trades in torture or perhaps in the lingo of the American Forces that coined Collateral Damage, interrogation services.
"Multiple investigations into CACI* employees' practice at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq had slowed the company a little last year, but had no material impact looking ahead." ~ said Jack London, CACI chief executive officer

*CACI - CACI International Inc.

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Alberta's Dirty little secret spills into BC

For years now Alberta has been slashing government services, reducing benefits to those in real need and cutting taxes for the well-to-do. Under the cover of oil revenues Alberta saw real gold in gambling and as we know today Albertans gamble more than other Canadians.

The Alberta government has systematically advanced the expansion of gaming to the point it is about 5.5% of government revenues. Now just for a minute consider what that kind of revenue would have meant to the last NDP government in BC. The BC budgets from 1993 to 1999 generally came within 1% or less of being balanced or in deficit. (2000 and 2001 saw large budget surpluses totalling over 2 billion dollars, another well kept secret in BC)

During the 1990s the revenues from gaming in BC contributed approximately 1.5% to 2% to the budget. Had the BC gaming been more advanced as it was in Alberta, the BC Government would have balanced the budget every year.

Today, the BC Liberal government has taken over the expansion the NDP brought to gaming and put it on steroids. Gaming provides 3.6% of budget revenue. To do this BC has expanded the number of casinos (19 - the most in the country), more and more slot machines, high tech bingo halls where you can play almost any form of gaming to betting on horse and sports event half way across the world.

Bingo is long gone from the Church basement. Today it is big business. You can now play Keno in grocery stores, some coffee shops and in bars. Pull tabs are bigger and designed to be more captivating. Most bars have these money grabbing vending machines.

How long will it be before BC starts replacing the pull tabs with Video Lottery terminals or slots? Not long I suspect. The BC Liberals were more than Holy enough when they ran for office in 2001. Promises to stop, cease, curtail gaming expansion went out the window when they looked at the potential revenue.

One significant difference between the Liberal governments growing budget revenues in BC today over the NDP government is the good fortune to come to power as BCs Gaming was maturing, starting to deliver results in big money to the province.

The BC Liberals can thank former Premier Glen Clark, who saw the potential and advanced BC into the modern age of gaming. It is ironic really that Clark is responsible in part for the Liberals balancing their budgets today. No wonder Jimmy Pattison took time out in 1986 to comment on the business savvy of a bright new MLA from Vancouver. Today Clark works for Pattison and it appears he is living up to those expectations delivered almost 20 years ago.

Now of course one can always go online in BC to gamble, the only province in Canada doing this. BC has caught up to Alberta. It will be only a few years and BC will rocket passed Alberta in legalized pick pocketing.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Fun over at Progressive bloggers

I was having some fun over at Progressive bloggers ...

I took a few blog headers and put together the story of last nights events in Parliament and the passing of Bill C-48...

The Blog headers told the story

Need a Translation of Toryspeak because "Did Harper just call his party a 'bunch of crooks'?". We all know The vote was Harper's loss. See the rest here.

A Blogging Good Day for Lefties!

What a day, I cannot wipe the smile off my face today. Two of the three major issues in the country for the last three months have been the NDP Budget amendment, the Civil Marriage Act and the Supreme Court decision on Healthcare.

Harper can now go on the BBQ circuit with hopes high that support and humiliation cannot get any lower. His ego may have got in the way of some rational thought about why he is in Ottawa. Perhaps some Anger Management would be a good place to start for our not so progressive Conservatives this summer.

"The Conservatives, to their great misfortune, are doing a fine job of impersonating petulant children. They insist on getting their way, and when they fail to get it, they throw tantrums, and talk about corruption, crooks, liars, and Hannibal Lecter. And just like spoiled children, they then wonder why they aren't winning any sympathy." ~ Amazing Wonderdog (saving Timmy but can't save Stevie)

The big winner among the political parties last night was the NDP...

"I've also got to give kudos to Jack Layton. He went to Ottawa as a used car salesman but has, instead, become the most successful NDP leader of all time. I really don't care how many seats he has won. I don't even care if he loses his seat next time. The fact of the matter is that he is the first NDP leader to actually implement part of his agenda at the federal level. This is probably the only time that the NDP gotten anything of their agenda without the Liberals stealing it for themselves." ~ Progressive Blogger, Jason Cherniak from Halifax

One more on Harper. All of this anger, frustration can lead someone to drink. Seeing as you are from Alberta there is also a better than even chance you like to gamble. In fact we have watched you throw the dice a good number of times this passed couple of months, each time you lost, each time you may have been tempted to turn to the bottle. I expect there should be a few Liver problems for the Conservative bunch soon. Careful on the gambling stuff dude!

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Layton and historic NDP budget vote

Last night for the first time as far as I know, a federal budget was amended by an opposition party. Jack Layton and the NDP were determined to make Parliament work and they achieved a historic moment last evening.

The budget amendment, Bill C-48 passed after the Liberals caught the Conservatives by surprise. The Harper gang did not have enough votes to stop the bill from being passed.

Layton and historic NDP budget vote

The budget amendment included new money for Cities, the environment, affordable housing and an increase in Foreign Aid. The budget amendment was supported heavily by Canada's cities and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. In a strange twist, local city councils dominated by Conservatives, like Kelowna, passed motions supporting the amendment.

The Parliament has been dominated by the Gomery Inquiry, the sponsorship debacle, Belinda Stronach crossing to the Liberals and the incredible Grewal taping fiasco. The Liberals and Conservatives spent more time addressing scandal and trying to out maneuver the other guy.

Harper's Tories worked back and forth with the BLOC to defeat the Liberals and last night Harper and Deputy Leader Peter MacKay slammed the Liberals for working with the BLOC to get a vote on the budget amendment. It was a very poor line of attack to choose. The Liberals have also chastised the Tories for making deals with the seperatists. It is no wonder Canadians are fed up with politics.

Canadians have said for months they did not want an election, they want the political parties to make Parliament work. It would appear one leader and one party have done that. While the insults are flying back and forth, the NDP and Jack Layton have remained focused, on getting down to business.

It would appear now Parliament can finally get on with a vote to pass the Civil Marriage Bill, C-38. Again, this debate is over two years old, over 500 presentations have been made to parliamentary committees on the issue. Every Court in the land that has heard the argument for equal-marriage and has decreed it a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to deny gays and lesbians the right to marry.

Polls continue to show a slim majority of Canadians support the right for gays and lesbians to get married. 76% of Canadians in a poll conducted this spring said get on with the vote including 70% of Conservative supporters. You can expect the debate over the next couple of weeks will end with Bill C-38 passing.

Perhaps now with Parliament not under a threat of being dissolved for another eight months, we can demand Parliamentarians address Health care in light of the recent Supreme Court decision.

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Thursday, June 23, 2005

Help send Stompin' Tom to the Live 8 Show

Stompin' Tom by Jonny Olsen

DJ Jeff Brown at Rock station CHEZ 106.1 in Ottawa plays Stompin' Tom Conners for three hours non-stop. His mission to get our Tom at the Live 8 show to be held in Barrie Ontario. Seems right to me. The station suspends Brown then they put this petition on their website. Why would they do that and then suspend the D.J. A stunt perhaps. I don't really care on this one though, go ahead folks, sign the petition...

You can go direct and sign this petition... over 6000 so far

To: Bob Geldof,

We, the undersigned, led by Jeff Brown of Classic Rock CHEZ 106 (, want Stompin' Tom Conners added to the Live 8 concert lineup at Molson Park in Barrie on Saturday July 2, 2005.

The Undersigned

The concert is to raise awareness. Ordinary people can grasp the chance to achieve something truly monumental and demand from the 8 world leaders at G8 an end to poverty.

Men together create Nightmares for Tories

Same Sex Marriage will destroy the country. Or that is what some Conservative Members of Parliament would have us believe. For the last few months we have heard Conservatives say there are more important issues out there than same-sex marriage. Their actions tell us another story.

Have the Conservatives put up an alternative budget? Have they told us what should done about healthcare? What about national security, foreign aid? They spout off now and again, yet no alternative is ever offered or suggested. About the only thing one can get a firm hard opinion on is same-sex marriage.

The Harper led Tories have managed to allow Martin and the federal Liberals to go about their business while the visions of two men kissing prance around in heads of sleeping conservative Tories. Nightmares inducing even more questions like "geesh they do that in bed, why'd you have to go and tell me?

Now it appears affordable housing, environment and foreign aid are at risk of losing a substantial amount of funding due to Tory Nightmares.

Of course there would be more substantive reasons for Harper to make defeating the budget a priority if the same-sex bill is passed. Things like, We never allowed this before; God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve; Who will wear the dress; George Bush will laugh at us; Its just not right (cover your eyes); my marriage will be worthless if they get to marry (kinda like you are not a big kid yet so sit in the backseat); gays can already marry, just as long as it is someone of the opposite sex.

Come to think of it, its the vision of gay men having sex that is behind all the conservative and christian activists bitter fight over an issue that is supposedly not that important. The Church likes to control sex more than any other thing. They lay out all these codes. All the rules that actually prevent people from ever thinking that sex might be fun. After all sex has only one role in our life, to procreate. That means women must bear children and lots of them as her hubby wants to procreate lots.

Of course like all rules there are exceptions, like older people that can't have children can marry, young people don't need to have kids, people unable to procreate can marry.

So same-sex marriage which isn't all that important to Conservatives will be the reason many people will be without affordable housing for years to come. So much for family values.

for more on equal, same sex and or gay marriage, Stephen Harper, Conservatives, Bishop Henry, Christian Activists, use the Technorati search box in the side bar here and at Queer Thoughts

Cycling coalition not happy with Bridge

Don Knox of the Kelowna Cycling Coalition says that the bridge will not have bicycle lanes on each side and that will create a danger for riders. This morning Knozx told CBC that the planning committee for the new bridge had recommended elevated lanes be added, one on each side to accommodate and provide adequate safety for riders.

In a letter Knox received from now Minister Falcon (November 2004) he was told the second lane would not be included due to cost. Knox is rightfully upset with the BC Government's decision. The bridge is planned to be operational for the next 50 years. Growing bicycle traffic will be discouraged from using the bride, those that do will face additional safety risks crossing five lanes of traffic.

The bridge itself is expected to cost over 120 million dollars. Why can't they find money for a second lane.

One wonders if the Liberals have just forgotten to consult with all users or deemed some less worthy of input.

Cycling coalition

The Cycling coalition represents the interests of local cyclists and works to secure recognition in policy and programs affecting cycling.

All area cyclists are invited to join the Cycling Coalition which meets the first Thursday of every month at 4:00 p.m. at City Hall (Room #3). For more information about the Cycling Coalition please contact the Regional TDM Technician. The Regional TDM Technician attends all Cycling Coalition meetings and acts as a liaison between the Cycling Coalition and the City/Region.

Goals and Objectives:

To promote the use of the bicycle and ensure its recognition in legislation and policy
To integrate cycling into the transportation network and secure public investments in on-road and off-road infrastructure proportionate to its potential
To instigate a provincial role in promoting cycling consistent with its health, recreation, economic and environmental benefits
To raise the profile of cycling with government and improve its image and status with the public
To pursue cycling safety through education and example
To promote co-operation, safety and respect among all road users
To encourage more people to ride bicycles more often.

Okanagan Lake Bridge annoucement

Update June 24, 2005: Well no announcement on the bridge. I wonder why? Was Castanet wrong about more than just the date of the announcement. I met some folks that work in the construction field today and they said they were sure it was the local compaines that got the contract. I guess we wait some more. They will build the bridge right?

Treasury Board will announce the SNC-Lavalin Group has been awarded the contract to build the new bridge across Okanagan Lake. According to Ted at Kelowna Politics, SNC-Lavalin beat out the Flatiron Constructors group of fifteen players.

The bridge has been delayed some four years already. For some humour check out BC Liberals Sindi Hawkins and The Thorpedo (Rick Thorpe) at a press conference held just before the last election.

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

Castanet, An Okanagan News Service said yesterday ...
"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."

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Kelowna Today

Okanagan Lake

Alberta, who is Mr. Gano?

Public Eye is back online these days and he has some reasonable questions for one Mr. Gano the new comptroller of the BC Legislature. Mr. Gano feels he doesn't have to answer any questions. He wouldn't even tell public eye who he used to work for. Seems Mr. Gano will fit in well with the Campbell Liberal government...
"In an interview with Public Eye, Mr. Gano said, he'd "prefer not" to talk about his background. Asked when he was hired, the comptroller replied "I'm not going to comment on such things." And how long does he plan on sticking around for? "Nope, we're not going to have this conversation," stated Mr. Gano - who is already differentiating himself from his media-accessible predecessor. He wouldn't even tell us who hired him." ~ Publiceye Online, June 22, 2005

If any of you folks in Alberta know anything about Mr. Gano send PublicEye Online some info. Mr. Gano can't get away with this. According to PublicEye Online Gano did work for the Alberta legislature as the director of administrative and information services.

Stevenson gains support from Community

Stevenson's petition to the BC Supreme Court is supported by Jim Deva, board member on the Davie Street Business Improvement Association, Blair Petrie, founder of the Mole Hill Housing Society, and Elaine Peacock, member of the board at the 411 Seniors' Centre.

"I support this court action. It is simply not acceptable to carry on when the democratic will of the people in this riding is left unknown because of the errors of Elections BC," said Deva. "It is only reasonable that a legitimate election now be held."

Note: Jim Deva is one of the owners of Little Sisters Bookstore on Davie Street in Vancouver, Blair Petrie has been one of the leading advocates for affordable housing and saving Mole Hill. Elaine is a long time community leader.

Mayencourt "It was the Voters fault"

I could not believe what Lorne Mayencourt had to say today in response to Tim Stevenson challenging the Vancouver-Burrard election results in court. Even Mayencourt who has a knack, dare I say he likely has a patent on saying the wrong thing has stooped to new lows. Likely only Jason Kenny, federal tory MP from Calgary can match Lorne for both arrogance and lack of respect for others.

Mayencourt was asked if the 71 ballots not counted should have been. I expected him to say it was terrible these people lost their vote, not much we can do about it. He did not even come close to that. Mayencourt went onto blame the voters themselves.

Mayencourt said They (the voters) should have voted in the proper polling place, they should have made sure everything was done right, they had the ultimate responsibility.

Lorne Mayencourt, Elections BC people are there to ensure everyone that is eligible to vote can vote. One expects that after the Elections BC polling clerk accepts your ballot that it will be processed properly. Lorne went onto say his team had nothing to do with this, that is not the point. We know his team did not interfere with Elections BC.

We do know that in one polling station, St. John's United Church, 60 ballots were taken, and processed as complete by Elections BC staff. Those staff in accepting the ballot from the voter said to the voter they had successfully voted.

What is significant that the votes were from the St. John's United Church polling place? It is in the heart of the community that overwhelmingly voted for Stevenson over Mayencourt. One or more Elections BC staff people at this polling station made a serious mistake, not once, not twice, not a dozen mistakes but 5 times that many.

I worked the election for the NDP in Kelowna Mission this time out. I know first hand the number of mistakes that were made by the local Elections BC people. They could not even find the paper to swear in a scrutineer, they had problems counting ballots and knowing some of the basic stuff. They screwed up. If the election was closer these actions could have affected the outcome.

Elections BC clearly admits they made a mistake. 71 people in Vancouver-Burrard did get out to vote. They did cast a ballot. They have had that taken away from them because Elections BC did not protect their right to vote. You go get them Tim, another election in Vancouver-Burrard is the only way to address this issue. In the mean time Lorne, blaming the voter this time, is no better a response than lashing out at the gay community which you did when you learned you were behind in the count.

Globe and Mail: NDP candidate wants B.C. election rerun
Winnipeg Sun: B.C. candidate disputes election
CKNW: Stevenson wants courts to call a new election

For more on Vancouver-Burrard, Tim Stevenson, Lorne Mayencourt use the technorati search box in the side bar here and at Queer Thoughts

Election Drags out in Vancouver

The battle for Vancouver-Burrard is not over. Tim Stevenson, the NDP candidate is about to announce if he will be taking the election results to the Supreme Court to overturn the results.

Approximatly 60 ballots from one poll were not counted due to an error by Elections BC. Those ballots came from a poll deep in the centre of the riding, just wher Tim Stevenson was strongest. I suggest Lorne not get too comfortable in his seat!

It ain't over yet.

For more on Vancouver-Burrard, Tim Stevenson, Lorne Mayencourt use the technorati search box in the side bar here and at Queer Thoughts

UPDATE: Stevenson has launched an appeal.

Stevenson launched a legal challenge of his provincial election loss. The margin of victory was 11 votes to Lorne Mayencourt after the judicial recount. Stevenson wants that result overturned by the B.C. Supreme Court and a new vote be held in the riding.

more at

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Layton on top in BC

The latest Ipsos-Reid poll of BC indicates Stephen Harper has fallen greatly and Jack Layton has gained significantly in approval rating.
Stephen Harper (38%) trails Jack Layton (63%) and Paul Martin (53%) in Job Approval. Stephen Harper's approval rating as federal Leader of the opposition is plummeting in British Columbia. His current approval rating of 38% is down 14-points from March (52%). Only 6% of BC voters "strongly approve" of Harper's performance, while three-in-ten (31%) "moderately approve". The majority of BC residents disapprove (57%, up 15 points) of Harper's performance, including one-third (32%) who "strongly disapprove" and one-quarter (25%) who "moderately disapprove". ~ Ipsos-Reid poll, June 21, 2005

The NDP stand poised to taking the middle of the road voter in BC if Layton can turn his personal approval into seats. The Conservatives are going to lose seats in BC, likely in urban centres and the Kootenays. The test for Layton and company will come soon. Can they transfer the good will they currently have with voters into seats or will Martin be able to con voters again with his scare tactics.

The time has come for Layton to start fighting the next election to be the party with the most seats. Go get them Jack!

Get on with it Prime Minister!

The Liberals have a new found commitment to pass the same-sex marriage bill. Who can trust these guys? I expect they will get it done, its just amazing how much they change their minds.

The NDP and the Bloc have been solid in their support for the bill. The Martin government has been playing games and appear only to be ready now to get the marriage bill passed due to the pressure they have received in the media.

Frankly I am getting more than ticked off by their playing around on this issue. Can you believe Paul Martin? Do any of us out here really think he cares about gay rights? He has made it the difference between himself and Stephen Harper. Then get on with it Mr. Prime Minister.

I harken back to the Prime Minister's speech on the legislation. He referred to religious freedom more often that he did about the equality the legislation was meant to address.

Davies said there's no way the Liberals can back out of their commitment to passing same-sex marriage now.

"If Mr. Valeri goes back on his word, not only would he have us and the Bloc furious at him, I think he would have a huge credibility problem," Libby Davies ~ CNEWS Canada

For more information on Equal, same-sex, gay and or civil marriage, Stephen Harper, Paul Martin, Social Conservatives, Christian Activists, James Dobson, Bishop Henry use the Technorati search box in the side bar here and at Queer Thoughts.

BC NDP Announce Critic Roles

BC Official Opposition Critic Appointments

Opposition Caucus Chair -- Jenny Kwan, MLA Vancouver-Mount Pleasant

Opposition House Leader -- Mike Farnworth, MLA Port Coquitlam-Burke Mountain

Opposition Caucus Whip -- Katrine Conroy, MLA West Kootenay-Boundary

Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation -- Scott Fraser, MLA Alberni-Qualicum

Advanced Education -- Gregor Robertson, MLA Vancouver-Fairview

Agriculture and Lands -- Bruce Ralston, MLA Surrey-Whalley

Attorney General -- Leonard Krog, MLA Nanaimo

Children and Family Development -- Adrian Dix, MLA Vancouver-Kingsway

Childcare -- Diane Thorne, MLA Coquitlam-Mallairdville

Citizen Services -- Harry Lali, MLA Yale-Lillooet

Community Services -- Sue Hammell, MLA Surrey-Green Timbers

Crown Corporations -- Guy Gentner, MLA Delta North

Economic Development -- Mike Farnworth, MLA Port Coquitlam-Burke Mountain

Education -- John Horgan, MLA Malahat-Juan de Fuca

Employment and Income Assistance -- Claire Trevena, MLA North Island

Energy and Mines -- Corky Evans, MLA Nelson-Creston

Environment -- Shane Simpson, MLA Vancouver-Hastings

Ferries and Ports -- Gary Coons, MLA North Coast

Finance -- Jenny Kwan, MLA Vancouver-Mount Pleasant

Fisheries -- Robin Austin, MLA Skeena

Forests and Range -- Bob Simpson, MLA Cariboo North

Health -- David Cubberley, MLA Saanich South

Housing -- Doug Routley, MLA Cowichan-Ladysmith

Human Rights, Multiculturalism and Immigration, Raj Chouhan, MLA Burnaby-Edmonds

Intergovernmental Relations -- Michael Sather, MLA Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows

Labour -- Chuck Puchmayr, MLA New Westminster

Mental Health -- Charlie Wyse, MLA Cariboo South

Municipal Affairs -- Norm Macdonald, MLA Columbia River-Revelstoke

Olympics -- Harry Bains, MLA Surrey-Newton

Public Accounts Committee Chair (Designate) -- Rob Fleming, MLA Victoria-Hillside

Public Safety and Solicitor General -- Jagrup Brar, MLA Surrey-Panorama Ridge

Seniors Health -- Katrine Conroy, MLA West Kootenay-Boundary

Small Business, Revenue and Deregulation -- Maurine Karagianis, MLA Esquimalt-Metchosin

Tourism, Sports and the Arts -- Nicholas Simons, MLA Powell River-Sunshine Coast

Transportation -- David Chudnovsky, MLA Vancouver-Kensington