Some things just need to be said...

Monday, August 31, 2009

Fudget Budget Liberal style

How to make a budget look good for a few months....

Forest fires seem to be getting worse in BC. In fact this has been known for many years. Climate change brings warmer temperatures and less rain/snow, increasing urban sprawl into forested areas and more importantly a larger degree of uncertainty. Look at the budget in BC and you will be surprised to see the Liberals were hoping this year would see climate change reverse itself.

The budget projected that fighting forest fires in BC would amount to about 52 million. That is 10 million less than the year before. As we all know, that is likely going to be less than ten percent of the money actually spent in this budget year.

see performance plan (page 12) for the Forest Service...

The following strategies are intended to address key Ministry priorities over the next three years:
1. Anticipate and manage impacts on forest and range resources from pests and fire.
2. Manage and mitigate the resource impacts from the mountain pine beetle epidemic.
3. Utilise cross agency collaboration and alignment on First Nations relationships, land use, and research and resource management.
4. Adapt British Columbia’s forest and range management practices

Some folks have been suggesting that the high priced help we have hired, ie all those civil servants at the top making two or three hundred thousand and some make much more than that, should have seen this was a mistake to allot only 52 million to fire fighting. My guess is that they did raise this with those making up the budget. The budget as it was, was going to come in at almost 500 million in the hole. If they allotted a reasonable number to fighting forest fires, like say 300 million, then where would they be with the deficit? It would be much closer to a billion dollars, not the more palatable number of 5 million short of a half billion.

The whole Liberal mantra is based on their perceived ability to manage our money. They had to mislead us in order to assure us they could and do better than the free spending reckless New Democrats.

Just for the record, The Liberals in BC have now had the three largest deficits in BC history and are headed to gain the top five places before they are done.

On a final note, as a former employee of the BC Forest Service and a fire fighter I do know how good they are at fighting fires. Initial attack and early detection have been areas BC has excelled at. This post in no way should be read as slagging the workers in the Ministry, who by in large are very dedicated to protecting and managing our Forest and Range resources.

see more here on the overall budget fiasco

Burger King Education

The Liberals are at it again. I recall when I was working for the BC NDP government, our efforts to "modernize BC Education" and to cut costs. We moved from 75 school districts to 60. That was likely as low as you can go and still have some democracy and local control over education.

The current musing of the Minister of Education Margaret MacDiarmid reek of a seek and destroy mission. The Liberals seem adverse to democracy at any level and have been working to implement a business model of operations on the Province. Witness Health Care. The Liberals eliminated local elections, local appointees. They have CEO's that run the regions like fiefdoms of days gone by or as one would run a Burger King franchise.

Amalgamating school districts will see elections of local trustees impossible, see decisions made behind closed doors and no remedy in case of local conflict.

Now that's not all the good Minister has been up too. She has slashed, that's not quite right, she has eliminated priority maintenance, safety and energy and cost saving expenditures on infrastructure. The last time this happened was in 1991 when the then unSocial disCreditED government totally abandoned school infrastructure spending. They of course when down in flames in the fall election.

This time in BC, an election is not looming soon. It is over three years away. What to do in the interim?

Perhaps the HST will save our schools? If you believe that, the tooth fairy is also on the way!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Liberals just hate email

Just how long have Liberal insiders been trying to hide information from the public. It goes back to 2003 when then Deputy Minister to Premier Gordon Campbell said that he deleted emails so the media fishing expeditions would not produce anything.

In 2005 Sean Holman at PublicEye found this spicy email sent to Vancouver Island Health Authority communications folks. Seems they are concerned with the BC Opposition's use of Freedom of Information to request potentially embarrassing or incriminating emails. Oddly enough the email asking people not to put sensitive material in an email was leaked! I guess the Liberals were right to be worried...
"...Even before the election, the volume of FOI requests at the Ministry from the opposition were increasing - and they were sometimes asking for materials from specific individuals (ie communications staff). This trend will likely continue now. The reminder is for us to use the phone a lot more than we have been. And no briefing notes on locally changed climates, please...If you don't want it on the front page of the TC, don't put it in E mail... ~ Suzanne Germain, Media & Issues Advisor Vancouver Island Health Authority (email leaked to
This from the political party that promised to be the most open and accountable government in Canada. Since then we have learned of the extent they will go in order to prevent being open and accountable.

Recently we learned that the Campbell government was ordered by BC Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Bennett to turn over email which likely related to the scandal plagued BC Rail sale to CN Rail. The emails of Premier Gordon Campbell, most cabinet ministers and political staff are likely relevant to the defence in the Basi-Virk case and she ordered they be disclosed to the defence.

That has turned out to be a silly order by Madame Justice Bennett. See the emails are missing. Thats what we heard in July of this year. Then in Court in August, Madame Justice Bennett was told that they had found emails from 2004. The ones missing are from 2002 and 2003.

They were written over by mistake. It seems they had the emails a little while ago but have since lost them when a staff person inadvertently deleted them all during the election.

I'm sure it was a little mistake, not meaning any harm, heck anyone could do it, right Mr. Dobbell?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

You don't think the Campbell Libcons were lying do you?

The BC Liberals were caught flat footed after the election. Seems the first Campbell and Hanson knew things were going from very bad to down right disastrous was after the election, during which they said the budget deficit would not be more than the budget forecast of almost 500 million dollars.

Perhaps the Libcons should have read the paper, check out these headlines at Northern Insights, that any 'on the ball' government would have seen as a warning.

Now look, the deficit is headed south toward 3 billion!

You don't think the Campbell Libcons were lying do you?

Harper is dangerous even as Minority Government

This was cross posted at QueerThoughts...

There are many examples to choose from. Most think that having a minority government means that there is a counter weight called the opposition to keep a government in line. That has not been what has happened during the successive Harper minority governments.

Here are just a few short examples of how decisions can be made by any government including a minority one when you have a fractured opposition.

The House of Commons voted in the majority to support and NDP motion to allow US Armed Forces deserters sanctuary in Canada. The Harper government has simply ignored the motion passed by Parliament and forced the extradition of American deserters back to the USA.

Omar Ahmed Khadr remains prisoner in Gitmo, the only person from a western country (Canada) to remain in US custody. This despite a Supreme Court ruling telling the Harper Government to make efforts to re-patriot Khadr.

Several Canadians remain in US prisons after being convicted of crimes in that country. In most instances for the last 20 years the Canadian government has allowed them to serve their sentence in a Canadian prison, closer to family and community. Harper and his government has refused, even after the Americans have approved such transfers.

In the same vein, Canada has long held a position of being opposed to the death penalty. The death penalty was removed long ago in Canada, yet the Harper government has chosen not to intervene in the cases of several Canadians facing the death penalty in the US.

Funding for so called "progressive" health issues has been cut and or spent and the resulting work held up on the PM's desk. The federal government has refused to allow an HIV prevention campaign to be launched since 2007 because it is not the kind of campaign they would a approve of. They didn't say anything to the group developing the campaign, they kept the finished product from being used after spending 10's of thousands of dollars developing it.

If that is not enough, then lets look at water on First Nations in Canada. Its abysmal. At any one time there are 80 to 180 boil water advisories in First Nation communities in Canada. If that were happening in 'white' dominated communities all hell would break loose. When several deaths occurred in Walkerton Ontario due to e-coli in the water, the whole system of ensuring safe drinking water was overhauled as it should have been.

Next we have the H1N1 virus, known to most as the swine flu. This has been particularily harsh in First Nation communities due to overcrowded living conditions, unsafe drinking water and a lack of adequate health care.

Lastly though not all, we have the Children of Attawapiskat. They have been denied a new school after their old school was declared unfit.

Okay, can there be any other reason that the Harper government has done nothing for the Children of Attawapiskat than overt discrimination.

This is one of the old fights in this country. First Nations students are required to attend school just like all other children in Canada. Canadian children in general get very good education. Education is always considered a priority for provincial and federal governments.

Delivery of quality education is a priority for everyone except First Nation Students in Canada. At least that is the message being delivered by the Federal Minister of Indian Affairs, Chuck Strahl. In fact several Ministers in the last few years have promised a new school. Not one of those Ministers have delivered on a school to date.

Yet in 2007, then Minister of Indian Affairs, Jim Prentice announced the funding was there for the school. In December of 2007 in walks Chuck Strahl. He cancels the funding. The Harper Government says it will cost too much due to the rising cost of construction.

The government resorted to have civil servants respond to the issue. Listen to this employee of the Ministry of Indian Affairs try to defuse the bomb loaded by his boss, Chuck Strahl.

That was incredible. This Civil Servant is either scared for his job or between a rock and a hard place and thus has chosen to cast himself as a complete idiot to keep his job. He is a hired gun and it appears the civil service has decided to simply acquiesce.

There is little excuse for doing nothing. Yet when an MP, Charlie Angus sees that a school is needed it is portrayed by one government member as grand standing and as a sign that that member is choosing 'Indians' over white kids. The attack is that simple. See here.

I ask you to imagine a Canada with a Steven Harper majority. Is that the kind of Canada you want? In fact is a Steven Harper minority worth propping up for any reason? Look what he has managed to do while in office. Does he reflect your values?

I suspect most of you reading this will agree with me. Harper has to go and go soon. Now if the LPC will just stop being so self interested, ie waiting for just the right polling, and get out there like the NDP and stand for something. Together either in a coalition or in propping up a new government, they can undo a lot of whats wrong in Steven Harper's Canada!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Don't want no HST

I can't get the audio for this, its on facebook, right here!

Don't want no HST

Don't want the HST

Don't want no HST.
Now look at that Gordo. Man, he really blew it.
He made us bitter from the HST.
This ain't working. Campbell can go screw it.
Money they're sucking from both you and me.
Now what's he smoking? HST is stupid.
Let me tell you, us guys ain't dumb.
People wave at Campbell with their middle finger.
Telling him he can stick it in his bum.
It's 12 per cent to fix a broken old oven.
They're taxing pizza deliveries.
You're paying more for your medication.
It doesn't sound like harmony.
"Let's tax them." (Campbell)
What did you just say?
"Let's tax them." (Campbell)
I should have learned to be a politician.
I need a drink of Gordo's rum.
Look at that Campbell?
He's still smiling for the cameras, man.
Has he gone mad, son?
Who's up there? What's that?
It's freakin' Colin Hansen.
He's Campbell's organ grinder and his chimpanzee.
Oh. that's just perfect.
And that's the way they do us,
Stuffing their pockets with the HST.
Don't want no.
Don't want no.
Don't want no HST.
Easy, easy money for nothing.
A bunch of dicks to me.
We're all hurting.

BC headed to 3 billion plus deficit!

BC headed to 3 billion plus deficit!

Originally published at Queerthoughts

Yeppers, you read that right. Colin Hansen, BC's Robber Minister went into an election knowing the Province's projected deficit of $495 million was way out to lunch, yet he repeatedly said that the number was good.

Seems the deficit number was good for one thing only, the re-election of Gordon Campbell and his team of con artists. We don't have all the numbers yet but it won't be long before we do. A new budget is coming down in a few weeks.

We know now that Hansen must have known the budget target was not going to be met because Welfare numbers were soaring. In fact welfare numbers were going so high, the public relations Bureau (read govt PR hacks) told Social Services it could not post welfare numbers until after the election. That's bad news on two fronts. First the province is paying out more money and second the province is not getting any tax revenue from the people it is paying welfare too.

Next we have The Robber Minister telling the media today that income tax revenue is down a billion and royalties and stumpage are down another billion give or take a couple 100 million. Add to that the 400 million spent on Forest fires and we easily have a 3 billion plus deficit.

Then there are the Olympic costs that we haven't seen yet. Surely they will come in way over budget. The Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre expansion has come in at double the original cost estimates. All I can say is that its a good thing these Liberals can mange money so well. Imagine what it would be like if they were worse at it than they tell us they are?

Now the fun stuff. It seems Robber Minister got a call from the big Robber Minister in Ottawa right after the election. The Ottawa Robber Minister had the BC Robber Minister over the barrel. See, Ottawa knew BC was in big financial doo-doo. So according to Gordon Campbell Ottawa said, "Hey BC, here is 1.5 billion buckaroos (that's what Harper calls dollars), bet you can use that right now." Harper was right of course and the deal was so easy, all BC had to do was sign onto a new tax.

You know most of the story after that. The HST is coming as a result of either a quick urgent decision that would not allow for public consultations and or the result of outright lying during the election. The BC Campbell Libcons in their effort to "Keep BC Strong" brought in a big new tax on the spur of the moment or they negotiated it for some time and felt voters didn't need to bother with it until after they voted.

BC, guess what?
You have been
oodwinked, Sucker-punched and Tattooed.

see also...


Raphael Alexander: The dog ate my reason for introducing the HST

One Way We Can Say 'No!' to the HST

Ontario sleeps, BC Boils

Biggest Tax Shift in BC History: Why Did Campbell Do It?

HST opponents launch campaign to stop the tax

Critic says Tourism BC's closure a matter of control

Campbell, giant among free spenders

Campbell, giant among free spenders

At least he is a free spender with your money...

"It's estimated that the Canada line is over 1 billion over budget, the convention centre was 500 million over budget, the Golden Ears Bridge was 300 million over budget, the Sea to Sky was over budget by 200 million $$$.... Would you call that a good job managing, how much would those revenues of helped the present state of the books?" - The Straight Goods, Powell River BC

That's one of the questions being put to the media to ask the Gordon Campbell Liberal government in Victoria. Why the heck are they getting a free ride as the good financial managers of our money.

BC Politics is always interesting, but often what is most interesting, is never reported. What is most important is rarely discussed.

So instead of taking on the Campbell government on HST and their lack of prudent financial management, the media is asking Carole James if she would scrape the HST if elected in four years. That's a helpful question. How about trying to make the guy who has the job accountable.

BC is headed for a deficit this year bigger than any the NDP ever had. The Liberals as this blogger here points out have posted the three largest deficits in BC history. They are suppose to be the money managers. Heck the over spending on the Canada line is four times the over estimate on fast ferries, The over spending on the convention centre is two times more than fast ferries, the over spending on Golden Ears bridge is 50 % more than fast ferries. In fact the Liberals have over spent by two billion dollars on projected costs and that doesn't include the Olympics.

Don't you feel better now that the recovering drunk driver is steering the ship while using ferries made in Poland or was that Germany instead of those whiny NDPer's. Don't cry too hard, the BC government spent almost a million dollars for four artists in Germany to design a big rain drop. Then they had it built in Alberta and transported it to BC, likely using Alberta truckers. (you can find this big drop, not in a bucket, but at the new way, way over-budget Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre.) Don't you think the BC government could have at least built the damn thing in BC.

It's not really a rain drop, its a tear drop.

Man its good to have our affairs conducted like a giant ponzi scheme.