Politics in BC

Some things just need to be said...

Monday, November 09, 2009

Fin Donnelly.

Meet the newest MP from BC, Fin Donnelly.

Donnelly and his NDP team wiped out the tories and the LIBS.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Need a Lawyer, Please hold in BC ONLY

BC is slashing legal aid services.

Here is the media release from the Legal Services Society. They stress they are at arm's length from the government, an independent society mandated to provide legal aid to British Columbians. Trouble is they are embarking on further cutbacks.

The Legal Services Society is closing regional offices, replacing them with a local lawyer who will act as an agent. If you can't reach the Lawyer, you can always call the legal aid helpline and supposedly you will be put in touch with a lawyer at a convenient time. Perhaps that convenient time will be just before you are to head into court, five minutes will be ample for them to counsel you to plead guilty and take a light sentence so you don't inconvenience your lawyer who is far too busy with other clients, five minutes at a time.

Not only are offices and staff (some 58 staff) being closed and laid off, but the legal aid LAWLine that provided Civil law advice is being shut down, just after the Ides of March, 2010.

This is happening just as another province is introducing a new service to support middle income citizens. Manitoba sees that the poor need legal aid and the rich can right cheques for lawyers. Those in between need help. BC on the other hand says, "Stupid, hide your money or get rich."

If it were so simple.

Diana Dilworth- Screw you, No questions allowed

Burquitlam Residents Association a group that has hosted all-candidates meetings for elections at all levels has been told to drop dead by Diana Dilworth, the Federal Conservative candidate for New Westminster—Coquitlam federal riding. It's the same game the Conservatives have been playing in the general elections. Avoid the scrutiny of the public where ever possible.

I just hope the folks that vote in the riding listen to what she is not saying. It's the same message that Stephen Harper is giving us today.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

HST Costs

What's the cost of the new HST on consumers? $2000 on a new home, $1600 on a $20,000 renovation, $10 on your monthly cable bill, $5 a month on your bare basics phone, $1.40 more on a $20 haircut, about 90 cents more on a $12 movie ticket.

Just about everything you buy will go up by 7% in BC and 8% in Ontario.

See this CBC video report from the National.

"Yet our province's Conservative MPs have run for the hills on the HST, saying it wasn't their idea. The local Liberal MP has become suddenly opposed after having supported the budget, and after Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff committed to keeping the HST if he wins the next election." - Denise Savoie op-ed inTimes Colonist
Harper will be bringing in legislation to allow the harmonization of the GST and PST sometime this fall or before March 2010. Liberal leader, Ignatieff has stated he would keep the tax change if he becomes Prime Minister. Layton, the federal NDP leader has stated he will vote against the new tax.

Check here for resources opposed to the new Tax.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

BC Rail - Are Two Cabinet Ministers on the wrong tracks?

Dave Basi and Bob Virk have been wearing the BC Rail chain for some five years now. They were Ministerial staff in the government in 2003 when BC Rail was being "sold" to what was supposed to be the highest bidder.

Its a thriller that one day could become a TV movie. Imagine hush hush backroom deals in smoky strip lounges, political interference matching Watergate, and the public hanging of two political aids only to discover they were acting with the consent of Cabinet Ministers and maybe even the Premier.

That could be the story when its all said and done. Gary Mason has more on how Pat Bell, the Minister of Forests and Blair Lekstrom, Minister of Petroleum Resources may have more to say about what happened and their dealings with rival CN bidder OmniTrax.

Mason's line is here and be sure to check out TheLedgeTrials, Laila Yuile, The Gazetteer and Bill Tieleman blogs for more on BC Rail.

Campbell ready to sell Liquor stores?

Here we go again. There is a crisis in BC and the Government is in deep doo doo. What an opportunity for a right wing government to sell off government assets and guess who is there to help them. The Vancouver Sun. Hey I'm not surprised. These folks are just not playing straight shooter on this issue.

BC has one of the most well run liquor distribution systems in the world. The profits go to the government to assist in paying for health-care, educations, building new roads, fixing old ones, replacing schools with newer ones etc.

Its a darn good bargain for the people of BC. Alberta went the other way a decade or more ago. They decided to sell off government liquor stores. It was good at first for price watching public as prices for everything fell. That lasted all of 15 minutes. Today Alberta is littered with little corner liquor shops, selling some things as a loss leader, but largely charging the same prices as BC or Saskatchewan.

The Alberta experiment has failed. It has only hurt the people that work in the liquor stores. These people use to make a decent wage, have a pension and security. Today they make minimum wage, no pension and no security. The profit in privatizing liquor stores went to people that could buy the license. The savings that were heralded from the roof tops for consumers never happened.

Today the profit from liquor sales goes to the owner of the store. Like always, the little guy loses. The little guy pays the price. Now look at what beer costs you.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

HST Fight back info

If you oppose the HST in BC here are the email addresses for all BC MLA's. Send them an email telling them you don't want this new tax and join the No BC HST site on facebook.

Where to get information on the HST Fight:
Fight HST
Bill Tieleman

Online petitions opposed to the HST in BC
Sign them all!

BC NDP online petition against the HST

Stop the HST

BC ANTI HST Petition

BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association petition

Prince George-based petition started by City Councilor Brian Skakun

MLA Email Address List
Abbotsford-Mission HAWES, Hon. Randy
Abbotsford South van DONGEN, John
Abbotsford West de JONG, Hon. Michael
Alberni-Pacific Rim FRASER, Scott
Boundary-Similkameen SLATER, John
Burnaby-Deer Lake CORRIGAN, Kathy
Burnaby-Edmonds CHOUHAN, Raj
Burnaby-Lougheed BLOY, Harry
Burnaby North LEE, Richard T.
Cariboo-Chilcotin BARNETT, Donna
Cariboo North SIMPSON, Bob
Chilliwack LES, John
Chilliwack-Hope PENNER, Hon. Barry
Columbia River-Revelstoke MACDONALD, Norm
Comox Valley McRAE, Don
Coquitlam-Burke Mountain HORNE, Douglas
Coquitlam-Maillardville THORNE, Diane
Cowichan Valley ROUTLEY, Bill
Delta North GENTNER, Guy
Delta South HUNTINGTON, Vicki
Esquimalt-Royal Roads KARAGIANIS, Maurine
Fort Langley-Aldergrove COLEMAN, Hon. Rich
Fraser-Nicola LALI, Harry
Juan de Fuca HORGAN, John
Kamloops-North Thompson LAKE, Dr. Terry
Kamloops-South Thompson KRUEGER, Hon. Kevin
Kelowna-Lake Country LETNICK, Norm
Kelowna-Mission THOMSON, Hon. Steve
Kootenay East BENNETT, Hon. Bill
Kootenay West CONROY, Katrine
Langley POLAK, Hon. Mary
Maple Ridge-Mission DALTON, Marc
Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows SATHER, Michael
Nanaimo KROG, Leonard
Nanaimo-North Cowichan ROUTLEY, Doug
Nechako Lakes RUSTAD, John
Nelson-Creston MUNGALL, Michelle
New Westminster BLACK, Dawn
North Coast COONS, Gary
North Island TREVENA, Claire
North Vancouver-Lonsdale YAMAMOTO, Hon. Naomi
North Vancouver-Seymour THORNTHWAITE, Jane
Oak Bay-Gordon Head CHONG, Hon. Ida
Parksville-Qualicum CANTELON, Ron
Peace River North PIMM, Pat
Peace River South LEKSTROM, Hon. Blair
Penticton BARISOFF, Hon. Bill
Port Coquitlam FARNWORTH, Mike
Port Moody-Coquitlam BLACK, Hon. Iain
Powell River-Sunshine Coast SIMONS, Nicholas
Prince George-Mackenzie BELL, Hon. Pat
Prince George-Valemount BOND, Hon. Shirley
Richmond Centre HOWARD, Rob
Richmond East REID, Linda
Richmond-Steveston YAP, Hon. John
Saanich North and the Islands COELL, Hon. Murray
Saanich South POPHAM, Lana
Shuswap ABBOTT, Hon. George
Skeena AUSTIN, Robin
Stikine DONALDSON, Doug
Surrey-Cloverdale FALCON, Hon. Kevin
Surrey-Fleetwood BRAR, Jagrup
Surrey-Green Timbers HAMMELL, Sue
Surrey-Newton BAINS, Harry
Surrey-Panorama CADIEUX, Stephanie
Surrey-Tynehead HAYER, Dave S.
Surrey-Whalley RALSTON, Bruce
Surrey-White Rock HOGG, Gordon
Vancouver-Fairview MacDIARMID, Hon. Dr. Margaret
Vancouver-False Creek McNEIL, Hon. Mary
Vancouver-Fraserview HEED, Hon. Kash
Vancouver-Hastings SIMPSON, Shane
Vancouver-Kensington ELMORE, Mable
Vancouver-Kingsway DIX, Adrian
Vancouver-Langara STILWELL, Hon. Dr. Moira
Vancouver-Mount Pleasant KWAN, Jenny
Vancouver-Point Grey CAMPBELL, Hon. Gordon
Vancouver-Quilchena HANSEN, Hon. Colin
Vancouver-West End HERBERT, Spencer
Vernon-Monashee FOSTER, Eric
Victoria-Beacon Hill JAMES, Carole
Victoria-Swan Lake FLEMING, Rob
West Vancouver-Capilano SULTAN, Ralph
West Vancouver-Sea to Sky McINTYRE, Joan
Westside-Kelowna STEWART, Hon. Ben

42% would recall Premier Campbell

A total of 42 percent said they would sign a petition recalling the Premier, including one-quarter of those who cast a vote for the BC Liberals in the last election. That's the news from a poll done exclusively within the boundaries of Premier Campbell's provincial constituency, Vancouver Point Grey.

The news is startling given the "tony" make up of the riding. People feel the Liberals and the Premier should have told them before the election they planned to implement the new 12% Harmonized Sales Tax (HST). In fact it would appear the Premier would be in the fight of his life if an election were held today. We know he would lose the province if there was a vote today, and its my bet he would go down big time in his own riding.

The poll was conducted for the BC Federation of Labour by Environics Research Group Ltd. See the full poll and questions asked here.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Assistance to Shelter Act

You have got to be kidding.

The BCCLA has uncovered plans to turn homeless shelters into jails and if they are right, BC just became a Police State.

Instead of building adequate shelters for the homeless, or better yet, building more affordable housing, providing a decent housing allowance, the BC government has come up with this hair brained idea. Under the guise of protecting the homeless from extreme weather, the government has come up with a means of getting the homeless off the streets during the Olympics.

A police officer and or a social worker will tell the homeless they must go to a shelter and if there is no room at the inn, they will provide you with a nice warm cell. That's right, they will hold you there until it is deemed safe outside for you to leave.

Lower mainland jails ought to be full for two weeks of the Olympics. No need to show the world our ugly underbelly now is there...

They're selectively picking things - Vander Zalm

BC Liberals desperate to turn the discussion from HST have decided its best to attack their opponents, not on the merits of their arguement against the HST but other things.

The Liberals put out a press release on Friday, Public Eye has it on their website, that goes on as to what a "bad" Premier Bill VanderZalm was.

As Vander Zalm told Public Eye, "I guess when you can't win the argument (that) the HST is the wrong-way to go, that it's a bad thing you begin attacking and marginalizing and discrediting. And that's what they're trying to do. And, obviously, they're selectively picking things."

Its a common tactic used by those in indefensible positions, try to turn the discussion to grounds you can win on, or discredit the messenger(s). The BC Liberals must have known how much opposition they would face with this decision. That is clearly why they did not announce this in the run up to the last election. Clearly they have decided to hunker down and ride this storm out, hoping to see the storm through.

So when you have nothing to use to protect yourself, you try to discredit those speaking against your position.

Look at this line, usually used to attack those reckless freespending socialists...

As Premier, Vander Zalm introduced or increased over a dozen taxes in nearly every budget that punished families and small businesses - including introducing the Property Transfer Tax and increasing the Small Business Tax to the highest level ever. - BC Liberal Press Release Friday, September 18, 2009 (from Public Eye)

I can't recall another time when Gordon Campbell or any of the current BC Liberals have ever attributed anyone other than the NDP with having raised taxes higher than you can reach! Carole James and the NDP better tuck that quote away for use later on.

Surely the signs of a worried Liberal government. If you live in the South Cariboo, election day squeaker, Donna Barnett says she will listen to constituents, however she supports the new HST. You might ask why she would be so fast off the mark.

I suspect it could have something to do with who benefits if the HST becomes law. The Forest and Mining sectors look to reap 140 million and 80 million respectively. Needless to say these industries support the HST and contributed a great deal to Barnett's election campaign in May of this year.

From Elections BC, Barnett's Donation list

$4,648.71 - West Fraser Timber, Imperial Metals - $1,500, Taseko Mines - $2,000. In fact Barnett received $41,758.71 from corporate donors.
Barnett's campaign donations list several key individual donations that come from those working for or are owners of forest companies. With that kind of investment in Donna Barnett, I dare say they will see a big return should Barnett support the HST in the Legislature.

BC HST should scare Campbell

The HST issue is dead in Ontario but something of a different story in BC. Read the link below for a good description of the lay of the land...

"I have two words for Gordon Campbell and Colin Hansen: Be afraid.

That’s right. You read that right.

Be very afraid men, because in my opinion, the prospect of the HST is the proverbial straw that broke the camels back, and as everyone knows… camels have loooong memories – as do the people of British Columbia.You have both earned the contempt of a good majority in this province, and among them are the very people who voted you in last fall -who, in my experience yesterday, are not afraid to loudly voice their disappointment. I personally spoke to hundreds of people prior to the rally and each one had the same things to say: NO HST and Enough of Gordon Campbell." - laila yuile's blog

Campbell's War on Sustainable Government

Part one

What the heck is going on in BC. Premier Gordon Campbell has pulled the wool over the eyes of the media and the public for eight plus years now.

Lets look at his record so far. He has run the largest three and by the time he is done, four deficits in BC history. He has accomplished this despite coming to office in 2001 with a one billion dollar surplus. Campbell talked about a structural deficit that lead to the huge deficit in 2002. What he did not mention was his move to slash taxes by very large numbers, to the extent that it crippled the government's ability to deliver on services to people, to maintain health-care and education funding.

This manufactured circumstance of lower revenues lead to the Campbell government claiming they had to reign in health care costs. He did this by gutting health care workers rights, reducing wages and benefits by 40 to 50 percent. It was one of the most aggressive attacks on workers benefits in Canadian history.

Cutting health care was not enough with shrinking revenues to balance the budget. Campbell had promised in the election not to raise tuition fees. He kept the promise for one year. The fees have risen every year since. BC went from having the second lowest tuition and post secondary fees in Canada to rivaling those in Alberta, Canada's highest cost education.

Further measures by the Campbell Government like cuts to the Corporate capital tax put another big hole on the revenue side of the ledger. This was a tax that applied to paid up capital in the province and was intended to address the companies that did big business in BC but had corporate head quarters else where. In the case of the banks, BC received nothing in income tax as they are all headquartered in Toronto. Ontario gained the income tax for banks on business done in all the other provinces, including BC.

Premier Dave Barrett was slaughtered in the 1975 election in part due to the Social Credit promise to eliminate the Capital tax. The tax survived and has been place at various levels since 1975, with governments of all stripes relying on it to support government services.
So Campbell managed in 2001 to lay the ground work of undermining the government's ability to fund health-care, education and other government services. This is the first step often employed by right wing governments in the USA and now Canada, to remove government's ability to support improvements to health-care and education.

If government can't support these issues then you pass it onto the individual. The liberals have systematically removed procedures from coverage on MSP. They have drastically reduced the financial support for seniors drug plans and for others.

MSP premiums are going up 6% this year. That's faster than US Health care cost increases! In future posts I will look at each of these items and add more with respect to taxation, or the lack of taxation and how the government agenda is one to privatize BC's public services like BC Hydro, BC Ferries, and the payoff of a big time liberal contributor with the sale of BC rail.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Old Dutch dips and chips at workers

Here is another of those companies doing well during the recession, trying to squeeze even more out of workers. And the Alberta government makes it so much easier to treat workers poorly. Of course that is why they left BC years ago.

So much for my favourite potato chip, I guess I'll have to Lay off my Old Dutch for awhile. What's crazy about all this is Old Dutch is doing well during this recession.

Help out by picking up a bag of other brands and be sure to tell the cashier, (nicely) that you won't be buying Old Dutch until they start treating their workers properly.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Prime Minster Mulroney appointed who...

CKNW Breaking News...

Prime Minster Mulroney has appointed B-C Court of Appeal Justice Robert Bauman as the new Chief Justice of the B-C Supreme Court. Bauman replaces Donald Brenner who resigned earlier this year.

Sent at 7:45am

That was the breaking news I just received for CKNW folks. Did we even have email when Brian Mulroney was Prime Minister? Its likely the first time I ever thought having Mulroney as Prime Minister was a good thing. It would certainly be better than the current one, Right?

Looks like it was a mistake after all...

fromCKNW News Talk 980
toRick Barnes
date10 September 2009 10:54
subjectCKNW Breaking News correction

hide details 10:54 (28 minutes ago)

CKNW Breaking News...

Prime Minister Harper has appointed BC Court of Appeal Justice Robert Bauman as the new Chief Justice of the BC Supreme Court. He replaces Donald Brenner who retired from the court last week.

Sent at 7:50am