Sunday, July 24, 2011

There's one flaw with the Mail in Elections BC ballot on the HST! The Ballot goes into a Secrecy Envelop, but that doesn't make it a secret.

UPDATE:  July 27, 2011 at bottom on Contract Summary of hired hands "selling" the HST

Elections BC has consistently told us that there is only ONE HST ballot per voter in British Columbia. As of Friday, July 22, 2011, it was the last day that a spoiled or torn ballot could be replaced by Elections BC.

In a BC Liberal Government Caucus Youtube production at the 1:50 mark,  MLA Don McRae is recorded on camera marking his ballot with an X on the NO box.

If the HST vote had been taken at Voting Booths, the cameras would be barred, so too any of your family members to pressure you one way or the other.   It would be by a SECRET ballot.

Mr. McRae, a secret ballot is there for a reason.  Would you vote YES if the cameras weren't rolling and the production BC Liberal Team weren't telling you how to vote?

Here's MLA Ida Chong's Youtube debut on the HST Secret Ballot, at the 13 second mark via her BC Liberal Caucus film.  Ms. Chong has voted NO.        No Secrecy here.

Voting to be by Secret Ballot

must not do any of the following:
(a) interfere with an individual who is marking a ballot;
(b) attempt to discover how an individual voted;
(c) communicate information regarding how another individual voted or marked a ballot;
(d) induce an individual, directly or indirectly, to show the ballot in a way that reveals how the individual voted.
Can I take someone into the voting booth to help me?

Yes. If you need assistance an election official may assist you to vote.  If you are caring for someone (e.g. a child or elderly relative) at the time you cast your ballot, the presiding election official may allow you to have that person in the booth with you.

Anyone providing assistance to another elector is required to sign a solemn declaration before providing any assistance. Speak to the presiding election official at the voting place for further information.

Has the film crews that produced these Youtubes, signed solemn Notarized declarations before providing any assistance to the MLAs, and then turned the declarations over to an Elections BC official?

After Reading Sean Holman's article in the Globe and Mail, and then reading his email alert on the same subject, I clicked on his link to the the information below.   I liked what he had, from the government, that I then took just one Contract number, C11HST23795, and copied it into Google and found this Beta image file from the Globe and Mail.

Contract Summary

Kevin Falcon Finance Minister was wearing his Highways Minister hat when he said Translink fare cheats were costing us $40 million. What?

If you read the Vancouver Province, I do, did, I especially loved the Editorial that said this last week:

In explaining the new initiative yesterday, TransLink said it estimates it loses $7.1 million a year to fare cheats. But since TransLink took in more than $413 million in fares last year, that suggests they believe just one in 60 riders cheats. The real losses are likely higher. In 2008, Finance Minister Kevin Falcon suggested they were $40 million a year.

Some facts:
The Finance Minister in 2008 was Carole Taylor till June.

Gordon Campbell replaced Carole Taylor in July of 2008 with Colin Hansen.

Christy Clark replaced Colin Hansen in 2011, with Kevin Falcon

From January 26, 2004 to June 10, 2009, Kevin Falcon was Translink's boss.

"HST" proponent Campbell wins a third term at the election polls in 2009, the Premier then moves Mr. Falcon from the Highways portfolio to the Health Ministry on June 11, 2009, till Christy becomes the Premier in 2011, and then she shuffles Mr. Falcon along to the Ministry of Finance for these past four months.

Since 2008, possibly as early as 2004, Kevin Falcon, a Minister of the Crown of the Government of British Columbia KNEW that fare cheaters were failing to pay their usage of the Sky Train by $40 million a year, and he did ABSOLUTELY nothing to stop the bleeding........ except appointing a board that is NOT accountable to the public.

In 2008, whilst the $40 million was being ripped off Mr. Falcon piped up on the Straight in regards to USER PAYERS for the Gateway (Port Mann Bridge tolls), but he didn't care about the Sky Train fare cheaters:

“Remember, first off, the taxpayer is not paying that [Gateway costs]; it is going to be paid through user fees,” Falcon claimed. “So the people who use it will pay. Every economist will tell you that is one way you drive people to public transit: by charging them for the use of infrastructure like that. Which is what we are doing. So we are striking a balance, and I think it is the right balance.”

According to the Transportation Ministry’s Web site ( ), drivers crossing the Port Mann Bridge will pay a toll of about $3 when that portion of the project is completed in 2013. A three-zone commute to Vancouver on public transit now costs $5 per trip.   -

Back to the Vancouver Province Editorial, I can see why its better for them to say Finance Minister Kevin Falcon (but really it was Kevin Falcon as the Highways Minister who knew what when), but this seems all so typical of the BC Liberals of using smoke and mirrors to hide the current government faults.

All one needs to do is to look at how the LINKS in the provincial websites have just about exonerated Gordon Muir Campbell for his faults, by eliminating everything related to the word "Campbell" by flipping in a grinning cheeky Christy Clark into the mix.   She's even present in original government write-ups when she wasn't even an MLA!

That's criminal.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Is there a Treadmill Tempo for City of North Vancouver Rec Centre?

As a novice exerciser, it turns out that I'm not the only one on the North Shore (of Vancouver) that wears ear phones, or ear buds, to jog me along on my stationary bicycle for a half hour and then the Treadmill for another half hour, to forty-five minutes....... altogether.   There are Hazards to listening devices, .....from Wikipedia, of course, but it sure beats watching the paint dry on the walls or the crane which has landed inside the courtyard to scoop up the gold fish from the pond, or the Big mechanical cranes working over top of the new School Office building across Lonsdale.

Basic Facts:

Wikipedia definition of Tempo:  The tempo of a piece of music will typically be written at the start of a piece of music, and in modern music is usually indicated in beats per minute (BPM).

Wikipedia definition of Beats Per Minutes: Beats per minute (BPM) is a unit typically used as a measure of tempo in music. The BPM tempo of a piece of music is conventionally shown in its score as a metronome mark

Wikipedia definition of Heart Beats per minute (BPM) Heart rate is the number of heartbeats per unit of time, typically expressed as beats per minute

Most of the machines at Harry Jerome Rec Centre record the Heart's BPM (Beats Per Minute), but what good is that info?  There's this website, TreadMill Music, where the author has refined the information by linking his data, Tempo of the music...... via metronome to the treadmill, or other such exercise equipment.

Everyone knows that exercise, particularly jogging, is boring, but necessary. What about using music as a motivator?

I've taken his data and copied it onto my computer, via an Excel file, then sorted it into Artist, Title, Tempo, and then, for good measure, added in two more column categories of Walking and Cooling Down..... coloured coded the last two too, so that I can see where the music is .......when I sort via the various Artists.

Curiously, I have very few of my favourite pieces that I currently use that are the same as TreadMill Music.  Ah well, his are just a start of my collection, perhaps yours too?

Chicago's The Hot Honey Rag (Fosse),
Benny Goodman's "Sing, Sing, Sing"   
Take My Breath Away
Lead Me On
Playing with the Boys
Stuff Like That There
Hot Summer Night
Through the Fire
Destination Unknown

Walking tempo   105 to 130 BPM

Jogger/Running   140 to 170 BPM

128 to 139 too fast for Walking, too slow for Running

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

"Red Cross Blood" transfusions for cats / dogs? Not only on the North Shore of Vancouver.

Our cats (indoors) had their prerequisite shots before leaving the North Vancouver Pound eleven years ago and since then, they've been happy as a clam..... that's one human's presumption that a cat can be happy.   Sure they can purr, but there is a medical reason as to why they do it.......

Zoom Groom
Just heard (May 3, 2013) that the fur that is in the zoom  ...  ....... don't put in your garbage ... their feathered friends use it to line their nests ..... in the wild.

They are well fed (raw meat) from All Natural & Exotic Meats, well zoomed groomed (they demand it or I'll hear about it), get as much sleep as they want (I have no say in the matter), and have as much activity as they can endure (chasing each other), but for the first time in ten years one needed a Veterinarian's attention because of this:
Winter Rye

I know why outdoor cats need to chew on grass, but as to why one of MY cats chose to chow down on a rogue strand of winter rye that was brought into the house, uninvited, I'll never know.    I was out for the evening when it happened.

The spike tipped winter rye was one fur ball he couldn't deal with.   Neither could we.

Rough night sleep for the whole household.

We decided that a non-emergency appointment with a Vet could wait till 9:30 the following morning.   If it was  a sort of an emergency,  the cat could have been in by 8:00am,  and still be fine.  If it was something really serious, the door is always open with the Vet.

The Vet did an excellent "survey" of the entire cat, once the cat took ownership over the examination room.  Stainless Steel countertop wasn't the greatest for his claws to hold on to.

The surprise wasn't so much that the cat needed medicine to heal his goughed throat, it was my having to "talk" to others about their pets reasons for being gathered together under one roof..........

Which led me to ask an "icebreaker" of a question........ no, no, no, no   Nothing like "Do cats go to a heaven?".... of course they do.  Their heaven, not mine.

No, the Question was "If my cat needs surgery, is there blood available to replenish his depleted resources, for whatever reason?"   I really didn't want to use the phrase    RUN-OVER    so I just left out the reason I was asking.

To my surprise the answer was a resounding     YES!!!!!

Fact is, the receptionist said, cats and dogs, can donate blood.   Hmmmmmm.   Do I have to sign a waiver?  Does it mean he doesn't have to do any strenuous "work" around the household for a week or two, like chasing rodents?    I was going to say "mice", but mice are pets too, to some folks.

Thank you for your interest in our blood donor program!

Animal ER realizes the entire veterinary community suffers from a shortage of high quality, easily accessible blood products. We established Vancouver Animal Blood Services (VABS) with the hope of helping veterinarians and pet owners alike when the need for blood products arises.  This is a very special program and is a wonderful way for you and your companion to help others in their time of need.   Snip
"I've never thought about that before!"

That's what most people say when they first hear about pets giving blood. They've never considered that pets might need blood transfusions just like humans do. Once they think about it, their next response is usually "Of course! It makes sense that you'd need to have pet blood donors."

Choose from one of the categories to the right for more information for potential donors, veterinarians and to view some of our heroic VABS donors.

Now, if you decide to allow your pet to become a donor, the bonus is this.  Instead of your paying a Vet to check out your Pet, once a year, he'll get: 

    a full physical exam to make sure he is currently healthy.
Before I donate his blood.

Monday, July 11, 2011

"the $1.9 billion payout or buyout that we are providing British Columbia and Ontario's $4 billion, over 10 years to do this will actually cost us (Canadians) $9.9 billion over those 10 years" in borrowing fees

The Canadian government has tons of money floating around so a mere $5.9 billion in payouts to British Columbia and Ontario, to settle the payouts/buyouts for them to join the ranks of those Provinces that do have the Harmonized Sales Tax already, is a walk in the park, financially.

Under the guidance of Christy Clark and The BC Liberal ad mania Stickmen, they've failed to mention that if the YES side wins, we'd be saving tons of borrowing fees as Canadian Taxpayers, otherwise if we keep the HST by voting NO, we'll be on the hook for $1.5 billion in borrowing fees for the next ten years.

Parliament of Canada

December 8, 2009

Provincial Choice Tax Framework Act

Harmonized Sales Tax

British Columbia payout is $1.9 Billion plus Ontario's payout of $4 Billion

Total $5.9 Billion 

(search criteria  below    seven paragraphs above line) 1020

Mr. Ted Menzies (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, CPC): 
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to begin second reading of the provincial choice tax framework act. I will keep my comments short and as succinct as possible because we have heard time and time again how important this is to the provinces that they be allowed to make their choice as to how they collect their taxes. They are asking us to facilitate this as quickly as possible. SNIP

"facilitate this as quickly as possible" after the May 12, 2009 election

Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP):     (search criteria in document) =    1035

Mr. Speaker, the speech by the parliamentary secretary was very interesting and reminded me of a couple of things. It reminded me of the Bart Simpson “I didn't do it” skit and the movie Naked Gun, where Leslie Nielsen is standing in front of a fireworks factory he has blown up and all of the fireworks are going off and he says, “There is nothing to see here”.

This is a remarkable implementation of a tax on Canadian citizens that can only be facilitated by this chamber. The parliamentary secretary should understand that we are going to have to borrow Canadians' own money to put this tax back onto them.

I had the Parliamentary library do some research and it estimated that the $5.9 billion payout or buyout that we are providing British Columbia and Ontario over 10 years to do this will actually cost us $9.9 billion over those 10 years at the annual borrowing rate of the Government of Canada. That estimate comes from the Parliamentary research service.

Therefore, we are borrowing Canadians' own money to bring in a new tax on top of them. This is only being facilitated by the actions of the government here today.   SNIP

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Bin laden with goodies that BC Hydro's Smart Meters is intent on catching! Possibly?

While on my walk-about that was the basis for my previous blog talk-about, I alluded to the possibility that the approval by City of North Vancouver Council's on the exchange of our public property, for privately held property, may have been made without the benefit of hearing about noise pollution, by passing CN Railway trains.

This next topic can quite easily be explained away by the authorities, but I've seen their due diligent work around our community where everything, especially since the Crash of 2008, has to be done even more so by the book, by permit, and by inspector.   If a project isn't permitted, then its illegal. Want to build a curb to hold back your flower beds which borders against city property........  city hall goes the whole nine yards (three metres).  Since 2008, we have lived, breathed  Make Work Infrastructure Projects which adorn our neigbourhoods at the Federal, Provincial and Municipal levels of government.

Birds Eye View of a City Works Yard (soon to be old)

A few years ago this new overpass cut a swath right through the City Works Yard, where the north-western part was the majority operational section, the south-eastern portion is only accessible by leaving the main yard and driving down Bewicke Avenue.   The latter is a sort of an out-of-sight, out-of-mind kind of place.  Brambles and bushes.  Run down. Not cared for.  Industrial zoned land that hasn't been developed to its full potential.   Maybe never will be.

I found it because I was walking on the overpass, looking for a particular angle for the camera of old city industry mixing with city public housing.

Then this angle caught my attention, and upon closer inspection there was something out of place in all the order that City Hall imposes on its lands, and us.  A heavy duty electrical cable running from the base of the lamp pole that serves to light the road on the overpass, which is not the way City Hall allows their wiring to be done.

I wouldn't suggest that a homeowner or a business owner try to tap into this source of "free" electricity.   BC Hydro's Smart Meter Program is on its way to us,....... but is BC Hydro going to apply their new standard of measuring equally to the public roads lamps as well? eh?

We all know that Osama Bin Laden is dead, but this Bin .... Laden with what?   Why does it need a heavy, constant source, of un-traceable electricity?  Does the contents of the Bin need tending?  Is there a circuit breaker inside that Bin .... Laden with what?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

CNV new works yard. Has anyone consulted WorkSafeBC on behalf of the workers?

UPDATE July 11, 2011, at bottom

Down at the Lynnwood Inn (Mountain Highway and Barrow Street in North Vancouver (District) there's a couple of things I would like to draw your attention to.   One is the restaurant, great service, great price, great food.  The other thing is the BC Rail line which has a high wall in place to keep, ..... well I can't quite remember why the high concrete wall is there, unless of course its to ensure that nothing falls off the rail cars and onto the Lynnwood Inn parking lot below.  But if that were true then surely traffick moving, with people living, breathing, inside their vehicles on the road below the overpass would be first in line for a barricade.

Must be another reason, like maybe the view from the Lynnwood Inn would be ruined by customers having to look at Chlorine tankers and boxcars all day long.

Then again the wall could be there to stop the sound of the railcars as they rumble on by.   I know for a fact that a wall is missing from all the drawings that have been done that sold City Hall Council on agreeing to flip the old City works yard for a new one, complete with buildings being provided by the developer of the old city works yard.   Its a good deal, but......

The deal is done, the first apartment to be built south of Marine Drive in North Vancouver (City) received approval on July 4, 2011.

I see one huge problem, and I only know this from doing a walk-about today (July 8th), something City Council and its Engineers probably should have done themselves.   Their decision making was probably done within the confines of their soundproof bunker.


Page 32 and onwards for the drawings, link below photo

Rail line is directly south of the new City Works yard, in fact, the rail line is the southern boundary

A mighty long CN Rail train came by today, I was caught walking on the south side of the proposed new City Works Yard location, and it wasn't just the fact that I had to wait close to eight minutes for it roll on by, it was something else that disturbed me.

A long time worker, at a business south of where the new Works yard is to be located, pointed out that as the train blocked road traffic in its tracks here, on Bewicke (runs north and south), the overpass traffic to the west,  at Fell (running north and south), was backed up as too.... something akin to chock-a-block.  He said it was all the traffic from Bewicke, and the traffic on the overpass will probably quadruple, once the hotels go in at Harbourside.

The other problem was the sound of the CN Rail. There's been plenty of CN Rail car accidents since they took over BC Rail freight operations. The fault?  The trains are too long, and in this particular case today, I would have to agree, not because there was an accident here, but because of the lay of the land.

From Mackay and Welch (new pedestrian overpass of the rail lines) the tracks are straight as an arrow going east to just past Fell Ave where it starts to curve towards the waterfront..... and then the screeching starts, and it lasted close onto eight long minutes.

Its the binding of metal wheels against steel rails.

Can you imagine city workers who were once upon a time insulated from the sound of a working rail line by the distance of two city blocks to then being exposed for the rest of their working lives to the daily exposure of this kind of screeching that will require, not just ear plugs to stem the sound, but ear muffs as well.   Raising ones voice to communicate was the only way I found out the long history, 25 years, of what happens when the train comes to town.

This is a 13 second clip from a noisemaker that lasted for eight minutes

And what of WorkSafeBC and their responsibility to workers on the question of soundproofing CN Rail's cars or will there be a wall erected on either side of the line, just like over at the Lynnwood Inn.

Was WorkSafeBC even involved in the proposed location by City Hall or is it a matter for the Labour Relations Board of British Columbia? So far everything is going full speed ahead and its wait, for the you know what to hit the fan.
The City has had plenty of problems with vandalism of its almost remote Cemetery on Lillooet Road.

What will happen to the First Nation Cemetery on Bewicke, where there is no fencing, and just across the street to the east, from this new City Works yard with its one entrance/egress?

Its too late to change the agreement, not too late to change the design.   If you have any suggestions please contact your City of North Vancouver Council:

Mayor Darrell Mussatto
Councillor Pam Bookham
Councillor Rod Clark
Councillor Bob Fearnley
Councillor Guy Heywood
Councillor Craig Keating
Councillor Mary Trentadue

One last item, these new highrises of five and six stories, the fact that there aren't any apartments south of busy Marine Drive and two blocks north of the busy CN Railway with its high pitched sound making rail cars, will there be a flurry of complaints after the residents have moved in?

UPDATE July 11, 2011
After re-reading this Post, it occurred to me that the Federal, Provincial, City just spent mega-dollars to ensure the safety of pedestrians/cyclists/wheelchairs to cross over the train tracks at MacKay and Welch .... but here at Bewicke, where the New City Works Yard is to be, the City is encouraging the public to use Trail Networks and Trail Heads as a means to Cross the BC Rail Right of Way to the waterfront with the only barrier being a Stop sign.   No warning of any approaching train,especially if CN Rail is shunting untended box cars over three sets of tracks!

Is City Hall out of their mind!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Last Week a Mud Slide, yesterday Sky Train down (2nd time in as many weeks), BC Hydro Toppled Tower 49°13'6.70"N 122°49'35.98"W . What Next?

 UPDATE July 14, 2011   link below   Fire in Stadium-China Town Station

"A June 11 BC Hydro discovers a tower supporting a 500-kilovolt transmission line on the south side of the Fraser River has been damaged, presumably by a barge or other river traffic. BC Hydro secures the tower and plans for repairs." - Vancouver Sun  July 6, 2011

The Lions Gate Bridge has this to stop marine vessels from bumping into its towers at the First Narrows.  Just how dense are the designers at BC Hydro for not realizing that Marine traffic, or barges, do have the potential to bringing down their hydro lines?

Memo to BC Hydro employees and BC Liberals:   Google Map and Google Earth photos are not in real time.   The photo above with, or without booms, prevent the towers from being damaged, whereas without booms around your hydro towers on the Fraser River, there IS a proven possibility.

Yesterday's shut down of the Sky Train line wasn't the first time that it happened. Three three weeks ago a "bus bridge" was initiated between Waterfront Station and Broadway and Commercial because Sky Train operators lost track of a train in the tunnel, and here it is happening again, same tunnel.

Today's fire at the Stadium-China Town Station July 14, 2011 - Vancouver Sun

A year before the Olympics, BC Stadium had its roof ripped asunder because of a malfunction, a tear in the roofing material, which resulted in a make-shift repair to to get us through the 2010 Winter Olympics with a large sigh of relief.  And now the Provincial government is bankrolling a new roof.

Is there a 25 year curse on our past infrastructures, ones that should have been cared for by the current bunch of provincial politicians instead of their billion(s) dollar spending spree on the Sea to Sky Highway and the Port Mann Bridge Projects and PPP3's?

Last year there was a mud slide near Oliver which resulted in 14 homes being damaged, if not destroyed.  The highway was cut in two by the mud slide which created a Provincial Report card on other reservoirs that need caring for.   What now, BC Hydro's placement of towers in rivers, not on banks adjacent to rivers, to be looked at via another Report?

Richmond, surrounded by dykes, is it at risk of flooding?

BC Hydro is a member of the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) and its regional reliability organization – the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC). We plan and operate the transmission system in accordance with NERC and WECC standards.
NERC defines reliability as comprising both adequacy and security:
  • Adequacy is the ability of the transmission system to supply the total amount of electricity required to meet the needs of its customers at all times, taking into account any scheduled and/or reasonably expected unscheduled outages of system elements. 
  • Security is the ability of the system to withstand any sudden disturbances such as an electric short circuit or an unanticipated loss of a system element.

Mandatory Reliability in BC

In August 2003, a wide-spread blackout affecting central Canada and the eastern United States shook the electric utility industry.  Lasting several days and affecting an estimated 50 million people, the blackout led President Bush and Prime Minister Jean Chretien to establish a joint Canadian-US Task Force to review the incident.  The Task Force recommended that reliability standards be made mandatory and enforceable, with sanctions for non-compliance.
We are currently leading a project on behalf of government to implement MRS standards in British Columbia and develop a compliance monitoring and enforcement framework for the province.  Over the next few months, BC Hydro will be consulting with other B.C. utilities (e.g. FortisBC), Independent Power Producers and other industry participants to develop a better understanding of the implications of implementing MRS in B.C. and to get input into the options for compliance and enforcement.