Sunday, December 30, 2012

Mike de Jong trek cancelled due to security concerns but the GCPE says it all went well....

Mike de Jong IS the Finance Minister of British Columbia looking after Billions of our Tax Dollars and yet on his Great Punjab Trek of five days length, he managed to scrape together a daily diary for each day. However there were only FOUR days, actually there were only THREE days of an actual "Trek", and that is questionable.    On the home front, here in British Columbia, the Press and the Public would rejoice if the BC Liberals took as much time and dedication to produce their FOI calendar for each month to the same degree that de Jong has put into his Great Punjab Trek 2012.

Can you possibly imagine what the BC Liberals spin doctors of Government Caucus Resource Researchers aka GCPE aka PAB would call a 365 day trek? 

It turns out that the Minister can neither count in millions of dollars, as in a deficit budget for the THIRD year in a row, nor the depth of the every increasing amount, like in $64 million being spent on advertising promoting partisan politics, nor can he count, exactly, how many days he Trekked.

In the Abbotsford News of the original story posted on November 30, 2012 there's an update on December 5, 2012  describing that the last two days of five days, was cancelled due to India's  Security forces saying that the Finance Minister's safety was at RISK.

Could it be that a convicted attempted murderer of an India Minister on British Columbia soil was seeking retribution for his being forcefully kicked out the of the Legislature while Former Finance Minister Kevin Falcon was making HIS Budget speech in 2011?   Atwal...... was invited by a BC Liberal supporter as a guest of the BC Liberal Government.

UPDATED 05/12/12. Both The Indo-Canadian Voice and Omni BC TV are reporting reported yesterday that Finance Minister and Abbotsford MLA Mike de Jong’s walk through India has had been cancelled due to security concerns.


Day 1, (December 3, 2012) of the great Punjab adventure 2012 begins at the magical Golden Temple etc.....


Day 2 (December 4, 2012)   ..... What a day, a news conference in Hoshiarpur (media really are the same wherever you go) and then transfer to Jalandhar District and a walking tour of a number of villages that form the heart of Punjab. ..... etc
.

Day 3 (December 5, 2012)     What could be more Punjabi then having breakfast outside in the courtyard while the sun rises and the paronta’s are brought piping hot out of the clay tandoor oven ......

Day 4  (December 6, 2012)  That was the experience that awaited us at the health center in Village of Aur (Nawanshahr District), on our continuing trek across Punjab. India. 


Day 5  (December 7, 2012)



NOTHING in the Finance Minister's Diary on the Great Punjab Trek for Day 5.


More information on how the Great Punjab Trek stopped but NOT reported by the BC Liberal Government even though the Finance Minister was acting in his official capacity for two days.  de Jong did pick up the tab for his part of the trek, airfare too..... but was he, did he, receive compensation as an Official of the BC Liberal Government?   One will never know till at least three months AFTER the travel expenses are tallied for the month of December.... let's see that's January, February, April.... which is the end of the Fiscal year for 2012/2013.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


As the crow flies, Mike de Jong, was criss-crossing Punjab as if he were flying, or being driven, from one extreme to another..... and back again..... from one Photo Op to the next.   Politicians are like crows, they don't fly in straight lines, they head for the nearest feeding frenzy......

Using the Finance Minister's Diary and plotting it into Google Earth, the coloured routes in the image below shows the Minister going from one focal point to the next.   If he followed the roads, it would take a lot longer, and the population would stand in his way, not intentionally, but he would have to brave the multitudes.... and maybe that's why he headed out to the villages.

To put it into perspective, something that Lotus Land residents can relate to......... On his first day he walked between the Golden Temple to Jallianwala Baghand, a distance of less than a half a kilometre.  He then left and headed over to "the outskirts of Amritsar in the village of Manawala" which is 76 kilometres as the crow flies...... or like leaving Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver and striking out for Bellingham.... or his Home Riding, or Parksville, or ...you get the picture.

de Jong either Didn't walk, except for photo ops stroll, or he pedalled his bike to the photo ops...... or he didn't keep track of his itinerary correctly because it had him jumping from one far point to only double back to something in between his starting point.

IF he was truly walking, trekking, he would DETOUR to the next closest point rather than...... doubling back...... as if he were in British Columbia's "West Vancouver" trekking to "Delta" to "Crescent Beach" to "Cloverdale" to then meet up with his final obligation for the day at Richmond's quayside port of "Steveston" so he could chow down on a freshly caught Crab and Salmon ......



Saturday, December 29, 2012

Raid (BC Rail ) queries revisited: politicians' private phone lines tapped?


Raid queries revisited

By Compiled by Chad Skelton and Neal Hall , Vancouver Sun March 24, 2009

More than three years after The Vancouver Sun published a list of questions about the raid on the B.C. legislature, reporters Chad Skelton and Neal Hall are in a position to find some answers

Snip


*17. Were phones at the legislature or politicians' private phone lines tapped?*

Yes -- phones at the legislature were tapped and, in trying to listen in on Basi's conversations, police accidentally heard a conversation between then-finance minister Gary Collins and Premier Gordon Campbell.
Once police realized who the parties were in the conversation, police stopped listening. It was also revealed in February that the RCMP had videotaped a meeting Collins had with U.S. railroad executives from OmniTRAX, which had unsuccessfully bid to buy BC Rail. Collins told reporters he had no objections to the videotape becoming public, saying there was nothing improper about the meeting.


The legislature phones are tapped but what about a clear cut answer if the "politicians' private phone lines (were) tapped"?

There is no direct answer.


Are these "Private Phone lines" beyond the reach of FOI?


Are the phones (private) still used by the BC Liberal Government to avoid Freedom of Information.  In it appears that the BC Liberals are using private phones to talk Government business which is just a different form of the Dobell Doctrine (originally the written word)  which was happening before the Raid on the BC Legislature, and continues to now via Christy Clark?


It's already been shown, two short months ago, that the BC Liberal Government Caucus Researchers within the BC Legislature Precinct, were orchestrating the Attack ads against Adrian Dix and other politicians on taxpayers time.  To get around that appearance, of wasting Taxpayers monies and abuse by the Researchers, it was stated that they were using their PRIVATE computers........

 Sounds a lot like PRIVATE PHONE LINES.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Why has Australian Radio Talk Show Hosts cornered the market on insensitivity? eg. Kate, Milly and Christy

I

For over 60 years, Queen Elizabeth II has shown her concern for those in the UK, around the world, around her family.  It wouldn't be uncharacteristic for her, and Prince Charles, to phone Kate seeking personal information on the Mother-to-be.

In walks two Australian radio hosts with their rendition of the voices of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles and "interviewing" two nurses at King Edward VII Hospital where Kate was being cared for.   That interview was broadcast to the world without the Australian Radio station seeking permission.   One nurse became so distraught of what happened, manipulated so easily by professional journalists DeeJays, she  .......... took her own life. Or rather, Radio station 2DayFM, without showing an ounce of mercy, squeezed the life out of the nurse.

The professional DJs were just the "messengers", eh.

The Public was drawn into becoming active participants because Mel Greig and Michael Christian were just doing what they do best, hoaxes, at the expense of others.


In the real world, as least here in Canada, our Privacy Rights are protected to the hilt unless you're the Leader of the Opposition and one Translink ticket short.  Those two Australian jokers DJs would do time and plenty of community service hours and they could forget about doing a healing circle.... Down Under.... and Yes, they would eventually go back to work, but never in their chosen field as radio hosts.

Greig and Christian may have seen themselves spring-boarding from obscurity to fame, as did Orson Welles' "War of the Worlds" which worked in 1938 for him, but not now.  The News back then was controlled by the few, but today, with the advent of the Internet, anyone can be a publisher.

What about the consequences for the Australian Radio station, and their owners?

Who would ever want to pay the station for advertising products, projecting an image, knowing in advance that their good name would always be associated with the lose canons Managers of  2DayFM where they displayed the lowest form of insensitivity towards others, which resulted in a death?


The Australian Communications Authority (ACMA) is taking action in regards to 2DayFM because of what may be violations of broadcasting license conditions and the Commercial Radio Codes of Practice

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

II

What of Rupert Murdoch, an Australian media tycoon, the hacking insensitivity in the death of a teenager, the privacy of celebrities?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

III

Enter Christy into the mix, involving ..... yet another Australian DJ.

Christy Clark will ALWAYS attract cheap attention, as an MLA, as a Minister, as a  Mother, as a proponent in the Sale of BC Rail, as a Divorcee, as a Single Mom, as a Vancouver Mayor hopeful, as a DJ, a Premier of the Province of British Columbia and let's not forget her beaming "Royal lineage" of  "Queen" of Photo Ops.


Last week, the Premier of the Province of British Columbia was invited to speak on JetFM, a radio station in Courtenay, with Australian ExPat "Drex" as the host.  One participant from his audience, supposedly, sent in a rude and inappropriate question.  The listener was named as ..... "Andrew" by Drex during his introduction to the Premier.   We don't know if "Andrew" exists, or ......... not...... or if he too is an Expat.  Drex, backed by JetFM, set the stage, directed the role players, manipulated the guest which must have been like taking candy from a Baby.


The Premier of BC didn't deserve to have the "MILF" question tossed at her to chew on, her handlers, the high priced Press Secretary, should have stepped in and controlled her inner spirit and yearnings to shoot speak from the hip, rather than making sure her brain was engaged first.


Drex's JetFM "journalism" rating is right down there beside 2DayFM's Grieg and Christian and Murdoch's News Inc.

JetFM, like 2DayFM, must have been soaring because of their interview with Christy, but neither the current BC Government, nor the next Government, if it's Adrian Dix, will touch the Courtenay Radio station, and it's sibling sister stations with a ten foot pole.  Not a single dime of taxpayers dollars will be funneled to them, for advertising during the provincial election.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

A March 28, 2012 "Dear John" PlantRant, just won't go away in the Case of BC Rail Trial

But I don’t need to be an armchair political strategist all the time.  - Geoff Plant - February 22, 2012
It should be noted here, that Mr. Plant's Rants archived blog content (2012) is typically reserved for proposals to tweak the Justice system in British Columbia..... but there's one instance that he wades in without a whiff of a political statement ......


March 26, 2012  "Dear John" Van Dongen crossed the floor from the BC Liberal side of the Legislature, to sit as an independent.  He cited that it was his Constituents that were angry at him because the Government couldn't offer a reasonable explanation to BC Liberals mishandling the $6 million Indemnity clause in the BC Trial. ......... Within two days, the former AG of BC is writing a letter to "Dear John" on the topic of the BC Rail Indemnity clause NOT being implemented in accordance to the Defendants agreed upon terms.
There's a "Post Script" (PS),  which  is more informative than the body of the "letter" in the PlantRant  addressed to "Dear John" ......, (John Van Dongen), on March 28, 2012.

A read of the whole document is required but it's curious as to WHY Geoff needed to add the PS.
Dear John,
I understand that one of the issues which caused you to leave the BC Liberal caucus and party is your continuing unhappiness about the so-called plea deal in the Basi Virk cases.  Apparently you have even hired a lawyer at your own expense to investigate your concerns. I don’t know all of the questions that you want answered.  But I am hoping you might answer one of mine.
Snip
............Sincerely,

Geoff

PS.  Does $6 million in defense costs feel like a lot to pay for a couple of convictions?  Most certainly.  It makes me angry just to think of it.  But governments don’t run criminal trials; lawyers and judges do.  Don’t blame government for the $6 million.  Blame the justice system.  Congratulate the government for having had the wisdom and the courage to seize an opportunity to bring the case to an end. 
 Snipped

"Geoff" tells the Reader in the above, that the BC Government doesn't run criminal trials, and, the Government was not involved in the Plea deal, but his last sentence above indicates that they (the BC Liberal Government) did "Seize an Opportunity to bring the case to an end."   That certainly makes it appear that the Government WAS involved, and not just the Deputy Ministers, because they AREN'T "the government".

Premier Gordon Campbell and the Attorney General of BC are politicians first, Executive Council members second, who did form a part of the majority with other like-minded Free Enterprisers in 2001....... with one sticking point:   Self Preservation, at all costs, covered by taxpayers.

This topic arrived on our desk because of a review of several Posts by The Gazetteer, one in particular:

 "A few days ago Mr. Plant wrote a 'Dear John' blog post in which he asked Mr. van Dongen what he would have done differently with regards to the 'deal' itself." - The Gazatteer
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Paul Willcocks of  "Paying Attention":

John Van Dongen has accomplished something at least one very useful thing in reviving a discussion of the many unanswered questions in the BC Rail scandal.

Former AG Geoff Plant offers a useful perspective here. (The dissenting comment is mine.)

Finance Minister Kevin Falcon contradicts Plant here, saying every single Liberal MLA was "appalled" by the $6-million deal that ensured guilty pleas from Dave Basi and Bobby Virk.
Ian Reid argues Van Dongen is absolutely right in a blog post here.

And I refer you to two columns I wrote arguing the smell of the scandal lingers and questions remain, here and here.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Alex Browne - Peace Arch News
Asked about van Dongen's parting shots in the legislature Monday – including criticism over the handling of the lawsuit over the sale of BC Rail – Falcon acknowledged that he and "every single" MLA in caucus had been "appalled" by the decision to pay $6 million in legal fees for former government staffers Dave Basi and Bobby Virk after they pleaded guilty to breach of trust.

Snip
"The decision that was made to relieve Basi and Virk of their legal fees was entirely independent of government," Falcon said, adding it was made by the justice branch in consultation with deputies from the attorney general's office and the finance ministry (David Loukidelis, deputy in the attorney general's ministry and Graham Whitmarsh, finance deputy said in an October 2010 statement they had agreed to cover Basi and Virk's legal fees).

Falcon said van Dongen was appalled with the decision, "as was I, as was every single MLA in caucus" – which, he said, led to a full review into "what happened and ways to ensure it didn't happen again."
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Geoff Plant of PlantRant blog fame:
........ Later that day the government announced it had agreed to waive its claim against the three defendants for their legal fees amounting to nearly $6 million.  There was a strong public reaction to this announcement.  So strong, that two days later, on October 20, 2010 Deputy Attorney General David Loukidelis felt compelled to release a public statement.  A copy of that statement is readily accessible on the Internet.  I found it at this site which needs to be read in full, and carefully.  So far as I am aware, no one has ever credibly suggested that this statement is factually incorrect.
The use of the opening term such as "Dear John", seems out of place in a matter of something so serious that an MLA felt strongly enough that he chose to Cross the Floor.  He did so to solely gain the right to ask pointed questions of  the BC Liberal Government because it appeared to the Public, and his Constituents, that he was StoneWalled by the Executive Council on every front.
As to the correct way for an "outsider", a Lawyer, to Address a Letter to a Member of the Legislature Assembly, it goes something like this, ........ by a professional Journalist:
Evan Solomon, host of CBC Radio's The House, reflects on the decision by B.C. Premier Christy Clark to cancel the fall sitting of the legislature in Victoria, in his weekly radio essay as heard on The House Sept. 15 (2012).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I SAY Old Man!!! Whatever happened to Shawn Robins from Attorney-general?  The go-to PAB point person on the $6 Million Indemnity file.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Friday, December 21, 2012

BC "Zombie" Liberals Port Mann Bridge mantra: Neither wind, nor rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor dark of night can stop an election win.

Just because of "one small" flaw (known about, worldwide, by 2001) in their widest-bridge-in-the-world, the BC Liberals chance to use a once healthy achievement as an on election carrot, is now dooming them, portraying them, as utter and complete failures.  Their political maneuvering will surely go down as the most costliest, dumbest, arrogant, move by Gordon Campbell (Premier) and Kevin Falcon (Minister of Transportation) and "Not-on-my-radaR" Colin Hansen (Finance Minister).

Actually there was a Second flaw, for it was the same grouping, the same "three amigos" of the inner BC Liberal Cabinet who were the major pushers, and shovellers who created the hated Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) but only after they had LIED about the finances of the British Columbia during the election in 2009.

In light of what happened on Wednesday of the falling shards of Ice hitting the road, injuring motorists, damaging cars (107 reported to ICBC), shutting down the highway, there's one aspect that hasn't been asked, nor solved.

Sure the latest edition of a Minister of Highways, anointed by the latest edition of a BC Liberal Party Premier, has come out and pointed her finger at the contractor, but who else could they blame.... certainly not themselves.  But take a look at this article where the ENGINEERS are finally speaking out on the Politicians wanting the biggest bang for the least amount of bucks so they can charge a longer, higher toll.

Wouldn't surprise us if the Crown Corporation of Transport Investment Corp has been saddled, instructed, to create a hidden revenue stream back to the BC Liberal government, much like that of BC Hydro and ICBC where they have been forced to create Deferral Accounting to their bottom, bottom, bottom way down at the BOTTOM ...... line.

In the Tacoma Bridge, similar construction flaw, the State Troopers shut their bridge down because they constantly monitor their highway's driving conditions, for safety.

Here in British Columbia there are a variety of companies that have signed long term contracts with the BC Liberal Government that make them responsible for keeping our highways safe and sound.  One such contractor duties, obligations, stretches from the Kiewit / Macquarie DBFO  Sea to Sky project through to the DBFO  Port Mann Bridge.  ("F" for "F"inance was killed in the aftermath of 2008 Sub Prime Mortgage melt-down).  The Concessionaire maintenance crew is an outfit called "Mainland Contracting Ltd. at (604) 271-0337" (Area 6) .   Here is the full listing, with phone numbers.    During the Construction of the two projects there was a condition imposed by the BC Liberal Government that at no time would the flow of traffic along the old highway would be impaired.  At leas one lane in each direction was a requirement.    Upon completion of the projects, there is another condition, which includes HEFTY fines upon the Contractor/Maintenance companies if they determine that a stoppage of vehicles  is necessary.  This could explain why the Port Mann Bridge was left open to traffic, even though shards of ice were falling all about the bridge deck.


What happened on Wednesday that allowed motorist to continue to drive across the Port Mann Bridge, unimpeded?  Were the motorists not flooding 911 with their concerted dilemma?   Were those  callers not involved, not related to the Port Mann Bridge calamity, denied access to 911 emergency services that were more life threatening than those on the bridge?

Currently, the BC Government has a website for dealing with "Emergency Preparedness Information" and take note the absence of the word Ice
From the BC Government website, the same website as above, and directly below the list above, is this:...... and before you read the list below, take a wild guess, and we'll agree that there is one "Zombie" missing.....from this Website, paid for by us.
If you’re ready for zombies, you’re ready for a disaster! Follow us for preparedness tips and more.
If you’re ready for zombies, you’re ready for a disaster!
Zombies? In British Columbia? Are you serious? Well, sorta. The threat of zombie attack is a popular phenomenon around the globe and with it comes the message to "be prepared". Earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, landslides, avalanches, interface fires, severe storms and hazardous material spills are some of the dangers that could threaten lives and cause extensive damage in British Columbia. And while the chance of zombies a-knockin' on your door is pretty slim, we do believe that if you're ready for zombies, you're ready for any disaster. Follow along with us this week as we provide you with an arsenal of zombie preparedness tips, videos, photos and even some advice from a zombie-attack survivor.
The most recent alert from the Emergency website is for Johnson's Landing on Kootenay Lake (MLA Bill Bennett's riding) but not a whisper of the Port Mann Bridge Ice show..... shower.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Zombie "Jamboree" Dancers - Harry Belanfonte
Back to Back, Belly to Belly
PAB/GCPE
 
Becky Denlinger    Fire and Emergency Management Commiss
                
Cameron Lewis     Executive Officer                                                                   

David Curtis          Executive Director, Corporate Services                                 

Carol Loski            Director, Flood Protection Program                                         

Kelli Kryzanowski  Manager Strategic Initiatives                                                  

Tim Preece            Program Manager, Flood Protection Program                     

Nairn Albrecht      Flood Protection Specialist                                                      

Jackie Biggs           Executive Coordinator                                                            

Kristina Karger      A/Office Manager          

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

"The worst traffic bottleneck in BC" is still happening at the Port Mann Bridge and it could have been prevented.....

If the BC Liberals Campaign Director thought that The New Port Mann Bridge would be the icing on the cake, a vote-getter for Christy Clark, he can kiss that idea Good-Bye!  If anything, the Public should be calling out for an immediate Provincial election.  No need to wait till May, January wouldn't be soon enough.

Why?

We did a search this afternoon via Google for this:   suspension bridges ice falling

Just shy of 11,000,000 results, but it's the third result, and more, a lot more, that made us go AHHHHHH.... shit!

THIRD RESULT!!!!
 
Eleven years ago, New York had just spent a bundle of money using a "latticework of 700 suspension cables"........ to find:

Ice Falling From Bridges Delays Traffic for Hours

By JANE GROSS

Published: March 08, 2001
  
The warm sun that winter-weary New Yorkers were waiting for created a traffic nightmare yesterday, as thawing ice fell from the cables of five local suspension bridges, forcing lane closures and hours of delays that lasted into the evening rush.

Traffic flowed with relative ease during a two-day snowstorm, which walloped parts of the region and spared others. But yesterday morning -- with the sky clear, the sun bright and the temperature well above freezing -- heavy daggers of ice began falling from the George Washington, Bronx-Whitestone, Throgs Neck, Verrazano-Narrows and Triborough Bridges. The heavy shards hit cars, shattered windshields and caused one injury.

To safeguard commuters, parts of the bridges were closed, beginning around 9 a.m., causing hours of gridlock at some toll plazas and cascading traffic jams onto highways in New Jersey, Connecticut, the five boroughs and on Long Island. ''Even though it inconvenienced people greatly, safety is our primary concern,'' said Alan Hicks, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which oversees the George Washington Bridge.........
SNIP
DUH!

As to the Source for the Title of   "worst traffic bottlenecks in British Columbia", there are two sources, both from the hot lips of Premier Christy Clark:

Government of BC NewsRoom

The Press
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This is the largest transportation project in B.C. history and government is delivering on its commitment to reduce congestion along the province's busiest transportation corridor. These improvements will remove the traffic bottleneck and eliminate the 14 hours a day of congestion currently plaguing bridge users.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Premier Christy Clark's Official Christmas Photo Op at the Expense of Children

Update December 19, 2012  ScreenShot Spreadsheet data at bottom of Post re Foster Children gifts.... no monetary increase in the last three years.

The Gazetteer, Laila Yuile and Ian Reid have the story: "BC Government denies cancelling gifts for kids in care" ....  with only six days left before Christmas ......  
 "Any claim that the ministry will not be supplying Christmas gifts for children in care is absolutely inaccurate....."

"Funding to cover gifts for children and youth in care is built-in to monthly payments the ministry sends to foster parents. For children and youth living independently or on Youth Agreements, ministry staff are authorized and encouraged to ensure those young people are remembered over the holidays and gifts are provided."
The PAB for Premier Christy Clark are desperately trying to put out another fire here, and all because the Minister of Finance said that he was going to tighten his belt on Government spending ...... at the expense of Children First.

What get's us, here at the BBC, is that the PAB/GCPE Press Release for Christy Clark was decreed by the Executive Council and the politicians are being very, very, specific......   the Foster children will be remembered over the holidays (Christmas) and gifts are provided.

Sort of gives you a warm fuzzy do-good feeling to garner more votes, doesn't it.

This is a perfect example of what's wrong with every Press Release from the Premier's Office.  Christy Clark and HER Deputy Premier are suffering from "Marketing Myopia"..... defined and Paraphrased as:

A short-sighted and inward looking approach to marketing that focuses on the needs of the BC Liberal Government instead of defining the Government and its Services in terms of the corporations (first) and citizens' (second)  needs and wants. It results in the failure to see and adjust to the rapid changes (Boessenkool) in the BC Liberal's six month $64 million pre-election campaign, using Taxpayers monies.
The Marketing Myopia that the BC Liberals have incurred here, just before Christmas, is that they are ONLY focusing on Christmas Holidays and Christmas Day Gifts!

What about Birthday Presents for the Children?

In a December 3, 2001 Editorial Cartoon by Ingrid Rice, Premier Gordon Campbell and Deputy Premier Christy Clark won an Award after being in power for seven months ...... and now it appears that Premier Christy Clark and Deputy Premier Rich Coleman have improved on the BC Liberal Government standings by lasting Twenty-One months, and won the same Award:

Here are the Two Winners for 2012 and in their  Official Christmas Portrait

Source for more:     The SFU Library Editorial Cartoons Collection
 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BC Liberals have said they have tightened their belts, crunched their numbers, tweaked their "built-in to the monthly payments" for Foster children covering Christmas Holidays and Gifts, but here at the BBC, we haven't found the information in an Open and Transparent BC Liberal Government.

Take a gander at how Kentucky reports to the People: 



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



British Columbia  "Foster Family Care Home Monthly Rates"

As a Spreadsheet, from the link above, the BC Liberals have created another miracle in financing, but this time around the Government have been systematically decreasing the increase and there hasn't been an increase since April of 2009..... Three years!

So where, from within the built-in monthly payments have the Christmas presents AND Birthday presents, materialized from? 


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christy Clark's Fracking Pipe Dream: The "Wizards of Ozone"

It would be so easy to compare Premier Christy Clark to an ostrich, running for cover from her political "predators", hiding her head in the sand..........,  and leaving all else exposed to the environment, that's unfair, the head in the sand part, it's all a Myth.

The real reason WHY an ostrich puts her head in the sand.... is because she's a natural born  "resource miner" looking for sand and pebbles for her nest ..........whereas Christy is feathering her political nest by rooting about for Royalties, Votes and Victory.

Clark keeps comparing British Columbia's future petroleum fortunes to that of Alberta's black gold.

She also compares British Columbia to Australia which is years ahead of British Columbia and it's over abundance of LNG.

One of Clark's Fracking LNG supporters, from the pristine protected environment of Whistler, presents his own comparisons by listing off  countries development of LNG, but he sees BC as having an advantage over all others   ..........."exactly in the same league, and we have the advantage that we don't carry the environmental burden." - CDS Research Ltd.

No environmental burden, eh?
In a year-end interview with The Canadian Press, Clark said B.C.'s LNG development ambitions will transform the economy, but the province must act quickly before the opportunity evaporates like gas into the atmosphere.

Clark, who has spent the last year describing her "bold" and "audacious" plan to turn B.C. into Canada's job-creation engine, said British Columbians will still be cashing in on the benefits of LNG exports 50 years from now.

"Think about it in these terms: what oil has been to Alberta since the 1970s-80s is what LNG is going to be for British Columbia, nothing less than that," said Clark.
"Energy output from LNG will likely be as big as the total energy output today from the oilsands," she said.  

Snip
International LNG development expert Zoher Meratla, whose Whistler company, CDS Research Ltd., has been in the LNG industry for 35 years, said Clark is not off base when she puts B.C.'s LNG opportunities on the same scale as Alberta's oilsands.

"Economically, it's similar to the oilsands," said Meratla, who has worked on LNG projects in Australia, Africa, the Middle East, Russia and Norway. "It's exactly in the same league, and we have the advantage that we don't carry the environmental burden."  -  Vancouver Sun - December 14, 2012

Snip

Finally Christy Clark says something that DOES make sense.... it's the bit about: evaporates like gas into the atmosphere.  The Premier is talking about the "Opportunity" evaporating if the sales of Liquid Natural Gas to China, and other points East.  The fact is, Natural Gas, not the Liquid version, IS leaking and venting into the atmosphere at the Drill hole, and what is even more disturbing is the Methane that is part and parcel with natural Gas.... along with other gases that are far more detrimental to our well being.

Have we given up on hearing about the depletion of the Ozone Layer?  Do we think that we've got that one solved because of the bans that have been implemented via the ... Montreal Protocol...."

In the Raw, straight out of the Well :
 "Natural gas is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas mixture consisting primarily of Methane, with other hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide, nitrogen and hydrogen sulfide."
 Has good old Christy opened her mouth before engaging her brain, again?

The image of the Premier's words...."gas into the atmosphere", reminded us of ..... the BC Government website covering  "ozone-depleting substances" (ODS).

Using these keywords in Google.... climate change facts 2012 Liquid Natural Gas Ozone layer hydrocarbons  we came up with quite a few results, like this link to a well written document:

".....  leaking and venting of natural gas is a serious negative environmental consequence of natural gas production and transportation" Page 43 of 56 

From the same Google search:

"Bombshell Study" finds:
Methane is 25 times  more efficient than CO2 trapping heat over 100 year — but it is 100 times more efficient than CO2 trapping heat over two decades.

“If we want natural gas to be the cleanest fossil fuel source, methane emissions have to be reduced,” says Gabrielle Pétron, an atmospheric scientist at NOAA and at the University of Colorado in Boulder, and first author on the study, currently in press at the Journal of Geophysical Research. Emissions will vary depending on the site, but Pétron sees no reason to think that this particular basin is unique. “I think we seriously need to look at natural-gas operations on the national scale.”
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Natural gas can be "associated" (found in oil fields), or "non-associated" (isolated in natural gas fields), and is also found in coal beds (as coalbed methane). It sometimes contains a significant amount of ethane, propane, butane, and pentane—heavier hydrocarbons removed for commercial use prior to the methane being sold as a consumer fuel or chemical plant feedstock. Non-hydrocarbons such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen, helium (rarely), and hydrogen sulfide must also be removed before the natural gas can be transported.

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You may have missed our March 1, 2012 Post here at the BBC, having to do with Tanker traffic off our coast, but we also included links to one our "competitor" nations ......that the Premier often refers to......... Fracking in Australia, and in light of Clark's promise to turn  British Columbia into an oasis of economic development, we need to restate the damage to OUR environment, which would be a burden to our Province, forever.

It's difficult enough to imagine the environment of Australia, let alone Northern British Columbia's LNG resources, and the ensuing destruction by using chemicals and water for extraction for both countries.  What we need, is to latch onto something that is closer to home.

Theoretically, let's use Metro Vancouver as a"Fracking" focal point to better understand the problems associated with EXTRACTION.  The data that generated the image below came from an Australian Report for  Hutton Sandstone.   The map, scaled off, makes the distance of 160 km from one side of the circle to the other.

To put that in perspective, locally, but not in Christy Clark's riding, if Clark were to drill a well hole atop of Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver..... Little Mountain....... 80 kilometers away would extend the saturation of contaminated water, and chemicals to well BEYOND Bellingham in the State of Washington!  ..... and of course that would mean in EVERY direction from the well hole.

Here's Australia:

160 km high and wide


The estimated hydraulic impact zones for the injection trials into the Hutton Sandstone are shown on Figure 7. The best estimate for the hydraulic impact zone of a likely trial scenario (60 days continuous injection) is a hydraulic influence of approximately 9km from the injection bore. Should injection continue at the maximum rate for 365 days, the worst case scenario for the hydraulic impact zone is estimated to be approximately 46km from the injection bore.  - Page 28 of 42

Here's Metro Vancouver:

All you have to realize here is that there isn't going to be just ONE well hole.

What the Public has been witnessing on the topic Liquid Gas and OilSands, are the "Wizards of Ozone" working their advertizing magic, using smoke and mirrors.

Early Christmas presents from Christy, again?

The closer we get to the provincial election in May of 2013, the more difficult it's becoming to keep track of who's in Premier Christy Clark's Office and who has left for greener pastures.... like the BC Liberal Party campaign office in Downtown Vancouver.

In an earlier Post, December 20, 2011, we reported on an FOI request:

Athana Mentzelopoulos and John Dyble and Dimitri Pantazopoulos and Sandy Wharf and Jennifer Chalmers and Mike McDonald with iPads at $953.33 each and a Monthly service fee of  $22.40, while Gabe Garfinkel's iPad cost  $986.93 and a monthly service fee of $22.40.

Now we know that Mike McDonald did a cut and run from the position of Chief of Staff to make way for Ken Boessenkool's Grand entrance and Dimitri Pantazopoulos was the Principal Secretary who was then replaced by Mike McDonald.  Then Dimitri Pantazopoulos was sent down to the minors as a Senior Advisor position, right field ..... and finally he left Christy's office altogether to run roughshod over the BC Liberal Party Campaign headquarters in Downtown Vancouver..... Mike McDonald ended up being the DIRECTOR Campaign Chief for the BC Liberals..... one big happy family.

We're getting real curious here as to what happened to those iPads of Mike McDonald and Dimitri Pantazopoulos.   They were "gifted" the iPads because McDonald's was part of the e-Binder program and the other iPad was "Required for flexibility to access and work on documents outside of the office".... and it was part of a pilot program called SSBC



Do they both still have their iPads?  Were the iPads Returned?   Why isn't there an audit trail of what happened to them, .... the iPads that is?   Who has the two iPads now because they were purchased solely because of the Pilot program.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Cape Horn Interchange, GPS or MAP, in a NEW ERA of Belt Tightening

For all those folks out there, who trust their GPS completely, you might want, will have to upgrade your North American map database even though you're only interested in the changes being made in Metro Vancouver.

Some GPS manufacturers provide the service for FREE, others for a FEE.

For those who prefer not being told, during the construction of the Port Mann Bridge and it's Ancillaries, where to Go by some English Lady (Garmin), there's an inexpensive method...... It's called    a    MAP.

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We've all been complaining about Christy Clark and her BC Liberals spending $64 million of OUR money to promote themselves (BC Liberals), we have to say this.....

For once they've done the right thing and it's going to cost us pennies per person (until Harper kills the penny) but there's a catch imposed by Christy.  You may have heard Finance Minister Mike de Jong's latest Update on the economy for BC, in preparation for Budget 2013, there's an inclusion of a past promise from his predecessor, Finance Minister Kevin Falcon.  Both Finance Ministers have promised that they will be tightening their belts.  We've seen how on one hand they say they're tightening their belts, when in fact they haven't.   Maybe they just don't have the fortitude to keep themselves on their self-imposed "Diet".  Turns out that as of December 12th, 2012, someone else will be enforcing belt tightening upon the current Minister of Finance, and it won't be Christy, never has.

The "credit rating on B.C.'s debt has been downgraded to AAA-negative from AAA-stable by Moody's Investors Service".

Crunch!

Here at the BBC, we have an old family tradition on "belt tightening", a left over from our Parents experience of the Dirty Thirties......   and just so you know, up front, other means to hold pants up, Suspenders, is no different than the oft claimed BC Liberal promises of  "temporarily" Suspending-the-spending of our TAX DOLLARS.

Chapter ONE  ................... Belt Tightening:

Take one belt.

For a  Homeless person ($2), a Commoner a "Banana Republic Embossed Leather Belt" ( $46) and for the Elite of our society, eg. BC Liberal MLAs, a "Burberry Check Print Belt" ($275) and of course there are the MLA travelers to Asia or MPs to UK:

Blackhawk CQB Emergency Rescue Rigger Belt ($30 and up)

Channel your inner law enforcement professional courtesy of this field-tested belt, which is made with parachute-quality buckles and adaptors and constructed with webbing so strong it can support 7,000 lbs. (Jesus, go on a diet, buddy.) You can even use the V-ring for emergency rappelling. Available in black, tan, olive, and desert brown, and in sizes small through large.

Chapter TWO .......... Belt Tightening:

Leaving the "tail long" (Six holes) allows far too much latitude to forgo the New Year pledge to tighten one's belt.   For someone who is somewhat determined to get things under control, but can't, he needs a "minder" .... like an Auditor General....  .

Solution?  Allow three holes to be visible in the "tail" end, not the customary "BC Liberal" all purpose Six.

Three, possibly more, major Dinners in the month of December, last one New Years Eve, way too many.

By the time the appetizers are done with, the normal three holes have been reduced to TWO.  Main Course arrives, consumed with much laughter and talking about BC Economy doing just FINE ,......... belt hole position is down to ONE.

Dessert, mustn't forget dessert, the icing on the cake from a "perfectly healthy life style" of living off the fat of the land, pork barreling all year long; almost four years long; almost twelve years long; and the BC Liberals want MORE at the trough.

Chapter Three ... Belt Tightening:

There's no more holes to release the pressure from within.  The Finance Minister of British Columbia looks to the dessert, looks to his waste, .......... waist, and almost decides .... not to have that dessert.  To solve the problem of no more room to expand, the Finance Minister is advised by his Premier, his Leader, to buy a new belt, to spend his way out of his self imposed dilemma ...... by always leaving six holes visible......it's all about the Leader having the right kind of optics.

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As to that Cheap Chart, that MAP for pennies-a-person, the BC Liberals have reached back and Deferred, as always, to the BC Minister of Energy, Rich Coleman who came with this MAP from 1981.



Wouldn't it be a nice surprise to have the image above updated to reflect our current ins and outs.....

NEB has their version of the Cape Horn Interchange (2007):

http://www.neb-one.gc.ca/clf-nsi/rnrgynfmtn/nrgyrprt/nrgdmnd/glblcndncntxt2008/glblcndncntxt-eng.html
 


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The "Good, Bad, Ugly" - This Post is about the Ugly: Hansen, Campbell, Falcon, (de Jong), Christy Clark

If you've lost track of the desperate, bone headed promises by the BC Liberals when times get tough, financially......., then Thank Goodness there are copies of speeches, videos too, still in existence, (Check against Delivery) except for the shredding/temporarily losing track of, all things related to the Raid.

Remember this Financial speech?  "February 2, 2009 State of the Economy Update".   The file is   239,349,974 bytes strong, going by the file name of   EconomicFiscalUpdate2009_CUSTO.flv.mov    If you have the time now, download, listen to the two speeches, look at their charts, and take in the questions from the Press, because what the BC Liberals say, they do the opposite.


The "Update" by the Finance Minister lays out the "challenges" that 2008 has had upon all economies, ------- except for British Columbia.   The on screen Slide presentation show a dramatic drop in revenues from Natural Gas, an equally dramatic drop in sales to the USA, Canada's largest trading partner.  Nothing but doom and gloom because of Spin Doctoring.

"Update 2009" actually takes place BEFORE the Spring Budget, and because of that one "feature", Finance Minister Hansen stands behind a curtain of secrecy claiming that the Press' questions will be answered after the Spring Budget is introduced in the Legislature.  Repeatedly, during the Update, the Press presses for Answers, and still the Finance Minister and the Premier, refuse.  We recognize the spin doctoring process of not answering important questions from the Press, because it's strikingly reminiscent, as of late, with the sudden departure of Christy Clark's Chief of Staff, Ken Bossenkool.....and we will never be told why.

Update 2009 presentation, with Premier Gordon Campbell taking hold of the Podium talks about being honest, frank, with genuine intentions of .... his meeting with the Press, his "laying the cards" on the table, that the Government has to keep the Public informed of what the BC Liberals are doing ...... was a Sham ..... because at NO time was the acronym of HST mentioned.

Fast Forward to another Former Finance Minister .... Kevin Falcon ....... announcing that he is following up on Christy Clark's Spring 2011 Budget on her promise to get tough with Commercial Crown Corporations, with a fine tooth comb...    Falcon sends in his Ministry "Team" who's sole job is to review Crown Corporations and when they go in to check the books, like an Entity called ICBC, the Minister points out that these guys ..... like bull-dogs ...... don't leave, they camp out, until they go through all of the books AND understand what is happening.    Mind you it took eight years or more to get the gumption up, politically, to take action.


Now don't mix this "Team" of Falcon's up with the Auditor General of British Columbia and his staff.....no, no, no.... these are the guys that are hired by the Finance Minister(s) to keep an eye on the BC Liberal Money.   Not OUR money, their Money.   This Team has total access to everything, they don't need to go to the Supreme Court of BC to gain access to what is hidden behind that curtain of secrecy that the BC Liberals rely upon so heavily.


Yesterday the BBC was pointed to a particular interest of a "Visitor" where upon looking at one of our previous Post for June 14, 2012, we realized that the search criteria of  "GCPE Newsroom Delivery Account" , without the quotes, was generating hit after hit with very little result, but as you well know by now, search results include, for example ....  GCPE Newsroom delivery account ..... but the topic within, doesn't have one thing on GCPE etc.  Current Sports, YES, but past history of the GCPE is wiped clean.  We fine tuned the Search Criteria, by adding Quotes.   Makes all the difference in the world, because of this..... if you click on the Link above..... with quotes, the

First Result is  Government releases results of ICBC review | Vancouver, B.C.

The former Finance Minister is beating his own drum of how he acted decisively upon Premier Clark's instructions where "He / She" were going to cut costs in Commercial Corporations "Just Like We Have Been Doing in Government."

There are two Clips at SendToNews and you'll find that Second clip just below the First Clip

Hmmmmmmm.....

The Title for this Post came from Kevin Falcon's speech where he describes how HIS in-house financial wizard "Team" is more than willing to look for .... "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" in any Commercial Crown Corporation.

Government releases results of ICBC review. Uploaded by GCPE Newsroom Delivery Account. August 16, 2012 09:58 pm UTC. Story Content ...

VICTORIA - Government has completed its review of ICBC and will be working closely with the corporation to ensure all recommendations are addressed, Finance Minister Kevin Falcon announced today.

As announced in the speech from the throne and Budget 2012, government is reviewing all Crown corporations. Overall, the review found ICBC has done a good job managing its investments and keeping premium increases low over the last 10 years, with drivers seeing premium increases averaging less than one per cent per year.

The review makes 24 recommendations, including several where the corporation can be better aligned with government's priority of cost containment. ICBC has accepted all recommendations and started work on an action plan to better serve British Columbians. The corporation has fully implemented five recommendations, eight recommendations are partially implemented, and implementation of the remaining 11 recommendations is underway.

ICBC has put a claims cost strategy in place with the goal of ...

To read the rest, you have Pay for our own government Press releases


Then yesterday, online followed up as a hard copy today, Jonathan Fowlie's interview with Premier Christy Clark:

Clark agreed that her government’s February budget is “going to be tight” but rejected the suggestion that 2013 will be a repeat of 2009. That year, then-premier Gordon Campbell’s B.C. Liberals tabled a budget with razor-thin margins, only to have the targets blown out of the water in the days immediately after the election.

“It’s not the same. It’s very different,” she said.

“The reason the government couldn’t meet their target was because there was a global financial meltdown unlike anything anybody’s ever seen since the Depression. That’s not where we are today,” she continued.

“We are today in a world of economic turmoil, but we are stable and growing here in British Columbia. We’re doing quite well despite what’s going on around the world,” she added.
January 1st is a new beginning, right Christy?  The provincial election four to five months away, plenty of time to pour out more millions in advertising.  Is your new Minister of Finance and HIS "Team", looking for a path around the USA financial Cliff or are you going to pull the same stunt that Hansen and Campbell tried to pull off with the HST?
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b) the public office holder shall not have any power of management or control over the trust assets;
(c) the trustee shall not seek or accept any instruction or advice from the public office holder concerning the management or the administration of the assets;
(d) the assets placed in the trust shall be listed on a schedule attached to the instrument or contract establishing the trust;
(e) the term of any trust shall be for as long as the public office holder who establishes the trust continues to hold his or her office, or until the trust assets have been depleted; etc.....


With MLA's investments tied up in these Blind Trusts, to ensure they don't take advantage of INSIDER information being gleaned from being Government, are those who are ducking for "cover", not standing for election, has their decisions been influenced by that fast approaching USA cliff?  Ah!! To be out as an MLA, back in control of personal finances.

A SNAP election would help them.

The sooner the better.

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Who can forget Dan Murphy's 2010 take on Mike de Jong as the Attorney General.
$6 million to cover a plea bargain?

Mike de Jong as Finance Minister, signing over
$64 million to cover Christy's advertising

That spending spree of the BC Liberals is downright 
Reckless



"......There's actually only two budgets," said de Jong at a news conference releasing the government's economic update Wednesday.

 De Jong didn't provide a detailed plan on how the government will get there beyond the government's previously announced tightening of discretionary spending and travel and a hiring freeze. But he also didn't rule out increasing taxes or making further cuts.

There's deficit budgets and surplus budgets," he said. "It's not just a cushion of balancing. We're going to have to present a budget that will withstand scrutiny, that will show sufficient surplus as to be credible. ......"

From the BC Government Debt Management Website, Deficit is explained:

Deficit – an excess of expense over revenue. The annual deficit is the amount by which the total annual operating expenses for the year exceed total annual revenues. The accumulated deficit is the sum of all deficits and surpluses incurred since the inception of the provincial government; it also represents the amount by which the total liabilities of the province exceed its total assets. Deficit spending is the spending of public funds raised by borrowing rather than by taxation.
Just to be absolutely clear here, we're already in a deficit position by about $2 billion, and the BC Liberal government is still spending public funds which means they BORROWED $64 million  to propel them into a fourth term..... go figure...

Sunday, December 9, 2012

British Columbia Legislature has to change from "Unicameral" to Bicameral or Multicameral



British Columbia's Legislature operates under a "unicameral" system, rather than a "multicameral".   We thought that the latter system would be more applicable because Canada's, and therefore British Columbia's, have communities containing multiple cultures: "multiculturism".

However........

 In a book called "Publications of the Government of British Columbia 1871 - 1947", on Page 5 of 251, all is explained...... sort of... which led us to have a look at other systems, ones that would stop Christy Clark from preening and grandstanding in front of a camera  .....on taxpayers money as mentioned by RossK aka The Gazetteer.




By now you should be asking yourself just what is this "animal", this Unicameral???????  is it related to the Unicorn..........?    Latin uni, one + camera, chamber

We turned our attention to Google with this search criteria: unicameral legislature.  4.3 million hits.

Wikipedia on Unicarmeral:
In government, unicameralism (Latin uni, one + camera, chamber) is the practice of having one legislative or parliamentary chamber. Thus, a unicameral parliament or unicameral legislature is a legislature which consists of one chamber or house. Unicameral legislatures typically exist in small and homogeneous unitary states, where a second chamber is considered unnecessary.
British Columbia unicameral legislature  has two partners, working hand in hand......
The Legislative Assembly of British Columbia is one of two components of the Legislature of British Columbia, the provincial parliament (the other is the Queen of Canada, represented by the Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia).

A "Yahoo! Answers" search for unicameral legislature came up with a differing opinion with Benjamin Franklin putting in his  two cents  by promoting bicameralism:
One of the arguments in favor of bicameralism was that one chamber should represent the wealthy class of society, while the other should represent all free men. In 1789, the state of Pennsylvania considered a change from unicameralism to bicameralism in its government. That year, Franklin wrote Queries and Remarks Respecting Alterations in the Constitution of Pennsylvania to record his opposition to bicameralism.

Wikipedia's take on "Bicameralism:

Bicameralism is an essential and defining feature of the classical notion of mixed government. Bicameral legislatures tend to require a concurrent majority to pass legislation.

Concurrent majority refers in general to the concept of preventing majorities from oppressing minorities by allowing various minority groups veto power over laws. The most vocal proponents of the theory have tended to be minority groups, such as farmers in an industrial society or nonwhites in a predominately white society. The concurrent majority is intended to prevent the tyranny of the majority that can otherwise occur in an unlimited democracy.



As to Multicameralism......





Check out Concept and you'll find this:
Proponents of unicameralism have also argued that it reduces costs, as even if the number of legislators is the same as it would be in a multicameral system, there are fewer institutions to maintain and support.

The main weakness of a unicameral system can be seen as the lack of restraint on the majority, particularly noticeable in parliamentary systems where the leaders of the parliamentary majority also dominate the executive. There is also the risk, depending on how seats are allocated in the legislature, that important sectors of society may not be adequately represented.
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In the beginning, the BC Legislature building, the precinct, did not have political parties.  Constituents were represented by their MLA, answerable to the Constituents.  The MLAs decided who were going to be the Premier, who were going to be the Ministers.  If there were "failures", the Ministers would be replaced by another MLA.   No party lines, just a majority of MLAs forming a government whereby there were many MLAs crossing the floor because of the issues at hand.  Over simplification you might say, but the point here is that ...In the beginning.... our Legislature was not built upon Partisan politics, them against us, that now are present.  In the beginning, we all worked to make British Columbia a better place than when we found it.... but now it's more like the Government, the majority will do anything....even use close to $70 million of our money, our tax money, to pave the way to another majority.  That's criminal... if our foreparents, our foreUncle and Aunts, were to see the bickering that goes on now.....


Party government was not introduced into British Columbia until June 1, 1903 when Richard McBride announced the formation of a Conservative administration. The general election held later that year was the first to be fought along formal party lines.

Prior to 1903, elections were fought and governments were formed by groups, or factions. Allegiances were often more personal than political and were not fixed
Source: BC Legislative Library