Thursday, September 25, 2014

Speaker MLA Linda Reid's faux pas: Canadian Parliamentary Review: 'Constituency Offices in Focus'

In with the new, including security alarms, video surveillance cameras (in the public loo too??), front store bullet proof window with that added deterrent of a tank resistant bench to sit upon but doubles as a barricade to stop terrorists.  The Speaker had an unofficial author, report on necessary changes, a friend (mentioned three times in the Legislature by the MLA), a retired (2009) rcmp officer.

The official RCMP version of security needs stated that they only made suggestions to the Speaker and never insisted that changes be made.  That role, that jurisdiction, that decision, is the BC Legislature precinct Speaker herself who tells MLAs if there is money in the kitty, which is on the shelf, in the cupboard, that was bare, a couple of years ago.   Ahhhhh!  Here we go, Earmarked for Richmond Constituency Office: ..... $79,000

Vancouver Sun

Richmond News

MLA Reid, as the Speaker of the Legislature, has meetings to attend to outside of Victoria and Richmond, like being the 2nd Vice President for Canadian Parliamentary where she is a featured speaker in their Review, Volume, No. 2  Summer 2014    Page 20 of 72

Editor intro to Speaker Linda Reid:
With 36 per cent of its MLAs now women, British Columbia currently has the highest proportion of women parliamentarians in Canada. Moreover, women hold key decision-making positions in the province as Lieutenant Governor, Premier and Speaker.   While celebrating these milestones, in this article, B.C. Speaker Linda Reid warns against complacency and urges parliamentarians across Canada and the Commonwealth to continue implementing changes designed to facilitate a level playing field for women interested in political life.   - Page 20 of 72  

It would appear that there 'level playing field' has tipped slightly heavier to one side when comparing office expenditures between men and women MLAs.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Kinder Morgan Security agents Flip loaded coins in decision of Grandmother's guilt, or guilty.

Just Askin,    Lesslie ...... but your tanks are camouflaged desert sand and ... this next image is signed, and forest green

We Spy with our beady little eyes ....
Part I

We can almost understand Kinder Morgan's Westridge Marine Terminal attitude on security concerns towards terrorists, overseas, but when it comes to attacking a non-raging grandmother, a Burnaby citizen preparing for a presentation from the National Energy Board on a pipeline/tank farmer/shipper, does ..... her "drive-by" photography shooting, complete with her visible licensed motor vehicle ..... constitutes the corporation's right to target Grandmother with their security agents?

One word comes to mind:

Did these highly trained security agents skip the first section in their training manuals: 'The Lost Art of Diplomacy'?

It's being reported that these agents were playing a game .... seriously.....  "I SPY with our little beady eyes  ..... in broad daylight, a parked car, grey haired intruder, holding a camera, just beyond the razor topped chain link fence ....  on public land".

In response to the 'threat', the agents flipped their loaded corporate issued coins into the air, to decide on the guilt or innocence of the intruder, and amazingly, the two coins landed: "GUILTY" side up.

Call the cops!

It was a moment wasted by Kinder Morgan officials, an opportunity lost to show diplomacy.  The officials could have stopped the security agent supervisors from taking the next step after the appearance of the 'terrorist'.  Call in the RCMP et al????, and they did, by screaming:
We are under attack!


With their former corporate name being Enron (much distrusted by the public already), there should be more emphasis by those who run their gong show now, learn to turn their cheek, not ass cheeky, to be seen as a more understanding corp, a  'Kind    -   er Morgan' not the old Kinder Morgan/Enron.

Grandmother questioned after photographing (Kinder Morgan) oil tanks  - Vancouver Sun

..... The News Westminster citizen, who is doing research for an upcoming National Energy Board hearing into the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, took the photos in early August.  The $5.4-billion pipeline would double the storage need for incoming Alberta bitumen oil.
Company security guards spotted her activity, and ten days later she got a visit from two RCMP officers at her home. .....
Those involved:

Kinder Morgan tank farm security forces
Kinder Morgan Supervisors
National Energy Board (NEB)
Integrated National Security Enforcement Team
Canada Border Services Agency
TWO  RCMP  Officers
Burnaby-Douglas MP Kennedy Stewart
(Questioning the Conservatives for Targeting Opponents to the Kinder Morgan Pipeline)
House of Commons drawn into the debate
Hapless Harper ... no comment
Grandmother's children and their children


Part II 

We can almost understand Kinder Morgan's Eastern division facility's concern about Askin's photographs because it could lead to a surprise ruling by the Government of Canada's Transportation department.  Cover up!!!!   Not in the sense you're thinking, but there was until August 2013 an open-hopper-top mentality for Kinder Morgan'ss Western division facility at Vancouver Wharves which accepts among others resources, Sulphur, which has a history, documented, of catching on fire.
August 30, 2013  Fair Incendiary Comment?

The hopper carloads are now COVERED!!

The thing is, that as much as Hoppers full of sulphur has been covered ... up ..... why hasn't the same been done for hoppers full of Coal?

Part III

CNR and CPR prefer to use Dust Glue, or other such products to stop the coal dust from being blown onto areas near their railines.

 The method they use, TWICE, once at the Coal pits and then again at say Tappen, near Kamloops is autmoatically done:

At the 40 second mark ...... 

and CP has their theory on what is clean....

Keeping it clean

After it has been mined and processed, the coal is loaded on CP rail cars at Fording River, Elkview, Line Creek and Greenhills, and departs for its destination from there.

“All the mines are equipped with what we refer to as railway loop track where the coal is loaded directly onto the rail cars of a coal train,” explained Hrysak. “All rail cars loaded with coal are sprayed at each mine and then again en route to the Coast at our Tappen re-spray facility, which is the midpoint between the mines and the port.”

The chemical sprayed on the coal is a glue-like polymer and Hrysak said that it acts as a crusting agent to keep the coal pack firm while in transport; it limits any potential of coal dust escaping as well.

As to the "crusting agent", residents of Delta beg to differ, eh:

At the begining there's just a hint of something coming off the Coal train, but at the One MINUTE position it's clear that something is amiss for the whole length of the train.

Sprayed coal doesn’t shed coal dust? How about this video of a coal train through Delta to prove that WRONG

Divide and conquer we say.  If the Kinder Morgans of this world don't approve of one person photographing their facilities, what would they say about more photos being posted online my many?

It could turn out worse than kicking a loaner dog in an elevator which is monitored by a camera, eh.

Friday, September 19, 2014

BC Hydro should know to Never, NEVER, mix electricity with water AND Children (or the children in us)

BC Municipalities practice due diligence when it comes to the safety of their communities, but why is it that Crown Corporation BC Hydro can run amuck like it's a Kinder Morgan / Enbridge corporation.


Buried beneath busy  West Vancouver's Marine Drive, between 17th and 18th, there's Larson Creek salmon habitat complete with a mural-on-the-pavement camouflage to the north.

and this:

Grating covers reveal a free to flow Larson Creek below

and this:

Further downstream, between 17th and 18th, between Bellevue and waterfront, BC Hydro has their Cypress Transmission substation with it's own generating plant waiting for the moment when Rich Colman's Billion Dollar Smart Meter program is called upon because of the ever inevitable windstorm.


BC Hydro has it's way of cordoning of their dangerous components like:

Barb wire topping a chain link fence:
A chain link fence separating Mother and Child from ..... in West Vancouver ..

Isn't there a required setback between pedestrians, motor vehicles (metal)?
that should look like this one in South Vancouver?
Vancouver: north-west of Knight and East 49th
.... Plastic to keep the heavy oil from leaking out of the 45 gallon barrel drums, and onto, into, the gravel beneath. 

And then seeping into the ground water, to Larson Creek Salmon run. Why store it here at all?

A River Runs through Cypress Substation

Serene green setting?????  Guard rail separating sidewalk from .... Larson Creek
Looking to the South East
Looking South-ish
BC Hydro Cypress Substation to either side
There's a readily available pedestrian bridge, no guard rails, just north of the BCRail Right-Of-Way.    No guard rail either side of Larson Creek to stop children from falling in, not climbing out.  And what about those pesky trees ?????? ...... within a BC Hydro Facility?

According to BC Hydro's Pest Management Plan     report:

Page 7 of 61

Putting aside the missing razor topped chain link fence around the WHOLE facility, why is it still situated a half block away from a million dollar waterfront views, " blocked" by two privately held residences no more than two stories high, when it should be sitting in an industrial area or UP THERE near the Hillcrest Substation?


Copy Names from the list and put it into Google Earth

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Fear For Canadians was France's Quebec, replaced???? by Scotland's Nova Scotia

It was mentioned this morning, over Brunch at the End of the Universe of the possibility that three Canadian Provinces will have to redraw their flags .... because of the outcome of the "Vote" in Scotland.

Our Culture - Nova Scotia



As Premier Christy Clark flees off to our Commonwealth country of India, will she take the time to call for a Royal Commission on the design of a new flag, or has the untendered contract been awarded to Kimbo?

BRITISH Columbia

Friday, September 12, 2014

As Rick Mercer would say: If you happen to be in Vernon on Sept 13 & 14; Take in Allan Brooks Nature Centre all weekend Garage Sale fundraiser

We had a bit of spare time on our hands two weeks ago while visiting Vernon, so we took in what turned out to be one non "event".  "Non" because the heritage Mackie House was not open to the public, but we got a 20 minute tour thanks to onsite Manager C.  There are many unique features about this house, but three caught our attention straight away:

DumbWaiter from Kitchen to the Basement through the hardwood flooring!!
This shelving arrangement is adjustable every 1 1/2"

Root Cellar could double as a bomb shelter with it's convex/barrel ceiling/roof

Mackie House Jnr. (R) contributes to Nature


The main event though, to use the pun, to 'copp' a hilltop view of Allan Brooks Nature Centre, turned out that the ABNC volunteers were getting ready for their Garage Sale in two weeks time.  But now it's Now!!!!  Tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday.
Disorganized ......  Spic and Span for tomorrow
Where is the Allan Brooks Nature Centre?

Barracks and Highway below

 Have you ever noticed while approaching Vernon from Kelowna, or leaving Vernon for Kelowna, looking to the west, the White, squarish, building flying the Canadian flag atop the highest hill which is still part of the Army barracks and parade grounds (Department of National Defence Camp)?

After the Wars I, II, Korea, Cold, a Government (of Canada) built a Meteorological building up there and continued existing until 2000 when MP Sheila Copps, Liberal Heritage Minister downsized it and with a Photo Op shovelful of dirt awaiting, Allan Brooks Nature Centre was born.  Copps' embossed name, not like the once polished politician, is almost readable, at the bottom right hand corner.

The Allan Brooks Nature Centre hours: Open Monday to Saturdays from 9am - 4 pm, Closed Sundays.  
Allan Brooks Nature Centre
There are warning signs aplenty, majority reserved for Nature crossings and exorbitant prices.....

Major Allan Brooks bio


There was one treat in store for us after we left the Tourism Office in Vernon, their Museum which is the depository for over 70 original paintings/sketches on display by Allan Brooks!

Like these

Monday, September 8, 2014

No Swimming in False Creek, but Dipping Dragon Boat paddles are OK

Amazing, Vancouver Coastal Health Officials can draw a line on a map below Burrard Bridge and the False Creek E coli is stopped in it's tracks.

Is Vancouver Coastal Health the same as VANCOUVER city hall?

Million Dollar High rise living overlooking False Creek's Cesspool.

September 4, 2014
Vancouver Coastal Health Beach Water Quality

Index for all reports:

And:  Washington Marine Group sponsors:
WaterKeeper Swim Guide

Symbolic???? Rio Tinto, a sponsor of the Dragon Boat Festival, sits upon two waterfronts in British Columbia.  False Creek's cesspool and Douglas Channel at Kitimat which will never become a cesspool, wasted by a spill, create respiratory problems in their continued production of Aluminum:
A $2.7 billion rebuild of Rio Tinto Alcan’s aluminum smelter in Kitimat would reduce much of the pollution the smelter currently produces, according to a new technical report obtained by Business in Vancouver.

The one exception is sulphur dioxide (SO2), which would increase from 27 tonnes per day to up to 42 tonnes per day – something that would aggravate pre-existing respiratory problems in people with asthma and bronchitis and increase acidity in soils and lakes in the area.

The report concludes the increased emissions could result in 150 to 200 additional incidents per year of restricted airways among people with asthma, bronchitis or emphysema. .... May 14, 2013
Google Search Criteria:  rio tinto kitimat aluminum pollution

Do you think that the test results from Mount Polley is .....

Sunday, September 7, 2014

If Deas Island Tunnel is Too Small, not Deep enough; what of CNR's Lift Rail Bridge at Second Narrows

There's been talk that Deas Island four lane Tunnel is neither wide enough, nor deep enough to allow Coal Tankers upstream.  The answer from Premier Christy Clark is that her government (taxpayers) will have a new super high bridge, ten lanes wide, built within nine years.

The word on the street for the Burrard Inlet, at the Second Narrows, is that the Greater Vancouver Water District pipeline from the North Shore to Vancouver and Burnaby needs to go deeper into the narrow channel.

Then there's CNR's Thorton Tunnel, which exits from the headland parallel to the southern end of the Second Narrows as to whether it has the capability of allowing Kinder Morgan's east bound empty Oil Tankers to sail under it because of it's limited raised height.

Second Narrows Railway Bridge in Action (YouTube)
Caboose Coffee source for Video
With all the recent news coverage of oil pipelines, the threat of an oil tanker disaster on British Columbia's coast, and discussions around the movement of oil by rail, I was wondering how I might tie all of the above together in a story that would have a 'railroad' flavour.  Then..., along came Claude Prutton who sent me an email with some of his photos attached that gave me an idea.

Claude is a long-time resident of the Greater Vancouver area and has been hanging around the railroad properties and catching rides with obliging railroaders for many years.  Fortunately for you and me, Claude has also been taking photographs of railway life, not so much from the familiar 3/4 frontal roster-shot view, but instead, he's looked for the unusual shots.  Claude, like Andy Cassidy, Ray Farand and others searches out the photos that tell a story, or in the case of Caboose Coffee..., help me tell a story.  ........
In 2013 CNR made the grand announcement that there would no longer be a need to have an operator on the Rail Bridge to Lift the Bridge when a large vessel need the extra height.... it's now operated remotely out of New Westminster Offices of CNR.
Train movements within the tunnel and over the bridge are controlled by the Second Narrows Operator who, by law had to favour marine traffic over rail traffic because of the narrow channel, fast currents and the inability to steer a ship once it has lost it "way", or speed over the ground below.  In effect, a ship, like a shark, must keep moving or it becomes helpless. -  Caboose Coffee

How many vessels will Kinder Morgan need to export their oil products from Westridge Marine Terminal, that same terminal that has been causing the Corporation of Burnaby to not mince words with Kinder Morgan over their tactic of "slash and burn" of a designated Conservation Area, with the blessing of Harper's National Energy Board (NEB)?

Kinder Morgan says it will have one vessel per day leaving their Marine Terminal, and keeping in mind than it takes more than one day to fill one of these elephants in the room. Does it then mean that there will be always be SEVEN awaiting tankers moored east of the Second Narrows?

Will CNR replace the bridge with a non lifting bridge, as high as the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge, or will they opt to dig a tunnel, side by side with the Greater Vancouver Water Line?

Hey, why not make it three tunnels, one for a Sky Train?

Monday, September 1, 2014

Premier Christy Clark's BC Wood: Build Anew British Columbia's ageing National Park Dry (Pit) Toilets

Eleven years ago we bought our first house (circa 1940).  Two years ago we decided to build a new guard rail on our second story sundeck.  Most of our friends call it a shade-deck, which probably explains it's earlier than expected "retirement" due to West Coast tree loving huggers, and the weather.   We checked in with North Vancouver's Dick's Lumber, RONA, and Home Depot in West Vancouver, and finally city hall where we discovered that the building code height for railings in British Columbia had been changed by the BC Liberals.  Their move had something to do with insurance companies losing revenue over liability issues, which prompted the need for an Executive OIC to allow insurance rates to increase to make up for Corporation losses due to injuries and death ..... claims, not proven in Court.

We sought out a layperson's opinion on rail heights: 
The BC Building code requires ALL guard rails to be 42" in height for exterior if the height above ground is greater than 600 mm (23 9/16").

Max 4" gap between vertical members (so a small child can't get their head stuck), and no horizontal members that could allow a child to climb the railing.- Building Code for Railings Forum
Our existing railings consisted of horizontal boards with large spaces between with an overall height of 32" which fitted in nicely, proportionally, with our knock off Arthur Erickson flat roof home and our garden waterfall which has a 3/16" per foot elevation gain in 16 feet!


We've just returned from our late summer vacation of six days in the Canadian Rockies.  First four days in Yoho National Park exploring the original route for the CPR line complete with a discarded locomotive;
a hike up to Hamilton Lake; a trip to Golden to replenish our food stocks in the morning, afternoon drive up to Takakkaw Falls; and a wasted trip to the Hoodoo (Bear Scat aplenty).  The remaining two days were spent roaming around Banff National Park's Morraine Lake.  One day a stroll up to Consolation Lake (Mandatory requirement Four Or More hikers)(BEARS in area).  The Requirement has reduced the loners to nil.  The next day we struggled up the switchbacks for three hours for a sneak preview of Eiffel Lake and then it was an hour returning to Morraine Lake.  On both days, the Morraine Lake parking lot had spilled over onto the approach road for a kilometre.

Two lanes reduced to one and half.

Dry Pit Toilet availabilities were not kept up proportionally.

Knowing that we would be leaving Yoho for Kelowna the next day, and having 21 camping trips to this region over 37 years we decided to take in our second visit to the lookout for the CPR Double Spiral Tunnels.  There's only one visible, but there's plenty of signage that directs visitors to the other side of the valley to see the second spiral tunnel.  The Trans Canada Highway viewpoint parking lot has ample room for cars, buses and Truckers too.... however,

Armed with the knowledge of a BC Building Code and the BC Liberals change in Rail Heights, and the banned horizontal ladder like railings, we were quite shocked to find Christy Clark, YES, Christy, with her back to the wall, promoting BC Wood for overseas markets!

Here's Christy:


Her favourite Earrings? Matching socks? High cut sweater?  Sleeves rolled up?  BC Jobs Starting Anywhere There but not Here!

I swear, beyond the rail that she's leaning against, it's a sheer drop, well in excess of 109 feet!  The height of the top rail is lower than a kitchen table by 2 inches eg. 28"!  The spacing between the top rail and the bottom board is 12 inches.  Perfect for children to climb up.

We were standing on British Columbia soil within a designated National Park and the Feds are not required to adhered to our laws?

Not more than fifty feet away to the West is another incorrect version of how the National Parks of Canada build fences within British Columbia.  The bottom is still 109' down!  Posts are taller which allows for a third rail, still not legal, but the view is better from there.

In locations that have a large fan base like the CPR Spiral Tunnels, the Natural Bridge, and Morraine Lake, the mode of toiletry is best served DRY, as in PIT Toilets.   Nice building designs, not well kept up paint maintenance, dustbins emptied daily, ahhhh, but beauty is only skin deep, right.

Exterior not in Pristine condition to match the beauty of the Rockies  CPR Spiral Tunnel

Would Premier Christy Clark, leading another Trade Mission to Asia, expect to find this:

Lobby: Male side shown, Female is sure to follow

Larger space reserved, sort of, for the Handicap.  Why have a seat that lifts?

Complete circle toilet seat ....

Smaller space for non-handicapped, but they obviously need more training on aiming, and PLEASE lift the seat first, eh.

Horseshoe shaped toilet seat


These images are what tourists are greeted with in Banff National Park's eg. Morraine Lake, Taylor Lake and best worst of all, Bourgeau Lake named after Eugene Bourgeau who was a French-born botanist who served with the Palliser Expedition in 1857 – 1859:

  Parking lot is small, Foot traffic is light, but it does have one stall for all: Bourgeau Lake

Hinges need WD-40; Door Closer needs replacement
Dual Handicap/non Handicap Dry Toilet with Horseshoe Seating arrangement

THE BEST PLACE to Stay is Kicking Horse Campground
Yoho's Kicking Horse Campground has a washroom/shower building which appears to be similar to the building overlooking the CPR Spiral Tunnel viewpoint, but, inside, the story is totally different:

Washrooms are immaculately cleaned daily for two hours and while we were there, the Men's washroom had a Sloan Waterless Urinal installed:
Waterless urinals all use basically the same science. Urine flows down the bowl of the urinal past a debris-catching strainer. The urine then passes through a sealing liquid, usually a specially designed oil based fluid or simply vegetable oil, and collects in the waste pipe below. The different densities of urine and oil (urine is denser than oil - oil floats!) mean that the urine sinks through the sealing liquid and the oil floats on top of the layer of urine below. Any air bubbles rise to the top and escape leaving the urine in a relatively low oxygen environment. Odor is therefore trapped below the oil layer and cannot find the nose of bathroom occupants. 

Kicking Horse Campground:

With new toilets added this year and with the sign that said:  DO NOT WASH DISHES IN WASHROOMS were replaced with USE THIS Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink for dishes, complete with hot and cold water ........ Outside.

The thing is, if politicians like Christy Clark or Stephen Harper were to do a Photo Op Pit Stop at any Canadian Rockies location, the powers to be, their GCPE handlers, would bring in portable chemical or flush, or waterless systems to ease the pain of dropping one's drawers onto cold, wet, pavement.

Commoners be damned!