Bits and Bites, Wednesday November 4th, 2009

You know what?

There is so much to talk about that is making my blood boil that I did not even need to turn the furnace on this morning. So, without the usual chatty preamble, I’m going to start with  the closure of 5 legal aid offices in B.C. 

That’s right, offices in Prince George, Surrey, Victoria, Kamloops and Kelowna are closing for good. The BC Legal services society says it is because of a shortage in funding- 54 people will be laid off as a result of the closures.

 What does Mike de Jong have to say about it all?Well, he blames it on the economic downturn…

What do the people who use these services have to say? Who knows, because  the Liberals don’t like to sully their kid shoes at street level talking to the average folk. Have you ever seen a Liberal out talking to real people when it doesn’t involve a photo-op? Nope, didn’t think so. But I’ll give you $50 if you can find one.

This is disgusting. Someone explain to me how it is that Gordon Campbell thinks it is totally fine to be paying for a bloody retractable roof on a facility that is likely going to be creating debt, rather than income,  and leave some of our most vulnerable people hanging without legal services?  And that roof isn’t even going to be keeping our taxpayers money in BC, because the major steel fabrication contract is going out of province.  Hey, to heck with keeping BC money in BC, let’s use all that property down there…. Always, always remember  Gordon Campbell’s roots as a real estate man and developer.

Speaking of the Liberals,where the heck is health minister,Kevin Falcon’s keeper?You know, those women with the black framed glasses the Liberals appear to buy in bulk,( glasses, not women!) who follow the ministers around and make sure they don’t say or do anything stupid? Seriously, this man needs to close his mouth. ” Close your mouth Kevin.”

 Just close it, and keep it closed, because every time you open it, you dig yourself, and the BC Liberals, an even bigger hole. First the Saskatchewan surgery ‘miscommunication’, now the back to work legislation you are trying to have passed to force the very hard-working BC Paramedics back into line with VANOC’s plan for the 2010 Olympics.

 It’s kind of laughable though- just read this excerpt from Hansard where the Falconator brings in this little bit of legislation:

Hon. K. Falcon: The Ambulance Services Collective Agreement Act is designed to bring an end to the current impasse between the Emergency and Health Services Commission and CUPE 873, the union representing ambulance paramedics and dispatchers in British Columbia.When B.C.’s paramedics began their job action on April 1, earlier this year, we sincerely hoped that a mutually agreeable settlement could be reached. Unfortunately, despite numerous attempts over the past seven months, the two sides have been unable to resolve their differences. The last offer made to the union was generous, given the difficult economic challenges we face as a province, and it is in keeping with what other public sector workers will receive in 2009-10. We value the work and services of B.C.’s 3,500 ambulance paramedics, and many of us have great relationships with individual paramedics across the province. However, we are concerned that the longer this dispute drags on, the higher the risk for patients, a risk we are no longer prepared to countenance. With the H1N1 pandemic impacting the acute care system and with the busy holiday season fast approaching, the public needs certainty that they’ll have the care they need in an emergency. It is time to move forward in the interests of all British Columbians. It is not a decision we have come to lightly.

Do you think anyone really believes this is about Swine flu?  Or the holiday season?

Does any one single British Columbian have a concern that the BC paramedics are going to leave them hanging when they call 911? Not a chance.

This is about the games, pure and simple. The pressure was on from VANOC, as evidenced by a letter released by the paramedics union Tuesday that says:

“If we are unable to obtain that guarantee (through either settlement of the strike or legislated ‘detente’ for the Games), then Vanoc will be required to initiate alternative contingency plans to avoid cancellation of the Games,”

We all know this is NOT about H1N1. This is not about tired management filling in, nor is it about damaged equipment. This is about forcing these men and women back to work to go along with the grand Olympic plan. Wouldn’t do to have all these paramedics walking around at the venues wearing the STRIKE signs, would it? Too inconvenient for you to answer all the questions from the international press about why this has been going on for so long. 

 There is no reason this should have happened, except the governments lack of concern for the fair treatment of these workers.  Carol James and the NDP will not be supporting this legislation and will vote no.

What it comes down to is this. Gordon Campbell and his team of fiberals have never been in touch with regular British Columbians. They have no clue what it means to choose between eating and paying your rent. They have no clue what it means to rely on resources in the community to make ends meet, or deal with issues affecting your life.  And they certainly have no clue as to what it means to be a paramedic, or to have to rely on one to save your life.

 Watch this video and find out why the paramedics are striking. We have to stand behind these men and women as British Columbians,  so head on over to to find out what you can do, and how you can help.

Also in that Hansard transcript, is the exchange between Carol James, Minister of Community and Rural Development,Bill Bennett and Forests Minister,  Pat Bill, in which Carol asks them what the Liberal government plans to do to help the people of Kitimat, where some 500+ workers will be left in the cold as Eurocan closes its mill.

 Here is a breakdown of the questions that were asked and the answers that were given:

  • Will the B.C. Liberal government give Kitimat $2 million dollars in transitional funding as was done before the election for Fort St. James and Mackenzie? No.
  • Will the B.C. Liberal government reopen the Community Development Trust in order to give workers access to early retirement options? No.
  • Why has the B.C. Liberal government refused to put together a provincial strategy to protect forest jobs in the wake of more than 50 mill closures and 25,000 jobs lost? No answer.

I’ll tell you why the liberals don’t want to help the people of Kitimat, and why they won’t. I supect it has a lot to do with their plans with Enbridge, and those bloody oil-tankers they plan to traipse up and down our coast, and to China:

Funny how despite ” Tough economic times”, the Liberals can come up with a half a BILLION dollars for a fancy new roof on BC Place in just a few weeks, yet they keep making cuts to everything else.. In the interest of saving the Libs some money, I thought I would come up with a new slogan for them.Here it is:

Gordon Campbell and the BC Liberals.

We like to say ” Tough economic times” – a lot.

 Now, in a totally random addition to this post, last night I discovered a little piece of my personal history is up for sale on the internet.
Tucked away in an area south-west of Prince George,  Finger Lake resort has been in business since I was a kid,and although the site is more developed now, it appears to have still retained the majority of its rustic flavour strictly by its relatively remote location.
 Those were the days… Growing up in Prince George, we were ‘gone fishing’,or exploring the wilderness pretty much every single weekend, and on long weekends we would pack up the trailer and truck, load the boat, and often head out to Finger Lake.
Back then, getting into the resort was an adventure in itself, because there was no real road other than the one cut into the bush by the old owners. Basically we had to off-road the truck,trailer and boat through the bush,trying to avoid hanging up one of the three on a stump. Once we were in though, the rest was easy.
The only time we spent in the trailer at the campsite was spent sleeping. We cooked outside on a grate over the fire, we fished before dawn and ate pan-fried rainbow trout  and fried potatoes for breakfast, along with the obligatory slabs of bacon. I’ll never forget it. The fishing was always great, the scenery unbelievable and sometimes a little dangerous.
 I remember one year one of the local grizzlies investigated out campsite every night after we went to bed, leaving tracks in the dust around the fire… which made going to the outhouse a group activity! Remember too, that this was back in the days of catch and eat, not catch and release! Conservation wasn’t exactly the name of the game on our camping trips. We would eat as many as we could and take the rest of our limit home for freezing or smoking. ( mmmmm smoked rainbow trout!)
Ah well, it’s been years since I’ve been there, but I have several photo albums to remember all the fun times by. And I guess that it is places and experiences like this that make me love B.C. so much. There really is no place else like it. Pristine lakes, beautiful rivers and untouched wilderness. Which is why we must protect,at any cost, what is left.
 It is, all we have. 
 Anyways, if you are looking for a lake resort to buy, check out this place. If I had $525,ooo.oo I would buy it in a heartbeat, just for the memories- ok. for the trout too!!
Last but not least, scroll down and read the short posts from yesterday, concerning the RCMP member who is suing CBC for their coverage of the death of Robert Dziekanski. This is the fellow who actually deployed his taser, and who is now claiming extreme embarrassment and distress… uh huh…!