Everything old is new again…

RCMP investigation raising questions 

“Federal Serious and Organized Crime Unit” asking about Liberal party membership and online voting -

See more at: http://www.burnabynow.com/rcmp-investigation-raising-questions-1.887976#sthash.pPt9yPsC.dpuf



Posted in 24 hours Vancouver The Duel, BC Liberals, BC NDP, BC Politics, crime, Laila Yuile | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

This weeks column for 24Hrs Vancouver: Teachers should be praised for trying to fix broken classrooms

The winner of last week’s duel on civil disobedience was Laila with 67%.

This week’s topic:

Did the strike vote by B.C. teachers help or hurt their cause?

As results came in last week for the B.C. Teachers’ Federation strike vote, I couldn’t help but wonder how long it would take for the pro-government supporters to start spinning the news on social media. Within seconds of the live-streamed announcement the first anti-teacher tweets began, calling out those dreadful teachers for using our children as political pawns.

What they would like parents to forget is that the government calling out the BCTF for holding a “premature” strike vote is the same government that was recently criticized by a B.C. Supreme Court justice for failing to negotiate in good faith. For years, while the government has been pointing fingers at teachers, the only people using our children as political pawns have been those with the Liberal government.

As a parent of four, this strike vote didn’t fill me with sadness or gloom at all. In fact, like many other parents I know who were appalled by the court’s ruling in January — declaring the government tried to provoke a strike with teachers — I was buoyed by hope the results would show the government these negotiations need to be taken seriously.

Read Brent Stafford’s column

It hasn’t been the teachers who have been in the wrong all this time, it’s been the government. Teachers in this province used to have a collective agreement that ensured smaller class sizes and guaranteed crucial classroom supports that are essential to education — supports like special education assistants, counsellors and teacher-librarians. When the government stripped those rights out of the agreement, all kids suffered from a lack of access to the supports they need, with children who require special education support impacted the most.

The thing that’s bewildering to me in all of this is why the government refuses to see the direct impact of their failed education agenda in the classroom…

Read the rest of this weeks duel, comment and vote at http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/2014/03/09/bc-teachers-should-be-praised-for-trying-to-fix-broken-classrooms


Posted in 24 hours Vancouver The Duel, BC Liberals, BC NDP, BC Politics, Laila Yuile | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

This weeks column for 24hrs Vancouver: Battle over Clayoquot Sound shows the power of peaceful protests

Columnists Laila Yuile and Brent Stafford battle over the issues of the day. The winner of last week’s duel on Russia was Brent at 65%.

This week’s topic:

Is civil disobedience an acceptable way to stop the Northern Gateway Pipeline?

Growing up in a rural area just north of Prince George — in a family that relied on both the land and the forestry industry to survive — was a precious gift from my parents. Admittedly, I didn’t fully realize this until I was an adult with children of my own, and felt an immense pressure to leave them with the ability to enjoy as much of the province as I did growing up.

We spent summers exploring wild country filled with hidden lakes, fishing, hunting and gathering in tune with the seasons — a way of life many still live today in many areas of B.C.

Read Brent Stafford’s column

However, on a visit home during the early 1990s while the “War in the Woods” of Clayoquot Sound played out for the world to see, my dad and I argued over “those bloody tree-huggers.” He defended logging, while I was adamant that trees as old as time should not be cut. It was a sticky point for us until years later, faced with the results of mismanaged and poorly crafted forest policies, he began to see the writing on the wall.

Just because we can do something, doesn’t mean we should.

The Clayoquot Sound battle was an epic example of lasting change that was a direct result of civil disobedience. Faced with the prospect of ancient coastal rainforests being logged, hundreds of protesters blocked logging trucks. In the end, they prevented the forest from being cut….

Read the rest of this weeks duel, vote and comment at http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/2014/03/02/battle-over-clayoquot-sound-shows-the-power-of-peaceful-protests

Posted in 24 hours Vancouver The Duel, BC Liberals, BC NDP, BC Politics, Enbridge, Federal politics, Laila Yuile, The China Connection, The Environment | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

A must read, watch and share: W5 brings us Pipeline Wars, a story of unreported spills, alarmed communities and a promise to do ‘better’

“On the eve of W5’s reporting about the issue, the company sent an e-mail to mayors and councillors in dozens of Ontario communities located along the line, advising of the broadcast, offering links to the company’s website to provide its own view and warning that those opposed to reversing the flow had been interviewed.

“We anticipate this story will not be presented in a balanced manner despite our efforts and full cooperation with CTV,” wrote Ken Hall, Enbridge’s Senior Advisor, Public Affairs, even though he had no advance knowledge of the W5 report’s contents.”

Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/w5/enbridge-record-questioned-company-vows-to-do-better-as-line-9-pipeline-decision-nears-1.1698491#ixzz2u7FWVwB0Other

Other coverage:


Posted in BC Liberals, BC Politics, Enbridge, Federal politics, Laila Yuile, The China Connection, The Environment | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Coming soon

The third installment of Playing with the Dragon has been delayed to follow-up on some new and relevant information that came in – there is no sense in releasing it without doing this because it directly impacts the story itself.

As well, some interesting info has come in relating to a relatively new provincial contract involving one of my favourite contractors that requires some investigation. Hope to have more on that shortly!

If you have any info relating to the awarding of the contract for the John Hart Generating Station project, or to the project itself, please get in contact with me via the confidential contact form  on the contact page. Discretion is assured.

Posted in BC Liberals, BC Politics | 4 Comments

And the total cost of the new Surrey city hall/civic plaza/ parkade is….. ( drumroll please…) $138 million plus.

Much more than the $97 million dollars borrowed by the city to build the city hall :


What no one from the city has mentioned yet, is that the building cost of the parkade that services the City Hall and Library, was an additional cost of $32 million, as per this bylaw that authorized the city to borrow that money in July of 2010: http://www.surrey.ca/bylawsandcouncillibrary/BYL-17180-D473.pdf

In addition, the cost of the Civic Centre plaza is not included in the cost of the city hall, it was set aside as a separate project, and is estimated to be in the range of $9 million dollars, which is said to have been budgeted  for out of regular revenues. It is included in this list of Build Surrey projects, many of which have not been completed, such as the improvments to Newton. http://www.surrey.ca/bylawsandcouncillibrary/R174-1802.pdf

The grand total for the City hall, parkade and civic centre plaza? Not including the new furnishings etc?

Approximately $138 million dollars, most of borrowed, not including carrying costs and interest.

While the city might rely on the partial rental of the old city hall to offset the costs of the new one, what exactly is going to offset the costs of this other loan? Why aren’t these other costs included in the total being presented to the public?

While city staff have justified the build out by stating that it has brought over $3 billion dollars of  investment into the city centre, residents who have been told there is no money for the required amount of RCMP officers the city needs to keep pace with its growth find the amount of money borrowed for this project, staggering.


Posted in BC Politics | Tagged , , , , | 18 Comments

Things that matter.

The Newton Community Association held a public forum today to follow-up the public meeting from January. Great dialogue from the community and I’ll have more observations on that soon, but tonight I have some writing to do for a deadline, hopefully before my power goes out!

However, often I find the smaller moments at events like this are the ones that really make it all worth it. Moments when guards are dropped and two people just connect for a moment as humans. Today tears, more than a few hugs, funny moments and endearing ones were shared, between and around the timeline and agenda of a public forum. And for each of you who shared those moments, thank you. :) Pushing mountains is hard to do on your own, but together, anything is possible.






Posted in Laila Yuile | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Dear Enbridge. What part of ‘We don’t want your pipeline’ do you not understand? Best regards, Laila




Posted in BC Liberals, BC NDP, BC Politics, Enbridge, Federal politics, Laila Yuile, The China Connection, The Environment | Tagged , , , , | 39 Comments

Short delay to final installment of Playing with the Dragon, due to illness

There is a nasty virus going around that makes food poisoning look like fun, and I’ve got it. Lasts a couple of days. If I can manage, I will post it over the weekend. Be good.


Posted in Laila Yuile | 16 Comments

This weeks column for 24Hrs: Oversight needed at Canadian Border Services Agency

Columnists Laila Yuile and Brent Stafford battle over the issues of the day. The winner of last week’s duel on the transit referendum was Laila with 64%.

This week’s topic: Should the Canadian Border Services Agency be held responsible for the death of Lucia Vega Jimenez?

Brent’s submission this week is thoughtful and pointed, speaking to several issues far bigger than just the tragic death of Lucia Vega Jimenez. There is always room for future debate on Canada’s immigration policies, as well as the greater responsibility of handling refugee claims and deportation proceedings in a humane manner.

Without a doubt, it was Jimenez who undertook the specific actions that ultimately led to her death. Sadly, nobody seems to know what specifically drove her to hang herself, although it’s clear she greatly feared a return to her native Mexico. She also had reportedly suffered a betrayal via theft of her savings by a boyfriend.

Read Brent Stafford’s column

While Brent conditionally absolves the Canadian Border Services Agency of all wrongdoing in this particular incident, he fails to address the many lingering questions left behind after the RCMP investigation was closed. How does one have the ability to hang themselves while in custody in a monitored facility? How often are detainees checked? Who is responsible for checking them? What are their qualifications and are those employees capable of recognizing the signs of emotional duress?

CBSA has not been forthcoming with any information. Nor has CBSA commented on the contracting out of the B.C. immigration holding centres operations or staffing to Genesis Security Group, which has a contract worth $6.2 million that ends March 31, according to the federal government bid site…

READ the rest of this weeks post, comment and vote for who you think should win this weeks duel, at http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/2014/02/02/oversight-needed-to-see-if-contracted-security-guards-are-qualified


Posted in 24 hours Vancouver The Duel, crime, Federal politics | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment