More questions than answers as silence on all fronts continues following Imperial Metals tailings pond breach.

Although I am taking a bit of a staycation right now, the videos and photo’s of the Mt.Polley mine tailings pond breach are so overwhelming I couldn’t help but take note since I know many in the area. http://www.mining.com/tailings-breach-at-imperial-metals-mount-polley-mine-40156/

Although I think everyone realizes this is an environmental disaster, I don’t know that most people fully realize how epic of a failure this is, and what the short-term and long term impact is going to be. The amount of toxic sludge and water that was released is incredibly substantial.

However, what is concerning to me is the lack of information being presented by both Imperial Mines and the provincial government at this time.

First and foremost immediate efforts to stabilize the remnants of the structure should be presented to mitigate further issues and a plan in place to prevent any possible chance further contamination.

It only takes moments to google tailings pond failures/breaches to see how other mines and governments around the world have dealt with similar failures. http://www.tailings.info/knowledge/casestudies.htm

And a list of accidents here:http://www.tailings.info/knowledge/accidents.htm

In some cases, efforts were immediately underway to prevent further contamination from rainfall etc entering the waterways furthers downstream by creating barriers. While the lists of toxic ingredients is different dependant on what material is being mined and processed, the end results are all still harmful, which is why they are retained in these massive tailings ponds.

Within a short time, ground crews and machinery were on site to begin removal of the toxic mud, as well as contaminate soil, flora and fauna. http://moodle.telhai.ac.il/pluginfile.php/87349/mod_resource/content/0/references/aznalcollar.pdf

The results of many of these accidents is chilling. Complete devastation of fish and fresh water aquatic life,loss of life of mammals who drink contaminated water, contamination. Already there are reports referring to the ‘sparse population’of the area,which had better not be used as an excuse for anything less than a full remediation of the disaster zone.

Without a doubt, questions remain as to why and how this happened in the first place. I haven’t had time to do more than a bit of research, but I do know that mining guidelines etc fall under provincial jurisdiction. Here is a link to the last available health and safety report online… oddly enough from 2012. Why is the report from 2013 not posted yet ? http://www.empr.gov.bc.ca/Mining/HealthandSafety/CI/Documents/2012_CI_AnnualReport.pdf

Link to Mine Emergency Response Plan guidelines: http://www.empr.gov.bc.ca/MINING/HEALTHANDSAFETY/EMERGENCYPREPAREDNESS/Pages/default.aspx

When was the last inspection on this tailings pond, and what was the result? Was the pond construction adequately maintained? Did the company have an emergency preparedness plan in place for a breach? If so, were those guidelines followed in this event? How does the company plan to mitigate and remediate the entire disaster zone?

And most importantly, how could such a catastrophic failure occur if regular,ongoing inspections and maintenance were occurring?

I guarantee this: Every mine tailings pond will be getting a thorough inspection if one hasn’t been done recently, and the tools do exist to assess internal stability of such structures safely, as per this document showing how the stability of the W.A.C. Bennett Dam was assessed following the appearance of two sinkholes. http://www.swedcold.org/Text/WORKSHOP%202006/Session%201/1420%202006-09-11-WORKSHOP-SteveGARNER.pdf

*** update from National Post : Interview of Brian Olding of  Brian Olding and Associates, who prepared a report for this tailings pond back in 2011:

“As far back as 2011, concerns were raised about the tailings pond at the Mount Polley Mine. Brian Olding and Associates, an environmental consulting firm, prepared a detailed report that was submitted to the provincial Ministry of the Environment.

“We looked at the pond and we thought there was monitoring required. We wanted an emergency contingency plan in place.”

Olding was hired jointly by the Williams Lake Indian Band, the Soda Creek Indian Band and mine owner Imperial Metals to conduct an independent review of the Mount Polley Mine 75 kilometres southeast of Quesnel and prepare a technical assessment report on the proposed discharge of water from a tailings pond.”

http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/08/05/mount-polley-mines-tailings-pond-breach-of-five-million-cubic-metres-of-contaminated-waste-called-massive-environmental-disaster/

Properly managed and with thorough environmental and health and safety oversight in place, mining can be and is a successful revenue generator for our province.

However, without adequate insurance of complete,transparent inspections, reports and provincial oversight and enforcement, residents near all mines should be asking provincial authorities today for assurances this cannot, and will not happen elsewhere else.

 

**10:50 am August 5th, BC Minister of Mines and Energy Bill Bennett issues a statement, nothing from Environment Minister Mary Polak yet, nor has a statement been issues by the official opposition at this time:

http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/2014/08/bill-bennett-minister-of-energy-and-mines-responds-to-mt-polley-mine-incident.html

Posted in BC Liberals, BC NDP, BC Politics, The Environment | Tagged , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Happy B.C. Day ! “May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.”~Edward Abbey

From the banks of humble Mud Bay in Surrey, to the mountain peaks and valleys across this great province, there are incredible views to be found and appreciated…if only you take the time.

Today, and this weekend, get out of the city if you can- find some nature around you if you can’t- and enjoy some downtime away from all the wing-nuttery that’s out there.

If you find yourself at the end of a long trail with an amazing view, share your pics with us when you get back, on twitter @lailayuile, hashtag #BCDAY , or email them to me at lailayuile@live.com and I will add them to the post for readers to enjoy! These are some of mine, from adventures past and present.

Wildness reminds us what it means to be human, what we are connected to rather than what we are separate from.”

— Terry Tempest Williams

 

 

Posted in Laila Yuile | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

A bit of history on politics and the Surrey RCMP

If there is anything that bothers me immensely, it is any kind of political interference or influence in any form of policing.

A wise man once told me : ” Tell the truth, tell it all, and tell it quick.”

I’d like to think that applies to politicians and policing as well, sensitive investigations and strategic information aside.

I noticed earlier today on twitter that mayoral candidate Doug McCallum was trying to make political hay out of others tweets and comments on transparency at city hall with regard to policing and police committee minutes.

And so it’s only correct to ensure a balance of information is available to let readers and Surrey residents know a bit of history on how politics and policing has meshed in the city, this time under the former mayor, whose  actions while mayor of Surrey lead to the story below, from 2002.

While there are very few online links available to explore this subject other than one story I have already mentioned in a prior blog post, there is quite a bit of material archived in libraries and search databases easily accessibly to anyone with a membership.

So, for the record: DougMcCallumRCMP in PDF format

Surrey Mounties vow they won’t be gagged by mayor

 

Author: Spencer, Kent

 

Abstract (Abstract): Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum has pressured police into withholding bad news about crime in the city, says a senior RCMP source.

Full text:

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum has pressured police into withholding bad news about crime in the city,says a senior RCMP source.

“McCallum doesn’t like any kind of negative story about crime, period,” the senior Surrey RCMP officer said yesterday, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“But if the public needs to know about something, we’re putting it out.”Yesterday, McCallum flatly denied trying to censor the RCMP about releasing crime information about his community.

“It’s up to their discretion when they want to send their press releases,” said McCallum. He also denied that an e-mail his assistant sent to RCMP last year was an attempt to control the flow of negative information.

In an earlier radio interview yesterday, McCallum said he could not even recall sending the e-mail.But later he told The Province: “It’s just a question I was asking. Mayors have the right to ask questions about the RCMP.”

The March 2001 e-mail from McCallum’s assistant, Donna Jones, to RCMP Supt. Al MacIntyre said “Doug is wondering” why the RCMP had issued a news release on a “shots fired” incident, since the release itself said police were “not asking for the public’s assistance.”

MacIntyre replied to Jones: “When this call came . . . the media heard about it on their scanners . . . . Given the interest by the media in the incident and to avoid repeatedly giving reports to media outlets . . . a press release was properly made public.”

The RCMP’s own figures show that Surrey is the auto-theft capital of North America on a per-capita basis. But McCallum told council recently it was important to be “careful how you interpret the stats.”

RCMP sources also say McCallum was not pleased that they used the term “House of Horrors” to describe a notorious crack-shack in Whalley.

Police allege the house on 108th Avenue, which has since been demolished, was the scene of drug-taking,extortion, torture and at least two murders.

Surrey North MP Chuck Cadman said the public has a right to know when shots are fired.

“People have to be aware of what’s going on around them so they can address it,” said Cadman, whose his 16-year-old son Jesse was murdered in 1992 in Surrey.Cadman, who is on the RCMP’s list to receive press releases, noted that fewer notices have been sent out since last March.

“It came to my attention when a woman whose son had been stabbed asked me for help,” he said. “I was really surprised, because I had heard nothing about it from the police.”

When asked whether the mayor has tried to suppress information, Surrey RCMP spokesman Const. Tim Shields said: “I have a duty to be honest with the public, therefore, it’s my best response to say nothing.”

Shields added: “The RCMP has a duty to inform the public of dangerous crime trends.”Surrey Coun. Bob Bose said the city has a “serious problem” if press releases have to be cleared by the mayor.

“It would be inappropriate interference in the day-to-day operations of the detachment — an extraordinary thing,” he said.

kspencer

 

People: McCallum, Doug, Cadman, Chuck

Publication title: The Province

Pages: A4

Number of pages: 0

Publication year: 2002

Publication date: Sep 27, 2002

Year: 2002

Section: News

Publisher: Infomart, a division of Postmedia Network Inc.

Place of publication: Vancouver, B.C.

Country of publication: Canada

Publication subject: General Interest Periodicals–Canada

Source type: Newspapers

Language of publication: English

Document type: News

ProQuest document

Posted in BC Politics, crime, Laila Yuile | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Access to Information documents show an average of 46.3 founded “shots fired” calls between 2007-2012 in Surrey, B.C.

The news yesterday out of Surrey BC was no surprise to anyone who lives here, or to the many people who are now following politics in the city : Surrey is once again, home to the most violent crimes in the region.

More concerning to many Surrey residents last night, was that the  Surrey RCMP second quarter stats have yet to be released:

The news of the city’s ranking comes as the Surrey RCMP struggles to produce its own second-quarter crime statistics from 2014.It’s been a month since the second quarter was complete, yet Mounties are still working to produce the figures.

Initially, the RCMP said they were working to get an “apples-to-apples” comparison for the media, then that the numbers were being “reconciled.“Now, the Surrey RCMP is dealing with computer issues preventing them from uploading the information on the website.

It’s anticipated the second-quarter figures will be released on Thursday at about noon.

Transparency with respect to policing matters and crime stats has been an ongoing issue in the city for years.

After discovering the Police Committee minutes were missing from the city of Surrey’s site earlier this year and that many committee meetings were being held completely closed, instead of only closing for confidential or sensitive matters, I objected strongly in the press.  Councillor Barinder Rasode was the only councillor in agreement.

The result? While committee minutes for 2014 were posted, to this date the police committee minutes for 2013, 2012 and 2011 are still not posted for the public to see. No answers have been given as to why this is.

I’ve also made a public call and have discussed extensively online with local Surrey residents and activists, for the RCMP to include the incidents of confirmed Shots fired among the crime stats released to the public every quarter. In my opinion, doing so would assist in giving the public a greater look at what is going on in the city with respect to violent activity.

For example, Vancouver Police do release those stats publicly, and use them to see if the strategies they have implemented to reduce violent crime are working.

VPDshots fired

In speaking with Cst. Brian Montegue, media relations officer for the VPD, he clarified these stats are strictly shots fired incidents and that ‘stats are gathered based on the most serious offence. So if a person is shot and killed, the incident is recorded as a homicide and would not be included in the shots fired numbers’. These are strictly incidents of shots fired that were confirmed founded.

I also asked why the VPD shares those particular stats with the public and Cst. Montegue had this to say:

“While there are obviously many sensitive issues that we are unable to share, we do want to be as transparent as possible.

The residents of Vancouver should be able to see what type of crime is happening in the city and neighbourhood they live in and if the crime rate is rising or falling. The public should be able to see if the strategies employed by their police department are working or not. “

After deciding to submit an Access to Information request to the RCMP for this information ( which by the way, costs $5 just to submit) it was suggested to me by a colleague to check the previously releases in case someone already had.

In fact, someone had already requested this same information in 2013.

rcmp request

I searched to see if a story was done using these stats, but was unable to locate one- that wouldn’t mean one doesn’t exist.  What was released were the numbers for founded shots fired calls from 2007 to 2012, as below.

The graph below that is not from the RCMP, but created using their total years stats.

shots fired

shotsfiredgraphI contacted the Surrey RCMP media office yesterday morning after speaking with the Ottawa office that released the info, for clarification on how they compile these statistics.
I want to know whether or not they include more serious crimes or stand alone, and to ask why they are not included in the crime stats released quarterly to the public. As of the time of this posting, I have not received a return call. I also wanted to know whether or not they would provide me with the 2013 /2014 stats to date.

Regardless if these confirmed shots fired resulted in greater crimes of homicide, injury or not, the numbers are telling and indicate that violent activity on this particular standard, is not an anomaly in the city on a year to year basis. From a low of 28 in 2007 to a high of 61 in 2008, the number  averages out to 46.3 incidents of  founded shots fired calls to 911 every year, between 2007 and 2012.

2013  and 2014 founded shots fired stats have not yet been released by Access to Information although a request has been made.

While the city of Surrey and the RCMP are both quick to point out  “anomalies” of violent crime years like 2013, it is also important to remember that Stats Canada’s most recent statistics show that crime is trending downward on a national level.

On that point,it’s worthy of examination if Surrey really is doing something unique with regards to crime reduction, or simply keeping to the national trend. Clearly the incidents of gunfire in the city are concerning, in particular as in recent months they have again been particularly brazen, some occurring in daytime hours in busy family neighbourhoods. And clearly as these stats show,are ongoing.

One thing remains clear from discussion online with other local residents and community advocates today.

We just want the entire truth. We don’t need anything done to the stats, we don’t need comparisons to try and make them look better, or different: they are, what they are.

We don’t want false reassurance that there is no risk to the public in targeted shootings or shots fired, because we know there is always a risk – one acknowledged by OIC Bill Fordy  as a ” substantial risk to public safety” in this report to council earlier this year: http://www.surrey.ca/bylawsandcouncillibrary/CR_2014-P003.pdf

Each of us wholeheartedly supports and is thankful for our officers in uniform on the street, who day in and day out deal with the issues we are all trying to change. There has been a tremendous amount of positive work and involvement with our local RCMP community offices and the officers who run them. But an essential element to finding solutions and lobbying for federal changes is transparency and accountability – both of which are works in progress in the city of Surrey.

**** 2014 second quarter crime stats were just released as this goes to post- I’ll review them later today. However it has been noted that while in the past crime stats were publicly posted for anyone to download and view in PDF or HTML format, today they are not available in that manner

Currently,both the first quarter and second quarter crime stats for the Surrey RCMP are available to the public via automatic email only – a move that in my opinion, is likely to deter many from accessing them for fear of giving their email and identifying information to the RCMP webmaster.

I have asked the Surrey RCMP on twitter why this has occurred and their response what that the reports are still publicly available, but much longer so this was an efficient way to give quicker delivery, and that the reports will be posted to the page next week.

 For now, this is the before and after:
crime stats old

crimestatenew

Posted in Laila Yuile | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

Breaking news: God denies responsibility for Port Mann Bridge ice bombs, files defamation suit against Kiewit and Transportation Investment Corporation

In an ironic twist, I was in the middle of chasing down another Kiewit story when the extraordinary news broke that the  Port Mann Bridge ice bombs were an act of God. http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/2014/07/28/ice-bombs-called-act-of-god

I’m not kidding. Transportation Investment Corporation ( the crown corporation created for this specific project) and Kiewit/Flatiron partnership ( the design/build team) claimed in court documents responding to legal actions that:

“The buildup and subsequent release of ice and snow from the bridge structure was the result of a confluence of extreme environmental conditions, both unforeseen and unforeseeable to the defendants or any of them and was the inevitable result of an act of God,” the companies claimed.

“No act or omission of the defendants or any of them either caused or contributed to any injury damage, loss or expense suffered by the plaintiff.”

Time for a reality check.

1)As any long time resident of the lower mainland will tell you, despite our primarily rainy winter weather, we do still get episodes of snow, freezing rain and worst of all, sometimes a mix of the two as temperatures fluctuate. It can be a nasty wet mess of slush that breaks tree limbs and downs power lines at it’s worst.

2) The design of the Port Mann Bridge is such that the cables cross directly over the lanes of traffic below. It doesn’t take an engineering degree to figure out anything sitting on those cables is going to fall directly down to the traffic below.  In fact, these exact issues are inherent to this particular design and have been noted on other bridges around the world.

3) Documents received as a result of a Freedom of Information filed by Bob Mackin, showed that not only were engineers aware of the risks, while some believed it was a manageable, others were concerned about safety.

And as Bob goes on to report, there was another issue:

“The bridge opening was hurried along for the Premier’s photo op. The bridge was opened during B.C.’s notorious stormy season, yet it did not have its own weather station. In fact, the closest Transportation Ministry weather stations were in Abbotsford and West Vancouver.

One was finally bought for $100,000 and installed in February.
With better understanding of the conditions about to happen and as they were developing, the people that operate and maintain the Port Mann could have halted traffic earlier and avoided damage, injury and embarrassment.”

You gotta love those photo-ops.

Now, head on over to Bob’s older site and check out all the documents that he very helpfully posted on his site,that include “the lengthy U.S. Army Corps of Engineers technical report on superstructure ice protection by Charles Ryerson from April 2009″.

I’m sure the plaintiff’s lawyers will have a field day with them.. if God doesn’t first.

**scroll through them yourself, but documentation showing concerns over icefall start as early as page 5 and on, and Page 21 of the released documents is where some interesting emails come up.***

http://2010goldrush.blogspot.ca/2013/05/blizzard-of-documents-says-port-mann.html

BAM
I’ll have another Kiewit/BC Government story for you shortly, along with a Surrey focus post by tomorrow, pending callbacks from local authorities.

 

Posted in BC Liberals, BC Politics, Laila Yuile, P3 projects in BC | Tagged , , , , , , | 14 Comments

This weeks column for 24HRS Vancouver: Oversight needed to fix Translink

This week’s topic: Do recent SkyTrain failures show TransLink is failing riders?

With two massive SkyTrain failures and a couple of smaller system incidents creating commuter chaos in Metro Vancouver recently, it’s been a rough couple of weeks for TransLink officials.

The first major breakdown occurred during afternoon rush-hour passenger traffic and was ultimately found to have been caused by a card failure in the system’s main communications computer — a once-in-a-blue moon failure that wasn’t anticipated, nor planned for. With passengers stranded in between stations on elevated tracks, the problem was exacerbated by frustrated riders breaking open SkyTrain car doors and walking along the tracks back to stations. The entire system had to be powered down to avoid any injury or death from a passenger inadvertently coming into contact with the track.

Just a few days later, the system once again came to a grinding halt for hours and the chaos began all over again. Incredibly, the second outage even shut down the public announcement systems and TransLink wasn’t able to communicate with stranded passengers. Again, in frustration and panic, passengers took matters into their own hands and walked back along tracks to stations – a situation that by any perspective is a recipe for disaster.

One would expect that after two major outages, TransLink would have had things quickly whipped into shape, but yet another “minor systems delay” impacted the morning commute between stations in Vancouver just two days later.

To be accurate and fair, SkyTrain is a pretty reliable form of transportation overall. But as any regular rider will tell you, minor “glitches” happen often that never make the news, and questions are being asked whether or not maintenance for the 30-year-old system is being funded properly. Last year, a major failure was blamed on aging parts and a major project was undertaken to replace aging power rails.

While TransLink officials initially said a review wasn’t needed, its CEO Ian Jarvis subsequently came forth in the media and acknowledged several points he personally considered failures to be addressed.

Read Brent Stafford’s column here.

While I applaud his acknowledgement of failures and commitment to bring in outside experts for a review, concerns about maintenance plans, funding and inadequate emergency response were reason enough for local mayors to call for more governance and accountability – and I agree.

READ the rest of this weeks column, vote and leave your comments at: http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/2014/07/27/oversight-needed-to-fix-translink

Posted in 24 hours Vancouver The Duel, BC Liberals, BC NDP, BC Politics, Laila Yuile | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

Why exactly, is the Mars Bomber sitting idle?

As a northern girl born and raised just north of Prince George, I can tell you firsthand how important first response to a wildfire situation is, just as many British Columbians are saying now. Once a fire is reported and the decision is made that it’s a situation that must be handled, the earlier crews and/or aircraft can tackle the blaze, the more cost-effective it is, and the safer it is for all involved.

The Mars Bomber has for many years, been one part of an effective arsenal of fire -fighting in the province of BC, but last year the decision was made to stop their direct-award contract, and the Mars are sitting idle on Sproat Lake on Vancouver Island – much to the confusion of many who have seen the plane in action.  The Mars is capable of a large payload of water and, in some situations, can knock back a fire with incredible effectiveness, yet it sits after years of service to the province.
From the link above:

” Despite it’s world-renowned ability to scoop up and drop 27,200 litres of water at time and a 53-year legacy of dowsing forest fires across North America, this year the provincial government opted not to renew its contract with Coulson Flying Tankers, the Hawaii Mars’ owner.

Instead the province looked to Abbotsford-based Conair for aerial fire suppression, gaining the services of four smaller turbinepowered aircraft instead of the massive Hawaii Mars.

Early into the forest fire season, it appears the situation in B.C. will be particularly serious this year.

Halfway through July, 624 fires have been documented by the Wildfire Management Branch, encompassing 105,697 hectares. The spread of forest fires this summer has already eclipsed the 2013 total of 18,259 hectares, and appears to be approaching the average burn total of 141,000.T

he cost of fighting these blazes is yet to be released, but as a relatively calm season drained $122.2 million of provincial funds, the 2014 forest firefighting costs should be enormous.

According to Coulson Group of Companies CEO Wayne Coulson, the Mars bomber’s firefighting contract in 2013 amounted to $750,000, yet this year the province decided to go with Conair’s smaller, more modern aircraft for $1.8 million.

After the deal was made Steve Thomson, minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource operations cited the bomber’s “operational limitations” with respect to performing multiple drop patterns in B.C.’s mountainous terrain.

The decision to with the Abbotsford company was made while considering the “more cost-effective, efficient options available due to advances in airplane technology,” Thomson said. But the price disparity between the two options warrants a more detailed explanation of why the government chose the costlier contract.”

Hmmm.. who would be best suited to offer a knowledgeable perspective on the governments choice to go with the costlier contract to Conair?

How about someone with first-hand, government experience, who joined Conair in the spring of 2013 after a 36 year career with the British Columbia Forest Service, all in the forest fire domain with 26 years specifically in airtanker operations. Jeff was the head of British Columbia’s Airtanker Program from 1996 to 2013.”  http://conair.ca/conair_team/jeff-berry

With Jeff’s direct and long experience within the BC Forest service, he might be able to lend some perspective on why the Mars sits idle.

 

Incidentally, and I am sure, purely coincidental… it was the spring of 2013 when the owner of the Coulson group came out strongly against the  BC Liberals prior to the election, and the poor Liberal forest policies that impacted small communities all over the province.

coulson

http://www.coulsongroup.com/newsletter/PDF/volume%2013-184.pdf

While Conair has donated exclusively to the BC Liberals since 2005, with one donation in the spring to the BCNDP when it appeared they may win the last election: http://contributions.electionsbc.gov.bc.ca/pcs/SA1ASearchResults.aspx?Contributor=conair&PartySK=0&Party=(ALL)&DateTo=2014/07/21&DateFrom=2005/01/01&DFYear=2005&DFMonth=01&DFDay=01&DTYear=2014&DTMonth=07&DTDay=21

Conair Group president and CEO Barry Marsden also received the Order Of BC : http://thetyee.ca/Blogs/TheHook/2014/05/30/Lib-Donors-Get-Order-of-BC/#sthash.l3oXx69s.dpuf

Some backstory on the Mars contract and service: http://www.avtimes.net/news/local/bomber-a-heroic-giant-1.621281

Posted in BC Liberals, BC NDP, BC Politics, forestry, Laila Yuile, The Environment | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

This weeks column for 24Hrs Vancouver: B.C. government lets industry run wild

Can we safely balance industrial growth and air quality in northern B.C.?

When I saw the news release announcing the Kitimat Airshed Emissions Impact Assessment report was complete, I immediately wondered what information the report contained that wasn’t favourable.

It’s a time-honoured tradition for governments to release bad news on a Friday so it can fizzle out over the weekend, and good news on a Monday so they can optimize press exposure all week long. If the report had been completely favourable, the government would have waited until Monday to release it.

The government summary referred to in Brent’s column is carefully worded and doesn’t give the complete picture of what the report actually states. The report studied the impact of building not only four separate LNG plants in the Kitimat region, but also considered the impact of adding an oil refinery into the same area. Currently there have been two proposals for oil refineries brought forth for the north coast and Kitimat has been identified as a potential location for both.

The airshed report is highly technical, hundreds of pages long and likely to be not easily understood by the average person. However, section seven offers a summary of results that contains some critical points that must not be overlooked, nor glossed over for their importance.

In fact, so serious are some of the key findings that Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head and deputy leader of the BC Green Party, publicly called out the government in a statement issued the same day as the report, stating: “This is a nail in the coffin for the Government’s lavish LNG dreams in Kitimat. It is a thorough and excellent study and it is clear in its conclusions; the government simply cannot spin its way out of this. If you build those four LNG plants, they will put the people of Kitimat, Terrace and many other communities in the area at a critical risk to their health.”

Read Brent Stafford’s column here.

READ the rest of this weeks, column, vote and comment at  http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/2014/07/20/bc-government-lets-industry-run-wild

Posted in 24 hours Vancouver The Duel, BC Liberals, BC NDP, BC Politics, The Environment | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

“INVEST IN RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT.GET A NICE RETURN”

HYPOCRISY

No… this did not come from The Onion.  

But seriously…no joking now… considering the recent release of the public accounts I just blogged about... that show that under Christy Clark,Queen of LNG fantasies:

“For a government that sought re-election on the promise, blazoned on the side of the campaign bus, of a “Debt-Free B.C.,” the public accounts released this week provide a sobering reality check.

Total provincial debt as of March 31, the end of the last financial year: $60.693 billion.

Total provincial debt inherited by Christy Clark when she took the oath of office as premier in mid-March 2011: $45.154 billion.

Increase: $15.539 billion, or 34 per cent.”

 

So, just so I have this correct… humour me now…

The Christy Clark BC Jobs Plan is a dismal failure… http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/reality-check-b-c-s-jobs-plan-1.1401889

The public debt, as shown above, has grown…

And Christy Clark still wants you to invest in a responsible government???

Please tell me that I am not alone in seeing the hypocrisy in this donation request for the 2017 election… or in wondering how much support Premier Christy Clark really has among her own caucus?

https://voterid.bclp.bcliberals.com/pub/donate/help2017/gendisplay

… and I haven’t even started on why this is so just so, so wrong, on so many levels… least of which is the lack of attention this government has given to what really matters: Education.

 

Posted in BC Liberals, BC NDP, BC Politics, Corruption, crime, Enbridge, forestry, Independent power projects, Laila Yuile, P3 projects in BC, The China Connection, The Environment | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

BC Wildfire information and resources

Spent a long night talking to friends and readers from different areas of the province who are dealing with and worrying about the many wildfires all over the province and woke up this morning to see pics of my hometown of Prince George on twitter being smoked out to the point the street lights are on this morning! :(

With the hundreds of wildfires around BC, I thought it might be helpful to post the information you may need to reference if you are travelling in different areas or simply worried about what the situation is your area.

If you follow twitter, I have posted links there as well at @lailayuile
Follow  https://twitter.com/BCGovFireInfo for updates and info on the wildfire situations

Please report all wild fire starts at 1-800-663-5555 or call *5555  on your cell.

In urban areas report grass fires and fire starts in parks to 911 or your local fire department.

You can also follow access forest fire information at this website: http://bcwildfire.ca/Situation/ 

Reports on the most notable fires, with links to Drive BC reports for smoke warnings etc here: http://bcwildfire.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/OneFire.asp

Air quality indexes and warnings  from forest fire smoke: http://www.bcairquality.ca/

Most of all, be safe. It only takes a small spark from equipment or a BBQ, to a careless cigarette butt toss to start a massive fire.

There is also a petition going to urge the government to bring back the Mars Bomber, which is an incredibly effective fire fighting tool as anyone who has seen it in action can attest.

Sadly, they were taken out of service last year: here is a bit of info on that http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/martin-mars-water-bomber-grounded-after-53-years-in-b-c-1.624458

A bit of a shame,considering forest fires not only create risk of loss of life and home…. but also have a huge ability to reduce merchantable timber to ashes, impacting forestry jobs for decades to come in some areas, along with impacting tourism in areas where fires burn out areas around lakes and camping areas.

Here is a link to the petition https://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/christy-clark-contract-the-martin-mars-waterbombers-for-5-more-years-to-protect-bc

 

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