This weeks column from 24Hrs Vancouver: Efforts to discredit Idle No More show its worth

Who wins this week? Columnists Laila Yuile and Kathryn Marshall battle over the issues of the day. Vote for the winner below the column at the link below.

This week’s topic:

Has Idle No More been effective as a movement?

Let me start by saying that while I agree with one or two points in Kathryn’s column, she seems to have missed the boat by ignoring a few simple facts.

Kathryn begins her column by saying it’s time to talk about the “real issues” facing First Nations. She then goes on to state that Idle No More started out with some decipherable messages, but has now descended into a hodgepodge of mixed messages. In doing so, she skillfully deflects attention away from the clear reason four women in Saskatchewan co-founded the movement in the first place: Bill C-45, an onerous bit of legislation passed by the Harper government that not only impacts First Nations, but all Canadians.

That’s right, in case you’ve forgotten, Idle No More was started by four outraged women fed up with yet another Harper government omnibus bill that was, as usual, rammed through with little public consultation or input. It includes quite a bit of legislation, least of which is the scrapping of the Navigable Waters Act, reducing the number of lakes and rivers protected across Canada. (I can almost hear global resource and development companies, which often hate such protections, chanting: “Go Harper, go Harper!”)

Anyone who can research won’t be confused about why and how this movement started — it is as clear as the blue sky over Vancouver for the past week.

I suggest you take the time to see how Bill C-45 impacts all Canadians. This movement is not all about Theresa Spence. It was not started because of Attawapiskat. In fact, co-founder Sylvia McAdam has been distancing the movement from all of that because it is not the motive behind the movement.

Unclear are the messages being distributed by people who do not speak for this movement. Also unclear are the messages being delivered by many media outlets, who are clearly detracting from the government’s legislation and culpability in dealing with not only First Nations, but all Canadians in a secretive rather than democratic manner.

I can say with all certainty that if so many people are willing to spend so much time discrediting and deflecting the honest and valid origins of this movement, then yes, it has been effective. However, it is important to focus on the core reasons and founders behind this movement, and not every Tom, Dick and newspaper with an agenda.



Then scroll down to read my take on Rich Colemans temper tantrum following Surrey city councils denial of the south Surrey casino application… just who does Rich work for anyways?

Weekend roundup for your reading pleasure!

With this stunning and somewhat rare West Coast Sunshine, we should all be outside enjoying the weather before it returns to nasty rain again!  However, I know a lot of people down with flu and colds now, and so I’ve compiled a few items of interest I found that I think you might want to check out!

1) Katherine Blaze Carlsons column in the National Post: ” Long Before Milf Interview, Christy’frickin’ Clark laughed her way through Questions on Her Looks andstunnedchristy Nudity In This Radio Chat ”    

Well, it’s about time you got on board, Katherine, but better late than never! The CFOX appearance was just part of the argument behind my December 27th post here and on the Huffington Post BC, but a crucial one, because as I wrote then, and stand by now, it set the standard for what was acceptable topic of conversation with the premier on that kind of station.  Don’t forget, you heard it here first, linked to within the comments section below the first post.  By the way, the earth opened up and nearly swallowed me live on Friday when I arrived home to an onslaught of messages about Bill Good.. gasp.. agreeing with my points in an earlier interview with Mike Smyth. Cue up the Audio Vault for 9 am Friday the 11th to hear firsthand.

2) Why is Christy Clark deleting messages of concern from movie industry workers, from her Facebook page?

Good friend and BC actor, Adrian Hough mentioned to me recently that Christy Clarks team had deleted dozens of message from her Facebook page, from members of the film and movie industry in BC… read on my friends!

The  countless messages  from both actors and actresses, and film/movie industry workers were left on her Facebook page in response to the news that the BC government could not make a case for any added emphasis in the BC Jobs Plan for film, television or video game industries.

Bob Mackin has the story :

Interesting… Clark claims to have an open government that wants to communicate with the people, she states again and again she would rather talk to people than sit in the legislature… but when people want to talk to her… she ( her team) deletes their comments from her Facebook page?  Not exactly indicative of a leader who wants to hear from the people, if you ask me!

Luckily, one smart cookie took screen shots and posted them for posterity :

moneyNow, to me, the only reason she, or her staff would delete them all – and they were all civil – was so that no one else in the province saw the disappointment of a major industry being left out in the cold.  I find this compelling, because there is definite pressure on other sectors that have traditionally brought in revenue to provincial coffers, so why wouldn’t the government be interested in promoting and expanding that? And what will the impact be for BC film industry workers?  I asked Adrian for his take on this, and this is what he had to say:

BC actor Adrian Hough with Christian Slater” The film industry  has contributed something in the realm of 2 billion dollars to the province or more, but has been losing production like crazy, as well as talent to the East…which means that someone like me, who makes a living on frequent roles in production, Vancouver based, will have less opportunity.  Crews are being hit the hardest however.

I love living in BC, but if production leaves here, I might also be forced to.  My kids are here. I love BC.  The mountains, the ocean, the fresh air.  I like the community I have developed in the industry, and in my adopted hometown of Nanaimo. 

Making a living from the arts is possible, and most performers, and film people are incredibly generous with their skills, and selves, and work unreasonable hours.  The stories we tell are seen all over the world, as well as at home.. I think it does something good to people to be able to look at a film or television series,  and see someplace or someone they know.  Or recognize as their own. 

As far as economics go, talent and skills and stories are a totally renewable and unending (and therefore sustainable) resource.   ( my emphasis there-ly.)

But we have to remain competitive with Ontario and Quebec and the Maritimes and as for the ‘money people’, ( I have spoken to quite a few of them) they say that if they can take a show somewhere else, and save money in production, they will.  And it is happening.”

Talk about shortsighted leadership. Times are changing and so must we as we work towards a shift from a resource based economy to other economic engines.  Adrian makes a very compelling argument for fostering growth in an industry that, in an entertainment hungry society, could very well contribute more to our economy than it does now.

But hey, I’m just a writer/blogger/columnist… what do I know?  : )

**Note, I just noticed Bob Mackin has the same story poste, albeit an hour earlier, and has embedded a link to the site above on his blog- check it out here – credit where credit is due!!!

3)  Andrew Nikiforuk, of whom I am a very big fan of, has a must read series on fracking over at the Tyee. In the series, he “takes a look at four very big claims the industry uses to reassure the public”  that fracking is A-ok for the environment, people and our future. A must read if you share the same concerns over fracking in BC as I do.

4) Last but not least, Rob Shaw of the Time Colonist has a story out this weekend very relevent to the payoff payout of Basi-Virk legal fees..… of which I’m not unfamiliar with…. which lends even more credence (not that it is needed) to the theory that this was a deal made to keep them in silence, and prevent a trial from revealing the truth to the public. The timing is very interesting.. in particular because of Auditor General John Doyles strong attempts to get at the truth behind this deal… oh wait… arent the Liberals trying to fire him?…. hmmmm.

Of course, whether you are a reader  in the lower mainland, the UK, or in Europe, don’t forget to check back tomorrow night for a sneak peak at  my upcoming column in Mondays edition of 24 hours Vancouver, The Duel, with Kathryn Marshall!