After taking some time off over the last 10 days, I return to the real world under protest. Nothing like a departure from all things modern and obtrusive to put some perspective back into your life, which is how I spent my time off. No watches, no tv, no computer and no schedules. And other than suffering from over a couple hundred bug bites and a river otter attack ( no lie) it’s all good. I’ll bring you all the details later this week.
Funny though, after not hearing ,reading or watching any news for that time, it was a delight to see this bit by Tieleman on one of the latest turns in the Basi-Virk hearings:
” BASI-VIRK – Defence alleges Christy Clark may have leaked confidential BC Rail information from cabinet to Erik Bornmann – lobbyist for OmniTRAX “
What? Ex-deputy minister turned talk show host for the once mighty CKNW alleged to have possibly leaked confidential material ? Well, it’s not like anyone following this never-ending story didn’t know her name was going to come up at some point- her brother Bruce is a big L Liberal player whose home was searched under warrant pertaining to the privatization of BC Rails Roberts Bank spur line- among other interesting allegations. And let us not forget the RCMP did make a visit- without warrantand with full cooperation – to the home of Christy Clark and her Big L Liberal hubby Mark Marissen, who is well known as a strategist and ‘communications’ specialist for the Federal Libs. ( check out this older column by Tieleman for the A to Z on the BC Rail investigation http://billtieleman.blogspot.com/2008/12/a-z-of-basi-virkbc-legislature-raid.html ) And yes, it goes without saying that all of these are unproven allegations, yada, yada,yada… but I like it anyways.
And what else did I find upon my return? Ah, yes, it appears that King Gordo is going to table a new budget come fall. ( Big surprise, eh? ) AND, he is not committing to the deficit he repeatedly rammed down the throats of voters as written in stone. In fact, despite the fact that economists have known for some time Gordo would never be able to keep that budget, and that he would have known it was impossible to keep that deficit figure, Gordo now appears to be prepping the massed for an unpleasant surprise. As quoted in this Tyee blog post in The Hook :
“We’re obviously living in a very volatile time,” said Premier Gordon Campbell following the swearing in of the B.C. Liberal Party caucus today. “When facts change we have to be willing to change.”
It looks to me like Campbell thinks the people really are stupid enough to believe that the economy has just tanked since his re-election. Don’t say I didn’t warn you, Campbell voters. Any by the way, he also mentioned he is looking for another $1.9 BILLION( yes, billion) in cuts.
Still the biggest unreported story in the mainstream media, the Enbridge Gateway pipeline project I blogged about here and here recently, was again the subject of summit to address the environmental risks associated with the proposal. And interesting enough, a link left in the comments sections that quotes part of a column published in the Prince George Citizen is no longer available online. That same link was left here in my comments section by a reader( Astro). The column mirrors my thoughts on Enbridge’s initiative to start a ” grassroots” organization funded on their bankroll. Censorship? All I know is that ex-mayor Colin Kinsley still pulls strings where and when he can, not to mention the new mayor and Council in Prince George are for the project.
Now, the other interesting bit to note is that to this day, I am still the only writer to have addressed the significance of Yvette Wells notebooks pertaining to the BC Rail/Basi-Virk hearing, which was posted to this blog on March 10th of this year, right after the NDP made the documents available to all the press – photocopies and a researcher on site. You can read that post and see the picture of those documents HERE.
In fact, Bill Tieleman even commented on this in his Tyee column of May 11th, earlier this year:
” So far there is no “smoking gun” that incontrovertibly proves the defence theory correct, although there is considerable evidence that points in the direction of a viable hypothesis.
But one piece of information contained in the NDP release of 8,000 pages of information previously obtained by defence lawyers through freedom-of-information requests has not been discussed anywhere so far except by blogger Laila Yuile, and posted online by the NDP ”
It’s still seems more than a little crazy that the lowly blogger, reviled by many of the MSM as unreliable,unprofessional and lower than low, would be the only one to spot this gem among the hundreds of pages the NDP handed right over to the press. Taken from the above mentioned blog post from March 2009:
” The notebooks.
Not just any notebooks, but the notebooks of Yvette Wells, who up until now has remained an obscure figure in all of this.
Yvette Wells was the Executive Director of the Crown AgenciesSecretariatat the time of the sale. The Secretariat is responsible for the accountability of crown corporations, so keeping that in mind, it could be said that she was basically the person to oversee the accountability of the entire BC Rail sale in her position. She would very much have been the “go-to” person of preference to reference anything to do with the ongoing negotiations.
Her notebooks were released because of the relevance of the information within them to the entire BC Rail deal, and they do not disappoint. Among all the hundreds of pages that I read through, the following excerpt clears any question as to the fairness of the bidding process for me.
” dilema :
– don’t want to mislead other bidders
– don’t want to tell them CN are getting other info – don’t want them to do work, spend $
– don’t want them to drop out b/c if can’t resolve issues- we may go back to other bidders.
– CN got data from CIBC that they shouldn’t “
October 22, 2003 notes.
Kind of hard to explain those notes away no matter how you try to spin it. Remember – this was coming from someone who was in charge of accountability and governance of crown corporations.
In fact, many of her copious and detailed notes back up the accusations voiced by other bidders in reference to an unfair bidding process.”
Read the rest of this significant item HERE.
Why – with the exception of Bill’s recent mention- has this bit gone ignored? Where is Yvette Wells now, and why hasn’t her name come up in court? Please, slip this one to the judge and lawyers will you?
I’m sure there is more I’ve missed, but these are a few things that grabbed my attention. Along with the little CKNW Angus Reid poll that found its way into my email this morning. Apparently the big ratings drop over the fall winter season, where CBC radio ended up beating them nearly across the board, seems to have left them trying to figure out what moves to take to grab those listeners. The survey touched on items like internet radio, ipods as well as suggestions as to what we, the listeners would like to hear.
Now, the topic of CKNW and masthead host Bill Good has been something the political blogging community has been touching on for a while. He claims to be unbiased, but revealed his Liberal inclination to listeners through his on-air discussions throughout the election,and it appears to have turned off a lot of listeners. Now, I think a host that has a bias and doesn’t hide it, is great and that can lead to rousing talk on air- the entire point of it. But when a host who has built his reputation on being neutral suddenly rears his political head in a rather obvious way, it turns people off. People want the real deal, not hidden connections and unadvertised agendas.
That, along with all the ads, the poorly written and dispatched “breaking news” emails and the same bland, old day after day routine, is enough to send even the most devoted listener looking elsewhere. And CBC seems to offer the best alternative to the once mighty giant CKNW.
What do you think? What do you listen to, and why? Are you turning away from conventional radio towards other sources? I’m curious, since it has always been my intention to offer a weekly podcast show here, although I haven’t incorporated it as of yet. Looking for your suggestions and feedback on this topic as I look towards the future of this blog and the launch of the new Laila Yuile site.
Oh yes, and more on otter attack coming up later this week!