“It’s not what you look at that matters…it’s what you see.” ~ Henry David Thoreau.

Driving along the gravel road to a pristine mountain lake last weekend, the sound of the white water rushing in the river that ran alongside, was as welcome as any cold cocktail on a hot summer afternoon.

The clear water ran fast and frothy,tumbling over rocks and between giant boulders that looked like they were perfectly placed by some ancient giant hand until reaching deeper pools and eddies. These deeper pools took on an emerald hue, crystal clear and so inviting for fishers and weary hot hikers alike. If you knew the way of fish, you would also know that those dark pools were the preferred spot for salmon and trout to rest in between travelling the light rapids upstream and where, with a deft flick of wrist,an experienced fly-fisher could land dinner.

Opening the door of the truck, I was welcomed by ripe huckleberries growing right beside the gravel lot. Similar to a blueberry but much more intense in taste,I popped them into my mouth, savouring the pop and sudden rush of flavour on my tongue. The air was fresh and smelled… green, alive, unadulterated. Closing my eyes momentarily as we walked the path to the lake, I held my hand out to run fingertips across the ends of hemlock boughs, connecting with all that was around me. And with every step the stress, the baggage, the weight of my modern world left me in bits and pieces, evaporating into the forest around me, leaving me feeling free and new again…

I‘ve written often over the years about the connection I feel with the land around me and nearly just as much about all the things that threaten it.

Even on this trip the shock of seeing a new clear-cut and a rough logging road cut into the steep slopes was a jarring sight not only because the extreme terrain makes logging there costly, but also that it banked right up next to a provincial park. I’m not opposed to logging-my family has all worked in the forest industry-but forest practices and timber management have come under criticism often enough that it’s a concern for the future.

We enjoy the places less traveled to re-connect with the inner core of ourselves that is inherently called to nature, but on our way, we see many others leaving the cities in droves to find what connection they can.Even in Squamish and Whistler  you can see many dressed to the nines, snapping selfies in front of mountains,lakes and yes… bears… just so they can go home and tell their friends they did.

Well, perhaps that’s better than nothing. I’ve always believed that the only way to get people to understand and value what we have, is to build that connection to it. For those who have never lived outside of Metro Vancouver- or outside of most larger cities for that matter- it’s an undiscovered world. Places like the Peace River, where generations of land owners and First Nations have lived, farmed, hunted and gathered. I ask you to visit the area to be flooded, to stand and simply behold how incredible it really is… and then tell me you think it doesn’t matter.

More people than ever are paying companies to take them out camping,hiking hunting for food… on wild expeditions to experience what so many British Columbians simply call life. They are seeking not just adventure,but a feeling I think,of belonging. Of being a part of something bigger, of feeling how it is to know that nature can make you, or break you.

I know that feeling and it’s what calls me back to the forests and mountains when I’ve had enough of the galling joke we call politics in this province. Nature is the greatest equalizer, it grounds me, humbles me and leaves me in awe of her power and beauty. And in British Columbia, we have so much to be thankful for- YES, we really do- and we have to ensure those entrusted with the management of our natural areas, and our resources, are doing the best they can.

As I log off to enjoy my BC day weekend, and wish you the best for yours, I leave you with an excerpt from an older post. Consider and reflect, wherever you are in this province we  now celebrate.

 “Now that I have lived on the coast for so many years, the sea and the soil here is my heart as well. We can’t turn our back on our agricultural needs any more than we can our roots. The soil here in the Fraser River delta is so rich in silt, in sediment carried down from our mountains, from decaying wild salmon that just laid eggs in a stream not adulterated by Independent power Projects blocking their way…

This circle of life both urban and rural British Columbians rely on, is who we are as a people. It connects north and south like blood when we enjoy our baby greens in  fancy restaurants in the West End…  and when we harvest our moose in the north to fill our freezer.

Herein lies the challenge.

Do the people down here in the lower mainland consider what the impact is of salmon never reaching their spawning grounds? Do they know what it means to find moose and deer riddled with tumours, inedible, because the ticks now over winter due to higher winter temperatures?That the sickness of those moose and deer has an impact on the food chain that trickles down to levels we might not even understand yet?

Do they know that smell in spring that tells you to start harvesting fiddleheads? Do they know the feeling of being such a small part of the universe that seeing the northern lights every night, and hearing coyote packs killing their dinner at dusk gives you?

That was, and is, my British Columbia.

Even now, in my urban, suburban home, I can smell the rain coming and where it comes from. I eat lettuce, now,grown and harvested mere miles from my home that tastes worlds  apart from the imports. We embrace the rain, pick berries on the dykes, and know how precious it all is to us.We love the Canucks, even when they lose. I spent 6 hours on BC ferries to see The Tragically Hip sing Bobcaygeon ahead of schedule courtesy of a crew member on Vancouver Island.

I’ve  been broke. I’ve been flush. I’ve seen BC from top to bottom and there isn’t much I  wouldn’t endorse to anyone else looking to visit.

I think fighting for B.C is worth it. The greater good is bigger than any political agenda.

I’m not saying it is going to be easy… but I am saying it is going to be worth it.

The future is yours if you rise to the challenge. The only question is… will you?”

This is my BC. I’d love for you to share with all of us, photos of yours.

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“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.”
― Theodore Roosevelt

Forest fire prevention and mitigation in BC: At what point does inaction become negligence?

“There were at least 21 fires that started in British Columbia on Sunday. There were 36 Saturday. There were 32 Friday. There are 178 burning right now.

A haze blankets the majority of people in B.C., as winds bring smoke from fires in Pemberton to people in Vancouver and Victoria. The Metro Vancouver Air Quality Health Index went to 10+, or “Very High Risk” on Sunday night.

READ MORE: Air quality advisory issued for Metro Vancouver and Sunshine Coast

And undoubtedly, there will be more fires to come in the days and weeks ahead…”

Source: http://globalnews.ca/news/2092023/fires-raging-across-b-c-as-concern-for-the-summer-deepens/

Our forests, our lives

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The vast and varied forests of British Columbia, are without question one of our greatest resources. In its heyday, the forest industry in our province provided a revenue source that sustained entire communities through logging, sawmills and pulpmills. In fact most of my family and friends up north have worked in the forestry industry via one or another of these sectors.


The impact of the massive pine beetle kill was sizable,but once most of the salvaged ( and marketable) wood was harvested, sawmills began to close in many areas. It was also discovered back in 2012 that our forests had been badly mismanaged – the Forest Practices Board concurred with forester Anthony Britneff’s assessment that cut forests had not been satisfactorily restocked via tree-planting. What do these two things have in connection?

It takes a long time to re-grow a logged area to a size that can be harvested again -and this didn’t take into account the often unchecked logging that takes place on privately owned land. Between the vast amounts of beetle kill in BC and the failure to replant trees to a level and standard we needed to, every single remaining forest in our province becomes that much more valuable/

The need for protection of our forests for either wood harvest or simply as a wild habitat for our animals, becomes clear.

The amazing stands of douglas fir  and majestic ceders or redwoods are magnets for those who call nature their church,who find solace and reverence in forests thick and tall. Those trees provide much needed stability along lakes and streams, preventing run-off that makes clear water silty, clogging gills of fish and aquatic wildlife.The need for conservation, is clear.

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Wildfire prevention and mitigation

Every time a forest fire is ignited, at best we lose valuable forest, at worst, we lose homes, and at times, lives. The costs to both communities and the province, is often staggering. So it makes sense that in a province with vast tracts of forest that in many areas merge with homes and communities, prevention efforts and mitigation is absolutely essential.

For more than a decade, the location and methods used to build forest communities was a massive concern- ” How BC was built to burn” ran in the Tyee in 2004, identifying major issues and safety concerns of many BC communities like Barriere and Whistler. http://thetyee.ca/News/2004/04/30/How_BC_Was_Built_to_Burn/

Of great interest in this article, is the Filmon Firestorm Report of 2003. I’ve linked to it separately here, because the link in the Tyee article is no longer working. http://bcwildfire.ca/History/ReportsandReviews/2003/FirestormReport.pdf


Pages 69 through 76 contain 41 recommendations based on his findings -some the province was advised to implement immediately, some would take time, but all were to be treated with urgency. While I can determine fire departments acted on the recommendations under their jurisdictions, I cannot determine if the province has completed their response.

His final thoughts included the following:

We believe that governments have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to implement risk reduction policies and legislation while the devastation of Firestorm 2003 is fresh in the public’s mind and the costs and consequences of various choices are well understood.

Another area of clear consensus was that concentration of resources and effort on issues that anticipate, prevent and prepare for disasters is a better investment than on expenditures made in coping with disasters. Consequently, we have made many recommendations to invest in preparedness, education and training.

There was also a firm recognition that many subdivisions in the interface were not designed to mitigate wildfire risks, nor were the dwellings constructed to reduce wildfire hazards.

We believe that local governments and individual homeowners have recognized the risks and are now prepared to follow the best information available to correct for past inaction. We believe they will accept strong direction and leadership on this issue.

The topic of fuel load reduction through prescribed burns is perhaps the best example of a strong consensus on what formerly had been a very controversial and divisive debate. Simply put, almost everyone who gave advice to the Review Team agreed that it was better to accept short-term inconvenience and irritation in favour of long-term reduction in hazard and cost.

Filmon was correct. We have had a trend of hotter,longer dryer fire seasons.  And with some predicting the current drought like conditions will continue through the next winter and into 2016, it’s reason for immediate review to see how many of these recommendations were implemented with urgency as Filmon dictated.

What’s happened since the report was issued? 

Despite this report, concerns were raised yet again in 2011 on what it would take to keep BC forest communities safe. http://www.policynote.ca/on-the-forest-fire-front-line-one-ecologists-take-on-what-it-will-take-to-safeguard-communities/

And sadly, just last week Robert Gray revealed a startling fact in this Times Columnist column: http://www.timescolonist.com/opinion/columnists/robert-w-gray-wildfires-cost-far-more-than-we-think-1.1988299

Knowing that wildfires have an even greater economic impact on annual provincial and local government budgets than originally estimated should compel the province to invest more in proactive wildfire-hazard mitigation. Unfortunately, that has not been the case.

In 2014, the province didn’t invest any money in wildfire-hazard mitigation through investment in the Union of B.C. Municipalities Strategic Wildfire Prevention Program Initiative. It did, however, invest over $70 million in flood mitigation.

Since 2002, the province has invested over $2 billion in earthquake mitigation. In the 11 years since the 2003 fire season and the release of the Filmon Report, the province has invested only $100 million in wildfire-hazard mitigation, yet the cost of suppression alone over that same period has been $2.2 billion. Investments in hazard mitigation are only a fraction of the total amount being spent on fighting fires plus the damage caused by those fires — a pattern that runs counter to sensible cost-benefit risk-management practices.

It’s true no one can point a finger at any politician for this weather, or the drought we are experiencing. Nor can you lay blame for the rampant stupidity that leads to so many fire starts across the province.

But when reports commissioned by the government, make recommendation to the government to prevent similar situations in the future-a dire warning by any standard of commensense- are not fully implemented or funded, who takes the responsibility?


Who is in charge of legislating forest policy, forest management, removing fuel loads that feed fires?  The province of BC is.

In April of 2014, a full decade after the Filmon report was commissioned, Glen Sanders- a former firefighter and fire chief, took a look at the lessons learned- or not- by government and found the results lacking. http://www.abcfp.ca/publications_forms/documents/BCFORPRO-2014-2_Sanders.pdf

“I am dubious about the lessons learned by government, however, and many of the missteps identified in the Filmon Report will be repeated when the next firestorm strikes.

A wise person once said, “The worst mistake a person can make is to think that those in charge actually know what they are doing.” 

In a recent post, I reflected on how hindsight is only 20/20 if one applies the lessons learned to future actions and decisions. 

And if fire and forestry experts are concerned, I’m also concerned the government did not learn an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Did the government ensure every single one of the recommendations they were responsible for completing in Filmons report were undertaken? I don’t have that answer yet.

I hope we don’t have to wait for yet another firestorm report, to find out.

* For up-to date positions and details of reported wild fires in British Columbia, see this link: http://bcwildfire.ca/situation/

* Air quality reports/advisories can be found here: http://www.bcairquality.ca/index.html

In an update to this post that received thousands of views in the last few days, Coulson has reportedly signed a new contract with the province of BC.

The Mars Bombers will be back in service as early as Thursday.  http://www.albernivalleynews.com/news/311789601.html

And further to this, the contract will be under and existing helicopter contract with Coulson. http://www.albernivalleynews.com/news/311838091.html

( Some media outlets reporting the ministry is still in talks- check your local news to see what develops)

Ottawa, this is BC calling… Come in Ottawa.. this is BC calling – we actually need the Coast Guard here. Do you copy? …….

coast guard


“For the second time in three days, the communication system for the Coast Guard in Canada’s busiest waterway had an extended malfunction.

“There was a loaded tug and barge with 86,000 barrels of diesel and gasoline going through the Port of Vancouver, and was not being given traffic advisers of which shipping he may meet when he transits through Second and First Narrows,” says Allan Hughes, Western Director for Unifor 2182.

The outage was on Victoria Coast Guard Radio Marine Communications Channel 16 at 6 a.m. today. It’s used to transmit messages to mariners in the waters as far north as Nanaimo, and as far west as Port Renfrew. It followed a 18 minute outage last Monday, a recent two minute outage – and there were three more brief outages this afternoon, according to the union.”

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.



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

Ignorance is bliss.

Christy Clark, in her year end interview with Michael Smyth, yesterday blames the media for.. well… everything :

“If you read the papers, you would think British Columbia was in really tough shape,” she said. “People need to know that British Columbia is stable and growing.”

In the papers today, Moody’s Investor Ratings  downgrades B.C.’s credit rating and paints a different picture of the provinces fiscal and economic position.

From Moody’s:

Moody’s Revises British Columbia’s Outlook to Negative from Stable on Aaa rating

 Global Credit Research – 12 Dec 2012

 Toronto, December 12, 2012 — Moody’s Investors Service has revised the outlook on the Province  of British Columbia’s Aaa issuer and debt ratings to negative from  stable, affecting approximately CAD39.8 billion in debt securities.


“The negative outlook reflects Moody’s assessment of the risks  to the province’s ability to reverse the recent accumulation in  debt with the softened economic outlook, weaker commodity prices  and continued expense pressures,” said Moody’s Assistant  Vice President Jennifer Wong, lead analyst for the province



Should British Columbians look to Alberta’s upstart ‘Wildrose Alliance Party’ for political inspiration ?

“Every 30 or 40 years, we get tired of the government that’s in power and we sweep them out and we look to a new alternative. I think we have an opportunity to catch one of those historic waves.
Danielle Smith upon being named Wildrose Alliance leader

If you don’t follow the political scene in Alberta, you might not know about the growing popularity of the Wildrose Alliance Party– a new, upstart party that is slowly but steadily gaining members and strength in Alberta  since it’s birth two years ago.

What started as a joke to many and received sneers from political experts, the Wildrose Alliance is the result of a 2008 merger between two smaller conservative parties in the province. While they did not win any seats in the 2008 general election, as of today they hold three seats in the Alberta legislature, having just announced the crossover of two elected Progressive Conservatives to join their ranks yesterday.

Much of the party’s success fell to timing and the election of a new leader, Danielle Smith. In 2009, the party capitalized on the publics growing discontent with the current premier Ed Stelmach, and membership began to grow. Clearly, the people of Alberta were ready for a change in the status quo, and again the party began to attract some high-ranking PC party members as well as a large number of former Reform Party supporters. The rest,as they say, is history. Party leader Danielle Smith seems to have a realistic and solid approach to building the party, as she says, ” Brick by brick”- setting a firm foundation with solid riding associations and candidates in all areas.

It was sometime post-election last year,when I really started thinking about the possibility of how succesful a new political party would be in British Columbia and put it out there in a couple of posts. Those posts generated some very interesting reactions in emails and phone calls that lead to growing debates and discussions among many of my friends and colleagues, but for me, it was very simple. I wanted to run for MLA in my riding, but I have never been a member of any political party. Without a flicker of a doubt,the Liberals were never a consideration. There is much in the Conservative Party platform that I don’t agree with, and so of course, having supported the NDP  with my vote for years, I automatically leaned towards the NDP.

Herein lies the problem. It’s not news to anyone that there are massive divisions in the party. Even a brief cruise through the blogosphere and political chat forums will show you there are several splinter groups within the party, each dissatisfied with party leadership and executive for different reasons. Members are leaving, this is as true for the NDP as it is for the Liberals,which to me, speaks volumes about the condition of both parties right now. Geez, in my own neighbourhood, many people are embarrassed to admit they are, or were, Liberal.  Of course, the NDP are ahead in the polls now, but do they have what it takes to win another election?

The bigger question would then be, can what is so inherently wrong within the NDP, what has become so broken, be repaired and salvaged to create a unified, strong party again? One that puts the trust of the voter ahead of the hidden internal politics?

 Moreover, can they overcome the baggage Sihota brings with him? I’m not so sure about that.

 I, for one, do not support Sihota’s return to the party. I didn’t like him back in the day, and I don’t trust him, nor do I trust his motive – and I know a lot of people who feel the same way. People who may have hung in there and given the NDP another try, are now saying they won’t even vote if it comes to that, because anyone involved with Sihota must have rocks in their head. And that is a quote from one of my readers in northern BC. Regardless of his ability to bring in financial support – because voters honestly don’t care  or think about that aspect very much -and really, Sihota’s ability to heal the rift between the NDP and environmentalists is questionable at best, in my opinion. Times have changed, but has Sihota?

Now, forgive me because I am clearly not a political analyst, by far, but I am just sharing ideas and thoughts that I think a lot of people might be thinking, but perhaps won’t voice for fear of being ridiculed or mocked.  Where does the current situation leave someone like me who has a deep desire to make change in this province, but finds herself, in essence, party-less?

I care not only about the community I live in, but I also care very, very much about the future of this entire province. I was born and raised in the heart of BC , Prince George. My family worked on some of the massive construction projects that supported this province back in the sixties and seventies, and they still all work in what is left of the dwindling forestry sector. I have seen, first-hand as many others in this province have who do not live in the bubble known as Greater Vancouver, that this province is in dire straights. Dire because of what the Liberals  have done so far, and for what they will continue to do, even with another leader. They must not get majority in the legislature again.

Let’s go back to that quote from Wildrose Alliance leader, Danielle Smith:

“Every 30 or 40 years, we get tired of the government that’s in power and we sweep them out and we look to a new alternative. I think we have an opportunity to catch one of those historic waves.”
I think we are seeing one of those historic waves in British Columbia right now.
I’ve been saying it for some time in different ways without even realizing it, just by blogging about all the labour unrest  across the province. By telling the stories about vital health cutbacks, and cuts to crucial services for the elderly and disabled.  We have seem strikes already, walk-outs, massive job loss, bankruptcies and foreclosures. There are a large number of British Columbians who began this year with dread over their heads because they either have already lost their jobs, or they know they may lose it in the year to come. We all know the Olympics are going to leave this province in a massive pile of debt that is capable of crushing the spirit of BC. We all know that once the party is gone, and reality sets back in when the bills start adding up, that these Liberals are going to be scampering about trying to save their hides. The NDP is trying to get those votes, and Carol James is planning a series of town-hall type meetings across the province this year, but the question to me is this: Will anyone even be there who is willing to listen to her ?
Honestly, I’m not so sure.
I think the time is ripe for another alternative. ( this is where the naysayers can yell “Naive! Idealistic! Ridiculous! Grassroots parties never work, never gain popularity with voters, never make it anywhere…”)
  Yes, I  think it’s true that small grassroots party tend to never make it anywhere with voters. That being said, I still think the time is ripe and that there is more than enough discontent with both the Liberals and the NDP  for a credible, new party to capitalize on. Another upstart party like the Wildrose Alliance, full of passionate people with dedicated vision, solid backgrounds and a variety of experience and knowledge to give the party a firm foundation.  A party that will put BC first, and big, corporate agenda’s last. A party that doesn’t have union supporters whose pension funds have investments in Liberal supportive companies. A party that puts the power back into the hands of the people of BC through accountability,real transparency,good policy and strong leadership. With these ideals, I’m sure that like the Wildrose Alliance, it wouldn’t be too hard to attract elected candidates from the other parties to cross over or join. And to be sure, I am not at all saying we should go and create the party orientation they have of Reform/ Conservative, but that we look to the factors and model that has made a success story where everyone said there could be none. A grassroots party can work, and will work, with the right people leading the way to attract other candidates who may see a better fit in ideals, policy and platform.
Think about it – and I mean really think about what that means. Stephen Harper has just show us that the notion of democracy in Canada is just that- a notion. Is BC –  in its current state and with our current premier Gordon Campbell –  really all that different?
Not at all.
That’s why I think  every British Columbian who cares deeply, should look to the Wildrose Alliance Party for inspiration to act on the opportunity to ensure the future of the province –  as we love it.
” Democracy is based upon the conviction that there are extraordinary possibilities in ordinary people.( Harry Emerson Fosdick)”

Erica Sigurdson rocks the Falcon – Kevin Falcon that is!

A huge shout out to my favorite paramedic for sending this abso-freaking-lutely hilarious rant my way, as Erica Sigurdson, one of the hosts of The CityNews List delivers a few hard rights to health Minister Kevin Falcon, about his handling of the BC Paramedics strike. Way to Rock the Falcon, Erica!

And make sure you scroll down to see the last few posts which seem to be getting more than a few hits from Ottawa today…(Especially that 2010 Olympic video and the Hebei Lion post )  and don’t forget that you can access the most recent posts, as well as the top posts, via the sidebar on the right hand side. Cheers!

For the record, it was a spectacular sunrise…

But again, it’s gone as fast as it appeared. Mother Nature is nothing but a tease.

 This was the view that greets me from my bedroom window everyday during the fair months, and rarely it seems, since November arrived. On clear days, Mt. Baker is etched in black against the fiery backgrop of the rising sun.

Lately, I find those rare moments when I wake up and see beauty like this … essential. 

Order to delete government emails requested in the BC Rail hearings was given in May – during the provincial election

Is the house of cards some say has been built by Premier Gordon Campbell beginning to shake?  All I know, is that the term ” obstruction of justice” has been floating around all morning…

Read all about the “politically explosive” affidavit filed in court by a BC Government employee, HERE:  The Legislature Raids  and HERE: http://billtieleman.blogspot.com/

Things we can’t do during the Olympics.

1)  Get sick or Have any kind of elective surgery – up to 4000 surgeries will be cancelled in the Lower Mainland, over a 4 week period during 2010 – even serious operations could be impacted. ( 2000 in Vancouver Coastal Authority + 2000 Fraser Health Authority)

” For those interested, a reduction in services during this time will allow physicians, nurses and other health professionals to volunteer their services for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games to meet the medical needs of athletes, team support staff, volunteer medical staff and spectators. VANOC requires the volunteer services of 1,750 medical personnel for the Games.

~ Fraser Health authority memo, July 9th, 2009

 READ THIS  ENTIRE MEMO HERE: http://www.cbc.ca/bc/news/bc-090715-ndp-fraser-health-surgery-reductions.pdf 

And the complete story here: http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2009/07/15/bc-olympic-surgery-cancellations.html


And this fellow was ridiculed for suggesting this would happen back in 2007 : http://www.olyblog.com/f/07/HealthCareF08202007.shtml

2) Administer Justice and be assured of your own safety – No criminal court cases will be heard during 2010 as RCMP do security duty


3) Speak your mind anywhere except where VANOC tells you to –


4) Be homeless  or destitute in an area where visitors might actually see you –


Questions I have for VANOC and the BC Liberals:

With the number of RCMP officers being  shifted to 2010 security detail, how will you continue to assure the public that criminal mayhem will not erupt in areas where  venues are NOT located ?

  • Considering patients already face wait times of several months for many elective surgeries, how can you justify losing 4 weeks to cover the games? Will the system be able to withstand this type of setback, and how do you plan to recover? ( oh wait, Kevin Falcon just ordered massive budget cuts, didn’t he?)