For your Sunday coffee break

coffeeThere’s a number of stories I’m working on for next week, but for today, here are a few things to read on your Sunday coffee break.

The BC governments move into the Renminbi market last year should be news again shortly, as the one year bonds issued come to maturity: this is the story from last fall I posted on this to refresh your memory:

Will the BC government issue a press release heralding this experiment as a success for the province, strengthening ties with investors from China? Or will silence reign supreme in an effort to avoid examination considering the current unrest and pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong? The actions of the Chinese government during these protests are currently being questioned by many, with allegations of the Hong Kong government working with gangs to break up the protests:

Keep your eye on this situation, and I’ll keep you updated on the outcome.

The situation with Mount Polley and Imperial mines has largely fallen from media view now, but still very much ongoing.

Imperial mines has issued a response to the Vancouver Sun article in which it was noted a crack was noticed in the tailings pond dam as far back as 2010. This is the article in question:

And this is their response:

The company has been busy seeding grass over tailings sediment, raising questions by many on whether or not that poses any risk to wildlife who may be attracted to graze on the grass come spring, and whether this also indicates the likelihood it may not be cleaned up at all.

Gordon Hoekstra has consistently done excellent work on this story from day 1, and this recent story again shows his attention to details and insight.

All of this has had impact on Imperial Mines operation at Red Chris mine, where they are currently advising they are seeking an injunction to have a blockade removed from the entrance to the mine, set up by a group of Tahltan families and elders known as the Klabona Keepers.

Video footage of the blockade being set up, and the elders asking for support to protect their lands.

The latest results that were released passed right over my head with back to school and an ankle injury, but here is the write up from NW:
nd here is the link to all the results :

Last but not least, Harvey Oberfeld has a thought provoking post up about Mulcair’s support for all Canadian taxpayers to pick up the bill for a new bridge in Quebec. I was equally outraged at this turn of events, simply because we continually get dinged out here for new projects, including the Port Mann, which is part of our national highway system.

Sigh. It’s so damn easy to spend spend spend when it’s not their own money.

Read and weep.

Enjoy your Sunday and the weather it’s brought with it – you know that months of rain can’t be far off in this part of the world! :)

This week’s column for 24Hrs Vancouver: Changing the rules doesn’t make LNG ‘clean’ energy

Yes, yes, yes, I know I’ve teased you with hints of the post on the BC NDP, and a couple other gems, but I’ve come down sick with a nasty head cold and cough that makes me feel like my brain is cotton.  Thankfully,I managed to get this weeks column done just as I was starting to get sick, but that’s going to be it for a day or two until this passes.

This week, Brent and I debate this question” Are LNG profits worth the trade-offs in B.C.’s greenhouse gas emissions targets?

I say no, but this is a tricky question to debate  because as the narrative gets pushed along that burning LNG is dirty, so begins the push for Site C and other ‘clean’ projects – regardless if they could even be constructed in time to run any LNG plants on Clarks timeline. Therein lies the real danger of these debates.


The BC Liberals, under the leadership of former premier Gordon Campbell, passed the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets Act in 2007, requiring the province reduce emissions by at least 33% by 2020.

A lofty goal, and one the province has adhered to. Now Premier Christy Clark and her liquefied natural gas dreams could change all that.

Clark has found herself under fire from critics over her claims that B.C.’s proposed LNG facilities will be the cleanest in the world. In fact, she has gone as far as saying they will do the world a “favour,” a comment predicated on her theory that exported B.C. LNG could replace the use of coal in China, thereby reducing world air pollution.

Like all things that seem too good to be true, her claims of B.C. having the cleanest LNG facilities in the world one day are as premature and foolhardy as her assertions about related job creation and profits.

The Clark government knows that natural gas would most likely be needed to power the proposed LNG plants. Knowing this, the Clean Energy Act was changed in 2012 — meaning from that point on any natural gas burned to fuel LNG plants was to be considered “clean energy.” In fact, it is anything but clean.

Read Brent Stafford’s column


READ the rest of this weeks column, and vote for whom you think should win this weeks debate here:

BC government dim sum bonds a success in Hong Kong, but give indigestion to many here in British Columbia

As Harper’s old fishing buddy Rob Ford paddled up Denial earlier this week-  and continues to, very slowly of course,the ongoing gong show is like watching a train wreck in slow motion – his theatrics have provided ample cover for a variety of stories out west that barely registered on the radar.

Lets start with a serving of Dim Sum .. bonds that is.

In a news release issued 6pm Monday evening, the BC government announced they had successfully issued Chinese currency (Renminbi) bonds.

In doing so, the BC government effectively made financial history, since they are the first foreign government to issue Chinese currency bonds in the Chinese market. From Reuters:

“British Columbia’s dim sum bond will be listed in Luxembourg. HSBC is the sole bookrunner of the transaction. Bank of China and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China are co-managers.”

Ok, let’s just stop for a moment right there.

First, what is a dim sum bond?

“A bond denominated in Chinese yuan and issued in Hong Kong. Dim sum bonds are attractive to foreign investors who desire exposure to yuan-denominated assets, but are restricted by China’s capital controls from investing in domestic Chinese debt. The issuers of dim sum bonds are largely entities based in China or Hong Kong, and occasionally foreign companies. The term is derived from the Chinese cuisine that involves serving a variety of small delicacies and is especially popular in Hong Kong.”

China is hoping the dim sum bond market will help internationalize the Chinese dollar, but until the BC government jumped into the fray, they had  generally only been issued by corporations that have future inflows of Chinese currency that could offset any losses from changes in currency prices.

For a provincial government, it’s without a doubt, a bit of a risky venture. HSBC assumes some of the risk as the bookrunner and the BC government has also reinvested the proceeds into a secure investment – a term deposit, according the Finance Ministry staff, in the same market. More on that in a moment.

However, HSBC who is the sole bookrunner on this deal, not only faced money-laundering accusations last year, but now finds itself dragged into the spreading investigation into allegations of foreign currency rigging. 

Furthermore, the Bank of China  and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China are two of “The Big 4” banks owned by the Chinese government.

They are the co-managers of this bond.

In a time when many governments are concerned about Chinese state-owned investment in particular, it’s remarkable that the BC government would make this bold move, which has not been undertaken by any foreign government to date, not even to woo Chinese investment and trade. They are effectively allowing the Chinese government direct access to the management of this bond!

Sources indicate that there is a very good reason foreign governments haven’t ventured into this area yet, and it has a lot to do with the fact that China is still a one party country where the government closely controls the flow of its currency in and out of the government. Dealing with the Chinese government is not the same as dealing with Japan, or the US or any other trade country -period. That alone entails a degree of risk that can’t be hedged – or offset – by investing bond proceeds in any term deposit.

Of course, this immediately caught my eye since talk of the possibility of these bonds being issued made news late last year and again in January – at the time Assistant Deputy Minister Jim Hopkins told Chinese media that ‘The issuance of the bonds will be used to fund BC’s schools, hospitals and highway infrastructure.’

According to the government’s new release however, the government: ” immediately reinvested the proceeds in a matching and secure CNH investment, resulting in a positive return and protecting against foreign exchange risk.”

Curious as to the nature of this secure investment – a valid question I’ve yet to see asked – I called the Ministry of Finance to ask what specifically the government reinvested in, and was told: “Something like a term deposit.”

When pressed for the specific name or investment vehicle that the proceeds were put into, the communications contact had to investigate further and confirmed late Wednesday that it was a renminbi term deposit.

However, it was reported today in the China Daily, that:

“Michael de Jong, British Columbia’s finance minister, said in Beijing that the province immediately reinvested the funds in secure investment projects, including education, healthcare, transportation and energy resources.”

Hmmm. Which is it – a safe and secure Renminbi term deposit…. or education, healthcare, transportation and energy resource projects?

Did the province of BC actually invest all of the proceeds from the bond issue, or only part of it? Did the BC government borrow against this transaction with another lender for instant access to funds, or are they playing a game of public relations that counts on many British Columbians not reading Chinese dailies? Because one thing is certain – these bonds mature in one year at which time they would be paid out with interest. That means whatever investment the government placed the proceeds from the bond sale into, would have to give a good enough return to pay the bonds out at the maturity date, AND make a profit for the government that could then be placed into schools, etc… otherwise it would all have been done for the sake of relationships and would cost taxpayers in the end.

So which is it?

At least the BC government has been somewhat honest in stating what this foray in the dim sum bond market is all about :”It reflects the provincial government’s desire to promote stronger relations between China, the Province of BC and Canada.”

This history making bond issue by the Clark government comes on the heels of the also first of its kind pact between the Chinese government and another Canadian province – Alberta.

In late October the province of Alberta signed a non-binding energy pact with the government of China deemed to increase trade and collaboration.

“Alberta Energy Minister Ken Hughes says the framework on sustainable energy development gives Alberta direct access to decision-makers and strategists at the highest levels in China.

Hughes, who spoke to reporters from Beijing, said the deal’s importance was highlighted by the presence of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Canadian Gov. Gen. David Johnston.

He says the deal is a critical step toward increasing trade with China.

“It is the single most important market Alberta will have for the next 50 years.”

The minister says what he is hearing from leaders in China makes it even more imperative to get a direct line for Alberta crude oil to the Pacific coast.”

Now, here’s where we get to the irony of it all.

While Rich Coleman and Gwyn Morgan are busy pretending to be columnists and that BC is the best fracking place on earth, and Christy is bragging how we now have quadrillions of LNG reserves rather than trillions… the rosy glow is fading on LNG as reality starts showing it’s not so rosy future.

(How is it that Rich Coleman can state that fracking is safe when the industry already acknowledges a lack of transparency in violations? )

A report from an Alberta think tank states that the expectations of the BC government a year ago may be tough to deliver considering BC is very late to the table and our supply costs to bring LNG to market are much higher:

That full report can be read here

This was followed by the news that the Haisla nation LNG project in Kitimat is facing hurdles as one of its partners fends off insolvency, following the default on a loan obtained from a Chinese partner. The case is now in BC courts.

And of course, the truth about the many hurdles PETRONAS faces with regards to their LNG investment in B.C. came out yesterday  –  it seems photo ops trumped reason and the PM wasn’t as happy as he pretended to be when the deal was announced… means that it doesn’t matter how much gas we have, if it cant, or wont get to overseas markets because of foreign government ownership issues:

This, all on top of the report issued recently by the International Gas Union, that states ‘LNG project costs in B.C. far exceed those in the U.S., making the demand for a higher price overseas “difficult to financially justify”. ‘

One wonders just how far the Clark government  ( and the Redford, for that matter) will go to make their resource fantasies come true… and how much they will compromise and sell to make sure that happens.

Considering China still has a horrific human rights record  and  while the federal and provincial governments are fine to look the other way, I am not. It’s appalling. Nearly daily, a quick search of ” Human rights+ China” brings forth new stories on appalling worker conditions and person human rights violations.

Not everything in life is black and white and yes, there are 50 shades of grey. But when it comes to what we find acceptable as a civilization, as mothers and parents and human beings, where do we draw the line?

That is the question British Columbians – and Canadians – will have to confront as our elected governments fall over themselves to make deals with a government still ruled by the Communist Party of China. But then again, when it comes to the BC Liberals, ‘Envy is ignorance.”

The only thing you need to know about Justin Trudeau ~ your amuse bouche before this mornings ‘big breakfast’ post coming shortly

The National Bureau Chief for Sun Media is David Akin, of whom I am unabashedly a big fan. Why, Sun Media haters might ask?

Because besides the fact that he was more often than not, the only journalist out there holding Christy Clark’s feet to the fire prior to the last election and during it – he called her first on her jobs plan claims, among other items – he writes blog posts that get right to the point, like this excerpt:

So, the ladies had questions. Like this one:

“Which nation, besides Canada, which nation’s administration do you most admire, and why?”

There were about 100 people in the crowd  at swank downtown Toronto meeting place who’d paid $250 each to be able to ask Justin Trudeau questions and, as the ad said, to “really get to know the future prime minister.”

Ok, so other than Canada, which country’s government does Trudeau “most admire”?

Well, first of all, Trudeau had to acknowledge one thing about his crowd: “Not the fluffy questions some were expecting.”

Much laughter and clapping.

Ok, then. Which country’s government does the “future prime minister” most admire?

Answer: ” You know,  there’s a level of of admiration I actually have for China ….

Wait a minute. China? He was not asked which country he liked a bit, or was doing a decent job — but “which nation’s administration he most admired.”

So here’s the whole answer:

” You know,  there’s a level of of admiration I actually have for China because their basic dictatorship is allowing them to actually turn their economy around on a dime and say ‘we need to go green  fastest…we need to start investing in solar.’ I mean there is a flexibility that I know Stephen Harper must dream about of having a dictatorship that he can do everything he wanted that I find quite interesting.

But if I were to reach out and say which…which kind of administration I most admire, I think there’s something to be said right here in Canada for the way our territories are run. Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and the Yukon are done without political parties around consensus. And are much more like a municipal government. And I think there’s a lot to be said for people pulling together to try and solve issues rather than to score points off of each other. And I think we need a little more of that.

But Sun News can now report that I prefer China.”

Much laughter ensued. Much laughter indeed.

Seriously? Seriously?

Now, go read the rest, right now, and chew on that for a bit with your morning coffee, while I finish up the main course for you… :)

If I just keep my finger on my head long enough it will look like I am deep in thought and that might hold them off for a bit...
If I just keep my finger on my head long enough it will look like I am deep in thought and that might hold them off for a bit…

So, if you think the young Trudeau will be any different from the old Harper…. you’ve just had the reality check of your life.

And what exactly did the Chinese government use our Canadian uranium for?

“He wears a mask, and his face grows to fit it.” ~ George Orwell

The hypocrisy of Stephen Harper’s recent announcement that he would be boycotting the big grand poo-bah’s summit in Sri Lanka next month is stunning.

The lack of comment on it thus far, even more so. According to reports from overseas:

” Canada will skip the meeting because of  what Harper called “serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian standards during and after the civil war,” which ended there four years ago with the defeat of the Tamil Tigers. “

Because I know that the Privy Council office reads here frequently, I would like to point out that it’s really hard to take Harper’s momentary bouts of concern over human rights in other countries seriously, because of his abrupt flip-flop on his new BFF, the Chinese government .

In many ways, China’s record on human rights is getting worse, not better.  Increasingly, targets are not only religious minorities such as the Falun Gong, but of political activists and their families.

In August, representatives from the US has this to say about the state of human rights in China:

China‘s human rights situation is getting worse, a senior US official said in Beijing on Friday, as reports of another detention increased fears of a crackdown on activists and lawyers.

Uzra Zeya, who led the US side in annual bilateral rights dialogue, cited increasing pressure on activists’ friends and relatives and religious restrictions in Tibet and Xinjiang.

“I think we have continued to see a deterioration in the overall situation in China,” said Zeva, the acting assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labour.

“The specific issue of the targeting of family members is one reason for that assessment: the case of the family of Liu Xiaobo, of Chen Guangcheng and other instances. This is a worrisome trend and one we have raised at senior levels.”

Even though China – which is still ruled by the Chinese Communist Party – signed the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), on October 5, 1998 – it has never actually ratified it.

“Human Rights Watch believes that there are no credible reasons for the Chinese government to further delay ratification, absent which the government is not fully bound to uphold the treaty’s protections.

“China wants to join the UN’s top human rights body, but it won’t submit itself to the standards that body is sworn to apply,” said Sophie Richardson, China Director.

China is the only country among the permanent members of the UN Security Council not to have joined the ICCPR which guarantees essential rights ranging from the right to trial before an independent and impartial court to freedom of expression and political participation through regular and free elections.”

Adding to the glaring hypocrisy of Harpers human rights position this week, are stories of:

– forced abortions in some provinces to enforce the one-child law:

-the arrest of political activists in China, by State authorities:

China, for as much as it appears to be a modern, progressive society, is still anything but all of those labels, if you oppose the government, its policies and it’s laws. When you can be jailed for 7 years for poetry that pushes and calls for democracy,  democracy does not yet truly exist in the motherland.

This is why I laugh when Harper feigns concerns over Sri Lanka’s humans rights. How easily he forgets when it comes to the government of Chinas failing on that very issue.

From “Playing with the DragonsII: The architects behind Canada’s China Policy” :

“Certainly, the Chinese government would not consider having to address its horrific human rights record as a condition of doing business in, and with, Canada – and Stephen Harper seems just fine with that.

He, who was once stand-offish when it came to cultivating Chinese business interest in Canada is now going as far as stating he will over-rule environmental  and regulatory process to ensure the Northern Gateway project gets built. Chinese state connected corporations have been busy in Canada’s north and Harper has gone to extreme lengths to facilitate this surge.

Which leads me to ask, why is that? Why is the Canadian government seemingly so eager to get into a financial bed with the Chinese government and Chinese state-connected corporations, when so many other governments have rung alarm bells at the risk of doing so, without adequate safeguards to Canadian interests?

To understand why, one has to look beyond the Prime Minister, and into corporate Canada, to two organizations that have been deemed the architects of Canada’s China policy for far longer than Harper has been Prime Minister : the aptly named Power Corporation and the Canada Chinese Business Council.

The Power Corporation of Canada, under the direction of Andre and Paul Desmarais, has long been referred to ( and written about) as being ’the’ power behind the upper echelon of Canadian politics, in particular the Privy Council and the Prime Ministers office.

In fact, the company has shared a long and lively history with several prime ministers of different political leanings, who have worked on staff, including Jean Chretien, Paul Martin and Brian Mulroney. Over many years, political and professional connections continued in addition to personal ones, with the marriage of Andre Desmarais to Jean Cretiens daughter, so entrenched are the families and business/politics…

Read all of this post and more, here:

harperhockeyIronically,while Rome Canada burns, Harper has oddly moved onto violence in hockey, a sport he has been known to watch while drinking a double double with our dear Christy Clark who also is an avid sports fan.

The question then becomes, in the face of all this rampant hypocrisy on human rights, what is the real reason Harper is boycotting Sri Lanka? Is is simply about the money, or is there something more?

Or am I the only one who noticed that while he is rolling out the red carpet for a country ( China) with one of the worst human rights records in history… he is  now boycotting another?

Canada signs initiative with China to “promote high level military exchanges”

While everyone is up in arms over the story of a Chinese reporter being denied the right to ask questions of Harper following some sort of shoving incident, perhaps what is a far more important story of Sino-Canadian relations has gone by the wayside.

As reported in the Chinese newspaper People’s Daily Online , Chinese defence minister Chang Wanquan  and Canadian Defence Minister Rob Nicholson held talks on Thursday and signed an initiative following their meetings.

Chang said military relations between China and Canada have maintained a sound momentum of development, as evidenced by frequent contacts between military leaders of the two sides, and their smooth and close coordination on global and regional issues.

Meanwhile, continuous progress has been made in bilateral military cooperation, such as in military training, international peace-keeping, defense education and mutual visits by warships, he said.

Chang also said China is ready to work with Canada to enhance their military ties by promoting high-level exchanges, strengthening strategic mutual trust, deepening pragmatic exchanges and cooperation, and reinforcing multilateral coordination.

Nicolson said he is glad to see the two militaries have engaged in positive interactions. He said, as Canada and China share common interests in many issues, militaries of the two countries need to promote dialogue and deepen cooperation in a bid to push their relations forward continuously.

After the meeting, Chang and Nicolson signed an initiative, under which the two countries agreed to promote high-level military exchanges and establish a defence coordination dialogue mechanism. Also on Thursday, Chang held talks with Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird. 

This comes following  two events of note earlier this year:  the keynote speech given by Ambassador Zhang Junsai at a luncheon in Calgary hosted by Alberta Oil Magazine( May 30th, 2013) , and the historic visit and meetings of Peter Mackay with  Chinese defense minister Chang Wanquan a few days later in Beijing. ( June 2nd, 2013)

At the luncheon hosted by Alberta Oil Magazine in May, Amabassador Zhang Junsai offered several insights into both China’s investment and resource strategy, as well as how they view Canada’s resources.

The speech, is a compelling read regardless of the forum in which it was presented. Here is an excerpt, but I suggest you read the entire speech :


No.5, People should have more objective and square perceptions of Chinese investments in Canada.

The debate about the Nexen deal last year left me with the impression that the public opinion environment for Chinese investments in Canada are yet favorable.

I wish to stress two facts regarding the Chinese investments.

The first one is that China is a market economy, and China’s state-owned enterprises, such as CNOOC, are independent market players, whose investments in Canada’s energy sector, just like in other countries, are sheer market-driven decisions.

While investing here, they have made due contribution to local employment, community development and fulfilled their social responsibilities.

In fact, China-Canada energy cooperation can’t go fast without the SOEs, because almost all the big energy companies in China are SOEs, and those with clear strength in capital and technologies are also SOEs.

This is determined by China’s system.

The second one is that the Chinese investors did not come to Canada to grab this country’s wealth of resources.

The major motive driving them here is to optimize the portfolio of their overseas investments and learn the best technology and management know-hows, just like everyone else.

Some of you may have contacts or even cooperation with Chinese companies and I believe most of them have left you with nice impression.

Of course, the responsibility to improve public image depends mainly on the good practices and effective PR by the Chinese investors.

I still hope that you can help explain to the Canadian people with your own experience that what China wants in its energy cooperation with Canada is nothing but a win-win scenario.

In conclusion, I wish the energy cooperation between China and Canada continue to score better and more achievements in the future so as to inject more positive energy to this important partnership between our two great countries. And again, I congratulate you all for your great performance which has made you so outstanding. Thank you.

Is this latest meeting that has not been largely reported by media outlets yet, cause for concern? Ultimately, time will tell, but it shows yet another example of Harpers turnabout on his attitude and relationship with the Chinese government, and Sino-Canadian policies.

“All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near” ~Sun Tzu( otherwise known as Rant #1 – there is another one coming)

“Only one thing to it: a strong stomach.  The guts to gladhand a man you’re going to stab in the back; pledge allegiance to principles you stomp on every day; righteously denounce some despot in the press and sell him arms under the table.  The talent to whip up the voters’ worst passions while you seem to call on their highest instincts, and the sense to stay wrapped in the flag.  That’s politics:  I’ll take the simple life.”
―    Pierre Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais,   Le Mariage de Figaro

You could not find a more truthful statement than the above: it does take a strong stomach to be a politician and clearly that hasnt changed since this particular book in the Figaro trilogy was written in the 1700’s.  Taking a look at current events in Canada, and in our own province of B.C., I think it’s safe to say however, it takes an even stronger stomach to sit on the sidelines as a voter and try to digest what amounts to a really bad serving of politics no matter where you look.

Let’s start with something everyone needs to really pay attention to because in my opinion, it’s a game-changer for  British Columbians: The Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Act, otherwise know and referred to as FIPPA.

FIPPA is yet another one of those underhanded moves by the Harper government in which he throws Canadians under the bus with one hand while tossing back some Dong Po Pork dipped in mustard with the other hand. How he gets away with this stuff, I don’t know. It’s like Canada has become one large fooseball table with Harper and China at opposite ends, and we all lose in the end.

But I digress. Long story short, FIPPA is a foreign trade agreement, a contract, between the Peoples Republic of China and Canada. And without getting into the nitty gritty legalese, it’s being rammed through without any debate, without any public input and it carries some longstanding consequences for all provinces where Chinese investors own assets. In BC, this means that Chinese investors would be able to sue the province for changing direction on the Enbridge pipeline – big trouble for a potential NDP government who plans to withdraw and try to block the project.  The agreement also allow companies with even minority Chinese shareholders to sue Canada, and Canadian companies, outside the Canadian legal system.

It’s unconstitutional, and some say, treasonous.

 I think it’s both, considering the amount of Chinese, trickle-down state-connected, investment in BC’s resource sector – in our province this agreement could have disastrous and long-standing implications we can’t get out of anytime soon.

There is a bit of hope though, and that would be if Christy Clark put some action behind her tough talk of standing up for BC, and launched a Supreme Court challenge – from The Vancouver Observer:

“The province can call for an injunction in the BC Superior Court, requesting the courts to order the federal government not to ratify the treaty until the constitutional issues are resolved,” Van Harten told The Vancouver Observer.

The other option, Van Harten added, was a upswelling of public opinion against the treaty that will pressure elected officials in Parliament as well as provincial legislatures”

Van Harten, an investment law and treaty expert, even sent a letter to Premier Clark ( along with all the other premiers) to warn of the implications and while the premier would not comment to The Observer, Terry Lake did – stating that the letter warning of the above was speculative…

Sure, Terry… speculative that you are not acting in the best interests of British Columbians, but in the best interests of Terry Lake, not unlike most current BC Liberal MLA’s still sitting.

Here is my advice,for what it is worth. Don’t look to Christy and the Liberal leftovers to save the province, she knows she’s done – it’s up to all of you, if you choose. Which brings me to the really big issue of why the hell are our provincial and federal governments so happy and excited and giving gifts and accepting panda’s from a country that has one of the poorest human rights records in history?  Hello CNOOC, I am talking about you.  Is this really a company we want to do business with in Canada? Seriously?

For the last year, I have been ardently interested in both the provincial governments( in my opinion, blind) direction to pander to Asian interests, as well as Harper’s turnabout with China… when first elected he was standoff-ish with respect to Canadian China relations and that suddenly changed.

Today, our provincial government as well as the Harper government federally, have both chosen to place all of our resource and technological eggs in one large Chinese government connected basket, and I have a huge issue with this. Not because of the wonderful Chinese people who have come to Canada looking for a better life, not unlike my ancestors, but because of the totalitarian regime associated closely with many resource companies… and the active lobby group affecting foreign and domestic policy.

First of all, for those not well read on the topic, China has a military strategy  that encompasses the entire world, not just a nation here or there. In particular, it seems when you look at their state connected, “business” acquisitions, they target countries  like Canada and Australia ( it has even been mused that we are the next Australia) because we are soooo nice, and sooo complacent….

Time to read two, vital posts prior to my next, if you have not… and one funny but in a sad way, video from Rick Mercer Reports.

Meanwhile, over in Alberta….

It was just over a year ago I first wrote about Chinese companies who allegedly couldn’t find one single skilled worker in Canada to staff their mines up north…

Of course, this week the outrage begins anew with news that even more mines will be bringing even more foreign workers, and while the companies
“promise” to train Canadians down the road… something tells me that’s never going to happen.

Of course, this isn’t just a BC trend to look to foreign workers… Alberta’s been very busy doing the same thing, targeting Americans.

This article details the wonderful partnership between Alberta and American veterans because ” Canada needs you for pipeline work.” :

“This is a great opportunity for veterans, transitioning military, National Guard and reservists, and their family members,” said Ted Daywalt, founder and CEO of VetJobs (, a recognized industry leader in helping veterans find work. 

My first thought was ‘How convenient for pipeline companies to have workers on site with military experience and training…’

But there is more. Opportunity awaits at this site : , where the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation has a multitude of skilled job openings for people looking for work from the US, and are even holding job fairs to recruit on behalf of Suncor, Finning and PCL Constructors. They offer tips and advice on getting your US passport, living in Alberta and all the benefits offered by the companies seeking workers.

I hear that in some fields there is a shortage of skilled labour because many provinces pushed kids to tech and business rather than trades for far too long and that’s starting to show as older tradespeople retire. Time to invest in educating and skills training for Canadians starting at the high school level for those kids interested, but even with that being said, I find it hard to fathom these companies can’t find Canadian workers to fill these positions.
Or did they really try?

One of the most important graphs and the two most important posts, you will ever read about BC’s coming debt load.


Our good friends over at Blog Borg Collective has a very important post up this morning that clearly show the amount of debt the province is carrying – without including crown corps etc. The chart  above is from one he has embedded in his post today….. and all I can say is a big thank you to the BC Liberals for accumulating so much debt that they have to avoid having a fall session so they wont be held accountable.

What the hell did they think would happen when they reduced  all corporate and personal taxes to some of the lowest points ever ? Without generating new revenue streams as replacements? Natural gas prices are down, China is heading into some rough economic times and our government is putting everything they have into exports to China and Asia……Well, good luck with that and good luck to the incoming government after our election next year, trying to wade out of this one. Don’t expect miracles. Now go, read the post and weep.

When you are done that, come on back and read this post explaining how this all came to be. The best explanation of how the BC Liberals created their own crisis to introduce P3’s to the province. Looking back at the last 10 years, I think it’s bang on.