Who’s been naughtiest in B.C. Politics?




“The holiday season is here and children everywhere are writing to Santa, hoping that they haven’t made the naughty list. It turns out that it’s not only children who should be worried this year! I received a tip recently from a source in the North Pole and Santa is more than a little upset with the B.C. Liberals…

In fact, he said and I quote : “Why can’t they seem to get it right when it comes to all the most vulnerable children?”

Shameful truth be told, my source indicates that Santa has received more letters from children living in poverty in B.C. over the last 9 years,than anywhere else in Canada – and he’s not too happy about that.

In fact,my source indicated Santa’s been taking a good hard look at who’s been particularly naughty this year and has already ordered a rail car full of B.C. coal ! He still needed some help to decide who’s been naughtiest of all when it comes to politics in B.C. and I was more than happy to assist!

The Top 5 Naughty List in B.C. Politics

5)  Richard Butler, the lawyer representing the province in the Basi- Virk indemnity case who just filed a new affidavit that details how the earlier affidavit he filed was false.

Despite being a lawyer for many years, and knowing full well the penalty for perjury in the court, he now admits he “mis-stated” his original affidavit, claiming a faulty memory when it came to declaring if our government actually had detailed billing when it came to Basi and Virks lawyers…all very crucial information about the plea deal given to the two men which many believe, was in exchange for their silence.

When a lawyer ‘forgets’ and files false statements on behalf of the government ,whose been stonewalling their own auditor general who just wants the truth , that’s huge. Naughty naughty naughty. Not just coal for his stocking, but some Ginkgo Biloba in 1000mg tablets to help with his memory.

4) Bill Bennett.

To be brutally honest, I seriously thought Wild Bill must have fallen off of his quad, and was suffering a head injury after I heard him accusing NDP MLA Jagrup Brar of being infatuated with Communist Cuba!  Seriously, one of the craziest statements ever made by any politician, but even more so for a ‘top lieutenant’ in Christy Clarks election readiness team. Bill later had a sock stuffed in his mouth and was sent back out to the mountains, where his mouth couldn’t do any more harm.

3) Colin Hanson.

The man instrumental in the mess of lies and deceit behind the HST debacle – for that alone he’ll be getting a truck load of coal – has jumped from the frying pan, into the fire.

After announcing he wouldn’t be running for MLA again, he announced he would however, take on the role of deputy campaign manager for the BC Liberals in the 2013 election. Seriously? Seriously? You want to actually help this bunch of bungling,unethical politicians get re-elected? Oh, Colin, Santa isn’t going to like that, but maybe he’ll bring you a pair of hip-waders for all the crap you’re going to wading through next year…

2) Rich Coleman.

It’s really getting predictable that when the shit hits the fan,you can usually find Rich Coleman getting his raincoat on. Where do I begin? How about with one of his biggest backers, Patrick Kinsella, whose name seems to go hand in hand with backroom deals for the BC Liberals?

Coleman been very naughty this year, recently in the news for some downright unethical deals and donations between a BC brewer and his office, that resulted in some tax policy changes that.. surprise surprise.. would benefit the brewer to the tune of millions.

Story breaks, words get tossed around like special prosecutor and of course.. ” it was all just a misunderstanding” Sure. Just like bullying a potential candidate for his party into signing a letter he didn’t want to sign was too…

1) Christy Clark.

Without a doubt, Clark takes the number one spot on my naughty list, and it sure doesn’t have anything to do with her dubious appearance on the National Posts Vixens in Vancouver list… thanks to Ian Reid for that one. Stay tuned for a new pilot on Fox next year : “Premier on the Prowl “- grrrowwl !

Unfortunately, the still unelected premier has made a mockery of democracy by refusing to call an election early and get a mandate from the voters – something she promised while campaigning for the Liberal leadership.

Follow that with an endless stream of artificial photo ops, bad press and poor decisions, and you have one big reason female voters don’t like her. Whether its claiming  false job creation numbers,or claiming tough times and tightened belts, then spending $15 million on ads ,everything she says is contrived gibberish.

She has government workers on an attack site on the public dime, gone on a spending spree on the public dime, and goes through staff like some people go through tissues.

I think the people of B.C. would agree: Santa, instead of that good old B.C. coal, how about sending her one nicely wrapped reality check?

Happy Holidays, and I’d love to see your  political choices for Santa’s naughty list!

Straight from the horses mouth: Premier Campbell and Huggies Hansen tell it like it was – back in 2008.

Watch this video, and listen carefully. Listen to Gordon Campbell talk about how bad the economy is, and how changes will have to be made. Listen to Colin talk about how if a P3 financer can’t get financing, another company can step in because so many are out there waiting.

Now, this is from 2008. Not at all in line with Campbell’s repeated claims post-election that he had no idea how bad the economy really was.

And Colin has some explaining to do now, doesn’t he?

Because in this video he states the taxpayer will never end up on the hook for any P3 project due to financing, because there are so many other companies out there willing to step in and take over….. which is exactly what I have been saying about the failed P3 Port Mann all along. Why did the taxpayers end up on the hook, if another company could have jumped in with financing?  Stinky, stinky, stinky Colin!!! Have huddle with the premier and get back to me on that, won’t you?

But wait… I have more for you.

FROM THE HORSES MOUTH… those organizations who have been lobbying and pushing for the implementation of the HST… and some advice for Manitobans…lol.  Quite a telling sound bite, no?

And while we are still on the topic of the HST… here is a press clip from Harper on the subject. You have to listen carefully as the clip continues  to add in other press bits on the HST..


Last, but not least, the most under reported story of  August was Gordon Campbell’s trip to California to speak to their Assembly. Powell River Persuader was the first to write about it, and a couple other bloggers mentioned it after he did, but there was very little if any real coverage by the MSM.

 Why is this news? Because his address is no more than outright pandering to his corporate IPP friends – a PR promotion for all those horrific run of the river projects.  

Watch Campbell deliver his address, and then tell me he isn’t trying to sell this province down the river… and watch for a cameo of the most gossiped about woman in BC politics at the very beginning   ;  )

BC Liberals wanted HST – despite high level warnings of job loss, wage loss and productivity loss for up to 5 years

Cross posted from Honestly Shared Taxation, another blog I co-author with writer Norman Farrell.

Jonathan Fowlie of the Vancouver Sun has breaking news this September 1st,2010. Here is an excerpt:

FOI documents: B.C. government adopted HST despite warnings of negative impact on the economy
13 months after Freedom of Information request, heavily censored documents reveal discussion surrounding harmonized sales tax

VICTORIA — The B.C. Liberal government pushed ahead with a harmonized sales tax despite warnings at the highest levels that such a move could lead to at least five years of increased unemployment, lower wages and depressed productivity.

“While the long-term economic gain [of the HST] is relatively clear, harmonization will cause a short-term loss in GDP and unemployment,” says a briefing note prepared by the top official in the B.C.’s tax policy branch for Finance Minister Colin Hansen.

“[A C.D. Howe] study suggests that it may take five or more years before the impact on GDP is positive and even longer for real wages and job numbers to recover,” the note said.

“Given current economic conditions, this could be a concern.”

The revelation came Wednesday in documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

Those documents also reveal that top bureaucrats in Victoria were discussing a possible move to the HST as early as March 2009 — a month and a half before the provincial election and far earlier than the Liberal government has ever acknowledged.

Campbell and Hansen have repeatedly said the HST was not on the government’s “radar screen” until after the May 12, 2009 provincial election.

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/documents+government+adopted+despite+warnings+negative+impact+economy/3470614/story.html#ixzz0yK4aGlVR

The Sun has posted those documents online here: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/news/3470614/story.html?tab=PHOT

What more can I say? How about this:

If this were any other country,people would be flooding the streets in anger.There would be a general strike. There would be mayhem and people would storm government offices. Think Greece, Italy.

But this is British Columbia,and as much as I feel actions like those would certainly allow anger to be voiced, what else would it accomplish?

We will Recall in the Fall, and we will demand Honestly Shared Taxation.

The government knew it might take up to and over 5 years to recover from the job loss, the wage loss and the productivity loss the implementation of the HST would create,and they still felt giving big business priority over the people who elected them was the answer.

Let me tell you, they were wrong. Dead wrong and we must all send a message any way we can.

Money apparently is the only thing Gordon Campbell and the Liberals understand,so we have to speak to them using that language.

There is a  growing HST consumer boycott action underway in BC.  Many people have chosen to boycott both  the companies who supported the big business legal challenge that failed,as well as  boycott any business who  has supported only  the BC liberals through corporate contributions over the years Campbell has been in power.  It is a personal choice as to who one chooses to boycott, and why.

Political contributions are public information, and can be searched through this database:


I can not stress enough how important it is to notify each company you are boycotting as to why you will no longer be supporting their business. If you do not,you have wasted the power you have to put pressure on those big businesses who can pressure the government to repeal this tax, and pressure the Chamber of Commerce to stop promoting the HST.

We cordially invite you to visit our new blog: ” Honestly Shared Taxation”

This is how history happens, people. I’ve learned that real leaders aren’t always the men and women making deals on Howe Street, nor are they always those charged with the care and growth of our province.

Real leaders are regular people like you and I, who have extraordinary determination. I think that sounds a lot like all of you! On that note, on behalf of Norman Farrell and myself, I would like to extend a warm welcome to our new blog, Honestly Shared Taxation ( http://honestlyshared.blogspot.com/

A few experienced BC bloggers will use this space to provide information about HST in British Columbia. We support withdrawal of HST and believe the people have already spoken clearly. The initiative that gathered signatures in every riding of the province was successful but a representative of Gordon Campbell’s government sidelined the measure. We must demonstrate that BC Liberals cannot continue to ignore the clear will of its citizens.

This week a coalition of big business groups who have given hundreds of thousands of dollars to the B.C. Liberal Party will be in B.C. Supreme Court in a legal action that could invalidate the Fight HST citizens initiative petition signed by 705,643 voters. 

It is our intention to identify corporations that actively work to oppress public sentiment and encourage the government that imposes HST without voter mandate. That includes the Council of Forest Industries, the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association, the Mining Association of B.C., the B.C. Chamber of Commerce, the Coast Forest Products Association and the Western Convenience Stores Association.
We invite citizens to withdraw from business dealings with those who encourage BC Liberals taxation policies.  Most of the large corporations of this province are financing court action in opposition to the citizens’ initiative. We will go beyond the front organizations and list their funders. That means that every member of the BC Chamber of Commerce and its affiliates must feel the economic wrath of consumers through boycott


Norman and I look forward to your comments, emails and feedback along the way, and feel free to let us know other companies we may have missed as we go along. It is, and will be a work in progress.  We also look forward to hearing what kind of responses you are getting back as a result of letting these companies know you will no longer be doing business with them.


Part II : Jesus turned water to wine, but who turned hot air into $$$$$ ?

Before anyone starts screaming at me for what I am about to write, let me say that I am all about saving and preserving the world we live on for as long as we possibly can. If you read anything of what I write, you will know that I advocate for a number of environmental issues. I’m not a scientist,a climatologist, or even a meteorologist. I am, however, a devoted mother of 4 who was raised in what used to be the pristine,”true north – strong and free “.  So, by all rights that makes me an environmentalist and activist of  sorts,  through birth and motherhood.

 I used to argue with my father about forestry practices and how those in the industry needed to start looking towards other means of sustaining their livelihoods before every damn tree was cut down – and that was long before the term sustainability came into common language. I questioned the wisdom of the large plumes of emissions erupting from the pulp mill stacks, and the burner at the saw mill.  Let’s just say that since he and the rest of my family are forestry workers, we didn’t exactly see eye to eye on these issues. He saw men out of work, I saw forests without trees. I still do, and I suspect as hard as it is for him to admit it, now he does as well.

One would think it should be common sense at this point in our development as a supposedly enlightened society, to do as little damage and leave as little impact as we can while we go about the business of actually doing business, and living life. Turn off the lights. Walk when you can, take the bus, use reuseable bags, and conserve our precious water supplies. You know what I mean, I don’t need to spell it out.

All of  this is why I really have a hard time with this whole business of carbon credits, carbon offsets and the regulations that the provincial government has imposed on all of the public sector who were supposedly going to be carbon neutral by 2010. To me, it really appears to be a government mandated climate scam on another level, and I’m going to tell you why I think so.

Well, it’s 2010 now, and is the public sector in BC carbon neutral? I think not.  What’s that? You don’t have a clue what carbon neutral even is? Carbon credits and offsets are a foreign language to you ? Don’t feel so bad, because you are not alone.

The fact is that far too many  British Columbians haven’t a clue what all of this means, and I suspect that is just fine with Gordon Campbell and the Liberals, because as long as you don’t understand the theory behind it and where all the money goes, no one will ask any questions. Make it as confusing as hell and pretty soon the average Joe or Jill has a headache and goes to bed, still clueless as to how it all works.

To be honest, I’ve been in the same boat and for the most part, ignored the entire carbon credit/offset/neutral business altogether – until one company name started popping up all over the place last year : Offsetters Clean Technology.

But first, before I get into how James Tansey has turned hot air into $$$$, let’s go back… wayyy back, to 2007 or thereabouts, when” it” all started :  “it”, meaning  Gordon Campbell’s Green Dream, of course.

The world was deep in the alarmist reactionary mode to the horrific threat of global warming and as a result,politicians and environmentalists everywhere were heeding the call to action.  The provincial government, under the guidance of Gordon Campbell, was no different. Long story short, the premiers Green Dream of glory resulted in a carbon tax and the allotment of $24 million over 4 years to the creation of a new crown corporation known as the Pacific Carbon Trust. 

What does this Pacific Carbon Trust do? The website says this:

  Credible offsets. A cleaner environment. A vibrant low-carbon economy.

We need to act on many fronts to address climate change. Pacific Carbon Trust offers an important part of the solution. We are a Crown corporation of the Government of BC, created to deliver quality made-in-BC greenhouse gas offsets to help clients reduce their carbon footprint and drive the growth of BC’s low-carbon economy.

Together with our partners and clients, we are creating a cleaner environment and a modern B.C. economy.

What We Do

We offer quality carbon offsets, measured as one metric tonne of carbon dioxide or equivalent (CO2e) that is reduced or removed from the atmosphere as a result of emission-reducing (offset) activities.

For example, if a business reduces emissions by 10,000 tonnes of CO2e through a qualifying energy efficiency initiative, it can sell those emissions savings or offsets to us. We will in turn offer a portfolio of offsets to clients to counter their emissions.

What is a carbon offset?


A carbon offset represents a reduction or sequestration of greenhouse gas emissions generated by activities, such as improved energy efficiency, that can be used to balance the emissions from another source, such as a plane trip.

To ensure the offsets we offer provide a true additional benefit, the carbon savings must be verified by an objective third party, and our purchases must support offset projects that otherwise would not have been viable. These and other requirements are outlined in the Ministry of Environment’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets Act and Emission Offsets Regulation.

Whoooa Nellie… sounds like an entirely different language, no? Well, the good people at the Pacific Carbon Trust have been so helpful as to provide an entire section of FAQ to help us out. You can take a look at it yourself at this link: http://www.pacificcarbontrust.com/FAQs/tabid/61/Default.aspx , and I urge you to do so, because it will assist you in understanding why I question all of this, and perhaps why you should think a little more about it as well.  Especially since under the Climate Change and offsets section, it specifically refers to global warming ( they define global warming as climate change)  as the reason behind all of this.

The creation of the carbon tax and the act and ensuing regulations governing climate protocols in British Columbia meant one thing: an entirely new industry was born in British Columbia, one that centered all around the buying and selling, creation and disbursement of carbon offsets, which in turn leads to the carbon credit.

This is where James Tansey and Offsetters Clean Technology comes in. The first time I really recall hearing this company name was when it was announced that the 2010 Olympics were going to be the greenest games on the planet.  VANOC made an announcement that a deal had been reached with Offsetters to become the official carbon offsetter of the Olympic Games- to the tune of approximately $5 million. Quite the deal if you ask me.

Shortly thereafter, finance minister Colin Hansen announced that the Pacific Carbon Trust had made a deal to purchase over 300,000 emission offsets from – you guessed it – Offsetters clean technology.

And the rest is history…

Some of you might be sleeping by now, some of you might be freaking out and wondering how it is that I could question such an amazing innovation like carbon offsets. After all, what could be wrong about offsetting harmful emissions, right?

The truth is,after reading the websites of  both Pacific Carbon Trust( remember, this is a crown corporation and your tax dollars at work here)  and Offsetters- a private and profitable business, I only have more doubt as to the effectiveness of all of it.

First of all, with regards to the crown corporation, Pacific Carbon Trust,  who is in charge of monitoring all of this? Who checks if the offset projects truly are what they claim to be ? Who is verifying the numbers ? 

As it happens, there is a FAQ  section on the government site that attempts to address these questions, but look at the answer it gives  for this question:

8. Who are validation and verification bodies?

Validation bodies review project plans and issue assurance statements on the basis of their findings. The validation of a project plan includes an assessment of the project’s additionality, selection of sources, sinks, reservoirs, and the protocol selected by the proponent.

Verification bodies assess project reports and issue assurance statements on the basis of their findings. The verification of project reports include an assessment of the project’s greenhouse gas reduction, data collection, monitoring, and calculations.

Initially a team which includes a person authorized to act as an auditor of a company and at least one qualified professional (as defined in the regulation) will be able to act as a validation or verification body. As of July 1, 2010 validation and verification bodies will need to be accredited, in accordance with ISO 14065, by a member of the International Accreditation Forum to use ISO 14064-3.

Soooo… I still have no clue WHO the people are that validate and verify the projects, offsets and numbers, and according to this, prior to July 1st of this year, these independent ” bodies” did not even have to be accredited !  What?  It boggles the mind that there are ‘bodies’ out there that may or may not be qualified to even perform this function- because they have not been accredited- to make any kind of assessment. But of course, we still don’t even know who these people are,where they came from and what their qualifications are.

It gets even better. Try and give this a try:

How do I quantify my proposed offset project?

Proponents are encouraged to select a recognized protocol (for example, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) has numerous expert and publicly reviewed methodologies) and adapt, as necessary, to the B.C. context.

Over time, an optional list of approved protocols will be developed and made available to project proponents.

In addition, the Director of the Climate Change Branch of the Ministry of Environment has the authority to designate mandatory protocols. These protocols may relate to any of the following:

  • Selection of sources, sinks, or reservoirs.
  • Baseline scenarios.
  • Quantification of Greenhouse Gas Reductions.
  • Monitoring Greenhouse Gas sources, sinks, and reservoirs
  • Encouraged? Proponents are ‘encouraged’  to  select a recognized protocol? Shouldn’t a crown corporation be demanding it as a requirement? how about setting a standard so we know tax dollars aren’t being wasted here.

    I could go on, but you get the point. The science is still  relatively new, and as it turns out, highly questionable at best, in my opinion. After doing a bit more research, it appears that I am far from being the only one questioning the value of the entire carbon offset industry.

    Critics worldwide have long deemed carbon offsets as a way for the guilty to pay for their sins, rather than changing their behavior. ” Hey, I’m still going to fly 20 times a year, but I’ll by some offsets and it’s ok!! )  In BC, it seems we still have no cut and dry standard of verifying and measuring the offsets absolutely. It is often said that companies will get ” independent verification” as to appear credible and avoid the appearance of fraud, but as it clearly spelled on the BC government site,  those mysterious verification and validation bodies have been operating with accreditation for the last two years!!  Who the hell knows what has been going on over there and where this taxpayer-funded money has been going.

    There are more controversies with the entire carbon offset industry, and although I generally refrain from using Wikipedia as a source, it sums up all those controversies in one location. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_offset

    The most interesting source of information that takes a hard look at some of the key people in charge of the Pacific Carbon Trust and those that comprise the BC Green Energy  AdvisoryTask Force was located on the Save our Rivers website. I would consider it to be a damning report that shows the potential conflicts and highly questionable business relationships of those deemed with advising and overseeing the direction our government takes at this crucial juncture in our provinces history. Oddly enough, a familiar name appears even here, by the appearance of Chris Trumpy….. :)  ( that guy really gets around)

    Should those parties with an outside and vested interest that may be profit or politically motivated, be charged with advising on allegedly ‘clean’ energy issues? Read this link, and decide for yourself. http://saveourrivers.ca/action/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/TaskForce-Group2-Backgrounder-Dec16-09.pdf 

    Clearly, the premiers Green Dream and lofty goals of a carbon neutral public sector are  still just that – a dream.  Even more questionable, is the requirement for school districts to have to adhere to his protocols by purchasing – you guessed it-  carbon offsets to meet the guidelines. Don’t meet the target and the district has to pay a penalty on top of it. 

    Now again, I’m just a concerned mother and citizen of this province, but considering the school system has been underfunded and shortchanged for so long that a goof majority of students learn in cold, damp drafty old portables that cost a small fortune to even try and heat, wouldn’t it make more sense to exempt the schools from this requirement ?  Take a look at this excerpt from an article that ran in the TRicity News – and keep in mind this was written last year :

    Few British Columbians are against tackling climate change.
    But making students lab rats in an experiment to make the province a leader in the exchange of carbon credits is not the way to do it.

    Starting next year, school districts will be expected to calculate and pay for carbon emissions when there’s no money in the pot to pay for teachers.

    It’s an added financial burden for districts already caught in a cash crunch.

    The Surrey School District is already facing a $9.5-million shortfall due to a reduction in revenues and increased costs.

    The carbon emission plan imposed by the province will add nearly $2 million in expenses annually to Surrey’s bottom line – the equivalent of the annual salaries for 28 full-time teachers.

    First, districts have to buy and use an expensive, time-consuming calculator – from the province, which developed it – to figure out how many tonnes of carbon emissions they create in heating and lighting schools, then they’ll pay carbon offsets to industry through a carbon exchange called the Pacific Carbon Trust. This Crown corporation will then use the funds to reward industries that cut back on their carbon emissions.

    But should schools be subsidizing industry? And is this the right time to do it?

    True, schools that cut energy and electricity consumption will save money and reduce their carbon footprint.

    But exactly how can they afford to do that without dedicated funds? There was the annual facilities grant but that was cut and what reserves are left are being used for basic maintenance.

    You would think B.C. Education Minister Margaret MacDiarmid would be sympathetic. But, no, she’s sticking to her guns on the 2010 deadline and says no extra money is available for the program.

    I can’t say it any better than that.

    I agree, few people in this province will deny the need for industry and commercial business to cut harmful emissions. But after a closer examination of the people and the projects initiated by our premier, it’s clear things are not what they appear to be. There are no strict guidelines and far too many loose ends to ensure that this tax money it being well spent, and in the end, how much has any of it impacted how the majority of industry in BC does business?

    It might make good copy, and even better PR for the companies touting their ‘carbon neutrality’, but I’m guessing the only thing Gordon Campbell’s Green Dream has done, is lined the pockets of more than a few industrious businessmen in BC – and no one  has been the wiser. Sure, buying some carbon offsets might contribute to some great new clean energy or some amazing new industrial mechanism that isn’t firing out some black toxic smoke, but remember this. 

    Those same carbon offsets are doing nothing to stop the current and ongoing, real-life every day emissions that are happening right now as we speak. On that one point alone, I question all of it. This program is doing nothing to  stop, or even really change the way big, powerful polluters are doing business at this very second.

    But hey, at least some CEO can say: ” We manage to minimize our tremendous environmental damage by purchasing carbon offsets….”  Maybe, just maybe he or she really believes it’s doing some good, but I doubt it. More likely they  view offsets as a free pass to commit environmental treachery, sanctioned by the government.

    I say, time to call for full and comprehensive, PUBLIC review of all the entire program to see if it has come close to living up to the dream- Campbell’s Green Dream.

    My kids, and yours, depend on it.

    “Scope changes” to South Fraser Perimeter Road fuels rumours that the project is dead – and the Liberals are out of money.

    What?? You don’t say??  Are the Liberals once againover budget, and underfunded – before a project even starts? NOoooo…. say it ain’t so!!!!

    A little birdie flew by my window tonight, and whispered some sweet nothings in my ear… oh so sweet… regarding that often protested and over-hyped South Fraser Perimeter Road( part of the Gateway project) we all love to hate.  I swear, I nearly had a braingasm when I heard this.

    Apparently, there have been several small configuration changes already to the plans, and rumour has it that even now, after the bids have been in for several weeks, the Liberals( Ministry of Transportation)  are considering some ” scope changes ” . Which could mean there are “cash flow problems” that require a significant reduction in the magnitude of the project…..

    Hmmm. Have the Liberals gone and distributed the pie before it was actually made and baked again?  Because there was already a change to the structure of construction payments done, to reduce the need to raise financing to do the project…. 

    Now. Between you, and I, (and all the Public Affairs Bureau employees who are no doubt in “code red” mode right now), this information set my bullsh*t detector off like you wouldn’t believe, partly because of the way the MOT rammed the Port Mann Bride through even after the winning bidder lost their financing.  It would seem to me that the Liberals have a public procurement policy in place that seems to be rigid and besieged with rules, yet those same rules are able to be altered at a moments notice. Again- see that Port Mann link just above.

    Again, as with most major transportation projects in BC, the shortlist of proponents is a who’s who of favorite BC Liberal bidders, and nary a truly Canadian company among the various consortiums.  See what I mean:

    Fraser Transportation Group – includes Iridium Concesiones de Infraestructuras, S.A. of Spain and Zachry American Infrastructure of Texas as equity partners and Dragados S.A. as the lead design build contractor.   

     South River Connector – includes Babcock & Brown Public Partnerships Limited Partnership and Bilfinger Berger Project Investments Inc. as equity partners, with Peter Kiewit Sons Co. and PCL Consultants Westcoast Inc. as the design build contractors.

     The Riverway Partnership – includes the Spanish firm of Cintra Concesiones de Infraestructuras de Transporte, S.A. and the Canadian firm of SNC-Lavalin Inc. as equity partners, with Ferrovial Agromàn, S.A. of Spain and locally based SNC-Lavalin Constructors (Pacific) Inc. as design build contractors.

    With the exception of SNC-Lavelin, it seems that as usual,BC money is flowing out of the province. Nothing new there. And of course, all the same names, in all the same places. SNC is not without some .. creative employees, if you recall.

    But, here is the thing about all of this. It stinks. It doesn’t make sense! What if the BC liberals have hedged a bet on what they thought was a sure thing… but got it all horribly wrong ?

    Charlie Smith, of the Georgia Straight, seems to be thinking the same thing. Here is an excerpt of an article I just found that will surely make you go ” Hmmmmm…”

    The B.C. Liberal government has tried to position our province to be the beneficiary of growing transoceanic trade.

    Part of this strategy is the Gateway Program, which is an unprecedented, multibillion-dollar road-building exercise that includes a new Port Mann Bridge, a widening of Highway 1, and a South Fraser Perimeter Road.

    Agricultural land is being sacrificed for pavement and to create space for containers coming from China.

    Metro Vancouver has previously reported the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure secured approximately 110 hectares of agricultural land for the South Fraser Perimeter Road and the Golden Ears Bridge projects.

    According to the theory of comparative advantage, we can rely on people in other parts of the world to grow our food because they’re better at this than we are. We’ll just trade for more of it as we need it.


    This weekend, China reported its first trade deficit in six years. According to Xinhua News Agency, the country posted a $7.24 billion trade deficit in March. This will come as no surprise to anyone who read Rubin’s 2009 book, Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller: Oil and the End of Globalization (Random House Canada).

    China still has a trade surplus through the first three months of the year. And overall trade still grew, which will be cited by those who don’t see any economic transformation occurring as a result of diminishing oil supplies and climate change.

    Here at home, Statistics Canada reported last month that the pace of Canadian exports slowed in January. Exports to the U.S. declined 0.6 percent and imports fell by 0.5 percent.

    Exports to countries other than the U.S. rose 3.8 percent, whereas imports from countries other than the United States decreased 3.9 percent, led by a fall from the European Union.

    For the past 25 years, the corporate sector in Canada has promoted trade as some sort of economic panacea. You’ll sometimes hear economists say that countries that trade don’t go to war.

    But all might not be as well as it seems, particularly if oil prices continue rising. The current price of US $85 per barrel is relatively high on an inflation-adjusted basis.

    As this chart indicates, oil prices have only surpassed this level on an inflation-adjusted basis three times before: 1980, 1981, and 2008.

    The inflationary period in the early 1980s triggered the worst economic slowdown since the Second World War.

    Everyone knows what happened to the world economy in 2008. International trade plummeted as a result.

    It could happen again.

    I’m beginning to wonder if the B.C. Liberal government and its cheerleaders in the media are looking in the rear-view mirror–and not to the future–when they promote policies like the HST that blindly assume that more international trade is inevitable.

    Ahhh… I love Charlie, I really do. This is a great piece, once that should be read far and wide with the rest of this blog. Of course, I have a soft spot for Charlie since  he did this wonderful bit that contains THE video Gordon Campbell would rather you not see.

    Clearly, something is amiss in Lotusland this evening, and I’m not talking about the Canucks loss in OT. This HST petition is about so much more than the HST. It is about everything this man has done to BC in his alleged Golden Decade ( of delusion) and British Columbians have focussed all of that anger, on the HST

    You all need to be asking some questions tonight. When we live in a supposedly free country, why is everything such a damn secret?  Have the Liberals put themselves in a position of possible litigation again if they do not proceed with this project? Are they relying on this supposedly ” revenue neutral” tax to pay for overpriced projects deemed necessary far before the current world economic conditions existed?

    It may be speculation at this point, but I have learned where there is smoke, there is usually fire. I suspect this latest news is the spark for something far bigger.

     Time for Campbell to go.

    **** Update to this post HERE – Sunday May 9th/2010 : http://lailayuile.wordpress.com/2010/05/09/fraser-transportation-group-chosen-as-preferred-bidder-for-south-fraser-perimeter-road/

    How much will the HST cost you? Figure it out for yourself with the HST hit list !

    Gordon Campbell says that the HST won’t cost British Columbians very much.

     image from :  http://scoutmagazine.ca/2009/07/25/province-to-screw-restaurant-business-in-broad-daylight/

    In fact,he says it will only cost the average British Columbian a couple of hundred dollars a month, but the benefits are far greater! That is right folks, Gordon Campbell is going to be doing us all a HUGE favour with this HST!

     But wait – Finance Minister Colin Hansen’s claims are even better.

    At a Surrey Board of Trade meeting in September of last year, he actually told the rather disbelieving audience this:

     ” … That’s not to say that every product will be cheaper, but it’s safe to say that every product will be cheaper than it would have been without the HST. “

    I think he forgot how many small business owners were in the audience that day, but I can assure you – they have never forgotten the line Colin tried to schmooze them with that balmy fall day.

    Well, it is a new year,  a new season, and the anti HST petition is in full swing. Personally,  I still can’t wrap my head around that quote above.

    If Gordon Campbell is so confident that this HST is a wonderful opportunity for our province and the people for British Columbia, why was he reduced to making personal attacks against one of the organizers of the Fight HST initiative, Bill VanderZalm,in a post throne speech and in a Liberal Caucus press release? 

    Why isn’t he out on the road now, making sure British Columbians know exactly how good this tax is for them? Hmm? Where is he ?

    Oh yes… I forgot. He’s busy supporting Kash Heed during his troubles involving an RCMP investigation ! (  remember Kash – deny deny deny) 

    ( I totally digress here but why did he support NorthVancouver MLA  Jane Thornthwaites decision to stay on in the face of a drunk driving charge, but thinks Kash should step down??)  Oh wait. Having been there himself, he must know what she is going through….

     And, I think , he must also be quite busy concocting an explanation for the massive stink arising from the BC Place / Casino Royale debacle….  ( this story seems to have been smothered in the MSM  recently and seems doomed to fall silent if not disseminated through the underground media, far and wide). The links in this post are the most recommended reading I could suggest, apart from the ongoing outrage on the Basi-Virk publication ban.

    Thank God for Sean Holman, of Public Eye Online, who – without those  ongoing monthly $10.00 donations – would never be able to continually bring us these kind of breaking stories!!!  ( I rarely endorse, but this is an exception – I truly believe we need Sean’s in-depth investigation to keep our government accountable, so fork over your beer/wine/pizza/sushi/*-bux money for a really good cause)

    ANYWAYS…. getting back to the HST…. would you like to know what I think?

     I think the Liberals are desperate. Like, grasping at straws, desperate. Begging on your knees desperate.

     I think they are so worried about the reality of this HST, and all the government cuts they have made that have unfortunately preceded the introduction of this latest money grab,that they will do anything  they can to deflect attention away from the effort to fight the HST,and the massive opposition among the residents of British Columbia.  

    I say, let’s really find out how much the HST will really cost us.

    Let’s stick to the facts of what this added tax will mean for people across BC.

    The organizers of the Fight HST group ( www.fightHST.com), have asked editors of newspapers  across British Columbia to publish the HST HIT LIST, created by a group calling themselves  www.angryformerliberals.ca 

    So far, I haven’t seen the list anywhere. Have you ? This was released in  September of last year and I have seen yet to see this in a large publication.

    That’s why I have it here for you today, so you can find out NOW, what this tax will mean for you and your wallet, if you don’t work with all of us to stop this tax.

    The list  contains many of the items that were previously exempt from PST ( 7%), but would now be taxed under the new HST -adding an extra 7% to the cost of each of those items, or services.

    To make it even easier for everyone, that means you will pay an extra 7 cents in taxes for every dollar in the cost of the item !

    To calculate your cost for a years worth of HST for your family, check each item on the list that affects your family, and beside it, write the weekly/monthly/yearly cost for that item.

    At the end of the list, total all individual amounts and multiply by 7% to see how much this tax will REALLY cost you…..

    Ready? To get a copy of the chart, click on the PDF format file below:

    HST Hit List

    After you’ve picked yourself off of the floor, head on over to the FIGHT HST website and find out where, when and what you need to do, to stop this tax in its tracks – no matter where you are in British Columbia. 

    Canvassers are knocking  on doors in your neighbourhood right now. Be sure to make your opposition known by signing the initiative sheet being presented by FIGHT HST volunteers!

    ** A big thanks to Gary E. for letting me know about the HST calculator, courtesy of the BC NDP. By clicking on that link, you can enter your estimated expenditures for a quick calculation on what you will be paying out in this tax. Keep in mind that this does not include the hidden costs that might be built into the price as smaller merchants and businesses try to recoup their losses from the HST.

    Campbell’s Harmonized Sales Tax and the Working Joe ( and Jill)

    Time for a blast from the past.

    I  originally wrote and posted this piece over a year ago- July 24th, 2008. Reading it tonight, I found myself shaking my head and laughing. A year later, not a lot has changed in the economic situation for thousands of British Columbians, except that the rich are getting richer and the poor? Well, they aren’t doing so well now, are they? Times are tough all over, and this HST sure as hell isn’t going to make things better for anyone.

    Thanks to our dear premier, I can save myself a world of time tonight and simply run this old blog post – substituting HST in place of Carbon Tax…..

    Really, how bad is that?

    Read on….

    In recent weeks, there has been plenty of talk about the cost of living, the inflation rate, fuel prices and foreclosures. It’s enough to drive a man to drink

    I’m tired of hearing about global warming, climate change,carbon tax, and the like. Enough is enough. Our premier doesn’t give a damn about me, or you, or any of our families. He doesn’t worry about things like missing a credit card payment or putting gas in the tank, or whether or not his kid can play football if you cant afford the registration fees. Does he even drive himself anywhere, anymore?  It is simply not his reality.

     And so, the HST really doesn’t mean anything to him other than some really bad PR right now. It wasn’t motivated by a care for the province, it was motivated by a delusional fantasy of self importance. This, from a man who spends vacations in Hawaii, living the high life, while the rest of us are forced to stick our feet in the kiddie pool with a sun lamp to get a tan. The man couldn’t buy enough carbon credits to offset his air travel in one year, and this summer so many of us couldn’t afford to fly anywhere for vacation… I think he would do the environment a much better service by  simply shutting his mouth to prevent hot gas from escaping everytime he speaks.

    I am an average Jill. I come from a forestry town up north, one that is going to be hurting badly when the beetle kill wood  being logged runs out. My dad has always worked harder than anyone I know, and he would give any of his friends the shirt off his back. His job is dangerous at times in the pulp mill. Chlorine gas leaks, black liquor tanks, complicated machinery. Many of his friends have died younger than they should have: cancer , heart attacks, strokes. All to make sure that pulp keeps being processed. Pulp has been huge for BC.

    There are thousands more men and women like him in our province, and if it wasn’t for them, Gordon Campbell wouldn’t have anything to run. The men and women building that ill-fated sky train line into Richmond. The young crane operator who died. The men who spend days and nights, long and lonely on the road to bring us our food, and clothes and whatever else is transported by semi. Men like my husband and his coworkers who take so much abuse and flack just trying to make a living. Construction workers, truck drivers, labourers, taxi cab drivers, you name it.

    These men and women work hard to provide for their families, sometimes dirty, no thanks, shitty jobs just to make ends meet and feed their kids.

    Will they be able to heat their house and feed the family this winter? The sad truth is, some will, some won’t. There will be children who are too cold, or too hungry to fall asleep this year. There will be more kids without presents at Christmas and so long to that hockey team little Billy wanted to play on.

    You think I’m kidding? This is the reality thousands are facing with this extra tax, and it is the way the current government sees fit to thank all of us for working hard to make him look good.

    This is how the province thanks them.What next, a cheque in the mail like his Carbon Tax pay-off?  A $100.00 bribe and a whole lot of worry for the future. He gave us our own $100.00 back, and then tried to say how lucky we are for getting it… go figure. And we should buy light bulbs with it, or weather stripping – as if. The only thing is, his government cronies  have messed up so badly this time, I wouldn’t count on getting any pocket change cheques in the mail anytime soon.

    I have a neighbour who works extremely hard. She has several kids that she takes care of for daycare, and she walks all over the neighbourhood several times a week delivering the local paper from a stack on top of her stroller. She does it rain or shine, and her kids help her out. I bet that rebate cheque was a nice windfall for her, but I wonder what happens when it gets really cold out in the winter? Did she save it for then ? Our houses are older, and the heat escapes everywhere. Its expensive to heat them already, and the price of natural gas is going to be rising again. Thanks Gordon.

    The premier doesn’t seem to realise how many average people there are who are living pay-cheque to pay-cheque. He doesn’t seem to realise that they can only take so much, and that people are starting to clue into the reality behind this latest tax. His narrow views and hidden agendas have lasted this long because the average Joe honestly didn’t pay much attention beyond  whining about the local  political scandals, but that is quickly coming to an end.

    The HST has woken people up, and how! More people than ever are talking, seeking information, and really delving into how he has run his administration to the point that Basi-Virk is becoming a household word…..imagine that. Everyone in BC knows about those missing emails NOW.

     In forcing thisnewest  tax upon us, Old King Gordo inadvertently opened his own can of proverbial worms. We shall see how well he manages trying to stuff  them all back in…

                                                  A reform is a correction of abuses; a revolution is a transfer of power.
                                                                                                         Edward Bulwer-Lytton

                                  I perceive that, in revolutions, the supreme power rests with the most abandoned.
                                                                                                       Georges Jacques Danton

    ( with that said, the stage is set to invite you to join me in attending this rally to voice your opposition to the HST  and your support for it’….


    Fight the HST Rally

    Saturday, September 19


    Canada Place( new location)

    Guest Speakers to include:


    Bill Vander Zalm– former BC Premier


    Carole James– BC Opposition Leader


    Vicky Huntington– Independent MLA, Delta South


    Chris DelaneyDeputy Leader, BC Conservatives
    Mr. Vander Zalm believes all British Columbians opposed to this tax

    must work together to defeat it in a united effort to hold the

    government to account.


    Please pass this on to all your friends and contacts.


    More“Fight the HST” details coming soon.

    PAID, Civil Servant Olympic “Volunteers”- another novel idea sponsored by the BC government

    I couldn’t believe what I heard on the radio on the drive home yesterday. The BC government has initiated an offer for any civil servants who live within the lower mainland, to be given up to 15 days off to volunteer at the Olympics.

    Wow! Sounds great ,doesn’t it?  How noble of the government to give up their valuable employees, just to help out at the 2010 Olympics! Wait, it gets even better, and yes – there definately is a catch….. The employee’s will all be given  7 days EMPLOYER PAID LEAVE to perform their volunteer duties , the remainder to be taken as either vacation or unpaid leave.  So we, the taxpayers, will be paying for these people to take time off their jobs, and selflessly….. “volunteer”.

    Apparently the BC Deputy Premier -who sent out the notice – and whoever approved of this piece of nonsense, must not actually know the meaning of  the word ‘volunteer’, or, they’ve gone ahead and created a meaning that suits them. As such, I’ve taken the liberty of posting the definition,  just to clarify things a little.


     volunteer  (vŏlən-tîr) : 

    1.    To perform or offer to perform a service of one’s own free will.               
    2.     To do charitable or helpful work without pay: Many retirees volunteer in community service and day care

    VANOC and Minister Colin Hansen both think it’s a great idea, (big surprise there), and they hope to attract the kind of  “skilled workers” they need to the games . In fact, they are both hoping other large companies do the same.

    Hey, last time I looked, private companies paid their employees themselves, so if that’s what they want to do, great. I have no issue with the private sector paying anyone on their own dime. However, last time I looked, the BC government wasn’t a private company, and  it is operated with tax dollars that come out of your pockets and mine –  not private ones. Taxpayers dollars that have to be accounted for.

      So, should they be paying civil servants to go and “volunteer”?

    I say no, damn it !! If a government employee wants to volunteer, fine,great, but take your own vacation time, or unpaid leave. No pay “incentives”, no pay-cheques. Give me a break. Getting paid to go have fun watching and participating in all the Olympic experience?  I should be so lucky… anything I’ve volunteered for has been out of the goodness of my heart, not because I’m getting paid to do it. Not to mention the thousands of volunteers that will be  paying their own way to have the honour of volunteering : airfare, accomodation, time taken off work, with no pay, or using their valuable vacation time. That’s  true Olympic spirit. 

    Paid government”volunteers” ? Geesh. Talk about having your cake and eating it.

    Icing anyone?