This weeks column for 24Hrs Vancouver: “No free pass for Dix,even if Liberals need turfing.”

In this weeks column, Kathryn and I tackle the question : Does B.C. need a change in leadership?

This column, was the catalyst for yesterday’s post here, because the closer I was to reaching my column word length, the more I realized there was so much more to be said.

 I have a confession.

Even though I am more left than right on most issues other than finance, I have never been a member of any federal or provincial political party.

Why? I can’t stomach partisan party politics of any stripe. Call me naïve, but I actually believe the people of this province and country matter more than any party agenda, whether it’s Liberal, NDP, Green or Conservative. I believe we must balance the social needs with the financial requirements of the province in its entirety.

I don’t like the restrictions on elected MLAs, whether they are BC Liberals or BC NDP. What am I talking about? Simply put, MLAs elected for both parties are required to vote and support whatever the party caucus presents – whether the constituents in every riding agree with it or not.

Read Kathryn Marshall’s column

Considering our province is at a crucial juncture for future generations, where does that leave independent, left-leaning people like myself? As the popular song says, “stuck in the middle with you.”

Read the rest of this weeks column at the following link, and vote for who you think should win this week’s Duel:


This weeks column for 24Hrs Vancouver: “Spending money on day care better than on ads”

Columnists Laila Yuile and Kathryn Marshall battle over the issues of the day. Winner of the last duel on the provincial deficit was Kathryn Marshall with 55%.

This week’s topic:

Should B.C. bring in $10-per-day child care?

While Kathryn makes a good point about the issues Quebec’s day-care program is dealing with, B.C. advocates have learned what works and what doesn’t, paving the way for a better program here. Unfortunately, Kathryn missed the bigger picture completely.

The $10-per-day plan, proposed by the Coalition of Child Care Advocates in B.C., is not just about providing accessible and safe child care for parents, it’s about investing in the future and our economy. In fact, the plan has been soundly endorsed by businesses across the province, including the Burnaby and Surrey Boards of Trade, who say work-life conflicts with employees with preschool-aged children are costing B.C. businesses approximately $600 million a year.

Read Kathryn Marshall’s column

It’s not only the business community that recognizes the economic and social benefits of this plan, leading economists do as well. Craig Alexander, chief economist for TD Bank and one of the top bank economists in Canada, states that for every dollar a government invests in child care, the return is between $1.50 and $3. Canadian economist Pierre Fortin has also shown that in Quebec, the program now pays for itself…

Read the rest of this column, and vote for who you think should win the debate at

This weeks column for 24Hrs Vancouver: Shortsighted approach will hurt Yahoo… and all of society.

Columnists Laila Yuile and Kathryn Marshall battle over the issues of the day. Winner of the last duel on sex education was Laila Yuile with 53%.

This week’s topic:

Is banning work from home the right move?

Marissa Mayer’s decision to ban all employees from working at home is not only shortsighted, it’s potentially damaging to Yahoo in the long run.

The real problem isn’t lost productivity and creativity — it’s the company’s failure to create an effective policy and method to manage employees who work from home. In ordering employees back to the office by June, Mayer has failed to seize a prime opportunity to make effective changes in a corporation that has been through multiple CEOs in the last five years.

Read Kathryn Marshall’s column

Some large corporations are recognizing the mutual benefits for employees and employers when workers telecommute — with some benefits not just limited to the company itself. Society benefits when workers conduct business at home, thereby reducing the number of vehicles on the road and the amount of pollution in the air. The cost savings to the employee of not having to commute is significant – less gas used, less wear and tear on a vehicle, and less money spent on transit passes…

Read the rest of this weeks column, and vote for who you think is the winner, at this link:


This week’s column for 24Hrs Vancouver: Cutting services to most vulnerable a typical Liberal tactic

Winner of the last duel on the value of the Canadian Senate was Laila Yuile with 64%.

This week’s topic:

Is the recent B.C. budget really a Liberal budget — or an NDP-style one?

Premier Christy Clark — who still hasn’t been elected to that title by voters — may have taken a couple of ideas from the opposition in the 2013 budget, but those tax hikes hardly make this an NDP-style budget.

This budget is in keeping with the BC Liberals’ playbook of reducing costs on the backs of those least able to afford it, a skill honed under a decade of Gordon Campbell’s leadership….

Read the rest of this column, and vote for the winner of this week’s Duel at:

Or if you prefer flipping pages, you can read todays E-edition online here :

This weeks column for 24Hrs Vancouver: The sooner we abolish the Senate, the better.

LailablogWho wins this week? Columnists Laila Yuile and Kathryn Marshall battle over the issues of the day.

This week’s topic:

Is modern politics served by the Canadian Senate?

The news last week that Senator Pamela Wallin had joined the ranks of three other senators facing expense audits is a not-so-subtle reminder of why the Canadian Senate needs to be abolished.

Senators Mike Duffy, Patrick Brazeau and Mac Harb are each undergoing housing expense claim audits following questions on the legitimacy of where their primary residences are actually located.  You see, senators who live more than 100 kilometres from Ottawa are allowed up to $21,000 a year for housing and meals. But Brazeau is known to live in Gatineau, Que., which is close to Parliament Hill, and Harb is known to live in Ottawa. Duffy has even been trying to get a Prince Edward Island medical card to show his primary residence is actually in the Maritimes, but he voted in Ontario last year.

I won’t even get into the idiocy of Brazeau’s Senate appointment in the first place, which speaks to the flaws and cronyism inherent to the selection process…

Read the rest of this week’s column here:

And register your vote for this weeks winner!!

This weeks column from 24Hrs Vancouver : Female political content needed to help candidates

Who wins this week? Columnists Laila Yuile and Kathryn Marshall battle over the issues of the day.

This week’s topic:

Are gender quotas in politics outdated?

Kathryn and I come from opposite ends of the political spectrum, but on rare occasion worlds collide and we actually agree on something. While it might surprise you, I think she’s right on the money when she states gender quotas are undemocratic, and I’ve been highly critical of the BC NDP’s own policies regarding gender equity in the past.

Kathryn makes a good point that in B.C. if a female NDP MLA retires, that spot must be filled with another female candidate. But what if the best candidate for that riding happened to be male? For voters it’s a case of too bad, so sad. In my opinion, that’s not only wrong, it’s downright offensive. As a progressive female voter, I’ll vote for who I think will represent my community best, male or female, and I think most people feel the same way…..

Read the rest of this weeks column, and vote for who you think the winner is, HERE:

Or flip through the E-edition here


This weeks column from 24Hrs Vancouver: Focus on labour peace ignores underfunding

Who wins this week? Columnists Laila Yuile and Kathryn Marshall battle over the issues of the day.

This week’s topic:

Does Christy Clark’s 10-year education plan address the real issues in education?

Politicians who use children in photo-ops always come across as incredibly insincere. And seeing Premier Christy Clark this week in a classroom full of children waxing concern over non-interrupted education? Well, it was too much for my stomach. Turn the channel.

The irony is not lost on anyone old enough to remember Clark was the education minister behind Bills 27 and 28. These legislative changes were drafted so poorly and were so inherently flawed that nearly a decade later the trickle-down impact is still hampering every child’s ability to learn in the public school system…

Clark seems to think the only thing hampering education is labour strife with teachers. In her promotional video for the new 10-year education proposal, she states: “We owe this to our children. Their learning shouldn’t be compromised by the inability of adults to reach agreements.” And I agree — children shouldn’t be held hostage by any agenda, whether labour-driven or politically motivated.

Read Kathryn Marshall’s column.

However, when you look at Clark’s prior record as education minister, most of the issues that children, teachers and parents are dealing with in B.C. are the direct result of years of chronic underfunding to both programs and facilities. Changes in funding models and designations during her tenure nearly 10 years ago resulted in targeted, drastic cuts to special-needs funding that left teachers, students and parents foundering in the system. And again, it’s the children who suffer as a result.

I don’t see anything in this proposed 10-year framework that deals with any of it.

There is nothing to deal with a special-needs child who requires assistance all day at school, but receives it for only four hours a day because that is what the guidelines allow. Yes, Christy, you did that. There is nothing to prevent one teacher from having four or five kids with what the system calls Individual Education Plans in the same classroom without assistance. That’s what many teachers are fighting to change — class size and composition. Yes, Christy, you did that too. And despite what the politicians would have you believe, those things have a bigger impact on every child’s ability to learn in a classroom setting than a labour disruption.

It’s likely going to take a 10-year plan to restore the educational components and funding Clark stripped a decade ago. But this plan tells me she hasn’t learned a thing since the last time she sat in government.

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

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

This week’s topic:

Has Idle No More been effective as a movement?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

Weekend roundup for your reading pleasure!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bob Mackin has the story :

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Idle No More empowers First Nations to demand change

Laila Yuile’s  24 hours column, Monday January 7th, 2012

This week’s topic: Does Idle No More address the real problems?

“I’d like to start this week by thanking Kathryn for her warm welcome and agreeing with her immediately. She’s definitely right about hair colour being our only similarity, and I offer the comparison of oil (ethical, of course) and water.

I really look forward to our weekly duels because our diverse backgrounds definitely lend to great debate. I’ve worked in the corporate world, and on the front lines of a non-profit society, dealing first-hand with barriers like mental illness, poverty, addiction and homelessness. That background is what drives much of my writing and my perspective, which plays right into today’s question.

Kathryn has done an excellent, albeit myopic job of focusing on one essential element in addressing the real problems faced by First Nations across the country, and that’s leadership.

(Read Kathryn Marshall’s column here.)

But let’s talk reality here. The real problems are about much more than just firm leadership — if only it were that simple….”

You can read the remainder of my inaugural column in 24Hrs Vancouver, here…

.. and, for those of you out of area who like to flip pages… here is the E-edition, simply select todays date from the calender!

Remember, you choose the winner in this debate, so leave your comments below the columns at 24 Hrs!