Advance voting this Thanksgiving weekend! Information you need to know.

It’s time to get your vote on and what better way to show thanks this weekend, than voting? Hey, it might just be the perfect way to start or end your Thanksgiving dinner- load up the friends and family and vote together. :D

Advance voting opened today at noon, and carries through the entire weekend, including Monday. 

There are four advance voting days. Polls are open from noon to 8:00 p.m.
  • Friday, October 9
  • Saturday, October 10
  • Sunday, October 11
  • Monday, October 12

Your voter information card tells you the address of your advance polling place. You can also find it in the Voter Information Service.

Elections Canada is also sharing this information online and I urge each of you to take this number with you, or enter it into your cell phone. Share it with your neighbours,friends and family to ensure we all have the resources we need to get those votes counted.


If you are on twitter, you can follow Elections Canada at @Elections_CanE  or

Not sure where you can vote? You can find that information at the following link:

And last but not least, if you are not registered to vote yet, you can actually register right at the polling station! Just make sure you bring the proper identification from the following list:


This weeks column for 24Hrs Vancouver: Mega-city unsuitable for region.

This week’s topic: Should the Lower Mainland become a mega-city like Toronto with one election for the entire region?

Brent is right on the money when he states: “What an election!” For politicos, there’s no bigger rush than election night – watching the polls come in to see what direction voters will take their cities. This year’s civic elections did not disappoint. They were riveting.

The big winner in this year’s civic elections is democracy, as many cities saw significantly higher voter turnouts. Regardless of the outcomes, increasing voter turnout is a positive sign that many voters are perhaps beginning to understand the power of their vote at the municipal level.

While it’s accurate to state that many issues facing our civic leaders are regional in nature, it’s simplistic to think that amalgamation is the cure for what ails us. Transportation issues in Vancouver such as transit are in no way comparable to cities like Surrey or Langley – it’s apples and oranges. You really don’t need a car in Vancouver, whereas in Surrey it’s a costly necessity for most. The same goes for the environment or development – while both are top of the list in both Vancouver and Surrey, it’s for different reasons.

Read Brent Stafford’s column here.

Supporters of amalgamation always resort to using cost-savings and more efficient service delivery as the biggest reasons for doing so. One city hall instead of five or six, fewer mayors, less waste, centralized administration, blah, blah, blah.

Sounds great until you actually take the time to see how it’s worked out for the other regions or cities that have done so in Canada. It hasn’t always been a success and, at times, it has been considered a failure…


READ the rest of this weeks column in response to Brent’s argument, comment and vote, HERE:

Just in case you missed the ‘Friday Night Bad Government News’ release…

CranstonWell my friends, you know by now how it works, right?

Governments of every level, will release ‘bad’ news stories they don’t want the public to pay attention to on a Friday night, or in the middle of a massive news distraction( like floods in Alberta and BC), or even better, on the cusp of a long weekend.  The rationale is that regular people will go about their business on the weekend and forget by Monday morning…

Likewise, if the government has good news they want to share, they tend to release it early in the week so they can milk it news-wise, for the rest of the week.

So would it be any surprise to find this story making the rounds after 7 pm on a Friday night?

Health Services Authority CEO removed for giving pay hikes behind closed doors

The Provincial Health Services Authority president and CEO has been removed after it was discovered salary increases were given to senior management in the organization without the knowledge or approval of its board of directors.

Lynda Cranston, who had been President and CEO since 2002, “will be relinquishing her duties as PHSA President and CEO effective immediately,” according to a press release by the PHSA. She will formally retire at the end of July and receive no formal severance.

In their release, the board indicated they would attempt to reverse the pay increases handed out.

“Given that some of the increases violated government guidelines, the Board is reviewing its legal options for addressing the raises which were not in compliance. The Board will also meet in the days ahead to review measures that can implemented to ensure this situation does not occur in the future.”

The PHSA is responsible for working with the five regional health authorities to deliver high-quality specialized services, along with operating specific services including trauma and chest surgery. In 2011-2013, Cranston received a salary of $351,008 in salary – one of five people in the organization to make more than $250,000.

Health Minister Terry Lake voiced his support for the decision, saying he was “disappointed to learn that the wage policy of government was not followed.”

“The provincial government entrusts health authorities with the delivery of quality health care to British Columbians and expects budgetary direction to be followed,” he said in a release.

“It is important for all British Columbians to have confidence that the finite health dollars we have available during these difficult economic times are directed where they belong – into front-line care.”

The PHSA has not disclosed the number of pay increases approved by Cranston, nor their size

Hmm. Isn’t that just something.

Seniors, the people who built this province, are getting tossed around the block over wheelchair rentals, fees and purchases after contributing a lifetime of work to support their families, and their communities.

There is a backlog and waiting list for assessment’s, treatments, surgeries and therapies of all kinds across the province… and here we have Ms. Cranston handing out the pay raises, unapproved and secretively.

Considering the PHSA has not released the number of pay increases Cranston gave out, or the size of them, ( and may not without FOI requests, we can surmise)I would think there might be a bigger story here to come.

Considering her name has already been removed from the executive list of PHSA, I think this is not news at all to the BC Liberals – the question is, when did the provincial government find out about this and how long has this been going on?

And is this yet another indicator of  ‘you get what you voted for’?