At long last, a return to Bits and Bites,Tuesday June 8th, 2010

Good evening, my loyal friends and readers!

 I have to thank all of you for your continued patience and let you know how much I appreciate your faithful stops even though the pages here have remained vacant of posts for some time. All I can say is that sometimes life lobs you a hard-ball, and then sometimes life burns in two or three in succession, and as a result, I’ve had to take time to attend to my health and my family. I’ve still been working on various stories behind the scenes, but at a far less dedicated level than previously. I promise to be back to filling these pages with insight and revelations as often as I can over the summer, and who knows, you may even see a special feature of  the Laila Yuile Road Trip across BC…

And out of the starting gate today… It seems there was much ado about nothing at the Basi-Virk trial today, as we all wait -again- to find out the decisions of the two jurors who were not sure if they could continue their duty well into 2011.  I invite all of you to tune into my three favoured sources for all things Basi- Virk ( Railgate) ,each of which posts continued and detailed updates on the proceedings: The Gazetteer, my good friend BC Mary’s site, The Legislature Raids, and of course, my friend Bill Tieleman, who has had some interesting experiences in the past when it comes to Railgate related incidents.  

Next up, I have to say that if there is any grace, any tiny blessing in the horror that continues down south with the BP oil disaster, it is that it may jolt the minds of locals who have yet to form an opinion on the Enbridge pipeline, of which I have been blogging about since last year.  see these posts for my coverage of this issue:  Support divided for Enbridge Northern Pipeline, Close Call on BC coast should be “Wake-up call” for all British Columbians ( contains links to several other posts of mine, and a great video link of the Exxon Valdez) . I called it then in the first post about the fact that the alleged moratorium against tanker traffic is baseless, as did others before me- but did anyone listen then?

I think, I hope, that they are all listening, and watching now. What we have here in BC is unique, precious and must be saved and preserved at all costs for future generations.

I was thinking about all of this when I was surfing through YouTube recently, when I found the  following two videos.

The first is taken from Question Period in the Legislature, March 23rd, 2010. The entire video is worth watching ,but is you are short on time, FAST FORWARD TO the 2 minute mark and pay close attention to what Premier Gordon Campbell says in his rare moment of speaking in the house.  He says , quite clearly, ( and I paraphrase here ) that if the First Nations say no to the Enbridge pipelines, THEY WILL NOT PROCEED…. This is a very,very important moment caught on tape.

Now, the following video was taken the day BEFORE premier Gordon Campbell’s great speech declaring that if First Nations were opposed, they would not proceed with the pipeline. The date is March 22nd, 2010

This video shows the Coastal First Nations press conference  stating unequivocably that they will not allow, support or endorse in any way, the Northern Gateway project and the Enbridge pipeline. Clear as a  bell to me. 

So. Please tell me why this project has advanced to the environmental review stage, and why Enbridge is still spending tons of money emailing people like me their glossy new project brochure?  ( PDF)

And, if that wasn’t enough, check out this link  to the great people at the Dogwood Initiative :

By arranging to attend as official representatives of Enbridge shareholders, I and whoever comes with me have a once-in-a-year chance at holding Enbridge CEO Patrick Daniel to account, by asking him point blank questions on the record. For representatives of First Nations who make it to the AGM, it’s a unique chance to assert their jurisdiction in front of senior executives, the Board of Directors, shareholders, and the financial media.

This year the AGM team included myself, Vice Tribal Chief of the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council Terry Teegee, Chief Namoks (John Ridsdale) of the Wet’suwet’en, and Nikki Skuce from our colleague organization Forest Ethics.

I’m not gonna lie; trips like this are always stressful. There’s the logistics (e.g. my Greyhound bus broke down on the way to Calgary), the preparation, making sure media know why you’re there and what you’re doing, and the worry up until the end that something’s not going to go according to plan.

But somehow it always works out, and this time was no different. Super Calgary volunteer John Vickers pulled through with an entire series of professionally designed posters to be used as rally placards outside the meeting; we were able to speak with TV and print media about the issue; John and Terry did an amazing job of asserting First Nations’ jurisdiction over the project; and, we got Patrick Daniel on the record admitting to three crucial points:

(1)    That Enbridge hasn’t been completely upfront with all of the shippers they’ve been negotiating with about the inadequacies of the review process for the project.

(2)    That the broad opposition to Enbridge’s oil pipeline and tanker project creates “significant” risk for the company, which the Board of Directors discusses virtually every time they meet.

(3)    That the “protocol agreements” that Enbridge has signed with some First Nations don’t actually indicate support for the project, and that at current count, there are zero First Nations he is aware of that are publicly supporting it; in contrast to the 28 who are publicly opposing it. Enbridge’s project is on shaky ground

These statement’s by Daniel proves what we knew all along, the Enbridge project is on shaky ground. More importantly they give us the opportunity to drive home the message that Enbridge is in for a fight they can’t win

Campbell proved he was a liar with the HST, and continues it with Enbridge. 

The premier needs to put an end to this and stick to his word, for once. We do not want an environmental disaster here, in this place of incredible beauty and diverse ecosystems.

Speaking of the HST, a curious note to mention here , direct from my blog stats. WordPress shows me what search terms people used to find my blog ,and one of the top search terms for the last month has been : ” How much will my HST rebate cheque be if I am low-income?”

What does that tell you? People are freaking out about paying the HST and already counting on getting some money back. Yes, we know  the Liberals are going to issue rebate cheques for those among us who are hurting, but it is far too little in the end to save any of the woefully lagging Liberals. Especially now that the First Nations in BC have joined the fight.  (Let me guess if that is going to help. ..or hurt, the treaty process…)

Last, but not least, there will be more to come this week on an interesting angle to the South Fraser Perimeter Road, and let me tell you, it’s quite a PR angle that may not have been discussed yet.  Call me a tease, but that is all I’m going to give you right now.

A quick bit of insanity for you relating to the Canada Line: Who exactly decided giant orange Cheeto Bears make any kind of sense at all coming out of this wall ?  Yep. I thought so.Seriously, what’s the deal with these bears, and more importantly, how much did they cost?

Under the  ” Bet you won’t see this in the Sun or Province ” banner, I bring to you a very Proud to be Canadian moment from our friends at The Galloping Beaver ( and let me tell you, this would be a crowning blogger moment, if I may so so myself!)  

The Galloping Beaver – Banned in Guantanamo

Friday, June 04, 2010

We get mail :


Your website is one I have long visited and I was quite surprised when I was visiting Guantanamo last month and I was not allowed to visit your website while at the base. I received a notice that the website was not allowed to be accessed by the “administrator” (military censors) (not an exact quote). I was quite surprised, went to other websites that I thought might be more controversial but had no problem and checked at various times to get on to your website (I was there for almost a week this visit) but I never could get on to your website.

So, please take my congrats….I would consider it an honor to be barred by those thugs!

Best regards,

H. Candace Gorman

Well … just … wow. We at The Beav also consider it an honour to be visited by Guantanamo human and civil rights lawyer Candace Gorman.

Ms. Gorman was successful earlier this year in freeing one of her clients from Guantanamo and maintains The Guantanamo Blog to “provide updates on developments concerning the plight of the detainees, the ongoing injustice of current U.S. detention policies in the “War on Terror” and efforts to hold accountable those men and women responsible for the war crimes”.
Today she writes :

Of course Bush only spoke about his joy in waterboarding KSM…..I wonder how he will respond to questions about waterboarding Abu Zubaydah (some 100 times) as the government has now been forced to admit Abu Z was not al-Qaeda or taliban …. just some shmuck who had the misfortune to be captured by my criminal

Another recent blog entry asks you to lend your support to a military lawyer who refused to prosecute a man who was tortured into confessing. Lieutenant Colonel Darrel Vandeveldis is now at risk of losing his 19 year military career for doing so.

Thanks for making our day, Candace, and for all your fine work defending justice and the rule of law from thugs.

Email published with permission of author.

Congratulations to all the busy beavers posting over there, and if you haven’t been to visit, why not head over and check them out?  Consistantly great posts that hit the mark every time !

Last, but not least, I would like to thank my army of ” helpers”, who without which , it would be all that much harder to write the blog. You know who you are, and I thank you today for all that you do to get these stories out.

Take care , and see you again soon!

21 Comments on “At long last, a return to Bits and Bites,Tuesday June 8th, 2010

  1. Wow.

    If those were just bits and bites, can’t wait to get a full meal deal post.

    Great to have you back Laila….may still be raining in Lotusland, but the sunshine came out, full-on, today in Courtroom 54….All 12 jurors are back!


    • Thanks Ross.. I just arrived home from the mornings appointments and ALL TWELVE ARE IN????? Whoo hoo. Now that is outstanding duty , don’t you think? Now… I can’t wait to see the final witness list….

  2. I am very glad to see you are writing again, Laila, you write the most thought provoking stuff! Sometimes beautiful, sometimes shocking and always informative. Thanks.

    I hope you are able to take care of your health, I know its hard with so many responsabilities, but your children need a healthy, happy Mom.

    If you do go on the roadtrip, there is a place for you at my table!

  3. Thank you Kim !! : ) It’s in the planning stages now, and will depend on finances of course, but if it all works out, I will certainly be looking to meet some of the people who make this all worthwhile!!

    It would be nice to see all of BC again, perhaps live blog as I go, photo-essay, that kind of thing.

  4. I’m pretty confident I’m not the only person who sees the irony in the recent designation of the seabed off southern Moresby – Haida Gwanaas – as if this protection will protect the seabed from the devastation of the assured oil spills to come in the Hecate Strait if Enbridge goes ahead.

    Ship that toxic goo from the hell they are creating in Northern Alberta via the existing pipelines to the A-holes to the south and east. Isn’t it enough to destroy major portions of Northern Alberta and the entire Athabasca/Mackenzie watershed? Why do they need to put the Skeena and the Hecate Strait, Dixon Entrance and Queen Charlotte Sound at risk as well?

    The greed mongers who have no respect for the planet or its denizens, human and otherwise, HAVE to be stopped by WHATEVER means are necessary! If legal means aren’t effective, we die or go to plan B! It’s not just a matter of defending a life style, but defending LIFE itself!

  5. Wow – I see koot is hot to trot this am 🙂

    Can’t agree more on the apparent total lack of concern shown by both Gordon SCampbell and Steven Harper over potential oil pollution. Seems frequent messages to them mkakes no impression – all they seem to care about it is Corporate Dominance and “do as I say”. Not a care about the cost in both economic and environmental damage.

    I think the comment “how stupid must stupid be” is a very good one where the PM and BC premier are concerned.

    Could go for ages describing the positive attributes (not) – but will confine my comments to those above.

    By the way, great to see you back in the saddle again Laila!



  6. Hi Laila….I may be wrong but it looks like AGT has thrown a slap your way…..

    I got dirty at Ko otcoots request and went to AGTs site……..

    I won`t be back there again…..

    • Hi Grant,

      What are you referring to? Although I’m not really into Vancouver politics, I do read his site now and then when he does something of a provincial nature. However, I went over to AGT’s site just now, checked back a few posts and unless I’m bring totally obtuse, I couldn’t see anything that refers to me??

      I’ve only had the briefest of email contact with him in the last three months, so I don’t think there’s anything I could have done that would be pissing him off. What’s to swipe at? I’ve been so busy and exhausted with other things in my life that Alex is honestly the last thing that concerns me!!

  7. good to see you back laila sometimes those lobs are hand grenades trust me ive dodged some too, harper and campbell need to be stuffed in an ennbridge pipeline and sent away cant think of anything better to say about either everything else that comes to mind is not what is good to post in public , keep up the good work

    • Thanks SB, I’ve missed being here, but I’ve been around long enough to know that some stories will wait, but that if I don’t take care of myself, and my family, nothing else matters. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right?

      Yes, that video is pretty concise. Clearly, he needs to just stop this project right here and now, and keep the promise that he made that if first nations said no, then it won’t happen.

  8. About that Galloping Beaver thing re Guantanamo – that may have to do with nothing more than prurient censorship, i.e. the name “beaver” in the site’s headline is considered explicitly sexual in US neo-con-think, which is why the Canadian historical magazine “The Beaver” changed its name, as the site was being blocked and otherwise google-downgraded by parental-control softwares……..

  9. Check out his :Basi Virk mistrial story:

    He refers to a commenter who uses the phrase….”My dear Alex”

    I may be wrong, but……..

    I don`t think so…….

    • Haha. Sorry Grant, that Citizen Cane commenter isn’t me. I think you know that if I have something to say to someone, I have no issue saying it using my own name, and AGT would be no exception.

      Believe me when I say, I have far more important things to concern myself with right now than anything AGT has got going on. For the past couple of weeks, one of my children has been undergoing medical assessments that have been the main reason besides my health , that I haven’t been blogging.

  10. I hope everything comes out all right with the medical assessments. Are you getting timely care?

    Kootkoot, I echo your remarks about the cynicism in the “protection” of the marine system in Haida Gwaii, oviously a smokescreen for the breakdown of the environmental protection process. Or should I say dismantling…

  11. OK Laila……..I am on the side of sanity, the comment AGT attacked was a good comment…

    AGT….Like I said in the past, he is a foul mouthed little frog with no balls….

    He isn`t worth anyone`s time…..

    Hope thing go well for your family and you……..

    I will send a prayer your way….


    • Thanks Kim, and Grant, and yes, we are getting timely care- but only because I have paid for access through a private facility, otherwise the wait would be 9 months or longer, which in my eyes, is simply not tolerable.

      I agree ,while designating a protected area may sound great at first reaction, it certainly won’t help things if an oil or other dangerous cargo spill occurs outside that protected zone.

      Why won’t Campbell see the light? Apparently from the news today, some of his MLA’s are. The writing is on the wall. Time for him to get off his high horse and go.

  12. we are getting timely care- but only because I have paid for access through a private facility,


    • Yes, Koot, there is no other word for it, and the really disgusting part is that there are thousands of families who can’t afford to pay the $1750.00 to $2000.00 it takes to get the assessments done, and they have to wait for a long time just to have their child diagnosed.

      It’s a tragedy, and considering we have a government that claims to value children, one would think they would do what it takes to get the money and people here so that no child goes uncared for. Considering there is money in the budget for rather ridiculous initiatives such as this one introduced by Ida Chong

      Really. Mary Polak and Kevin Falcon have a hell of a lot of work to do for children in this province. I would love to see Polak recalled.

  13. But hey Laila, don’t be discouraged, after all, you and the boy can go look at the fancy new roof next to the fancy new casino – and hell, we all know that is really important – just like making sure that BMW and Mercedes drivers can get to Whistler a few minutes sooner………..

    We may have to resort to eating the rich before long, though that might inspire me to turn vegetarian!

  14. Gary E. has a press release out, speaking of mining and first nations. Check out How Bad is the Record for a read.

  15. Thank you for this Kim, and Gary! I’m posting it up today, with a link to your site Gary.