Politics is a war between parties where the casualties are you, I and democracy.

I woke up early this morning as I usually do, and peeked between the blinds to watch the sunrise glow highlight the snowy peaks of Mt. Baker in shadows and pink. As I stood there watching the world around me come to life, I wondered loudly, ‘what the hell is going on in this province?’

It started with the appalling revelations over the Legislative financial mess, continued with Christy Clark’s expenses in the premiers office,a story that broke here on July 30th,  and continued with our still, un-elected premiers appearance on 100 Huntley street that was posted here first, yesterday morning, which also was first posted here early Wednesday morning with less than a hundred views.

Where does it end? To be brutally honest, it won’t. None of this shit going on in Victoria and all over the rest of the province, will end until you make it happen.

I applauded Philip Till yesterday morning on NW with his offensive on the premiers rep, Mike Morton… went into convulsive gagging over the selective commentary screened by Bill Good’s producer on his subsequent show- ( where, by the way, I was hung up on when I finally got through to a producer to attempt and correct Bill’s very endorsing and limited presentation of Clark’s expenses. ) In the grand scheme of things, this was probably a good thing, since I have little patience for bullshit, except that which is spread, well composted, on blueberry fields in Delta.

However, I digress.

What really took the cake was hearing the leader of the opposition,complacently agreeing in principle with designated Liberal ass kisser and NW host, Bill Good, over the  still unelected premiers spending.

With the disclaimer of neither having read, or  even reviewed any stories relating to the premiers expenses,Dix proceeded to comment that ‘to be fair’, we should look at the last 5 years of the former premiers office expenses, and had a lovely little conversation about while of course we should be frugal, and I take the skytrain but yes indeed we must be fair to the premier, she is doing her job.

Needless to say, Good lapped it up like a kitten presented with Devonshire cream on a fine china saucer…and I imagined him grinning to his producer as he thinks about those silly bloggers who look into things he would rather not talk about.

The short segment was appalling. I have a hard time believing that Dix had no idea of this story, when David Schreck and others have been all over this on twitter since I broke it several days ago… nor could I imagine that he had not been briefed prior to his appearance on NW this morning.

What it comes down to are principles, and the oppositions decision to play Rock Paper Scissors with them…appalling, considering the people of BC have been howling about all the revelations that have come out over the last two weeks.

Appalling, considering the response of the Legislative committee to the publics outrage over our elected officials lack of governance on basic financial reporting, appalling that they, as Alex Tsakumis points out,are not backdating the release of information to the period included in the audit, or at the very least, back to November 2011 which is when they had the report.

Appalling, considering you and I are funding all of this, via taxes, via donations to each party, via all the revenue grabs the government imposes on those who can least afford it.

The Liberals attribute it all to the cost of doing business, getting contracts, etc, all in the name of job creation in B.C. How dare we not fly here and there, how dare we take the potential investors to anything but the very best restaurants in B.C.? Of course we must present the most prosperous, successful face to the world…( to be honest, most business at a high corporate level is done this way, but in the private sector we, the taxpayer, don’t fund it – that’s the difference)

Dix is playing Mr. Nice Guy, lets be fair to the premier, blah blah blah….Seriously? Seriously Dix? The Liberals are spending tax dollars faster and with less regard than a gambler in Vegas and you think we should be fair?

Sorry Dix, not in my book. That’s just not how it works for the people of BC, who’ve been screwed, shafted and been given a jolly good rogering by the BC Liberal party for so bloody long that no amount of astroglide is going to make it better.

So…in the game of political war –  left vs. right – where does that leave the people of B.C.?

Unfortunately, very much in the line of ‘friendly fire.’

We have on the right, the capitalistic, free enterprise B.C. Liberals. Free enterprise, as defined by the Liberals, means favouring corporate friends and taking everything they can get… but neglecting the very important social needs of the people of BC while doing so.

On the left, we have the the no-Enbridge-but-reserving-all-comment-on-other-pipelines-BCNDP… the party whose environment critic has gone from being cautious on fracking to full steam ahead…. the party with a nice leader who wants to be fair and thoughtful instead of condemning lavish spending…the party with the oh so quiet Moe Sihota in charge… so we know the insiders are all the same… leaving much of B.C in a moral and environmental dilemma that few care to approach for fear of splitting votes and letting the Lib’s win again.

It is, without a doubt, the ultimate, WTF moment for the people of British Columbia who need someone with both passion and knowledge right now, to turn this province around.

Spending in this government is out of control, unwatched and in excess of what any corporation would consider acceptable. Hooters is not a government acceptable expense, you can leer at bouncy breasts on your own dime. Neither are nail salons, beauty supplies, antiques and the countless other expenses detailed in the public credit card accounts I first reported on. There are many transactions that could never, never be justified as a purchase that benefits government. Never.

It is evidence of an atmosphere of entitlement endemic to this government and it requires a full, forensic audit and investigation immediately…. and why the hell isn’t the opposition calling for one?  I don’t know why, do you?

The time has come for the people of British Columbia to stand up and demand they not be taken for granted any longer, because it wasn’t a political party who made this province what it is, it was us, and it will always be us.

Politicians of every party across this great province would do well to remember that, because  British Columbians are a powerful political force in their own right. And in the great words of Arundhati Roy :

” Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us, more than we need them. Another world is not only possible, she is on her way.. and on a quiet day, I can hear her breathing..”

I think I may have heard a breathe, this morning.

50 thoughts on “Politics is a war between parties where the casualties are you, I and democracy.

  1. This is an excellent post of blazing honesty. The soft pedalling on this scandal, and several other issues, by the opposition amounts to dereliction of duty and reminds me of the rationale used by the Olympic badminton teams that got tossed the other day. Clearly, the NDP thinking is that staying low profile maximizes their election chances so they are “throwing” the preliminary bouts. The problem here is that there aren’t any on court officials ready to blow a whistle and call for an ejection or two.


    1. I could not have said that better David- dereliction of duty indeed. This is a such an excellent statement. It bothers me they seem to banking on a sure win… but if the vote splits because of this low profile nature, the lack of taking a firm stance on things like this when presented, it is a strategy that might backfire. Either way, the people lose.


      1. Sadly, I see NDP insiders, who have lived in the shadows for some years, lining up at the inevitable trough to feed off the riches that will surely follow an NDP victory.
        Daily I see more reasons not to vote than reason too vote.
        Eventually anarchy will prevail.


        1. I disagree – not voting is how this country, and province, ended up the way it is. Look at the appalling voter turnout at all levels of government- and who ended up doing the most damage.


  2. The AG’s report on legislative, unreceipted spending should mean that a large number of MLAs recieved money they did not report as earned and therefor taxable income. Working with the assumption that Canada is an “equal taxation opportunity” country it seem way past due to have personal tax audits, made public as it is the public’s money, done by Revenue Canada.

    Maybe this feature would explain why the NDP are missing in action on this file.


    1. This article kind of highlights the issues with payments that I have not seen addressed elsewhere – the loopholes you kind of refer to http://www.mapleridgenews.com/news/164514126.html?c=y&curSection=/&curTitle=BC+News&bc09=true

      He pointed out that MLAs have to run their office and pay for their staff – all out of an annual constituency office allowance of $119,000.

      Leasing expenses are paid separately.

      Nevertheless, the systems used to pay politicians seem to nullify the need for some receipts.

      Sather gets a monthly “capital city living allowance” of about $1,000 to pay for his accommodation costs in Victoria. A receipt isn’t required because MLAs are simply paid the flat amount, regardless of their housing costs.

      MLAs, however, can also rent a condo and get a $1,600 monthly allowance for that or they can stay in a hotel and get reimbursed about $18,000 yearly.
      MLAs also get a flat rate travel allowance for moving about within their within constituencies. For Sather, that works out to about $230 monthly, while for larger ridings will get a larger allowance. Receipts aren’t required.
      When it comes to meal expenses, politicians get a flat allowance for any breakfast, lunch or dinners they have in restaurants outside their ridings.

      That’s capped at about $62 day, allowing MLAs to get breakfast, lunch and dinner costs covered when they’re working away from home. But receipts aren’t required there either. All a politician has to do is say they had lunch or breakfast in order to get reimbursed, he pointed out.
      Sather agrees that’s an area where cheaters could prosper.
      “You could cheat if you didn’t have lunch at all, for example. People could cheat.”
      He agrees that could be tightened up, although more paper work would be required.

      “It’s true, that it does open the possibility for somebody to cheat.”
      Receipts are required for MLA travel costs outside the riding, such as for hotel, airfare or car expenses within B.C.. MLAs who are travelling outside B.C. require the approval of the Speaker of the House”

      This is why the NDP are so silent and not tooo outraged… the ability to cheat and get reimbursed or take that allowance even if it was not used is sickening.


  3. And that is why “I” believe that the only hope for BC lays in voters having ultimate and final control of the legislature.
    Politicians elected to have day to day control of the province as care givers. But for ultimate decisions on big ticket items, or for getting directions from the voting public? ALL POLITICIANS NEED TO BE LEASHED.

    And need to be on a short leash too.

    BC voters are not stupid. We can if properly informed make a decision. On anything.
    And don’t tire me with “What if the voters voted for taxes to be eliminated?” We know we need to pay taxes. We just need the taxes we pay to be spend wisely. Not pissed away on stupid shit.

    I am tired of the stupid games politicians play with us. My page currently emphasizes much BC Liberal waste. But the shoe will fall on the NDP next.
    We need political reform in BC.
    Control the politicians, and it won’t matter how you elect them.



    1. Mike I somewhat disagree with your statement,
      “BC voters are not stupid.”

      Just talk with the average person in a lineup at Starbucks, or Home Depot about ANY political issue……. Toss out a statement about anything……
      Their eyes glaze over,or they parrot MSM propaganda, or they quickly change the subject.

      The average BC voter is like the average Canadian voter, apathetic, uninformed, uninvolved and uncaring.
      Just what the political machine is counting on.

      Can you blame them when our choices are either
      a) the corrupt party in power or
      b) the inept party waiting to replace them.

      Either way the “system” is a sham. Irreguardless of what you are told about elections. Politicians are NOT accountable.
      An election every 4 years gives these people plenty of time to rape the financial coffers with virtual impunity. And if the budget is in the red? Who cares? Zero repercussions.
      Where can I get a job in the private sector that I can spend over budget, expense with impunity, ignore my boss(the electorate)and not worry about being fired for at least 4 years?

      Not a bad gig.

      Perhaps if the politicians obscenely generous pensions were directly linked with the budgets they are entrusted to spend. ie Every year of budget deficit is a year off their (inadequate) pension contributions. Methinks that would focus their spending habits a bit better.
      Annual financial audits backed up with criminal penalties for fraud(kinda like Nova Scotia is now doing?).


      1. At last we are getting somewhere. “Nonconfidencevote” has proposed some brilliant ideas that need to be turned into accountability conditions in the coming election.

        Let us all try forcing these suggestions onto the agenda.


  4. I agree there is little recourse for voters when faced with this situation. I hope when Doyle returns from Australia that he conducts further investigation into these charges and allowances on both sides of the house.


  5. Excellent again nice work.
    I was doing some reading and found a few interesting items that should be explained i think.
    Liebrals say that crissy has to fly a lot for business. Agreed but for shortstops couldn’t she use her broom?
    Spending almost $16,000.00 for securit storage – off site – What/Who is stored there? Will we finally find Jimmy Hoffa?

    What type of herbs are sold by Okanagan Herb Co. for $1,155.00 and is it grown in BC?
    Laila you lead to such interesting reading. Thank you.


  6. Thank you Coral, but really, the thanks should go to a very wise horseman who told me to stop holding back, to let it go and do what comes natural.

    This is the result. ; )


  7. I guess we are truly living in a province left high and dry, where the citizens are left totally on their own.

    Our assets and resources thieved and sold. Our tax dollars thieved at the will of the Campbell/Clark BC Liberals, who also work for Harper. Big boobs, nail salons, expensive lunch habits, with fine wines, strip joints, and on and on. That’s where our tax dollars really go, plus outrageous salary’s, gold plated pensions and severance pay. $1 million per year salary’s. Incentive bonus’ thieved, depriving the peoples services, which we pay through our noses for. Then, the BC Conservatives who, also support Harper’s Enbridge pipeline….

    Lies, deceit, thefts, corruption, dirty tactics, dirty politics and cheating to win, is what really governs this country and this province.

    You are right Laila. There is no-one on our side, but ourselves.


  8. Totally off subject but
    Anyone check out the “Debt Clock” lately? It should hit $600 Billion later this year. Aprox $18,000.00 for every man ,woman and child in Canuckda.
    So much for the Conservative Govt being the fiscally responsible party…..
    Say what you wll about the Liberals, the Canadian National Debt was under $400 Billion and dropping in 1999………

    The only way that our debt is going to drop is either serious govt cuts to staff/services or higher taxes. Just as the ‘Silver Tsunami” Boomer population begins retiring. Of which 70% of boomers havent adquately prepared for retirement. Think that wont affect interest rates and taxes?
    Govt Cuts or Tax hikes ….THATS popular with the average voter 😉

    Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, England, Italy, are in rough shape and the way things are going here ,we have nothing to be smug about……..


    1. If anyone cares to check the record of most conservative/republican/right wing govts. of the western world since the late 60s, most have run up debt like it had just come into style. Mc Millan & Thatcher in the U.K. Reagan ( heaven help us) both Bushes in the U.S. Mulroney by the time he got dumped had Canada north of 500 billion and now Stevie at record levels, even surpassing lyin’ Brian. It never ends. And the folks who support these parties conveniently choose to ignore this. The republicans want to elevate Reagan to sainthood, and probably his astologer.

      That’s not to say the left wing parties are much better but this myth of right wing fiscal superiority is just that.


      1. Keith, I’m conservative by nature but I’m in total agreement.
        I read a blog comment the other day that summed it up perfectly.
        “The BC Liberals want us to vote for them because they say they are fiscally responsible and care about families first….When they actually spend like drunken sailors and have the worst record on child care in Canada”


  9. Of course Dix is backpeddling. The NDP are seeing their best chance in years to get their turn at the trough. History shows that the NDP are masters at bilking the public coffers for themselves and their friends. We are still being held to ransom by some of the previous NDP Government’s actions.


    1. There is absolutely no evidence of this. The BC NDP came into power and diminished a huge deficit.They left the BC LIberals a billion dollar plus surplus. This was quickly turned into a deficit by the BC Liberals and it is still with us due to their poor management.


      1. Hmmmm, I seem to recall Glen Clark of the NDP telling everyone there was a balanced budget (16 million dollar surplus)and calling a snap election. Then 30 days after the election it was announce that we were actually 300 million in the red…..
        The money wasted on the Fast Ferries could have paid for badly needed Hospital equipment. The same can be said for a 600 Million dollar roof for a CFL Football stadium
        ( max attendance on an average game day 15,000 ?)
        Taxpayers dollars horribly wasted on schemes that were more than likely championed by silent political contributors called lobbyists.

        Liberal, Conservative, NDP.
        It doesnt matter.
        They all lie with impunity to save their self serving butts.
        Politics IS big business.
        The days of political neophites rallying around for the betterment of their fellow citizens is, sadly, a thing of the past.
        Mr Smith Goes To Washington is a 60 year old movie fantasy about one single man trying to buck the political system. And we think we can get an entire party of independants elected?
        Elections are ridiculously expensive and lobbyists are standing at the sidelines with their bags of money and their lists of “favours” to be called in when “their” party gets elected.
        The unions are stuffing the NDP war chest as we speak.
        Big Business is stuffing the Liberal war chest as we speak.
        Does anyone think that money doesnt come with strings attached?
        Drew If you think the NDP are any different ….give your head a shake.

        Time for a revamp of the electoral system.
        Lobbyists should be BANNED.
        They are parasitic, self serving, money sucking leeches taking taxpayers money out of the govts in power to reward them for their political contributions.
        They are the single worst entity in the politics of today that undermine democracy.
        While your vote does count.
        Your opinion doesnt .
        Its all about the Lobbyists. Period.

        Election spending should be rigorously limited. The new federal legislation in the last federal election was an interesting start.($15.00 per vote to be contributed for the next election by the taxpayer). However it doesnt address new “start up” parties. It also doesnt address “attack ads” that we see BETWEEN elections when the election rules dont apply. You’ve seen these Conservative Party ads on tv warning of the federal NDP, Liberals etc.
        Who’s funding these ads and the airtime to show them? This is blatant electioneering.
        These should also be banned.

        I’ve ranted long enough. Coffee’s ready.


  10. Maybe we should get independents to run in the next election? Is that possible or will it just get the Liberals back in? Seems to be NDP or Liberal – what else is there? What happened to that “banner free” campaign that someone was working on? I thought I read about it when the Parties were selecting new leaders… What’s the plan? we have a few months left to get organized.


    1. I agree that I think we need more independents,recognizing how hard it is to run an independent campaign well, with signage, etc.. it takes more money than most people realise to run even a basic campaign, but if the independent has good community name recognition,high visibility and is media savvy… I think it can be done well in this changing political environment.


      1. One problem I can see with electing a group of independents to govern would be that sooner or later you would see a definite team forming out of necessity. In a little while your back to a politically thinking group that thinks what ever they do is the right way.

        Perhaps one way to allow or offer some control over government may be to appoint a 3 person non partisan type council as opposed to a single control voice over legislators spending and actions. Also perhaps an ethics type contract that is followed and offers recall for serious or legal infractions.


    2. Go for it. Or join a present party involved in provincial politics and change its policy. Its an uphill struggle but that is what must be done!


  11. Best damn commentary on politics in this province I’ve read in a long time.Raw and honest, and left me thinking all day since I read it this morning.You’ve got balls of steel and focus of a soldier,but I can’t help thinking you’re the one who could lead the people home to where we need to be here.I’m old,my time is near done but you are young and full of fight I can tell for the right reasons.You can take them all down hun, don’t stop now and don’t look back because you did this,not NW who’s milking it for every drop and so they should but acknowledging your initiative to find the story is professional.Shit, Baldrey isn’t my favorite schill but he mentioned you on Glowball a few times I heard.’ kudos to blogger Layla Yuile for breaking this story’ NW is talking like they broke this story, piss-ant ethics, is what it is,like this money spending.Do no work and take the glory.
    Keep on,keeping on Zena.I got a feeling you ain’t even shown the world the best you got yet.


    1. Zena? Haha! Thanks for the laugh, JR.. I needed that. And thank you for the very kind words too…you’re right.. the best is yet to com for readers who will enjoy my work on a whole new level soon!


  12. About 10 years ago I watched a “60 minutes” show on the political system of govt in Costa Rica.
    What shocked the interviewer and surprised me was their electoral system.
    The party elected to run the country was only allowed to serve one ,5 year term. Period.
    No matter how popular the people were that ran the country after the 5 years was up. Gone. They had to step done and let someone else run for office. The same party could run, just not the same people.
    The interviewer asked, ” How do you get anything done in one term?”.
    The President smiled and said, ” We only have one, 5 year term to get everything done that we want fixed. So we focus on the problems that we are concerned with and we work very fast”.

    10 years ago Costa Rica was a stable country with a National Police Force and NO ARMY, unlike the countries that are its neighbors such as Nicaragua, El Salvador, Belize’, Panama. etc.

    Interesting idea, wonder if it would work here…… because the current system SUXS


    1. I think it might. Things get stale and people become entitled after a long period in power. Again, it comes down to enough people calling for and enacting change on a large scale. Seems to me while there are a helluva lot of people complaining,far too many Canadians expect someone else to do it for them….


  13. Many seem to believe that the NDP does not have any ideas about the environment. They get this, I guess, because none are reported in the press. The press has to have someone hold their hands and point the way, they are unable to search for themselves. It appears that none of the press and no responders have gone to the BC NDP website to see what their policy is. Go to this address and see what their environmental stance is. http://www.buildingsustainablebc.ca/


    1. Drew,
      I look at 99% of “mission statements” as pure babbling horseshit.
      Whether its a company, a Govt entity or political party, its useless drivel.

      When I see statements with the words ” synergies, efficientcies, or empowerment ” anywhere in them I want vomit.
      As an aside. When did “plan of action” get sexed up to “action plan”?

      Words cost nothing to print.
      These “mission statements” and or pronouncements of glorious “do good” intent have become advertisements on how any entity wants you to percieve them.
      Mission statements are an advertisers wet dream. Its the first thing you should see when you look at a company profile.
      Propaganda by another name.

      “Wow! Their mission statement says they are going to stop using dirty fuel, plastic wrapper, foam coffee cups, all paper products, cute bunny rabbits for animal testing, and all their staff will drive electric cars to work…..” Cue the sound track for gospel singers.
      We’re saved.

      As for the NDP and any other Political Party out there that deserves my vote…..

      Never mind telling me how great you’re going to be ……..show me.


      1. This is the BC NDP policy statement. Show me the BC Liberal policy statement. Compare the gas tax to a tax grab. No difference. Go to http://www.buildingsustaqinablebc.ca. Check to see what the BC NDP policy is (and was in the last election.) This province has on of the most enlightened environmental policies with the NDP. None of you went to the BCNDP website to see what their policy was in the last election. GET OFF YOUR ASSES!


        1. Drew, you know well, I would hope, that I respect you. But if the party doesnt pay enough attention to their own sites, which people might go to in looking for direction, inspriation, and … most of all… hope… and they see this? Wow…

          And please. Perhaps you do not know,but I worked my ass off, off the clock,for no pay, not as a member of any party, during the last election. At one point, years ago,I met with Carole James and considered actually becoming a member and running for the NDP.

          Then, I realised very shortly my calling was to the people of BC, and not a political party. Truth, direction, discussion and inspiration before party politics. Change before party politics. Truth before everything else, Drew. I think the liberals must go, without a doubt, with all certainty. The NDP, or any other party in power following them,must be held to the same account and scrutiny as the liberals. My promise to the people of BC, is to do just that.


        2. You say, “Then, I realised very shortly my calling was to the people of BC, and not a political party.”
          There in is the problem!
          If you don’t believe that working for the political party is not working for the people, then find a party that is for the people. I believe that the BC NDP is for the people of this province. None of the others are, they are for big business. You an work for the NDP and work towards changing its policy if it suits its members because it is a democratic organization.


        3. Drew, I really don’t understand what is coming across as hostility. You have been a reader here for a long time, so you would know more than many how hard I have worked, along with other writers and bloggers, to get the truth out there with regards to Liberal deceit.

          I am increasingly getting tired of ndp members thinking that no one should ever criticize the party, the leader or the inconsistencies that keep appearing, courtesy of opposing statements made by party members to the press all because of ” the greater good of BC.”. Frankly, it’s bullshit Drew. Bullshit. And saying I should join and work to change the party from within? Why? Why would I do that, become a member of a party where loyalty to partisan politics even when something is wrong, is more important than being honest with the people of BC? That’s bullshit Drew, bullshit, and I think the people of BC deserve better than that. The people of BC deserve someone who will call that bullshit out loud and clear, no matter where its coming from, and that is what I intend to do.

          Do I want to see the Liberals in power any longer? No. They have systematically gutted so many sectors of this province the damage in some cases is irreparable. I spent many an hour documenting this on the 100 reasons link above.I think I have earned my stripes revealing the provinces P3 debt, the secret tolls on the sea to sky highway,and the innumerable other stories you havent read anywhere else in this province.

          That being said,what was revealed to the public with the ousting of Bob Simpson,the resignation of Carole James,the entire Moe Sihota deal, Adrian Dix’s election as leader… while there has been a lot of talk about change in the NDP, a united party, I am hearing anything but from members.It is the same executive as before, the same old long time party elite running the show behind the scenes so how much change are we talking about, when party members must not speak out about anything for fear of reprisals? Do I think the NDP will be better for the environment in BC. Absolutely… but that being said the opinions expressed by Dix and Horgan on things like Site C, fracking, pipelines, mining application backlogs without change to environmental policy and oversight…. phew. They all raise the reality that with an NDP government, people like myself will have to work just as hard keeping them accountable as we have with the Liberals. In particular with this latest financial mess being revealed.I still dont get WTF Horgan and Simpson were doing on that farce of a committee, for so long, if they knew it wasnt working and being secretive. Me,as soon as I realised that committee was a sham, would have publically said so. The fact neither of them said anything speaks volumes to me.


    2. Drew,I won’t fight you on the press entirely…HoweverI question the relevence and accuracy of any site that still claims Carole James is the leader of the NDP… nothing has been updated on this portion for so long, it makes me wonder..lol. http://www.buildingsustainablebc.ca/about/ Click on the link within that page to read all about the Leader of the NDP Carole James ; )

      I agree the NDP are more interested in the environment than the Liberals.To be brutally honest, to what extent I don’t know. Dix opposes Enbridge but sits on the fence of Kinder Morgans line… same shit, different pile. Horgan supports fracking, says everything hes been shown indicates here in BC it is done well, and is fine. Sure…ok. Fracking is so wonderful that a major American insurance company, Nationwide Insurance, recently stopped covering anything associated with fracking because there is so much risk involved – this was a huge hit to the industry and the first move of it’s kind,likely to be followed by other large insurers that cover such activitied here in Canada as well. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/13/nationwide-insurance-fracking_n_1669775.html

      I recognize there are different methods of fracking and I also recognize that any assurances companies offer of safety and sustainability are only as good as the environmental regulations, monitoring and oversight of the jurisdiction in which the fracking is being conducted. We know here in BC,that is often lacking or overlooked.


      1. Then tell us your position on these issues and how they are different and better than the BC NDP’s position. These are some of the most progressive policies about the environment and no one is putting any other policy out there. All seem to be sitting on their hands and whining. If you have some improvements, send them to the BC NDP for their policy update. The big point is no one seemed to know about the BC NDP policy in the last election. All were saying the gas tax was progress when it was just a tax grab. No one listened to the NDP and Carol James to hear what their policy was with regards to the environment.


        1. Ummmm, Drew?
          Last time I checked Laila wasnt running for political office. So her “position on these issues” is somewhat irrelevant ….. If you feel she’s biased towards one party or another you are seeing something that isnt there. She is critical of all parties. If one is particularly stupider than another (cue Christy Clark) , well they get more focussed attention.
          And as for “all seem to be sitting on their hands” ….Adrian Dix is the current master at that particular ‘sport”…….
          As for “no one seemed to know about BC NDP policy in the last election…” Sorry but who’s fault was that? The voters? Or the people who poorly promoted it?


  14. “Fracking”
    What an appropriate name for pumping Hydrochloric acid at extreme pressure underground to etch the rock formation to allow the natural gas trapped in the ground a route to the surface.
    Hmmmm , hyrdochloric acid in my ground water…..Where do I sign up!
    Not to mention natural gas mixed with my tap water. Power outage? No prob. Run the tap in the kitchen and light the water!
    Weibo Ludwick was denounced as a loon when he protested natural gas wells on his Alberta commune and then sabotaged them. Crazy like a fox.

    Fracking is wrong on sooooooo many ways.
    As for insurance claims…….we havent seen anything yet.


  15. What about the Insurance for diluted bitumen pipeline ruptures? Kinder Morgan is determined to build their business of transporting bitumen through the Fraser Valley. You know, this 60 yr. old pipeline that they bought from Terasen in 2005 and which was shipping light gas.
    The line that passes through Kamloops,Nicola Valley, Hope, Bridal Falls, Chilliwack farmlands and esp. our award winning drinking water Aquifer in the Sardis Vedder region; then Abbotsford’s, Sumas Mtn. tank stations,Ft.Langley- along the Fraser River’s edge, then it snakes it’s way through Surrey, then it passes under the Fraser River to New West, to finally arrive at the North Burnaby area and Burrard Inlet. It has already sent shipments of bitumen along the line and out the Inlet, we are told by the Calgary Herald.
    We are wondering up here at the east end of the Valley, exactly where the KM line passes on its way through Surrey??? Anyone in Surrey know? Your City Hall will have a map,undoubtedly and there are posts with warning signs anywhere that the about 5 ft subsurface line goes under waterways, roads parks,school playgrounds; you know the like !
    Anyway we up the Valley and along the line have formed a research and sharing group to learn more about the pipeline changes; wondering if we might become Kalamazoo 2 ? and if we have insurance, first responders etc. etc. you know!
    Please go to our website if you wish to see what we are learning and we would love to know where that line goes through Surrey if anyone can help! We are Pro-Information Pro-Environment -United People.


    1. Excellent points Wendy.
      I dread the looming oil spills in the Fraser Valley.
      They will happen.
      Pumping caustic, sandy, diluted bitumen (or Dil Bit for short) through 60 year old pipelines that were originally intended for light ,sweet crude oil is a disater waiting to happen.
      Light sweet crude is a liquid in its natural refined state, unlike DilBit.

      Facts: Dil Bit is a thick, tarry, dirty material that requires high temp and very high pressure to allow it to flow. The average temp is about 65 cel. but the pressures required are aprox 1000psi( your house hot water tank sits at about 50 cel and 120psi and you wouldnt want to be standing beside it if suddenly sprang a leak).
      High temps and extreme pressures such as the dil bit pipelines cause accellerated corrosion. Then, add in all the other additives such as the sand, benzene, natural gas, etc. that love to eat the inside of a metal pipe and you have a recipe for disaster.

      Kalamzoo spill ? 1.5 million gallons in a fresh water river.
      Why was the spill so bad?
      Aside from the fact that Dil Bit is heavy and will not float like conventional oil( spill booms are useless). Dil Bit has carcinogenic chemicals mixed into it to help with liquification.

      Because the IDIOTS in control of the pipeline kept TURNING THE AUTOMATED SYSTEM BACK ON. The pressure dropped and the system shut down. The maroons in charge didnt check as to why the presure dropped, they just restarted it. Again and again and again. They should be in jail.
      Alberta has 10 times the amount of spills/pipe ruptures that the lower 48 states have. Coincidence? I doubt it. High pressure, sandy goo = rotting metal pipes.
      Either way,with all the checks and balances, tar sands oil flowing through pipelines designed for a completely different product will be a disaster….
      Just wait………


      1. Right-On! nonconfidencevote. You have been following the dilbit spills details and probably have some pipeline knowledge/experience by the sound of it,too. Yes, we are dealing with high pressure,sandy goo and old pipeline =rotting in wet ground/through marsh and waterways.
        Dr. John Stansbury, PhD from Univ. of Nebraska did a study on the pipeline situation going through the midwest; he says no benefit even with new technology/it will be cancelled due to dilbit having; higher acidity,higher sulphur content, much higher levels of abrasive sediment, higher temps.,higher pressure(1440psi for dilbit) .
        Likely failure points include welds,valve connections and pumping stations – most vulnerable location near side of major streams where pipeline is shallow underground -suseptible to high rates of corrosion. But changes in elevation like the rupture at the Sumas Mtn station in Abby last Feb.2012 is clear weakness.This is all in our back yards.


  16. Politicians have zero capacity to “draw a line in the sand” on any matter. They instinctively know that by saying anything that remotely resembles a definitive idea they risk losing voters.

    Earlier remarks about mission statements and policy pronouncements are just so much propoganda. If anyone wants a trip down memory lane I still have the promises of Mr. Campbell’s team in their early days. Reading it will make you want a 40 #er of scotch.

    It would be informative if someone would find and post the names of those MLAs who sat, year after year, saying and doing nothing about the reckless practices with the ways and means legislative budget, if such a thing as a budget even existed. We know the AG informed the Speaker in 07 and every year thereafter, of his dismay at the improper, maybe fraudulent, management of Legislative expenses. This was nothing less than “cookie jar” financial management on a grand scale.

    There are solutions to this deplorable state but don’t expect the present crowd of politicians to champion them. Two excellent ideas were suggested above and to these I would like to see it made mandatory that all large financial contracts etc be tested by the use of the referendum. The Swiss do it routinely with minimal fuss.


    1. ” if someone would find and post the names of MLA’s that sat, year after year, saying and doing nothing………….”
      I have their names. They’re called….. Senators


  17. So Drew, I went to a page on the NDP link you provided. The one that invites ideas for a better BC. This is what comes up: Function ereg() is deprecated in /usr/home/building/drupal_src/includes/file.inc on line 646. actually that message line repeats 12 times – in pink text! Then there is a comment box where you can PRIVATELY leave your ideas – do you trust that anyone looks at those ideas – or that they will be accepted in privacy?

    So here is your challenge Drew. Let us know if you can reach someone in the NDP and see if they actually fix their website problem.

    When I e-mail NDP on large issues and ideas, I don’t get answers. I don’t even get a note saying they got my e-mail. I have received a personal reply from an NDP Candidate in my riding and once Carol James replied to me. But the Party office? Not yet.

    I get lots of requests for money from the Federal NDP – last time the Feds wondered why they didn’t get as many donations as the Conservatives. Why wonder, I replied – the poor people are expecting the NDP to represent them – wasn’t that Jack’s promise? Poor people are now the average Canadian without enough money to buy food so why expect them to donate???

    Yes the NDP has problems – still, I will likely get out there and campaign for them in the next election. I used to be optimistic but not any more. Jaded and depressed. Give me hope – please. So Drew, I’m counting on you because you are optimistic and I need a good dose of it right now. Thanks Laila for a great conversation.


  18. As we have been on about the NDP record I want to introduce another matter to this discussion.

    I would like to read from Hansard exactly where the NDP finance critic took issue with the government over their year in year out failure to produce year-end financial statements the BC Auditor General would find acceptable. There has been at least 12 years where the AG used the term “qualified” when making his annual report to the legislature via the Speaker. This term is polite code for describing statements that are insufficient, inadequate or outright lies.

    For myself, I have not read anything in the press about this and attributable to the NDP. For the NDP finance critic to take issue with these unacceptable reports required little to no investigative effort as all the hard work was done by the AG and his crew.

    For any member of the legislature to miss remarking on these reports should have meant resignation right away otherwise what reason do they have been paid to be there for if not to at least get full and honest disclosure of the public’s financial affairs.

    To me this is blindingly obvious but clearly not so for others including the opposition.


  19. Fracking .
    Huge vasts of water is used.
    In the north, drought conditions, farming suffering, drinking water suffering, but big users … no, just this … suspending all — short-term water use permits — from water bodies that have below-normal levels. Water is used in the fracking process to extract natural gas. I’m gathering the big co. can continue, the little ones not so much.


  20. I’m very worried about our not-so-fresh anymore water supply, and how demanding the energy to extract and ship 1 barrel of bitumen requires 3-7 or more barrels of water, never mind the ecological damage and contamination from the leftover tailings ponds that seem to always manage to find a way to seep in the underground aquifers and our water systems.

    And then you have the Frackers, ecological disaster creators at your fingertips.
    Using steam (which, funny enough, requires GAS to heat.. and water’s the catalyst, hrmm) they extract oil deposits.. well, I’m not good with words so I’ll let this tell you how it works.

    Without fresh water and their ecological niches filled as they currently are, we’re screwed… but oh I’m sure the government environment think-tanks are working on a way to patent a molecular change where we will have gmo-styled mineralized waters produced for us.
    Books like 1984, Fahrenheit 451.. (Soylent Green eventually??), who knew that these would become prophetical books rather than just flights of fancy, dreams or nightmares?

    Getting scary the more exposure found around government and it’s shady activities with big oil, finding out this rabbit hole is very, very deep, and corrupt.


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