“Christmas is the keeping-place for memories of our innocence.” ~ unknown.

DSC_0035“At one time, most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed, it fell silent for all of them. Even Sarah found one Christmas that she could no longer hear its sweet sound. Though I’ve grown old, the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe.” ~ The  Polar Express, Chris Van Allsburg

The bell never did fall silent to my ears – and yes, I do believe in Santa, more now than when I was a child I suspect – thanks to gifts of love and hope that have come when needed most.

Christmas is the keeping place of memories of our innocence, memories that harken back to a time when our only worry was if Santa really could find out if we’d been good or bad.

 Ahhhh, to be a child again… if only it were that simple as adults… faced with expectations of others, guilt and loneliness in the midst of thousands of shoppers in malls decked commercial sentiments… it’s no wonder the holidays become a tipping point for many.

I opted out of a lot of the ‘expectations of others’ many years ago and it’s been far less stressful ever since. The kids have wonderful presents, yes, Santa never forgets, but there is no excess, Santa is not frivolous and neither are their parents. ; ) I refuse to even participate in the emotional blackmail of others commonly seen at this time of the year -life is too short and love is rare.

 This year in particular, everything has been about conveying the need to be thankful and giving to others, to be generous in spirit, time and love, without attaching dollar signs to any. Love is not a condition of blood relation, some of my closest ‘family’ aren’t people I share blood ties with. Embrace those who come into your life for whatever reason, my experience has been there is always a lesson to be learned or given, good or bad.

Personally, I have so much to be grateful for this year, and despite the ups and downs, it has been a wonderful time of my life, full of growth, change, challenges and opportunities.

I learned that the best memories can’t be anticipated or planned, after a truly epic trip with my daughter to see the Tragically Hip in the middle of one of the most epic lightning storms Vancouver Island has ever seen.  She is brave, fierce, beautiful,stunningly intelligent and how I was ever chosen to be her mother, I don’t know. She planned and paid for the trip, her gift to me on my birthday, her gift to both of us and a gift it was to remember…

I learned that you don’t need to have met a true friend in person, to have them drop everything to come and not only save you, but get you to the above mentioned concert in time, after spending 6 hours on ferries from Vancouver to Victoria…. but also that those friends are the ones that come to your life for a greater purpose. ( David, Brad and Diane )

 Even at my age, there are greater life lessons to be learned…  I learned the difference between real friendship and simply being usefully convenient to people. I learned that following the path I knew was right, would inevitably leave others behind on another trail -not by my own choice, but by theirs when the path was not of their choosing.

I also learned truth always has a cost. Always.

When I began to observe and write about the NDP as critically as I have the Liberals -especially in regards to some really hypocritical actions of the party this year – the backlash from many faithful readers from the left was stunning. And yes, it needs to be said.

The silence in the comments below each post…was deafening.

But they, you, continued to read. Some wrote they were torn, not wanting to split a vote.

Some wrote they were angry at my ‘betrayal’ to the NDP, not seeing my loyalty is my own, to this province –  not any political party, and always has been.

Many more thanked me for speaking out, yet still feared repercussions from party brass – in every party, left to right.

 I carried on, knowing for once with all certainty, my path was before me with crystalline clarity. I’m not, can’t be, loyal to the current system that allows political parties to be influenced by donors …and allows political parties to influence and control their MLA’s. What is right for the voters in each specific riding, is of far greater importance than the political agenda of any party as a whole.To hold elected officials to a party goal that doesn’t align with their constituents, is fraud, pure and simple.

 I hate to be cliche, but it really isn’t about left or right, it’s about doing the right thing for the greater good, regardless of political leaning. The land we inhabit has become a rope in a political game of tug of war where we all stand to lose, and that is why we need electoral change, more independents, more accountability across the board.

Think about it.

For me,it’s about being able to look at yourself in the mirror every morning with a clear conscience – and I am happy to say I can do that every day.

 I don’t need to prove my loyalty to this province, the body of work in these pages speaks for itself. BC Rail, run of the rivers, Enbridge – I was blogging about that back in 2009 – the horrific debt from P3’s that greatly contributes to this provinces debt-load, corruption and backroom deals… you’ll find them all here on these pages, and will continue to do so. I wake every morning with the goal of being the best I can be for that day, and doing the best for all of us.

Sometimes I fail, sometimes I succeed, but at least I bloody well tried.

Being asked to joining the Huffington Post BC as a political blogger has  been a great opportunity and I was very honoured to have been featured in their launch edition. Despite some hesitation on my part initially – I feel very strongly about telling the entire story without editorial or  corporate influence – there has been nothing but encouragement from my editor to share my stories and to continue to do so in 2013. Considering they allowed me to post a who’s who of Patrick Kinsella’s dealings in a recent post, much to the Liberals detriment, I can’t go wrong… nor can the people of BC.

 It’s a win-win deal for all of us who’ve exhausted ourselves writing about the corruption in this province –  and  moving forward into the coming election, for me,this new platform will prove to be essential to getting the political stories out there on a widely read basis.

With the bulk of a recent, time intensive project behind me, you can look forward to more exclusive, compelling stories in the new year along the lines of those I’ve broken in the past with the assistence of protected sources. My commitment to all of you, and to myself, is to be true to this province as a whole.

The greater good must always come before any political agenda, regardless. Your way might not be my way, but if you live it in truth and honesty, you have my respect for that. It is, without fail, the common ground that binds us all.

I leave you with one of my favourite quotes, from a most selfless soul. And I wish you all, each of you, the best of Christmas. I could not have done all that I do, without you.

“People are often unreasonable and self-centered.  Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives.  Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you.  Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous.  Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.  Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough.  Give your best anyway.

For you see, in the end, it is between you and your God, or your conscience.

  It was never between you and ‘them’… anyway.”

―    Mother Teresa

** I’ll check in now and then over my Christmas break, but won’t be posting. If you find yourself looking for something to read, why not check out the wide variety of blog posts from the Huffington Post BC’s, best blogs of 2012, where I come in at #12 with this post . From parenting to politics, environment to money,there is something for everyone.

If you are a newer reader, hop on over the Best Of page to get yourself up to speed on some of the stories behind this Liberal government, check out my past Huffington post Blogs or check out my blog roll on the side to hook yourself up with some of my favourite bloggers!

Merry Christmas!

Santas team caught in the act.

55 Comments on ““Christmas is the keeping-place for memories of our innocence.” ~ unknown.

  1. Thank you Laila, perfectly said and yes I am sharing. Merry Christmas to you and your family. I am looking forward to all the good things that 2013 has to bring.

    • I wish you all the same my dear friend. May you find all the happiness in winter to keep you sustained the whole year through. We will share the good things in 2013 together ; )

  2. Thanks Laila. I love reading your stuff. And as an NDPer, I appreciate your digging in and holding the party accountable.

    “Dare boldly, to live without judgment, to give without expecting, and to love for no reason”

  3. I was reading The Polar Express to J&J, my grandkids, and had both the sense of thankfulness for them and all the other wonderful phenomena that surround us, but also a sense of loss that so much of what is good is being neglected, or actively torn down, and that this boy and girl, along with all the others, will live in a less hopeful world than the one in which I grew up. I love that there are beacons like you to shine a light, to turn over the stones, to wade into the fray, but also to provide a cogent and reflective perspective when that’s what’s needed. So best wishes from all us’ns to you and your clan for a serene holiday season and an upcoming year of striving and joy.

    • The Polar Express is a classic in our home.. good for many adults too!

      You are too kind- I think I simply put into words ,for the most part, what many are thinking but dont say out loud…and I yearn too, for a future for my children like I had, that wont happen on our current course.

      The truth, is our light, Dan. ” To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

      Merry Christmas my friend, to you, and your clan, those who love you, and love you well.

  4. As usual, I couldn’t agree with you more Laila. Today more than ever your thoughtful words are important for today and BC’s generations to come. Folks will try to push you, prod you and pull you to sell their agendas but I know you can see past them to the bigger picture in store.
    I like your style… you’re not right, not left – you’re the whole damn bird!!
    Bob and I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 🙂

    • A greater compliment could not be had from someone many would consider a rightie!!

      Yes, people push me, prod me and even make me feel bad in an attempt to sell their agenda – that has cost me a friendship or two – but there is more than one person at stake here.

      Thank you, you are too kind, and I am happy to be the whole damn bird!!! : )

      I wish you and Bob, and your family, the best of Christmas and a wonderful new Year too Sue. May we all find a better way…!

  5. Merry Christmas, and a very Happy New Year, to you, and your family and friends, Laila! I love the fact, that you reported the news, no matter what Party was involved. That’s what makes you a fantastic Reporter! Keep up the great work, I for one, appreciate the inside information for what it is. Hugs Hugs Hugs irene

    • If I could give you a big hug today Irene,you might not survive!!! lol…

      Many thanks for believing the dream, and supporting my path. You might not know know what a gift these greetings are…..

      Merry Christmas, and the happiest New year to you as well Irene!

  6. I will vote NDP, as I always have, despite the party’s historical mistakes and faults. In office (is there really any doubt?), they will make mistakes, and need to be held to account. No one should trade honesty for partisanship in politics. It’s the partisanship that is poisonous.

    I believe that the potential decimation of the BCLiberals is no better for the province, than it was when the NDP were reduced to 2 seats. Electoral reform to ensure representation of all widely held viewpoints is a must, and G Campbell’s best act was to give that refform some sort of chance.

    Be true. Thanks for what you do, and merry christmas.

    • Wow Merv, some of the wisest words in the comments section to date. Partisanship is poisonous…. and yes, I will always, always be true.

      Thank you for believing, and sharing, and a very happy Christmas to you, and yours, as well.

  7. When I graduated from SFU in 1982, the convocation speaker was none other than the journalist who apparently was the only one Pierre Trudeau truly feared: Jack Webster. I remember only one line from his speech; “I am agin’ government”. In other words, no matter the government, he was determined to hold their collective feet to the fire. I am a long time NDP supporter and I expect all journalists to apply their skill, knowledge, expertise, and wit in holding ALL governments and political parties to account.

    • And I hope to do justice to his name, an Icon for people like myself, Jack, not because of awards but because of standards and ethics. I will never forget that look on his face when he knew he had someone by the balls and they were about to buckle…lol.

      Merry Christmas Karl. I hope 2013 brings you what you want, and deserve.

    • I would like you to check out this site to see on of the most enlightened comments about the environment that any political party has made. I don’t know why the BCNDP has not promoted it more. This has been the BCNDP for years but they have not promoted it but this is where they stand. It is far superior to the BC LIberals gas tax scam.


  8. Enjoy your Christmas Laila.
    Hopefully it will be relaxing and give you a chance to recharge. I, for one, plan on doing as little as possible….. 🙂

    As for the NDP naysayers that dont like your critisisms…. remember what Winston Churchill once said
    “Truth is incontrovertible. Panic may resent it, ignorance may deride it, malice may distort it, but there it is. — Speech in the House of Commons (17 May, 1916).

    A quote almost 100 years old and it still holds up.

    Merry Christmas, enjoy the holidays and avoid those evil rum and eggnog hangovers………

    • I too plan to do as little as possible..lol.. well, as little as my children allow me to do!

      I will stay away from the rum and eggnog… perhaps a little rye is in order…lol…

  9. unlike some bloggers with a chip on their shoulder and supporters of lib-con backgrounds,who brag about spending too much money at oakridge, the money mall, and have dubious agendas I know you have always been true to your roots and to bc, even before you had your eyes opened.

    thank you for being honest enough to share your life and truth.You are a real canadian hero, to me, so I wish you a merry christmas and please take care of yourself.

    • No, no hero status or pedestal for me radioman, just a regular woman, blogging from my heart. Merry Christmas and I am. Resting today in anticipation of Christmas!

  10. Laila, I am so grateful for your friendship and even more grateful for your warrior spirit. The stories you have broken are important and need to be heard. You manage to chart your own course on the side of truth and not to be beholden to anyone or any faction. That is so incredibly rare in this day and age and is something all your fans celebrate. Thanks for the chance to participate in your epic adventure in July, something I’ll always remember fondly. Merry Christmas and Happy Yule!

    • Haha!You, David, will forever bear the knight in shining armour in our memories, with great fondness for sharing your city,from your perspective, with us both. And your seaweed print is the first thing I see everymorning on my bedroom dresser… a reminder of my, our , connection to this land. Thank you,for being part of the dream that continues! I xontinually find respite in both your spoken and written words from the hear and soul and love to follow your current journey in life!

      Happy ‘yule/yuile’ to you too!! A very big kiss and hug from both myself and my darling daughter!

  11. Laila, we come here to read and learn because we know we’ll find truth. No agenda, hidden or otherwise. Just truth…which has become so incredibly rare in this province today. That you speak your mind, comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable, all the while being true to yourself and your reader…you’re worth your family’s weight in gold, and more. Merriest of the Christmas season M’Lady – and a New Year filled with so much good that you won’t be able to contain it!

    • Leah,I think often, and fondly, our our Mary who I think is with us always in this quest, she held the NDP to account too, crediting and spanking where needed – Krog felt her wrath more than any….lol..

      I take to heart your words: “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable, all the while being true to yourself and your reader”. Thank you. If one person has been comforted, felt solace, who is in need, my job is done, and likewise,those who I make squirm, the same… : )

      Much Love Leah, to you, and yours. May peace,understanding and love remain dear to your heart.

  12. Very honoured, and happy, to be included in the Best BC Blogs of 2012, courtesy of the Huffington Post BC!! http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/andree-lau/the-best-bc-blogs-of-2012_b_2349023.html?utm_hp_ref=canada-british-columbia#slide=1915313

    A great list of company, that speaks very accurately to the diversity of this province, and its concerns….

    Thank you, again, all of you, for making this blog so successful, and to every one of you who reads, but hasnt fount their voice yet… may 2013 be the year of the ROAR!!!!

    • A wonderful thing to share,an email from a most dear friend:

      “Dear Laila

      This was sent to me by a friend, and I want to share it with you…..xox

      Solstice is at one and the same time the darkest night of the year and the point at which the year and the planet begins to pivot toward springtime warmth and light.

      For me, it is the most fundamental feast of the year, the time to celebrate those who keep the light in the darkest of times, who warm up the cold and feed the hungry.

      It is important in dark times to remember and honor those who speak and act for love, decency, friendship, justice and peace, environmental sanity and tenderness toward all of this ragged, luminous world in which we find ourselves.

      You get this message because for me, you are one of the light bearers, one of the gallant band of activists, friends, lovers and creators who keep the world spinning back toward the sun. I send you my thanks and my affectionate regards.

      May you have a happy solstice and a joyful, peaceful year.

      “….I heard a portion of this on the Sunday edition with Michael Enright. Spellbound, I parked the car and sat listening to this powerful speech to the end. You can hear it here:

      “All I’m saying is simply this, that all life is interrelated, that somehow we’re caught in an inescapable network of mutuality tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason, I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.”

      This was drawn from part 5 of King’s 1967 CBC Massey Lectures. The whole series can be heard here:
      (click right if you want to download mp3 files to your hard drive)

      • Laila, Merry Christmas to you and your family and may God watch over and protect you all throughout the season and the coming year!
        I would like also to thank you,from the bottom of my heart, for all you give to the people of this province includung myself. It is so easy to forget that you do this for us of your own time and energy and ask nothing in return but that the truth can prevail. I’ve seen you under attack and not once have you showed anything other than great dignity and honour an ability to calm the anger.
        All the knowledge in the world is useless without the wisdom to use it properly and you have shown great wisdom and it is a priviledge that you share that with us!
        Bless You

        • Bless you too Don, with all my heart. I would write more if my tears would allow. You are all, very much a family to me, and this year, it has become more apparent than ever.

          Love, Laila

  13. Laila, I’ll echo what everyone else has said here and add that: I find your writing a joy to read particularly because it’s so incredibly well researched, fact-checked and cross-checked and we know we have good information on which to base our opinions. That is so sorely lacking everywhere in media and print these days.

    I don’t think there is anyone in BC who quite has Christy Clark truly figured out to the level that you do. You have shown clearly that there is much less substance below the surface than the superficiality that she displays in public, and that is something every British Columbian should be deeply concerned about.

    I have been impressed by the way Adrian has played it cool this year, but cringe at the thought of him gaining power though and all that composure coming unhinged.
    Very bad leadership choice, more of the same old I’m afraid.

    I wish you my dear, a wonderful holiday season and keep up the good work, I’m confident that your work will become mainstream in 2013 and you would make a wonderful pundit somewhere in the information flow.

    Take Care.

    • I just want people to go forward with open eyes… not seeking political
      ‘salvation’ after a decade plus of shite, but looking forward to something that works, long term, for an ever growing electorarate unhappy with what we have that does not work!!!

      As a woman interested immensely in politics, Clarks mannerisms, policy and personality concern me greatly. She is a reactionary leader, not forward thinking at all, and only governs by emotion.

      This province needs someone who will fight for our future and find a new path, even if it is hard, or unpopular at first.

      There is a better way, I am certain of this. And on that thought, I wish you, and yours, the best in the new year as well. I think I am straddling the line between the two, but am confident truth will find a way, as it always does.

      Merry Christmas my friend and take care of you as well!

  14. Great post and thanks for all you do to keep us informed.
    Have a great Christmas and may the New Year bring you all you could wish for.
    Best wishes from the Cariboo !

    • Drive safely on that highway workforfun! Much love to you and your lovely wife, and have a great Christmas too. You’ve done a lot for this province to spread the word and share the news.

  15. I reckon truth is an acquired taste, like good scotch – and it’s much appreciated, Laila. Thank you and Best Wishes to you and yours. Happy Holidays!

    • Well it doesn’t always go down as smooth as a single malt, that’s for sure! And yes, an acquired taste for sure. Someone actually suggested I should write about other things this year that’s how acquired it is….

      Happy holidays Coral, be safe, stay warm and take care of you!

  16. Merry Christmas Laila and all the best for the upcoming year, wherever it takes you!

    No matter what you write – whether I agree or disagree – it always makes me think. For that, I thank you.

    • And for saying so, I thank you sjm. Merry Christmas and let’s find that path together. It’s a pleasure having all of you for readers.

  17. That’s why I love your site Laila. It’s the truth, no matter who dunnit.

    Many of we politically challenged people need that truth, so we can make wise decisions in the voting booths. I am an old grandmother who wouldn’t have a clue, how to ferret out all of that information, you give us.

    I don’t know how you manage do all of this my girl? Sometimes you are not well. You have children to care for and, what very fortunate children they are. You are such a good Mom. Then you have a house to run. A huge number of hours you spend on research, for your web page and all for us.

    How I would have loved, to have a daughter like you. I was given three boys, and I did get two granddaughters and a grandson. However, your boys are yours, til they take a wife. Your daughter is yours, for all your life. I asked my little granddaughter if she was being really good. I made the mistake of telling her, Santa’s elves peek in the keyholes to see, if she is naughty or nice. Little miss smarty pants informed me, their doors didn’t have keyholes. She had run to check.

    Have a really nice x-mas, with your children Laila. Have a happy, happy time.

    • ” no matter who dunnit” .. haha! Thank you Julie, that makes me smile! As does thinking you would have loved to have a daughter like me, that is such a lovely thing to say, thank you. You are too kind.

      Tell little miss smarty pants Santa uses magic and so do his elves….I bet she would love The Polar Express if you havent read it to her already!! Merry Christmas Julie. I consider myself honoured to have so many concerned and raging grandparents and seniors among my readers,including you.

  18. I have only been following your blog for a year or so, but I share many of views and opinions. Whilst we may not always agree I do respect your viewpoints and thank you for the honesty in the way they are posted. I wish you a very happy Christmas and a rewarding 2013. Keep up what you are doing – we need independent and critical analysis because too often our elected representatives are so busy toeing the party line they forget who elected them

    • Excellent point, many have forgotten who elected them in this province. And who can un-elect them too…. lol

      Merry Christmas, and we don’t always have to agree, it’s rather more fun to have the great debates and hard truths that make some uncomfortable. But if I can get the conversation started and make people think a bit more critically as well,it serves all of us.

  19. What can I say that your other readers haven’t already said more eloquently? So I will simply wish you and your family the best of everything at Christmas, the New Year, and forever.

    Bless you, Laila, for all that you do. Keep those e-mails coming!

    • Bless you too lasnomadas.. its people like yourself that are the heart of this province. May your Christmas be warm,happy and full of love, and the new year full of hope !

  20. Gee Laila, who pray tell will take us to this perfect place full of your truth that you envision?
    No one. No one will be that perfect person and there is no easy street.

  21. And a fine one it is- : ) ! Presents all opened before 7 am.


    with a rum-laced coffee
    bacon crackling
    cornbread steaming
    paper piles and
    ribbon mazes
    lego building
    children laughing
    carols singing

    Blood of my blood
    with me beside me and
    jumping on top of me

    we absorb each other

    the gift of family
    is being home.

    ~Laila Yuile

    Merry Christmas, nonconfidence.

  22. The Huffington post is a joke and full of weird anti white libebrals. It is the armpit of the internet

    • Oh, I’m sorry tag,I might be a tad off due to the holidays, but I thought that the designation
      ‘armpit of the internet’ was awarded to people who make racially loaded statements like yours…

      Merry Christmas! 🙂

  23. ” weird anti white liberals’
    That makes about as much sense as a “progressive conservative”

    Tag, go pull the wings off butterflies somewhere else………….