Hurry in, 2015, so we can have another chance to get it right!

For me,I will remember 2014 most for being the year I wished more than a few times, that I could magically go back to being one of those blissfully unknowing people who go about their lives paying no attention to anything other than just that.


There have been a number of stories this year that have touched me on certain levels and left me emotionally tanked or overjoyed. Discovering the extent of the situation on 135A street, the absolute extreme poverty of the people who call those sidewalks home – not all victims of their own bad choices or addicts – left me going back often, thinking futilely there has to be a better way. But why can’t we find it?

2014-10-19 006Meeting Erin Schulte and her group of incredible volunteers who persevered in feeding and taking care of these very same people in the face of continual opposition was an incredible experience. And while their story was the most public,because of them I discovered there are many others who have been doing the same thing for years, no fan-fare, no recognition and none asked for. They simply chose to care, and I applaud them all.

No one can overlook the fine work of David Dalley and the Friends of the Grove, who carry2014-11-01 017 on like soldiers of peace and compassion, endlessly fighting what seems to be a never-ending battle in the heart of Newton. Metaphorically speaking, their efforts are representative of the battle between light and dark, good and evil – and they need as much support as they can get. Their work to transform this family oriented area will be an essential part of the bigger plan for the Newton core, if the city ever gets fully on board, because they are the heart of this community. Created in 2009 with intensive public input, it is the greatest hope of this community to see Festival Street and the rest of the Newton Town Centre plan become reality – those with vision can see an eclectic shopping,entertainment area,with a park and gatherings… the Commercial Drive for those south of the Fraser.

prayer stick 1Some of the defining images for me this year, are those from Mt.Polley. It was the year all of us in British Columbia saw how life can be changed forever in the blink of an eye when the walls came down at Mt.Polley mine. In an instant an entire area, ecosystems and lives were irrevocably altered and why? Even now, there are still more questions than answers as to why millions of tonnes of toxic sludge came cascading down creeks and forests into two beautiful lakes that provided sustenance, recreation and an entire tourism industry for locals.

credit to Yuct Ne Senxiymetkwe Camp , posted publicly to Facebook at this link:
credit to Yuct Ne Senxiymetkwe Camp , posted publicly to Facebook at this link:

The breach was an utter failure of process and regulation.

The actions of the government following the breach, were appalling, reminiscent of scenes from the movie Erin Brockovich.

There is zero credibility and zero trust, and more than a little uneasiness when it comes to thinking about other tailings ponds- or dams for that matter-because there has even been criticism when it comes to the inspection and reporting process they instigated to ensure this wasn’t about to happen somewhere else. 

This is just one example of why sometimes I wish I was one of those blissfully unaware and un-engaged people, just going about their business, not paying attention to what’s going on in the world.

It’s easier, and far less stressful, albeit not very conducive to creating change in the world. Which is part of why we continue to be where we are, instead of where many want us to be.

You can look at, research, examine and learn from history… but unless you apply what you have learned, you go nowhere.

We continue to wage wars, right or wrong. We continue to ignore our homeless.We bring food to homes of those suffering from illnesses like cancer or grieving, but ostracize and marginalize those suffering from addiction or mental illness.

It’s frustrating,often feels insurmountable and ineffective to continually see story after story written of government obfuscation and wrong-doing that for all intents and purposes, continue…aided and abetted by voter malaise and a fear of what change will bring. As is often said, many truly believe that the devil you know,is better than the devil you don’t.

foiAs for myself, I spent much of last night going through a backlog of emails and when I went through all the FOI’s submitted, the stack of non-responsive,redacted or otherwise useless results far outweighs the FOI’s that gleaned any good info at all.

And what is worrisome is that many writers are finding it harder to even file Freedom of Information requests, or in the case of the federal government, Access to Information requests.  Damned if you do, or damned if you don’t.

Where does that leave us? In a situation where governments are able to conduct their business with little examination and criticism – and that’s not good for anyone.

My wish for 2015 is very much the same as it is every year.

That the public at large become more engaged and aware of the power of their vote. That we come out of our technologically aided shells and become involved in our communities. That we realize that while there is a portion of the population that may very well be beyond saving because of their own demons, that we must continue to try to help those who are invisible to many: children in foster care, children living in poverty, our seniors, our disabled and our homeless.

They are our past, and our future. Sometimes there is only one chance to get it right. Many have learned the hard way while watching others, that it can too happen in your own backyard – and who will fight for you then? Don’t be a bystander.Be involved.

Despite the ups and downs, the sad stories that break your heart and the ones where everything right and good prevails, the journey continues to tell as many as we can – I’m very honoured that you are all a part of this small blog. As much as being unaware might be blissful to some, being engaged to make change is the only way to go.

Because in the words of author J.R.R Tolkien:

“There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.”

Happy New Years and may you strive not for perfection in 2015, but to simply be better, and do better, than the year before!

22 Comments on “Hurry in, 2015, so we can have another chance to get it right!

    • Yes… sigh… however you aren’t. and I’m not, so we carry on right? Because there is no going back and you really wouldn’t be happy being unaware.Good riddens 2014, lets move on to 2015 in style 🙂

  1. Great post and so true. It’s like we chatted about one day “the blue pill vs the red pill.” Let’s hope for transparency and equity of information in 2015!!

  2. Laila, I want to thank you for your relentlessness – for never, never, never giving up. All the powers that be are waging an assault on democracy, justice, poverty and human rights all over the world. Every one of the local stories you investigated has mattered deeply to making critical changes happen. Ignorance is never bliss. Nothing will ever change for the good unless amazing people like you take a stand – kick some ass – name some names – risk something! DO something! I for one am very grateful.

    • Thank you Ivana. Coming from you, it means so much, and much love. It will be hot out of the gate here in 2015. Just wait 🙂

  3. Ever the optimist, you don’t seem to understand, (or maybe you do understand but just won’t say it), that politicians (and political parties) are just like any other corporate entity.
    Lord Acton said it when he suggested that ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY.
    And governments in Canada, have absolute power.
    All parties granted this run freely amok and there is absolutely nothing about it. NOTHING, ZIP, ZERO, NADA and SWEET ****ALL that we can do about it because we don’t have any real choices.
    The Blue, Red, Orange and Green parties all play the exact same game, for the exact same goals, for the exact same reasons.

    Direct Democracy, is the ONLY, and I mean ONLY way to end this madness. Until there is a reason to do otherwise, don’t expect anything different.

    • I do understand Mike. It’s always been about achieving power and holding onto it… not as much about good governance and policy. And yes, that applies to all parties,some more-so than others.

      But it’s not just about the process and the status quo, it’s about opening eyes, engaging people, and sharing info. And that’s what I try to do here.

  4. Let’s hope and do what we can as individuals to get people engaged in 2015. It’s going to be a year where change can happen, people just need to decide if they want to carry on with what is going on in this province and country or have they too had enough. I honestly don’t believe citizens want to carry on this way. Struggling day to day, month to month.

    With thanks to you and others who blog where we can get information not available through our mainstream media that’s for sure – I’m so tired of the sensationalizing of the “weather” (it’s December, it’s winter, it’s cold – so what) or what ever pea brain idea they come up with they consider “news”. Kind like watching the National Enquirer on your tv, not just seeing it at checkouts. The media and their “stars”.

    Anyway Laila, thank you for bringing things to the attention of those who follow you, provide links etc. There are many good bloggers out there who have so much information. I’ve certainly passed these on.

    Like I said at the beginning, I think people do want change, it’s up to each of us to engage them.
    I’m certainly going to be doing my part.

    Happy New Year to you and your family Laila!

    • Thank you for being such a long time reader Curt. And yes, we all do our part, sharing stories or links, sending in tips an story ideas. It’s all part of a bigger web. There are some great bloggers and writers doing amazing work out there.
      No one struggling wants to continue, but those who struggle rarely vote and that’s supported by stats. There isn’t a leader in the country currently who reaches those people, who breaches that gap.

      Imagine if that changed.

  5. Don’t forget to vote on October 2015 even if it means strategic voting.
    may alls cup be full in 2015 and help those that aren’t.

  6. You do a wonderful job Laila, keeping us well informed.

    It is our lot to have to cope with a corrupt Federal government, as well as our corrupt BC Liberal government. I have such a deep contempt for Harper and his cabal as well, as a contempt for the Campbell/Clark BC Liberals. They actually think, cheating to win is devine. All they are to me, is disgusting. Especially when they all do their photo-ops and lie like hell. They use spouses and even their kids in their photo-ops.

    The e-mail caught when the NEB lauded, the citizens can no longer question pipelines. Christy’s 100,000 LNG jobs for BC people. Her thousands of six figure wage mine jobs. Everyone wants one of those jobs. However, that was her election lie and those jobs don’t exist for the people of BC. Christy had the gall, to chide Jason Kenny and Harper’s TFW program. Chinsty says, she needs thousands of foreigners for all of her resource projects.

    I could sit here all day and type out the lies from, the BC Liberals and Harper’s bs as well. We are living in very evil times. There is no democracy, honor, decency, ethics nor morals left in this country, what-so-ever.

    I have e-mailed Royal Canadian Legions to support our Veterans battle, against Harper’s treachery towards them.

  7. Happy New Year (it is in Toronto) Laila. And to all your Commenters. I’m past my best before date so its off to bed. See you all next year.

  8. I’m watching the ’22 Minutes’ gang ring in the New Year as I write this. It’s that zany Canadian humour that keeps me from giving up the fight against government corruption in this country.

    (I keep my ‘Stop Enbridge – No More Pipelines or Tankers’ placard in the trunk of my car……just in case a protest rally breaks out somewhere in my travels) 😉

    Happy New Year, Laila and all your faithful readers!

    • Haha! I love it! You should take shots of yourself and that placard where ever and when ever it comes out!

  9. Sadly, I see only an increase in crime and violence all around and especially in the Newton area. The McD’s there has become a haven for those with nothing to do but shoot up and clean up after a trick. I have lived here since 1986 and it saddens me to see these soulless folks gather daily. Perhaps it is the recent cold creating the gathering, but I suspect the homeless population get together because there is comfort in numbers. A little heat inside, but management usually sends them packing after they buy a coffee. I do not envy management there.
    The new Mayor is clueless as to what to do, and seems painfully unaware of the issues. Perhaps she just loves a nice warm bed at night. Conservative friends remind me that if you are homeless, it must be your fault. I guess that’s the new Christian way.
    I can only hope for a better 2015 for Newton, but I doubt I will see any improvement in my lifetime.
    Cheers, anyway!

    • Yes that Newton core is not in good shape right now.I really feel for the staff at every business, in particular the Safeway and the Library staff, who are really good people but have to deal with a lot of stuff no worker should have to.

      I have some Conservative,Christian friends who are very giving,very selfless and very involved in their communities by volunteering regularly.It’s not indicative of the political or religious leaning as a whole. Just like one can’t paint the NDP, or the Liberals all with the same brush. I would love to see the Newton Town Centre plan happen,and bring this area back to life.

    • Why doesn’t this surprise me? Imagine that.All of this… and yet still Mt.Polley happened.

  10. The BC Clean Energy Act has some interesting stuff in it, for example Sec. 6:

    (2) The authority (BC Hydro) must achieve electricity self-sufficiency by holding,

    (a) by the year 2016 and each year after that, the rights to an amount of electricity that meets the electricity supply obligations, and

    (b) by the year 2020 and each year after that, the rights to 3 000 gigawatt hours of energy, in addition to the amount of electricity referred to in paragraph (a), and the capacity required to integrate that energy

    solely from electricity generating facilities within the Province,

    (c) assuming no more in each year than the heritage energy capability (big old dams), and

    (d) relying on Burrard Thermal for no energy and no capacity, except as authorized by regulation.

    See how this is a big gift to IPPs? There’s a policy that all this new power has to come from IPPs or from the $9 billion Site C.

    And why not use Burrard Thermal, if exporting LNG is seen as ok?
    – See more at: