“It’s no longer enough to shake our heads and make concerned grimaces at the news…”

“Because it’s no longer enough to be a decent person. It’s no longer enough to shake our heads and make concerned grimaces at the news. True enlightened activism is the only thing that can save humanity from itself.”
― Joss Whedon

I worry. A lot sometimes.

I worry about the price of produce at the veggie market every week. It’s getting more and more expensive and I worry that the drought in California will drive that price up even more.

Then I worry that California will figure out how little B.C. values it’s water supply,show up here like it’s a modern gold rush and tap into some trade agreement that leaves British Columbian’s paying through the nose for a resource we own…while entitled Hollywood types are lavishing in their pools,drinking BC water while California shrivels under crippling  drought.

I worry about the safety of my community right now, while young men with too much testosterone and not enough wisdom are putting the public at risk every time they shoot at each other. In busy family neighbourhoods, while people are out and about. It happened again last night. Shots fired calls are a regular occurrence now.

I worry about the lack of resources in our schools and I worry about how many good kids who need help are falling through the cracks, sure to cost society more in the long run than if we took care of the issues now. I wonder if the young men shooting at each other now, were once those kids themselves.

I worry about how a brand new ship could suffer a ‘malfunction’ that many mariners suspect was human error, releasing toxic bunker fuel into one of our most beautiful harbours.

I worry that our governments continue to make short-sighted decisions and policies that have implications so serious that people’s lives and livelihoods are lost. Veterans left behind, front line workers suffering from PTSD abandoned. Mt.Polley, sawmill explosions – the list is long and sadly, often preventable.

I worry that politicians are so out of touch with how most of us live, that they think spending $150,000 to close a bridge for an event that would have only made a yoga wear corporate sponsor money from a photo-op, is a good thing.

But most of all, I worry that so many good,decent people have become so de-sensitized to the never-ending onslaught of news that even the latest outrageous news of the health firing scandal that caused one man to take his life will soon be forgotten with a few sunny days and the next scandal sure to come.

I’m here to tell you,that’s just not going to cut it anymore. It’s not enough to just be a good person and tsk-tsk at the morning news. That makes you part of the problem.

No, really, it does. You might not want to hear this but I’m so tired of hearing people say politics bores them, or politics has nothing to do with them. Look around you! Look at what is going on in your city, your town or your own neighbourhood.

Pissed off over potholes? Who’s in charge of that? Whats your local mayor and council doing if it’s an ongoing issue?

Guess what? That’s politics. That is how politics impact you. It doesn’t have to be an oil spill or tailings pond collapse, it can be something as minor as never-ending potholes.

Tired of overcrowded schools? How did that happen? Well, mayor and council have to approve all those developments and if they do without thought to the local schools, your kids are the ones who feel it.

That’s politics.

The  provincial government policy that prevents a new school from being built until the current ones are busting kids at the seams? That’s political.

Sitting in a waiting room in the understaffed hospital in ER for hours on end only to end up on a stretcher in the hallway because there isn’t a room for you? That’s political.

Bullets flying in your neighbourhood? That too is political. Who makes the decisions for funding and hiring more police? Who is choosing to fund scholarships for overseas students rather than programs to help at-risk kids here avoid gang life? Who is passing laws that allow offenders back out within hours of being arrested and charged?

The people who run your city, your province and this country are elected by you.

They direct the policy making, they decide where and how the money is spent and they can either do a very good job at it, or not. And I think they like it when people don’t pay attention because it makes their job even easier.

You might not be into politics, but make no bones about it, politics is very interested in you.

Right now you’re probably saying to yourself: “But I’m busy, I am working two jobs, kids, my parents…” I get that. I really do. I live in a world where 27 hours in a day wouldn’t be enough for me sometimes.

There are only so many hours in a day and the last thing you want to do is spend it in a room listening to campaign strategy or a politician blather.

But that’s not at all what I am asking you to do.

It can be as simple as joining your local community association and just receiving their emails so you can find out whats going on right in your own small area, that directly impacts your life. That’s where it starts for many people. That’s activism. It engages you in how political decisions affect your life.It can directly impact how politicians make future decisions.

Over the last year, I had the pleasure of seeing a new community association form and grow in one area of Surrey and seeing some people who have never paid attention to politics suddenly discover how much impact they had… it makes me smile thinking of it now.

What matters to you? What impacts your life directly? Write a letter to the editor next time you see a story that touches you in some manner. Write a letter to your provincial MLA, or ask to meet them. Let your member of parliament know what you think of their government’s policy. Ask them what they actually do, or have done for your community.

That’s not only your right as a citizen, I’m telling you it is your duty as one too.

Ask questions, hard ones and demand answers. In writing. If you get none, write a letter to the editor about that as well. Start a conversation with your neighbour, your co-worker, the person next to you at the bus stop.

The closure of the Kitsilano Coast Guard station was a decision made to save money. It was heavily protested by Vancouver residents and mariners alike. The government still defends that decision.

It doesn’t get more political than that.

If you are as angry about that closure, you are interested in politics.  If you are angry about your overcrowded neighbourhoods,the lack of affordable housing, you are interested in politics. It’s that simple.

But instead of being angry and reactive, get engaged and be proactive.

If you are upset over the demolition of heritage homes in your city, you are interested in politics. It could be trees, it might be development, it could simply be the need for a new sidewalk. It’s all politics and for most of us, that’s how we started.

We simply woke up one day and said: “That’s it. I’m doing something about this.”  And never looked back once we discovered there were thousands of regular people out there just like us looking for the same direction.

And let me tell you – It’s so much nicer walking in awareness, than sitting in the dark.

“It takes guts and integrity of motive to fight the good fight. It takes a passionate interest in life itself. It’s easy to stand on the sidelines, shaking your head and commenting on how tragic things are.

But if you really care, you are going to be in the ring, trying to make the world a better place. And only from that position will your words and your thoughts and your insights have weight.

When you live an engaged life, your sense of self gains depth and power and authority, and your philosophy is no longer abstract. You become a person who can really make a difference, because you are actively participating, you are digging deep, and you are pushing up against the edge of your own potential.

 …And in order to fight the good fight, we have to engage, we have to get into the ring, not just stand outside it and be philosophers.”

~Andrew Cohen


64 Comments on ““It’s no longer enough to shake our heads and make concerned grimaces at the news…”

  1. The lacking quality of our political institutions has everything to do with the lack of neighbourhood/individual engagement in community affairs. One needn’t go all in to make a difference.

    All our country needs is people to take the time to learn a little about what is going on and needs doing. Once you’ve done that your kitchen table and the discussions that go ’round it ought to begin to be the wise counterweight the people are supposed to provide our very often wisdomless governments.

    • I agree- the coffee table/kitchen table/over the fence discussions are great opportunities to get things started.

      It doesn’t take much – great comment Beer. Hope you are well.

  2. Bulk water sales to California .
    Like this?
    It is in the context of chapter 11 of the NAFTA that a U.S. firm – Sun Belt Corporation – has launched an action against the Canadian government. The background of the case has been described elsewhere(19) as follows. In 1986, the British Columbia government decided to allow entrepreneurs to export fresh water from its coastal streams by marine tanker, but not diversion from its interior rivers. Several applicants received licences (mostly for small water volumes) and proceeded to seek foreign markets. When the first of these, Snowcap, joined forces with the Sun Belt Corporation to supply water to the tiny California town of Goleta, the province found itself embroiled in controversy. Environmentalists were concerned because a flood of new export applications resulted from the apparent success of Snowcap/Sun Belt, many wanting to extract water from the same coastal inlet. The possible precedent and cumulative effect led to the province in 1991 placing a moratorium on all new or expanded licensing for export. This resulted in Snowcap/Sun Belt being unable to sign its contract with the town of Goleta. Four years later, the new B.C. government enacted legislation in the form of the B.C. Water Protection Act making the prohibition permanent, both for bulk removal from the province and for diversion between the province’s major watersheds. Subsequently, Sun Belt lodged a complaint under the NAFTA that Canada violated its rights, on the basis that the province had settled on compensation with its Canadian partner (Snowcap) but not with itself.

    Chapter 11 of NAFTA states once water shipments occur “from ANY Province in Canada” the taps cant be turned off………..

    One wonders what will happen if some future BC govt is running huge buget deficits and California
    ( population similar to ALL of Canada) is willing to pay exorbitant prices for bulk access…….A water fee that would pay for teachers, nurses, potholes…….etc.

    Or the US could invade and build THIS Army corp of engineered water diversion project that has been on the books for over 60 years…..

    • “Chapter 11 of NAFTA states once water shipments occur “from ANY Province in Canada” the taps cant be turned off………..” You are right. This clause/chapter in effect gives ownership powers to any US company that has a right to take water. We allow them to take 10% and that ten percent is theirs NO MATTER WHAT! Even if the river goes dry! NAFTA SHAFTYA. Having said that, we do have plenty of fresh water in BC and some of it can go to save our southern neighbours. BUT this should be done by Canadians only. And THEY can sell what is surplus and save what is necessary. Why is that so hard a concept for people to grasp?

      • Plenty of water in BC? Not here on Vancouver Island, after a relatively dry winter and not much snow on the mountains and lower than average run off we have been told to expect drought conditions again this summer. Last year was bad enough but this year it will be worse.

        • Climate change may alter the option of sharing. We may go all-Sahara. Who knows? But cruising the coast up around Ocean Falls shows a helluva lot of water simply going into the sea (which may be a good thing…I dunno…). But if we are going to pipeline water, then it should first ‘pipe’ to BC’ers. Excess can go south AFTER VanIsle. After Vancouver. We reserve the right to turn off the tap. There is no need for VI to get dry too soon, anyway. There is plenty up there.

    • Bang on. The US Army Corp of Engineers do a lot of work in Southern BC already via the Columbia water treaty. Measuring snowpacks yearly to estimate the amount of water to be released from the resevoir… and occasionally in the past, ‘miscalculating’ the snow pack thus allowing too much water to be released. I’ve seen photos of boats way down in the lake bottom, far from the dock. Scary stuff.

  3. As one who got bloodied in the ring over many issues over many decades and survived long enough to retire and move away from it all, I agree fully. The un-examined life is not worth living (Socrates). And any examination of what passes for the status quo today deserves your most intense thoughts and reactions. We really DO have to re-examine completely a system so fueled by greed and fear. But start in a neighbourhood near you if you want. I also agree that the very least one can do is ‘learn’. And that learning will lead to action and that action will lead to change. BUT I have to say this: the old ways of protesting don’t work. Placards don’t cut it. That stuff was made for the media and the media have been gutted and sold. The new protest has to be a bit more ‘interruptive’. Like Native blockades were. People have to go to jail by the hundreds…or something more dramatic….Ghandi was right – be peaceful out there…but you also have to be effective.

    • “Interruptive”. I like that. But under Bill C-51, if it becomes law, blockaders can get summarily thrown in jail for being interruptive—one of many reasons C-51 has to be struck down.

      Attawapiskat was like red meat to the neo-rightists in government. I believe it was designed to smear all First Nations, to let news-media interpret the chronic underfunding that forced most FNs to be creative book-keepers as serial, characteristic malfeasance a in order to discount BC FN protest against Harper’s pet pipeline project—kind of pre-emptive character assassination (Attawapiskat was picked out of hundreds of similarly impoverished FN Reserves because it has an big enough airport to accommodate the planned news-media attack, hastily selected shots of squalid toilets and piles of garbage, while runway attendants coordinate arrivals and departures of on-command MSM.) And the baying-on-cue got predictably louder as a counter-attack was as predictably presented in the TV medium as the usual few, impotent wing-nuts—all exactly as planned; meanwhile neo-right shills flooded newspaper comment boards on cue with the most racist claptrap since Oka. Any sympathy garnered by Attawapiskat, or by FNs in general, was starting to look pretty Pyrrhic, when along came Idle-No-More, and suddenly the neo-rightists’ cajones seemed to shrivel like prunes before a juicer; they’d pushed the envelope too far, and this simple interruptive protest discovered, then reinforced its own strength, mightily assisted by broad support from Canadians right across the country, completely backfiring all over neo-rightists who could only warn darkly from their retreating tricycles that Idle-No-More could bring commerce to its knees. And then all was quiet as the neo-right masters advised media shills to put a sock in it, that incessant, rote squealing simply underscored culpability and unrequited presumptuousness. The Minister of Indian & Northern Affairs resigned. As so often happens, hubris not only failed to meet its objective, it actually lost ground and permanently spiked its own guns. Harper’s “won’t take ‘no’ for an answer” approach has been, as far as his central bitumen export policy’s concerned, a complete and total disaster. He acted like it was unstoppable, yet it couldn’t bear even a single interruption. He feigns indifference, but his media minions have been called off, and the chairman of Enbridge has categorically shitcanned Northern Gateway—and that was all before the earthshaking William decision.

      So “interruptive” protest won, but with enough good judgement to not overdo it. Idle-No-More first united FNs (which the neo-rightists expected), then recruited Canadians at large (which the neo-rightists did not expect), and tactfully relented (which disappointed the neo-rightists’ planned reaction), in spite of racist taunts and insults. Now it stands alive, strong and at the ready while in contrast the neo-right trolls and shills have been exposed for what they really are. However, it did get, while standing at the ready, some vitally important help from the judgment end of the balance: the William (Tsilhqot’in) SCoC decision. That decision was also essentially interruptive.

      The unanimous SCoC definition of “Aboriginal Title” has introduced a seminal concept that will only be revealed as it grows, yet at inception it set out to remedy a basic unfairness where one party in FN land claim negotiation, say, a mine or its licensing authority, was allowed to expropriate resources from subject, un-ceded territories before settlements were reached, while government was allowed to “negotiate” in overtly bad faith. The Crown defended the longstanding unfairness with its continuity, because that’s the way they always did it, and that any interruption would precipitate a cascade of uncertainty that private investors wouldn’t like—and that would be bad, of course, all by itself. The defence was essentially—in too many words— that possession’s nine-tenths of the law, but the precedent it held erect by its continuity quickly drained out at the point it was cut off (the Crown conveniently forgot about the “of the law” part of possession)—and this is what the court did: interrupt the gravy train that was unfair, illegal, and unconstitutional all along. From now on there must be a very good reason to expropriate Aboriginal Title (like, say, a national security emergency), the terms of compensation must be specified beforehand, and, in any case, nothing may ever infringe upon the constitutional Aboriginal Rights of future generations. Finally, no infringement may ever impede an eventual treaty settlement. Without getting bogged down by maliciously byzantine legalities regularly tabled by government intervenors (which had already been dealt with in preceding decisions) the court simply interrupted the umbilical injustice which nurtured government and corporate greed all this long while in BC. It was a fairness judgement a child could make, and the childishly simple prescription— to just stop it— is the seminal interruption from which all new, fair and just treaty negotiations will proceed.

      The point is interruption has to be first qualified, then judiciously applied. Too many blockades without judicial sanction is as potentially counterproductive as the other way around. And it should be noted that Idle-No-More and William, beneficently interruptive as they may be, are merely instrumental to an end—compensation for past wrongs and justice for future generations—and not ends in themselves. The tools have to be used in balance, youthful energy to step up to Achilles, elder wisdom to bring that vitality to heel, as’t were. as William showed, progress was never made by letting unfair status quo run while governments in blatant, intransigent bad faith profitably procrastinate at FNs’ expense. Interruption was required absolutely in order to move to the next thing on this long and difficult road, Attawapiskat and the Tsilhqot’in decision have become monumental weigh-stations along the way.

      I’m reminded of Kabbalah teachings— that the totality of the Creator had to be interrupted to allow a space for the universe to evolve in, which I offer allegorically to everyone. Further, the Socratic, examined life is colloquially expressed as stopping to reflect (upon one’s self)—with heavy emphasis, for our purpose today, on the “stopping” first, before expecting the reflecting pond to resolve in tranquil clarity. That is, the reflection is “interruptive”.

      Thank you, JDC

  4. Whoa! This is the best, most Inspiring article I have read in AGES! It needs to go VIRAL! People need to see that Political Action CAN begin with only baby steps, and still make a difference! Students who feel that not participating or VOTING because they ‘don’t like the current system’ need to read this – They need to be inspired! Thanks Laila. I am sure this will go farther than those of us who are engaged now!

  5. Hear, hear love. Does not hurt to get involved in the upcoming elections either and boot out Harper.

    • Thank you all, but each of you is an important part of this. Sharing with others who maybe might find some wisdom here, or inspiration, motivation to do something small each week is so important. It needn’t be anything big or dramatic – I think the thoughts of rallies and protests are very intimidating for most people who aren’t otherwise engaged and really, writing letters etc is a great starting point.

      Likewise attending a council meeting for the first time, to see what goes on. When people find it intimidating, it’s a block for them. Making it easy, and doable is a great start. And anyone take 5 minutes to make a call, write a letter or email.

  6. Right on Laila, I tell everyone that there isn’t a single thing they do that isn’t political, whether it’s choosing shoelaces, camping in a favourite park or mowing the back lawn. Every single thing is laced with political decisions that we have control over although we’ve abdicated that control for years. What do you value? Compassion? Fairness? Justice? Then vote for those things, get out to all candidates meetings and ask questions, don’t shoo the politicians away when they come to the door, join a party and get involved in the decision making at that level too. I too will help make this viral.

    • I’ll be honest. The thought of joining a party is too much for many people – I don’t belong to a party and never have. But clearly, I’m very engaged politically!

      There are so many ways to get involved that don’t require a party membership. If anyone needs suggestions, go back to the top 🙂

  7. Fabulous piece!

    It makes sense that sharing resources and information at the neighbourhood level does two things:

    1. informs and enables individuals to become pro-active when they see fit over issues that affect them and the greater community AND
    2. by doing so, creates a fluid conduit to communicate with elected officials (who after all represent the governance power which, as commented above, is what get things done/make change).

    This ideally creates synergy between the taxpayer/resident and government and is also perhaps more practical; I suppose that a City Council, for instance, would prefer to hear from a few representative voices that have already distilled issues through kitchen-table engaged discussion and shared experience rather than from a disparate chorus of thousands — more efficient and hence ideally more productive.

    This doesn’t eliminate the freedom of the individual dissenting voice of course (democracy demands it!) but if effective, galvanizes the “common voice” that can identify concerns along with celebrations.

    I see this not as “political” but “pro-active.”
    We are all better together.
    Neighbourhoods matter.
    Nice Joss Whedon quote!

    • Fully agreed – so well said Victoria! Many cities have multiple community associations- a quick google or call to your local city hall can be a great start to find one. Shockingly far too many people arent even aware they exist in their neighbourhoods so often they are small and give views that may not be indicative of the neighbourhood as a whole. However the best way to rectify that is to join themselves!

  8. I’ve used an “Alice’s Restaurant” analogy many times in comments, conversations, and correspondence….on matters involving city and municipal issues all the way up to the federal level. Well…perhaps “all the way up” is not the right term. In fact, the things that affect our daily routine the most and the soonest are decisions made by mayors and councillors at the municipal level. Yet voter turnout is dismal. Votes are absolutely skewed by uncontrolled election donations….and now there are 4 year terms. 4 year terms can be viewed as efficient and cost saving, or as a secure hold for those developers who donated, with irreversible consequences for our neighbourhoods.

    “one needn’t go all out”………you bet. If city hall receives one phone call on an issue it gets documented. If they get two, they talk about it around the water cooler. If they get 3 (can you imagine three!)…..its a movement. “They” are so used to public apathy that my numbers are about right.

    “The lacking quality of our political institutions” also has a lot to do with woefully inadequate reporting by our “professional” journalists. Other than places like this blog, politicians are not questioned or held accountable. Policies that have a chance of being affected by public opinion do not get written about or scrutinized early on……by the time a “journalist” copies and pastes some government public affairs bureau issued statement, it is too late……another election as been won.

    We need a Group W bench for most of our mainstream media.

  9. Heckuva post – truly inspiring. Thanks for this Laila.

    And, in a demonstration of how often good blogging differs from digital proMedia offerings, it generated a most excellent informed and informative comment thread as well.

    Great idea re: the proMedia ‘Group W Bench’. However, just as importantly, we also need a ‘Captain Fantastic Bench’ for those proMedia folks with the intestinal fortitude to call out one of their own when they attempt to hippie punch an engaged and justifiably outraged citzenry.


    • “Captain Fantastic” promedia bench is a great idea…..I see a graphic comparing the lengths of each bench (with full recognition to those members of promedia that contributed to said lengths)

    • Thanks RossK – glad you found it motivational – I’d hoped it would impact some people and it clearly has- the emails keep rolling in, messages – it’s a bit overwhelming that so many found inspiration in it.

      And yes, the comments here are fantastic, aren’t they? And at your fine piece linking over here- thank you.

      I just don’t know what else to do to get people engaged. I’ve really come to see it has to be that people get those letters, those calls DO matter, tremendously.

      Will everything change overnight? No, more often than not, it won’t. Sometimes it won’t change at all. But sometimes when the right people do the right things along with others just like them, amazing things happen.

      But if you don’t do anything at all, then there’s absolutely zero chance of it changing, right?

  10. Right on Laila! Really inspiring post, and bang on the money as usual. To repeat a sentiment you said a couple of weeks ago… is it time for a course in how to become socially engaged? if so, count me in.

  11. First thing any person can do is get involved in one of the two recall campaigns about to get underway. You don’t even need to live in the riding. Just let the organizers know that you want to be a registered canvasser and put in an hour, a few hours, a day, a few days. Things don’t change by staying home and complaining on social media. Things change when you show up, roll your sleeves up and get to work. Thanks for pointing this out again Laila….

  12. Great article! Unfortunately, most people believe what they see or hear on the news. We must also hold the media accountable to do their jobs, part of which is to hold the government accountable by reporting the facts rather than spewing bought and paid for propaganda.

  13. Thank you, Laila! Truly the best of the best yet.

    Just today I picked up my local paper and read an opinion piece from a concerned mother in Shawnigan Lake who has decided that it is time to get off the armchair. The article was from the Cowichan Valley Citizen titled “Enraged mother elephant ready to fight” (link below) and was regarding the BC governments decision to dump toxic waste in the Shawnigan watershed. There was also a letter to the editor in the same edition that asks “What use is Ministry of Environment”. I was most inspired by the mother’s letter, as I am reading your article. There is an awakening.

    After feeling all good that some people are finally paying attention I read in the Wednesdays edition an opinion piece by Reed Elley that left a very bitter taste in my mouth. Title of that one was “Canada has been lucky to have Harper”. I won’t even go into that one here.

    I truly hope people will wake up sooner than later. It’s harder breaking through to people than expected and I have a very hard time understanding how they can just sit back and ignore what is happening to our country and province. Many of those people who fought and worked hard to help build it.

    I have to say that I not only like to read your posts but that of your followers. Such passionate people and I like to thank you all.

    In solidarity!


  14. I hear your message….sitting on your hands and fretting about issues you care about is not enough.

    Get involved, write a letter, join an neighborhood association, make suggestions, motivate others to get involved….. most of all, take personal responsibility for your own opinions and actions and be part of the solution.

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
    Our City of Surrey is at a crossroads going forward.

    On the one hand, we have a Mayor and Council that are increasingly immune to the electorate concerns and voices. That may be politics but I for one am not willing to pay through the nose only to be told our concerns and wants for our families and neighbors is ‘political’.

    We enjoy so much living in this City it is perhaps too easy to become complacent……… the worst excuse in the book.

    Each of us who follow Laila and her blog know it will always come down to you and me.

    Do the right thing, for yourselves and for your neighbor. Nothing good ever happens by accident, it happens because you chose to be involved and cared enough to do so.
    Thank you Laila…….

  15. Re trade deals, Eli Lilly still wants to sue Canada for $500 million over drug patents rejected by Canada.
    CETA, China-FIPA, TPP and other so-called trade deals have the same ISDS provisions allowing investors and corporations to sue Governments, ie taxpayers.
    This is a good election issue.

  16. It doesn’t take much time to make a difference. GET OFF YOUR CELL PHONE AND STOP PLAYING COMPUTER GAMES! That is all it takes. A few minutes per day. if something “pisses you off” send a letter to the offending politician and one to the local paper. You’d be surprised how often you can get printed. A politician gets enough of these brief letters/e-mails, they get worried because they could loose votes.

    Today in Victoria 50 parents went to protest the cuts to education. That is all parents have to do. Wait for a nice day, take the kids and go walk in front of your M.L.A.’s office. Some might get worried. We do have recall. if enough people did that, as an outing with their friends, who knows even the “sparkle pony” queen of B.C. might pay attention and decide the mining companies don’t need that $100 M tax break.

    When people put up with this “shit” they are doing it to themselves. It doesn’t take much to do something, like write a letter and these days its write an e-mail.

    the “sparkle pony” queen didn’t decide to quiet clawing back the child support from children because she’s a nice person. No it happened because people kept writing to their MLA’s. Organizations kept making presentations and Black Press wrote an editorial about child poverty. Then the budget and starting in Sept. of this year, they will stop clawing back that money from children living 50% below the poverty line. It just got to be such a problem for the “sparkle queen” it was easier to let the kids keep their child support.

    As to the closing of the Kits Coast guard station, that was most likely a deal el gordo and stevie cut while stevie was out here some time ago. That land belongs to the B.C. government and it is going to be sold one of these days to a friend of the B.C. Lieberals or an off shore “investor” from that great country Communist China, who will in turn built a nice hotel and marina which will employee people from Communist China.

    Ya do wonder why stevie wants a monument to the “victims of communism” in Ottawa and at the same time signed that trade deal with COMMUNIST CHINA for 30 yrs. Like who got what out of all of that. But then who knows about our P.M. and some 60 of his caucus, who all belong to the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church. You know the church which believes the bible is “inerrant” and the second coming is “imminent”. If you believe things like that, why worry about oil spills. That jezus guy will be here soon and all will be well. That is why our federal government doesn’t care about the environment. the P.M. and 60 of his caucus belong to some religion which doesn’t make much sense to the rest of us. Yes, talk about bringing your religious beliefs into the House of Commons. The P.M. sure has. Well its the only conclusion I can come to.

    Laila a great post. Time to write another letter to my M.P., John Duncan

    Some of us on Vancouver Is. are worried about drought this summer, because Mount Washington didn’t get enough snow. the Comox Valley can expect to have water restrictions sooner than later. Now I don’t know how a water shortage and 18 coal mine applications are going to play out. Time to ask my B.C. Lieberal M.L.A.

    • John Duncan won’t take any more of my communications. He has even re-drawn the boundaries of the constituency so that he doesn’t have to hear from the north islanders. JD is the worst of the worst and the one whose chauffeur made more in OVERTIME than does the average Canadian. Why? Because Duncan kept him ‘on call’ so much.

      • Did you see Duncan on the local news a couple of weeks ago “explaining” why those who live on Vancouver Island have the least subsidies regarding ferry prices? He waffled on making bland excuses and came across as an old fart who didn’t have any idea what life is like for the Islanders who are being ripped off left and right by having to pay cruise liner prices to get off the Island. The fact that ferries are an extension of the highway is totally lost on him. He needs to go.

        • Agreed. Wrong party. Wrong guy. Wrong mindset. How that guy came to be where is, is beyond my ability to comprehend. Mind you, Harper is there, too…..?

  17. What’s the average age of your readers and commenters? Ever asked?

    I’d be willing to bet not one is under 29.

    • Actually, you’d be quite wrong about that. While the large majority of people who comment here are over 20,the many readers who I connect with on social media show a large number of those in their twenties-the audience crosses over between my 24Hrs column and the blog. They tend to prefer connecting more on twitter or facebook.

      • I’m 54 Dana.
        Does that make my comments any less vauable?
        Or are you asking/commenting because no-one under 29 gives a shite about politics?

    • Sorry, busy day!

      I may have deleted your comment unintentionally and if so, I do apologize. I get a fair bit of spam and try to go through it daily to ensure no comments are held and then delete it all. I might have inadvertently clicked yours too, and apologize if that’s the case. Feel free to re-comment 🙂

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  22. Testify.

    Though with FPTP most peoples votes are wasted, and they end up represented by talking heads, who if they reply to you at all, only reply with the talking points from the ministry of truth. That’s why we need electoral reform, it’s the biggest issue, because we can’t address any issue if we aren’t represented (climate change, crime, poverty). The BC STV may not have been the best choice, I’m not sure, but a lot of money was spent to mislead people and get them to vote for the status quo. We need to put electoral reform back on the ballot in BC, and we need to elect a federal party that supports it. I think locally is were people have the strongest voice most often and best chance to be heard by their elected officials.

    I think violent crime does need to be addressed with policing, but that’s like a bandaid for a bullet wound, we need to get to the root cause as you mentioned. Education, poverty reductions, equality.

    “If you’re not turned onto politics, politics will turn on you” – Ralph Nader

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