“Every absurdity has a champion to defend it.” ~ Oliver Goldsmith aka “The day politicians closed a bridge to do yoga.”

It was hot yesterday in the suburbs.

So hot that when I first heard the Burrard street bridge was being completely closed for 7 hours on the first day of summer to do yoga.…I went and poured a glass of ice water to make sure I wasn’t suffering the first signs of heat  stroke.

The timing of the announcement was interesting for poli-geeks still actively discussing the revelations brought to us by Rob Shaw of the Vancouver Sun, that the government not only misled the public in the health firings debacle, but misled the RCMP as well:

“RCMP officers were blindsided by the B.C. government’s claim that they were investigating eight fired Health Ministry researchers, and never conducted a criminal investigation because the ministry never provided any evidence of wrongdoing, internal records show.

Mounties weren’t warned that Margaret MacDiarmid, who was then the health minister, would announce she had sent the case to the RCMP at the Sept. 6, 2012 press conference where she announced the employee firings, newly released emails show.

Despite claims from MacDiarmid’s ministry that its had “provided the RCMP with interim results of an internal investigation,” RCMP emails show the ministry simply gave “high level explanations of the allegations,” and that “the province’s investigation had not reached any conclusions that could support a criminal investigation.”

RCMP investigators tried five times over almost two years to get more information, but received none of the reports the Health Ministry had promised into what it had publicly billed as one of the biggest privacy breaches in B.C. history.

The Mounties closed the file on July 16, 2014, and informed the province. But it wasn’t until seven months later that the government publicly admitted it no longer expected police to pursue the matter.

The records, obtained by The Vancouver Sun through the federal Access to Information Act, show that the B.C. government repeatedly pointed to an RCMP investigation over several years, while at the same time doing virtually nothing to inform police about the case and failing to provide any evidence of a crime.

“Despite inferences in the media that the RCMP has undertaken an investigation or received information from the Province, this has not been the case,” wrote Const. Dean Miller from the RCMP’s Federal Serious and Organized Crime section, in a late 2014 report. “No tangible evidence or reports related to the allegations have been handed over. As such, no investigation has been initiated.”

NDP critic Adrian Dix said the documents “show a government that not just misled the public but misled the police. And it’s a very serious thing.”

The government “smeared” the reputation of the researchers by repeatedly lying about a police probe it knew did not exist, said Dix.

One of the researchers, co-op student Roderick MacIsaac, committed suicide after he was fired and it was suggested he was under police investigation.”

It’s disgusting and horrific. And while the government has apologized to the families and is in the process of dealing with the resulting litigation, saying sorry just doesn’t cut it. The sorry’s don’t mean anything in this case-they ring hollow as one man’s family will never get their loved one back.

But it’s business as usual. The Clark administration has had a pattern of incidents of wrongdoing that seems to always end up with apologies that in one case, seemed insincere and forced.

Ethnic-gate, the health firings deception and obfuscation, and lets not forget the recent allegations of intentionally deleted emails relating to the highway of tears missing and murdered women...and the removal of penalties for those in government who mishandle information like that.  All examples of how far government will go to get the job done, or ” win at any cost”.

But I digress.

On the heels of the latest revelations that cross a line of human decency, in my opinion, the premier goes onto happily announce the closure of the Burrard Bridge for  not one, not two, but seven full hours in both directions, on a Sunday morning to honour and celebrate the International Day of Yoga.

Happily supporting this idea? The city of Vancouver and the city of Surrey. And let’s not forget Lululemon, who will no doubt reap the immense advertising opportunity to no end to sell more yoga pants to women Chip Wilson thinks shouldn’t be wearing them.

Imagine the flyover image of people getting their zen on in the middle of the Burrard Street bridge, sun in the distance, beautiful Vancouver…all eagerly aided by our premier and two local mayors.

It’s not enough that Vancouver has so many incredible places large enough to host an immense yoga event, like Spanish Banks, Kits beach, Stanley Park… all locations where you can often find people actually practicing yoga.

But no, somehow the Burrard street bridge made perfect sense… hmmm…when was the last time I saw someone doing yoga on the bridge? Oh, never? Mmm… I can visualize it now… breathe in deeply…just ignore the asphalt and oily smell… breathe out… don’t slip off your mat, that residue won’t come out of your yoga pants! Yep. Sounds like a zen-like location to me!

While the point has been made cities often enact road closures for major events like marathons and the Vancouver Sun Run, those events are long-standing events that bring not only British Columbians into the city,but people from around the world as they compete. Those runners bring their spending dollars with them into the city as they arrive early and often stay to enjoy the scenery.

One yoga event announced only two weeks before the actual event? Not even comparable.

Bob Mackin sent out a couple of tweets last night that shed some light on the relationship between Lululemon, their founder Chip Wilson and some recent lobbying registrations. Click on an image to see full size.

It’s just so ridiculous I can’t even laugh, but what makes it more so is that there is another day long event already planned that is officially being presented by the International Day of Yoga, Vancouver Committee, and endorsed by the Consulate General of India! 

“Raniga said that she had originally booked her all-day session at Robson Square, but was subsequently told she could only have it for two hours, so she had to book the Plaza of Nations.

Asked if she believed the hours were cut back because of the province’s yoga session on Burrard Bridge, Raniga said she didn’t know.

“I was approached by the consul-general of India months ago asking if we could put an event together for yoga day. So we’ve been working very closely with the consulate on this,” she said.

She noted that, unlike the Burrard Bridge session, the Plaza of Nations event is booked for the whole day. “They’re doing it on a bridge. We picked a venue that allows people to come out and be in yoga and not just do the practice of yoga, but really embrace the whole aspect of yoga. Also, we’ll have some discussion on lifestyle.”

Closing down an entire bridge in the city of Vancouver for seven hours…. all for a one hour yoga session… under the premise of deepening economic and cultural ties with another country all while an official event endorsed by the consulate and the Vancouver committee for the IDY takes place not that far away.

Well done. Two mayors and the premier upstaging an official IDY event elsewhere – gives a bit of perspective on this, doesn’t it? Did Robertson or Hepner send greetings to the Consulate endorsed event? Hmm? ( I hear crickets chirping but my garden window is open so…) 

 If it were me, I’d be passing over the corporate driven event on the Burrard bridge and heading over to the Consulate of India endorsed event being presented at the Plaza of Nations. It looks like the organizer has been working very hard on that,for some time, and is truly honouring the practice and lifestyle of yoga. http://www.theprovince.com/health/Welcome+summer+with+free+yoga+workout/11105784/story.html

 Lululemon must be howling with glee at this one. Good grief.

Only in Vancouver….

Enjoy your day – I’m off to get my zen on in my garden. At no cost to taxpayers, anywhere.

Namaste!

** Update: June 21st is also National Aboriginal Day…. what has the premier planned for that? http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1100100013248/1100100013249

43 thoughts on ““Every absurdity has a champion to defend it.” ~ Oliver Goldsmith aka “The day politicians closed a bridge to do yoga.”

  1. The answer is again very simple…BC Liberal Party has a Pay-To-Play-Policy….Those who donate to the BC Liberal party get gifts, including a stupid bridge closure..

    2 sponsors of the Day of Yoga have donated $75,635 to BC Libs since 2013: Chip & Lulu ($60k) & AltaGas ($15.6k)

    I notice we are having no provincial recognition of National Oceans Day.

    http://blogs.theprovince.com/2015/06/06/five-things-why-world-oceans-day-is-an-especially-big-deal-in-b-c/

    Because the oceans don`t donate money to the BC Liberal party..

    What`s more important, ocean health or Lululemon yoga pants…and on of all days..Father`s Day..Sure hope none of the dads attire themselves in tight semi transparent full length panties.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lew

    Margaret MacDiarmid deserves full blame for her share of the continuing lies told in this matter. But let’s not forget that she had been minister of health for all of one day when the firings were announced. Mike de Jong presided over the investigation and firings in the case, and everything was all wrapped up by the time he bailed out of there into the finance gig. The investigation, the firings, and the public relations plan for the announcement and resulting fallout were all Christy and de Jong’s baby, with Graham Whitmarsh playing midwife.

    You may have noticed the puff-piece Rob Shaw did on de Jong May 23 painting him as handpicked by Christy to be BC’s financial saviour. He then released the access info a week later and the focus is now on MacDiarmid, who is out of office, rather than the guy who really pulled the trigger on this mess. Two favours for Mike in about a week.

    I recommend this article for what de Jong was up to before the firings.

    http://focusonline.ca/?q=node/516

    Liked by 1 person

      1. nonconfidencevote

        WOW!
        Excellent article.
        And Christy snaps at interviewers asking relevant questions about non existant RCMP investigations….
        Can this govt stoop any lower before they’re finally gone?

        Like

      2. Stan Mortensen

        You are right, this article is very disturbing.

        What it highlights is a problem that we have in government today. No one, absolutely no one wants to take responsibility for a decision that not only cost people their jobs and reputations but a life as well.

        I suspect part of the problem from the other side of aisle is they want to keep things civil and I guess respectful and not appear shrill.

        I listened to Adrian on NW the other day and I respect that he was trying to make a rational and rationed point about Mr. MacIsaacs’ suicide, but it’s too late to be rational and rationed, that will not bring him back there needs to be justice and accountability.

        There are victims here.
        The only way now to get the government to deal with this is not to be all nice and civil rather the opposition needs to take dramatic action and hammer away at the government on a continual basis, even if that means an unruly legislature.

        They need to use every means at their disposal to slow legislation, stage walkouts while the leg. is in session, anything that will get their attention. They need to force the hand of government to appoint a judicial review with full powers to subpoena witnesses to testify under oath under penalty of perjury.

        Sadly though, this story will just fade like many others in the recent history of this government.

        That seems to be the way things go in this province, no one is held accountable, no one is willing to take responsibility for their actions in government and no one appears the feel any remorse for their actions or lack of actions, these stories just fade away.

        Like

  3. Jack Hackett

    Per the Yoga event on Burrard Street Bridge. I sincerely hope that it pours down rain, prior too, during and following the event. What a fiasco of events this government is leading us through.

    Like

    1. Laila

      Please don’t hope for rain, because what I would call the ‘real’ event is taking place at the Plaza of Nations that day and is endorsed by the Consulate of india.

      Those participants deserve a lovely day to enjoy yoga in that venue. I do hope people who are true yoga lovers head down there and avoid the corporate/government sponsored advertising photo op on the Burrard Bridge.

      Like

  4. workforfun

    Seems that the city’s power that be, are seriously short on common sense by the sound of it. Another fine example of twaddle minds making news and ignoring more important issues that affect the citizens.
    We elected these jokers – wow !

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Heather

    It just keeps getting better and better. After the Yoga Be-In on the bridge, watch for Mayor Moonbeam to announce that nobody missed the Burrard Bridge while it was closed for 7 hours, so the city is going to consult (in other words, the deed is done) with the idea of closing the bridge permanently to everything except bikes and pedestrians.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. nonconfidencevote

    ‘Yoga Day”
    Once again, Vancouver and BC are the laughing stocks of Canada.
    I guess Chip Wilson couldnt find any other bridges as big as his ego within a 5 minute drive from his obscene monstrosity of a concrete bunker on Pt Grey Road ….
    http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=8&cad=rja&uact=8&sqi=2&ved=0CDwQFjAH&url=http%3A%2F%2Fbc.ctvnews.ca%2Flululemon-founder-s-57-6m-mansion-is-b-c-s-most-expensive-home-1.2170630&ei=yWN0VdKxKpKqogTsxYGgCw&usg=AFQjCNGOiIzIQvlb3HihvkrtvCsNAmOysA&bvm=bv.95039771,d.cGU

    As for Christy Clark. I change the channel when she’s being interviewed. Her inane , babbling bullshit is more than I can handle and , more importantly…..I cant garantee the TV’s safety.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I eventually developed a visceral gag-response to the always grinning Grace McCarthy. The same for the constant grin on W.A.C and Bill Bennet’s face, VanderZalm’s and now the puke-inducing Christy Clark. These people have pasted-on smiles and they mean absolutely nothing. It is always a psychological slap in the face just to listen to them lie, obfuscate, mislead and more increasingly redact. No wonder people avoid politics. It is likely the natural instinct to avoid the ugly, the poisonous and the disingenuous. SoCred/Liberal/Cons should be required to wear red, yellow and black and carry rattlers. They already have the teeth.

      Like

      1. nonconfidencevote

        Grace McCarthy….
        Several years back I met Grace McCarthy at a wake for a mutual friend. It was all I could do NOT to tell her I lived in Gracie’s “finger” during the 80’s and didnt vote for her…..
        And as much as it pains me to say this…….She looked great

        Like

  7. Mosko

    Surely just a coincidence that the two mayors who are the face of the “Yes” side of the transit referendum are heavily endorsing this Krusty-backed event.

    Like

  8. Laila

    It’s really just silly.There are some serious issues before this government right now, that are being swept under the rug while this Yoga debacle plays out.

    The govt’s event is purely politically driven.Corporate donors,party donors, friends of government – a reader on twitter suggested they hold it on the closed road in front of Chip Wilsons property, which is not a bad idea considering everything.

    The Plaza of Nations event is passion and lifestyle driven, requested by the Consulate of India, organized by the Vancouver Committee of the International Day of Yoga, and is endorsed by the Indian Consulate. It’s lifestyle driven,with no agenda other than to celebrate yoga,spiritual and body wellness.

    If the premier really wanted to build economic and cultural ties with India via a yoga event, the proper thing to do would have been to contact the Plaza of Nations organizers and ask to partner with them to make that venue the site for the largest yoga event outside of India.

    Makes sense to me. But then again, yoga isn’t about Lululemon, it’s about a lifestyle.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. luigi

    And then yoga on a bridge isn’t really about yoga on a bridge but rather a deflector from the three-year series of lies about the “investigation” into the health firings.

    That story breaks and then vanishes? Where are the calls for the premier’s immediate resignation? Admitting to lying about about police investigations that did not take place? Seems pretty serious to me.

    And the treatment this story has been given by the “rode hard and put away wet” pretenders in the media? Astounding. The ironic thing is that while these media people do the bidding, for whatever reward(s), of these “politicians” and run interference on scandal after scandal, the very people they are protecting look at them with unmitigated disgust. The same way anyone who can be used and bought is looked upon.
    Toss out that Yoga-on-the-bridge trinket…..that’ll get their attention.

    Like

  10. John Mitchell

    How about the First Nations holding a counter culture-in on the Burrard bridge at the same time, to celebrate Aboriginal Day. The vacuousness and arrogance of Christy Clarke continues to amaze me. I am embarrassed for all of BC., when we have the highest level of child poverty and we use $150K of taxpayers money to hold a yoga-in. Where is the outrage?????

    Like

  11. Scotty on Denman

    Lying, breaches of trust, gaming the system to the tune of millions of dollars—all in a day’s work for the experts in the BC Liberal government. Finding things for Christy to do? Well, that’s a bit more tricky: renovate the Premier’s Office into a rumpus-room, invite Christy’s school chums for a non-stop birthday party, sleepover, wedding reception, or maybe some West Wing binge sessions (with ice-cream) —but saving the Princess Warrior costume for election campaigns can be hard for Christy to understand.

    —Wait! What about the Prancing Majorette costume? All she needs now is a parade…hey! What about the Burrard Street Bridge! Gotta be way more fun than having to say “I already apologized for that!”, over and over and over again—that’s just way too boring.

    Like

  12. luigi

    Watching that video of Shaw and Palmer which accompanies the story referenced in the 3rd paragraph of your article leaves one totally incredulous at what appears to be very lighthearted treatment of the government’s lies over 3 years.
    Here you have a government caught out lying about LAW enforcement carrying out investigations when it wasn’t and repeatedly using those “investigations” which DID NOT EXIST as cover for revealing the truth about the health firings, and these guys in the video appear to think its almost worth a chuckle.

    A deck and a note??
    Unbloodybelieveable.

    So politicians in other jurisdictions (take next door for example) who are caught in unscrupulous activities have to wear it and are forced out of office. What’s going on in BC?? And you people in the Liberal caucus, how do you look yourself in the mirror or look into the eyes of your constituents, you know, the people you are supposed to be serving, not serving up?

    This is a story that should not be permitted to die,

    Like

  13. Hear Ye, Hear Ye!
    #shunthebridge correction #shuntthebridge to Christy Clark’s Shaughnessy Home

    Midblock Joint Street Party June 21 4:20 to 11:00am.

    The Police; The Press outnumbered four Oil protesters at her Shaughnessy home by 20.

    How many police will have to be on hand for Shaughnessy & Burrard Bridge Yoga/FirstNationPeople.

    Let your voices be heard on the Firings of 8 Health Researchers, one death, call for an Inquiry

    Like

  14. Pingback: No Strings Attached : Laila Yuile on politics and life in B.C.

  15. Pingback: 2015 ends with a bang… so it’s time for the Top ten posts of 2015, from LailaYuile.com | No Strings Attached : Laila Yuile on politics and life in B.C.

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