2015 ends with a bang… so it’s time for the Top ten posts of 2015, from LailaYuile.com

partylights (4)

For us here down on the southern West Coast, we’re shaking off 2015 with gusto, thanks to a short but rather violent jolting earthquake last night. Or was that the sound of Premier Clarks LNG Dream bubble bursting?

Ah well, 2015  has been a really interesting year for politics, for people and for the blog!

According to official WordPress stats, there were 94 new posts in 2015, bringing the total archive of this blog to 1,185 posts!! And that’s down from prior years, thanks to a busier than usual schedule and my former 24 Hours column.

Once again, the power of social media wins again with the top two referrers to my blog consistently listed as Facebook and Twitter. Some repeatedly like to say Twitter is for ‘Twits’ but sadly that’s just not true. It’s still a powerful forum for sharing links and information- well used it’s a valuable tool and savvy influencers know it.

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The top 10 posts of 2015

  1. Why exactly, is the Mars Bomber sitting idle?   39 comments- While the province burned,questions as to why the contract with the Mars Bomber wasn’t in use, led to a public campaign to get it back in the  air – and it worked.
  2. 100 + reasons the BC Liberals must go  244 comments – a long time favourite- watch for a massive update in 2016 as the never ending list of scandals under the Clark government continues to face a loss of public trust in her leadership
  3. 50 shades of wrong: Why the BC Liberal government has lost all moral authority to govern #resignChristy   44 comments – following the tragic suicide of Rod MacIsaac, it was revealed the government had misled not only the fired health workers, but the public and RCMP. I and others, called for Clarks resignation,asked voters to demand answers from their MLA’s and said this government had lost its moral authority to govern.
  4. Why I am ( still) voting No in the Transit Tax Vote   106 comments – I believe in good transit but I independently campaigned a No vote- and that didn’t go over well with fellow progressives!
  5. Who’s the Scrooge at Real Canadian Superstore?  106 comments – this post still hits home as food prices increase and Superstore faces ongoing accusations of trying to prevent card holders from redeeming points – something that even happened to me, more than once!
  6. It’s no longer enough to shake our heads and make concerned grimaces at the news  60 comments – an inspirational call to citizens to get engaged in their communities, and see how politics directly impacts their lives. Well shared and received across Canada.
  7. Sometimes losing an illusion makes you wiser than finding the truth II  40 comments –  Despite the incredible relationship with my readers at 24Hours Vancouver and years of developing that, I left this year, to protest PostMedias death of its own papers by a million little cuts. The story behind that.
  8. “Every absurdity has a champion to defend it.” ~ Oliver Goldsmith aka “The day politicians closed a bridge to do yoga.”  42 comments –  Sigh. All this scenery and the premier wants to close a bridge for yoga fo what seemed like a prime photo op for Lululemon,while an international event was staged nearby.
  9. BC Hydro says halting Site C would cost taxpayers $500 million? Not building it at all will save us over $8 billion dollars.  50 comments – we didn’t need Site C years ago and we don’t need it now. So why is it being pushed through despite not having been reviewed by the BC Utilities Commission? Because what Clark wants, Clark gets. Even if it makes no economic or environmental sense.
  10. Complicit… or incompetent? Questions continue to pile up for the premier who continues to ignore them all 27 comments – The premier continues to face questions,most recently for the hiring of Laura Miller who has now stepped down following charges related to a deleted records scandal in the Ontario government. But even before that, the premier was dodging questions and giving glib denials of everything and anything that’s gone wrong under her watch.

Who were my most opinionated readers?

commenters

2016 promises to be busier than ever as here in BC  political parties are already in campaign mode : The Liberals have been handing out cash at photo-ops like crazy in past weeks and the NDP are in full opposition mode – for once.

Federally Trudeau will be shortly on the hot seat as the silly season of Christmas and New Years passes and reality hits.

I’ll be back into the full swing of  things the first week of January with a post on the late Christmas gift given to the Clark government: The settlement of two lawsuits initiated by the fired health care workers. Non-disclosure anyone? Will we ever know the full details of the governments horrendous and callous actions that led one man to take his life? Somehow, I don’t think so.

We’ll also take a look at the Shawnigan Lake contaminated soil site and the truck parking proposal in South Surrey – both contentious and somewhat related for the manner in which residents concerns and objections have been completely ignored.

It’s been a blast and I’m very happy that so many readers from 24Hours follow along here now, on Twitter and Facebook. We’ve shared personal moments, struggles, challenges and successes – and I appreciate them all.

What these stats, my twitter analytics and the tremendous success of these stories in travelling far and wide tells everyone, is that this is a team effort. All of you, are the biggest force behind this blog, and these stories.

One cannot succeed, or make a difference the way we can, without  doing it together,particularly as an independent blogger and commentator. 2016 brings another chance to try and get it all right again. Thank you so much for being a part of it.

Happy New Years!

From: http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2014/12/new-years-wishes-and-gifts.html  I couldn’t say it better myself. ❤

neilgaiman

 

 

 

23 thoughts on “2015 ends with a bang… so it’s time for the Top ten posts of 2015, from LailaYuile.com

  1. Thanks Laila. I think Site C is my pick for top story almost completely unexamined in the mainstream press. Thankfully, alternative media obliged with gusto! I’m looking forward to your coverage of Shawnigan Lake. It boggles my mind how badly that file has been handled by the governing party. This beautiful place is a sought after community with high real estate values. These people are not shrinking violets who will be bullied into silence. How Clark and Polak figured they could get this rammed through without political damage is beyond me, given the quarry in question is uphill of the huge CRD watershed as well as this pristine lake.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scotty on Denman

      I agree: Site-C is very big—estimated to cost about $9 billion; that’s a lot of money that might be better spent on many facets of public infrastructure down at the heel due to BC Liberal dys-management. I say “dys~” because the BC Liberals appear determined to make public enterprise dysfunctional. Not long ago the theory that the BC Liberals are willfully bankrupting public enterprises so’s to sell them at thrash-prices to insider friends had been disparaged as absurd. But the absurdity of investing huge public money on a dam, ostensibly for powering natural gas liquifying, when world LNG prices have completely collapsed (and are forecast to remain far below break-even for the foreseeable future) has convincingly stripped away disguised perfidy, that is, funnelling gobs of public money to insider friends of this government in the form of overly generous service contracts in return for financial contribution to the BC Liberal party.

      Admittedly, the theory of purposeful government sabotage of public enterprises was difficult to discern when Gordo ran the show—exactly as he intended because the absurdity of substituting scale-of-economy savings citizens could enjoy by way of public investment in important monopolies (i.e., transportation links, power generation and transmission, medical facilities, etc.) with unavoidably more expensive private profiteering would be, if voters were aware, politically dangerous. It also has to be admitted that Gordo was very effective in his ploy to bust public enterprises and smash public-sector unions—until he himself was busted deploying the main tool of concealment: lying.

      Apparently nobody’s as effective as Gordo in the surviving BC Liberal caucus: absurdity has become, well, absurdly blatant, all the way from Christy’s preposterous LNG prospects to the mines minister giving the thumbs-up standing in front of the biggest mining catastrophe in BC history. Really, “Om on the bridge?” and “we’re still learning this new technology (email)…so that’s why all that public information got deleted…” None of Gordo’s slickness here, just smirking absurdities or stoney silence like at the Civil Forfeiture Office.

      That’s why Site-C is the cherry on the incredibility cake: it doesn’t even have the lamest of premise like ruin-of-river IPPs do, and is even more starkly parasitic. Perhaps most absurd of all is the BC Liberal “estimate” of $9 billion: we should expect it to be vastly understated, but they can’t be trusted with one penny of it in any case.

      If they can get away with it, the BC Liberals will throw as much money at Site-C this year as possible for no other reasons than to prepare to accuse the Opposition of killing jobs at election time (in just over 16 months), and, naturally, to further the neo-rightist agenda of handing crony-corporations control of public resources and assets. Site-C’s big now, but it will will get bigger yet, way bigger.

      Like

  2. Brianp1950

    For me it had to be the amount of time, manpower and money used in the Translink tax vote. This showed me exactly what CC amd the BC Liberals think about ordinary citizens when the tax collected from fuel including the carbon tax is not used to upgrade transportation. Apparently they think there is never enough tax collected. Am very happy people voted against this tax, now, we need to work on MSP premiums and how regressive a tax this is.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laila

      How about this new story, just out? Mark my words if the province allows deferral of hydro payments to mining/resource companies that already have substantial incentives and credits to subsidize them, the people of this province will push back hard. There are people not able to pay their bills. There are people choosing between heat and food. There are people getting cut off regularly.

      Top that off,we get a rate increase in 2016. So how do you think the people will embrace this idea? Seniors, low income, people on disability get no such deferrals. You pay your bill or you get cut off.

      http://www.news1130.com/2015/12/30/bc-mining-companies-could-see-power-payments-deferred-province/

      Page 19/20 here from this Govt state of mining book, released this year, detail how much mining companies already get in incentives. http://www.mining.bc.ca/sites/default/files/resources/pwc-mining-industry-british-columbia-2015-05-en.pdf

      Like

    2. Laila

      Agreed. It set a very bad precedent and revealed a lack of leadership quality,although she tried to disguise that as being noble and letting the people have their say. Didn’t work thankfully.

      This province is facing some big problems despite the claims all is well and we are strong.

      Like

  3. Laila suggested I submit this. I write it because I first wanted to present some ‘resistance’ to what I see as pathetic political situation and because my first thought was to use the courts to act as a satellite opposition by filing lawsuits. A bit cumbersome. And it is negative so I have been thinking…just an idea….gonna ‘float it’….see what you think…..

    Most people running for office are motivated to ‘do good’. Even the idiot Cons thought they were right and had the answers to what ailed us (despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary). Harper thought he was doing GOOD for the country.

    Some pursue politics for reasons of ego and a hunger for power but they are rare, I believe. Harper, Mulcair, Trudeau’s back room. Christy Clark’s back room. Those people thirst for power so as to push their personal agenda. Not so your local MLA. The average politician is no good at much of anything else (maybe teaching drama) but likes meeting people, shaking hands and kissing babies. And they are more than willing to go along to get along. They believe in the system. They may be weak-minded and spineless joiners, followers and sycophants but, generally speaking, they are benign and vanilla-nice. Like lap dogs.

    There are not a lot of truth-telling, courageous contrarians in politics, that is for sure.

    And the reason we have parties and opposition and dirty politics is that these ‘personalities’ feel they can’t ‘do good’ unless they first have the power and that means (in this system) selling out, dirty tricks and telling lies. And they even need to ‘join’ up’ to do that. With that sacrifice, they then lose what little personal integrity they might have had. They rationalize that as required for the ‘team’ approach of the party system. They and we seem to think they have to first do a lot of bending over, suckholing, brown-nosing and being blind to the evil in the background to be able to be in the position to do any good.

    What a soul-killing exercise that must be.

    I keep thinking about that. There must be a better way. I think proportional representation is a much better way but, once you get to thinkin’, you think up other stuff, too.

    So….here we go: I am talking a pact. Imagine that all the candidates really want to do good, represent their community and are not motivated by the money, perks, bonuses and other selfish aspects of the job. One, say, is the Green candidate, one Liberal candidate and Joe over there is the NDP. All others are welcome to join the local constituency pact, too. The local pact is an agreement based on the fact that being adversaries is counter productive. Being in opposition is the opposite of cooperation and their allegiance to the community is more important than subservience to the party that rarely serves anyone all that well.

    The local pact plan may work better.

    Of course, they run against each other (that is the system, after all) but the two or three top vote getters (minimum votes required to form the pact…..say 25%) commit to cooperating. And then, when the election is done, one of them is the official MLA but they (those with 25% or better) then split the salary and the perks. They split the expenses and the per diems. And they work together.

    Opinions and votes are decided jointly (deciding vote going to the highest vote-getter). But that means two people representing the community. Or three. That means two or three bodies making it to meetings. That means two or three minds being better than one and all the pact members being together are made more able to resist party pressures.

    If three vote getters get more than 25% of the vote each then there are three bodies doing the job. If only two get 25% or more then the pact is made up of two. Or something like that…..

    Why not? If you are really running to help your community, then that should work for you in spades. The average back-bencher MLA gets over $105K a year in salary and somewhere around another $50k in expense allowances and such. For hardly any excuse at all, they give additional pay. Plus office staff and crap. And there are plenty of perks. Most MLAs I have met couldn’t get work at $50k in the real world so they can share what is likely close to $200k and still be way ahead. Plus they get more done, satisfy more of the voters and have greater independence to vote their conscience.

    It also ends the adversarial nature of politics and makes it more cooperative and more democratic.

    This plan is basically proportional representation done at the local level. You want a candidate that is first past the post, then don’t vote for those who form the local pact. You want as much bang for your buck as a taxpayer can ever expect, then vote the local pact. Easy.

    I’ll call this idea the Pact Party. It is not an official group but a movement, an idea, an exercise in peaceful revolution that should offend no one. Scotty? Norm?

    Such an idea is pretty simple, pretty basic and pretty unselfish. Therefore it will take a lot of explaining and most people just won’t get it. “Unselfish? Like, duh, who would do that!?”

    I think a lot would. I think most politicians start out wanting to do good. And, I think that if they did this good thing, they would revolutionize politics overnight.

    What do you think?

    Like

    1. John's Aghast

      I think its dumb. I know you didn’t ask, but it seems at first glance rather utopian to me. And I really do respect your opinion and love your stories. There may be some merit in your ideas, and I’ll revisit them in the morning, but right now I envision rolling the clock back several years and wondering how a group such as you pose could ever come up with the dumb ideas that have developed over the past few years. Port Mann? Crooked. LNG? Had merit initially, was overhyped and then should have been wasted. Site C? Indeterminable with the information available. Deas Crossing? Laughable. And on,and on.
      Yes, you and I and any number of questionable qualified individuals could undoubtedly done better but where/when do you start?
      At least you’ve come up with a concept, which is more than us who bitch and complain have done. And I will sleep on it. Promise! Right now I’ve got other things on my mind.

      Like

      1. You are right about one thing: cooperating candidates would be unlikely to propose GIANT silly projects. LOCAL silly, maybe but on the scale of CC, unlikely. Yes, the idea is a bit Disneyesque but it puts Proportional Representation on the front burner, right now! And, it has the merit of at least being constructive, new, non earthshaking and a natural weed-out-the-pigs mechanism overnight. My excuse: there just HAS to be a better way than the one currently enslaving and cheating us.

        Like

  4. Curt

    Just read the one where the government wants to give companies a break on their hydro bills. Really? Really?? Unfrickin believable.

    You’re right Laila. How about those who already are struggling – seniors, people with disabilities, people living below the poverty line or near it (and there are many of those) families, your “average” citizen/family trying to make ends meet.
    Something so wrong with this considering all the breaks companies get already.

    Site C is a complete waste of money and is not being built for the citizens of this province. Put an end to it now, I’d rather be out 400 million than 8 billion. Politicians really are stupid.

    Shawnigan Lake – this is wrong in every way. What is happening elsewhere in this province that we don’t know about?

    South Surrey truck lot – Absolutely appalling. NO, we must get on this and get after those politicians at Surrey city hall. Another case of “follow the money”. Hepner is just as bad as Watts was and is. In the pockets of developers and real estate agents imo. Councilor Gill comes to mind also. Infractions get reported and the city does NOTHING. Believe me. All lip service as the infractions continue, laws are broken. We have to stay on top of this and put a stop to it.

    Oh, and then there’s the golf course in South Surrey that the City decided to expropriate. Another story there of David and Goliath. (another case of follow the money) I’m sure it won’t be long and we’ll see houses squished in there too. (although the city says it’s for a park) Sure, right. lol No infrastructure to keep up with the sprawl, but keep on building. Enough Hepner and Co., enough.

    So Laila, thanks for giving us the list you have. We must all play a part and expose what we know. In this day and age information comes from all over and every one. We must continue to post and make things known so that the citizens of this province can get on board. It is time that people stop the attitude of “it doesn’t effect me so why bother” and get out and make a difference. It will effect you, you just don’t realize it.

    Happy New Year to you Laila! Looking forward to 2016.

    Like

  5. John's Aghast

    I just came back from civilization, hoping for a bargain on last years turkey. Instead, feasted my eyes on a fat cauliflower. Gulp! Eight dollars a head! EIGHT DOLLARS!
    Chrispy wants a Prosperity Fund AND 100,000 jobs? Plant Site C in cauliflowers! I don’t know what the yield/acre is but they are renewable, reusable, delicious fried in butter & crumbs and may even produce a little gas.

    Like

  6. John's Aghast

    Ours were bigger! Its unfortunate that we will never be able to get along. I LOVE cauliflower. Not enough to pay 8 dollars a head mind you. I could buy a whole left-over turkey for that price.
    I hope your 2016 started off at least half as good as mine! Since its the first AND last 2016 we’ll ever experience, we’d better make the most of it!
    And I suppose you don’t like Brussels sprouts either?

    Like

    1. Laila

      Seriously, cauliflower is just so bland. And Brussels sprouts are great when they are teeny but most people kill them when they cook them. Not a fan.

      But I like you so that should count for something right? 🙂

      Like

  7. nonconfidencevote

    Wow! Its New Years already! Only 98 comments from me last year…..I’m sure some of your readers wish it was more like 28…… :)-
    Belated Happy New Years one and all.
    I’m sure there will be no shortage of Liberal (Provincial and Federal) stupidity to write about in the new year. And , of course, there’s always the municipal monkeys to kep us entertained.

    Keep up the good work Laila.

    Like

    1. Laila

      Thanks my friend. And I love your comments. Diverse opinions are good – I hate it when people cannot see beyond their little bubble and wont even consider a thought of anything else. So boring! And so unproductive.

      As the world changes and adapts, so must we and so must how we do things. You bring a sharp point often when needed. Thank you.

      Like

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