Sometimes you just have to sit down and write.

It’s a funny thing, writers block. It comes with no warning and disappears just as fast sometimes. Other times it lingers despite trying every single trick in the book to break through whatever mental impasse I’ve erected in my mind.

The past couple of weeks have been frustrating as hell. I’ve all this material at hand.. photos, a video, documents… different posts started, all half done and all are important – at least to me and to most of my readers.

Yet every time I sit down to write…nothing happens. I start a few words and it doesn’t sound right to me. Backspace backspace… delete delete… sometimes an entire paragraph copy, cut and deleted…. and then inevitably I just get so frustrated I slam my device shut and walk away.

@*#**!!

There is literally no time for writers block right now. The BC Hydro deadline for Ken and Arlene Boon to leave their home, and the land that has been in their family for generations is looming. Hydro wants them gone by Christmas and Clark made it clear her intention is to get this damn dam past the point of no return. She must have a legacy project and this is her swan song – we make not so funny jokes about the C in Site C standing for Clark but I suspect there’s a bit more truth in that than she would ever admit. Check out the new and exclusive photos posted by DeSmog for a reality check. http://www.desmog.ca/2016/10/18/exclusive-photos-bc-government-frantic-push-site-c-dam-point-of-no-return

There are still ongoing slides and slumps, silt streams visible flowing down the Peace as a result of work in and near the river and today old wild Bill Bennett is up there for the grand opening of the work camp that thankfully was built far enough from the bank it shouldn’t slip down the hill anytime soon…

octsitec2
Silt Flow down Peace River, October.

I should be able to write about something I feel so passionately is wrong not just for First Nations,the Boons and the rest of British Columbia, but the words wouldn’t flow.

I followed Jess Housty on twitter the day and night the Nathan E Stewart sank, and felt physically ill to my stomach at the implications of all the diesel fuel fouling their coastline. Her heartfelt tweets, relaying info from radio chatter and people on the scene. Her anger.

Her sorrow.

A world class response ? I think not. And where are the feds? Its sad that while our federal government claims to want to build an economy that does not sacrifice the environment, the reality is that we aren’t even close to being able to do that here in BC.

And I think maybe it’s this that is at the heart of my frustration.I’m tired of the even more tiresome generality that it’s “Forces of NO” stopping everything in BC. Those Forces of No don’t want a good economy, they don’t want good jobs, they just want to stop everything…

But while the premier, Rich Coleman and yes good old Billy Bennett talk smack about those trying to slow things down, they rarely talk about why so many are so concerned and yes, opposed to some industries government panders to.

It’s because retiring Energy Minister Bill Bennetts ministry  under his oversight is incompetent. http://thetyee.ca/News/2016/05/04/BC-Mining-Oversight-Major-Gaps/

” …too few resources, infrequent inspections, and lack of enforcement.”

We all saw Mt. Polley. It should never have happened.

And how about BC Hydro and the Jordan River dam buyout? The dam could collapse in a sizeable earthquake so they bought out the homes all below it. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/b-c-hydro-jordan-river-1.3585351

Yet the WAC dam in the Peace River was left for years without critical repairs and why? No one knows. And while the long overdue repairs to a dam that faces the possibility of breaching during a severe wind event  or earthquake are now underway, many have zero confidence in BC Hydro as a result. https://lailayuile.com/2016/03/10/bc-hydro-responses-to-bc-utilities-commission-raises-new-questions-over-wac-bennett-dam-repairs/

Yet Hydro is moving full steam ahead getting Site C done? Kind of reminds me of how the same government is pushing the Massey bridge through without a business case that makes sense to anyone but the premier… while the Pattullo bridge sits rusting away into oblivion and “may be”  vulnerable in high wind or seismic events…. http://www.cknw.com/2016/09/28/pattullo-bridge-vulnerable-during-seismic-or-high-wind-events-report/

Meanwhile… the cost of abandoned and contaminated mine sites in BC sits at $508 million, which is up 83% since 2014… http://www.desmog.ca/2016/06/10/cost-abandoned-contaminated-mine-sites-508-million-up-83-cent-2014

And the premier whines about the ‘Forces of NO’?

Turns out we are all actually the ‘Forces of Know Better’…

Who at times, know better than mines minister Bill Bennett himself, who was ‘surprised’ earlier this year by the shortfall of the cleanup fund. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/bc-mines-minister-surprised-by-cleanup-fund-shortfall/article30170103/

Not surprisingly, some of the companies responsible for that shortfall who failed to post bonds big enough, were donors to the current administration run by the BC Liberal Party.

It’s not that we all want everything to grind to a halt. We want things to be done right, with proper oversight, regulation,enforcement and yes, consequences. But when the government has allowed an atmosphere akin to the wild west to generate, how can anyone have any confidence in the decisions being made?

You wonder why people are concerned about Ajax mines operating in close vicinity to a large population? http://miningwatch.ca/blog/2016/4/7/six-reasons-be-concerned-about-ajax-open-pit-mine-kamloops-bc

After reading the links above one would wonder why it would even be considered. There is a massive failure in BC when it comes to regulatory enforcement and it’s one more reason to get big money out of elections. http://www.desmog.ca/2016/04/27/shady-corporate-and-foreign-donations-don-t-belong-b-c-elections-new-poll

It worries me when the people controlling the policy in this province care more for pandering to their donors than doing what is right. It worries me that those same people have little connection to the land, the sea and even fewer actually know what it means to rely on either for the very food or supplies they need to survive.

We can’t mess with this, my friends:

SalishSea

And we shouldn’t be messing with this:

areleneoatcrop2011

To me, it’s so shortsighted and that’s always been my biggest beef with this current government in BC and federally .Short term gains often mean generations of losses that cannot be mended. It doesn’t have to be this way and yes I expect everyone elected to do better and to put what is right for the province ahead of what is going to be politically expedient for their party.

Looking back at what I’ve written here, I see my frustration put into words and it’s no wonder it’s been hard to sit and let the words flow until now…I feel a massive responsibility to do whatever I can to make things right. And I don’t want to let anyone down.

Sometimes we only get one chance to get it right. And we must look at the sum of the small failures to comprehend why there is so much apprehension in BC when it comes to any form of resource extraction or any major project impacting the environment or the people around it.

We live in an incredibly unique and beautiful province,one that is envy of many around the world. Why would any government put that at risk?

There is a better way. And you should be asking your elected representatives why they aren’t choosing it. Because next time it could be happening in your back yard.

“Pick a leader who will make their citizens proud. One who will stir the hearts of the people, so that the sons and daughters of a given nation strive to emulate their leader’s greatness. Only then will a nation be truly great, when a leader inspires and produces citizens worthy of becoming future leaders, honorable decision makers and peacemakers. And in these times, a great leader must be extremely brave. Their leadership must be steered only by their conscience, not a bribe.”
Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.
Theodore Roosevelt2015-11-11 009

12 thoughts on “Sometimes you just have to sit down and write.

  1. Page 23 of 59

    W.A.C. Bennett Dam Sinkhole

    In July 1996, a small sinkhole was discovered in the crest of the dam. Investigation revealed a major problem and a second sinkhole on the upstream face of the 180-m high dam. To ensure dam safety during repairs, Williston Lake (one of th world’s 10 largest reservoirs) was drawn down to a low level.

    The sinkholes had developed around the corrugated metal pip survey benchmards used during construction. It was RESOLVED by a technique known as compaction grouting to a depth of 120 m in the embankment.

    Source: http://www.publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2008/ps-sp/PS4-7-2004E.pdf

    *******************************

    BC Hydro Annual Reports http://www.llbc.leg.bc.ca/public/pubdocs/bcserials/105575/

    1997 http://www.llbc.leg.bc.ca/public/pubdocs/bcserials/105575/bch97.pdf

    Page 8 Questions Page 9 Answers on sinkholes on W.A.C. Bennett Dam

    Q: Bennett Dam Have the sinkholes at W.A.C. Bennett Dam been repaired?

    A: Yes, and the dam has returned to normal operation. Round-the-clock surveillance and monitoring activities are being carried out to ensure the continued safety and integrity of the dam. A video prepared by Hydro employees as part of the sinkhole public information program received awards from the Public Relations Society of Canada and the Public Relations Society of America.

    BC Hydro Chair? Brian R.D. Smith former Attorney General of BC

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  2. I have the same poblem. I’ve been totally dumfounded by so many unelievablely negative events coming one after the other in the past week.

    Take the Massey Bridge for example. First came the unvailing of Chisty Clarks plans for Steveston Highway, the street I live on, to have a 1950’s, 20 plus lane, Los Angeles style, freeway interchange with the new Massey Bridge. Then came the announcement from the federal Minister of Agriculture that he supports the Port of Vancouver plan to industrialize the Fraser River by developing 2,700 acres of the best farmland in Canada for industry and over-ruling the local zoning, the regional plan and the ALR to do so. We have been saying over and over that this is the real reason for the $3.5 billion Massey Bridge. They have been denying it. Now we know it is true. Only 1.1% of BC soils can grow vegetables, greens and small fruit, the food we eat. We are already importing 57% of our food and it’s mostly from California, which is becoming desert. Doesn’t anybody care?

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Jay Jones

    All the childish bickering out there day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, decade after decade, makes me feel like I’m living in a very large elementary school.

    We need this damn dam (teeter-totter) dammit! No we don’t nah nah nah nah nahhh! We need this ridiculously high priced roof (swing-set)! No we don’t nah nah nah nah nahhh! We need this ridiculously high priced bridge (slide)! No we don’t nah nah nah nah nahhh! It’s perfectly okay that the school is crumbling to the ground! No it isn’t nah nah nah nahhh. Vote for our mediocre leadership to run your elementary school that reached world-class standing long before we arrived on the scene, and we’ll ban math, english and…um…detentions! Vote for our mediocre leadership to run your elementary school that reached world-class standing long before we arrived on the scene, and we’ll give everyone free ice cream every Friday afternoon!

    Yawn.

    Like

    1. Lew

      Jay, you inform us you are bored and think that all around you are debating the issues at an elementary school level.

      If you think there are no public interest issues worthy of concern or debate, say so. If there are issues, please enlighten us and offer your adult solutions.

      Like

      1. Jay Jones

        Expecting imperfect adults to govern a world-class province well just because they’ve been given a fancy sounding title, is like expecting a group of toddlers to run a school well just because “teacher” has been written on the forehead of each toddler.

        So my solution is a How-To-Govern-A-World-Class-Province instruction booklet.

        I always have a thousand projects on the go and so have been hoping someone else would write it, but I promise to move the project up on my to-do list if one isn’t created in the next two years or so.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. John

    nice to read your posts again. hope the writers spirits are now treating you better. I am afraid that what we see of the coast of BC and in the peace and in the mining area does in fact represent “World Class Response” as that so often overused phrase implies. it is the unfettered capitalism approach, like VW, like the internet of things that sees half the internet crippled by unsecure baby monitors and pvr’s. only fixed when forced too because consumers don’t really care.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mosko

    This government, and their shennaigans/corruption has been in power since 2001. That is an incredibly long time for any government.

    So, it begs the question – are people (at least those that bother to vote) happy with how it operates, bamboozled by their words at election time, or convincd the only viable option is not going to operate in their interests?

    Sadly, the conclusion has to be that a lot of people seem to like, or at least not care how the goverment conducts its business, as long as they have some kind of job. At least until the house of cards collapses.

    Liked by 1 person

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