Saturday morning coffee round up: Election 2019, LNG in Delta & money laundering inquiry stunner

It’s been a rather exhausting but productive week and I am sitting in bed with my laptop propped on a pillow, with the most divine, steaming hot Italian coffee concoction beside me, on my bedside table. I just recently discovered the  incredibly sensual gustatory pleasure that happens when one whips an egg yolk with sugar in a coffee cup until frothy, then slowly adds expresso( or just hot dark coffee). My gawd! Next level perfection,as the addition of one simple egg yolk not only gives a rich mouth feel and creaminess cream cant match, it kinda also makes coffee a legit breakfast!

But enough of my love affair with coffee, there’s so much to talk about, starting with….

Election 2019 aftermath

Wow hey?! Once again a minority government situation and once again, not surprised. While a majority of Canadians voted against Conservative ideals, they do not agree on one single way forward. The feeling nationally has been very much like the feeling here in BC before the last election, with voters really not happy overall with the federal Liberals. CPC or the NDP. Hence the rise of the Bloc and while the Greens only gained one seat, their vote did rise. Instead of being humbled at this result, Trudeau has still somehow managed to convey the vacuous, somewhat childlike arrogance he displayed throughout Lavscam, post election! With any luck we shouldn’t have to see Scheer for much longer as I hear a strong movement to install Peter Mackay is in the works. 

And that, my friends, should have everyone concerned, for a couple of reasons. One, Mackay is well liked and respected, across partisan lines. He’s very intelligent, experienced and savvy… and to be blunt, he’s a marketable candidate: good looking, mature but young enough to have longevity, brilliant and accomplished spouse with a gorgeous family.  Two, progressives in Canada and the left as defined usually by the NDP, haven’t learned much about the consequences of toxic, blind partisanship…or how their own behaviour continues to help the rise of the Right.

I just don’t get it. There is nothing wrong with being loyal to your party, but there is fine line between being loyal, and acting like a cult member defending things that are not defensible. This election was no different. Partisans on the left forget that most people in this country, DO NOT BELONG TO A POLITICAL PARTY. Most people just want a leader who will do the right thing, tell the truth, not talk around issues and waffle, and not make ridiculous promises we know they won’t ever keep. Partisans on the left are just as bad, if not worse in some cases, than partisans on the right. What  many left/ progressives still fail to understand is that marginalising anyone who doesn’t agree their way is the only way, isn’t helping them get votes. Marginalising critics of their party, isn’t getting them votes. I saw many calling Bob Mackin a right wing toadie. Same for Dermod Travis of Integrity BC. Nothing could be further than the truth for either of these men, but nonetheless that is the level of desperation being shown online. People can disagree with your preferred party and still be an ally. Blind loyalty is what breeds the kind of arrogant desperation we saw in Clark prior to her defeat, and I saw that happening with Trudeau before this election. When your leader does something wrong, or comes up with really bad policy, don’t defend it. Own it, and acknowledge it instead of saying “Oh but your leader did something worse ” . This isn’t kindergarten and the public isn’t stupid, but they are feeling disrespected and frustrated with fake promises and even worse policy when it comes to climate and the economy.

The sanctimonious, self-righteous attitudes of some partisans needs to be checked at the door if there is any chance of appealing to the people in the middle who might vote right when someone like Peter Mackay comes along. Now, onto….

The Fraser River LNG export terminal the BC govt forgot to mention in the refuelling station press release

It was yet another one of Clarks now infamous hard hat press ops, when she joined workers  at the LNG plant expansion on Tilbury Island back in 2015.  

That was when the proposal for the WestPac LNG terminal jetty at Tilbury first made the news, except it wasn’t announced as a refueling station, it was announced as an export terminal back then.

Which is why I raised an eyebrow when I saw the press release quietly issued by the BC government at 4:30 on the eve of the UNDRIP event at the legislature. That press release still mentions only an LNG refuelling facility at Tilbury.

https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2019PREM0116-002035

 

 

 

 

 

Except the refueling station at Tilbury, when complete, isnt just for refueling.

We won’t talk about the significant hypocrisy of watching ‘clean’ LNG tankers sail up the Fraser, past the mountains of dirty US thermal coal at Roberts Bank still being exported to Asia via our ports because the US ports wont handle it.

Nor will we talk about the only reason Clark planned such a big bridge over the Massey Tunnel is because the projects planned around 2015, would have required a removal of the tunnels so the river could be dredged deeper to allow for panamax size tankers to navigate the river safely.  Those of us familiar with the Asia Pacific Gateway strategy, remember this well because there was massive opposition to both coal ships and LNG tankers being filled in the Fraser.

So, I went to do a little looking to see where this Tilbury project was at and what a surprise, the westpac project website openly mentions the export of LNG from the Fraser River site.

 

 

 

I wish I could say I was surprised. I haven’t followed local politics on the mainland very much since moving to the island,  so totally missed the Delta papers coverage of this.

I will say I am sorely disappointed and dismayed that the export aspect of the Tilbury Westpac project was completely left out of the government press release, except in reference to where smaller ships will fuel at.  In September, Fortis BC announced it had already secured its first export contract with China out of the already expanded plant on Tilbury https://www.delta-optimist.com/news/fortisbc-secures-first-export-contract-for-tilbury-lng-facility-1.23886948

Horgan is literally following exactly in Clarks footsteps here, and it makes me wonder how long it is before a bridge over the Fraser to replace the Massey once again suddenly becomes the better option. Thats usually how these kinds of things happen. This also means a significant increase in tanker traffic into the river and as anyone who takes the ferry from Tsawassen can attest, whales are seen in increasing numbers all along Robert’s Bank.

All the environmental assessment documents can be found here for the westpac terminal in the Fraser, for those interested. It was suspended in August to allow for a further expanded look at marine traffic. https://www.projects.eao.gov.bc.ca/p/58851208aaecd9001b829b58/project-details;currentPage=1;pageSize=10;sortBy=-dateAdded;ms=1572112160419

Here is where it brings forth more questions.This link from Hellenic Shipping News, paints a very different activity than the greenwash of ship refueling for the ship to ship terminal in the govts press release above

New LNG bunkering terminal floated – literally

“Once in operation, it would have one berth for one LNG carrier, and a berth for smaller LNG bunkering barges. In addition to a domestic bunkering market, WesPac expects there will also be LNG export opportunities, with Asia being the main market.

The terminal is expected to see up to *69 bunkering barges and 68 LNG carriers coming to and from the terminal annually.*

 

So…lets see if I have this right….?

Christy Clark LNG dreams were bad, but now that Horgans doing it ( and increased subsidies) , it’s ok?  Tell me how that works, my friends. If we are exporting from Delta, and Kitimat and Squamish, that means an even bigger expansion of fracking up in northwestern BC. How is it remotely possible for BC to meet its emissions targets?

Last but not least..

The Money Laundering Inquiry story that made my stomach drop

WTF? You know that moment when your stomach drops because you know something very wrong has happened? Yeah, that happened when I read the story below. Read and digest.

https://biv.com/article/2019/10/whistleblower-relegated-witness-role-money-laundering-inquiry

Two significant whistleblowers against money laundering in B.C. casinos will not having special standing status during the Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia, Commissioner Austin Cullen ruled Friday.They may, nevertheless, still play key roles in providing information and context of the issue as witnesses.

Fred Pinnock, the RCMP Unit Commander of the Integrated Illegal Gaming Enforcement Team (IIGET) for British Columbia from September 2005 until his retirement in 2008, was denied standing status.

A week prior to Friday’s ruling, whistleblower Ross Alderson, former director of anti-money laundering and investigations at BC Lottery Corp. (BCLC), said he would no longer pursue his standing status application, but rather provide testimony whenever called upon.

Alderson claims, in media reports, that officials ignored his warnings and reports. Pinnock has stated the public has been misled as to the nature and degree of money laundering and other criminal activity taking place in casinos.

Former BC Liberal cabinet minister (and current MLA) Rich Coleman shut down Pinnock’s IIGET unit in 2009.

Standing status grants special or highly knowledgeable individuals or groups procedural rights during the two-year inquiry. Cullen has yet to determine those rights but they may include representation by counsel, proposing witnesses, applying to participate in evidentiary hearings, reviewing documents and making submissions.

Who did make the list of those with standing status?

BCLC president and CEO on leave, Jim Lightbody and Robert Kroeker, the former VP of corporate compliance who was alleged to have told staff to ease up on anti money laundering measures to allow dirty money to flow through casinos. 

I think its a big failure to have not granted these two whistleblowers standing status. Huge failure.

Above all, the public must have assurance that this inquiry is conducted on a level playing field. There can be no hint of impropriety, imbalance or unfair advantage. It is in great part because of Pinnock and Aldersen that we are even seeing an inquiry and I take umbrage with Cullens assertion that Pinnocks reputation and rights are not at risk. Certain parties and supporters of the former government ( and of Rich Coleman ) have tried to sully this mans name and reputation  in an attempt to discredit the information he brought forward.

Both Pinnock and Aldersen are likely to be party to information and specific knowledge that would allow them to call forth other witnesses, and compell testimony, that may not be heard if they are merely responding as witnesses. Witnesses cannot cross examine, a compelling and critical feature in this inquiry.

This is where I will again refer you to two prior posts in which Sean Holman interviewed Rich Coleman in a series of videos about why and what lead to the disbanding of the IIGET, in which there are still many unanswered questions. In fact, I dissected one portion of Colemans answers in this post: https://lailayuile.com/2018/06/27/money-and-corruption-are-ruining-the-land-2/

And in this post, we discussed further the irregularities of Colemans statements,via those very important videos of Seans. https://lailayuile.com/2019/02/05/the-coleman-files/

I’ve made no bones about how disappointed I am that the province didn’t decide to go with a sweeping Charbonneau style commission. Corruption doesn’t begin or end with a political party because the network that allowed it to occur exists far beyond elected officials or one government or even law enforcement. It exists beyond money laundering in casinos and real estate. So limiting the roles of the whistleblowers who brought so much to light, is in effect, limiting the role of the inquiry to get to the places it needs to be. And I believe the public is smart enough to see this, based on the stunned reactions of readers and friends to this news.

I’m not sure if there is a process for Pinnock to appeal Cullens ruling on this, but I would hope a public outrage would spur it. I’m curious too, why Aldersen pulled his application. One hopes he wasn’t pressured.

There can be no compromise when it comes to fighting corruption. Anything less is to become complicit.

That’s it, its sunny and I have mountains of leaves to rake and cover my gardens with. Let me know what you think of all this in the comments below and I’ll be back to see you later.

 

12 Comments on “Saturday morning coffee round up: Election 2019, LNG in Delta & money laundering inquiry stunner

  1. Increased use of Renewables?

    In Alberta?

    https://www.timescolonist.com/renewable-power-developers-discover-more-energy-sources-make-better-projects-1.23989364

    Except in politically backward regions, led by the example of BC, where dependency on LNG is now holy dogma, energy innovation is making life better and safer.

    Says who? Victoria’s Times Colonist.

    “CALGARY — Third-generation farmer James Praskach has been burned by the oil and gas sector and watched wicked weather pound his crops flat, but he is hoping a new kind of energy — the renewable kind — will pay dividends.”

    “The 39-year-old is part of a landowner consortium that is hosting the sprawling 300-megawatt Blackspring Ridge Wind Project in southeastern Alberta.”

    “He receives regular lease payments from the $600-million project that came online in 2014, even though none of the 166 towering wind turbines that surround his land are actually on it.”

    “His lease payments stand to rise, however, when and if the proposed 77-MW Vulcan Solar project, which won regulatory approval in 2016, is green-lighted by developer EDF Renewables Inc.”

    “The panels would cover about 400 hectares of his family’s land with nearly 300,000 photovoltaic solar panels, installed on racks designed to follow the sun. It would stand in the way of traditional grain farming of the land, but that wouldn’t have been a problem this year, Praskach says.”

    “This year we actually had a massive storm roll through. And we had 100 per cent hail damage on all of (the Vulcan Solar lands). We had canola, peas and barley on it this year,” he said, adding the crop was covered by insurance.”

    Mustn’t tell the NDP, but in Alberta…

    “Meanwhile, poor natural gas prices and a series of oilpatch financial failures mean rents aren’t being paid for about half of the handful of gas wells on his land — he’s appealed to the Alberta surface Rights Board for compensation.”

    “”(Solar power) would definitely add a level of security for our farming operations,” said Praskach.”

    “Hybrid power projects that combine energy sources are a growing trend. Solar only works during the day and wind only when it is windy so combining the two — potentially with battery storage or natural gas or biomass generation — makes the power profile more reliable and predictable.
    Mustn’t tell the NDP, but in the Canary Islands…

    “Globally, an oft-cited example is on El Hierro, the smallest of the Canary Islands, where wind power is used to pump water uphill to a reservoir in a volcanic crater so that it can be released to provide hydroelectric power when needed. At times, the project has provided 100 per cent of the tiny island’s energy needs.”

    “Improvements in technology and lower costs for storage mean it is being considered as a hybrid add-on for nearly all of its renewable power projects, said Dan Cunningham, manager of business development at Greengate Power Corp. of Calgary.”

    Who cares what wind energy can do?

    https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/wind-power-all-world-iea-report-offshore-uk-china-europe-clean-energy-climate-crisis-a9171086.html

    “The report by the International Energy Agency finds that global offshore wind capacity could increase 15-fold and attract around $1trn of cumulative investment as soon as 2040.”

    “The IEA says this boom is being driven by the declining costs in installing the technology, supportive government policies and “remarkable technological progress”, such as larger turbines and floating foundations.””

    “Outlining the rapid pace of change, which the authors say has been led by European countries including the UK, the report says the global offshore wind market grew nearly 30 per cent per year between 2010 and 2018.”

    “There are now about 150 new offshore wind projects in active development around the world with China adding more capacity than any other country in 2018.”

    For those interested the full IEA report is at

    https://webstore.iea.org/offshore-wind-outlook-2019-world-energy-outlook-special-report

    • Great link.

      Alberta is the most puzzling place. They and the Conservative agenda are promoting this massive division of western canada which really isnt true. BC wants nothing to do with their ‘wexit’ ( who thought of that 🙄) The vote shows most of Canada voted in favour of progressive politics if not the same parties, so the only division is Alberta. And even Albertans dont all agree on this ridiculous separation idea. Many are on board with transitioning oil and gas workers, which is the catalyst behind this organization. http://www.ironandearth.org

      And, as we see in your example, Alberta is really setting some excellent standards for moving forward with wind and solar and other new technologies. Which only makes Kenney look like an even bigger outlier when it comes to taking care of Albertans. If he was truly concerned, he’d see what’s happening all over the world and get on with leading in that direction.

      Anyways, yes here in BC our direction is still set in stone by the leftover bureaucrats at Hydro and Mungall has been fully engulfed in spewing the exact same words that Bill Bennet often did.

      But do you recall the post I did this summer about drought impacting hydro? And why it was a good reasons to diversify via community solar etc to take loads off the grid? ..
      https://www.google.ca/amp/s/lailayuile.com/2019/07/02/an-update-on-site-c-bc-lng-when-climate-change-reveals-the-bc-ndp-vision-was-nothing-but-a-mirage/amp/

      Well this Burnaby reporter did some digging and foi’s and guess what?

      I was bang on. Drought, glacier loss and lack of snow are huge concerns for govt and they are reworking some of their plans.

      All detailed here https://www.burnabynow.com/investigation-cleanbc-climate-change-electrification-plan-may-not-hold-water-1.23986108?fbclid=IwAR3issWBY8l8KA0uNSGHEMF2ea731-KAAJzyBPixkPpZwhDOlhX3u9m-fGY

      Quite the read. And even more evidence hydro is going in the wrong direction. We should be promoting community solar to help areas have some independent source during events like big fires that may cut power, and it will reduce load on the dams in drought.

  2. About that “wrong direction”….

    Centuries ago some exceptionally careful thinkers (disciples of Confucius and Mencius) believed they could identify a common social flaw which confounded human relations.

    The Problem?

    Words. (Specifically their misuse).

    Proposing a philosophy of “The Rectification Of Names” it was believed that a system would eventually establish the correct meanings of words and how they were to be properly employed to restore social harmony.

    That was then.

    Centuries later, with a wider view of what history seems to show us, all communities, basic random geographic groupings of human lives, can be ensnared in crumbling ineptly-constructed Towers of Babel.

    Babel, a terribly place to work – let alone live – since no one understands what is being said.

    Today’s Babels? Identified now as Kleptocracies, Idiocracies, Lunatic Juntas, near-to-toppling states ruined, or about to be damaged beyond hope by conscienceless opportunists, grifters and chancers.

    As always, clever swine profit from debasing and demoralizing their populations. Fools and psychopaths lord it over neighbours held to ransom and swindled by dysfunctional bureaucracies of state, military, or corporate interests.

    Seen any of these in recent global news?

    As so often happens after clever philosophies fail, any hope that a Rectification of Language (more explicitly: HONESTY) might take hold was abandoned. Not merely forgotten but replaced by vast institutions of state and corporate propaganda, bolstered by institutionalized perjury to protect high ranked unindicted felons, with laws finely engineered to ignore steadily expanding fraud, criminality and corruption.

    In the last century such idiocy was maintained and reinforced not by clear language or persuasive logic, but by resort to brute force. Which brought with it civil strife, assassinations, massive concentration camps, purges and liquidations. Which inspired further loss of trust in Leaders, leading to, or coinciding with, Recessions, Depressions, Civil Wars, mass resort to addictive means of escapism, and two world wars.

    How bad is it now?

    I’m waiting for John Cleese’s next book.. But he’s busy recovering from alimony costs.

    https://montrealgazette.com/opinion/columnists/brownstein-john-cleese-on-why-there-is-no-hope-for-the-world-or-for-a-monty-python-reunion

    ““In a sense, the divorce is the reason I’m still working,” Cleese says. “I’m in a little bit of a financial situation, because $20 million is a pretty enormous sum, particularly if you spent your life working for the BBC. I have a joke where I say I do a lot of working for charity, most of it for the BB “

    “As for the sense of hopelessness he feels, Cleese blames the “power seekers.””

    ““I believe there’s something wrong with these people. The reason they want to be powerful is that they want to control people, so that they don’t get lathered into situations that they can’t control emotionally.”

    “The one thing they fear is losing power, so they’ll do almost anything to hold on to it.”

    ““If they don’t know what they’re doing or what they’re talking about, there’s no way (the world) will ever get well.””

    Two people I’d like to see on the same stage

    John Cleese
    Greta Thunberg.

    Each in their own way declared that the emperor had no clothes.

    Both have inspired more than a generation to think more carefully about the real disaster of how we use words to promote the Wrong Direction..

    Mr. Praline: Look, matey, I know a dead parrot when I see one, and I’m looking at one right now.

    Owner: No no he’s not dead, he’s, he’s restin’! Remarkable bird, the Norwegian Blue, idn’it, ay? Beautiful plumage!

    Mr. Praline: The plumage don’t enter into it. It’s stone dead.

    Owner: Nononono, no, no! ‘E’s resting!

  3. Good morning Laila. I’m going to be right up front about this, but it looks like there’s the possibility of a purposefully weakened Inquiry going into play. Something is not right here. Unless i’m missing something the standing status arrangement sounds like sure is out of whack. As far as i can tell, pressure could only come from the AG’s office and the Premier’s office to keep the Inquiry lower key. I’ve always maintained the idea that Horgan doesn’t have the guts to face down the previous dirty government in opposition. Look at his apprehension and balking and trying to direct away from an inquiry even with the huge numbers of people that demanded one. Sorry but but i think he’s spineless to take on corruption. He proved it already. Instead of this Government going all out in full combat mode they have decided to poop themselves with fear of the Big bad wolf in case it gets in power again. Just say’in.

    • I dont believe for one second that David Eby would pressure anyone. Eby was a strong advocate for this commission prior to Horgan making the decision to proceed. On that front I also cannot think that Horgan would do so either.

      I do think Horgan wasnt keen on the commission because costs and …this is the elephant in the room regardless of who is in government…the fact that gaming revenue is a cash cow. Always has been and always will be, like Liquor is. So this dirty money has literally been trickling down into gaming revenue grants that go to service organizations, sports teams, parents advisory councils…etc.

      I’m not sure how giving those implicated in this the bigger platform is going to lead to an appearance of an equitable inquiry. Pinnock has thr experience and knowledge to indicate where and how to look, and who to call to question. Special standing would have allowed him to cross examine. Huge loss.

      I do hope we are both proven wrong here.

  4. These big wigs of the BCLC when all the bad stuff was happening under THEM, get standing status, but not Pinnock and Alderson don’t. This stinks to high heaven. The same percentage of the public that wanted an inquiry should be outraged at this. Big percentage too.

  5. It’s funny and kind of really sad too, that droves of people still seem to want to give away their money to the casino’s dirty cash cow, when they were one of the main players that fueled the degradation of their society with unaffordability , a drug crisis, and so on. It’s so truly messed up. It’s like a mass form of addiction those houses of corruption have fueled. It’s actually quite mind blowing.

    • I add that the BCLC sleazeball hierarchy along with their new masters in government must love and enable the addiction of the masses to give them their money. Maybe this inquiry is meant to be so thinned out, so as not to rock this boat too much.

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