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.

 

On Autumn, Gratitude and Listening to your Soul

2019022It’s been a crazy fall in terms of politics: provincially we have the ongoing legislature scandal and federally we have the election everyone is gobsmacked by.

I’d intended to blog about it all but Facebook memories reminded me ( as only the  pervasive creepiness of Facebook can do), that two years ago Wedensday, Rafe Mair moved onto raise Hell in another realm.

Well damn. Enough time has passed that I forgot, but not enough time to keep me from feeling saddened at his departure all over again.

I found myself thinking about him and some of the things he had written while walking through the forest shortcut home after a meeting. It was chilly still and I pulled my sweater more tightly around me against the cold of the shade when the sun suddenly hit my face. I stopped, squinting my eyes as I tried to focus looking at the light, savouring the feeling of the welcome sunbeam squeezing between stately trees in the early cold of an island autumn… and then just stood there for a moment and let the warmth wash over me.

20171017_122617_HDR~2I suddenly felt the urge to stop and write, that very instant…so there I sat,writing in the forest on a massive stump, embraced by trees whose crispy leaves flutter like paper in the wind. Where sunlight streams through tree trunks like guiding lights, where the only sound was my lungs inhaling and exhaling air so cool I leave condensation on my reading glasses.

I read a blog recently written by the sister of a valued friend,  in which she wrote:

” There are maybe a hundred unfinished pieces  hiding behind this one. I sometimes worry that my thoughts scramble before they hit the page. But that’s what blogs are for, I think. At least this is what they are for me. A place to download, often quickly,  the passing ruminations of a life well lived as I am able… I am often composing something as I move…”

I felt that,deeply. For each blog I rarely do post now, there are so many more I don’t. No matter where or what I do, I am composing in my mind, vignettes of life and thoughts and yet so little do I bother writing these bits down. Which is ironic because that kind of writing is what truly makes me happy.

Over years of blogging I inadvertently pigeonholed myself in terms of my writing. BC politics is what I love and what you wanted, but on the rare occasion I posted from my heart and soul, those posts attracted so many more readers.  Why? Rafe knew. And in revisiting those posts and his comments, I laughed and smiled.. was this serendipity at work? And I knew that moment his words were what many need to hear right now, in the heart of this wretched and crucial election:

Fast forward many years and to my families move to the island, a northern girl at heart leaving the suffocating cloak of city living behind… rediscovering just how inherent a connection to the land is when you grew up dependent on it.

Rafe was one of a very few who ‘got’ the evolution I was going through, as a writer who had spent years documenting corruption and misdeeds of the BC Liberals ..but also as a parent…and as a woman…but most importantly as a British Columbian… his remarks always struck home in a big way, in two posts I have written in particular…

The first is this one: https://lailayuile.com/2016/08/18/weve-hit-a-point-bc-where-each-of-us-needs-to-decide-what-kind-of-province-we-are-going-to-be/  

mtwashington1

Written while living on a mountain, in between metro Van home and Comox Valley home, I bared my soul to readers, speaking to my re-connection with not just nature, but our reliance on it. And Rafe got it immediately:

“Laila, that was your soul speaking.

Until we all start listening to our souls and let it speak – and stop voting for those who live in our glorious province, who look around them and only see ways to convert what they see into cash will steadily ruin us and our heritage. They make it appear that upon every desecration proposed by Daddy Warbucks, depends our food, shelter and livelihood.

Until we understand that Industry controls our government and what little media is left, and that the oil industry controls industry, we will more and more be left to dream of what used to be.

We elect these cretins and then when we try to offset their evil by voting NDP or Green, but we find that they have no stomach for the fight assuming, it would seem, and perhaps correctly, that we prefer progress as defined by the oil industry because otherwise there may be sacrifices to make…
It’s one thing to be a peaceful people quite another to be supine…”

 

Rafe not only got what I was trying to say in that post, he got everything I was feeling that I did not write. He knew I was disillusioned with hateful, partisan politics…

It stuck with me profoundly because just a week earlier I had written this piece: https://lailayuile.com/2016/08/11/as-for-me-i-know-nothing-more-than-miracles-walt-whitman/

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I’ll meet you there.When the soul lies down in that grass,the world is too full to talk about.Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other” doesn’t make any sense.”~ mevlana jelaluddin rumi

Since I read my first book of rumi’s writings and read this passage, I find myself reminded every time I find a luscious field in summer…. high with timothy or wild grass, rife with daisies bobbing their heads as they reach, reach for the sun… the wind blows lightly that rustling dry sound not unlike a million tiny wind chimes, delights the ear and cools the skin…I can’t help but walk, hands dragging lightly through the grass, the scent of summer in the air until a feeling of complete and utter peace overcomes me.This is the field I imagine rumi speaks of… one where we are free of judgment, free from conflict…where we are free from labels of left and right, gender or race, your way or my way and things get done because it’s the right thing to do, not because it serves any other purpose.Maybe one day, I’ll meet you there…”

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And while some objected privately to my writing about things meaningful beyond politics, Rafe got why I wrote about it… and made me understand why and how it mattered when fighting for things that mattered, or trying to save things from destruction:

“Laila – if you live to 90, never stop writing pieces like this. If you do, you will have lost that little guiding light of faith which tells us all, but even more tells you, that you still care. I may have told you – after all at my age I’m entitled to forget things – when I was a little boy my mother and I would lie on the lawn and create figures from the clouds. If Mom saw, say, a rabbit and I couldn’t make it out, she would laugh and say “Rafe, you have no soul”. I’ve never forgotten and when trying to save something from destruction, I always ask, “man, have you no soul?”

You have a beautiful soul, your most important possession. Keep showing it whenever you feel like it for its a message we all need to hear.”

These wise words of Rafe, written two years ago but still so relevent now, are so important as we begin to elect our next prime minister…

The light is fading early now, as it does at in October. I’ve written off and on all day in the moments between my work. The sky is peach and will morph into pink, mauve and then the luminescent indigo that only happens right before the black of night . A thousand starlings are chirping in a crescendo that signals the imminent moment they are going take off to dance over the fields in an amazing display of murmuration. If there is one time that any person who was not raised to appreciate  nature, would be able to reconnect with the land, it would be now, at dusk. The air is cool, but my cheeks are flushed with awe of all around me.To feel this experience I’m trying to put words to, is to understand how nature is intrinsic to our soul…and critical to changing the course of our path on this planet.

There is so much talk now of climate change. Of saving the world. Of zero waste, reusable bags and “sustainable” development. Which is all good and fine and I am right there always practicing and advocating for truly renewable and sustainable ways of moving this world forward….

But I think its no accident that Rafes words came back to me this week, which is why I am writing this. It’s perhaps as much for me, as for you and for his legacy. Do you love this world around us? I think you do. I just saw hundreds of thousands of people who listened to their souls and marched in the streets because they were finally moved to action and wanted those in power to listen.

Sometimes we don’t know what to do, or how to start, and fear of change can be paralyzing. But so many are taking a deep breath and moving through and beyond that fear,whether it’s in their own habits or whether its marching in the street. When we do this, we make it easier for others to grab their courage and do the same. Remember the power individual drops of water have together in a river…

I’m not going to tell you who to vote for. (Rafe would have, with some choice words 😉) That vote is yours, and yours only. Do not let people bully or harass you out of it.

I will however, ask you to do this: for once, listen to your soul before you vote. Yes, please do your research, and be wary of exaggerated promises, but consider Rafes words again :

Until we understand that Industry controls our government and what little media is left, and that the oil industry controls industry, we will more and more be left to dream of what used to be.

We elect these cretins and then when we try to offset their evil by voting NDP or Green, but we find that they have no stomach for the fight assuming, it would seem, and perhaps correctly, that we prefer progress as defined by the oil industry because otherwise there may be sacrifices to make…
It’s one thing to be a peaceful people quite another to be supine…”

This system isn’t working. And some of these politicians have no soul, they only have agendas.

If we stop voting for those beholden to industry, and for those who greenwash industry to try and make you feel better about what they know is wrong, we might get back on track.  Both the NDP and Greens are both showing they do have the fight now, and in a perfect world I’d love to see a government between the two, leaving Trudeaus crew and Scheers to sit in a long, much needed time out. Because those people are a helluva bigger reason why we are in the state we are in, than anything else.( remember Harper? Let’s not do that again!)

20190717_172421

Happy Thanksgiving my friends. I’m feeling so much gratitude for the things that really matter this year, my family, my mobility and our health.

I am grateful for those of  you who appreciate my rare blogs still. 🙏🏼 And I am grateful for this beautiful valley and island I call home. Hug your loved ones…and then hug them a bit longer. ❤ And try to find a quiet moment outside somewhere..just for a moment…and listen to your soul.

 

Why the NDP must walk back the decision to reallocate Rural Community Dividend Funds & inject new funds from contingency to Forest support plan

Having been born and raised in a northern forestry dependent community, I’m still very sensitive to the plight of forest workers across BC. My families been there. My friends have too. Many forestry related jobs are physically demanding, dangerous and thankless…and yet forestry, along with mining, has been the backbone of this province for years. It’s supplied revenue on a number of fronts that allowed this province to grow to what it is today.

Which is why I have been disappointed at how the NDP drove this particular file since taking over in the last election. They were highly critical of the BC Liberals handling of forestry ( rightly so, the Liberal policy is why the forestry industry has been such a mess) and without a doubt, it was well known for years to politicians on both sides of the legislature, that this crisis was coming.

It was known even before the massive fires in recent years burned through swaths of marketable timber all across BC in areas that the pine beetle hadn’t already killed, and in areas replanted.

One would think with forestry being such a big economic driver ( if not the only one)  in many communities, the NDP would have been out of the gate with a plan, but it’s been painfully slow coming.

Now this latest plan seems to have been rushed together, and its clear that communities weren’t consulted because if they had been, the NDP would not have taken the rural dividend funds for 2019, and reallocated them to the forestry communities in the interior of BC without determining the impact of turning down all those applicants from everywhere else.

Those rural dividend funds help small communities across BC, build infrastructure, diversify their economies, and create new initiatives to better serve residents.
Here in the Comox Valley, one well known local initiative was among those denied funds this year because of the reallocation. And in Port McNeil, it was mayor Gaby Wickstrom who initially outed where the funds had been taken from and questioned why only interior communities were eligible. She hopes funds will be reinstated as other small communities hit with challenges struggle to upgrade and diversify.This program has been put to good use in small communities all over BC, including the one I now call home.

I absolutely agree with a transition plan, and in fact called for a faster response to the forestry crisis earlier this year via a dedicated task force in this open letter to John Horgan. 

Yes, these mill dependent communities need funds, but taking funds from the rural dividend program that many other small communities and First Nations in BC rely on to fund community projects, is not the way to do it.

Small communities have extremely limited revenue sources and helping one sector should never involve punishing another that is also vital to rural communities that aren’t forestry driven. This isn’t equitable, and it isn’t right.

Ndp partisans have been defending this move now “because you can’t criticize the NDP for trying to fix what the Liberals broke” but sadly they aren’t seeing the bigger picture.

Reallocating funds was one the BC Liberals biggest tricks when it came to responding to similar issues when they were in power. Announce something new and great.. then watch people figure out the money was taken from something else, or funded over 10 years, or, or… I could go on but the point is clear.

Just because the BC Liberals created so much havoc in this province, doesn’t mean the NDP are exempt from examination of their failures, or that they get a hall pass ” because the Liberals were worse”

Do better Doug Donaldson. No one expects you to fix this overnight, but we do expect you to do better than using the same old tricks as the Liberals when it comes to finding money. There are funds in contingency. The budget for wildfires was underused. This is a good time to use them. Anything less looks petty and punitive.

 

**I would love to hear from those who have been advised their applications are not being funded this year. What was your project? What impact would it have had on your community?

 

Rainy day thoughts from the island

At long last the rains have returned to my portion of the island – for now at least – and since I am sequestered at home today with a child contagious with either strep or mono, I find myself with a bit of rare time on my hands. Usually I am hesitant to say goodbye to summer, but this year I find the welcome cool nights and shorter days soothing after such a long, drought plagued year.

I have a few things that have been on my mind, so let’s get to it, starting with…

Site C

Over the summer I have received a few sets of photos to update on Site C, but my focus was on a family member  seriously ill in hospital so was unable to post. I thought I would wait until the long over due April-June 2019 Site C quarterly report to the BCUC was issued, but based on what I have seen and been told, that report will require a post of its own.

As many know, work is carrying on at the site with the diversion tunnels and they are beginning to create the foundations for the dam itself. Which is going to be attached to a buttress on the problematic north slope I have visually documented here for years.

The latest pics ( these already found their way to social media but worthy of posting here as well for posterity) again show evidence of water seeping through the north slope. It’s not something that can be hidden in photos- the gravel seams are high in iron, and when water seeps through this material, it picks up the iron which then rusts when exposed to air. These are the orange streaks seen on the banks in the photos below.

North bank wide shot

North bank erosion still evident
BC Hydro is on record as stating the bank is stable and monitored, however the ravine line erosion trench that I reported on earlier this summer, is still evident and likely to increase with fall rains.
Diversion tunnel entrance
This is the entrance to the diversion tunnels the river will flow through to allow dam construction. Water continues to seep along this gravel layer leaving rust stains as evidence of a consistent flow.
north axis of the dam
This is the exact location of where the dam will be attached to the buttress on the north slope. Water is seeping down the face, and pooling where the wall of dam will be situated
Diversion tunnel exit
This is the the exit of the diversion tunnels – the tunnels will divert the river around the dam construction until it is complete and the reservoir is filled. There is again, water seeping through the bank along these gravel seams and appear as rust stains everywhere water has come through.

 

That gravel seam runs the entire length of the north bank, and as I detailed earlier this summer here, acts like a wick, or a drainage channel for water within the bank. Its quite evident that the concrete slurry they are coating the bank with to stop erosion isn’t stopping water from leaching and the heaviest amount of water seepage appears on photo 3, which is the north axis of the actual dam wall itself. There is no way that ‘shotcrete’ will hold up when frost hits, freezes that water and the ice expands in every crack. I also wonder what will happen when the reservoir is filled if the banks slough into the water, exposing the gravel seam underwater. Will it follow the seam along the bank like my french drain takes water out of my yard?

I’ll say this again: Horgan will never stop this dam and one day we will be having an inquiry in BC as to why it was such a boondoggle, like they have with Muskrat Falls. I look forward then, to hearing Horgan explain why he continued like Dwight Ball had to. Continuing to post these updates now, acts as a record  of facts and is the only way we can keep things accountable. It is impossible to maintain costs and the budget under these circumstances. Particularly when I receive emails like this, from a trusted source who has assisted me on stories about other major project, but who disagrees with me on site C:

Hi Laila

Let me start with…I’m not against the Site C project.
However…there are safety issues.
Friends of mine work there.
Workplace accidents large and small are rampant.
Eg….a large haul truck hitting a parked articulating truck/ rock truck/ wiggle wagon.
Cause…. cocaine impairment.
Or…large haul truck dumps load in wrong pile…panics ..then drives with the box UP…and crashes into overhead conveyor belt.
Or.. workers, truck drivers, and excavator are getting hired for top pay… And then sitting around all day because management is disorganized..and can’t get asses into seats…to move dirt.
Good supervisors don’t last…most quit on first shift because of the chaotic management…so then the C- minus guys take over.
So…who is minding the store on the accident trends…and who is overseeing the dollars spent vs production? Will need to sidestep the corporate mantra of ” on time and on budget”
Based on the worksafe portion of the last quarterly report, I’d say his warning is to be heeded. The nature of some of the worksafe issues were boggling (like not having a method of keeping track who was in or out of the tunnels). And did I mention this?
Oh gee. That’s unfortunate timing…read his thread here: https://mobile.twitter.com/INTEGRITYBC/status/1172254738395607040
But let’s move on to…

The curious case of Dock Currie

It’s been a helluva interesting start to the federal election from what little I have seen… Justin Trudeaus media bus hit the Liberal campaign plane ( the irony of it all, since LPC members blame the media for everything ), Scheer’s faux poverty schtick is being fact checked, and the Greens seem to be self immolating… ( not so sure the ‘ not a war room fast response team’ thing is actually helping them)

And then I saw this…. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/second-ndp-candidate-kamloops-riding-steps-down-1.5279583   

The NDP campaign this election seems to be a train wreck and I haven’t paid attention enough to say why I think that might be. It’s sad because they have some exceptional candidates. But when I saw the reason Currie was asked to step down was over an interaction with pro pipeline people in which he said something about wanting to punch one of them, it didn’t surprise me, in fact I wondered why all the other stuff he said and did on twitter wasn’t mentioned.

Anyone who was or has been active on twitter in the #BCpoli stream, particularly during the 2017 provincial election, knows how nasty Curries interactions were with anyone he disagreed with. He attacked site C opponents who didn’t believe Horgan would stop it, allies working to defeat Clark, BC Greens, Green supporters, and I found myself on the receiving end of a very aggressive and vulgar attack once or twice where other twitter users stepped in to intervene. This was not an occasional, flippant instance as the pro pipeline incident is being portrayed, aggressive behavior was routine for him.

Curious as to why all those tweets weren’t mentioned ( or how they just picked those two as the worst), I went to twitter to search specific terms and instances I recalled well ( you can do this without a twitter account) and found most tweets have been scrubbed from his account. In some cases when searching specific terms, the replies to them remain which give an idea of the original content that is now gone, like this one:

 

I asked another user to look who remembered all this as well, with no luck. In fact much of 2016/2017 content is gone.

I don’t think everything one says or tweets should be held against a potential candidate if it is shown to be a rare or exceptional instance ( unless its violent, racist, bigoted). People change, learn and grow as we age and gain more life experience and I do hope Currie has in fact left those days behind, because that kind of interaction has no place in politics, regardless if you are left, right or in between. But when it’s not a rare instance then excusing those actions gives a voice for others to do so with no consequence. That wasn’t passion. That was hostility and there is a vast difference.

Therein lies the lesson for partisans involved in this federal election. Acting like an aggressive jerk on social media pushes people out of the process. You do not need to call names, threaten, be misogynistic or vile to get your point across or debate. It doesn’t help your cause, any cause. Many will disagree with me, but remember how this all looks to average people who aren’t poli geeks. Debate passionately, heartily, factually. Leave the nastiness out of it.

LNG IN BC 

I saw something pass by my feed that made me chuckle today:

I couldn’t have said it better myself.  The article he links to, can be read here and I too am glad to see this calling out of the NDP’s continuance of BC Liberal policy and direction. https://www.nationalobserver.com/2019/09/11/analysis/british-columbia-critics-see-push-greenwash-natural-gas

If one had a crystal ball and could see 10 or 15 years down the road, I wonder who will have been standing on the right side of history? Those heavily subsidizing LNG shipments to Asia with ever falling royalties being paid to government coffers ( Norm Farrell has done so much excellent work on the continuing debacle)… or those who advocated, pushed and forged ahead with solar projects? https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2019/07/01/new-solar–battery-price-crushes-fossil-fuels-buries-nuclear/#217992415971

Last but not least I leave you with…

The state of forestry in BC

In one line? It’s a mess. And to be brutally honest it’s been a mess for as long as I have been blogging and probably longer. Those of us who actually followed forest policy when the BC Liberals were in power, remember exactly how nearsighted forest policy was under their leadership, and how long they were warned it wasn’t sustainable.  That’s why anytime I hear or see a BC Liberal MLA trying to grandstand on this issue talking about the NDP have neglected this, I shake my head and cringe.

Not. One. BC Liberal. Has any credibility on this issue, because nearly everyone of them was in power during the time we had in BC to actually create a sustainable plan when the pine beetle crisis first started. I am from the north and I have seen the vast endless swaths of dead trees firsthand. It made me cry the first time I was up by Babine lake when the trees were standing dead, or clear cut where cuts had started. Seriously, Bob Simpson is the most accurate person on this issue in BC, and this letter he penned is factual and accurate. https://www.quesnelobserver.com/opinion/letter-to-the-editor-forest-sector-crisis-could-have-been-planned-for/

So now that we have determined that if you have a Liberal MLA, you need to ask them about Bob’s letter and why they didn’t plan then, let’s talk about the NDP. Why are they continuing on many fronts, to allow unsustainable forest practices to continue, and why, since they have been in power for 2 years now, didn’t they begin to create and utilize a transition place immediately? They knew what was coming, they sat in opposition watching this happen. I blogged about this back in May in an open letter to John Horgan.

I know a lot of people out of work now in BC. It’s not their fault no one in government planned a sustainable future for this. The focus must now be on a transition path to second and third growth industry, and assistance to retrain if needed.

Enough said now, I’ve gone on too long again!

That’s the issue with so much time between posts, I end up having more to say than I anticipate when I start!!  Fall is coming and another group of geese has just gone over to the  salt marsh, honking their arrival in formation. And I think of Mary Olivers poem and how that’s just the perfect end to this post. Enjoy the last of summer or beginning of autumn,depending on where you are. I have a feeling winter will be wicked here on the island this year…

 

Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees

for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body

love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain

are moving across the landscapes,

over the prairies and the deep trees,

the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,

are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

the world offers itself to your imagination,

calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting—

over and over announcing your place

in the family of things.

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