Saturday, November 21, 2009
When there's nowhere left to hold a trial, will there will be no more trials? When there are no more people left, will there be a British Columbia?
Since 2002, Gordo's Government has closed 24 courthouses. So as 2010 approaches, when there's nowhere to hold a trial, the Accused and their lawyers get shuffled on down the line ... filling the available options ... until Vancouver is now saying they can't find enough courtrooms to put serious criminal cases on trial ... which, now that we've come to know Gordo's Gang so well ... could include the BC Rail trial.
B.C. has shortage of high-security courtrooms
More high-risk gang members awaiting trial than venues to prosecute them
BY KIM BOLAN,
VANCOUVER SUN - NOVEMBER 20, 2009
B.C. has more high-risk gang members awaiting trial than high-security court rooms in which to prosecute them.
And that has staff at the ministry of the attorney-general scrambling to figure out what to do about it.
“There are a lot of large-scale, high-profile criminal cases right now with security concerns,” ministry spokesman Shawn Robins said Friday. “Court Services is aware and is looking at a number of options in terms of how to address it, but we are certainly not at a point in terms of saying we have the answer.”
“We have a long-term problem with gang crime. It requires a long-term sustained effort and we need to recognize that we have to have the courtroom space to deal with it.
“I would have thought that was a priority.”
People are saying this is madness. We hear it said often: it's insane.
But is it? These decisions are simply more like corporate, for-profit decisions -- rather than decisions leading to the peace, order, and good government of a gainfully-employed, serene population. So is it madness? Is it clever, business-like, modern corporate culture? Or what?
There's a book called The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power by Joel Bakin. (Paperback available @ $3.83 and up, at Amazon.com; it is also a Documentary film.) The book considers that because a corporation holds the same status in law as a person, then it can be diagnosed on human terms and is, therefore, exhibiting the symptoms of a mentally-ill psychopath,
because, according to laws, corporations cannot and must not do anything that would reduce or impede shareholder profits,
which can lead to horrifying situations, since all that matters when commercial managers make decisions is the cost vs the benefit -- the cash profit -- of those decisions. Will such words comfort towns like Mackenzie, Kitimat, and Lillooet right now? I don't think so.
For example, if a company makes more money by breaking laws, spoiling the environment, or letting people die ... managers have no choice but to make the decisions which fulfill their legal requirements towards shareholders.
Well, we're living the dream, in B.C. We've heard it all before:
Private Enterprise = Good. Public ownership = Bad.
Therefore, the author of The Corporation concludes that since these rules were voted by governments into legislation which compel corporations to behave the way they do, it is also the role of government to vote laws to limit the destructive effects of corporations. That's their duty; we know that, because in BC we were accustomed to that kind of oversight built-in to the publicly-owned Crown corporations.
So the book (or documentary) The Corporation is basically a thesis on the need for governments to regulate the corporations they have helped create, in order to prevent them from becoming too dangerous to the societies they were created to serve.
Well, OK then ... in B.C., we must first establish the fact that it was the government of a great "free enterpriser", W.A.C. Bennett, who established large Crown Corporations to serve the public interest -- BC Rail, BC Hydro, and BC Ferries first and foremost. And we who lived in B.C. did not consider that term to be an oxymoron.
But since 2001, we have had a premier obsessively dismantling and privatizing important public assets, often by secret agreements. Towns and villages were abandoned, their BC Rail lands virtually looted @ $1. Hospitals, schools, police forces, were allowed smaller budgets, which contributed to more problems through social breakdown. The only flourishing industry was the drugs trade.
This does sound like madness but, because of our adversarial system of partisan politics, B.C. [the Me good, You bad school of debate] we have had to wait until the results of Gordo's bad decisions became undeniably visible.
For example: the huge Kemano Power Project of the 1950s which led to Alcan's production of aluminum which in turn created the new town of Kitimat ... that was the Big Deal -- the social contract -- between the Aluminum Company of Canada and the people of B.C. We gave up rivers, lakes, forests, and hydro potential; Alcan promised to build an aluminum smelter, a seaport, and the instant town of Kitimat. Many opposed the massive destruction of Tweedsmuir Park, the reversing of rivers, the dams, the tunnel through the mountain. But it was done. And it worked for 60 years or so. Enter Gordo.
Gordo wants Kemano to stop supplying electricity to the aluminum smelter and begin behaving like an Independent Power Producer, exporting only electricity. To privatize. Corporatise. And increase Rio Tinto Alcan's bottom line, regardless of the local consequences. This would leave the town of Kitimat high and dry, and destroy all hopes for the future for Kitimat smelter. Is this necessary? No. Is this madness?
BC Utilities ruled against Gordo. See also HERE. Gordo, coming right out and behaving like a corporation himself, is now trying a hostile take-over: to take control of BCUC -- this public watchdog -- himself. Watching over himself. Click HERE. Go figure the logic on that one!
Me, I say that Alcan (by whatever name) can't so easily toss aside the contract made circa 1950 between them and the people of BC. What about that? What about the people of Kitimat? And Terrace? And the North West of B.C. in general?
Eurocan mill producing linerboard and kraft paper ... is also under a fatal threat. The owner, West Fraser Timber, has announced a complete shut-down as of January 31, 2010, with 535 jobs lost, but combined total of 2,000 workers affected. Game Over for them ... but China is interested. China will get the costs down, all right. China will refurbish the mill. China will secure their jobs and pensions, look after the hospital, keep the schools running. The timber holdings are secure too. Do you really think so? Or is this insanity?
China may buy the Mackenzie pulp mill too. More good corporate news.
From the largest (Kemano) to the smallest (HandyDart) [The High Cost of Contracting Out] I think yes, it's insanity. Even the kindly little shuttle-service by which senior citizens can get to medical appointments and keeps them actively connected to their world was sold off to a U.S. commercial corporation. Gordo's corporate vision. One of his first acts on being elected was to cancel the Talking Books program for the blind; and bus passes for the elderly. Does this sound like a good, corporate citizen? Well, Corporate yes, but not so good. Sell the farm, he seems to say: sell at a loss if necessary, but sell. Or give it away.
I will interrupt this posting briefly, to show this amazing Citizen-YouTube. It provides a visual public display of Gordo's world rolling into the quiet, sunny street in Cowichan, B.C., to the amazement of onlookers (One viewer remarked: "I especially enjoy the order of police presence: Normal cop car, Riot police, swat team, tank, bomb [squad] and then somehow followed by Bike cops. The bike cops seemed a little over shadowed. She didn't mention the Olympic Torch. ) The not-to-be-missed grand finale has the camera-man breaking loose with "Look at that ... it's the bomb squad ... Holy SHIT ... !" This is Gordo's Bizzaro World, thanks to:
November 02, 2009
Subject: [Nddlc-list] Corporate Interests and Security Overwhelm OlympicTorch Relay
The 2010 Olympic Torch Relay came through North Cowichan on Oct 31.
Spectators were surprised by the level of Corporate Promotion and the Police show of force. In my opinion, the torch bearer was overshadowed by these elements.
I filmed the parade and edited up a video. Judge for yourself:
It's a Gordo pattern that has been repeated over and over, beginning most visibly with the sale of BCRail which was doing just fine, keeping the cities, towns, and villages connected and their products shipped to market. Then there was that massive shift of all the "Crowns" to erode their accountability. Paul Nettleton was the BC Liberal MLA for Prince George Omineca; he fought against that shift. Here's part of his letter to his 76 colleagues:
Thursday October 31, 2002 • Vol 2 No 5
Republic of East Vancouver
Paul Nettleton on BC Hydro
Paul Nettleton, Liberal member of the legislature for Prince George-Omenica, sent a 4,100-word letter to his caucus colleagues asking them to join him in a fight against what he called his government's secret plans to allow the privatization of the province's Crown-owned power utility. This is the full text of the letter.
November 13, 2002
My dear colleagues:
As many of you know, we are in the process of preparing legislation which will permit the privatization of certain functions of BC Hydro, and Minister Neufeld has recently admitted that the government plans to take control of the transmission system from BC Hydro. I have reached the conclusion that these are only the opening moves in a strategy intended to completely dismantle the crown corporation. I believe the implications for British Columbia are huge, and disastrous, with a significant potential for escalating power costs to consumers, supply interruptions, and environmental degradation. I regret that I must oppose my government's plans to privatize BC Hydro, together with any form of deregulation (or "re-regulation", as it may euphemistically be called) which will advance this agenda.
What are our plans for BC Hydro?
I don't know the details of the proposed legislation. Neither the draft legislation nor the final report of the Energy Policy Task Force have been made available to the public, or to me, or to most of you I'll wager. My understanding is that the government has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to transfer to Accenture, a private consulting company, all of BC Hydro's management/administrative operations, namely: customer services, information systems and services, network computing services, and business and office supplies. This represents one third of BC Hydro's total operations and personnel and, more to the point, control over its direction, policies and procedures. I would expect to see within the new legislation the authority for the transfer of these operations, and I believe there may also be some clarification or redefinition of the role of the Utilities Commission in overseeing the Utility, setting rates, etc.
I should be clear that my opposition is to the privatization of BC Hydro, under whatever guise. I have not seen the particular legislation we will be asked to consider. Taken alone, the substance of this particular first piece of legislation may well come across as relatively benign. However, following Minister Neufeld's announcement, I am firmly convinced that this legislation is only the opening move in a strategy whose ultimate goal is the wholesale privatization of the utility. Whether it will be done through the outright sale of core assets of BC Hydro (and I appreciate that the Premier is on the record as specifically rejecting this) or through incremental privatization, the result will be the same. Prior to Minister Neufeld's announcement, the government could still have plausibly denied that the deal with Accenture and the upcoming legislation had anything to do with privatizing the utility. I do not think British Columbians are so credulous that such a fiction can now be maintained. Perhaps we have not yet explicitly mandated further privatization of BC Hydro but, if the separation of the transmission function is actually implemented, we will have set out on a road from which there is no return. Once transmission is opened up, each next step will follow inexorably, with a kind of self-reinforcing logic.
What comes next?
I doubt that the rationale for the transfer of BC Hydro's management and administrative functions to Accenture has anything to do with cost reduction. Actual cost reduction will require finding some pretty significant savings, given that we will have introduced a middle-man into the system who must first pay itself out of those "savings". Furthermore, Accenture has a poor track record in terms of actually producing those savings. As just one example of the many which could be cited, Accenture was the firm contracted to privatize the welfare system in Ontario and you may recall that the Auditor General of Ontario was rather critical in its assessment of Accenture's performance (reporting that the cost of having Accenture perform the work rather than the public servants was 6:1 and that, while the Province saved $89 million (mostly from cutting welfare payments) it paid Accenture $193 million).
My principal concern however, is not with Accenture's integrity or competence but with the transfer of control over BC Hydro's operations to a private firm, accountable only to the government, under an agreement whose terms are confidential. I had surmised that the government understood the overt privatization of BC Hydro to be unpalatable to the public so that it could not at this time be mandated by legislation. This would be a reasonable conclusion given that 76.1% of British Columbians oppose the sell-off of BC Hydro assets, 68.1% opposition to privatization and deregulation. Hence, the lack of consultation, although in the same poll 83.8% supported full public consultation. (Poll of 500 British Columbians conducted by CGT Research in April 2002. Similar results were obtained by a McIntyre and Mustel Research poll in October 2002.) Proceeding in the face of such public opposition, betrays an extraordinary arrogance on the part of the government, the sort of arrogance I recall, now with some chagrin, denouncing from the Opposition bench.
Accenture will clearly be predisposed towards further privatization, will likely be more amenable to government suggestion than the existing crown corporation, and would be unlikely to jeopardize its own interests by prematurely leaking privatization plans or any ongoing involvement by Victoria in the development or implementation of those plans. Prior to the announcement in regard to BC Hydro's transmission capability, I had begun to think that the reason for beginning with the privatization of the control functions to Accenture is that Accenture could be directed to maneuver BC Hydro towards full privatization in such a way as to minimize the government's exposure to charges of political interference. However, if that were true, one would think the government would have waited for Accenture to take the helm and left it to them to engineer the severance of the transmission system.
Make no mistake: taking control of transmission from BC Hydro is the key move, the death knell of BC Hydro. In all jurisdictions in which public utilities have been privatized this has been one of the first steps. California began its privatization by separating their public utility's generation, transmission, and distribution systems and functions from one another. Ontario Hydro also began this way. The Federal Energy and Regulatory Commission in the U.S., in its drive towards privatization and deregulation, is considering dictating the break-up of generation, transmission, and retail sales in public utilities in the States.
Why is the isolation of the transmission system so key to privatization?
BC Hydro is presently an integrated whole, incorporating generation, transmission, and distribution functions, managed in such a way as to capitalize on the efficiencies of the integration of those functions. At any given time, BC Hydro is able to direct the generation of power from the most cost-effective location and move it through the transmission system, according to BC Hydro priorities. Although BC Hydro currently contracts with private power producers to allow access to its transmission system, that access is restricted and defined by the terms of specific contracts with individual producers. Private producers do not have "transmission rights": They may not demand equal call on the limited transmission system available in such a way as to interfere with BC Hydro's ability to operate in an efficient, integrated manner. By giving private producers equal call on the transmission grid, the government will have appropriated a large part of BC Hydro's competitive advantage for the benefit of its competitors. Without necessarily having sold any of the core assets of BC Hydro, we will nonetheless have set in motion the chain of events that must ultimately result in the wholesale privatization of BC Hydro. BC Hydro will no longer be able to generate power delivery as and when required or at a cost consistently less than its competitors, will become less profitable and no doubt lose some customers. And once BC Hydro is of less universal utility to the people of British Columbia, the reasons for maintaining a public utility of any kind begin to fade away. Only then will we look at privatizing the generation facilities.
Why should BC Hydro remain a public utility?
I am not against competition and free markets. I agree that the market place is generally the most efficient allocator of resources and that increased competition will usually result in cheaper rates for consumers, improved security of supply, and improved service. However, there are a number of reasons why competition and a free market is inappropriate to the power sector in B.C.:
BC Hydro is not broken and doesn't need fixing. It contributes in the order of $850 million a year to government. It offers electricity to all classes of customers at rates which are among the lowest in North America. Its cost of generation, and its cost of operations, maintenance and administration have been consistently lower than the average of the Canadian Electrical Association. Similarly, BC Hydro has consistently out-performed the CEA average for reliability. No doubt, a large part of BC Hydro's advantage over other power producers is derived from the fact that its energy is almost entirely hydro-electricity, the cheapest way to generate power. In addition, as I've mentioned, BC Hydro presently enjoys a huge competitive advantage over private producers through the efficiencies of its integrated generation, transmission and distribution operations.
To open the market up to competition it is necessary to first destroy the integrated operations of BC Hydro, as now proposed. I'm all in favour of removing any regulatory or other impediments to any competition that has the potential to provide power at lower cost than BC Hydro. But it makes no sense to deliberately handicap BC Hydro to ensure it can only provide power at as high a cost as can its competitors.
Hydro electricity is cheaper than any alternative that the private sector could offer. In most jurisdictions in which privatization and deregulation has been pursued, the greater part of their Public Utility generated electricity was produced through traditional natural gas technology, coal-fired generation, and nuclear means, with their attendant high costs, environmental hazards, or environmental degradation. There was therefore some justification for opening up the market to competition in that the natural gas technology now available could conceivably result in savings, while at the same time satisfying the policy objective of relatively "clean" energy. Independent power producers could be allowed to enter the market to capitalize on the advantages they could offer over the Public Utility generated power, thereby (as the theory goes) increasing capacity. In the case of British Columbia, BC Hydro already has in place the reservoirs, generating stations, transmission lines, and local distribution and service systems necessary to provide electricity to British Columbians. Because of the prohibitive capital costs of these assets, and the new environmental sensibilities involved, no independent power producer is likely to be able to add any significant hydro-electric production capacity. Should additional capacity be created, it would have to be through natural gas or coal-fired generating plants. However, even the most efficient natural gas technology cannot compete with the low cost of hydro electricity and therefore, with BC Hydro. Private producers utilizing thermal generation would not be able to compete with hydro generation. Therefore, the only way to open the B.C. power generation business to competitors is to strip BC Hydro of its generation facilities and transfer that generation capacity to independent power producers.
There will never be true competition in the power industry. A true competitive market requires a large number of buyers and sellers, so that no one party may unduly influence the quality or price of the product or service. However, there will only be a few players in the power generation business after the transfer from BC Hydro is effected. Since upstream operations on any given river system need to be coordinated with downstream operations, all of the generation facilities on the river system will have to come under the control of one operator. There is only a handful of such systems in B.C., so the power generation business in B.C. will necessarily be restricted to the relatively few players who are given a piece of the hydro pie.
In other jurisdictions in the U.S. or the U.K., where utilities have been privatized and the industry de-regulated, there has been a rapid corporate concentration in all aspects of power generation and delivery. This is to be expected. Producers will be strongly motivated to reach a critical size of operation, realize economics of scale, and reduce competitive pressure. Ironically, having de-integrated BC Hydro, the government would no doubt soon be under pressure from the private sector to allow these few generation companies to reintegrate transmission and distribution functions. In other words, the private sector would eventually morph into a monopoly in its own right, but without the mandate to provide the same universality of service to people throughout British Columbia, or to return profits to British Columbia for the benefit of its people.
Increased competition can NOT be relied upon to add capacity or stabilize prices. [Is this madness? I'm sure it is. - BC Mary.]
Although part of the official rationale for privatization is the need to ensure capacity into the future, it is actually very difficult to reliably predict the advent of a sustained demand increase sufficient to justify the capital cost of new construction. Our present depression/recession/recovery/double dip recession should be proof of that. Should any of the new independent power producers risk investing in new thermal generation facilities, that kind of additional capacity will still be more expensive to produce than the electricity generated by their existing hydro facilities. Their new thermal generation capacity will therefore be subsidized by their hydro generation capacity. Each new facility brought on-line will increase the proportion of their power generation produced at higher cost, and dilute the competitive advantage they have over the non-hydro producers. Producers will be facing a declining return on the dollar and increased risk of having excess capacity. Furthermore, producers are not ignorant of the relationship between supply and price. Adding capacity to meet the demand will not just be increasing their blended cost of production; it may just drive prices down.
Were increased capacity to actually be required for the security of the B.C. supply, those whose motivation is maximization of return on investment should not be relied on to add that capacity. It should be noted that both California and Ontario privatized with the hope and expectation that private companies would be eager to build new generating capacity, but they were not. They preferred to buy existing plants, hoping for an increased demand to send prices skyward. In fact, the rolling brown-outs and outrageous prices in the California energy market in 1999-2000 were reportedly exacerbated by production cut-backs in the face of the urgent demand. I suspect that in the new privatized BC energy market, there will be few enough private producers generating electricity that there will be a real risk of collaboration between them for the purpose of restricting production and to drive up prices.
Policy objectives of government may be served by a public utility but would be discarded by independent power producers. I offer the following truisms:
It is in the government's best interests to encourage the cleanest possible power generation. If the government determined it needed to add capacity, it would no doubt invest in the most efficient natural gas technology. The private sector will develop the cheapest possible power generation. If the private sector were to add capacity, we might find that the plentiful and cheap coal reserves of British Columbia would fuel the new thermal plants, despite the environmental cost.
The government has an interest in reducing demand such that demand in B.C. can be met without increasing capacity: witness BC Hydro's successful Power Smart program. The private sector's interest is in stimulating demand to expand their revenue base, but in a way as to just outstrip supply to protect prices Government should deliver power to the consumer at the lowest possible cost. This is especially true for those on limited or fixed incomes, but it is also true of business. Canada, including B.C., is a high tax jurisdiction. Most private industry in the province are on record as being opposed to the privatization of BC Hydro, with the possible self-interested exceptions of coal producers and Alcan, which stands to benefit by selling its "excess" hydro capacity in a competitive market. In spite of our efforts to reduce taxes in this province, we cannot compete with either the U.S. or Alberta in terms of offering a business friendly tax environment. Our one significant advantage, particularly with respect to energy intensive industries like ore and timber milling, is the low cost of power. If I recall correctly, we are supposed to be "open for business" now. The private sector on the other hand will desire to obtain the highest price possible for its product.
The Government should insure hydro service throughout the province. The current "postage stamp" rate policy in which residents of B.C. pay the same hydro rate irrespective of where they live, needs to be protected. Obviously, it is more expensive to get power to the hinterland than it is to supply the major urban centres or our southern neighbors. If the private sector could not cover the costs of servicing remote or sparsely populated regions out of the local customer base, that power would instead be allocated to markets more efficiently served (i.e. U.S. markets). I suppose that the issue is debatable but I think it is important that the part of British Columbia outside the lower mainland and the Greater Victoria Regional District not be wholly uninhabited. I speak as the representative of a northern riding, a riding in which the people are becoming increasingly dissatisified with the urban preoccupation of the government.
Don't ask me. I had understood re-regulation to mean the attempt to reimpose regulations on the power industry after market-based pricing had wreaked havoc in increased costs and decreased power security, significantly damaging the local economy. Re-regulation of this type will be impossible, by the way; prohibited by our international trade agreements. I would surmise that re-regulation as it is presently discussed either just means deregulation but with an "r" instead of a "d" or, perhaps it has something to do with communicating our good intentions or delegating the promotion of those intentions to the Utilities Commission. Perhaps we think that we can privatize and still control the rates and their standardization across the province, the amount and type of capacity brought on-line; environmental standards, that sort of thing. So far as rates go, were power to move to market-based pricing where B.C. customers were competing with U.S. customers, this would involve a 30% increase for residential customers, 40% increase for commercial customers, and a 60% increase for its industrial customers, this according to the interim task force report. This means that the government will eventually either have to cap rates at something much less than the market price as in California or introduce a rebate program as in Alberta or rebates and tax credits as in Ontario. But if rates are capped, will this mean that they will only be capped for B.C. consumers, in which case all the power will be sold south where rates are not capped, or does it mean everyone will be able to buy the power at the capped rate, in which case only most of the power will be sold south? Regulators in California couldn't keep up with the market manipulations of power traders in their de-regulated environment. Neither could Ontario. And if we do not, at the outset, anticipate every such contingency that flows from our sage re-regulation with other equally sage re-regulation, we will be unable to later rectify our oversight by re-regulation (in its traditional sense) or will such retreat be precluded by international trade agreement.
This is an important issue. Every industry in B.C. and virtually every job, and every person needs affordable access to electricity. I hope that I am not the only member in the house alarmed by this road now taken towards the privatization of BC Hydro. I don't know the real reasons the government has for pursuing privatization at this time. I would speculate that a great deal of pressure being brought to bear on the Premier and cabinet by private producers looking for a piece of the action, by Alcan and other self-serving industries, and even perhaps by the U.S.'s Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (although it is untrue that FERC requires the de-integration of public utilities for access to the U.S. market). However, I retain a great respect for the integrity of my leader and my colleagues and I cannot believe that any such pressure would be sufficient to sway them in such a way as to prejudice the interests of British Columbia and its people. I do think the dire state of our finances and the need for cash infusion may be implicated.
In the final analysis, I think we have just become infected with the same sort of ideological blindness that once plagued the NDP, albeit on the opposite end of the ideological spectrum. It is our very commitment to the principle of the free market that has been distorting our view of the facts. Those facts do not support privatization. When it comes to hydro, the standard line about more competition being good for the consumer just does not hold water.
By being the first to speak against privatization, I hope I have made it a little easier for other members to express their own reservations, and I hope that there are other members who will stand with me in opposition to the Bill. At the very least, we should all take the time to study the draft legislation, the final Task Force report, and the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding with Accenture, and we should consult with our constituents, before we move to take any further action.
Paul Nettleton, MLA
[Special thanks to Kevin Potvin, editor of Republic of East Vancouver. - BC Mary.]
But there was no stopping a massive majority of 77 members of Gordo's Gang (even with one dissident) vs. two MLA's in Opposition. The Crowns were stripped of their honour and Gordo's work got underway.
Remember when BC needed new ferries. BC shipyards weren't allowed to bid on the jobs. The work went to Germany. BC lost 3,500 direct and indirect jobs for the 3 Super C class ferries. This was to "save money", said Gordo. But the truth will pop out, from time to time. They threw a $60,000. party in Germany to celebrate those German-built ships ... while BC was told that their ferry fares would be going up 25%. If you ask me, there's a human streak of cruelty in that. But is it insane? Yes, I think it's insane.
I also think there aren't enough court rooms in all of BC if we ever get the evidence we need to put the perps on trial for what has been done to the beautiful province we call home. - BC Mary.
The police promised to make arrests, and they have started to fulfill that promise, it then follows that trials must be held to deal with the gang members.
Its obvious that with the failure of the RCMP to deal fairly with those they are arresting, the less secure courts could be used by the Crown prosecutors who are handling the RCMP who have broken our laws.
Maybe this is all being orchestrated by the BC Liberals to reassure the tourists who will be arriving for the 2010 Winter Olympics.
We must all fight for our province.
"We will never surrender,whatever the cost will cost be"
Thanks for that information.
Just so you know: when I clicked on the URL to open it, I got a message saying that the file had been damaged and could not be opened.
I wonder if you could send the URL again ... and I'll give it another try.
What a posting!
With this article, you have indeed reached the rank of the greatest citizen reporter in British Columbia. With nothing but love in your heart for the province of British Columbia to pay you for the work you do on this blog, you are the beacon for the rest of us to follow in our feeble attemts to do what is noble.
The people of British Columbia owe you a debt we can never repay. It can't be easy, sifting through the darkness that has been upon our beautiful province since the illegal sale of our railway. It has to have been hard to wade through the deepening stench that the corpse of what had been BC lay exposed, rotting. Still, you solder on.
If there really are saints, BC Mary, I venture that you are one. Thank you, beautiful Mary. May you have peaceful nights of restful sleep so that you may continue forth on our behalf.
With ever deepening love and respect,
Gordo, coming right out and behaving like a corporation himself, is now trying a hostile take-over: to take control of BCUC -- this public watchdog -- himself. Watching over himself.
In watching this go down, the disembowelment, as expected, of the BCUC...for daring to speak the truth...I was reminded of WAC's rejection of the report and recommendations of the Lower Mainland Regional Planning Board, I think it was called. He didn't like what they wanted, and what they didn't want, so he ignored their report, dismantled the organization. What was created instead was the system of regional district,s which were kept in leash to the municipal governments and largely powerless, only allowed to plan certain infrastructural services and various inter-municipal needs, bit with only subordinate power in regional planning, which was gripped firmly in the province's (WAC's) hands.
There are other instances like this, and like the BCUC dismantling, of constituted bodies coming into conflict with the political agenda of the government and being accordingly either disembowelled or cancelled. Can't think of the other BC cases just now, but there are some; federally there's the LeDain, Spicer and other royal commissions that simply went nowhere.
Central power is in the person of the Premier under the way our constitution and its operational conventions are structured. There is no compunction to obey any law when, if necessary, you have the power to - unilaterally and without check - change the law to suit yourself. Or simply ignored it altogether. Or have it ignored, by the police, courts and public as we've all seen in this sorry affair.
Speaking of institutions which were made to go away when they were no longer politically welcome - when was the Foreign Investment Review Agency turfed? You can imagine what it would be saying about Accenture, Maximus, CN/BC Rail et al.....
Where are those Trudeau boys on this anyway? You think they'd have some guts to take on their father's nationalist (albeit centralist) agenda? Not just them - when did the federal Liberals turn their back on the old hardline on foreign investment? Not that the federal Liberals ever actually criticize the BC Liberals, but it is a bit of a conundrum, doncha think?
As a matter of fact, I do remember when the Forest Investment Review was tossed ... it was early in Bryan Mulroney's term.
Thanks for the clue about the damaged URL.
Has there ever been a premier before, in your recollection, whose great visions left towns in ruins?
And just as uncaring is the slavvering enthusiasm for selling the remnants to China, a nation which has a whole different way of doing corporate business. I'm tired and I don't want to get carried away with this grim topic, but I can't help feeling that we're letting the people down, if we don't try to say something.
How the heck would a person feel, to have made their life in Kitimat, to find themselves without an income ... without any hope of regaining employment income ... with the prospect of losing our house ... and with nowhere to go ...
China is NOT the answer.
India is NOT the answer.
Seems to me, WE gotta find the answer.
1.Planning and Regulatory (at the top of the page)
3. About independant power projects.
4. Learn more.
5.IPP Supply list (pdf).
There is also a big map showing where the projects are.
This is about the diversion, in about 1950, of the Nechako down into Kemano to produce power for Alcan in Kitimat.
Good for you ... and I'm blushing. Bev Christensen was a good friend of mine, in a past chapter of my life. I shoulda remembered this book myself!
Special thanks for this.
Seems to look as if Gordo is feeling threatened, all right ...
I just ran through that YouTube video again, with the volume UP ... when that tired lady staggers past, with silence all around, a DOG barks, like he thinks something is wrong!
Well, there was something wrong ... with the torch. A man's voice joins the debate, with: "It looks like a dube that didn't light right."
And didn't you love it when the Camera-man shouts jovially to a passing van-load of police: "I guess we'll all be safe today, eh?" and a jolly conversation ensues about overtime ...
Cops pumping madly uphill on plain old bikes ... mixed in with the riot police, the bomb squad ... bizzaro world in B.C.
Heaven knows what it costs to keep all those people (and torches) on the road. [I think I can hear that dog barking again ...]
While the media is busy being distracted with what the sponsors want them to be distracted about, the torch, I wonder just what is transpiring in terms of more goals of privatizing being met? I had no idea that the Olympic distraction would last for more than 2 months. Many watching the whole media thing unfold, like yourself, Mary, might see the paltry 6 or 7 billion dollar distraction of the Olympics as but a shell game to keep the public away from conversations about the cost of the IPPs in terms of destroying our rivers, our sovereignty and many billions more being bled from BC taxpayers.
Sounds to me as if you need to listen to Alastair's YouTube one more time ...
with the volume way UP.
It makes me fall over laughing, every time.
your an angel in these dark times in our province we are in ruins in many communties out side of the big black hole(vancouver)
I agree with another poster wait til we find out what has been sold after the games, and that 1.6 billion from the feds will go to the ipp's to smooth the way for the further parceling off of our rivers
our jobs gone our resouces gone our seniors have been betrayed again and again,
what a cruel joke to survive ww2 to end up in Gordon Campbells B.C.
What a lovely message, Anon 8:14 ...
which, thanks to this wonderful new tool called The Internet, I received almost the same moment you sent it.
If we're smart (and we are), and determined (we are), we can use The Internet to develop good connections, village to village, small town to small town, all who care about British Columbia.
I've gained SO MUCH from finding TERRACE DAILY ONLINE ... and it was another surprise to find that certain events happening elsewhere in BC hadn't reached them, as well. So today, I got a story (not directly related to BC Rail) about the 600+ km swim on the mighty Skeena River to raise awareness of the threats ... and no MSM touched the story!
TERRACE DAILY ONLINE made a video, and made it available (with much else, on their Environment section):
Then we need to think about this threat, bouncing back on NorthWet BC from Nigeria ... (back soon, I have to sign out on this comment, to go and pick up another URL).
But before I go, THANKS most sincerely, 8:14.
There's the threat to "The Sacred Headwaters" -- in the looming form of a major, massive, very dirty industry. From Nigeria to the Skeena:
Please hang in through the opening segment because (grim as it is) it has implications for North West B.C. And if Gordo has created "enough" economic devastation in Kitimat and Terrace, he'll have his excuses (and a compliant workforce) for another industrial development.
Something to remember, Gordo is still the subject of courtroom speculation in Terrace where it's being alleged that he wrote to a Hainsla elder in some private skulduggery against BC Hydro. It's still before the courts in Terrace. Could it be like Al Capone's income tax problem?
Next: how to protect the Skeena River ...
MAINSTREAM MEDIA NEVER TOUCHED THIS STORY:
Salmon Woman swims "The Sacred Waters" of the Skeena River
Completing a 610 km swim, Aug 15, 09, in one of the world’s last great rivers unpolluted by resource and industrial activity, Ali Howard, on behalf of the Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition reached her final destination. Greeted by first nation’s dancers and drummers from two communities she was referred to as the Great Ali. Swimming through canyons, whirlpools, whitewater, tide pools and everything a great river could offer up, she became a symbol for all the Northwest peoples; a symbol of hope, faith and sacrifice. This video compilation is one of two from the celebratory gathering held at the North Pacific Cannery, a Cannery that is now a museum piece of a bygone era, a time when the salmon were plentiful. Listen to the initial moments of the video and you can hear talk about the salmon jumping as Ali Howard approached. A native elder speaks about their Canoe trip over from the opposite shore in the next video, describing all the salmon swimming and jumping around them. See it all at:
Skeena River swim by salmon woman - Ali Howard arrives in Pacific
Special thanks for this to Merv Ritchie at TERRACE DAILY ONLINE.
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