Friday, June 11, 2010


Latest fall-out from the BC Rail Political Corruption Trial?


BC Mary comments: It's Friday afternoon of a politically-charged week in British Columbia. Watch the vigilant editor of Salt Spring News for events which appear to be the first signs of a collapsing Campbell Cabinet ... watch especially Jim's comments ... more will likely be added soon ... 

Regional News
Force 7 from Peace River South: First crack in the Campbell coalition fortress appears

Posted Friday, June 11, 2010 by: Jim Scott
Read lots more HERE.

MLA Blair Lekstrom resigns from Liberal Caucus

Kimberley Molina
Fort St. John News/
British Columbia Canada
June 11, 2010

MLA Blair Lekstrom has given his resignation to Premier Gordon Campbell and has left the BC Liberal Caucus.

However, he says he will continue to represent the Peace River South riding as an independent. He says his decision was made because of his constituents’ opposition to the Harmonized Sales Tax.

He says that although he had first supported the introduction of the HST, he now says he will attempt to stop the HST from coming into effect. “This is a major tax policy shift and it is time to engage British Columbians with a series of discussions about our province’s future.”

In the 2009 election, 4,801 people voted in Lekstrom as the MLA for Peace River South, but figures released this week show 4,985 people in the riding signed the “Fight HST Campaign”.

Lekstrom will be holding a press conference this afternoon. ... The full statement of his resignation can be viewed below. ...

Related: Energy Minister Blair Lekstrom acknowledges peak oil and downplays offshore drilling

Charlie Smith
Georgia Straight
British Columbia Canada - May 21, 2010

Energy Minister Blair Lekstrom says there are no staff in his ministry working on offshore drilling at this time. Lekstrom made the revelation late Wednesday (May 19) afternoon during the estimates debate for his ministry. "I think it is fair to say that what we're seeing with the environmental disaster taking place in the Gulf [of Mexico] today brings into question whether that can be done," Lekstrom said, according to Hansard. "So we will not pursue the extraction of any resource in this province unless it can be done in a manner as I stated, and we stand by that."

During the same debate, NDP energy critic John Horgan asked Lekstrom if the Oil and Gas Commission had done any work in connection with peak oil. Peak oil is the point when global oil production will start going down because of diminishing supplies. Lekstrom replied that staff are following the peak oil debate. "There are people that think we have plateaued or peaked, and there are others that don't," he said, according to Hansard. "So it's an ongoing debate, and our staff do follow that."

It's the first time the B.C. government has publicly acknowledged the possibility of global oil production peaking. Horgan then asked Lekstrom if he's prepared to table any documents or briefing materials produced by his ministry on peak oil for the public to review. "I will point out that we do have a PowerPoint that we will ensure that we get to the member," Lekstrom said. "As well, I would offer, if the member would want, a briefing to the member on the issue of peak oil, through our ministry."

Jim comment: Mmmmmmm!!!! Nervous about offshore drilling. Acknowledges peak oil. Constituents concerned about Site C and the resulting transmission lines for resource extraction (read open pit mining) in Northerm BC. Also, Lekstrom's riding is one that was adamantly opposed to the sale of BC Rail. (And Lekstrom's name is likely to come up during the BC Rail political corruption trial with regard to the lobbying firm, Pilothouse. See Gary Mason, September 23, 2009.) Wonder if the coalition will try to do to Lekstrom what they did to Paul Nettleton?

Staying on as MLA, eh? What IS going on behind the scenes? Lekstrom is now in a position that I always felt most represented him and his riding best. He should have run as an independent. He would have won. Guess he naively thought he could work for change from the inside. So now we have, Vicki Huntington (independent) and Blair Lekstrom (independent) sitting in the house. Both of them are natural Progressive Conservatives, Vicki on the left of the party and Lekstrom on the right (Red Tory; Blue Tory). Interesting times ahead I think. And it looks now, like this is the beginning of the end for Campbell's coalition. Shades of the Social Credit party's rapid, out-of-control implosion.

BC Mary comment: I've watched Salt Spring News throughout the afternoon as the experienced editor brings in fresh sources to illuminate what Blair Lekstrom's resignation is all about. See for yourselves ... it's not a simple connection by any means. Jim Scott's presentation concludes with this quote from Charlie Smith:

... If they called themselves B.C. Conservatives, this would help Delaney achieve his dream of being elected to the B.C. legislature, because that's his current party of choice. And the party would get a great deal more media coverage leading up to the 2013 election, greatly furthering his chances as a candidate. So the next time you hear Huntington and Delaney praise Lekstrom's integrity, keep in mind that all three of them could be the beneficiaries of Lekstrom's opportunistic decision to say goodbye to Campbell.


I really don't want to be a cynic about Mr. Lekstrom - I'm hoping beyond hope that he's getting his "house in order" and that this is not a move to avoid recall.

If what he says is true, that he's doing this due to conscience and a wish to actually serve those who voted for him...then I say "Big Respect, Sir."

North Thompson MLA Terry Lake is apparently a little disappointed in Blair, and says he will side with the party - no matter what. This coming from the "I'm not a believer in direct democracy" MLA. I am SO looking forward to Recall in the Fall!
In a statement he made on radio today, he will be sitting as an independent Liberal. He has not revoked his membership to the BC Liberal party. This move looks more as an attempt to stave off Recall in the Fall.
There were some questions in court yesterday around a revolt from the Northern caucus of the BC Liberals. Wonder what Blair thought back when Campbell broke his promise not to sell BC Rail.
Check this out in the Globe and Mail today:

'fox news of the north'
Right-leaning TV channel in the works

...An official announcement on the bid to shake up television news is anticipated by next Wednesday, an unveiling expected to detail how it intends to convince federal regulators and cable companies to let it air coast to coast.

Quebecor Media has already hired Kory Teneycke, a former chief spokesman for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, to oversee the venture. On Thursday, it began stocking its existing Ottawa bureau with reporters who have broadcasting backgrounds. This office will help feed news demands for the new channel, to be modelled on ratings-rich Fox News in the U.S.

David Akin, formerly a correspondent for Canwest News Service, has been appointed national bureau chief for Quebec’s Sun Media operations in Ottawa. He has previously worked for CTV News. Also joining as senior correspondent is Brian Lilley, former Ottawa bureau chief for Astral Media Radio, Canada's largest private radio broadcaster.

Oh joy, just what we need - NOT! We were hoping for some fresh air and extra horses in the media, but this is just an extension of Harper's PMO, like Gordo's PAB.

Anon 6:01,

Did you have a look at the Salt Spring News collection of insights about the Northern caucus of the BC Liberals?
A little bit of info about Blair before he was a mayor and then an MLA: he wasn't a lineman, he was an installer repairman for the phone company. A lineman job is quite different. Also, he was a counsellor (unpaid, elected) for the union that represented telephone workers at that company. I know these things because I used to work with him.
All of Blair Lekstrom's comments to the media so far support the fact that he is not representing his constituents.

He still likes the HST. He claims that Campbell did not lie to the voter and only brought it forward after the election. He still wants it to be implemented, only discussed first. He still belongs to the Liberal party. He thinks we should all pay more taxes.

Spin it anyway you want, this is all staged and intended to dupe us all into complacency. To let Campbell off the hook. To let the Liberal MLA's off the hook.

Why do I feel this has become a class war and BC is now for serfs and Kings only? More for them, less for us.

Recall in the fall.

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