Monday, January 17, 2011


Why partisan political parties are an abuse of a decent, civil society

BC Mary comment: Here's the reason why people like me aren't giving the time of day to the campaigners for either political party in the current auction of the BC premier's temporary roost. This commentary comes from the fearless Merv Ritchie, editor and publisher of 5 independent daily online news services. Visit his site for embedded links. Reprinted with emphases added, by generous permission.

Commentary is HERE.


By Merv Ritchie

17 January 2011
Edited 9:30 am Jan. 17 to add new news release at end

Once again it feels as though we in the media are being used to perpetuate a carefully orchestrated public mis-information campaign. Generally most media do not tell the public the news they reproduce was originally written by the various political party spin machines. Global, and the rest, all get the same news releases from the government or opposition parties and they run with a microphone and camera to get a direct quote from an official on a story they were already given. This is all good and well most of the year as the Government is attempting to get out a message, attempting to inform the public of new programs. These news releases are almost always tilted to favour one party or another and should really be credited as a news release so the reader or listener has a foundation on which to judge the information, yet there is currently something very different going on today.

The BC Liberal Party has taken this information dissemination machine (news releases) to new heights. Every candidate running for the leadership of the Liberal Party is shovelling out news releases as if the election had been called and they were running as Premier in a Provincial election today. They are all touring the Province exactly like those running for the job of Prime Minister during a Federal Election, would do across the Country. There has never been a leadership race for the helm of a Provincial Party much like this. Generally these leadership candidates spend their time attempting to convince party faithful at conventions or through constituency association campaigns; never like this, through electioneering style campaign stops making promises of great things to come, “Just Vote For Me”.

We heard it from Falcon, Stilwell, De Jong, Clark etc etc. How is it these people who refuse to address the blatant corruption of their previous regime, can make multi-million dollar promises without even being selected by their own party members? And why do the main media waste space reproducing these empty hollow promises?

Only George Abbott has stepped above the corruption offering a glimpse of light. Abbott has actually suggested there should be a third party inquiry into the BC Rail Fraud allegations. Christy  Clark, even though her own brother was directly involved (or maybe because of this fact) refuses to even consider it. Same goes for Falcon. He was the Minister in charge of the affair first as Minister of Deregulation then as the Minister of Transportation. He is more than ankle deep in the do-do. And this is only breeching the subject of the wide ranging corruption apparent with BC Rail. There is the sale of BC Hydro, the sale of BC’s water to Independent Power Producers, the sale of BC residents health record management to a USA corporation, the sale of revenue collections to a USA corporation, the sale of essentially everything BC to anything or anybody ‘not BC’.

It is almost as if the Main Stream Media is complicit in assisting a huge cover up on behalf of the Liberal Party. The wholesale sale of BC and nothing is said.

The allegations of the BC Government being taken over by Mafioso type characters was recently bolstered by the revelations of huge money laundering at Casino’s. The BC Government led by Gordon Campbell campaigned in the 90’s against increased gambling and casino’s, taking a high moral position how bad it was for families. Yet today we  not only have a Province that resembles Vegas and Reno, we have the first jurisdiction in the world to have a Government run ‘Online’ gambling site. This, accompanied with expose’s on Casino funds being directly filtered into the Liberal party Campaign coffers (link here), would normally have a publicly honest media on a heyday of expose’s.

Ever since, and even while, Campbell was the Mayor of Vancouver, the blatant mis-information (some would call out-right lies) was so continuous the reporting of it all became passe’. The media stopped exposing the misinformation in exchange for increased advertising revenue; right from the beginning when Campbell proclaimed ‘I am Mayor of Vancouver and I intend to stay Mayor of Vancouver. I have no interest in being the Leader of the Liberal Party. I wish Gordon Wilson would keep me out of his family squabbles.’ Two months later he was the liberal leader and he began saying things he never meant, just to trick and deceive. The Mainstream Media did not expose it.  ‘We will not increase gaming facilities, we will not sell BC Rail, we will not sell BC Hydro’, and all of this was long before the HST deception.

One of the most disturbing aspects of this media enforced mis-information campaign on the general public is how we find our friends and neighbours absolutely convinced of the truth, the veracity of the Liberals, Gordon Campbell’s, repeated claims of NDP financial mismanagement.

During the election campaign where Campbell first won the position of Premier, he and the media kept using the words, “Fudget Budget”. They used it for the next four years and even into the next election they won. They will, as Christy Clark demonstrated during her recent visit to Terrace, continue to use these claims in the next election. It is a wonder (or not) why the mainstream media hasn’t corrected this claim, why not, they helped perpetrate it.

Here is the correct information as exposed in 2005 by the TYEE News after getting the information from a ‘Freedom of Information’ (FOI) request; (Click on the text to go directly to the full expose' article.)

Two days after the transition ceremony when the binders were handed over, Gordon Campbell met a scrum of press gallery reporters at Victoria's Empress Hotel. There, where the 77-member B.C. Liberal caucus was holding its first post-election meeting, Gordon Campbell gave his answer.

"Some of the problems that we face are as we thought and some are worse than we thought," he said, "The finances of the province are worse than we anticipated." He added, "The magnitude of the losses we may face compared to budget is still up in the air."

Banner headlines in the following day’s daily newspapers fairly screamed that the defeated New Democrats had left behind a fiscal mess for the new government. "B.C. Finances Worse Than Thought, Campbell Says," blared The Vancouver Sun.

Five weeks later, without fanfare, B.C.’s public accounts for fiscal 2001-02 were released by the comptroller general and auditor general. They confirmed record-shattering surpluses in the consolidated revenue fund and the summary accounts. So great was the fiscal windfall that British Columbia was able to make what was then  the largest-ever reduction to the public debt.
Yet still today Liberals, rightly referred to as ‘Fib-erals’ continue to claim financial mis management and our friends and neighbours spout off these lies as if they are hard and fast, court proven “Everyone knows that!” truths.

If there was a public overseer body, the mainstream media, Global, Pacific Press, Black Press, BCTV, CKNW, and all the rest would be charged with treason against the public, the residents and citizens of BC.

When the general public has been deceived to such an extent that the majority believes lies as if they were truths, an insidious crime has occurred that requires hard and immediate correction and prosecution. This isn’t just a political game or a political spin on information, it is a corruption of intelligence of the people the government has the fiduciary duty to enhance and protect, not to degrade and abuse.

So today the Mainstream media continue to spout the news releases issued by those wishing to hold the top dog position in the province as if these were forgone conclusions of what the Liberal Party will do for the Province.

Anyone with half a brain, one that has the ability to separate fact from fiction, knows nothing could be further from the truth. Just as George Peden wrote to Grace McCarthy in 1988 and which was exposed in the BC Legislature that caused the firing of a Attorney General's assistant for revealing this information to the media, the Mob has taken over BC and the BC Liberals are their front men. A vote for the Liberals is a vote for the Mafiso of the 21st century. But don’t count on the Mainstream Media to tell you this, it is too lucrative to keep repeating the lies they are delivered, to repeat to you for your consumption.

The 1991 BC Legislature Hansard, the transcript of the debate, which refers to this incident, can be read HERE. And more on this from the authors personal experiences. HERE.

Timing is everything - Just read this news release issued today claiming support for Falcon:

Community Leaders Endorse Falcon for B.C’s future

Gaglardi, Jaffray, McNeill, Cross, Manji, Young, Mamdani, Kalaw, Greenough and Carlson endorse Kevin Falcon

Vancouver – January 17, 2011

BC business leaders representing thousands of jobs in the province of British Columbia are endorsing Kevin Falcon to be the Leader of the BC Liberal Party.

“Job creation, economic stability and smart longer  term vision are paramount in these trying times. Choosing a Premier that will keep BC viable, competitive and strong is the most critical choice that any of us can do,” said Tom Gaglardi, Chairman and CEO of Sandman Hotel Group.

“My Grandfather, Phil Gaglardi, helped build this province as Minister of Highways in the 1950’s and 1960’s. I see the same dedication, energy and passion in Kevin Falcon. British Columbia needs a Premier that gets results, keeps our province competitive, and has the heart to make the tough decisions. Kevin is the best choice for the job,” said Tom Gaglardi. “Being responsible for 3500 of my team members jobs and their families is constantly on my mind. This is why this is so important to me.”

“Kevin is the best candidate to be the leader of the BC Liberals and the next premier of British Columbia,” said Richard Jaffray President and Founder, Cactus Club Restaurants. “I think Kevin is decisive and has a proven track record of effective leadership, our economic future depends on having a strong manager with a strong resume. I don’t believe in taking chances, with Kevin’s record I know he will continue to ensure BC prospers. His resume speaks for itself.”

“Kevin’s record of results while holding the most challenging mandates in government has convinced me that he will be a great Premier. I am encouraging my colleagues to join the BC Liberal party and vote for Kevin,” added Cam McNeill, Founder and President of MAC Marketing Solutions.

Today, also announcing their support for Falcon are:
* Carolyn Cross, CEO of Ondine Biomedical
* Samir Manji, CEO of Amica Mature Lifestyles
* Matt Young, Founder of Innovative Fitness
* Zahra Mamdani, President of Wear Else Fashions
* Paolo Kalaw, CEO of Frontier Dental Laboratories
* Tom Greenough, President of TomTar Roofing and Sheet Metal in Kelowna
* Eric Carlson, President and CEO of Anthem Properties

Joining with the previously announced members of Falcon 20/20
* Ryan Beedie, President, The Beedie Group
* David Aisenstat, President and CEO, Keg Restaurants
* Peter Armstrong, Executive Chairman and Founder, Rocky Mountaineer
* Kyle Washington, Chairman, Seaspan International
* Stan Fuller, CEO, Earl’s Restaurants
* John O’Neill, President and CEO, O’Neill Hotels and Resorts

Falcon 20/20 is a group of BC community members who believe that Kevin Falcon's experience and vision for BC make him the clear choice to be the next Premier. The list of supporters endorsing Falcon is growing daily. urges all British Columbians to be part of the solution and sign up for Liberal memberships before the February 4, 2011 deadline.

Well, sign me up boys! Will I get a cut?

Merv Ritchie
Box 154
Terrace, BC
V8G 4A6

Office 778-634-3434
Fax 778-634-3435
Cell 250-631-8309


Hello Mary,
This article by Mr. Ritchie is possibly the best ever written on the subject of Government Media relations and how together they can manipulate people's minds.
The example of the state of the coffers given by Gordon Campbell and, even when proven false, is what people see as true and is still in fact today being spewed by the likes of Christy Clark et all.
This is certainly one to print and give to as many people as possible in the hopes of breaking this cycle.
They are certainly guilty as any other in these matters as to aid and abet the guilty in this country is considered, and rightfully so, a crime in itself. If I were amongst them and they know who they are, with the coming out of articles such as these,and surely more to follow, well let me just say I would be concerned of my role in any of it.
The writing is on the wall for all of these people and small cracks are forming in the foundation they built because it was built on lies and deception and is sure to crumble!
These lies are coming back at them from all sides now and in such rapid succession that they are being rendered, unarmed by any truth, helpless against them.
So be it! It is time to pay the piper!
Don F. I agree with you entirely. Fabulous expose of how Campbell's government has used taxpayer dollars to hoodwink and steal from BC citizens and future generations.

So glad Merv Ritchie recounted all those past (mis) deeds, for the record and to refresh our memories.

It was a telling, chilling sign when Campbell first got into office and one of his first tasks was to increase the government communications staff from 60 people to over 200 people virtually overnight, and to nest them within the premier's control entirely – and the cancer that is PAB was spawned. That was something else Campbell didn't utter a peep about during that election campaign either. Of course not, the whole intent was to mislead.

Still, how to counter this poisoned political-media death-grip on our province?

Turning our backs on both parties now would seem to me like shooting ourselves in the foot. We run the risk that these plunderers will be re-elected. Short of anarchy, in the near future, there will be a political party running BC. So if one doesn't vote, then that's equivalent to apathy, regardless of the person's motivation.

Now I'm no fan of many NDP actions and some of their people. I also consider the dominance of the unions and their insular influence in the NDP to be just as self-serving as business interests are to the BC Fiberals.

However, I do think the NDP does have some very good and smart people: Shane Simpson, Bob Simpson, and John Horgan come to mind off the top of my head. Don't think much of Dix, seems a little too much empty grandstanding to me. And Farnsworth's just a little too comfortable with the status quo for my liking.

Overall, there's at least a discernible core of integrity and concern for the well-being of BC and its citizens in the NDP. I'd urge us to consider this so that we don't end up throwing out the baby with the bathwater in the short-term, and dig ourselves a deeper hole.
Thanks, Don F. and Canadian Canary ... I've sent your comments on to Merv Ritchie, I'm sure he'll feel encouraged by what you say.

To clarify a point: in no way am I advocating that everyone turn their backs on the democratic process. Never said that.

What I've said, repeatedly, is that I'm not going to waste time and resources and hope itself by reprinting the nasty stuff being pumped out by the political parties and/or their ambitious candidates.

I figure it's better, and most beneficial, for The Legislature Raids to concentrate on the reasons for a Public Inquiry into all aspects of the BC Rail sale, by means of which we can deal with the basic rot. Lay charges. Start the clean-up.

And if you really, really want to know the kind of candidate I'd vote for -- it's an INDEPENDENT person, like Laila, with demonstrated integrity ... with enough Independents to make a healthy difference if and when the Legislature sits again.
Some contribution numbers to the Gordon Campbell party from the excellent Elections BC searchable website from 2005 until the end of 2009. (2010 numbers not out until April)

Gaglardi/Sandman Hotels/Kamloops Blazers:
Cactus Restaurants:
Anthem Properties/ Eric Carlson:

Ray Blessin
Mary, you certainly are entitled to your opinion, as well informed as any. I would like to state for the record that I support John Horgan and joined the party (first time ever). I also feel that independants, especially like Laila, are great for democracy. We have room for a healthy mix, the more diverse, the better. Merv Ritchie is a regular stop for me, he knows lots about the corruption, and also shares space with others who write the truth.
I know which restaurants, railroads and other business that won't be getting my business.
The consumer is king.

I wonder how loyal these brown nosers would be if all the people reading and agreeing with these blogs were to contact them and let them know they were being boycotted and why.??

The BC Legislature will return Monday, Feb. 14, 2011.

No kidding ... British Columbia's treat for Valentine's Day 2011 is the sight of a Legislative Session? Honest???

WooHOOOOO ... !!

Thanks for sharing that.
Is Kyle Washington a Canadian citizen now? Seems to me he's still a US citizen. What's he doing on Falcon's campaign?
"Hugh said...

The BC Legislature will return Monday, Feb. 14, 2011.

Do you mean to say that we actually HAVE a legislature in British Columbia - I must have forgotten! I guess Premier Christy will have to sit in the Gallery?
Ah finally, Feb. 14th will be a love fest,NOT, I hope. apparently the NDP are putting in a interm Leader. Going back on this site as I often do, I find Gems that were written, most times by BC Mary Herself ;) Backin June 2008

"No matter where on the political spectrum, my readers stand, I believe we're ALL in this together. We ALL want to know what happened to BCRail, who decided, how it happened, who gave the orders, everything.

There are a few culpable politicians we may yearn to smear with honey and tether them to an ant-hill. But maybe later. Right now, imo we must put up with them until the BCRail Trial provides the proof of Whodunnit.

I've maintained a non-partisan basis for this blog -- not always easy when a sitting government is under the microscope.

But I do believe that being non-partisan is the reason why we have so many excellent commentors here, yourself included. (NVG)

Also, I have spoken up for a Public Inquiry to be launched immediately after the Basi Virk trial ends "no matter how it ends" and that still stands."
Doesn't it seem strange that the restaurant types that want our discretionary spending are trying to ensure that the HST troops get back into office. Rember folks we lost 7% of our purchasing power, so that night out just got that much more oit of touch unless of course you are business elite or Ida Chong and can call it an expense. The benefits of membership must be better than selling steak and overpriced wine, I mean with all of that liquor and kitchen safety regulation to deal with. Finding out where the next hot location is might offset some hst losses. Long as we don't run out of steak buyers and room renters. They better not count on me buying much from them and they better put baloney and plonk on the menu for people that haven't got the advantage of being on the inside.
Kudos(sp?) to all who have identified a timeline of the systematic degradation of our province and our democracy by Gordon Campbell, but he is not the beginning of it nor will he be the end of it. He does not have the intelligence to have 'succeeded' in devising and maintaining this evil enterprise.There are far more sinister forces behind this puppet.
The ones pulling the strings have yet to be fully identified.
Ron Wilton,

I feel as you do ... that there's much more behind the scenes, people who don't give a rat's patootie about us, but they want our assets and resources.

Which, in my view, is a very powerful reason why we need that Public Inquiry into all aspects of the BC Rail sale. If we had stopped them there, we might probably have stopped all the other takeovers too.
..."Is Kyle Washington a Canadian citizen now? Seems to me he's still a US citizen. What's he doing on Falcon's campaign?"

Good question! Who has the answer?
I guess, if the BC people had $40 million stashed aside for ads, as Campbell does, perhaps the media would be a bit more helpful towards us. The media, will never convince me they can't see the corruption and the dirty tactics, that are Campbell's. They would have to be very stupid, if they didn't. The media is willing to sell the citizens out, for some of that $40 million, for government ads. The BC Liberal candidates, all backed Campbell right up to the hilt. They are no better than he is. BC is in the most terrible, evil times of her life. BC is at the bottom of the pile, of all of the other provinces. We had the most job losses for December. January will be even worse for job losses. Food costs are going to triple, because of an early frost, or at least, that's what the reason given is. And, if we think it can't get any worse in BC. We are to brace ourselves, because things are going to get, a hell of a lot worse.
Yeah, was just gonna ask that again. His father, Dennis, owns the conglomerate; maybe they made him a landed immigrant/naturalized citizen for corporate-political reasons.

It's definitely a question someone might corner Falcon with in any interview, i.e. concerning who his backers are.....
I had to chuckle when I saw Tom extolling his grandfather (father?) Phil. One of the most scandalous of Socred ministers, nice reference. Flamboyant yes, in a Vander Zalm-ish charismatic kind of way. Kinda ironic to cite Flying Phil as cred given the current political mood of the province, though...corruption is blind to its own ugliness, I think, and that of its forebears in some cases....

I went to Silverdale Elementary in Mission, pretty much a family school for the extended Donatelli clan of that community (and with tendrils in Silverhill families too); the Gaglardis were part of the community, relations of the Donatellis and part of the original Italian settlement-colony there; I know which houses. Not sure I remember a Tom Gaglardi from my own times there - how old is he?

Reason I bring it up is that Silverdale was the first rural community in the Valley to get paved sideroads once Phil became highways minister (even though they were municipal roads).
Skookum, I lived for awhile in Kamloops during the beginning of the seventies and as I recall, Flying Phil lived there, was the MLA from there and presided over his church which also broadcast services etc. on radio or TeeVee (I'm not sure which as I never tried to take in his perfomances). I do remember regularly seeing his Flying Holiness driving down local streets (often rapidly) in his convertible with the top down in good weather - appearing to have a painted on tan. Mind you Flying Phil was so often on the road or in the air in his government jet(and the legislature actually sat from time to time in Victoria back in those days), that his actual residence may have been almost irrelevant, though I do believe he flew in for Sunday services most weeks in those days.

To anon who said:

"he media is willing to sell the citizens out, for some of that $40 million, for government ads."

Though the $40 mil doesn't hurt and is just a part of the mutual back scratching that goes on between the BC liaR Crime Gang and their "associates" in the press-the connection is deeper than that. Thanks to loosening of ownership rules and the resulting media concentration of ownership by very few corporate entities - the media itself is part of the corporate elite and shares the same agenda as their allies in other fields like big Pharma, Energy, real estate development, the AgriBiz and others.

Think of it like the old New York when five families co-operated in sharing the control of the various criminal "business opportunities" in a manner mutually beneficial to all. Today that has all changed everywhere with the rise of the Bikers, Asian gangs, Mexicans, Columbians and other Latins and lets not forget the Russian mobsters. But as powerful and profitable as all these competing, often in spectacularly bloody fashion, interests may be, they are almost amateur and small potatoes compared to the ongoing crime spree by so-called elected officials in Victoria, Ottawa and Washington D.C.
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