Friday, November 30, 2007

Child Poverty - The Other Side of the Argument

Walter Schulz has a completely different take on the subect of Child Poverty in BC than I. He posted the following the day before I posted my item on the subject, which you can read here.

I don't agree with him, but I think his points are well made and that his opposing position is worth seeing. I thank him for letting me reproduce this from his blog.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Exaggerating child poverty.

The BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition is calling on the BC government to do something now to reduce child poverty, with almost 21 percent of kids in the province living in poverty. The national anti poverty group, Campaign 2000 set the poverty line at $21,000 for two people living in a city of 500,000 or more, and $32,000 for a family of four living in such a community. The Tyee has also commented suggesting that one in five B.C. children is poor, making the province’s child poverty rate the highest in Canada for the fourth consecutive year.Hold on for just one darn minute.One in five B.C. children living in poverty???$21,000 for two people or $32,000 for a family of four is poverty????What these three news items are trying to described isn't poverty; they're describing instead income inequality. When they use Stats Canada's low income cut off as the measurement for poverty what they are really doing is comparing how people are living relative to other Canadians. The low income cut off method has never been considered a poverty line by Statistics Canada. "Statistics Canada has clearly and consistently emphasized, since their publication began over 25 years ago, that the LICOs are quite different from measures of poverty". If a family doesn't have a colour television or a cell phone are they now considered poor?

These social activists need to give their heads a shake.To say that one in every five children is living in poverty in British Columbia, is quite frankly - bullshit!And what are they calling on the BC government to do to reduce this so called "child poverty"?They want the minimum wage raised to $10.50/hour, eliminate the $6.00/hour training wage and to increase BC's welfare rates.Well of course they do.

The BC Government in its 2007 budget already increased welfare rates for all those on assistance.

British Columbia already has the lowest income tax rates in Canada for low-income earners. In fact, those earning under $16,000 a year pay no provincial income tax.

Since 2001 the B.C. economy has created over new 370,000 jobs and we have the lowest unemployment rate in almost 40 years! (4.4% in BC and 4.1% in Vancouver)

British Columbia already has the highest general minimum wage rate of all the provinces.

BC's 2006 budget pledged $421 million over four years to strengthen supports for children.

For social activists to be constantly overstating the problem of poverty rates amongst children in British Columbia does a disservice to those who are most in need. Despite all the rhetoric and political posturing from these groups, (and when haven't these groups called on the BC liberal government to give more money to social causes?) - BC has done an excellent job of helping those who are most in need.

From 24 Hours - Alex Nails The Drug Charlatans

Get Ready, They're Coming: DRUGS!

Mayor Sullivan's drug initiative panned!

By A. G. Tsakumis
'Rebel With A Clause'

Of all the spin-doctored proposals Sam Sullivan has hatched, none is as ultimately off base as CAST, his drug replacement baby, which he has asked the federal Conservative government to fund.
CAST is, simply, part and parcel of His Worship's distorted effort to show heart through hubristic populism, and no less banal than any of his other numberless (non)triumphs.

The quest for enlightenment begins with a read of its website (
It is as stupefying as it is embarrassing.
The notion of replacing street drugs with a drug substitute - although somewhat new - is nothing more than placing addicts at the trough of the perpetual drug need, all in the name of (false) compassion.
These science fiction proponents hail studies as a case made. However, not one study shows with any supremacy that this hogwash works.

In fact, once past the outer layers of fluff, it is abundantly evident that not only the findings from such studies are massaged by CAST proponents, but further, that the mayor and his cadre are wanting of our tax dollars to study studies which are inconclusive at best, and, at least, utter failures in proving CAST or any related initiative worthy of being funded.

But the doctors and retired politicians backing these reports claim success, which begs the question: if the evidence proves that such lunacy is indeed effective, why further studies?

They argue that studies needn't be endlessly repeated to be valid.

Then why are they arguing for the CAST study? The contradiction is obscene.
When Mayor Sullivan, or the city's drug czar Don MacPherson, state that drug replacement is 'harm reduction', the cacophony is amplified.

It is hardly medical treatment to permanently burden an addict with yet another dependency. Instead, the studies expound the social good in all this. Rather than trumpet the recovery of addicts, which would support the mayor's misstatements, the hypothesis runs in the opposite direction. Fringe replacement efforts will make for much “social justice”, but all without saying how.

This CAST nonsense is not about anything else except sanitizing the streets of the DTES, so that Japanese and German tourists won't have to refocus their camera lenses in 2010.

This is about using a social construct, and not a very good one, to aid the mayor's re-election agenda.

Would you put a loved one suffering from skin cancer in a tanning bed as treatment? Would you offer lower tar cigarettes to a lung cancer patient? Highly questionable social good trumps individual recovery in Sam's world. This program will hurt people. Addicts will have no chance for a normal life.

Moreover, how ethical is it to start on a drug protocol with no chance of continuing?
The drug replacement must persist forever, notwithstanding that most addicts, particularly on the DTES, are not last-chance, no-hope candidates.

Why are we offering palliative care to people who are not terminal? Besides, which federal or provincial government wants to become the drug dealer? All the drug legalization obliviots aside, the street dealers would have a field day in competition.

Troubling still, that the scholarship purportedly in support of CAST having been misrepresented on the website, the Mayor has company, plump with controversy. Among Mr. Sullivan's CAST inner sanctum is Dr. David Marsh, the chief officiating guru at Vancouver Coastal Health, who is an expatriate of Toronto country, where he failed to convince his colleagues into putting the Taranah Corridor's first NAOMI heroin trial next to a methadone recovery clinic - a no-no of monumental proportions to any addiction Doc - since it's considered a 'trigger' to have a recovering addict anywhere near drugs or drug use.

Dr. Marsh has the ear of our Mayor. He often will advise Sobriety Sam on how to sell CAST.
Don't believe me?

Earlier this year, on the day our Mayor hinted that CAST might replace Insite/Four Pillars, Dr. Marsh raced down to the mayor's office and spent the Friday afternoon trying to undo the media firestorm that young Sammy had created.

To clean up the DTES we need: treatment beds, in the hundreds; adequate housing (but not necessarily just Downtown); and the re-opening of Riverview's full facilities with a state-of-the-art mental health/drug treatment facility - not Yaletown redux at Riverview.

And if the Four Pillars is finally going to really work, then fund all FOUR pillars. Enforcement, Treatment and Education are a must. We have to get into schools and talk to our children about what's killing us.

But alas, Mayor Sullivan won't listen to the Drug Prevention Network; Al Arsenault, Exec. Director of the Odd Squad Society; Vancouver addiction specialists Dr. Colin Mangham, Doug Coleman, Donald Hedges; David Berner, former addiction counselor and local pundit or former Justice Wally Craig and countless addictionologists, who know the DTES well.
He would rather beg, profusely, at failure's open door.

On the issue of dealing with drug issues in Vancouver, Sam Sullivan has created a culture ethical frivolity. He and his sycophants subvert any hope for genuine help for the addicted downtrodden, preferring, alternatively, to mid-wife extended tyranny on the DTES.
Unbelievably, through all of this, there are people who still believe that Sam Sullivan is entirely palatable as Mayor for 2008.

Equalities in The Military?

It may be startling to realize that the Warriors have a more comprehensive appreciation of Democracy than the Legislators.

A group of retired American Generals & Admirals - 28 in all - have joined forces to repeal the idiot "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" compromise that Bill Clinton accepted on gays in the military.

“We respectfully urge Congress to repeal the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy,” the letter says. “Those of us signing this letter have dedicated our lives to defending the rights of our citizens to believe whatever they wish.”

Read the full story from this morning's NY Times here.


For, and from, the man in a morning flurry:

- Carol Taylor's not running again provincially so that she can glide into the mayor's chair is the worst kept gossip of the last 8 months. I cannot tell you how many hundreds of people have sworn me to secrecy on this scoop.

Fine. Carol will make an excellent City Mayor. She won't bring any particularly enlightened policy to the table, but she won't have to. First, she will rid us of the That Pest, The Nutty One, and second, she is a first rate manager, former city councillor and the wife of a former mayor. She knows how the machine works.

The sooner, the better.

- I have avoided the Ian Bush story from the beginning, because I felt I just wasn't there to witness what really happened. However....the result of the commission investigating this death somehow doesn't quite feel right. Perhaps we are being influenced in our reactions to this conclusion by the YVR Taser Murder. It just seems so improbable.

- The Mulroney -Schreiber story is so sordid and unseemly. Insiders have told us that M's wife, Mila, was and is a "money pit," and that M was always worried about paying the bills. Nevertheless, how could a man this smart and this experienced on the world stage take $100,000 in cash from anyone under any circumstances? Stupid, stupid, stupid.

- Kudos to the Sun Editorial this morning for 2 pieces: 1)They remind us that the Premier, when Mayor of the City, launched a suit against the province for Expo Line insults and hardships to citizens. Now, on the other side of the Line, he sings a different cracked tune. 2) They add to our often expressed outrage at the total dysfunction of this administration with regard to Children & Families. To see this tepid little furry toys for the Olympics gathering all that misplaced adoration and press coverage, while Children at Risk are ignored is sickening and the best barometer of Campbell's focus.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Dear Friends

Dear Friends,

I am swamped and behind the 8-ball this morning. And there is something very exciting brewing, which I will tell you about as soon as it's a go.

For today, please enjoy one of my favorite entertainers, Michael Feinstein, and my favorite retired judge, Wallace Craig, who has nailed the case for a BC provincial police force.

A presto!

Michael Feinstein - Old Friend

Musicologist, singer, pianist, historian, comedian, Michael Feinstein is a very New York performer. These days he has his own room at the Loews Regency. He is most;lt associated with Berlin and the Gershwins, but as you can hear, he can sing almost anything...beautifully.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Justice Wallace Craig Calls for the Return of a BC Provincial Police Force - Essential Reading

In his best North Shore News editorial to date, our good friend, Justice Wallace Craig, retraces the shameful history of the disbanding of the BC Police Force and explains exactly why it is more important than ever to re-constitute the same.

November 28, 2007

SUDDENLY disbanded in 1950, our historic British Columbia Provincial Police was no more.

Though stunned and dismayed, a vast majority of rank and file members of the BCPP simply switched uniforms and continued to maintain law and order as members of a force leased from the federal government: a somewhat hybridized “E” division of the RCMP, answerable only to Ottawa.

Cost-cutting was supposedly at the heart of this unprincipled act of political expediency. In the purity of hindsight, it was politics at its most despicable.

Since 1950 British Columbia has relied on a succession of 20-year contracts with this inharmonious federal force. Each renewal period brings increasing involvement of “E” division in urban policing, something it was never intended to do. This deepening entrenchment in urban policing, bringing with it the bureaucratic persona and command structure of the RCMP, impedes formation of civilian regional police.

When our provincial politicians rejected civilian provincial police under direct control, and embraced what would soon become and remain to this day a federal paramilitary police force, they knew full well that the force was completely unaccountable under our Police Act. Today’s provincial politicians are tarred, too, with the same brush.

If our provincial government continues this aberrant and tunnel vision approach to the administration of justice and hangs onto “E” division for 20 more years beyond 2012 – when RCMP contracts are up for renewal – then the misadventure of 1950 will be revisited and worsened.

Beware of things happening in the shadows of government, out of sight and untouched by the light of public scrutiny and debate. Take-charge bureaucrats, once civil servants, are already stirring the pot of renewal under the auspicious cover of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities.

Either the UBCM is filling a vacuum of inactivity on the part of the Solicitor General or acting on his instructions as it fusses along in a self-fulfilling process intended to bring about renewal of contracts with the RCMP.

I say this because a memorandum dated Oct. 9, boldly titled RCMP Contract Mandate, produced by a grandiosely styled UBCM Secretariat is a blueprint for the status quo. It includes the suggestion that the federal government and our provincial government “are in the early stages of the contract renewal process” and certain guiding principles have been adopted; the most telling of which is that “Continuation of the RCMP is beneficial to all.”

I have questions for the secretariat.

1. Who is the exponent of the notion that “Continuation of the RCMP is beneficial to all”?

2. How can renewal of the contract be “…beneficial to all” when “E” division is already sapping away too many new recruits, thus having a deleterious effect on the national strength and federal duties of the RCMP; a force so troubled in the senior ranks that it is being administered by a civilian commissioner?

3. Have you considered that it may be best for the RCMP to be told by its masters in Ottawa to prepare for the end of contracting out approximately one quarter of RCMP national strength?

Let us not forget the facts of 1950 when a too-crafty Attorney General Gordon Wismer disbanded our historic, down-home and effective civilian provincial police. Wismer sacrificed our provincial police on the altar of ingratiation solely to prove his mettle amongst his Conservative/Liberal coalition bed-fellows. It was a callous political expedient.

In my opinion the coalition government of 1950 committed an act of constitutional malfeasance when it opted out of provincial policing, the bedrock of its constitutional duty to administer justice. It was wrong to hand over policing of this vast province to Ottawa’s RCMP and that wrong will continue so long as we contract with “E” division in a manner that nullifies the efficacy of our Police Act.

In order to deal with the constitutional malfeasance of 1950, Premier Gordon Campbell must first take policing out of the solicitor generals ministry and put it back where it belongs, constitutionally, with the ministry of the attorney general.

And by a most delightful quirk of fate, or providence, Attorney General Wallace Oppal is eminently qualified to right the wrong of 1950 and thereby avoid its repetition in 2012.

In June 1992, Mr. Justice Oppal was appointed as a Commissioner to conduct an Inquiry into Policing in British Columbia. On July 31, 1994, he handed the government a voluminous report: Closing the Gap – Policing in British Columbia; detailing the urgency to deal with a mixed-bag of policing problems including the question of 2012.

Mr. Premier, Oppal is the man for the moment. Return policing to the ministry of the attorney general; let him do the job of charting a course to civilian policing. To deny him the opportunity to take charge of policing matters in this time of urgency will be a sign of disrespect that may force the attorney to consider whether he has any place in your government.

Keep in mind that the rest of Canada looks at us in disbelief wondering why we don’t have the gumption and common sense to begin again. We British Columbians must be loud, clear and relentless in demanding our constitutional right under the division of powers in the British North America Act, specifically the provincial right to administer justice: to begin again with our own civilian British Columbia Constabulary.

On Nov 19, just after this column was written, the provincial government announced an inquiry into the Oct 14 death of Robert Dziekanski. He died while being subdued by officers of the RCMP at the Vancouver International Airport.

The truth of the matter: The inquiry commissioner will have no authority to deal with the RCMP and this avoidable and regrettable death.Our government sold its jurisdictional soul in 1950. Will it be déjà vu in 2012?

Bah, Humbug

What can one say about "The Mascots?"

Except that they violate every rule of marketing. Like 4 items rather than 1 on which to focus.

Like forgettable names.

And what is with this painful farce of putting aboriginal symbols before the world as if we can take great pride in our "partnerships" with natives?

Is this yet another sad attempt by guilt-ridden governments to buy friendship with a most legitimately aggrieved group?

Where can I hide until this damn frat party is over? New Zealand?

Call Me Madam - You're Just In Love

Donald O'Connor-Vera Ellen 'It's a Lovely Day Today'

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Victor See Through Kim Capripants

There is a well-known governance principle that defines the relationship between elected bodies and staff.

It states " Elected officials should keep their noses in and their fingers out".

Translated, it means elected officials should not be giving staff direct assignments. They should define the broad goals for the business plan, let staff execute, and then evaluate their performance.

Apparently, nobody on Vancouver City Council is aware of this principle. Our councilors think they are staff managers.

The latest example is Kim Capri's direction to staff to do a "study" on eliminating plastic bags. Apparently Ms. Capri saw an Internet report about a similar initiative in San Francisco and felt it required a special staff study.

Other recent demands for staff studies by councilors cover items ranging from free bicycles to organic food in city-owned establishments. The Mayor is good for one of these bathtub ideas every week resulting in yet more unplanned staff studies.

Here is the problem with these requests. Vancouver City Hall employs some very expensive people, with salaries reaching $300,000 a year. Presumably these people are busy. If so , they don't have time to drop everything because Ms. Capri saw something on the web. If they do have enough slack time to write position papers on every lunatic idea from councilors, then we have too many highly paid, under-worked people on city payroll. Pick one.

The other problem is one of legal liability. If staff are getting direct assignments from elected officials instead of their managers, it throws performance appraisal out the window. Any employee receiving a poor review for failing to meet goals can rightfully complain that they were pulled off their work by interfering councilors.

Note to City Council. Staff is not a toy you get to play with upon being elected. .

Child Poverty Cup Comes Home - Again

OK. We didn't win the Grey Cup.

But we have won another sweepstakes.

For the fourth year in a row. Yay, BC!



Employment & Income Assistance Minister Claude Richmond, who has managed to secure comfy public purse jobs for himself for many years now, say the statistics are out of date. Of course that's what he said last year and the year before. And the year before that.

At the same time, the Representative for Children and Youth, Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has announced that the Ministry of Children and Families is doing very little to implement Judge Ted Hughes' recommendations to improve matters for...well, children and families.

Hughes made 62 recommendations. Minister Tom Christensen (whose resignation I have called for in these pages twice in recent months) has implemented 18. He's working on the others.

Slow to do anything substantive about helping children and families, which apparently is his mandate and duty, Christensen was quick off the mark to write a letter to Turpel-Lafond disagreeing with her assessment.

Only catch is the Minister didn't send his letter to the recipient. He had it tabled and read at a government meeting yesterday. Before Turpel-Lafond even knew it existed.

Children and families are going begging and child poverty is soaring in this province boasting a raving happy economy.

But once again we ask, where or where is the Premier?

Oh yes, he's in Asia. Doing business.

Elect a different government.

One that takes notice and care of its children.

Who's Teaching the Teachers

Millions of Canadian parents (1 in 3) are now hiring tutors for their children.

The lengthy explanations defy the obvious.

Teachers are not doing the best job.

Private schools, home teaching and tutoring...there must be some reason, you think?

Meanwhile, back in the political arena, the BCTF doesn't want children to experience the stress and trauma of tests.


Where is the "Help" at YVR?

The Canada Border Services Agency, which once again has let a criminal immigrant stay in Canada, is now saying that it will clean up its act at YVR.


But there is no mention of the simplest thing.

How about a team of three employees who act as roving ambassadors - 24/7 - to look for people who are understandably lost and confused in the loony bin of corridors and lines that YVR presents? How about people who are actually paid to offer help?

What a concept.

YVR is making a fortune, not only in Richmond, but selling its expertise to a number of other airports around the world.

Go ahead, spend a bit of cash, hire a few people, save a life.

I'm Cracking Up on the Cambie Line

Remember Dick Tracy?

Someone would have a complete hole through the centre of his body, would flick his cigarette and say casually, "Forget it. Merely a superficial wound."

Comes to mind as we listen to the indifferent managers of the Cambie Line who are now telling shop owners with cracks in their walls and floors that these damages are not urgent because "your shop isn't falling apart."

So let me see if I understand this correctly.

After destroying many of the mom-and-pop businesses along the construction site because no on will bother to shop there, the company is now rattling the foundations of these shops and saying, "Oh, gosh, what's your worry?"

Where is the Premier?

Oh, I forgot. He's in Asia doing business.

While business in town is falling down.


Elect a new government.

Boot the Groundskeepers, Sue the NFL

How many years has the National Football League had to get their act together? 60?

That surface of new sod, grass, mud and rain in last night's dreadful contest between Miami and the Steelers at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh was a disgrace and an embarrassment.

3-0 with a field goal in the last 17 seconds. Gimme a large Canadian break.

All ticket holders and ESPN/TSN should demand of the NFL a refund.


And completely unnecessary.


A bit of a musical genius - trumpet player, singer - he was also a deranged heroin addict with all that that brings to the table, including falling out a hotel window (or being pushed, who knows?)in Amsterdam to his death at a young age.

ANYWAY...his singing of the American Songbook is choice...

Monday, November 26, 2007

No Country for Old Movie Fans

Nothing in the realm of advertising for movies can be trusted. Not a word.

Joel and Ethan Coen's new film, "No Country for Old Men," has been hailed as an "instant classic."

It is not. Not even close.

Within minutes of its beginning, the film signals that the Coen Brothers are mining their own work history and repeating past successes. Replace the snow-drifts of North Dakota with the desert scrub of the Texas panhandle and you have "Fargo South."

Wide spectacular landscapes punctuated with one or two misshapen trees. Sound familiar?

There is even in the first three minutes a shot of the psychotic killer sitting in the back of a police car driving down an endless rural road, which is exactly here "Fargo" left off.

Remember Marge's dumb sidekick rookie cop? Well, he's here again as Tommy Lee Jones' dumb sidekick rookie cop, only not nearly so winning or funny.

Now "Fargo" was a classic and it remains thoroughly watchable and engaging today.

But re-done in another setting with the violence level cranked to unbearable and unnecessary proportions and the absence of humor and charm will not bring back the magic.

Oh yes, Tommy Lee Jones and Javier Bardem and Woody Harrleson and Tess Harper are all marvelous skilled actors and they can pretty well do anything a movie or its family of directors asks of it, but that doesn't make the movie worth watching.

Now let's talk about the violence.

Many movies have violence. The Ten Commandments, The Godfather, Bugs Bunny all have violence. Bonny and Clyde was an immense shoot-up.

And many movies with much violence are wonderful and watchable.

Then there is this sad affair and its sullen cousins, Scorcese's "The Departed," and "Gangs of New York," and even "Goodfellas," and Tarantino's "Kill Bill" series.

I walked out of The Departed and Gangs, never watch Goodfellas on TV and rented Kill Bill, Part I and watched about 40 minutes.

These movies are just plain sick.

Tarantino has said that he gets a hard-on filming violence. How attractive.

Well, I guess it keeps him off the street and out of prison.

These films, like the Coen Brothers latest mish-mash (which leaves one bored and cold after the first hour and downright mystified by the long-winded end), are the ultimate examples of our current malaise - style over substance.

What is so sad is the growing number of cinophiles who think anything well-recorded is brilliant.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Victor Wades into the Harper Tough Jail Laws - with Both Guns Blazing

Canadians generally do the finger -wagging, lip sucking routine when they proclaim that one million Americans are in jail at any given time.

Let's bring this down to terms that even the stupid Canadian might (dare I hope) understand.
America has 300 million people.

Suppose you drove into a small American village with 300 people.

You hire a guide to take you through this little town and explain it to you.

Your guide tells you that in this town of 300, about 200 people own a gun. He adds that about 40 people have a serious drug or alcohol problem and that most of them own guns.

He also explains that 40 people in the town are black and that 60 percent of them are in families on welfare with only a mother. Nobody knows where the fathers are.

He tells you that 45 people are Hispanics, but about half of them are illegal immigrants so they work for starvation wages for the rich people in town..

Then he explains that about 10 people are recent immigrants from all over the world, and a few hate his little town for its freedom. He adds that 20 per cent of the people in town hate the immigrants.

At the end of the tour, you arrive at the town jail. So you ask him how many people are in jail.
He says "one".

You reply " But how can you possibly live in the dysfunctional town and only one out of 300 people are in jail?'

And there, dumbfuck Canadians, is what we don't understand.

One out of 300 Americans are in jail at any given time.

One out of 300 is a miracle. It is a wonder that 20 million Americans aren't in jail.

Of course, we are far ahead of them.

To get a better idea of our righteousness, visit Toronto's north east black ghetto, Regina on a Saturday night, Vancouver's downtown eastside. or an Aboriginal reservation near you.

Susan & Carole - The Cambie LIne Disaster Continues

Subject: SNC Profit jumps 48%....

Dear Carole

How are you?
With all due respect, I'd like to say I'm fine - but the truth is I'm nearly
at the end of my rope. We, the small businesses, seem to have been
double-crossed by everyone involved in this project.
There is no accountability - only arrogant bullies demonstrating a shocking
abuse of power.

I watched your interview with Fanny on Shaw last night. What struck me more
than anything were your candid comments about your job, how you "like to
take risks" and "try to solve problems". You said "that's what I like to
do". I couldn't agree with you more on all counts. This defines what it
takes to be a successful small business person as well. You further said,
what you don't like about the job is "the politics".
I think we have alot in common.

What we don't have in common is a secure financial present or future. The
RAV/Canada Line project, and how it has come into being, has demolished the
solid financial foundation that I and scores of others, have been diligently
building up from, for the past decades. Our happy retirements have been
expropriated by this project, along with our life's work.

I wonder how many millions of dollars that I, and my suppliers and
employees, through my business, personal and property taxes, have directly
contributed to the surplus now in the budget you are currently working on?
Multiply that number by all the small independant family run businesses in
the province. We deserve better than bancruptcy.

Small businesses are the driving forces of our economy and the hearts of all
our neighbourhoods. Yet this Provincial Liberal government seems to think
that it's just fine to demolish all we have achieved and contributed - with
impunity - saying, "it's not our project". Bit of a stretch, don't you
think, given Falcon's zeal to ensure it got built, and Premier Campbell
saying before the 3rd round of voting by TransLink -
"The Province is prepared to assume the overall responsibility for the
completion of the RAV project". It is very convenient to be pointing the
finger at TransLink, as soon the existing board will be gone. Bill 43
ensures that there will be no elected representatives deciding the fate of
our transportaion projects, and will remove even the pretense out of
meaningful public consultaion.

I honestly thought that when the facts were devulged about how this disaster
would actually be built, the obvious response would be - stop. "This is
nothing like what was proposed, analyzed and eventually approved. Let's take
another look." But no one did. The 2010 Olympic deadline superceded doing
the right thing, and the small businesses became the collateral damage.

Turns out we don't really live in a democracy, if the precedent being set by
this project goes unchallenged. This project has established so far, that
it's acceptable to withold all the salient details of a mega-project from
the public and the small businesses, resulting in epic hardship and
financial losses, if it's promoted as 'for the greater good'.
And if these families are forced into financial ruin - too bad. "Be patient
with us while we destroy your livelihoods" say Canada Line. "It will be
great when it's done". Yes it will, for the developers who will be swooping
in to flatten all the one level low-rise buildings that house our shops now.
Most existing businesses will be long gone after years of steady losses.
I'd have to work for 10 years to make up what I've had siphoned away by this
'temporary disruption'.

The project has spent millions promoting itself, disguised as help for the
small businesses - and has now joined every level of government to spend
millions more to "defend themselves" in court rather than act with integrity
and compensate.

According to your comments to Fanny, you say that with a 'P3' project, "the
private company takes all the risk - the public sector is protected". All
the risk, hmmmm?
Tell that to my bank, where out of further desperation, I am about to sell
an RRSP. I am now losing an average of 1,400 dollars a day - for a total of
more than 400,000 dollars since November 2005. After re-mortgaging twice
now in 2 years, they will not extend my mortgage any further - I'm a single
parent and the only income earner in my family. I think having to risk my
retirement funds to sustain my once thriving enterprise is outrageous. I
also think that having to take my own government to court to have them do
the right thing is beyond belief and obscene. The BC Supreme Court says this
case, and others to come, have merit. My case, and others are set down to
proceed next year.

The stress has been crippling. Our lives have changed. Our faith in elected
officials shattered.

As you can see in the attachment below, things are looking nice and
comfortable for SNC Lavalin the builder of this destruction project. Their
Q3 profits are up 48% - to 63.2 million dollars. This surplus, like the
Billions in the Provincial and Federal surplus has come directly out of our

Apparently SNC has 'saved' about 200 million dollars by ripping up Cambie
from one end to the other in one Olympic go instead of building by bored
tunnel. Explain to me again, just who it is that is assuming all the risk?

You are in a perfect position to do the right thing by your constituents,
and all the small businesses along the Canada Line route. We admire you for
acknowledging the colossal hardship this project has caused. We need more
than your sympathy.

As citizens, our Country, our Province and our City have failed us thus far.
We need powerful individuals like you to challenge the ugly precedent this
project is currently setting, and right this unconscionable wrong. To insist
that full compensation for losses be implemented, and that there is
legislation in place to ensure that this never happens again.

Show the world that's watching us, what should happen in a democracy. The
money is there.
We need the political will to do the right thing.

Susan Heyes
604 687-0721


"Until August, officers trained to use stun guns were cautioned to avoid using them more than once because of concerns about health effects."

Then the policy was changed.

If only Robert Dziekanski could have changed his travel plans.

Call them all "NERO." Fiddling while their constituents burn

Congratulations are in order to NY Times writer Robert Pear for perfectly illustrating the sickening reality of health care in America with his story of the elevator operator in the US Senate.

The senators are gabbing on about nothing and achieving nothing new, while 45 million citizens remain uninsured. Whenever real health insurance is discussed, the bugaboo words come out - "socialism," "communism,"...

Meanwhile the kid who runs their elevator is, ,like many of his fellow citizens, facing financial catastrophe because of an enormous medical bill.

Read the whole story : This is journalism at its best.

What's Your Net Bet?

"At Betfair, which is based in London, tennis ranks third behind horse racing and soccer among its one million customers, who together place five million bets each day. More than $60 million was handled for the Wimbledon’s men’s final, won by Roger Federer over Rafael Nadal."

This is the crux of the story in today's NY Times about the threat - real or rumored - in the professional ranks of tennis.

What is both sad and amusing about this item is that many years ago I had the sense that the great John McEnroe/Bjorn Borg rivalry was on occasion orchestrated. Not in the majors like Wimbledon or the US Open, but in exhibitions, which would conveniently run the full three sets.

If any of this is revealed to be true, it will be a dreadful shame, but when the stakes are as high as they now seem to be in real dollars, perhaps we shouldn't be so naively surprised.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Basi, Virk, Collins, Campbell, CP, Omnitrax...

Emails between the Premier's office and the Ministries of Transport and Finance?

Depositions in camera?

"Say no more," says the judge?

Curiouser and curiouser.

It's only been 4 years since the RCMP hauled tones of materials from government offices in the legislature.

Let's see, now.

If they fool around with this file just a tad longer, they can get past 2010 and most of us in this aging population are suffering from Alzheimer's anyway, so....

Bread & Circuses

The drama has been building???

Did they mean the dramamine?

On Tuesday, the Olympic mascots will be revealed.

Oh yes, how I've writhed in my sleepless bed.

All this time and human energy and money for a 2 week party in the snow.

Imagine, just try to imagine, if the same amount of human resources - hundreds, no thousands of jobs, million of dollars, all those meetings, lunches, notepads, laptops, emails were focused instead on the homeless or housing, on transportation in our cities, on education, on child care and senior care.

Ya Got Trouble - Robert Preston

There are certain numbers from the musical trove that are classics and are identified with one perfomer.

This is one of the best.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Eurotrash Redefined

For all of those painted clowns who call themselves experts in the drugs and addictions world and who continue to tell us how wonderfully Europe is doing in these regards ("Oh, the Swedes are way ahead of us!" "Oh the Swiss figured this out years ago." and so on...), for all of them, try reading this report about the dramatic climb of meth labs in Europe.

Then try actually walking down the main streets of Frankfurt and Dublin and tell us again how far ahead of us the Europeans are.

It's all spin.


Thursday, November 22, 2007


Mo, who is one of our regular commenters, passed on this fascinating article about a New York City program that provides housing to the homeless.

It's a "housing first" policy and it is achieving great results.

Do yourself a favour and read this piece.

For all the money and angst being spent by all the local do-gooders, why haven't we found something this simple and this effective?

More Fred & Ginger - I Won't Dance

Complete with Randolph Scott at the bar in the opening moment...

NIMBY alive and well in Richmond

We urgently need addiction treatment centres.

Turning Point has quietly and successfully been running addiction treatment centres for years. They are a private, non-profit agency, run not by government fools, but by people who know and understand addictions and the road to recovery.

Turning Point is adding a few houses and beds to its inventory in Richmond.

Of course,some neighbours are screaming Not in My Neighbourhood. In fact, they are calling their mistaken, short-sighted, evil, selfish, pig-headed campaign of hate and stupidity "Not in Anybody's Backyard."

Of course, the addicts come from everybodys backyard and they cannot find the road back downtown.

Neighbours have been living quite nicely now for almost 30 years next to Turning Point and other recovery houses, often without being aware of their presence.

People scream for more treatment for their addicted children; they just don't want the treatment too near to them.


Columnist Has a Revelation - Discovers What Everyone Else Has known for Years

Some people are just a little slow.

Ah well, better late than never.

Sun columnist Pete McMartin has figured out what you and I have been screaming from rooftops for years now - the Downtown East Side is a cesspool of social agencies sucking up money and producing absolutely zero.


The funniest example he gives - if you have the strength to laugh at this robbery - is something called BOB - the Building Opportunities with Business Inner City Society.

This fiasco has well over $5 Million from various helpful governments.

Its net product is roughly 15 people got jobs.

The CEO of BOB is none other than Shirley Chan, who has been sucking government money her entire working life.

She failed to get elected to Parliament a few years ago when she launched a vicious personal attack on Libby Davies' personal life - not her policies or platforms - and the public saw clearly the stuff of which Ms. Chan was made.

Of course, that has hardly stopped her from drawing good money after bad for herself and her staff on the backs of the poor and hopeless.

How do these people who are making major salaries in the DES look at themselves in the mirror?

Canadian Coprorate Welfare is Collosal

The most important story was buried on page C7 of the Business section this morning.

The Headline is "Taxpayers' Bill for Corporate Welfare Soars." The report comes from a Fraser Institute study called "Corporate Welfare: A $144 Billion Addiction," and it includes these gems:

"There is no concrete evidence showing that government subsidies to business provide any net benefit to Canada's economy."

"The top 50 business subsidy recipients include Ford Motor, Rolls-Royce, Noranda, IBM...and so on."

What this timely study does is two things:

It reveals the truth of David Lewis' famous catch phrase of 30 years ago - "Corporate Welfare Bums."

And it exposes the utter duplicity of the so-called "free enterprise system" that we have been led to believe in by endless myth making from the captains of industry.

The shoddy truth is that these Barons of Bumph have been sucking on the Public Teat with greater vigor and success all along than any unemployed dishwasher.

You, the taxpayer, are working so that General Dynamics can have leather seats in their board rooms.

Fred & Ginger & George & Ira

"Can't really sing. Dances a little."

That was the original assessment of Fred Astaire's talents.

Within a few years, writers like George & Ira Gershwin were creating songs just for him.

Watch the masterful, real responses from Ginger Rogers, who, in addition to being a great dancer, won an Oscar as Best Actress.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Pam's School Rant Sets off a Small Firestorm

Pam's ramble about the school system posted here yesterday has clearly touched a nerve or twenty.

We have had a wide range of comments from the helpful and anecdotal to the downright enraged and rude.

Have a look.


My apologies. I have found myself running way behind the clock this morning.

So for the stories on the federal Government's new crime bill, hydro rates, Mulroney finally figuring out that taking $100,000 in cash wasn't a great idea, weapons routinely seized at the Air India trial and Warren Jeffs about to become some biker's'll have to write your own jokes.

Have a swellegant day!

Stem Cell Breakthrough

Much of what is taken for granted as routine in medicine these days is truly the stuff of 20th Century science fiction.

Regeneration of human organs from stem cells will change human life at astonishing, now unimaginable ways.

Yesterday's announcement is historic.

Just stand back and shake your head in wonder.

Monsieur Flip Flop, John Really Lessssss

B.C. Solicitor-General, John Les-is-Even-Less, is now officially Senor Flip Flop.

First he rags on West Vancouver Chief of Police Kash Heed for suggesting we might begin a conversation about a regional police force. FF goes so far as to call Heed's boss, the Mayor of West Van and register an official kvetch and whine.

Which he swiftly reverses and opines that maybe a regional police force is not a bad idea after all.

Did he ever apologize to Kash Heed? Not that we know.

Now he refuses to apologize for the deadly bad behaviour of 4 rookie thug cops who murder a man at YVR, and then - presto chango! - he apologizes after all...or after about ten minutes.

It's amazing that Mr. Les can change his mind so readily, because that assumes one has a mind to change.

And this says WHAT about our Premier and his wise choices in personnel or his concern about matters of the law?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Pam's Ramble About the School System

I am frustrated that we have to pay so much to send our boys to private school in order to get the education that we feel they deserve.

These children are our future.

We are all paying our tax dollars for a system that has slowly declined and deteriorated. Just one item that bothers me - Why is Queen Elizabeth annex still open when the local school Southlands has seen declining enrollment over the last few years? Are the School Board Trustees afraid to deal with parents who like their sons/daughters attending a small school?

I think that when teachers became unionized they did themselves a great disservice. I was part of a union for many years and in the airline industry it was absolutely essential that we have a union.

A good friend of mine does nothing but complain about being a teacher. Yet she enjoys all

the holidays and the summers off. Her days are not even close to being as long as people Iknow who work in the private sector.

I agree with you regarding the teachers.

My younger son was in Grade 7 when I exchanged harsh words with his teacher outside the classroom. I insistedthat she stop yelling at the kids and that I would see to it that she never yelled at my son again.

Three boys, age 12, heard her say the f wordwhen she came back into the classroom. Great role model!

My older son had the same teacher when he was in Grade 7 and he was a nervous wreck. She approached us at sports day and asked us why we wereforcing him to attend a private school the following year. She informed us that he was very stressed out. It was about a year later that our son told us that the only reason he was stressed was because she yelled at the kids all the time.

He wanted to attend X School and he loved it there.I knew that nothing would be done so we chose to send our boys to private school where we can have a say in their education.What I saw over the 12 years of being affiliated with that school was pathetic. We lost the music program, the Christmas concert and by the time I left, the parents were running all but one of the sports programs and doing all the fundraising

Afghanistan War is About Quebec Votes

The only thing you need to know about SNC Lavalin, the company that holds the HALF BILLION contract with your government for services in Afghanistan - is that it comes from Montreal.

So - follow the money - we are wasting Canadian lives and tax dollars in a hopeless campaign to buy votes in French Canada.

Taser Murder - Chapter 4

Politicians - yech!

You think they called for the inquiry into the Taser Murder because they wanted to or because it was the right thing to do or because they thought of it first?

It was only yesterday that we called for the inquiry right here on these pages.

Not that they responded to these pages.

They responded - the damn phony fools - to the WORLD WIDE OUTRAGE.

And as recently as Friday, John Les said there was no need to apologize. Now he's sorry.

Do people who go into politics self-select as phony mindless dorks, or do they just become that way after 2 weeks in office?

Here's a Gold Shovel. So Dig Already

So the prison guard who earns $15/hr. - maybe - and has a job more boring than dentistry - takes a major league bribe to let Mr. Dangerous Criminal escape from the like most secure jail in the world, or BC or Fernie or wherever.

We, amazed, right?

Win Medals, Earn $$$



Stones, Again!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

More Banking Humour

British Banking Humour

Investigate the RCMP Taser Death NOW

"You expect something like that in America, but not in Canada."

This is a man in Poland speaking of the sickening murder of Robert Dziekanski by the RCMP at YVR.

Equally sickening is the denial by the police and the refusal of either federal or provincial attorneys-general or solicitors-general to demand at once what every reasonable Canadian knows is due - an impartial, citizen panel to investigate this disgrace.

One taser is bad enough; two is more than questionable. But jumping on a man in distress???

These thugs must be out of uniform as fast as possible.

That must be followed immediately by the panel that will ask all the unhappy but necessary questions.

Like many of you, I have always been a supporter of the police in general and the RCMP in particular. Like many of you, my support is like the Force's reputation - in tatters.

He Said, She Said

I saw something strange and disturbing on TV a few nights ago.

That could be practically anything, of course, from "Deal or No Deal" to the NBC News with Brian Williams.

But this was just a moment or two that I could bear of a Muslim man trying to interview a woman who claimed to be a Buddhist.

The woman, in her '60s I would guess, had an almost shaved head of grey stubble. She was wearing the familiar burgundy and orange robes we associate with the Dalai.

As I clicked my way through the channels and landed on this gem, the woman was talking about "males."

She was talking about "males" as she might about rats, vermin, root canal, rapists and radio station managers. What was so shriekingly evident was her total abhorrence of the "man" side of any equations.

But the Muslim man, bent on being "the interviewer," was doing a classic Bill Good and not listening to a word she was saying, intent on his next scripted question. He must have been a graduate of Bill's popular workshop, "How to Never Interact With Your Guests, but Still be a Local Media Star."

The - shriek! - man, asked the woman Buddhist about how she actually practiced her religion. He was very specific. How do you begin your day? What prayers or meditation do you choose? And so on.

Her answer was, "Well, that's a very general question."

His question was extremely specifically specific.

But you see she hates men and therefore whatever he might ask or say will be wrong.

What was so interesting and horrifying was that he didn't notice any of this and she didn't acknowledge anything coming from him.

So here were two people utterly NOT communicating, but doing so on television.

I lasted less than a minute and settled on Bruce Willis shooting everyone is sight.


The Vancouver Sun's coverage of the secret and even simply unknown and untalked about sides of the war in Afghanistan is most welcome.

We have known for some time now the hideous corruption and overspending by America in their desperate disaster in Iraq - cement, bullets, oil, rebars, name it - so many overcharged, double-billed and worse.

Now we are seeing the identical story for the Canadian government in Afghanistan.

"There is nothing more Canadian than sipping a double double in Kandahar Airfield while watching a hockey game," says General Rick Hillier by way of explaining how he has spent $4MILLION of your tax money on a Tim Horton's franchise in Afghanistan.

Well, I've got news for the good general and for Mr. Harper.

When I want a dose of really bad amateurish sociology, I don't turn to Mr. Khaki, thanks very much.

And I don't drink double doubles or anything else at Tim Horton's and I don't give a flying frittata about hockey.

And, yes, oddly, enough I am still a Canadian. Is that OK?

And I am not encouraged to learn that SNC Lavalin, the folks who are doing such a good job on the ram-it-down-your-throats-and-to-hell-with-your-mom-&-pop-shops Canada Line, have contracts of over $700 MILLION for various make-do projects in Afghanistan.

Will anybody ever investigate Lavalin's relationship with generations of Ottawa mandarins and parliamentarians?


Jack Jones, one of the great saloon singers with George Shearing...this is such wonderful stuff...

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Say, "Happy Birthday, David!"

I read an entire newspaper from cover to bloated cover and another on the web...and I have found nothing that catches my eye this morning.

This may be because there is nothing much of note.

Or it may be that tomorrow is my 65th Birthday and I just don't want to complain about the world this weekend.

See you all again on Monday.

Friday, November 16, 2007

YVR Taser Death the ONLY Story

The Sun's coverage of the Taser death at YVR is appropriate and first rate. Yes, the pictures belong on the front page.

And Stockwell Day is wrong to dismiss off hand a public enquiry.

And the RCMP are completely wrong to keep these 4 goons at work.

This is Rodney King revisited and the video that has now flown swiftly around the world demonstrates one of the strengths of the "global village."

If the RCMP and the government think that this story will wither and die in the coming few days, they are about to learn how sadly they are mistaken.

The Candian public would like to return to the days of having respect and trust for its police forces.

As long as these atrocities occur, that desire will be an unfulfilled ache.

NOTE: The video was posted below last night.

Torta Me, A-Torta-You

The skyrocking price of pasta is causing panic in the streets of Italy.

This is a curious reflection of the skyrocketing price of maize and tacos and torillas in Mexico.

The reason? Biofuels.

Corn gets more at the pump than the sump and more growers are switching from wheat to corn and other biofuel producers.

Our friend Adrian Mastracci led us by the nose to this tasty morsel from CNN, MoneyNews.

Addiction Recovery in America

Great NY Times article on Recovery Centres and addictions in Florida and other communities around America. It includes a video.

Bravo to all these folks!

And ask the idiot murdering experts here in BC what they know about these centres of hope and recovery.

"No Cell Phones" Catching On

Maybe we'll pick up this trend from Seattle soon. I hope so.

More and more businesses - including Seattle's millions of coffee shops - are banning cell phones outright or forcing users to wait in line while others are served.

This is a great little story from the Seattle PI sent in by our friend, Martin.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

RCMP Taser Video & Condemnation

Our friend Robert Werner has written a powerful scathing indictment of the RCMP taser action at YVR. His blog post, shown here, includes the Video of the hideous event. Please watch.

Bonds Indicted

The morning after our LANGARA DIALOGUES public debate about sports & drugs. Barry Bonds has been charged with perjury in a doping case.

Here's the full story from the NY Times late edition.
The photograh was electronically manipulated to fit in his hat.

RCMP Continues Its Dreadul Slide

Understatement of the Year:

The video of Robert Dziekanksi's death "shows the RCMP in a bad light."

How about Bullies & Thugs?

The officers who perpetrated this monstrosity at YVR did so for the same reason a dog licks itself -because it can.

The once honorable force is in deep trouble, top to bottom. It needs a serious overhaul as soon as possible.

$tealing from the Public Pur$e Deserves Another Chance

Two local pharmacies - let's call them Drug Stores - have been found guilty of overcharging Pharmacare hundreds of thousands of dollars on methadone prescriptions.

Leave out of the discussion for the moment how useless and destructive methadone is and think only about these pigs stealing from the taxpayers' pool of money that should be buying legitimate medicines for the elderly.

So the courts in their endless wisdom have decided that the decision to cut these crooks off at the knees was made too hastily. The poor babies - proven crooks - deserve another chance to over bill us all.

Is there anybody who is not rightly furious with and frustrated by the courts today?

Is there anybody in the courts with an ounce of wisdom?


Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth is

President Bush vetoed a $606 billion spending bill Tuesday that would have funded education, health and labor programs for the current fiscal year, complaining that it was larded with pork and too expensive as he took aim at a top priority of the new Democratic Congress.

At the same time, the president signed a $471 billion Defense Department spending bill that funds regular Pentagon operations other than the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Many Lies of George Bush

Yesterday, Congress criticized the Pentagon.

Bush immediately rose on his hind quarters and said that it was not the job of Congress to tell the military what to do; it was the job of the military to tell politicians what we should be doing in a war.

That's a remarkable expression coming from the one president, who more than any other in history, willfully ignored military advice before and during the entire Iraq campaign.

Donald Rumsfeld ran the Iraq debacle. Generals were practically yelling at him from the beginning and he repeatedly threw them out of the room.

Make no mistake. Everything about this disaster is and has been and will be political in the tiniest, smallest, most partisan and selfish sense of the word.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Below is one of the most important articles you'll ever read about homelessness, Skid Row and the Police. The title and subtitle of this lengthy piece are:

"The Reclamation of Skid Row:

The LAPD’s efforts are reviving America’s most squalid neighborhood—and the homeless industry is hopping mad."

The piece is long, but a MUST read if you care about Vancouver's Downtown East Side.

It clearly tells the story of a district destroyed by so-called civil libertarians and poverty pimps. It also tells the story of the same district being rescued by compassionate tough love police.

And tell me if this isn't the clear answer to Vancouver's woes.

Federer Needs a Coach - Now

Roger Federer is by any measure one of the greatest athletes alive today.

To list his records, including 12 Grand Slam wins in tennis, would take several pages. Here are only a few recent accomplishments:

By winning Wimbledon in 2007, Federer also tied Björn Borg's open era record of five consecutive Wimbledon championships.

He is the only player ever to have won both Wimbledon and U.S. Open for four consecutive years.

He is also considered a great sportsman and a wonderful, sweet fellow.
His recent output has not been so legendary.
He bombed out in the first round the other day at the season-ending Masters tournament in Shanghai, a contest he was won the last 3 yeras in a row.
"World No.1 Roger Federer is eager to prove he's not slipping after losing consecutive tennis matches for the first time in four-and-a-half years.

Federer lost to No.7 Fernando Gonzalez of Chile 4-6 7-6 7-5 today at the Masters Cup to snap his 15-0 record in round-robin play at the season-ending tournament.

It also was the defending champion's first loss in 11 meetings against Gonzalez."
His behaviour in the above match was a throwback to his old teen years of throwing tantrums and berating judges.
What does this all mean?
Possibly nothing.
Tiger had an abysmal streak or two - each time his critics crying that it was all over - and came back with roars. Last year he played as well and as successfully as any in his career.
Breet Favre is having the best year a quarterback in his late 30's has ever had.
And as Federer has already proved to be a great champion, he may indeed bounce back next year and be even better.
But one fact is glaring - he has no coach.
There is no man of tennis age and wisdom pointing out to Federer the simple deficiencies that will creep into all our games.
Playing at his level without a coach is vanity.
I love watching Federer play. I will love it even more when he smartens up, gets a coach and returns to his glorious form.

Teachers' College a Sham.

BC Teachers' College, like most of its brother and sister "professional colleges" exists solely to maintain the status quo. They are almost secret societies.

It has been no surprise to any good observer for many years now that teachers who break the rules are rarely named or exposed or punished or disciplined in any way.

In this regard, they are remarkably like the College of Physicians.

Today's story on the front page of the Sun is business as usual.

When will the provincial government step in? Never.

Canada Line - The Anti-Citizen

As if the Canada Line can't get any uglier in its disregard for citizens...

We learn that Lavalin - company really struggling with its bottom line, NOT! - is pushing slave laborers from Columbia, Ecuador and Costa Rica to get out of their union.



We can only thank the Nutty Mayor.

He has successfully fulfilled his Civil City mandate by keeping Geogg Plant from homelessness.


Mr. Plant and his $300,000/year office are planning fora and surveys and studies. Yip-atee-ay-oh!

Back in the old days, we used to call this corruption. collusion, cronyism and downright silliness.

No doubt, Kim Capripants and Susan Antigen are excited.

Monday, November 12, 2007

What's a Day Without a Little Bocelli In the Night?

Good Old Ecclesiastes

The Byrds hypnotic turn on some ancient wisdom...this is one of my all-time rock faves...

Victor's Prize Winning Olympic Coinage

For 60 years, the governments of Korea and China have requested an apology from Japan for the forced prostitution imposed by the Japanese army during WW2. These enslaved girls were called "comfort women".

Now, it appears we will have our own comfort women in Vancouver to provide relief for the army of tourists coming to our city in 2010.

It is rumoured that Mayor Sam has proposed issuing special tokens that may be redeemed for these services. These will bear the Olympic logo and be called "Inukchukfuckbucks".

VANOC has pressed for assurance that in the interests of equality, both genders will be available for Inukchukfuckbucks. Accordingly, a special contingent of male prostitutes to be known as "Furlong's Footlongs" will be created.

Cambie St.- The Legalities of Compensation

Jonathan Baker is a well-known Vancouver Lawyer and former City Councillor.

He writes:


I have been following your comments regarding compensation of the Cambie Street merchants.

Actually, the government is being more miserable than you give them credit for. The existing legislation gave them a right to compensation? However that right was taken away by various legislative amendments to the Vancouver Charter, the Local Government Act and the Community Charter.

Section 312 of the Local Government Act provides for compensation for injurious affection if a regional district injuriously affects property by the exercise of _any of its powers_. Section 33 of the /Community Charter/ does the same for actions by municipalities, and Section 541 of the Vancouver Charter applies to actions by the City of Vancouver.

However, the British Columbia Transit Act excludes the applicability of these provisions with respect to land affected by the planning, acquisition, construction, maintenance or operation of a rail transit system under the Transit Act, or in respect of any actions by a municipality that in any way relates to the rail transit system.

Relevant Legislation British Columbia Transit Act 8(7) Despite any other Act, section 33 of the /Community Charter,/ section 312 of the /Local Government Act/ and section 541 of the /Vancouver Charter/ do not apply in respect of land affected by the planning, acquisition, construction, maintenance or operation of a rail transit system under this Act or in respect of the exercise of any power of a municipality that in any way relates to the rail transit system.

Vancouver Charter Compensation for injurious affection *541.* Where real property is injuriously affected by the exercise on the part of the city of any of its powers, the city shall, unless it is otherwise provided in this or some other Act, make due compensation to the owner for any damage necessarily resulting therefrom beyond any advantage which the owner may derive from any work in connection with which the real property is so affected.

Local Government Act Compensation for expropriation and other actions *312* (2_) If a regional district_ (a) exercises a power to enter on, break up, alter, take or enter into possession of and use any property, or _injuriously affects property by the exercise of any of its powers, /and/ _ _(b) exercises a power referred to in paragraph (a) that does not constitute an expropriation within the meaning of the /Expropriation Act,/_ _compensation is payable for any loss or damages caused by the exercise of the power._ "