Sunday, November 11, 2007

Merchants & Musqueam - 2 Different Worlds

This is an excellent piece by Michael Smyth in today's Province.

But he could have gone even farther.

The point about the Musqueam deal is that it was entirely a story of 2 Campbell's - the Preem and the Musqueam Chief, Ernie Campbell.

Almost no other human being was in on this agreement, and few would have signed on if they were asked - including the Musqueam people.

As for the Cambie Merchant's plight, how many times can we point out this civic atrocity?

Libs' priorities: My, how they have changed
The 'new' premier fights small biz, courts Musqueam
Michael Smyth
The Province
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Any politician's priorities can turn upside down to suit the times and circumstances.
But when it comes to Premier Gordon Campbell's agenda, two days last week showed just how dramatically things can change.
On Wednesday, the Campbell government's lawyers lost their attempt to quash a compensation lawsuit by one of the dozens of Cambie Street merchants whose businesses have been devastated by Canada Line construction.
On Friday, Campbell announced a land deal to give the Musqueam Indian Band the UBC Golf Club and part of Pacific Spirit Park in a "reconciliation agreement."
If you'd told me a few years ago these would be Campbell's priorities today, I'd have wondered what your were smoking.
Consider the irony of Campbell fighting small businesses impacted by a public megaproject. Cambie Street merchants have lost an average of $112,000 each because of Canada Line construction chaos and the Campbell government has refused to compensate them.
It was a different story when the Liberals were in Opposition.
When the NDP government built the Millennium Line SkyTrain extension, many impacted businesses complained -- and the Liberals stood up for them.
"These people have invested their life's dreams and all their money in these places," said then-Liberal-MLA Christy Clark.
But the NDP refused to compensate the Millennium Line businesses -- something Liberal Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon wasn't afraid to point out on Thursday.
"They did nothing when they were in government," Falcon lectured.
So two wrongs make a right, eh? Now the Liberals spend your tax dollars on lawyers to fight the very businesses they supported in the past.
At least Clark hasn't betrayed her principles, and now supports compensating the Cambie merchants. Campbell should take a look in the mirror and do the same.
The premier's change is even more stark on the First Nations file.
In 2002, Campbell held a "legally binding" referendum in which 95 per cent of voters said public parks should not be ceded to First Nations in treaty settlements.
Now he's given portions of Pacific Spirit Park to the Musqueam -- a First Nation Campbell fought fiercely when they imposed 7,000-per-cent rent hikes on non-native leaseholders in the 1990s.
"Here the Musqueam have gone ahead and done something without any representation from any of the people," Campbell fumed back then.
Now the same criticism could be levelled at his surrender of the golf course and parkland without public input -- decisions, like the betrayal of the Cambie businesses, the "old Campbell" would have scorned.
© The Vancouver Province 2007

Feminist Agenda or Higher Principals?

A Reform Synagogue in St. Louis has offered its sanctuary to two women who wish to be ordained into the Catholic Church as priests.

The local Archdiocese is angry.

The Rabbi of the Synagogue is a woman.

Read the whole story here, and then tell me where your sympathies fall.

A good argument in favor of this action might be that this is a kind and loving and open and accepting thing for the schul to do. That sanctuary is sanctuary.

And I will understand that argument.

But I don't accept it.

I think instead that this is meddling of the silliest order. That this is looking for a fight and finding it with delight. That Synagogues need not have much interest in the afffairs of Catholic Churches and vice versa. That this is Feminism gone mental.

Will I be surprised to learn that Lesbianism is it at the core of this story and that there is considerable winking and chortling behind the altars and that none of this will ever emerge lest it be called politically incorrect and various abominations and discriminatory and witch hunting? No.

You Want an Elected Senate. Be careful What You Wish For

I must tell you honestly that I have been surprised by my survey on the question of The Canadian Senate.

The largest majority of respondents have said that the senate should be elected, rather than abolished.

I have believed for may years the Senate should be abolished. It is expensive and redundant.

We have an elected body of governors in Parliament.

If the Senate truly represented a serious body of "sober second thought," it might be worth salvation. But it is nothing remotely like that. It is a sinecure for party loyalists. A major salary, secretary, expenses, privileges and pension for doing absolutely nothing of redeeming value.

For example, take Larry Campbell, please!

Do you really believe that more elected officials will bring breaths of fresh air to a political scene that for many years now has been peopled by charlatans, fools and the chronically inept?

Money spent on this charade, elected or appointed, is money taken from health care, education, housing, agriculture, research and infrastructure.