Thursday, December 6, 2007


I told you something was brewing, and now I can make the official announcement.

Buy your Vancouver Province tomorrow (Friday, December 7, 2007) or read it on-line at


Because starting tomorrow and every Friday thereafter, I begin my new assignment as a Vancouver Province Columnist.

The column will appear on the editorial page.

I was thrilled and astounded when the editor approached me out of the blue to ask if I'd be interested.

I am deeply honored.

Also terribly excited.

Hope you enjoy the pieces as they appear.

Parole Board is Wrong, as Usual

The National Parole Board is most renowned for springing psychotic killers.

Now, they refuse a parole to Robert Latimer, the Prairie farmer who agonized for years over the suffering of his disabled daughter before killing her. For Latimer, rightly or wrongly, this was an act of mercy.

Listen to the Parole Board at work.

"We were left with the feeling you have not developed the kind of sufficient insight and understanding of your actions," said Kelly-Ann Speck, one of the members of the panel."

How the manage to come up with that sermon for this man, but leave it in the prayer book for out-and-out crazies is unfathomable.

There are Taxes and then There is Highway Robbery

No one likes to learn of new taxes, in any form.

But an 8% raise in city property taxes to cover The Big Party in 2010?

That is outrageous.

It speaks to the incompetence of the worst council in City history.

"It's going to be very tough," says Peter Ladner.

What will be tough, Peter, is getting any of you re-elected.

This is in addition to the Olympic "Legacy Fund" being raped for what amounts to operating costs.

From this morning's front page story in the Sun, we get this:

"But opponents say that far from providing long-term legacies, as its name implies, the fund amounts to an Olympic operations budget.

Among the items it covers are a $1.4-million communications campaign, $1 million for the city's host pavilion, $2 million for hosting dignitaries and $2 million for the "look" of the city during the Olympics."

Tim Stevenson says, "I see it as a slush fund for the mayor." And he's right.

In yesterday's Courier, Alan Garr further skewers The Nutty One with his insights on how the mayor plays with money. Sullivan managed to divert some funds from one of his many non-profit organizations to the NPA.

Garr notes:

"The story, by Tyee reporter Monte Paulsen, concerned a Sullivan creation called the Nanitch Policy Society, just one of Sullivan's societies he has used to obscure his activities from the public.

Nanitch was incorporated as a non-profit in 2002. Its express purpose is "to identify, research, and promote changes in public policy for the purpose of improving the economic, environmental and social well-being of all members of the community, in particular those members of the community who are marginalized and disabled."

Garr points out that the other directors of Nanitch were completely unaware of this donation to the NPA.

So the mayor plays fast and loose with the monies from non-profits, and the City Council cannibalizes a "Heritage" Fund to pay for the groceries.

Except the groceries in this case include:

"- $1.5 million for an Olympic public art program.
- $300,000 to host the 2008 Paralympic torch relay (Vancouver is one of three Olympic cities on the relay).
- $1 million for "social sustainability" around the city's inner-city inclusivity commitments.
- $1 million for "community celebrations."
- $1 million for a "volunteer/ambassador program."
- $150,000 for environmental sustainability.
- $200,000 for "business-tourism initiatives."
How about more organic eggs?

Why cant a woman?

As My Fair Lady is opening in Richmond this season, I thought a little look at the original might be appropriate. Here's Rex Harrison for whose non-singing voice these songs were perfectly written.