Wednesday, January 9, 2008


Carole Taylor may or may not add a carbon tax at our gas pumps in her upcoming budget, but this is a very bad idea for at least two reasons.

First, we are already overwhelmed by the high cost of fuel. One more tax will cause apoplexy or maybe a needed revolt.

Second, if the manufacturers and dealers insist on continuing to put SUVs on the road, how will a tax at the pump change anything? You think SUV owners will care about paying a bit more for their polluting monstrosities?

I live but a block away from Our Lady of Perpetual SUVs, a lovely parochial school that is visited 4 times a day by cavalcades of Exploders and other hulking tanks, each driven by a tiny lady, each transporting a tiny child.

A friend has recently ditched his late model station wagon for a Smart Car.

We need more smart cars, more smart people, more smart legislators.

Homelessness Revisited

Possibly one of the best and most powerful pieces on the subject of the homeless ever presented in the Sun appeared this morning.

It is written Dr. Michael Goodwin.

What becomes clear by the end of this editorial is that, in spite of all the flag-waving by the mayor and premier about what they claim to be doing, nobody is truly building new and appropriate low-cost housing for the indigent. The city announcements in recent months about the 12 or so sites they are refurbishing are all about existing stock being reconfigured.

The homeless are OUR problem, and until we demand of our elected politicians that they spend some money - and that includes the Federal government and their basic abandonment of the role of CMHC - we will be no furhter ahead.

The Co$t of $triving for Perfection

Some rare good news!

Congratulations to Tom Lee Music, the Vancouver Sun and others who are putting their purses into a new program to support elite athletes here in BC.

The program is called Growing Champions and it will offer $5,000/year for 3 years to dedicated and skilled athletes in training.

Now, $5,000 a year is not nearly enough to cover the endless costs to a young athlete and his or her family, but it's a welcome help and a great start.

This has been a very long time coming and we can only hope that more and more businesses will sign on.

Hillary as Evita

Don't cry me for me, Barak la la...

For the ultimate re-hash of Senator Clinton's 2 and a half teary moments, you must read Maureen Dowd in this morning's NY Times.

It's a riot and spot on.

Backstage at "The Phantom of the Opera"

Elizabeth James Finds Us Lost in the Woods


Awake far too early, as usual, I turned to TV Channel 111 locally, mostly for the background music. But then this brilliant news item scrolled by --

"The Federal Government appears poised to introduce programs to provide relief to Canada's struggling forest industry, which has been hit by a double whammy - the rising value of the Canadian dollar and the depressed housing economy in the United States." Nary a peep about the criminally-ignored, decade-plus, devastation of the interior forests of this province, soon to sweep though the Central and South Okanagan tourist mecca.

Where is BC on the map? It's almost as though we don't exist out here.

I thought the Conservative power base was in Western Canada. And where's our own government - besides scribbling about green carbon taxes on the Maui beach, that is?

A good friend of mine - a consultant in the industry - remarked last summer, "Elizabeth, what you have to realize is that forestry in British Columbia is no longer about trees; it's about real estate."

That was confirmed a few weeks ago, of course, by the sell-off of lands in a coastal forestry licence to private interests in Sooke - all given the OK by BC's Minister of Forests.

And where are the people? Heads in the sand, making pots of dough - at ten bucks an hour - in the "booming (paper) economy" of the Best Place on Earth.

And where will they be when our resource-based economy goes bust? Movin' on, Brother; movin' on out.