Friday, February 8, 2008


From a regular contributor...

The TransLink Board has justed voted itself a raise in its meeting honoraria - for $200 a meeting to..........$1,200/meeting!!!!!!!!! - whether or not they are physically present at the table. They get it if it's just a teleconference!

While fares rise - while families face financial ruin along the Canada Line - behind closed doors the TransLink Cabal votes themselves this gluttony
and flips the people of BC the bird.

This is beyond all comprehension.


What follows is perhaps the rudest letter imaginable from Little Ms. I'mAlright to yet another Cambie merchant whose business has been ruined by the Canada Line. It's a classic. But WARNING - YOUR BLOOD MAY BOIL.

Linda ( I presume)
I am an independent operator. I have a contract with Canada Line to manage the projects of the Business Liaison Committees. I take my directives from the committee members and my Independent Chair. I will not be passing your rhetorical question on to the CEO of Canada Line for you.

As you know, there is no mandate for Canada Line in their contract to provide compensation to businesses. What Canada Line did in that absence, was to create communications and programming resources available through the Vancouver and Richmond Business Liaison Committees. You have two representatives for this area which are on the Committee, Mr., Leonard Schein of Festival Cinemas, who operates the Park Theatre just up the street from you, and Ms. Heather Grant who works with Shato Holdings, owners of numerous properties including White Spot. These two individuals do a great job of representing the interests of Cambie Village at our table and provide input as to ways to bring customers to Cambie Village. In fact, they have secured a great deal of programming for the area in addition to that funded through the Committee. I know they will both continue to champion for Cambie Village.

Mr. Schein and Ms. Grant also serve on the volunteer Board of Directors for the Cambie Village Business Association. You have the contact name and number for Rania Hatz, your BIA coordinator who you have cc’d in the email. Please speak with Rania about ideas you may have for events, marketing and programs in the Cambie Village area or to find out what programs are currently being planned so that you can participate.

I believe I have done all I can for your business in my capacity. Canada Line has provided one-on-one consultation from the Retail Consultant, who also gave you a personalized sign program template on cd and new logo to work with. I know that there were many ideas and suggestions presented to you and it is up to you how you move forward. With the closure of all the Regis Framing stores, you now have less competition in this area. The City Square location has closed and you could go into the mall and hand out your cards to the other merchants to let them know that people looking for framing can now call you. Perhaps offer a referral program.. It might be a good time to make some photocopies of flyers, or rearrange the store. Urban Source on Main street just north of 16th sells recycled materials for pennies and will provide an environmentally friendly supply of neat things to make displays with. There are many constructive things you could be doing.

I am wondering, too, why after running the business for about 20 months you speak about the last 17, 20 and now 24 years of business. Having met the previous owners, who themselves bought the business from someone else, it seems the business has changed hands a number of times in the last few years alone. Along with your inconsistent operating hours, it is my own personal onion that you may have some consumer confidence issues to work on. Traditionally, retail sales are very low this time of year. Add snow storms and traffic congestion and you do really have a very compounded situation. I have never said otherwise. But I honestly believe you need to make more effort in your business for it to grow. Sending emails such as the attached, and some of the others you have copied me on, will not help you unless you feel it is beneficial to vent at someone. If that is the case – why not type the email out and then delete it? That way you see, you don’t offend people who have done a lot to try to help you in the only way that they are able to or have control over.

I wish you well,


Karen Peterson
Independent Project Director
Business Liaison and Communications Committees
Do You Shop the Line?
Canada Line Direct: 604-639-8723
Cellular 778-327-8383
483 West 16th Avenue
Vancouver BC V5Y 1Z2



Hi Mensche:

This city needs a dialogue on treatment; maybe a Langara dialogue.

I am tired of the obfuscation.

On a daily basis I hear bloated talk show hosts admonish us because treatment is not available for addicts. But they never define or discuss treatment.

Similarly, newspaper columnists bring the scientific weight of their two-year journalism diplomas to the call for treatment. But they never define it. Never analyze the efficacy of any treatment protocols.

I am tired of being preached to by these moralizing intellectual sophomores.

We need a dialogue around the following question:



Question one.

With respect to question #1, surely we have the right to put the treatment regimens under the bright light of scientific scrutiny. We do this for every other health issue. So what works? The question is particularly important given the claims by VCH that treatment can be effective for dual-diagnosed addicts. OK? The procedures manual for the Psychiatrists Association lists 300 mental disorders. There are a dozen different addictive drugs at least. That's thousands of combinations. Do we use the same 'treatment' for all of them? Does the manic depressive addicted to heroin et the same treatment as the violent cocaine addict? Who gives the treatment? Somebody with an undergrad degree in sociology? What is the regimen? Yeah, I know, psychiatrists are scorned, even though they have medical degrees, but given that addiction is a health issue, dare I ask for the credentials of treatment advocates? And if addiction is not a health issue, but a lifestyle issue, get it away from my taxes. I don't pay for botox failures.

Question Two.

What do we mean by" treatment works"? Does this mean the 34 year old meth addict stays clean for 2 years? One year? Gets a job? Who defines success? Every six of months or so I stop shaving for 4 days, put on my garden clothes and walk East Hastings. Try it. I get away with it because I am a cripple and I limp badly. I ask myself whether any of the lost souls I encounter could ever cross over to civilian street. Could they clean up? Get a job. Eat right. Yes, I'm aware of the heartfelt stories about the ex meth addict who now sorts bottles at a charity. But we need to face the fact that even, and I stress, even of we clean up the estimated 7000 addicts in the GVRD, they will be on the dole for life. Bloated talk show hosts and columnists flog the notion that somehow, these denizens of despair will clean up, join the Rotary, wear sensible shoes and eat organically.

Assume society accepts the cost of cleaning all 7,000 dual diagnosed addicts. Surely we should discuss the cost of housing, feeding and caring for the bulk of them, and those who will replace them, in perpetuity.

Question three. The cost.

Everybody dances around this. I have only one number as a reference. The facility in Keromeos, the one that will "treat" (that word again) 40 addicts a year, has an operating budget of $2 million. That's operating costs of $50,000 per addict, not including capital costs. They claim a high success rate although, success isn't defined. (see point 2). But assuming the Keremeos facility "Works" that translates into $350 million a year for the 7000 addicts on the downtown east side. That doesn't include capital costs. Let's put capital costs for 7000 units at $150 million, which is a bargain.

So we have a figure of $500 million a year. (Plus support for the rest of their lives). That's before the WCF (World Crackhead Federation) descends on Vancouver for 2010.

Can we at least, as Charles Dickens said "do the sums".

God forbid all those earnest advocates puzzle their sincere minds with accountability.

But, it as been said, "Earnest is another name for Stupid that went to university."



Though winter is far from out the door, the election season seems just around the corner.

Already, the signs are jammed into the cushy lawns of Vancouver Quadra for the March 17 byelection caused by local MP Stephen Owen’s decision to move on to a more relaxing job at the University of B.C. And almost daily, Prime Minister Stephen Harper threatens to exploit political rifts over Canada’s role in Afghanistan and roll the dice on a federal vote.

Civic contests arrive in mid-November. Then, a provincial election is slated for May 12 of next year. And there’s not much we can do about it. Under the Constitution Act, the date has been fixed.

But what do you want from the political leaders you elect? Management or inspiration? Experience or hope?

In the United States, Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton sees the position of president as that of a CEO who must “manage and run the bureaucracy.” Rival Barack Obama’s vision is a world apart.

In the classic call-and-answer style of the rural churches of the southern U.S., Obama is drawing new and old voters alike with his rallying call: “Yes, we can!” In debate, he is often shaky and thin on detail (which is exactly where Clinton shines).

But put Obama in front of an echoing crowd, and the Martin Luther King within him rises to the surface. I confess the man had me in tears.

On the Republican side, in a stirring clash between character and cunning, John McCain marches to confirmation, now that slick Mitt Romney, the millionaire Mormon, has suspended his campaign.

Which brings us back to our less-than-colourful election campaigns back home.

Vying to become City of Vancouver mayor are Gregor Robertson, Raymond Louie, David Cadman, Peter Ladner and, of course, Sam Sullivan. Oh, and from his 15 years on the parks board, there’s Allan De Genova. Lord help us.

On the provincial level, I don’t know anybody who would accuse NDP Leader Carole James or Premier Gordon Campbell of the kind of leadership that would encourage you to raise your knickers and wade across the river for the gold.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is one lace less exciting than a pair of rental bowling shoes. And federal Liberal leader Stephane Dion is the guy who walked backwards into the propeller wash of politics.

So, what kind of leaders do we really want? And why can’t we get them?

A friend says that it’s fine to know how to run the shop, but people hunger for more. He argues that Obama is finding his constituency precisely because of that raw emptiness in the collective American gut. And he asks: “Where are the Canadian Obamas?” Where are the men and women of vision? Where are the souls who will awaken our own souls to callings higher than real estate?

The bar has been set so low in recent years, who would want the damn job?

No Brothels for Sam. Boo Effing Hoo

Co-op brothels will not happen any time soon.

That's the welcome announcement from Federal Justice Minsiter, Rob Nicholson.

"We are not in the business of legalizing brothels."

This was another of The Nutty Mayor's sweeping grand schemes to prettify Our Town for the Olympics.

Like all of his ideas - drug substitution, silent fire trucks - it's a No Go.

Shocking Walking

I like SFU's new "walking generator."

Wear a small brace on your knees and while you walk, you create enough juice to power your music box.

If this gets more people walking, I'm all for it.

Zoo Breaks

Some of the following may be prohibited from public use or display in Vancouver:







What havoc this will play with the next election.

Who's left?


It's good to know that the owner of the van that overutned last year, killing three farm workers and injuring 14 others, will be faced with a big fine.

But that's not even the beggining of cleaning up this mess.

Three days after that sickening and completely avoidable tragedy, that same company was yelling at its female immigrant employees at 6am to get into another completely unsafe van.

You won't read about that in the paper. I know because a friend of mine was standing there observing this atrocity.

The bc government has no laws requiring such vehicles to be inspected or carry seatbelts or have their tire pressure checked and any other simple safety procedure.

I lay this monstrocity entirely in the uncaring laps of the Olympic mistresses who call themselves our government.

Two seatbelts - 14 passengers....what gulag are we living in I ask again?

Oh I forgot...they are women and they are immigrants and they are in the valley out of view.

If only they were snowboarders or board of trade members.

David Marley on Policing

As you know, Metro Vancouver is currently involved in a debate over the desirability of "regional policing". Yesterday, SFU hosted a conference on the subject, one that drew a great many local politicians amongst other interested individuals. During the event not a single person mentioned that the RCMP "provincial services agreement" with BC expires in 2012. Yet, later in the day, the federal minister of public safety, with a beeming mayor of Surrey at his side, announced that construction will begin next year on a new headquarters for the RCMP's "E" division, to be built in "Green Timbers", Surrey.

Here we have yet another flagrant example of bureaucratic absolutism. It matters not that the people of BC have to date had no opportunity to debate the relative merits of keeping the RCMP in the role of municipal police force throughout BC post-2012. The federal bureaucracy, apparently with the active compliance of various provincial and local officials, is moving full speed ahead to spend vast sums of taxpayers' money on constructing a facility, presumably to create a fait accompli with respect to the RCMP's future in our province.

In 1950, the Attorney-General of the day, Gordon Wismer, effectively abrogated our country's Constitution by administrative fiat when, for dubious short term financial gain, he signed away BC's obligation to discharge the administration of justice insofar as the all important policing function is concerned. Today, the chief law officer of BC maintains direct control over a mere eleven so-called "independent" police forces across the province. By far the majority of communities are policed by a federal para-military force, run from distant Ottawa, one that is increasingly of late under the microscope for totally unacceptable behaviour of one sort or another.

We need a vigorous debate in BC, up to and including the May, 2009 provincial general election, as to whether to keep the RCMP as our dominant police presence. I believe we would be wise to encourage regional policing wherever numbers warrant in urban and suburban centres and, as for the balance of the province, we ought to resurrect a "British Columbia Constabulary".

I hope you will use your "bully pulpit" to promote such a necessary province-wide debate.

Canon in D by Johann Pachelbel