What would happen if Vancouver and VANOC and the IOC and the province all had the grace and self-confidence that should come with having that much power?
Perhaps they could find the chutzpah to just ignore little things that they don't like.
Instead they must go tromping around, grinding their heels into any little oddity that doesn't quite fit in with the Big Plan.
Our weenie is bigger than yours.
That's all it comes down to.
Case in point, the piece of art shown above which has been hanging outside a local gallery.
The city has demanded it come down.
The city has called it "graffiti."
The decision maker here on what is art and what is graffiti is a nameless, faceless city inspector.
We pay this boob's salary.
How about inspecting farm vehicles with 17 worker-passengers and no seat belts? [SEE BELOW]
Now, this is odd behaviour from the City of Vancouver because Mayor Gregor Robertson has publicly declared that the city's “commitment has always been the protection of people's Charter Rights and Freedoms.”
Get on your bike.
Go down to your favorite 'hood, the DTES, and put the painting back on the wall.
The mid-town sillies are so busy celebrating the past ( A hint of Woodward's old food floor has returned to the new re-development. Man, you would think this was the only city in the world that had a big old food department downtown.) that they are not noticing the present and the future being sold for a down-hill run.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Here's the basic idea.
After numerous failed attempts to reduce crime among their youth, native leaders and communities in Manitoba and Saskatchewan are proposing aboriginal school boards, a controversial idea even among first nations.
Some argue that this will get native kids up and moving and away from street crime.
Others suggest this will be a return to the nightmares of residential schools.
This polarization is not helping.
The truth and part of the solution to an ongoing tragedy in our midst lies, as it often does, somewhere in the middle.
Here and there, a few individual projects have been showing some glimmers of hope.
Winnipeg's Children of the Earth is a high school that seems to be helping aboriginal young people do better work.
If it's working support it. Fund it.
But do not leap to the conclusion that we now need a network or consortium or government institution of encrusted aboriginal separate schools.
The last thing that will possibly help alleviate what is and should be seen as a national disgrace (Have you visited Manitoba or Saskatchewan lately?) is a new bureacracy of any kind, let alone native education.
Look not for silver bullets and big sweeping changes, but for many modest LOCAL solutions.
Where aboriginal students are succeeding integrated into public schools, great.
Where they are not and someone is prepared to put together an alternative that may do a better job, fine.
But please do not go off madly re-inventing the wheel.
Posted by David Berner at 10:38 AM
Writing in yesterday's Province, Ethan Baron has added fuel to my post of yesterday about the Premier's charming lack of regrets.
Something stinks in our provincial parks, and it isn't just the toilets
Liberals spend more on PR than people
The thrust of the column is this:
B.C.'s crown jewel — our provincial park system — has fallen into a disgraceful state, victim of funding cuts by a government that spends more on its own spin machine than it does on parks.
Read it and get clear about your politics.
Posted by David Berner at 10:31 AM
Crash that killed three farm workers ruled 'accidental' by coroner's jury
In 2008, police recommended 33 criminal charges be laid against both the driver of the vehicle involved in the crash, Harwinder Gill, and her husband, Ranjit Gill. But the charges were not approved by Crown counsel. Instead, Harwinder Gill pleaded guilty to four lesser charges under the Motor Vehicle Act and was fined $2,000.
“It was literally a slap on the wrist,” Jim Sayre, lawyer for the victim’s families, said Thursday.
“It was a demonstration of disrespect in their view for the lives of their loved ones. That that was all those lives were worth,” he said.
The Gills were also fined $69,000 following an investigation by WorkSafeBC. But that fine was never paid.
The jury heard earlier in the inquest there were 17 people inside the van at the time of the crash. Only two had seatbelts, including the driver and a frontseat passenger. Gill was not properly licenced to drive the vehicle. Meanwhile, the van itself was in poor working condition with balding and inadequately inflated tires.
* * *
The day after this sickening and completely avoidable tragedy, my friend, Jim Sinclair, BC Fed President went out to the Gills' farm and watched as more indentured poor were badgered into unsafe vans without seat belts.
Lay all of the blame here at the provincial and municipal governments who refuse to pay inspectors in adequate numbers to police and enforce even the most basic working conditions - like drinking water and sanitation.
When it comes to some areas we are not "the greatest place on earth."
We are a corrupt and self-indulgent third-world slum.
And, by the way.
Gord has no regrets.
Posted by David Berner at 10:23 AM