Monday, January 31, 2011


Royal City Musical Theatre Presents “A Night of Twisted Broadway” on February 19th, 2011!

“A Night of Twisted Broadway” is back – on Saturday, February 19th, 2011 at 7:30pm!

Our annual fundraising gala this year is “A Night of Twisted Broadway”, a cabaret revue that spoofs show tunes, characters and plots of contemporary and current Broadway musicals. It mocks and parodies some of your favourite tunes with a hilarious spoof on three great Broadway choreographers – Fosse, Prince, and Bennett. Original conception, direction and choreography by RCMT Artistic Director Valerie Easton and features 18 local musical performers. The evening will include a silent auction, 50/50 draw, and great entertainment! Tickets for our fantastic upcoming production of “The Will Rogers Follies” will be available for purchase. Hosted by Shaw Television host David Berner.

Tickets are $35.00 and are available by phone 604-521-5050 or by ordering securely online at

Buyers of tickets in December will have their tickets honoured for February 19th.

Buy early for best seats and see you on February 19th!



So asks the headline of a full one-page ad (page A8) in today's Sun.

The answer to this questionable question is supported by the signatures of about a hundred CEO's of local companies, and other luminaries.

The punchline is Kevin Falcon.

Mr. Falcon is apparently the best person to "manage" BC.

And doesn't that little verb, therein, tell us so much about the leadership deficit we face these days.

Mr. Falcon is smart and energetic.

He is also a bull in a china shop, a peson who sees all of a life as a profit-and-loss sheet, and, like all the other candidates in this wishy-washiest candidate contest, yet to tell us what he wants or sees for this province.

He has no vision.

And his supporters don't expect any.

All they ask for is a good manager.

Yawn, goodnight.

If you thought Gordon Campbell or Glen Clark or any other Premier you can think of was a tad autocratic, whoa...stand back, kids, and prepare for the Iron Fist of KF. My way or the Triple P Highway Kev.

Are all these Vancouver CEO's as simple minded and ignorant of history as the Tea Party folks south of the border who think Obama is a (yech) "socialist?"


Continued and hearty kudos to Sun editorial writer Daphne Bramham, who has been relentless in her condemnation of the Bountiful polygamists.

As she has chronicled repeatedly, this "community" is the poster child for "religions" shielding detestable and illegal activities.

What is most disturbing is how often this issue has come before the office of the provincial Attorney-General, and how often shoulders were shrugged, excuses and apologies offered.

In today's column, Daphne calls once again for some official action.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


A man (or something disguised and posing in public as a man) shakes an 11-week old baby causing permanent brain damage.

The child - did we mention? - now has permanent and irreversible brain damage.

The man (or some creature asking us to believe he is a man) acknowledges his deed.

The facts are not disputed.

But Judge Adrian Brooks has found this trash not quilty in the charge of aggravated assault.

"I am not persuaded beyond a reasonable doubt that the force used was excessive,” Brooks said.

Excuse me?

What exactly would have had to have happened to register with the good Justice as "excessive?" Flying body parts?

And speaking of aggravated assault, can we sue the good Judge for aggravated assault against common sense, the basic understanding of justice and Canadian jurisprudence?

Next week, my guest on DAVID BERNER on SHAW TV will be retired Justice Wallace Gilby Craig, who will share with us his inventory on how we are doing on addictions, violence, home and auto invasions, gangs, courts, prosecutors and judges.

I will ask him to explain to us all how such a travesty as this can occur in our courts and how it gets less space in the newspaper than a story about a police dog.


Often, whilst railing against the persistent stupidities of governments and their agents, we get the feeling that we are a lone voice or two howling from the cliffs into a relentless wind.

How cheering it is then to see that on occasion - as in several Arab countries at the moment - the masses rise from their slumber and "second that emotion."

In this specific case, a petition now demands the removal of His Royal Walliness from the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry.

Like many of you, we were appalled, nay struck dumb in disbelief, when this never-do-anything, always smile, smooth the duvet political Polonius was appointed to this dire and important task. We knew at once that no result would follow.

Now, native leaders, family members and other concerned citizens have said, "Basta, baby!"

"The petition urges the government to replace Mr. Oppal because he has previously defended the police investigation, argued against establishment of an inquiry and was attorney-general when Crown prosecutors decided not to proceed with 20 outstanding murder charges against Mr. Pickton."

This decorous appointment was one of the last and most cynical acts of Premier Gordon Campbell.

Friday, January 28, 2011


I am so embarrassed.

You will quickly spot in the two parts of the Bill Tieleman interview below that I incorrectly, in the excitement of starting the show, said that the raid on the legislature happened on January 28th, 2003.

Of course, I know the date is December 28, 2003.

Then, to make matters even more confusing, after Bill pointed out my error to me during the short break, I came back on camera, apologized and then reiterated January!

A senior moment live and on camera.

Oh well. Forgive me. I am working today on forgiving myself, for, as you, know I prefect and neever gret things wrong.




It is like clockwork.

The moment you suggest that guns might be a problem in a democratic civilized society, the Riflemen rise to the occasion and hasten to tell you that the American Constitution gives its citizens "the right to bare arms." Spelling is not a long suit for the gun people.

Nor is basic information or knowledge or history.

Jill Lepore, writing in the January 17th edition of the New Yorker, shares this with us:

Consider the Second Amendment: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Historical evidence can be marshalled to support different interpretations of these words, and it certainly has been. But the Yale law professor Reva Siegel has argued that, for much of the twentieth century, legal scholars, judges, and politicians, both conservative and liberal, commonly understood the Second Amendment as protecting the right of citizens to form militias—as narrow a right as the protection provided by the Third Amendment against the government’s forcing you to quarter troops in your house. Beginning in the early nineteen-seventies, lawyers for the National Rifle Association, concerned about gun-control laws passed in the wake of the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy, argued that the Second Amendment protects the right of individuals to bear arms—and that this represented not a changing interpretation but a restoration of its original meaning. The N.R.A., which had never before backed a Presidential candidate, backed Ronald Reagan in 1980. As late as 1989, even Bork could argue that the Second Amendment works “to guarantee the right of states to form militias, not for individuals to bear arms.” In an interview in 1991, the former Chief Justice Warren Burger said that the N.R.A.’s interpretation of the Second Amendment was “one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word ‘fraud,’ on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime."

Thursday, January 27, 2011


The Americans are mad, quite mad.

They love their guns. They believe in their guns. They worship their guns.

It matters not what mayhem contorts the streets, what horrors are brought to neighbourhoods, how many suicides and murders are added to the rolls, Americans believe in their right to bear the shopping mall, at the cinema, at the bar, at the school and playground and the beach.

And if your nutty next door neighbour or your corner dope dealer is packing, I guess it's only right that you pack too.

And nobody, nobody from President Obama on down, dare speak of this elephant in the room, because this belief system is so deeply entrenched that one risks not only one's political career, but one's very life to say otherwise.

Well, now it's official.

The sovereign great state of Utah has its state flower and it has its state bird.

Not enough, kids.

Now it is poised to adopt its official state gun.

That would be your Browning M1911 semi-automatic pistol.

It doesn't matter to the legislators in Utah that the sick bastard who shot up Tuscon, Arizona a few weeks ago was using a similar weapon - the Glock version of the semi-automatic pistol.

It doesn't matter to theses august souls that anyone can walk into a store in Georgia and buy 23 pistols and walk out the door, or that you or I can Google "AK-47" and in seconds be put in touch with hundreds of shops in America that will sell us a repeating automatic weapon of destruction for a very reasonable price and even ship it to us.

"Guns don't kill people. People kill people." is the mantra of the NRA.


Yet, it's odd how often those people who kill people happen to have smoking guns in their hands when the killing happens.

Canada is not immune to this disease. But to date we are so far less a gun nation than the USA that one can only give thanks.



I have taken to buying, hoarding and stockpiling incandescent light bulbs.

If I'm in Safeway or London Drugs and I'm basically buying food or computer toys, I now also throw in a few 40, 60 or 100 watters. Soon, I'll have to park on the street to make room for them all in the garage.

I think the new provincial and federal laws, which will soon see these efficient, little beauties disappear in the name of environmentalism, is wrong. Dead wrong.

Check out Craig McInnes' column in today's Sun, in which he presents cogent arguments that the politicians have even managed to get the SCIENCE WRONG.


Li Na broke new ground for China on Thursday, fighting back to topple world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki 3-6 7-5 6-3 and become her country’s first grand slam finalist at the Australian Open.

Everybody had picked the entirely dull Dane to win the title.

Which made watching Li Na come back from match points down even more delicious than usual.

With the largest population in the world, China has yet to produce many serious tennis contenders. Peng Shai did very well on the women's side in Melbourne these past two weeks, but I can't think of a male tennis player who has broken through to the top ranks.

It happened in golf and it will no doubt happen soon enough in tennis.

It's hard to bet against the delightful, charming and down-to-earth Kim Clijsters (so many tennis players are certifiable flakes and nut cases, that Clijsters stands out not only for her superior play, but also for her grounded personality), but Li Na is a gutsy and talented player and she has an honest shot at this Slam title on Saturday night.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


The RCMP have absolved themselves of blame in the Pickton case.

They do acknowledge "delays in pursuing Pickton due to other high-profile investigations."


This is interesting.

And odd, because, unlike their own investigation of themselves, the Lepard review done by Vancouver police cited "jurisdictional issues, poor management and shoddy analysis of the evidence [which] derailed the probe and allowed Pickton to go on killing for another 2 1/2 years."

In other words, thanks to the rather incomplete work done by our national police force, about a dozen more women died.


Now to make matters even more Alice in Wonderland, an inquiry is underway. And which of the Queen's cards is at the head of the picnic table?

Why Wally Opaque, that's who.

Oh, yes. Walter to to the rescue. Here's the guy to ferret out the truth and help the grieving families of human beings who have mysteriously disappeared.

This will be real helpful, yessir.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

$ame old, $ame old

We are giving $4.5 Million to Simon Fraser University to study youth violence. And another half million youth violence.

Many wonderful people are involved and several levels of government.

Among other things, these studies promise to "develop more effective prevention and treatment strategies."

I have been observing these marvelous announcements for 45 years now.

And I have yet to see any results.

This is what governments like to do. They like to give money to intellectuals to do studies. They would rather do that than give money to the front line workers who are striving every day - usually without adequate resources - to PROVIDE prevention and treatment programs.

You know why governments like to waste your tax dollars this way?

Because paying for studies is safe. Politically safe.

If you pay for an actual program and something goes wrong, goes wrong, goes, then your political ass is in a sling.

Of course, it rarely occurs to these cowards that doing nothing - and paying for studies is the same as doing nothing - allows everything to continue to go wrong.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Who's MInding the Store?

Dirty drinking water, filthy limited toilet facilities, tea and bread for breakfast, rotten apples, little dinner, no vegetables.

Not bad enough?

On top of that the workers are then charged $25 for their meals and accomodation - taken, of course, directly from their measly paycheques.

Ah well.

What concern is this of ours?

This must be some gulag or other in Mongolia, the Punjab, darkest Africa.

Wrong again, Bunky.

This is a reforestation camp in Golden, B.C. and a few other local sites.

Many of the workers are from Africa. Most have no idea about their "rights." Most have been lied to about opportunities.

The company in this case is Khaira Enterprises, its owners are Khaid Mahmood Bajwa and Hardilpreet Singh Sidhu.

But they are far from alone in their evils. Their kind are thriving in B.C.

And now, thanks to the work of the BC Federation of Labour in exposing these crimes, the owners must pay $229,000 in back wages to 57 workers - not very much per person for this level of mistreatment and disrespect.

Adding insult to injury, Sishu and Bajwa, the owners, have been fined $3,500 for seven violations of the Employment Standards Act.

Seven violations. $3,500.

BC Fed President, Jim Sinclair, has rightly declared this finding "a joke."

It's worse than a joke.

It's a nightmare.

It speaks to a government that will not spend the money to employ enough inspectors to enforce the rules of the land.

Think back to the women killed and injured riding that panel van in the valley a few years ago. Sitting on apple crates. No seat belts.

What has changed?

When I was a child, 60 years ago in Winnipeg, my mother worked as a bookkeeper for clothing companies and candy makers who had better working conditions than this. Let me repeat - 60 years ago.

It's all smiles and handshakes now that the egos are running for the leadership of their parties. But ask them at the next rally where they were when these workers were trying to work for six hours without a break on food rations that you might find in prisoner of war camps. Ask them what kind of province we are living in, what kind of province we would like to live in.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Crime FIghters

'We took back the city': How Williams Lake saved itself from being a crime capital

Read more:

Kent Spencer, writing in this morning's Province, has given us a terrific study of how a community said, "Enough is enough," and reclaimed their citizenship.

Now, can some of these same tactics pay off in Vancouver and Victoria? I think they could and it would be encouraging to learn that some of the comatose officials in town are listening and even learning.

Sent by a Friend

Article in the “” Washington Times”” January 4th/11
Canada is quietly surpassing the U.S. as the land of opportunity
By James A. Bacon
The Washington Times
6:29 p.m., Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Illustration: Canada and freedom
Unless the Winter Olympics are on television or someone is clubbing baby seals, Americans don't pay much attention to what's happening in Canada. It's as if we live in a house with a set of quiet, orderly neighbors on one side and a bachelor pad with drunken parties, girls in the hot tub and occasional gunshot eruptions on the other. To whom would you pay more attention?
I dare say Americans could correctly name the president of Mexico (Filipe Calderon) over the prime minister of Canada (Stephen Harper) by a margin of 5-to-1. That's too bad. While we have every reason to fear the disorder spilling over from our increasingly lawless neighbor to the south, our well-mannered Canadian neighbors have pulled their act together. We could learn a lot from them.
Look what's not happening in Canada. There is no real estate crisis. There is no banking crisis. There is no unemployment crisis. There is no sovereign debt crisis. Recent reports suggest that consumers are loading up too much debt, but Canada shares that problem with nearly every other country in the industrialized world.
Among the Group of Seven nations, which also include the United States, France, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom and Italy, Canada's economic activity has come the closest to returning to the pre-recession peak. The country has recovered three-quarters of all jobs it lost. TheInternational Monetary Fund estimates that Canada will be the only country among the G-7 to have achieved a balanced budget by 2015.
Now, instead of expanding Canada's welfare state, the conservative government led by Mr. Harper is intent upon building the nation's global competitiveness. Our friends in the Great White North cut their corporate tax rate to 16.5 percent on Jan. 1 and will see it drop to 15 percent next year. That compares to the current U.S. corporate tax rate of 35 percent. That will give Canada the lowest corporate tax rate among the G-7 nations and an eye-popping advantage for businesses wondering whether to locate on theU.S. or Canadian side of the border.
The last time Canadians really caught Americans' eyes was when prime ministers such as Jean Chretien and Paul Martin, both leaders of the Liberal Party, were proving uncooperative in the realm of foreign policy. American media played up disagreements over the invasion of Iraq and Canadian participation in the American National Missile Defense Program, which made President George W. Bush look bad and confirmed the narrative that his cowboy foreign policy had alienated old friends around the world. By contrast, when Canadian soldiers under the conservative government became active combatants in Afghan-istan, the American media showed little interest.
But that's nothing new. Except to note how well or how poorly Canada's national health care system was working, Americans have paid little heed to news coming out of Ottawa. The titanic effort of both Canada's liberal and conservative parties in the 1990s and 2000s to rein in government spending largely escaped our notice. Nor did it ever occur to anyone to wonder why, with our economies so closely entwined, U.S. housing *****s were busting through the roof while Canadian houses remained so sensible.
It turns out that Ottawa's housing policies and banking regulations tempered the boom in real estate *****s. No tax deductions for mortgage interest payments. And get this: Buyers actually had to make down payments on their houses. Because there was no real estate bust, there was no banking crisis. (Indeed, healthy Canadian banks are snapping up U.S. financial assets.) Despite the lack of public policies geared toward stimulating homeownership, Canadian homeownership was 68.4 percent in 2008. That would be a higher number than in the United States, which was 67.4 percent in 2009.
Lesson to Americans: If you want affordable housing, stop promoting policies to make it more "affordable."
Meanwhile, Canada has many of the same assets that Americans like to brag about, such as an immigrant tradition that invites foreigners to live and work in the country. On a per-capita basis, the rate of legal immigration to Canada is comparable to that to the U.S. Settling in world-class, creative cities like Toronto and Vancouver, foreigners add immeasurably to the nation's wealth-creating capacity
Talented Canadians have long regarded the United States as the land of opportunity. It may not be long before Americans see our northern neighbor as the land of the future.
James A. Bacon is author of the book "Boomergeddon" (Oaklea Press, 2010) and publisher of the blog by the same name

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Friends Make the Trip More Enjoyable

Our good friend Robert Werner did more than attend the taping of our first SHAW TV show. He took dozens of photos and videos.

After transferring the actual broadcast to YouTube and creating the YouTube page (DavidBernerTV) and Twitter account for the show (@davidbernerTV), Robert then tirelessly - and unasked - made the delightful little Behind the Scenes video seen below.

Robert is a fellow with an enormous range of interests and considerable skill in cyberland. He is also the soul of kindness and does tremendous work for charity - always very quietly and modestly.

Back of the Flat

Friday, January 21, 2011


A slight change in the viewing schedule for DAVID BERNER on SHAW COMMUNITY TV CHANNEL 4.

We will begin each week, not on Friday as previously announced, but the next week, thus keeping all of one week's shows actually in one week. Imagine.

You can see the first show below on YouTube, but to truly see the whites of our eyes on your 50" plasma, watch on SHAW as follows:

Mondays 4:30 am
Tuesdays 10:30 pm
Wednesdays 8:30 pm
Fridays 2:30 pm

A special thanks to Adrian Mastracci of KCM WEALTH MANAGEMENT, David and Mark Goodman of THE GOODMAN REPORT, Tony DuMoulin of DUMOULIN BOSKOVICH and Emily Jubb, the publisher of the VANCOUVER COURIER, all of whom have enthusiastically jumped on the bandwagon in support of the new show.




The B.C. Teacher Federation has held education in this province hostage for at least the last decade.

The union has consistently imposed its wishes on schools, students, children, parents, the government of the moment and taxpayers.

That speaks well for the power of a well run ship.

But how well does it serve the people of British Columbia.

If you think Kevin Falcon and Adrian Dix are pit bulls (and I do), you might remember David Chudnovsky during his years as President of the BCTF. Mr. Chudnovsky was until recently the NDP MLA for Vancouver- Kensington. And an able, kind, thoughtful, clever and well-spoken representative he was. But when he ran the Fed., woe be the sorry slob who got in the way of Mr. C's Zamboni.

And so it has gone with every BCTF President thereafter. No doubt all unions could profit by studying the uncommon success of this outfit.

But when did it become acceptable for the teachers or principals to dictate public policy on education. Their job is to teach. And many do that admirably. Many do not.

Did you have that many great teachers in school? I didn't. I had a stand-out few and the rest were asleep at the wheel, simply mailing it in day after day.

Now, as every year, the Union is once again at public war with the Ministry of Education.

The territory at issue?

To test or not to test that is the question.


Life is a test. Driving to Safeway is a test. Getting through another day with your mate or your children or your parents or your dearest friends can be a test. Business and work are testing grounds. So are the community centre, the cafe, the bar, church...

They are also fun and beautiful and lovely, but ignore that they are also a test and you are toast.

So asking our children to pass the occasional test of writing and calculating skills is abuse or a crime or a terrible waste of precious teacher DNA?

Come on, folks. Give us all a Royal Canadian break.

I look forward to the day - perhaps in my lifetime, but I am not holding my breath - when the BC Teachers Federation has something to tell us that is about teaching, something perhaps about children, something that isn't a red flag of contention, something that isn't a war.

Peace and logarithms, Brothers and Sisters...


Monday, January 17, 2011


My new TV show on Shaw Community TV Channel 4 begins this week.

We will tape the first episode on Thursday afternoon and your first opportunity to see the show will be on Friday, January 21st at 2:30 pm.

The show will then be rebroadcast each week as follows:

Tuesdays 10:30 pm

Wednesdays 9:30 pm

Fridays 2:30 pm

Mondays 4:30 am (for the Sleepless in South Burnaby and the Truly Devoted)

You will also be able to watch the shows on YouTube, and on this blog.

Before the week is out, you will also find new Facebook and Twitter links to follow the show babble.

Here is the content for Show One:

CANDIDATE SOUP - Can any of the Usual Suspects lead us out of the darkness. Globe and Mail columnist GARY MASON joins us in studio to examine in minute detail the men and women who wish to lead the B.C. Liberals & new Democrats into the next provincial election. Is there a winner at the gate?

And just to give you a week BILL TIELEMAN will pour over the Basi-Virk disgrace.


A hospice is a place for the dying to die in peace and dignity.

Hospices can be found world-wide. There are not nearly enough of them, but they exist everywhere.

A UBC proposal to open a 15-bed hospice run by the Order of St. John and the UBC faculty of medicine has been put on hold for the moment. A handful of Chinese residents of a near-by residential tower have protested that their cultural values are not being recognized. The residents have complained that living near the dead or dying is bad luck.

I understand.

Most of the men who died in the American Civil War died, not of gunshot or bayonet, but of disease that raced through their own camps. Similarly, towns adjacent to these military camps in both North and the South were devastated by disease.

Living near the dying could be bad luck indeed.


People who have come to a hospice to die are not disease carriers. Most are dying of irreversible cancers.

The University (which of late has become the Poster Child for Political Correctness - note the cancellation of the art exhibit at the Museum of Anthropology - puleeeese!) has quite rightly taken a momentary breath to calm the waters.

Thank goodness for Tung Chan, the former CEO of S.U.C.C.E.S.S., who has spoken up and pointed out that most Chinese are very supportive of hospices.

Perhaps, with the help of a conciliatory voice like Tung Chan, the good people of The Promontory highrise will relax, stop yelling "Racism!" and accept that one day they too might appreciate a quiet and loving place to go at the end of days.


Saturday, January 1, 2011


Happy New Year All!

Here is my announcement:

This month I am beginning a new television show.

I am partnering with SHAW TV CABLE 4 to launch a half-hour weekly public affairs show that will be broadcast on SHAW TV CABLE 4 four times each week.

We are taping the first show on Thursday, January 20th. I am not yet sure of the first air date, but, of course, I will let you know and here is the tentative schedule for the run:

Tuesdays 10:30p
Wednesdays 8:30p
Fridays 2:30p
Monday 4:30am

As for the name of the show...we hired a dozen focus groups and flew them by private jet up to a remote private fishing resort for consultation. After three intense and sleepless days and nights, we came up with...


That's how it will be listed in your favorite media.

Here is what the show will look like and what it is about:

“Charlie Rose” style, the Host and one or two guests at a round table before a black cyclorama.

Host and guest(s) dig into the major headline story of the week and get behind the headlines to reveal the as-yet unspoken truths.

Did the Liberal government buy the silence of two felons? Is it credible that these two petty crooks acted alone?

What was the role of Patrick Kinsella, who we are led to believe was, at one and the same time, working for CN Rail, BC Rail and the premier’s office? Is this not conflict of interest?

What of Gary Collins, the Finance Minister at the time, and the boss of Dave Basi? Why did he jump to private industry, working for an airline that went bankrupt only a few months later?

Our guest, [TO BE ANNOUNCED] has been following this story from the beginning.

The show is sponsored by a number of local companies and we have reached a cross-promotional agreement with the Vancouver Courier newspaper.

I will begin posting the blog about a week before we begin the show. The show will also be posted regularly to YouTube and to this blog.

When I left radio in April '06, I really thought that I had put my broadcast days behind me. So this is great fun and I am very much looking forward to getting back on air and stirring the pot.

Hope you'll ride along with us.

Health and prosperity!