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LNG tankerI live on Howe Sound in lovely Lions Bay. I have lived my entire life in British Columbia, growing up in Vancouver and spending much of my boyhood on this lovely fjord.

Howe Sound belongs to all of us. It had been all but destroyed by industry until 20 years ago when rehabilitation was started with the closing of mills and Britannia Mines. Thanks to the work of citizen/volunteers  it was enormously successful. We now have the salmon runs dramatically increased, herring runs back to where they used to be, and killer whales, which were so prevalent when I was a boy but had all but disappeared, now going past my house regularly.

The Fraser River estuary scarcely needs any introduction. Suffice it to say that this glorious river is the number one salmon habitat in the world and nowhere are these marvellous fish more vulnerable than in the estuary. The governments have all but approved 200 more or less tankers and barges carrying LNG into and out of this estuary. They intend to skip an environmental assessment altogether, yet, thanks to citizen efforts, have been inundated with demands for a proper public hearing. Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian

Two days ago I sent around a picture of the Pope and Harper which amused me. It had already been tweeted.

Now I find I must plead guilty to stupidity, for until I talked to my wife last night about the reaction to it, it never occurred to me it was probably faked. God’s truth! As a technical klutz it just didn’t cross my mind. I thought it was one of those goofy coincidences that sometimes happen. I had no intention to offend. I sincerely apologize if I did.

Still, it showed me how the Far Right – whose right to be so is unchallengeable – are masters of the same personal attack they accused me of! One ad hominem attack after another without a reasoned criticism – which I admit was available.

Read the tweets! They sound about as reasoned as the shit we Socreds and the NDP used to holler at each other in the Legislature! Mindless – the nastier, more calculated to offend, the better!

Many hide behind a pseudonym. They who set their hair on fire at women wearing veils, strike viciously from the safety of anonymity! Take the time as I did to look at their home pages and read what they and their supporters say : about themselves. I fear for my country that these narrow minded fools might ever get into power.

If I made a mistake, I’m truly sorry.

I would be openly mistaken than anonymously intolerant.

Chris Colabello

Chris Colabello

Dear reader(s). I find that I need your help.

This may not seem like the most devastating of problems to ever face mankind but it does give me considerable ongoing angst and that’s not a good idea for an ancient writer.

Let me tell you what the genesis of this problem is.

As some of you may know, I am what’s known as a Toronto hater. It’s not that I don’t like the city itself – I have always had a marvelous time when visiting, have a son and four grandchildren living there and love them very much. I wouldn’t live in the city but then again I wouldn’t live anywhere other than British Columbia no matter what the inducement.

No, what pisses me off is the Toronto centricity of this country which seems to hold that all leadership in all walks of life emanate from Hogtown. Continue Reading »

The following was presented to the Vancouver Province on June 7 in response to an article by Stewart Muir who heads Resources Works, a group actively supporting the proposed Woodfibre LNG plant. The Province printed a much abbreviated version on June 12 and I feel obliged to let you get the full picture of the nonsene Muir peddled, so very consistent with the general accuracy of his statements.

Stewart Muir and his Resource Works which, under a flimsy disguise of independence, shill for the proposed Woodfibre LNG plant, are masters of the half truth.

Muir alleges that the proposed Woodfibre LNG at Squamish is a “long way from any residents”.

Obviously that’s nonsense and anyone living on Howe Sound along the proposed LNG Tanker route knows that that route is unsafe. International rules say the danger zone around LNG tankers is 3,500 to 4,200 metres. Howe Sound is so narrow that its shores are well within the danger zone. Looking at a map based upon proper standards demonstrates beyond question that Gambier, Keats, Bowen, the Sea to Sky Highway, Lions Bay, Horseshoe Bay and West Vancouver would be at serious risk. Proposed LNG Tanker traffic even runs afoul of the standards of the industry’s international trade organization, the Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators (SIGTTO).

Muir continues to mislead by declaring that in 50 years there has “never been a major shipping incident worldwide”. What Muir forgets to add are these rather critical words, “on the high seas”.

In case Mr. Muir hasn’t looked around him carefully, The Fraser River and Howe Sound scarcely qualify as the “high seas”.

Resource Works, headed by Muir, steadfastly refuses to deal with these and other questions raised by those of us who live along the shores of Howe Sound and who will not be satisfied with self-serving twaddle put out by the LNG industry.

Stewart Muir knows that the owner, convicted big time tax evader Sukarto Tanoto, and Woodfibre LNG are in the fight of their lives and that they’re going to lose to the people who are firmly and steadfastly opposed.

Sincerely,

Rafe Mair,
Howe Sound Protector
Lions Bay, BC

Citizens line the Sea to Sky Highway to protest Woodfibre LNG (My Sea to Sky)

Citizens line the Sea to Sky Highway to protest Woodfibre LNG (My Sea to Sky)

It’s time to fish or cut bait, folks.

We’ve learned that some 200 LNG tankers and barges are slated to use the lower Fraser River and the company, WesPac, doesn’t even feel the public deserves a say through a proper environmental assessment.

We’re told by the company that LNG tankers have a 50 year safety record so there is naught to worry about. You should know, however, that the company lies through its teeth by leaving out four rather important words “on the high seas“.

The Fraser River is not the “high seas”?

Bear in mind, as reported in The Common Sense Canadian, the recommended distances between the tanker and shore, set out by Scandia Laboratories as well as the industry’s own organization, the Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators (SIGTTO), makes it clear that both the Fraser River and Howe Sound are totally inappropriate for LNG tankers. Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian

"American Pharoah" by Maryland GovPics - 2015 Preakness Stakes. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:American_Pharoah.jpg#/media/File:American_Pharoah.jpg

American Pharoah by Maryland GovPics – 2015 Preakness Stakes.

On June 7, Wendy and I were guests at Hastings Park and privileged to decorate the winner of the $50,000 Sir Winston Churchill Stakes. It was a wonderful afternoon and thanks to Greg Douglas, my old friend and our host, we felt very welcome indeed.

My involvement with horse-racing goes back to when I was very young indeed. For some reason, in my very early teens, I took an interest in the sport and started to follow it assiduously. I cut out all of the form charts and race results and religiously listened to Jack Short’s racing highlights on CJOR every evening after the races.

The first Kentucky Derby I remember listening to was in 1945 won by Hoop Jr. I read everything I could including histories of Man-O-War, Seabiscuit, Whirlaway and other great heroes. I knew about the great jockeys going back to Earl Sande, “Never a handy guy like Sande, bootin’ them babies in!” Damon Runyon).

In those days there were three tracks in the Vancouver area, Lansdowne and Brighouse in Richmond, and Hastings Park at the exhibition in Vancouver. The racing days were allotted amongst the tracks by the government with the final lot going to Sandown in Victoria. Continue Reading »

Tom MulcairCan Tom Mulcair become the next prime minister of Canada?

Barely 6 months ago that question would have brought loud guffaws but the Alberta election and recent polls showing the NDP slightly ahead of its two main rivals have reduced the guffaws to nervous coughs.

I think Mulcair can do it but he needs BC to do it.

A mug’s game

Let’s back up a bit. If one had all of the up-to-date polls from every constituency in Canada with expert analysis on each, it would still be a mug’s game to pick the winner of the next election. One can only really go on a “tummy feel” from information gained from a media which is none too bright and considerably less than politically independent.

The polls aren’t always helpful for the obvious reason that they are only snapshots of the moment the poll is taken, along with the fact that people may not always tell the truth. Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian

The 3-member NEB Joint Review Panel for the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline (Damien Gillis)

The 3-member NEB Joint Review Panel for the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline (Damien Gillis)

Do you enjoy being a raw hypocrite?

Well, if you’re a taxpayer in Canada that’s what you are because you support raw hypocrisy every day in the various hearings on environmental matters that take place.

I’ve written in the past, from personal experience, about environmental assessments of independent power projects (IPPs), the environmental disgraces of British Columbia, and how they are so biased in favour of industry that it defies all but spluttering language of anger.

Let’s call the whole thing off

Why don’t we just abolish the National Energy Board and all other boards like it and allow environmental projects to be judged strictly by the industry itself, with the customary pat on the corporate head from the prime minister?

At least this would make honest men and women of us. Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian

It’s been a while I know since I gaI Remember Horsebuns coverve you a personal blog rather than one for general consumption. I truly have been pretty busy editing my new book coming out this fall.

The book is called I Remember Horse Buns and below you’ll see a facsimile of what it will look like. It’s the story of growing up in and around Vancouver, the best place in the world. I can talk a lot about Howe Sound and the North Arm of Burrard Inlet (Indian Arm), Stanley Park, streams to fish, chestnut trees to climb, places to skinny dip and mountains to climb.

I deal a lot with what it was like to be a kid back during World War II, the standards we were expected to meet and what happened to us when we didn’t meet them. The comic books we read, the slogans we heard, the radio shows, are all part of it.

I also talk about some of the things that occurred on the national and international scene when I was a kid such as the now conveniently forgotten Gouzenko case in Ottawa which actually started the Cold War. Continue Reading »

Citizens line the Sea to Sky Highway to protest Woodfibre LNG (My Sea to Sky)

Citizens line the Sea to Sky Highway to protest Woodfibre LNG (My Sea to Sky)

Dr. David Suzuki, in a recent column well worth reading, talks about a change in attitude across the country – changes with First Nations, increasing environmentalism, a new government in Alberta. Big changes are happening everywhere.

I wonder how many British Columbians have thought about the disgraceful attitude of industry and government towards our environment and the contempt they show for those who disagree with them?

Dr. Suzuki covers a number of these areas and I’ll just deal with one or two of my own.

Private power play

Let’s go back to the Independent Power Projects (IPPs) of the Campbell government which have destroyed our rivers and continue to cost BC Hydro huge amounts of money that we cannot afford. They are nothing more than Liberal slush. They are economic disasters for Hydro and any doubts on that score are dispelled by economist Erik Andersen, who no stranger to these pages. Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian

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