Bankers Hall in Calgary (Bernard Spragg, NZ / Flickr CC Licence)
Something strange was happening in the world and until a social event in November, 2011, I was having trouble putting my finger on it. That was the night some friends held a roast for me to celebrate my 80th birthday. It was held at the Wise Hall in East Vancouver, a traditional left-wing gathering spot.
I was seen by many of the left as little short of fascist, yet, lately I’d come to the viewed by the right as what my father would have called “parlour pink”. It would be interesting to see who would come.
Well, they jammed the hall. Guests included captains of industry, right-wing the politicians, left-wing politicians, union leaders, First Nations leaders, and countless friends from the environmental movement. It was a lovely evening and at the end, when I had a chance to speak, I observed that there were a lot of folks in the old Wise Hall who not long ago would rather have been caught in a house of ill-fame. Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian
Christy Clark being sworn in as Premier of British Columbia in 2011, surrounded by her cabinet (Province of BC/Flickr)
Well, it’s the political silly season again, when we democratically come together to decide by secret ballot who will govern us for the next four years. It’s a system we’ve used with minor alterations for as long as there’s been a British Columbia. We pass it down to our children with the clear explanation as to how it works. We ought to be thoroughly ashamed. It isn’t intended to work but only look like it does. It’s an all-time classic in make-believe – it fools everyone of all ages.
You see kids, there are too many of us to all go down to the local hall and make necessary decisions so we select 85 people to do that for us. Every adult person has one vote and once elected these 85 members of our legislature – we call them MLAs for short – go to the legislative assembly to debate and decide the issues of the day in our name and under our delegated power.
Now someone has to be captain, just like baseball; the MLAs used to pick one, usually the personality kid, just like with baseball teams, but groups of them who felt the same about most issues, formed political clubs called “parties” so the party that had the most votes would elect the leader, whom they called the premier. He (always back then a male) then called together the party and appointed specific individuals to look after various jobs like finance, education, agriculture and so on and they, along with the premier, were called the “Cabinet”. Those who didn’t make it were called Government members or backbenchers because they traditionally sat behind the cabinet members in the Legislature. The whole House then chose a chairman called Mr. or Madam Speaker – and they were ready for business. Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian
Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna with Industry Minister Jim Carr (left) and BC Premier Christy Clark (right) announcing the federal government’s approval of PNWLNG (Province of BC/Flickr)
Developing a climate plan to meet Canada’s Paris Agreement commitments is a challenging but achievable task for the federal government. Doing so while meeting Alberta’s and BC’s oil and gas production growth aspirations, however, will be virtually impossible.
The oil and gas industry is certainly not going away any time soon, but if Canada is serious about meeting its climate commitments it is time for the prime minister and premiers to do the math and stop telling us we can have it all. – David Hughes, geoscientist, shale gas expert and 32-year retired veteran of the Geological Survey of Canada.
British Columbians have every reason to be fighting mad at Trudeau’s decision to approve the Pacific Northwest LNG project. Yes, every reason to be fighting mad but absolutely no reason to be surprised.
Philosopher George Santayana famously said, “Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it” and we just had that jammed up… er, shoved in our face.
Already early this year, people like Dr. David Suzuki, Norman Farrell of In-Sights and myself and colleagues at this publication were raising the issue that Trudeau’s emerging Liberal environmental policy was inconsistent with the commitments he had made in Paris. Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian
I’m a lawyer by trade and recently helped celebrate the 60th anniversary of the UBC Law Class of 1956. Like all of my classmates, I am very proud of our Class, one of those of those extraordinary comings together of individuals who somehow become an identifiable entity.
Out of the 56 who graduated, 14 became judges. They were all a great credit to our Class, the Bar and the Bench. It is therefore with considerable trepidation that I criticize the Bench in anyway.
This, perhaps, is the genesis of the problem. Judges are seldom criticized and, when they are, it seems that every lawyer in the country springs to their defense, stating that they don’t have the ability to defend themselves because of their lofty position.
But they must be held to account when they go off base.
This is especially so because they are in that protected position and can only be fired under the most exhausting of procedures. Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian
Story by Jayson Stark at ESPN: The Man. The Voice. The Stories.
One man, no added interviews in the middle of the game, no mindless giggling with a colleague no one had ever heard of before either, no insane irrelevancies pulled off the internet to help him fill the time, just Vin Scully. There were others – Mel Allen, Red Barber and there would be more if the networks would let them happen. But Vin Scully was simply the greatest. – Rafe Mair
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (Gage Skidmore / Flickr CC Licence)
Of course Donald Trump could beat Hillary in November. I think he will, but before going further, let me say that this would be an enormous worldwide tragedy and we must pray that there is a God and He will save us.
Back to the election.
Trump is in a lot better shape than the pundits give him credit for and he couldn’t have done it without a hell of a lot of help from Hillary.
She has been in the race too long and it’s showing. She’s displaying her temper and a lack of judgment – not to mention her recent health issues – things that everyone has but no-no’s when you’re running for president.
But let’s get to the underlying reason Trump is doing so well. Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian
Dodgers SS Cory Seager
It’s time again for the Fall Classic, folks. No, the World Series will have to wait a couple of months, I refer to my annual pre-World Series baseball column.
I bring to this effort a lifetime of experience going back to the school playground at Maple Grove Elementary where my baseball career started. I was known as “strikeout Mair” – not, I regret to say, for my pitching ability but rather my batting. I remember that Jimmy Marshall was our big star and he was even more famous for incessantly drawing Spitfires shooting down Messerschmidts in the classroom and catching hell. You wouldn’t get much notice of this now but we’re talking 1940 here and the Battle of Britain and Jimmy’s talent with brush was admired as much as that with the bat. Continue Reading »
BC Premier Christy Clark (Province of BC/Flickr) and Greens Leader Dr. Andrew Weaver
It’s always difficult to lose a friend even, perhaps especially when it is mostly a friend of convenience. Friendship covers a lot of ground, all the way from that which leads consenting adults into the sack through the Arab expression “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. Political friendship is cynical, temporary, and, far from loving, practical.
I leave it to you to decide how close the Liberal party of BC and the Green Party were as friends but you’ll remember earlier this year the Liberals fell all over themselves allowing the Green leader, Andrew Weaver, to bring in a bill protecting women on the campus from sexual assaults. To say this was a cooked up deal scarcely needs any verification, if you know anything at all about politics. Things like this don’t happen by accident.
The Liberals know that every vote cast for the Greens would otherwise be NDP, and this coziness did more for the Liberals than the Greens as Premier Clark was able to vouchsafe unto all of us the terrible story of how she was once followed by a man and she was so brave she didn’t tell a soul. Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian
Photo: Flickr CC Licence / Flood G
Yes, yes, yes, I know, Mr. Editor, we’re in the last stretch before the last stretch just before a big, real last stretch going into next May’s election and I should be thinking wall-to-wall BC politics. Well, sir, I’m not going to do that today, for a couple reasons.
I have commented till hell won’t have it on the incompetence of the premier and her quasi-government. I have said plenty, for the nonce, on the invisibility of the Opposition and, surely, all that needs saying about the pathetic display of a Green Party many of us expected much more of.
Don’t take from this that I’m having an exotic boozy blast on Capri – it’s just that I need a little time to see how some of these issues settle out in real terms.
Besides, I’m overwhelmed by the international concern about what women should wear, where not long ago the issue was whether women wore any clothes at all. Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian
Photo: Laurel L Russwurm/Flickr
Whither the Green Party of Canada after its recent convulsion?
In order to answer that question I think it must be understood, perhaps conceded is the better word, that the Green Party isn’t like other parties and probably never will be. If it struggles to be what it never can be, it will go the way of Technocracy and Esperanto.
The Greens’ dilemma
I have, as you might expect, a Churchhill anecdote which explains what I am on about.
Back in the 1930s, the “Wilderness Years” as they were known, a man approached Churchill and asked him what it was like to be without a power at this critical stage of history.
Churchill growled, as only he could growl, “out of office perhaps – out of power no”. Continue Reading »