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Kemano Tunnel

The stopping of the Kemano Completion Project is a true people’s victory.

by Gordon Young

In the eighteenth century Edmund Burke wrote that “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” In the last half of the twentieth century British Columbia saw evil almost triumph. Montreal-based multinational corporation Alcan Aluminum wanted the Kemano Completion Project, a giant megaproject that threatened terrible environmental damage.

Against this evil stood many good men and women. The threat Kemano posed so violated wide-spread social values that sectors of society often opposed to each other were drawn together into the fight against it. Kemano’s friends were the powerful and wealthy; Kemano’s foes came from the other side.

The stopping of the Kemano Completion Project is a true people’s victory. Continue Reading »

Tory MP John Weston (from his annual Christmas video message/Youtube)

Tory MP John Weston (from his annual Christmas video message/Youtube)

There is surely nothing quite as ridiculous as a Tory pretending that he cares. Money and rich friends they understand but when it comes to the values that ordinary people revere they’re at sea. In fact they’re bewildered by those who think that the poor ought to be considered by society or that such things as lakes and mountains and animals and parks and neighbourhoods have any serious meaning to people.

This doesn’t mean that they don’t understand that they must make believe and always speak in loving terms about the things that I’ve mentioned.

There’s another sure thing to be added to Benjamin Franklin’s “death and taxes”. It’s that by reading the bullshit in a Tory MP’s annual newspaper to his constituents you can determine, with only the minimum of thinking, what the Tories are really planning and what their electoral word games are going to be all about. Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian

BCNDP Leader John Horgan talking LNG at UBCM meeting (Photo: BCNDP)

BCNDP Leader John Horgan talking LNG at UBCM meeting (Photo: BCNDP)

I suppose it’s not unusual for an electorate to feel swindled. It sure as hell happens often enough.

The BC electorate has every right to feel swindled in the election of 2013 by the Christy Clark government’s solemn promise to make us all wealthy through LNG plants. This was a very specific promise and even went as far as promising a “prosperity fund” of $100 billion, plus all of our provincial debt soon paid off. This was crap, they knew it, we fell for it.

Now, for God’s sake, the NDP opposition has joined in the swindle at a time when the Liberals, now that their promises cannot possibly be fulfilled, are frantically looking for a way out for the 2017 election.

NDP support comes as LNG industry falls apart

It’s incomprehensible that the John Horgan opposition would support the Liberals on their LNG endeavours, particularly since Petronas has all but admitted defeat, and they are supposed to be the first out of the box! Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian

Gentleman Jean

Jean BeliveauIt was not bad being a Montréal Canadiens fan when I was growing up during the 40’s. That decade was, however, dominated by the despised Toronto Maple Leafs so it was always an uphill battle.

Incidentally, I was deprived of a sterling hockey career by a bit of bad luck – I never learned how to skate.

By the time I got to UBC in 1949, I found a Montréal Canadiens soulmate in the late Robin Heather. He and I used to listen to games together (there was no TV then) and we used to follow in the papers the career of a young whiz kid playing in the Quebec hockey league for the Quebec Aces. His name was Jean Beliveau and by all accounts was sensational. Beliveau refused to sign with the Montréal Canadiens, who had his NHL rights, because he was making too much money playing “amateur” hockey! Continue Reading »

11-year-old Kate Fink-Jensen (CTV) and Premier Clark (Lyle Stafford, Postmedia)

11-year-old Kate Fink-Jensen (CTV) and Premier Clark (Lyle Stafford, Postmedia)

Premier Christy Clark has taken it upon herself to criticize the parents of Premier Christy Clark has taken it upon herself to criticize the parents of two 11-year-olds who protested the Kinder Morgan action in Burnaby and were only not arrested because the police chose to refrain from doing so. The premier is concerned that the these children have been encouraged, by their parents, to “break the law”.

This requires, I submit, a bit of examination.

I trust that premier Clark has no objection to parents instilling in their children the principles by which they govern themselves. I suspect that her son Hamish is being brought up to be a free-enterpriser, as defined by his mother and father. (Oddly enough, after the last legislative session, I assume that NDP opposition leader John Horgan agrees with premier Clark, given his obsequious support of her and her government on the LNG issue). Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian

84 year-old retried librarian Barbara Grant getting arrested at Burnaby Mountain (Burnaby Mountain Updates/facebook)

84 year-old retried librarian Barbara Grant getting arrested at Burnaby Mountain (Burnaby Mountain Updates/facebook)

I’m inspired, if that’s the right word, from two quite irreconcilable sources.

First, the Vancouver Sun editorial of last Thursday, and secondly a wonderful movie called Revolution, by Canadian Rob Stewart, which I urge you to see.

The Sun editorial, amongst other things, mocks those who are protesting at Burnaby Mountain and all who generally oppose pipelines, oil companies and the like and it points out of the need for air travel to Kamloops and other such things.

“It is time for those protesting against Kinder Morgan work crews on Burnaby Mountain to stand down. They have made their point and are now breaking the law… It should be remembered that pipelines are of national importance, with international trade implications, which is why, ultimately, the federal cabinet bears responsibility for sanctioning such enterprises.” Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian
Cartoon by Greg Perry.

Cartoon by Greg Perry.

Where is the democracy our brave soldiers fought and died for?

At our Remembrance Day ceremony in Lions Bay, we heard a great deal about sacrifices made in two world wars for democracy and freedom — a pretty constant theme, I dare say, right across the country.

This troubles me greatly. Those who died for Canadian democracy — indeed all those who served — must be bitterly disappointed at the legacy they see.

What triggered this thought was when Finance Minister Joe Oliver didn’t give his pre-budget speech to the House of Commons but to a group of political supporters in a private lunch and then on New York television. The Commons, with the basic obligation to approve the budget or not, was ignored as if it was irrelevant to the process — which, as I will show, it is. Read full article at The Tyee

Re-elected mayors Gregor Robertson & Derek Corrigan. Photos: CP (left) / Dale Cornish/Forest Ethics (right)

Re-elected mayors Gregor Robertson & Derek Corrigan. Photos: CP (left) / Dale Cornish/Forest Ethics (right)

Derek Corrigan is my kind of mayor. So is Gregor Robertson.

Both of these mayors are prepared to look beyond the immediate concerns of their city and take a broader view. I have no doubt that Robertson, who won very handily I might add, did so because he was fighting Kinder Morgan. Without any question, that position greatly enhanced the existing popularity of Corrigan.

Social change demands civil disobedience

Now that protesters are being arrested, we see a number of people expressing their undying support for “law and order” and thinking that jailing protesters is a great idea.

I have a few questions to ask them. Continue Reading »

Kinder Morgan contractors clash with citizen protestor on Burnaby Mountain (Darryl Dyck/CP)

Kinder Morgan contractors clash with citizen protestor on Burnaby Mountain (Darryl Dyck/CP)

“If the Law says that”, said Mr. Bumble, “the Law is an ass”.

The good citizens of Burnaby have lost their case against the large international corporation, Houston-based Kinder Morgan, who wish to extend their pipeline from Alberta to Burnaby.

The company sought and received from the Court an injunction to keep protesters from interfering with their work on Burnaby Mountain Conservancy.

Kinder Morgan case harkens back to past injustices

Over the past few months I’ve found myself reading up on legal writing from the past. I’ve become interested in judges of yore and in particular have been reading the famous letters between Sir Frederick Pollock and the great American jurist, Oliver Wendell Holmes. Continue Reading »

Election post mortem

Gregor Robertson. Photo courtesy of Vancity Buzz.

Gregor Robertson. Photo courtesy of Vancity Buzz.

The Vancouver Sun and Province have egg all over their collective faces after the election results in Vancouver and in Surrey.

Both papers obviously did not want Gregor Robertson to win in Vancouver. Just why they supported the NPA is open to conjecture but one has to assume, reading these papers for the last 10 years, that they are so far up the Liberals’ backside in this province that there is no safe return.

Both papers had the Vancouver Mayoralty race a tossup. They are now trying to explain away a 10,000 vote victory by Gregor Robertson – as close to a landslide as damn is to swearing. All sorts of amazing things apparently happened since the day before the election when the papers were calling it very close. It certainly couldn’t be their atrocious reporting, now, could it? Continue Reading »

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