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BC NDP and Official Opposition Leader John Horgan (BCNDP.ca/youtube)

BC NDP and Official Opposition Leader John Horgan (BCNDP.ca/youtube)

I suggest that everyone listen to this immediately – it is John Horgan, leader of the BC NDP, promising to shut down Site C and make up the energy difference through conservation, wind and solar power (listen here yourself to his CBC Daybreak North interview from Monday morning).

Site C is something that never should have happened, certainly not for decades to come. It has always been a bad idea and totally unwarranted based on the lack of power needs of BC Hydro and our province. There have been predictions by BC Hydro to justify this project but they neither justify it nor dispel the reality that BC Hydro always overestimates its power needs by a considerable amount.

The challenge for Mr. Horgan, in my view, is to stop Site C and at the same time decrease, not increase, Independent Power Projects (IPPs) which are ruining our rivers and bankrupting BC Hydro while making foreign investors unjustly rich. I’ve no doubt that Mr. Horgan has addressed this issue – if he hasn’t, there’ll be no shortage of experts addressing it for him. Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian

By K.Hess at Chanticleer Book Reviews: I Remember Horsebuns by Rafe Mair, a historical memoir

You can purchase it in paperback here.

Syrian boys at a refugee camp in the village of Atmeh, Syria (Flickr CC / Freedom House)

Syrian boys at a refugee camp in the village of Atmeh, Syria (Flickr CC / Freedom House)

Before starting, let me state that there is no excusing the massacre in Paris, nor 9/11. When it comes to death of innocent civilians there is no equivalency, period.

The Canadian Establishment has always believed that some newcomers are more desirable than others. A small example – my father, aged 7, arrived with his parents in Vancouver in 1914, the same year the Komagata Maru did. They came from New Zealand and were British subjects. The passengers on the Komagata Maru came from India and were also British citizens. My family were white and, nominally Christian – the Indians were not. I needn’t tell you the difference in reception.

Many concerns are raised about the current lot from Syria. They’re Muslims, considered by many to be dangerous in itself. They’re not quite white, although no one mentions that, and there aren’t many Syrian communities where they can settle. Today, I read that these aren’t the best sort of people, all lower class, so we won’t be getting many engineers and doctors. Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian

BCNDP Leader John Horgan at the party’s recent convention (NDP/facebook)

BCNDP Leader John Horgan at the party’s recent convention (NDP/facebook)

Political pundits are busy analyzing the recent NDP convention and I can tell you it’s easier to interpret the entrails of a rooster. Conventions organized to look like sunny expressions of the party’s solidarity and readiness for an election usually disguise more than they reveal.

What this NDP clambake tells me is that the party is sick to death of leadership fights and “the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t” – a highly dubious substitute for skill and character.

The good news first

Starting with the good news, the party caucus has done a decent job of exposing government malfeasance, in the health and the email scandals in particular, and demonstrating the general incompetence of the Premier and her cabinet. (Not too tough considering how willingly they do that on their own.)

Unfortunately for the NDP, history tells us that these sorts of issues don’t have “legs”. When it comes to election time, the public has different considerations; from experience they expect government misbehaviour and only want to know what will happen to their pocketbook in the next four years. Election after election has proved that. Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian

It’s deja vu all over again.

A decade or more ago it was the late Doug Collins who was insulting minorities left and right, denying the Holocaust, or the extent of it, and defending his bile by saying he was exercising free speech. Tendentious though that claim was, I defended Collins in print and on the air protesting that his right to spout garbage was guaranteed by the Charter and that it was this that distinguished Canada from countries where to insult meant jail.

I despised Collins and everything he stood for and he despised me as well, singling me out for vicious columns in the North Shore News when it suited him.

Now we have Arthur Topham, a publisher in Quesnel and well known as an anti-Semite. Having a Jewish wife, Topham denies hating all Jews and, as I read his stuff, believes he is just an anti-Zionist. But Topham has now been convicted on two counts of “willful promotion of hatred” dealing with something he wrote about Jews, his favourite target. Continue Reading »

Rafe Mair

Rafe Mair – with more than a few grey hairs (photo: Youtube/CMHABC)

Like most Canadians, I’ve a spent much of the past week or so trying to figure out what the general election really meant. As I did, a horrible thought occurred to me – my perspective might just be affected by the number of grey hairs I’ve gathered over the years!

One’s age, gender, and position in life always affect one’s outlook and that affects how you vote. Why is it so bad that my outlook is different than that of my children and grandchildren? Actually one of my grandchildren inherited my contrariness and our letters seem more like plots than the usual letters between a lovely young lady at university and her adoring grampa!

Time changes one’s perspective, if only because there isn’t much you haven’t seen. One gets, at my slightly advanced age, a strong sense of déjà vu when viewing election campaigns and their aftermath.

God only knows how many wastrels I have seen who have bankrupted the country, only to find that the next business cycle bailed out his successor and made him look like a financial genius. Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian

A young Peter MacKay (left) and Stephen Harper join forces in 2003

A young Peter MacKay (left) and Stephen Harper join forces in 2003

Can the Conservative Party come back?

Of course, but first, the Conservative Party must return.

Sound confusing?

It’s not. The pre-Harper party wasn’t remotely like his bunch. It’s not enough to get rid of Stephen Harper if you don’t also get rid of his party, which goes back to the Faustian bargain between Harper and Peter MacKay in 2003 when Canada’s version of the “Grand Old Party” was subverted then overrun by the Reform Party, a.k.a. Stephen Harper.

The Thatcher comparison

It’s tempting to compare this situation to the UK Tories when Margaret Thatcher pinched the party from the “old guard”, but she was eventually tossed out by her caucus, while our version chose to go down with the ship rather than deal with their leadership problem. Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian

New MP Pamela Goldsmith-Jones (Photo courtesy of Vancouver Observer)

New MP Pamela Goldsmith-Jones (Photo courtesy of Vancouver Observer)

“Regardless of the committees you’re on, the roles you have, regardless of party demands, and the partisanship that will continue to exist in this House your one job, that you cannot ever forget, is to be a strong voice in service of the people who sent you here from your constituencies.”

Justin Trudeau to his Caucus 11/5/15

This is a courageous and encouraging mandate given by a freshman PM as he launches his reign. I hate to pick on my former MP, Conservative John Weston, but he never did understand the problem behind Mr. Trudeau’s statement. He was bewildered that he lost the election and it never occurred to him that he had an obligation to pay some heed to the wishes of his constituents even, hell especially, when he disagreed with them. He seemed to think that as long as he obtained the funding due to the various component parts of his Riding, and perhaps a little more for good measure, if not loved, at least he would be reelected.

The overriding issue for the past four years in his Riding has been the proposed LNG plant in Squamish. This proposal gave deep concern to a whole lot of his former constituents for a whole lot of reasons. Continue Reading »

Photo: Flickr/KsideB

Photo: Flickr/KsideB

If you don’t think that the approval of an LNG plant in Squamish – Woodfibre LNG – was a raw political decision, you not only believe in the tooth fairy, you must be the tooth fairy herself.

The alleged “environmental assessment” by the Province, was a farce – as has been the federal process thus far. The government solemnly avers that everything is up in the air until there’s a full blown investigation with evidence taken on all matters of concern and a judicious decision rendered strictly on all the facts.

This, and I hate to disillusion you, is utter crap. I’ve attended too many environmental assessments and – forgive me for repeating myself – I would rather have a root canal without an anesthetic than go to another. They’re about as fair as a Soviet Show Trial. The sole reason for the “process” is to make a government decision appear fair and of course it does the very opposite. Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian

On the brink

Juan Lagares. Photo courtesy of New York Post.

Juan Lagares. Photo courtesy of New York Post.

Last night’s World Series game was really a lot of fun to watch and once again showed that baseball is a great game, I believe the greatest, because it is an anticipation sport. When the Mets were clinging to their one run lead, was anybody about to leave the park or change channels? Not a damned thing was happening but by Billy Bowlegs, something would! Even after Kansas City had its great eighth inning you still didn’t know whether or not the Mets could come back and we were all sure as hell going to wait for the last pitch to find out!

Last week I had the opportunity to listen to “Casey at The Bat.” This marvelous poem, written by Ernest Lawrence Thayer in 1888, really tells what baseball is all about – anticipation. Apart from a couple of mediocrities each making a base hit, there is virtually no action in the poem until the very last line “But there is no joy in Mudville, mighty Casey has struck out”. Continue Reading »

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