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Former Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and outgoing Governor General David Johnston (Canada 2020/Flickr cc licence)

Former Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and outgoing Governor General David Johnston (Canada 2020/Flickr cc licence)

This is not a new story – it goes back to 2008.

In that year, the quintessential Toronto, true blue lawyer, David Johnston, received a call asking if he would write the terms of reference for a public inquiry.

Prime Minister Harper had, with considerable reluctance, committed himself to an investigation into allegations that his Conservative predecessor, Brian Mulroney, had taken illegal payments from the German lobbyist Karlheinz Schreiber and the investigation threatened to turn into a media circus. Johnston, the careful lawyer and quiet compromiser, agreed to define the inquiry’s parameters: what questions should be asked, and which issues were out of bounds? Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian

BCNDP Leader John Horgan touring Lynnterm docks in 2014 (BCNDP/Flickr cc licence)

BCNDP Leader John Horgan touring Lynnterm docks in 2014 (BCNDP/Flickr cc licence)

I  have a question or two for NDP leader John Horgan, given recent developments.

Let me be clear: I have no animosity towards Mr. Horgan – we only met once and just by accident. At that time, several years ago, Mr. Horgan stated that he favoured LNG because “the NDP couldn’t be against everything”. This illogical nonsense guides him still.

Still searching

I’m doing as many British Columbians are doing – looking for someone to support in 2017.

I certainly can’t vote for the incompetent, destructive, featherbrain in power; I thought I had a home with the Greens until I learned that their leader supports the Liberals’ IPPs policy, which destroys rivers and is bankrupting BC Hydro, so I had reconciled myself to the notion that this old Socred could vote NDP…but they lost me by uncritically supporting LNG and by the obvious political naiveté of its leader.

Mr. Horgan, how could you get this far and not understand basic politics? Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian

Apparently, according to Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and BC NDP leader John Horgan, we have a new doctrine in Canada which essentially says that Jobs Come Ahead Of Crisis When A Powerful Union Leader Says So.

Any free society, as part of its basic philosophy, permits citizens to better themselves, legally, and to withhold their labour. At the same time, no society can permit those rights to endanger society as a whole. Moreover, it can hardly be permitted because society hasn’t been able to control some of its segments, like the bastards exposed by the Panama Scandal. That behaviour exposes the weakness of people, not of the philosophy.

Horgan’s about-face shows humiliating weakness

Having once been a cabinet minister in a Socred government, I risk being called anti-union if I offer any criticism of a union. There’s a distinct odour of Senator Joseph McCarthy in an allegation that because one belonged to a certain group, they therefore can be assumed to have certain beliefs. I support unions, have been a member of three, had formal election endorsements from two, and I couldn’t have been elected, twice, in Kamloops, a union town, if I was anti-union. Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian

Vin Scully

Vin Scully

I ask, nay beg all sports announcers to catch one of Scully’s games before he goes and see how it’s done – anecdotes of considerable interest, not mindless statistics; the ability at 88 to carry the ballgame himself, and real knowledge, not notes passed by a kid with a laptop. I, a devoted baseball fan since that turkey, Mickey Owen, dropped that third strike in 1941, have trouble watching now, what with three in the booth, each trying to dominate, none worth listening to, and frequent interviews with someone in the dugout in the middle of play.

Baseball is as good as ever, if not better. The players are in better shape. Sadly, the announcing is terrible, the “homerism” nauseating and the knowledge mostly irrelevant drivel picked off a computer by a football fan.

There is, you see, no need for an old man like me to say “you should have heard announcers in the good old days” when for a while longer you can still hear the very best of those “good old days”, Vince (Vin) Scully.
Article by Tyler Kepner in the New York Times: A Few Words About Vin Scully, a Storyteller Who Has Seen It All

Nine-year-old newsie and his 7-year-old brother ‘Red’ – 1915 (Photo: Lewis Wickes Hine/Shorpy)

Nine-year-old newsie and his 7-year-old brother ‘Red’ – 1915 (Photo: Lewis Wickes Hine/Shorpy)

When I was born, well, quite a while ago, R.B. Bennett was Prime Minister of Canada, Herbert Hoover was President of the US, Ramsay Macdonald was Prime Minister of the UK, Simon Fraser Tolmie was Premier of BC, and Louis Taylor was Mayor of Vancouver, my natal city. From then until March 28, 2016 the Vancouver Sun and Province were in our house and, when it was alive, from 1933-53, the News Herald as well. I delivered the Province as a boy, was a proud member of their Tillicum Club and sneered at members on the Sun’s Sun Ray Club with Uncle Ben.

I am not going to spend much time today complaining about the newspapers’ inability to deliver quality. That’s a given and I’m not sure that they would deny that. There’s not enough money, they say, and, not being in the business, I can’t argue with them.

I do know that some very bad things have happened in recent years. At the time I was in government in the 70s and right to the end of the 20th century newspapers held politicians tightly to account and by and large they were pretty even-handed. Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian

LNG tankerImportant events don’t always seem to be so. So it is with the changes last month in both the Green party and the NDP.

Going back, say a fortnight, the ruling Liberals were unpopular as hell, led by an airhead who likes to have her picture taken and ride in airplanes. Despite that, I would have said – indeed I think I did – that she still had a very good chance of winning next year’s election, if only because of Mair’s Axiom I, “you don’t have to be 10 in politics, you can be a 3 if everyone else is a 2.”

Not only was John Horgan a 2 at that point, he was harried by the Green party who showed every sign of moving into second place, a humiliation that would have damaged the NDP for a considerable time to come.

The Green party was basking in the huge popularity of its national leader, Elizabeth May, undoubtedly the most popular politician in BC and perhaps in Canada. No one seemed to care that voters didn’t really know who the provincial leader, Dr. Andrew Weaver, was – let alone what he really stood for. A substantial number of British Columbians, wavering between voting Green or NDP didn’t like the NDP from another movie. That was the moment for the Greens to make a clear, concise, and comforting statement of their policy emphasizing, of course, the environment. Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian

I find myself in a pissing match with Dr. Andrew Weaver, leader ot the BC Green Party.

It occurred over this week’s column in the Common Sense Canadian, printed below. Dr. Weaver’s fulsome complaints can be found on Facebook.

The column is about the Energy Policy of the Green Party and was prompted by Weaver supporting the Liberal Energy Policy in the 2009 election with Independent Power Producers (IPPs), sweetheart deals with BC Hydro and so on, a policy that Joe Foy from the Wilderness Committee, Damien Gillis and I campaigned against all around the province, while Weaver campaigned for it. It stunned us that an environmentalist party could support such a destructive, bankrupt policy.

As I’m sure you know, the policy turned out even more badly than we feared and I wanted to know what Green policy is now and sent Weaver four emails between the 22nd & 27th of March. It turned out that he did not get the first three because there was a period missing. Oddly, not one was returned marked “undelivered”. Dr. Weaver is upset about this but it’s irrelevant since all I was requesting was his current policy and before I wrote the article i listened to an interview Weaver gave to Ian Jessop on CFAX on 12/14/15 where he confirmed he still supported the IPP program, admitted it had been a disaster, and confirmed he was all for private power rather than public. I have provided you with a link to the show, below. Continue Reading »

Federal Green Leader Elizabeth May with Provincial Leader Andrew Weaver (Green party/facebook)

Federal Green Leader Elizabeth May with Provincial Leader Andrew Weaver (Green party/facebook)

It being just over a year until the next provincial election I fret that people really have no choice.  The government is bloody awful and the opposition is scarcely a government in waiting and a lousy opposition to boot – what to do?

What about a new party “coming up the middle”,  something that pundits always talk about but almost never happens?

Wouldn’t be the first time

Well, it happened once in my lifetime, back in 1952, my 21st year. The government, a coalition of Liberals and Conservatives, was appalling, although nothing as bad as Christy’s bunch. The opposition CCF, now NDP, were led by Harold Winch, a highly respected man, their problem being that the right wing had done such a good job of demonizing them that they had a hard time attracting voters outside a select group of supporters. Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian

Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine

New World Encyclopedia definition:

Civil disobedience encompasses the active refusal to obey certain laws, demands, and commands of a government or of an occupying power without resorting to physical violence. Based on the position that laws can be unjust, and that there are human rights that supersede such laws, civil disobedience developed in an effort to achieved social change when all channels of negotiation failed. The act of civil disobedience (CD) involves the breaking of a law, and as such is a crime and the participants expect and are willing to suffer punishment in order to make their case known.

You’ll find that all civil liberties that we hold so dear came by forcing them from the establishment of the day. We’ve become so accustomed to them that we have forgotten that history and, as George Santayana said, “those who forget history are doomed to repeat it”. Continue Reading »

BCNDP leader John Horgan (BCNDP/Flickr)

BCNDP leader John Horgan (BCNDP/Flickr)

Dear John Horgan,

I hate to say this, but I told you so, and the flock of chickens I promised have now come home to roost.

Many months ago I took you to task for supporting LNG without reservation. I told you that by doing this you had prevented your party from questioning each and every step of the LNG process as well as government policy in trying to flog it.

“Against Everything”

Your excuse was that “we cannot be against everything”, probably the most nonsensical thing I have ever heard in the political arena and that’s saying something. What you said to your party and the voter is that whether or not you approve of a policy depends not on whether it’s good policy but the optics.

What, I asked, if it turns out to be lousy policy? How will you be able to criticize a policy you vowed to support? And that’s just what happened, Mr. Horgan… and I told you it would. Continue Reading »

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