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Ashlu Run of River Facility

Ashlu Run of River Facility

“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Bernard Shaw

The political situation in British Columbia is such that no one seems capable of winning and both sides seem quite capable of losing.

This unique situation usually leads to an opportunity to “come up the middle” meaning I would think the BC Green Party.

I consider myself a “Green” but cannot believe that Dr. Andrew Weaver is able to lead them to success. I have nothing personal against Dr. Weaver, whom I’ve never met.

In my opinion, Dr. Weaver has badly mishandled the Independent Power Producers, that it goes to the very root of Green philosophy and that he continues to do so. The judgment, of course, is yours but let me lay my case before you.

Let’s go back to 2007-8 when the 2003 Gordon Campbell Energy Plan became a reality, giving the sole right to make power, save Site C, to the private sector spawning the Independent Power Producer (IPP) and an unbelievable sweetheart deal forced upon BC Hydro to these IPP’s. Continue Reading »

Weaving of the Green

Ashlu Run of River Facility

Ashlu Run of River Facility

The purpose of this presentation is to press The BC Green Party to deal with the issue of Independent Power Producers in a manner satisfactory to environmentalists. My sole concern is that BC has a viable Green Party  option for next May’s election. I have never met Dr. Weaver.

Independent Power Producers (IPP´s), created by Gordon Campbell in 2002, were to produce power with unobtrusive little power schemes (daintily referred to as “run of river”). In fact, they were, from the outset, environmental catastrophes and by reason of sweetheart deals with political pals, have, just as predicted, have all but bankrupted BC Hydro.

Dr. David Suzuki, an eminent environmentalist, has recently classified Hydro power as not “clean and green” as alleged by Dr. Andrew Weaver, now Leader of the BC Green Party, when he endorsed Campbell’s 1992 Energy Policy scheme and supported this Liberal policy during the 2009 and 2013 elections.

My every instinct wants to support the Green Party but its endorsement of this policy makes it clearly impossible for any environmentalist to do so. Continue Reading »

David CameronEverybody seems to have a theory about Brexit and I am no exception.

Britain was never in Europe entirely. It is a long torturous history from the beginning of the Common Market to now but it goes back much further than that. I don’t suppose it’s too big a stretch to say that the original invasions of Great Britain from Europe were all part of an effort to bring the islands together with the mainland.

Over the years the British, despite the occasional common monarchy, thoroughly mistrusted the French more than that they saw economic advantages in any union. Oddly enough, Britain’s only enduring alliance with Europe is with Portugal, going back to 1386.

Churchill’s ‘New Europe’

It was after two massive wars in the 20th century that spawned the idea of peace through economic arrangements and there are many who credit Churchill as the author, arising out of his famous speech in Zürich in 1948 where he called for a united states of Europe. Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian

foreclosedI always read the comments to this journal, the Tyee, Norm Farrell’s In-Sights and others and I often add comments of my own. What I’ve been interested to learn is what possible defense Liberal supporters can make for this wretched government we’ve had since 2001.

It might be argued that these comments are mostly from left wingers. I have no idea about that but I must say that if I were in politics and defending the government, these are the kind of places where I would do it because this is where those critical readers are. A better explanation for the lack of a defense of the Clark government in these papers is that there is none!

In reading comments I came up with the following one in the Tyee last week, which was the only one I could find where there was any kind of a defense one really felt compelled to deal with:

Fact is, right now, BC is highly successful given solid policies of the Christy Clark BC Liberals government. Best economy of ANY government in Canada; Lowest unemployment rate; balanced funding for healthcare and education and other programs.

BC is doing really well.

Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian

Christy Clark (Province of BC/Flickr) and John Horgan (BCNDP/Flickr)

Christy Clark (Province of BC/Flickr) and John Horgan (BCNDP/Flickr)

Before I start today’s piece, a quick report on the two columns I did recently on the Canadian government, starting with the ravages of “responsible government”, moving to suggested cures.

I received substantial feedback from across the country but not one word from an MP, MLA or an ex, questioning what I said about the effect of “responsible government”.

What to do?

Two things – raise hell with the Ministry of Education and teachers and make sure that our youngsters are taught what really happens with “responsible government”, and, secondly, test the bona fides of Democracy Watch, and its Founder and Coordinator, Duff Conacher, which claims to advocate for democratic reform, government accountability and corporate responsibility issues. Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian

The Centennial Flame on Parliament Hill in Ottawa (Jamie McCaffrey/Flickr CC licence)

The Centennial Flame on Parliament Hill in Ottawa (Jamie McCaffrey/Flickr CC licence)

Last week I talked about “responsible government” – this is the sequel to that piece.

I’m horrified that we’re not taught that “responsible” has nothing to do with civilized behaviour but in fact means that government, i.e. the prime minister and cabinet, are responsible to the House of Commons, which can dismiss them on a vote of non-confidence.

What’s even more horrifying is we’re not told that this simply doesn’t happen to governments with a majority because prime ministers have created ways to nullify parliament’s ultimate power and become virtual dictators.

I stated in a parliamentary democracy the voter transfers his rights to his member of parliament to exercise on his behalf – the trouble is, in Canada, by running for his political party, the MP assigns your rights to the leader for his exclusive use!” Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian

Hon. Justice Thomas R. Braidwood

Hon. Justice Thomas R. Braidwood

It was a wonderful evening – it was a very difficult evening.

Last Saturday, June 4, 2016 was the 60th reunion for the UBC Law Class of 1956 of which I was one.

It was difficult because we couldn’t and didn’t want to forget all those classmates we have lost; it was a wonderful evening because of those who were very much alive and with us, fortified by memories of those who’ve passed.

It’s impossible to define or understand why some classes are extraordinary. I think most will have extraordinary individuals but the class of 1956 is generally considered to be one of a kind. We only graduated 56 and while it’s difficult to know for sure, it would appear that about 35 of us are still alive, all over 80. Continue Reading »

The Canadian House of Commons – 41st Parliament

The Canadian House of Commons – 41st Parliament

What I’m about to say is not about nit-picking technicalities or shades of meaning but demonstrates that Canadians are governed by a fraudulent charade called a “parliamentary democracy” and I challenge any educator or politician to debate me on that assertion.

(Throughout I refer to the federal system, it’s equally applicable to provincial and territorial governments).

Not so responsible

We operate under a system known as “responsible government,” where the word “responsible” is not meant to describe the behaviour of politicians but has a very technical meaning, namely, that the government (the prime minister and his cabinet) are responsible to Parliament and can be removed by a majority of the House of Commons upon a vote of non-confidence, whereupon the government must resign and either a new government is formed which can win a vote of confidence, or an election is held. That is an excellent technical description which bears very little, in fact no, resemblance to reality. Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian

Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw

Play ball! It’s time for my annual baseball pitching and prediction column.

I’m a bit late this year because I got off to a late start. I’m not quite sure why that happened.

I think it had something to do with the early games being the same old same old as the year before. Newcomers to this annual gripe won’t know that I am an old (very old) reconstructed Dodger fan. I am more than that really because I am a National League fan especially after the American League brought in the ridiculous designated hitter rule. Continue Reading »

Prime MInister Justin Trudeau (Canada 2020/Flickr CC Licence)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Canada 2020/Flickr CC Licence)

My Nova Scotia pen pal, the voice of common sense in this country, Silver Donald Cameron, is fond of saying “laws are made by those who have the power to enforce them.” My own variation is that the people who make the laws are the ones that use them and you can judge that from how fair they are.

How long?

In the 1960s and 70s, the buzz words were “pourquoi pas?” or “why not?”. It signalled the end of the State in the bedroom and a whole new morality developed, ironically under the current Prime Minister’s father.

As of today, I put Justin Trudeau and Christy Clark on notice that the buzzwords are how long?”

My remarks today will be basically from a British Columbian, for the simple reason that’s what I happen to be. I expect that my colleague Damien Gillis and I will have much more to say about this as time goes on. Continue Reading »

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