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Jim GoddardRafe’s appearance on April 19, 2017, as a guest on The Goddard Report. The topic is the BC provincial election.

Click here to listen.

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

Let’s look at some political myths and near-myths.

The BC Liberals are hammering away at the NDP, saying that the last time they were in office,  it fiscally ruined the province; this from the government that in 16 years, in 2016 dollars, has doubled the provincial debt.

They say that when they took over in 2001 from the NDP, the province was in catastrophic financial shape. In fact the NDP left a surplus of $1.5 Billion.

The Liberals claim they have had 5 straight balanced budgets.

Well, you can have one too. Form a little private company, put your house and car in it, give it the money to make payments, and, presto! Your household budget is balanced. That’s precisely how the Liberal government operates – if you simply take BC Hydro and ICBC out of the picture, their budget is nice and balanced.

Your company is in lousy shape, of course,  and your banker will soon catch up to you. Governments  don’t have to worry about things like that because they are hugely valuable customers and the bank knows the government always has the taxpayer to soak. Continue Reading »

Christy Clark must go!

British Columbians have had enough of Christy Clark, says Rafe Mair (Province of BC/Flickr)

The Christy Clark government and Clark herself must go!

I am not a socialist but neither are the NDP. Of course, we must have a thriving economy that supports our necessities and has room for earned luxuries. What we can no longer do, if we wish to have a British Columbia useful for enjoyment of life, is let entrepreneurial ambitions and corporate influence on government trump all other values.

Even if you do place the economy above all else, you have to examine the Clark Keystone Kops’ self-proclaimed business acumen, which, even in these good economic times, has doubled the provincial debt and ruined our former crown jewel, BC Hydro and, having bankrupted it in all but name, committed it to a further $10 billion Site C for power we don’t need and for which we have no customers. Continue Reading »

Jim GoddardRafe’s appearance on April 5, 2017, as a guest on The Goddard Report. Topics include a salute to three recently passed BC broadcasting legends.

Click here to listen.

The Keystone Kops (1914)

I start this exercise with a couple of general comments.

The detailed information available on the “progress” of BC Hydro since the Liberals took over in 2001 would be very difficult to pull together if we were left to government confessions of error or sleuthing by the NDP opposition. In fact, in this regard, the public are greatly indebted to Norman Farrell, Arthur Caldicott, Erik Andersen, Tom Rankin, John Calvert, author of Liquid Gold, Damien Gillis, myself and, on the question of Site C, people like Harry Swain, who have been steadily reporting and commenting, faced by stony silence from the government, since 2007 or earlier.

The Sun and the Province papers in Vancouver, with their mutual masturbation agreement with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, have been in a coma where the government is involved, thus I think it imperative that The Tyee, The Common Sense Canadian, In-sights, Desmog Canada, and Laila Yuile be singled out and congratulated for providing a constant flow of information demonstrating the all-but-formal and clearly deliberate bankrupting of BC Hydro by the Campbell/Clark government. Continue Reading »

A British Columbian

BC FlagHere I stand. I cannot do otherwise.”

I concede that Martin Luther’s words in 1521 at the Diet of Worms were far more important than my borrowing them here but when I decided to write this, they were on my mind. I hope you and Luther will forgive my trespass.

I take the unusual step of publishing this on my website rather than first on Common Sense Canadian. My expressed viewpoint is radical in the true sense of that word so my friend and colleague Damien Gillis, who publishes CSC, should not feel under the slightest personal pressure to publish it.

I find I no longer come close to sharing the values Canada now stands for – I’m not talking about opinions but a philosophy of life, a set of basic values.

As a core value, I value the environment above the desire of bankers and developers to make money and bought and paid for politicians to support them. I accept the need for societal sustenance but do not accept plunder in the name of progress. Continue Reading »

Jim GoddardRafe’s appearance on March 14, 2017, as a guest on The Goddard Report. Topics include polls, the provincial debt, town hall meetings, NDP problems in the provincial election campaign, the RCMP investigation into Liberal fund-raising practices, and revoking Canadian citizenship.

Click here to listen.

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

OOOOH CANADA, WE STAND ON GUARD FOR WE …

On January 27, an outfit called the Public Policy Forum released a report called the The Shattered Mirror, dealing with the state of Canada’s media. It was quarterbacked and written by Edward Greenspon, best remembered as editor of the *Toronto Globe & Mail”. Discovering the terms of reference takes some doing and this is the best I could find:

When the Public Policy Forum (PPF) began thinking about a study on the state of the news media in Canada, in early 2016, the headlines were all bad. Within a fortnight in January 2016 alone, Rogers Media and Postmedia announced new rounds of staff reductions, Torstar revealed plans to close its printing plant, and Confederation-era newspaper titles in Guelph, Ont., and Nanaimo, B.C., were shuttered, the first of six daily papers to close, merge or reduce their publishing schedules before year’s end. The situation wasn’t much better on the broadcast news side, where revenues, especially in local television, followed the downward track of the newspaper industry, inducing the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to step in.

A parliamentary committee was formed. News companies and industry associations queued up with complaints of inequities in the marketplace. Some made requests for public assistance.

The Government of Canada contracted with the PPF, a non-partisan and independent think-tank, to assess the situation and make recommendations on what,if anything, should be done. The object was not to defend any mode of news delivery, but to evaluate the risk to democracy.” (Emphasis added)

The Public Policy Forum mandate states “to serve as a neutral, independent forum for open dialogue on public policy, to encourage reform in public sector management and excellence in government”. I’ll have a look at “neutral, independent” in a bit. Continue Reading »

Dear Prime Minister,

I’ve reached a point where I can say what I please without concern for personal consequences. My age of ambition is long gone and social disapproval simply doesn’t matter anymore.

That is where I am and intend to speak my piece.

I’m a native British Columbia born in Vancouver a long time ago. I have a lifetime love of my province from one end to the other and I inherited a sense of deep anger when I see unfairness.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve resented that my province has been unfairly treated, a resentment that has increased steadily over the years. We have been badly cheated politically and economically, accompanied by an attitude of arrogance from central Canada, which runs everything, an attitude that I find irritating beyond toleration. Continue Reading »

Erik Andersen

By Economist Erik Andersen

It is unfortunate that the government exploits the public’s ignorance of finances. We know that BC Hydro abuses the privilege of using regulatory accounting. Carrying $6 billion of uncollected expenses as a asset is an insult and the former Auditor General more or less told them so. Prior to 2003 the NDP had BC Hydro clear off all unpaid/collected expenses each year with rate changes. Back in 2005 I had occasion to talk with a BC Finance Ministry retiree. She confirmed my suspicion that they were under heavy orders to capitalize as much as was possible. That order must have kept hundreds of millions out of the current year accounting records and now shows up as long-term liabilities and “Contingencies and contractual obligations”.

The so-called balanced budget has only been achieved by delay, spending suppression or hiding contractual liabilities. This is a form of Enron off-balance sheet accounting, that for the first time ever, caused the independent auditor to title their opinion with a new term. BC Hydro did not deliver an annual “audited” report. Continue Reading »

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