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Welcome to my new website

Many of you will know that I’m the official spokesperson for the Save Our Rivers Society and I urge you to visit our website a www.saveourrivers.ca and look particularly at the Powerplay series by our brilliant film maker, Damien Gillis.

My task will take me all over the province laying out the terrible policy of this government, a policy that has no redeeming feature whatsoever.

I realize that my support of the NDP has been a shock to some and I want to address this in a few words.

When I was a cabinet minister in 1975-80 I was able to pass more consumer legislation than ever had been done before or since. I forced Canada’s banks to obey BC law, forced the Vancouver Stock Exchange to meet much stricter standards, brought in legislation to bring home travelers stranded by charter flights, licenced Car dealers (with 6 Car dealers in my caucus, three of them in cabinet) and was responsible for starting the wine industry in the Okanagan which has proved so successful. While Environment Minister I stopped government killing of wolves (which was hated by my ranching colleagues) placed a moratorium on exploration and mining of uranium (which exists today) and went to Seattle and made a settlement with Seattle Light and Power where they gave up their rights (under an agreement with the BC government in 1941) and stopped the raising of the Ross Dam on the American side of the border which would have flooded our side making a big lake where we had, and now still have, a beautiful drifting, canoeing, flyfishing stream. As Minister of Health I brought in palliative care and home care.

I tell you these things not to toot my own horn but to say that I was able to do these things in a government run by Bill Bennett and wouldn’t have been able to do any of them under the far right wing government we now have.

The political ground has so shifted that the populist middle of the road area the Bill Bennett government straddled is now occupied by Carole James and the NDP.

I ask you, in the interest of our province, or kids and grandkids that you bring yourself up to date on the appalling rivers policy of the Campbell government, I might say that at my urging – and I didn’t have to urge very much – the NDP policy on rivers is “The NDP plans to protect the province’s natural resources by making sure BC hydro remains public” and that “BC’s  rivers and streams are not exploited by private interests.”

Over the next couple of months I will continue sending emails on this subject to everyone in my address book and I ask them to do the same. This is how President Obama got around an unfair media and this is how I’m trying to accomplish the same end. Let me assure you I do not expose your email address as I address all submissions to myself with bccs to those I send the emails to.

I’m very pleased to be up and running online for which I owe a great debt to my SORS colleague, Bob Broughton.

6 Responses to “Welcome to my new website”

  1. Lorna says:

    I hear you, Rafe. And, couldn’t agree more. If we the people do not pay attention then we will lose precious rights – caused by people who’s only mission in life seems to control media, convince us that it’s for our own benefit, get us onside, & then take them away from us.

    To illustrate. Bill C6, the ‘Consumer Protection & Safety (LOL) Bill’, recently introduced by the federal government, was referred to by constitutional lawyer, Shawn Buckley, as the most shocking proposed piece of legislation he has seen in his lifetime, returning law to medieval times, where the king (government & beaurocrats) were ABOVE the law.

    You bet. I’ll be sending your comments to my address book. And, congratulations on your new website.

    Hugs, Lorna

  2. david cox says:

    Good to see this. Helps in recruiting my list to the ‘good’ side. BUT – has anyone read the terms and conditions of the water leases to determine if the PPs also own the water?

    And, sure, despite my ambivalence to the NDP, I will vote for them. A complete shift but without hesitation if they keep that promise.


  3. Dan Williamson says:

    Well done! Keep it up. I am not that enthusiastic about the current NDP people although I was very involved with the NDP at one time.

    However–given Gordo Cambelltini and his 25 stooges–they are the only rational choice.

    If GC and the other stooges get back in the economy of BC will be paying for decades.

  4. Peter Chittim says:

    Save our Rivers & addicted to oil? When ever the subject of alternative energy sources is discussed on any US or Canadian media site all I ever hear is; nuclear. sun. wave. clean coal or drill for oil offshore etc. What is never mentioned is Geothermal Energy. Who is the worlds largest producer? Forget Iceland ,Denmark etc it is the USA. Why all the silence??? Coal or oil Lobbies behind this? In an edition of the B.C.Business Investors Guide there are 2 articles side by side , RUN of River INC at Brandywine and Nevada Geothermal Power INC A carbon footprint larger than that of autos is the power requirements for computer servers and the cooling of them. The server companies are searching the world looking for cheap power to satisfy the demands and moving to those locations. Now they want to add electric cars to the grid and there is no infrastructure to handle this additional requirement. Call the Pres. of Nissan Canada he was on BNN talking about the lack of infrastructure. Now the point . B.C. sits on the RING OF FIRE, we have all kinds of hotsprings, we have all the drilling know how here in the province. What we dont have is WAC Bennet selling this potential to the US Power Grid and server companies like he once did for this province. We can create all kinds of clean and suerly less expensive power than damming all the rivers. We are being sold out by short sighted non forward thinking leaders

  5. Alexander Roy Hamilton says:

    Good Day Mr. Mair,

    A short note ! This will apply to many of the proposed Run of the river sites. It is a bit of a longer time scale argument. At first the glacial melt will be faster which will show big success for the projects. Then as the ice retreats up to higher altitudes the flow will slow down. Eventually there will be very little run-off from ice. Only the water from the yearly rain or snow fall will be to generate power! Then the profitability will diminish. Then we are left with all the damage done to install the plants and very little power left to sell!!1

    I admire your efforts,

    respectfully roy

  6. Sieglinde Stieda says:

    Dear Rafe,
    Thank you for coming to Mission last night.
    I had an inkling of the fish problems and the private dam issues, but you and the film certainly clarified the issues for me.

    Since you and I have similar views about our drunk and lying emperor, I thought that you might like the story I wrote about The Emperor and the New Literacy. It was published in a Canadian school library journal.
    Canwest does more than suppress legitimate information. They also have promoted RACIST CHILDREN”S BOOKS in the name of “CLASSICS”. I called them on it but received no reply!!!
    Sieglinde Stieda
    Mission, BC

    The Emperor’s New Literacy
    By Sieglinde Stieda, B.A., B.L.S., M.Ed. With a thank you nod to Hans Christian Andersen and Ken Haycock.

    Once upon a time in Lotusland, there lived a vain and literate Emperor who worried about the literacy levels of his subjects. He loved to show off his book knowledge and told the world that he wanted to make his empire the most literate in the world. Word of the Emperor’s desire for literacy spread all over his empire and beyond. His politicians, advisors and government officials decided to take advantage of the emperor’s literacy ambitions.

    Some advisors went to the Emperor and said, “We are very good literacy workers and after many years of research we have invented an extraordinary method to improve reading with books and teacher-librarians that are invisible. As a matter of fact the method is invisible to anyone who is too stupid and incompetent to appreciate its quality.”

    The chief of the guards heard the advisors’ strange story and sent for the court chamberlain. The chamberlain notified the prime minister, who ran to the Emperor and disclosed the incredible news. The Emperor’s curiosity got the better of him and he decided to see the two advisors. They stated, “Besides being invisible, your Highness, these invisible books and teacher-librarians will be created especially for your Empire’s schools.”

    “Just tell us what you need to get started and we’ll give it to you,” the Emperor said. The advisors told the Emperor to cut teacher-librarian FTE positions (Full Time Teacher equivalents) by 19% across the empire. The advisors also told the Emperor to ignore the research which claimed that “Studies connecting teacher-librarians and school libraries with achievement in reading have been available for more than 50 years” and a “qualified library team and resources can bring scores up by 3 to 15 percent regardless of economic or social factors.”

    So the Emperor cut the teacher-librarian positions in the empire’s schools by 19%. These teacher-librarians were highly educated specialists in books, motivating children’s reading, and information literacy. As well, the cut teacher-librarians knew the Empire’s Curriculum and had catered to the teachers and students in their schools. Teacher-librarians in the Empire have run book clubs, photo clubs, book fairs, and invited Canadian children’s book authors, writers, and scientists to their schools. The teacher-librarians worked hand-in hand with local bookstores as both independent bookstores and teacher-librarians respected each other. So the 19% of cut teacher-librarians became ghosts in the system. They became classroom teachers so that at least their students could be bathed in books and thus were motivated to become readers. The remaining 81% of the empire’s teacher-librarians were asked to do more with less. In a way, they too became invisible as the new literacy workers rarely consulted them.

    Instead, the Emperor created an unstable funding system of giving literacy grants to people who didn’t always respect the knowledge and experience of the remaining teacher-librarians.

    The advisors who recommended to make the teacher-librarians in the empire invisible told the Emperor that the teacher-librarians who had promoted the cultural heritage of the Empire by buying books written by Lotusland authors, were too dangerous to keep around as the teacher-librarians had systematically encouraged students to think, read, and get to know their Lotusland cultural heritage. Thinking students who appreciated their heritage were too dangerous to the Emperor as the students might question some of his decisions.

    According to Ken Haycock, Ed.D.,

    “It seems somehow strange to have to prove the self-evident benefits of a library, one of human civilization’s greatest and more enduring institutions. But this is the daunting task confronting advocates for…[Lotusland] school libraries and teacher-librarianship as they face steady and troubling disinvestment. Their challenge grows even more perplexing when policy- makers grope around for novel tactics to solve literacy concerns – e.g., the deployment of school-based “literacy coordinators” – when there’s a tried-and-tested solution close at hand. Nor is the empirical evidence all that surprising. No one should be shocked to learn that if children have access to a wide range of relevant books and library materials, they will be more likely to use them, both for learning and pleasure. No one should be astonished to discover that if students can take advantage of the guidance provided by a qualified teacher- librarian, they will be more likely to learn the sorts of critical thinking skills that are increasingly important in an information-saturated society. Lastly, no one should be taken aback to discover that when children are introduced to books and other learning materials that tell them about their own society and its values, they will begin to soak up what that culture has to offer. Yet if …[Lotusland] politicians demand hard evidence of the utility of school libraries and teacher-librarians, they can refer to the myriad studies cited in this report. Taken collectively, these studies demonstrate, with great clarity, that an investment in school libraries and teacher-librarians provides the sorts of dividends educators now seek from public school funding: better student achievement, improved literacy and reading skills, and enhanced readiness to succeed in a post-secondary environment. [Lotuslandian]… young people surely deserve to see the revival of a resource for which this country was internationally renowned for so many years. But beyond the moral argument, the research overwhelmingly supports the case for revitalizing … [Lotusland’s] school libraries.”
    To help confuse the citizens of Lotusland, the Emperor’s advisors told some of the Emperor’s government officials to define literacy as,
    “ an essential cultural, social and academic practice that
    involves, not only reading, writing and numeracy, but also a variety of abilities
    including viewing and representing, aural literacy including language, musical and
    listening skills, cultural literacy including media and social literacy and critical
    literacy including civic skills.”

    While others were told to define literacy as “essentially, the ability to understand and employ printed information in daily activities”. By floating around two different definitions of literacy, literacy results in Lotusland would become as invisible as the teacher-librarians, as the results were more difficult to measure. Even the Emperor’s own Auditor General noticed this lack of accountability when he stated, “Monitoring and performance reporting should be improved so that progress can be traced accurately and meaningfully….” Since the Auditor General did not include a bibliography or footnotes in his report, we do not know if he has read the research by Dr.Haycock and others, that when and where the teacher-librarians were visible in Lotusland, there was plenty of accurate and meaningful progress in literacy.
    So now after 20 years in all the Lotusland Empire, they now can’t find enough educated young people to fill the jobs. Sadly, most of these Lotusland youths were now ignorant of their culture and history, so could be more easily manipulated by corporations, one of which donated racist books to the Empire’s school libraries administered by invisible teacher-librarians. Not only did Lotusland become poorer, so did all its citizens.

    Omri saw, under the shaven scalplock, the mindless destructive face of a skinhead just before he lashed out… .The Algonquin licked his lips, snarling like a dog… .Their headdresses… even their movements… were alien. Their faces, too—their faces! They were wild, distorted, terrifying masks of hatred and rage.”
    From The Indian in the Cupboard donated to school libraries in Lotusland as part of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Vancouver_Sun_Classic_Children's_Book_Collection
    Slapin and Seale commented as follows on this racist book:
    “My heart aches for the Native child unfortunate enough to stumble across, and read, these books. How could she, reading this, fail to be damaged? How could a white child fail to believe that he is far superior to the bloodthirsty, sub-human monsters portrayed here?”
    from Through Indian Eyes: The Native Experience in Books for Children, edited by Beverly Slapin and Doris Seale. Los Angeles: UCLA American Indian Studies Center (1998)

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