All I want is a better politics. I do not care what point of view people come from, but just that people treat each other with respect - especially when they disagree.” ~~ Bernard von Schulmann

Monday, October 22, 2018

There is nothing about carbon emission reductions that has anything to do with ‘saving the planet’ … that is hokum

Not seeing the forests for the trillions of trees
Mark Bonokoski  ~~ Toronto Sun ~~ August 10, 2016

Thanks to Statistics Canada, Wikipedia, and reader Ollie Waschuk, a retired teacher, there would appear to be sufficient evidence to put forward the argument that Canada should be selling carbon credits to other countries, and using that money to relieve Canadians of some of their tax burden.

We are virtually without sin when it comes to the net result of carbon arithmetic. In fact, Canada should be given credit for chewing up a goodly portion of the world’s carbon emissions, and not just for absorbing all of our own.

There is nothing about carbon emission reductions that has anything to do with ‘saving the planet’.

That is hokum.

The original plan, the Kyoto Accord, was a sham designed to move billions of dollars from first world nations to third world nations.  Like any other scam, the precept had to be simple and plausible.

In politics, as in life, no defeat is permanent. No victory is everlasting. The battle is never over

Saturday brought interesting results, from all around the province, as polls closed at 8pm on municipal and school board elections.

For starters, Saturday’s civic election had numerous notable moments, including in the City of Nanaimo, where former NDP MLA Leonard Krog will soon take over as mayor.  That leaves the provincial riding open, and … it also means BC Premier John Horgan will need to call a by-election.  Given his NDP razor thin majority in the legislature, only due to being propped up by Andrew Weaver’s Green Party, that is not a riding he’ll want to even consider the possibility of losing.  Look for a star candidate to be on the ballot.

Newly elected North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring
Also, on Vancouver Island, former North Cowichan city councilor Al Siebring decided to take a run at the Mayors chair which was being held by Jon Lefebure, who had 16 years of public service in the District of North Cowichan.  At the end of vote counting he had won the election … and it was close!

Well, it appears I have been elected Mayor of North Cowichan” … Siebring commented, before going on to say … “The margin of victory could barely have been slimmer; just 10 votes. If anyone ever tells you your vote doesn't count, don't believe them!”

Across the water, in the City of Vancouver, it should be noted that Kennedy Stewart IS NOT the first Independent Mayor in decades.  How can that be said with all of the union paid full-time staffers on his campaign.  His campaign was bolstered by untold numbers of union supporters, as well as four members of Vancouver and District Labour Council unions.  They, continued to collect their union salaries while pretty much working full-time to support Stewart's campaign.  The ballot may not have recognized him as being a party candidate, but NDP and unions are the parties that supported him.

Former Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan
Crossing over Boundary Road, voters in Burnaby turfed Derek Corrigan, who had wasted over a MILLION dollars of tax-payers money fighting against the Trans Mountain Pipeline -- something they did not have legal authority to block.  I have to say that in recent years, any news story with him always seemed to portray an angry and cranky individual.  He really will be now, I guess, after losing in his attempt at a sixth term in the Mayors chair.,

Also sticky with Burnaby, determined Anti-SOGI 123 advocate Laura-Lynn Thompson, who called the materials ‘crazy teaching’, failed to gain a spot on the Burnaby School Board.  She placed well back in the pack with the third fewest votes cast in her favour.

Headed east, former BC Liberal cabinet Minister Peter Fassbender was defeated in his bid for elected office for a second time in under two years, losing the Mayors race in Langley by just 206 votes.  Prior to entering provincial politics in 2013, he had been mayor of Langley for eight years.

Closer to home, current Thompson Nicola Regional District (TNRD) Chair, and long-time Mayor of Cache Creek, John Ranta, was defeated by Santo Talarico by just 26 votes.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Employer Health Tax to affect roughly 60,000 “mostly” small businesses in the province -- “They aren’t going to get any relief”, the response from BC Finance Minister Carole James

This past Tuesday (October 16th), the BC government stated it was moving forward with its plan to eliminate Medical Service Plan (MSP) premiums and introduce the employer health tax (EHT).  Together, they claimed these two things would reduce taxes on people and businesses by approximately $800 million each year.
Is that true?  

Well all I can say is that does NOT seem to be factual given what many have to say … many who should be in the know.  Here’s just a sampling:

‘BC …less affordable for families and less attractive for business’ is not exactly a slogan for success.  ~~ Fraser Institute

… Select Committee on Finance told the tax would add $700,000 a year in expenses and the City simply cannot "absorb" those costs, as the Finance Minister suggested municipalities could do ~~ City of Prince George

“Ultimately, it’s going to be passed on, I think, to their customers …” ~~ Dent Benefits Consulting

“… this unexpected payroll tax will hit small- and medium-sized businesses hard” ~~ Iain Black (CEO) Greater Vancouver Board of Trade

"The provincial government gets pat on the back for getting rid of everybody's MSP and then we get a kick in the knee for raising their taxes to pay for their MSP" ~~ Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian

Going back to the governments media release, Carole James, Minister of Finance was quoted as saying, “The EHT is a fairer approach, similar to other provinces, and that means lower taxes for British Columbians… less than 5% of B.C. businesses will pay the full EHT rate of 1.95%”

Let's look at this again, and ask the question; "Is it true this plan by our NDP government going to save you and I money at the end of the day?"  Well not according to the Union of BC Municipalities, and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business!

Friday, October 19, 2018

FELDSTED: Peddling fentanyl is much more dangerous than the criminal with a handgun, but we are wasting time discussing handgun bans which criminals will ignore

We are doing a lot of hand-wringing, and giving lip service, to the surge in fentanyl overdoses, but we are not taking any positive action to stop the carnage.

We need to bring in very stiff penalties for the possession opioids by other than medical professionals, pharmacists and people with valid prescriptions.  People caught distributing, importing or manufacturing opioids should face prison terms of between 10 and 25 years without bail, reduction for time spent in pre-trial custody, or parole.

They are dealing in illegal and lethal substances extremely harmful to society. 

One hundred and thirty (130) Canadian were killed by criminal use of handguns in 2013. Meantime, in 2016, there were 3,005 opioid-related deaths and the number of opioid related deaths is rising rapidly (3,996 in 2017 – 33% increase)

If 2018 stays on track, the number will be over 5,000 this year.

The criminal peddling fentanyl is much more dangerous than the criminal with a handgun, but we are wasting time discussing handgun bans which criminals will ignore. The penalties must be consistent with the risk of harm and people are dying in large numbers.  

If we want to reduce crime we must stop treating criminals as victims, and treat them as the predators they are. We do not owe a convicted criminal rehabilitation, or the luxuries, he or she lacks when they are locked up. If they want to watch TV and communicate through e-mail, then they must obey the law.

The adult day care centres must go. Prison should not be a place anyone wants to go to, or return to. The era of prisoners demanding amenities many people in our society can’t afford has to end.    

John Feldsted
Political Consultant & Strategist
Winnipeg, Manitoba

“First Past The Post” works close to home by focusing on electoral districts first … “Proportional Representation” tries to fit a size 10 foot into a size 7 shoe by bastardizing electoral districts

MEL ROTHENBERGER: There are so many things wrong with the referendum on proportional representation, it would take as long to cover it all as it would to explain the convoluted and foggy alternatives on the ballot.

So let’s just talk about the hocus pocus of proportional representation (also known as prop rep, pro rep or PR) math. This one giant flaw should be enough to make us run, not walk, away from prop rep.

Throughout the months leading up to this vote, prop rep boosters have relied heavily on a simplistic abracadabra formula to convince us their system makes sense.

Their favourite line is “40 per cent of the votes should equal 40 per cent of the seats,” or variations thereof.

With the current First Past the Post, they say, “39 per cent of the votes = 54 per cent of the seats = 100 per cent of the power” but with PR “39 per cent of the vote = 39 per cent of the seats = Compromise, cooperation, collaboration.” This is labeled “Proportional Representation Math.”

I once called it “voodoo math.” It’s magical, catchy and easy to understand. “It’s that simple,” they say. No need to think about it, just have faith that under prop rep “every vote will count.” With prop rep, everyone will surely sit around singing Kumbaya as they compromise, co-operate and collaborate. Sure, that’s what politicians do.

In reality, of course, it’s just spin. The subtext of prop rep math is a different story.

The myth of prop rep is that it’s more democratic. But by definition, an “at large” or total-popular-vote system — which is what prop rep is — centralizes electoral power at the expense of local communities.

It works from the top down rather than from the bottom up. FPTP is a ward system that does the opposite. That’s the fundamental difference between the two.