“I am asked – and I’m speaking to young Canada now – are there rewards in public life? There are – not monetary but there is a tremendous satisfaction in being able to say I tried, I stood."

~~~ John G Diefenbaker

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Am I being a 'protectionist'? You bet, but only as long as we don't have a level playing field to play on


This afternoon June 13th), Sheila Gunn, from the Rebel media, sent me an email asking me to stand up for Maxine Bernier.  She stated:

"Last night, Andrew Scheer fired Maxine Bernier from the Conservative Party’s shadow cabinet.  The reason? Bernier, the party’s most popular MP from Quebec, opposes “supply management" for Quebec’s dairy industry.

Of course, supply management is just a fancy way of saying: we all have to pay triple the normal price for milk, cheese and yogurt, because Quebec dairy farmers have managed to lobby Ottawa for subsidies.

It makes the rest of us hundreds of dollars poorer every year, and it benefits a handful of Quebec businessmen."

Now don't get me wrong, I don't want to pay anymore than I have too, but I also DO NOT want to see Canadian farmers, ranchers, and dairy producers driven out of business.  Contrary to want anyone has to say, American producers ARE SUBSIDIZED ... and subsidized in a BIG way.

From February 8th, 2018:
... the American government continues to provide massive levels of support to its agri-food sector at federal, state, and local levels ... in 2015 (for example), the American government doled out approximately $22.2 billion dollars in direct and indirect subsidies to the U.S. dairy sector ... when it comes to farm support, the U.S. has the deepest pockets; deeper even than the European Union. Our study provides detail nationally, and on a state basis, the losses to U.S. dairy farmers. USDA data reveals that for more than a decade, U.S. farm gate prices for milk fail to cover costs of production

Gunn, in her email to me and many others, went on to say:
Andrew Scheer is the leader of the Conservative Party. But if he’s going to purge everyone who doesn’t believe in special subsidies for Quebec lobbyists, it’s going to be a pretty small party.

P.S. I’m from a farm family. I remember when the party fought against the Soviet-style Canadian Wheat Board. Since when are the Conservatives the party of Quebec lobbyists

But again, I have to ask, who IS getting subsidies?  The Americans definitely are, they just don't like to talk about them because it doesn't really fit with their mantra of free markets, rugged individualism, and survival of the fittest.

Don't believe me?  Well here's more proof. Sean Haney, founder of realagriculture.com, says:

One of the things we are seeing is that the way dairy industries are supported on both sides of the border are different.  Canada on the front end, is clearly supported through the quota system. In the U.S., it’s more through other means like MPP (Margin Protection Program), SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and so forth.”


In a story yesterday (June 12th), the CBC said:
Canadian defenders of the supply management system say U.S. President Donald Trump is "stunningly hypocritical" for attacking dairy supports while politicians in Washington hand out billions in subsidies to American farmers — and levy punishing tariffs of their own on some commodities.

We can go back even further to show this is nothing recent, and in fact US food producers have been getting a big helping hand from Uncle Sam for a long time.  On November 25th, 2010, the Globe and Mail had a story that indicated:

There are few places in the world where farming is a
truly free market activity -- least of all the United States.

They went on to quote Ottawa trade consultant Peter Clark, who wrote a report for the Dairy Farmers of Canada. "The U.S. continues to provide massive -- sometimes unreported to the World Trade Organization -- support at the federal, state and local government level to U.S. agriculture".

And finally, from Real Agriculture comes a statement that sums it up quite succinctly ... U.S. dairy subsidies equal 73 percent of producer returns, says new report


Canada long ago decide to let others provide us with many of the goods and services we require ... from food ... to clothing ... to furniture ... and more.  That means in a tit-fort-tat trade war, where we retaliate on US goods imported to Canada, we are going to loose.  We need the products, and we no longer produce and manufacture enough here in our own country to meet our own needs.

Trump is a lose cannon, and as long as he is in the White House, Canadians can be nervous about him slapping tariffs on any number of products we do manufacture and ship to the States.

Don't be misled ... whether by Maxine Bernier ... or Sheila Gunn.  If we do not want marketing boards in Canada, then the US better follow suite by dropping the billions in subsidies the provide their food industry.  Canada must insist those subsidies end, before we make any changes to marketing boards.  If not, we can watch as what's left of the family farm also becomes a sunset industry.

Sheila wants you to sign a petition demanding that Andrew Sheer re-instate Bernier.  I suggest instead you send her this column.  Am I being a 'protectionist'?  You bet, but only as long as we don't have a level playing field to play on.

I'm Alan Forseth in Kamloops.  The floors yours now so share your thoughts below in the comment section.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

One thing is certain, there were big job losses across all sectors of industry, including oil and gas


Across the province late last week, news media outlets dutifully reported that the unemployment rate in BC was down.  Down to 4.8% in May ... down from 5.0% in April and below the 5.6% from 12 months ago. 



Truth to tell, I don't actually recall many in the media reporting this -- perhaps due to the Ontario provincial election that saw Kathleen Wynne's LIBERAL party decimated by the Doug Ford Conservatives.



Even Kamloops own CFJC News reported, "Kamloops Un-Employment Rate Plunges to 5.9% in May".  But in their brief story, comes this fact ... around 1,500 fewer people looking for work (4,400) year-over-year) dropping the unemployment rate to 5.9 per cent.



It seems like only the Alaska Highway News (June 8th) however dug a little deeper.  Here's what they also included in their story:



"In British Columbia, employment fell by 12,000 in the month, according to Stats Canada.  For the first time since May 2015, employment in British Columbia recorded virtually no growth on a year-over-year basis, the agency notes in a report."



Checking for myself, the June 8th Issue 18-102 Labour Force Statistics confirms, and I quote ... "There were 16,000 fewer full-time jobs in May, while 3,600 part-time jobs were added since April."

Additionally, most of the full-time job losses (-11,700) were observed in what I would consider to be the most important age group ... 25 to 54.  I say that because this would be the age category of young married couples raising a family, trying to purchase a home, and providing for the needs of a young family.  Job losses in this category can certainly ripple across other employment sectors, creating a rippling effect of unemployment.


 


Job losses also saw no favorites, affecting both men and women.


 


For women (aged 25 years and over), employment decreased by 7,500 jobs in May, with the size of the labour force decreasing by 11,900.  I do not know the reason for this startling decrease, however with an on-going lack of job prospects, perhaps these women decided to stop looking for employment?  How could finding no prospect of work, and month after month, week after week do anything but create hopelessness.


 


Meantime employment for men (aged 25 years and over) also declined ... down by by 8,900 jobs.  And like the female side of the report, the size of the labour force also shrank, this time by 7,200. As a result, the unemployment rate for men actually increased to 4.7% in May.



Finally, the report notes that employment in the goods-producing sector was down (‑8,000 or ‑1.6%) in May. Most of the losses were felt by:

·         construction (‑5,400 or ‑2.2%) industry

·         agriculture (‑800 or ‑3.2%)

·         forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas (‑700 or ‑1.4%)

·         manufacturing (‑700 or ‑0.4%)

·         and utilities (‑400 or ‑2.9%)



It's a tale of two different stories; two side of the same coin.  The full statistical report was clearer on actual job losses, while the brief BC Stats Info Highlights painted the rosy picture by starting out saying, "The unemployment rate in British Columbia was 4.8% in May, down from 5.0% in April and below the 5.6% from 12 months ago" ... and then hoping no one read much past that. 

That's because unemployment in the 3 worst regions (out of 7 in total) is MUCH HIGHER:

  • Thompson Okanagan (including the city of Kamloops where I make my home) the unemployment rate is 6.8%
  • In the North East region the unemployment rate is 7.9%
  • And for North Coast / Nechako unemployment stands at 8.8% -- highest in the province



How much uncertainty over Kinder Morgan's TransMountain pipeline played a role in these job losses is hard to know.  One thing is certain however, job losses were across all sectors of industry, including oil and gas.  AND ... on-going and continued interference by the GreeNDP government, played one of the biggest roles in that.



Despite the bcLIBERALS recent found 'we're on he band-wagon supporting Kinder-Morgan', the reality is, only one party has been fully is support of building an affordable British Columbia.  One through DOES ADVOCATE for safe and responsible resource development, well paying jobs, and respect for taxpayers dollars.  That party is the BC Conservatives.   

Unquestionably, given past experience, it is definately NOT the Andrew Wilkinson led bcLIBERALS.



I'm Alan Forseth in Kamloops, and those are my thoughts today.  I'd love to hear what you think, so please take a moment to post a comment below.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

It is wrong. It stirs up discontent, it fosters miss-guided fears of others, helps create hatred, and it leads often times to violence.


UNFORTUNATELY, SOCIAL MEDIA FEEDS
YESTERDAY (June 6th) WERE DISTRIBUTING THE IMAGE I HAVE INCLUDED WITH THIS POST, including the Facebook page for the BC Patriots.  Here's what it's important for you to know:



I read multiple news reports across what would be considered reporting from the right, through to the left. Not one single one from the Toronto Sun, through to the Huff Post and CBC indicated the shooting which occurred had anything to do with serving pork during Ramadan.



It's a shame BC Patriots posted this as it does not look good distributing what is obviously false information. A simple Google search for me was able to ascertain this in seconds. Don't believe me? Just type in, "four shot outside Pickering RibFest" and see for yourself.



When I said ... PLEASE, DO NOT CONTINUE THE CYCLE OF THIS CRAP, AND AID IN PROMOTING B.S. LIKE THIS ... I was told , "You're wrong about the Sun".   

In fact, I was not.



Yesterday (June 6th) I did multiple Google searches, and read many news stories across the board politically. The Toronto Sun, CBC, Global, CTV, City, and many more. Not one single one said what this right wing extremists crap indicated. That being the case then, it could only be interpreted as something meant to sow miss-information, and in doing so, spreading unrest.



As a small "c" conservative, I find it very sad to see anyone posting / re-posting this kind of thing.



Now today, and again on the same BC Patriots Facebook page, was a re-post they put online, that stated the federal government was not going to provide a pay increase for Canadian Armed Forces members.  I went "Wow ... that's not something I'd support", so a quick Google search using "pay rate freeze for Canadian soldiers" quickly indicated this was in fact untrue.  



From the Canadian Armed Forces:  "Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members will receive a compounded increase of 6.34% to pay and a lump sum back-payment starting June 30, 2017. This covers retroactive increases starting April 1, 2014 ... "  



From the National Post:  "Canadian Forces personnel will receive an increase of over 6% to pay and around 5% to some environmental and special allowances, according to the Department of National Defence ..." 



Not only that, this miss-information was a re-post from two years ago.  When I pointed this out, the page administrator indicated they were pleased / it was good that I could read, and that in fact they had indicated the post was from two years ago.  THEY DID NOT.



Regrettably they seem to have removed this post as I can no longer find it.  That said, why, if they were willing to acknowledge the post was from two years ago, did they decide to put it online in the first place?



Let me state once and again just so there is now doubt in anyone's mind.  Fake news, and miss-information of any kind, is wrong.  I don't care if it is from left leaning media like the Toronto Star -- the CBC -- or the Huff Post ... or from any right leaning media including the Sun newspaper chain -- Ezra Levant -- or anyone else.



It is wrong.  It stirs up discontent.  It fosters miss-guided fears of others.  It helps create hatred.  And it leads, too often, to violence.



You may be attacked, ridiculed, or called a liar for pointing out when miss-truths are put forward as fact.  Regardless, DO NOT hesitate to let those who are your friends know there is an ulterior motive for this being done -- and it's not a good one.



Then, also make sure that you comment on those posts to say they are untrue.  Why?  Because not doing so is really no different than condoning erroneous miss-information -- by default.  Don't let it happen.


There is LOTS out there, that is legitimate fact, to call out our Federal Liberal government on ... ditto here in BC with the GreeNDP.  Hit them with facts, not fiction.  It's the only way to make it stick because the truth, while not always so, should win out. 



In Kamloops, I'm Alan Forseth.  The floor is your now, and I welcome any comments you may wish to make.

Friday, April 27, 2018

BEN BESLER: BC Liberals Cutting the Last Cord, of a Well Grounded Coalition, For Want of the Flashy New Green Look


I can be pragmatic, at times.



I can compromise for the greater good.



I can restrict my social views to the federal arena, for the greater good of a unified province.



I can even allow for give-and-take and bend on taxation policies.   

BUT ...



... when you aggravate business in the way you bring in family day, for example (not that I’m opposed to family day)

... when you fumble the HST because you made it about a tax grab and not specifically the reduction of red tape



... when you increase minimum wage in a way that shocks the alleged free-market (increasing to extreme measures to the highest in the country at the time)



... when gas taxes are duplicitous and nothing is done to offer relief



... when you jump to extremist actions, and implement the Stephane Dion Carbon Tax demise in a quest to tax everything



... when you say you are a party that says they can get to yes; yet, you sit on your laurels and point fingers at what the others are doing wrong, instead of what you will do right (sounding too smart for your own good) especially in regards to the much needed Trans Mountain pipeline



BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson
... when you are unable to take a hard stand FOR energy infrastructure and say, "When elected, WE WILL get it built!”



Well, then you’re cutting the last cord, of a well grounded coalition, for want of the flashy new Green look.



Andrew Wilkinson’s inability to take a strong stance on energy infrastructure (in order to court the Green vote) ...  while at the same time claiming to lead a liberal conservative coalition ... is like cheating on your wife by taking up a mistress.  It's time to man up and choose.   

For us however, if we choose to now scream “don’t split the vote”, we'll only have ourselves to blame.



BEN BESLER ... has been active in provincial politics for many years.  He most recently was a member of the BC Liberal Party ... is a former Vice President of the BC Conservative Party ... and was a Regional Organizer for the successful Fight HST citizens initiative

Monday, April 16, 2018

"Let us come here and do the job we were elected to do ... let us clear this confusion up and get this settled ... let us put some rules in place for a change ... let us do our job"


Honestly, what was the purpose of yesterdays so-called 'emergency meeting' between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ... BC NDP Premier John Horgan ... and Alberta's leader Rachael Notley (also of the NDP persuasion)?

I really would like to know, because other than spewing additional carbon emissions into the air, with the jets required to fly to Ottawa, NOT A SINGLE THING WAS ACCOMPLISHED. 

Well almost nothing.

Hogan is entrenched as he ever was in that he has always said, and continues to basically say, there is no way in hell I'm going to allow the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline to be built.

Rachael Notley, ever fearful of Jason Kenny's United Conservative Party (and an up-coming provincial election in Alberta), is fearful that not only is Horgan refusing to allow the pipeline to be built, he is now also threatening to disallow additional shipments of oil, through BC, by rail.

And 'Sunny Ways -- Sunny Days' Trudeau?  Well he just wonders why all of us in the West can't just get along. 

The late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau (L) with his son,
and now current Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau (right)
He also has an election to be concerned about in the not so distant future -- and standing up forcefully for the legal right of Kinder Morgan to build the pipeline, means the potential lose of a number of Liberal seats in BC -- seats they only just won after decades of zip, nada, goose eggs.

And why, until the last election, has that been the state of affairs for the Trudeau led Liberals?  Well of course it's because of a previous Trudeau, Pierre by name, who also pissed off the people of the west!

So what did change on the weekend?

Well it appears that our brutally debt ridden federal government is now talking about throwing wads of cash at Kinder Morgan, to try and keep them in the game (past the May 31st deadline they announced a week ago).

Oh and by the way, Kinder Morgan NEVER ASKED FOR THAT MONEY.  They only asked that obstructionist -- and illegal -- road blocks to the construction of the pipeline be lifted!

While he was talking about a totally different situation back on April 27th, 1998, I appreciate the plain-speak of BC Reform MP Daryl Stinson when he said; "Let us come here and do the job we were elected to do ... let us clear this confusion up and get this settled ... let us put some rules in place for a change ... let us do our job."

Rhetoric however, is all we do hear from the federal Liberals. If ONLY Trudeau 2.0 could paraphrase some additional words, from Daryl Stinson, and say to BC NDP Premier John Horgan, "Do you have the gonads to continue standing in the way of this project. This project has been approved, and it's going ahead.  Stand in the way and you're going to jail?"

Of course not! Not in a million years could that dream ever come true. Trudeau's too busy being concerned about 'people-kind'.  If he did however, he just might grant the wish of a majority of British Columbians. 

Premier John Horgan stated yesterday, “My obligation is to the people of B.C. and I’m going to defend them until I’m no longer the premier.”  If he's in jail won't that mean he's no longer Premier?  We can only hope!

Finally, let me say this.  There is a national emergency -- it's about the application of the rule of law.  People (and businesses) need to know their rights will not be trampled on. After all, that is a good part of what democracy is all about, isn't it?

In Kamloops, I'm Alan Forseth, and that's my rant for today.  The floors now open for you, so feel free to share your thoughts below in the comments section.