“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache, carries with it the seeds of an equal or greater benefit.”

~~ Napoleon Hill -- American Author -- Oct 26, 1883 to Nov 8, 1970

Saturday, December 31, 2016

"Is the funding formula one third of net revenue ($125 million minimum) ... or has the government arbitrarily decided it will now be capped at $135?" And ... Happy New Year too.



2016 is hours away from wrapping up, and a new year looms just over the horizon. 

Before I go though, I took some time this morning to have a look back at some stories from the blog this past year.  Not surprisingly, the two top stories were about the BC Conservative Party.

"Wasting one more minute of time and energy in the BC Conservative Party, by anyone, is sheer lunacy!"  from February 5th

 

"Dan Brooks hold, on the helm of the BC Conservative Party, seems very much in question"  from October 20th

 

Following that, from October 9th, came "How Much More Then Could We Be Thankful For?


And "You are welcome to believe whatever you want. I have to tell you however, you are living in a dream world if you think the majority of British Columbians will agree with you." peaked readers interests on June 10th


I'll mention this one as well, but it was only posted a on December 22nd;  "There certainly is a fluctuation ... government revenues fluctuate upwards, while grants to community groups fluctuate downwards!"


Why, you say, am I mentioning it?  Only because the BC Liberal government gave me more ammunition to work with. 

 

Yesterday, included in an email re-release of information (Government of BC featured Programs and Services), was a news(?) story from December 8th entitled; "Revamped Community Gaming Grant guidelines support better service"


Sunday, December 25, 2016

Would any of these Bah-Hum-Bug, anti-Christmas manics, think twice to rename any of the holidays, and special times, of other faiths and religions?

Today is December 25th, the day many through-out the world celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

Whether this is the actual day ... or even if it was exactly 2,016 years ago, is not really relevant to me.  For me, and so many others across the globe, the birth of Jesus represents human-kinds opportunity to have a Saviour -- one who we call the King of Kings.


I love the story of Christmas ... I love to hear stories from others about Christmas past ... and I love all the special programs that I get to enjoy hearing on the radio.  Well many radio stations in my community -- not so much on our so-called national broadcaster however.

There I have found, and heard, the most diluted pablum of holiday mush.  


Never wishing to offend anyone who does not call themselves a Christian, the CBC, in a backhanded way, instead insults the millions of Canadians that have no problem -- issue -- or concern about calling this time of year what it is ... CHRISTMAS.

Christmas, complete with Joy to The World, Silent Night, and Angels we have Heard on High; songs written so long ago many, nearly all, know the songs by heart.  Then there are newfound songs of Christmas, so of which over the coming years and decades will also find their way to becoming Christmas classics.

It's not just our National Broadcaster however that intentionally, or non-intentionally wishes to remove "Christ" from Christmas ... it's a host of others not wishing to offend anyone, in any way.

Then there are those who would stamp out ANY mention of the religious meaning of Christmas.  To those who are pricked in their very being, by the word Christmas, it must be eradicated.

Happy Holidays ... Best of the Festive Season ... Happy Solstice ... Good Yule ...
"Happy Festivus" is the traditional greeting of Festivus, a
holiday featured in the Season 9 episode of Seinfeld

Happy Festivus ... and many other alternatives are their choices.  But tell me, if this time of year, and Christmas Day in particular, have no meaning, then why the need to create other variations and version to use as greetings?


If they are not celebrating Christmas, in the tradition of Christmas, which is Christs birth, then they have no need of any holiday or special time to partake in.

The Huffington Post published an interfaith calendar of religious holidays, and it is very extensive. Would any of these Bah-Hum-Bug, anti-Christmas manics, think twice to rename any of the holidays, and special times, of other faiths and religions? 

No ... not a chance.

Our national broadcaster, and those who are anti-Christian, will only take pot-shots (deliberately or by omission) at those whom it is socially acceptable to do so against.

Today is CHRISTMAS ... that's what I am celebrating.  And the greeting I used on the street as I went about Kamloops during December ... and YES even at my place of work, was "Merry Christmas".

That's what time of year it is ... and I'll make no apologies for that.

In Kamloops, I'm Alan Forseth.

 

 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

There certainly is a fluctuation ... government revenues fluctuate upwards, while grants to community groups fluctuate downwards!



On Wednesday December 7th, Peter Fassbender (Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development) released information about on-going, and up-coming, changes it was making to the Community Gaming Program. He stated:

I want to thank the Office of the Auditor General for completing their thorough performance audit of our Community Gaming Grants program. I am pleased that the audit found government has a suitable framework in place to administer the program, and we recognize that improvements are needed in some key areas.

“The report outlines 10 recommendations, including the development of a performance management framework, and to evaluate the approach used in assessing applications. Government accepts all 10 recommendations."

A brief summary, and history, of gaming and gambling in British Columbia reminds us that:

  • up to 1969 public gambling / gaming was illegal in Canada
  • then in the 1970s non-profit organizations were able to generate gaming revenue through licenses for bingos and raffles ... as well as sell lottery tickets for a sales commission
  • the B.C. Gaming Commission, responsible for developing provincial gaming policy and regulating and licensing gaming events, was created in 1987
  • over the next 10 years several reviews were completed, and a number of changes put in place.  One of these was the end of charitable gambling licenses for casinos.  Instead, direct access grants were established to replace the lost revenue that organizations had earned from operating charitable casinos. Bingo affiliation grants were combined with direct access grants in 2010 to form the Community Gaming Grants program that exists today

As the government itself states:
In 1999, following the changes to gaming policy, the Government of British Columbia, the BC Bingo Council and the B.C. Association for Charitable Gaming signed a Memorandum of Agreement to govern the parties’ actions until legislation was passed.

The memorandum set out a formula, giving charitable organizations one-third of government net community casino gaming revenue, with a minimum of $125 million indexed to inflation.

So how has that worked out for community groups, across the province?

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

If this plan get's the same warnings, from both the Tyee and the Rebel, then that clearly says this is nothing more than crass vote buying



Bill Tieleman and the Tyee ... and Ezra Levant's The Rebel ... are singing off the same song sheet?? Say it ain't so!

 

But it is so, and I was as shocked, as you likely are, that they would come at the same story, from the same angle. Both stories, as you can see below, say that:

 

1.      Christy Clark and the BC Liberals are doing this purely for political gain

2.      Market price correction could seriously jeopardize these home buyers

3.      It could, again, drive market prices upwards

 

THE REBEL:  "BC Liberals program to aid first time home buyers comes with great peril"


... with an election only five months away, the last thing the BC Liberals want to see is for that bubble to burst since it would almost certainly cause them to be defeated ... while this program isn’t as crazy as the kind of policies we saw down south over a decade ago, it is awfully suspect and if there is a major price correction I wonder how many defaulted mortgages the taxpayer will now be partially on the hook for?


THE TYEE:  "Liberals’ Homebuyer Plan: Short-Term Political Gain for Long-Term Taxpayer Pain"


Premier Christy Clark’s homebuyers plan provides short-term gain for the BC Liberal Party and long-term pain for those who borrow money from the government, taxpayers and the B.C. housing market ... who cares if some first time homebuyers can’t make their mortgage payment and lose their houses down the road ... the B.C. government plan will increase competition for the already limited supply of housing ...

If this plan gets the same warnings from both the Tyee and the Rebel, then that clearly says this is nothing more than crass vote buying ... but also, as they have both stated, it also comes with a huge potential downside for every single person in BC.


For the voters of BC, many of those at least who tend to vote centre-right, the option for us to have a government that can earn our respect is no where to be found.

Sham?   Shame ??? 

What difference does it make.  Election 2017 in BC, I predict, will have the lowest voter turn-out in decades.

In Kamloops, I'm Alan Forseth

Monday, December 5, 2016

How about gentle, kind spirited, men staffing women's shelters?



What a terrible message (Christian schools state that it's teachers should not participate in things like public drunkenness and watching porn),” said former Vancouver school trustee Patti Bacchus.  

Something like that, it just goes backwards. It’s flat-out discrimination and a violation of someone’s human rights.”

Oh really? That's just crap to put it plain and simple!

It's a good thing she, as a Vancouver school trustee, did get canned!

And, why shouldn't Christian schools have that kind of policy in place? If not, then what really is the sense in having religious schools?  It is absurd to even consider that Christian Schools would have anyone but teachers with a Christian background as educators.

Patti Bacchus, former Vancouver School Board Trustee
Let's see, by Bacchus's own standards of discrimination, and the violation of human rights, should we allow men to staff women's shelters and women's societies?

No of course not -- the very thought is as stupid as she presents in her argument against Christian schools having standards that pertain to their beliefs.

Okay ... then how about gentle kind spirited men staffing women's shelters, or being on the boards and executives of women's societies?  No, that's not going to happen, because these organizations need to have the ability to hire those who best meet the criteria for their organizations.

Yes, our society most be open and inclusive, however we cannot at the same time tear down groups and organizations that are created for the betterment of the people they represent ... and who have standards that need to be met.

That goes for Christian Schools ... women's organizations ... and other groups and organizations that have specific needs and outcomes.

It's NOT "flat-out discrimination and a violation of someone’s human rights” ... it's just common sense.

In Kamloops, I'm Alan Forseth

Saturday, December 3, 2016

We can take satisfaction in providing them with a place to console each another ... and to chant, drum, and sing Kumbaya to their hearts content



Is it too late to weigh in on the Trans Mountain Pipeline ... now that it has been approved? 



I don't think so.



I, along with hundreds of thousands of Canadians, have long been saying YES to this job creating project ... a project that will generate billions in resources to local, provincial and federal governments.



Taxpayers have been tapped, and tapped again and again, for more and more money.  I for one say, "We don't have any more to give!". 



That said, I know that we need improvements to health care as more and more Canadians age ... for education to provide for new schools, and improvements to ones already in our neighbourhoods ... for training to help mature workers transition into the new economies ... for highway improvements ... and so much more.



Those same naysayers are calling for more spending in these areas, and yet they seem to have no reality as to where this money can, or will. come from.

Oh right ... let the rich pay.  Well they never do ... it's always the ever shrinking middle class that coughs up more and more of their hard earned income.



An email I received earlier this week, from Canada's Energy Citizens, stated that with the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion we could see more than 32,000 jobs every year for the next 25 years; jobs that will provide an additional $47 billion in revenue for governments at all levels ... including First Nations.



Meantime, a loud minority of hypocritical British Columbians continue to shout of doom and gloom should Trans Mountain go ahead ... despite an existing a pipeline already in place where the expansion is planned ... and a safety record any industrial company in the world would be proud of. 



Regardless of fact, scientific studies and research, these doom and gloom nay says continue to spout hyperbole.  All the while, some in the media spotlight these agitators who will not be satisfied with anything less than Canadian energy resources being shut down completely, and as soon as possible.



Ever ready to get on her green agenda soapbox, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May has welcomed the opportunity to go to jail in her fight to oppose the project.



Why do I mention that? 



Because it's GOOD ... great in fact.  Put her, along with the mayors of Vancouver, Burnaby, and Victoria in jail then if that's where they want to be. 



I'm sure there has to be at least one recently closed jail available for use, that can house protesters that get in the way of this project going ahead.  By putting them all together in one place, we can take satisfaction in providing them with a place to console each another ... and to chant, drum, and sing Kumbaya to their hearts content.



Canadian resources have been trapped for too long, and the federal governments approval of this project is long overdue.  Let's get on with it.



In Kamloops, I'm Alan Forseth.

Friday, December 2, 2016

If We Are Seeking Moral and Ethical Leadership, I Think We All Got On The Wrong Train



Today, we have a guest post from my friend Sandy, AKA "The Sidewinder".  While Sandy lives in the lower mainland, his piece is certainly fitting to our community of Kamloops, and hundreds of similar lives that are impacted in the same way, in our own city.



We've now had a few years of the low barrier, harm reduction approach to solving or coping with our widespread illicit drug use epidemic. Maybe it's now time to review what has been accomplished.



Almost every public health official, provincial housing authority, city councilor, police officer and drug counselor in this province openly acknowledge the growing tragedy of drug overdose deaths in British Columbia.



According to Minister of Health Terry Lake, so far this year, more than six hundred deaths in this province are attributable to overdoses of illicit drugs. He also cited the use of fentanyl as one of the leading factors in this outrageous tragedy; although, I don't personally understand what in hell difference it makes what drugs were involved. The point is that despite all the talk and wasted money, people are dying in ever increasing numbers.



The official namby-pamby low barrier, housing first approach didn't save any of these lives but the government keeps pouring money into non-effective so-called harm reduction programs.



We now have safe injection sites and likely coming soon to a neighbourhood near you, we'll also have supervised injections sites. I guess the next logical step in this goofy pattern is home delivery of free drugs with nursing supervision.



Ah, but all hope isn't lost. BC Health Minister Terry Lake is lobbying Ottawa for greater support from the federal government to help deal with our botched approach to the epidemic of drug deaths related to the use of illegal drugs.



The do-gooders, hand-wringers and poverty pimps who rely on drug use and drug abuse as their reason for being will all tell you that we need to spend even more money to help them continue in their failed attempts at salvation for drug and alcohol addicts and those suffering from mental health illnesses.



Obviously, at our own local level, doing nothing is not an option but the answer won't be found by spending more money and adding more bureaucrats to the public payroll.



There must be an expanded dialogue between various federal, provincial and local authorities and the public who pay the bills. That process must begin with a new approach that isn't mandated by the prevailing one-size-fits-all policy.



Although drug use, petty and major crime and other related matters are garnering all the headlines, there are a couple of other major issues which reflect a serious decline in the moral fiber of our communities.



We have a large casino which city council lusted after because of the huge cash inflow to city coffers. We also have lottery outlets in almost every retail outlet in the province.



The upside cash flow from gambling frequently trumps any discussion of the moral issues involved but there are too many undeniable tragedies unfolding in our community everyday as a result of addictive gambling habits that can't be ignored.



We also have liquor available in every corner of town. There are thousands of seats in bars, restaurants, pubs and other establishments which allow serving liquor.



Liquor is also available in grocery stores and possibly will soon be available even in barber shops.



There is a terrible immorality in the city's lust for revenue from these sources. We're already paying for the social clean-up and downside of these revenue sources and the bills keep growing.



We are now confronted with broken families, ruined lives, drug addiction, alcoholism, mental illness, deaths and gambling addictions and, without a change in attitude, the numbers of people currently affected are only going to continue to grow.



With the attitude of the provincial government and city councils which encourage and promote these questionable revenue sources, we seem to be well down the road to becoming a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah.



If we are seeking moral and ethical leadership, I think we all got on the wrong train.