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SANDY MACDOUGALL ... Most of all, there will be nobody left to invade the hearts, souls and minds

It's still quite early in the contest but, judging by the March 12 televised leadership debate on the replacement of Tom Mulcair at the helm of the federal NDP, the entire proceedings could become known as the bland leading the bland.
Even the traditional iconic bright orange party colour has been replaced by a washed out tangerine with an even duller gray background. Somehow it all seems symbolic as the federal NDP fades into history.

There is no excitement. There are no headline-grabbing events. There is no attraction to the federal NDP for most Canadians.
As the party struggles to re-establish its credibility with Canadian voters, it has to bury a few hatchets left over from Mulcair's embarrassing loss to Justin Trudeau's surging Liberals in the 2015 federal election. It became even more embarrassing when, after stating he wanted to remain as party leader in the next federal election, Mulcair was defeated in 2016 in a confidence vote on his leadership; hence the current le…

SANDY MACDOUGALL: If that's non-alignment, then Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is a staunch Conservative

The following is typical of the responses I receive whenever I post anything remotely favourable to the current BC Liberal government. I am not a Liberal in any sense of the word but find any alternatives, particularly the NDP and John Horgan, unacceptable socially, fiscally, politically or in any other way.
Following John Horgan's recent announcement that he was going to share with us his own Leap Manifesto, during the election campaign, I decided to make a short, yet pointed, post. After all, many would believe his parties lunatic, flip-flop policies will / would create countless casualties in the resource based industries of British Columbia.
So what did I have to say? Let us begin. Let's cancel all resource based job creation initiatives. Let's stop the Site C dam. Let's pretend that the NDP actually does have enough fiscal knowledge to get their popcorn stand functioning. The problem will be that too many people will be moving to Alberta as that NDP government is d…

STEVE FORSETH -- Race To Become MLA, for the Cariboo North Riding, Grows to Four

This afternoon (March 21st), the race to become the 2017-21 MLA for Cariboo - North grew to four, with the introduction of Richard Jacques from the BC Green Party.  
Mr. Jacques, who hails from Prince George, also ran in the October 2015 Federal Election for the Green Party of Canada in the riding of Cariboo - Prince George; he was not successful in that election.

His bio from the BC Green Party website is as follows:

Richard is married and has 6 children, the two youngest are still at home, the rest are pursuing post-secondary educational studies. Richard is currently completing his British Columbia Teacher Certification through Faculty of Education at UBC.

After a tenure with the Manitoba Dept. of Corrections, Richard attended the RCMP Training Academy in Regina, Saskatchewan; he was later posted throughout the Province of British Columbia where he would spend many productive years in First Nations Community Policing. 

For his work on the Organizing Committees for the 1997 APEC Confere…

ALAN FORSETH ... Nearly every story written, about Legal Aid, always shows it in a crisis due to a lack of funding ... WHY?

For many years now, BC's legal aid system appears to be suffering from a shortage of finances, that would allow it to do the job it has tasked with.That litany of financial shortages has been documented for many years, as this brief listing of news stories reports.Attorney-general rejects claims that BC legal-aid is in crisis(March 8th, 2011) Attorney-general Barry Penner has tossed cold water on a call for more government funding for legal aid ... a hard-hitting report found (legal aid) was failing to meet “even the most basic needs” of British Columbians.
... Mr. Doust recommended that the government should restore $47-million to legal aid services in order to bring funds to where they were in 2002 ... the gap between legal aid needs and services has grown into a wide chasm, resulting in human suffering and related social and economic costs borne by our community ... ”
Former Attorney-General of the day, Penner challenged the claims of Len Doust saying, "... I think legal aid…

BC NDP Leader John Horgan likely had to choke on these words, he would have been required to say, following Lali's win today

Harry Lali, the former BC Transportation and Highways Minister, has been nominated  BC NDP candidate for the riding of Fraser-Nicola, in this Mays provincial general election.  The vote to elect him was held today (March 18th) at the Merritt Civic Centre, where he defeated Lower Nicola Band chief Aaron Sam.

Previously elected four times as an MLA, Lali remains the longest-serving South Asian member in any Canadian provincial legislature or federal parliament.

Lali was elected MLA for the riding of Yale - Lillooet in 1991 and 1996, including a role as the Minister of Transportation and Highways from 1998 to 2001.

The following election, he choose not to run, however he returned to Victoria in 2005 for the Yale Lillooet riding, and was re-elected again in the 2009 election in the new riding of Fraser Nicola.  Lali was not so lucky next time out as he was defeated by the Cache Creek Liberal candidate Jacki Tegart.

Some will also recall that Lali did not win any friends, with those at the to…

READERS VIEWPOINTS: "The BC Liberals ironically fit the definition of a socialist government perfectly despite what they claim"

Readers of Ben Besler's piece entitled "The NDP are nothing more than a “punch drunk” party with policies from the 1970s... BUT, are the BC Liberals really a “free-enterprise” party as they claim? had this to say:
Former Canadian Member of Parliament (MP) Paul Forseth: A better question is to ask if one understands the deeper pathology of NDP reasoning, which brings NDP type governments in the end to hurt a lot of people, especially those in lower earning area, when the NDP inevitably ruins the local economy.
Anonymous The BC Liberals ironically fit the definition of a socialist government perfectly despite what they claim. 
The carbon tax, market interference (i.e., 15% foreign buyers tax), competing directly with the private sector (i.e., ICBC, liquor stores), using government funds to prop up private sector businesses (E-drive, etc.), massive unneeded make-work projects (i.e., Site C), etc. The list is endless. 
Agreed that the BCNDP needs to come up with a positive platform bas…

DIETER DUDY -- It's All About Respect -- or conversely -- Feel Free to Disagree ... But Do It With Dignity

I will freely admit that at times I have a hard time restraining myself, when it comes to the choice of words I use when writing a post.  In fact, many time it will take several rewrites to tone things down.  I like to think it's because I am passionate about what I believe -- and that of course I am right -- ie: my opinion is the correct one :)

Well the truth is, I'm not always right, and so care in the way I should handle things is important (but not always followed 100% of the time).

That's why yesterday (March 16th), I was delighted to see a short post by Dieter Dudy.  I asked permission to share it here with you, and so here it is:


We all have our own opinions regarding many, many issues that we encounter on a daily basis. These opinions are often at odds with others and yet we have the right to communicate them passionately and with conviction. What we should never do however is make it personal by denigrating the other individual or group's opinion. It diminishes w…

"What do you have to say about this? And please answer in plain speak, not political jargon"

When a political party has been in power as long as the BC Liberals have been, I think it is safe to say those at the top begin to worry about how long they can stay their -- after all, everything should / does have a best before date.
So do the Christy Clark BC Liberals really care about British Columbians? 
Some, perhaps, would say "NO ... not really".  Except to the extent that they can fleece us of our hard earned pay, and then spin it into self-congratulatory advertising to let us know about how wonderful they ... oooops I mean the government is.
Again, some perhaps would wonder if there is any other way to look at the situation, other than to say that our hard-earned money is being wasted by the government --- for self-congratulatory advertising.
My disappointment for the questionable way they bombard us with advertising, which anyone could easily mistake for a Liberal campaign ad, knows no bounds.  It's our money after all.
Is it a flagrant disregard for everything, a…

BEN BESLER ... The NDP are nothing more than a “punch drunk” party with policies from the 1970s ... BUT, are the BC Liberals really a “free-enterprise” party as they claim?

Are the BC Liberals better than the NDP? This was a question asked by Alan Forseth in a previous post.

This is always a fair question and needs to be asked of any government, no matter how long they have been in power.

I do have another question, mind you; and perhaps you dear reader could help me better understand. My question is whether or not Christy Clark's BC Liberals are really a “free-enterprise” party as they claim?  Make sense of this:

A cap-and-trade Carbon Tax brought in by the alleged conservative led administration of Gordon Campbell.

Or, the latest term beginning with the raising of the minimum wage - to the highest rate in confederation at that.

Or, a new stat holiday that was introduced, then off set one week from the other holidays taken on our continent, creating difficulties in both the National and International marketplace.

Or, to the latest discussion of appropriate shoes for women to wear in the work place.

Now, you may consider all these issues an important exerci…

JOHN TWIGG -- She is a pillar of integrity and honesty and decency, she's also one hell of a political warrior, and her presence here will be missed

There will be no Vicki Huntington in the BC Legislature after the May 9th general election.The Delta South MLA, who won victory twice as an Independent, announced several weeks back this will be her last term
John Twigg, a former journalist who specialized in covering the BC legislature, came to appreciate Ms Huntington's insightful comments, and pointed questions, whenever she had an opportunity to make them, as well as her excellent responsiveness to constituents' concerns.

"I've been watching the B.C. Legislature for about 50 years now and Vicki is by far the best Independent MLA I've ever seen," said Twigg, comparing her constructive contributions to the work of Oak Bay Conservative MLA Dr. Scott Wallace in the 1970s.

The great value of Huntington's service also was noted in the Legislature by veteran NDP MLA Leonard Krog, who stood spontaneously and broke some rules to give her a glowing tribute: "...if this was the quality of MLA that was electe…

SANDY Macdougall: If you tell drug addicts and alcoholics that it's alright to continue their destructive lifestyles, that is exactly what they will do

This is a column that Sandy wrote one year ago yesterday.  He asked me to share it with you, and I am -- not just because he asked me, but because it's just as true today as it was then!  Sadly, those with the resources (government), just don't get it   :(


I am not a trained social worker and I have no scientific background upon which to base my opinion and attitude regarding low barrier, harm reduction, projects.

I am totally in favour of providing realistic treatment and services but only where that approach leads to success for those suffering from addictive, abusive use of drugs or alcohol or those suffering from mental illnesses. This approach to treatment should also save the surrounding community free of fear from the behaviour of the program participants.

What has led me to forming my current stance on these subjects is my own personal story combined with the anecdotal evidence of stories of people whom I cherished but whose lives were lost on the altar of permissivenes…

STEVE FORSETH: BC Election 2017 -- news from Cariboo North and Cariboo Chilcotin ridings

This past Thursday (March 9th) was 60 days exactly until BC Voters' go to General Polling Day on May 9th to elect 87 MLA's for the 41st Parliament of British Columbia

Today (March 14th) is Day 55 to the 41st General Election of British Columbia.

MLA Candidates in both Cariboo Chilcotin, and for the riding of Cariboo North, for the 2017 BC Election have not changed as of today:

Cariboo North: Coralee Oakes (BC Liberal incumbent) will go up against Scott Elliott (BC NDP)

Cariboo Chilcotin: Donna Barnett (BC Liberal incumbent) vs. Sally Watson (BC NDP) vs. Rita Giesbrecht (BC Greens)

Although there has not been an official media announcement (that I'm aware of), tomorrow night at the Quesnel School District Board of Education Meeting, SD28 Board Vice-Chair Tony Goulet will inform his colleagues that he is running in ...

BC Taxpayers to fund 5,000+ new child-care and after-school program spaces ... as well bursaries for early childhood educators

Investments under the Early Years Strategy will see the BC government -- NO, BC TAXPAYERS -- funding 5,000+ new child-care and after-school program spaces, as well as early childhood educator (ECE) bursaries for 2017-18.
Based on feedback the government has received from the child-care community, the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) will be launching a new two-stage application process to support the creation of up to 4,100 licensed child-care spaces. Details on program information sessions, applications and criteria will be available online beginning on Wednesday (March 15th, 2017)
According to a BC government media release last week, non-profit child-care providers will be able to apply for up to half a million dollars in funding, and private child-care providers will be able to apply for up to a quarter million dollars in funding, to help build new child-care spaces in communities across the province.
The release went on to say that priority for these new spaces wil…

FORSETH: Christy wants us to know how good we have it

Want to guess which BC provincial political party, waiting to become the next government, said the following?
we believe that government is making life tougher instead of better for the average BC familywhile households scrimp, save, and cut back on essentials, the one expense they cannot control or escaper is government taxes.The main reason British Columbians are working harder and falling behind is the constant and rapid rise in taxeswhile everyone is paying higher taxes, the return to taxpayers on the things that matter most is decliningthe major problems facing this province all have one key element in common-- they are being created by our governmentBritish Columbians need a government that will base its decisions on common-sense principles, and live within its meansthe sacrifices made to get our financial house in order must not be sabotaged by future increases in government spendingby shifting funds on and off the books, the …

SANDY MacDOUGALL ... a truly conservative approach to change simply means making sure change is going to enhance life in our democracy ... for everyone

Today, as mentioned on my Social Media feeds on Saturday, we have a new contributor to "Thoughts on BC Politics and More -- it's Sandy McDougall, AKA the Sidewinder.  Today, he shares his thoughts on being a 'conservative'.
I have always considered myself a conservative person, both socially and politically but this is by my own definition which will almost certainly clash with other people's views of conservatism.

In general terms, being politically conservative means exercising caution when considering change, following traditional ways, and having a practical and ethical social conscience. Being socially conservative means following much the same philosophy in terms of environment and lifestyle.

In my view, a conservative approach to social issues must be inclusive and reflect a strong social conscience.

It has always annoyed me that the NDP and its predecessor, the CCF, portray themselves as the only political party with social conscience, something that is remark…

JOHN TWIGG: BC Liberals struggle to smokescreen growing list of political scandals

The BC Liberal government's budget on Feb. 21 was widely seen as a cynical pre-election scheme to buy votes in the May 9 provincial election with a "blizzard" of good-news announcements and rewards/handouts to almost every voting group in sight in the province - except strangely Seniors, until earlier this week when they too got an announcement: a new $500-million three-year promise of improved care for the elderly. (It was widely welcomed because it was so long overdue.)

But actually we now know the BC Liberals' 2017-18 budget was even more cynical and worse than mere vote-buying and involving an apparently deliberate strategy to help smokescreen an outbreak of potentially-explosive scandals that the government probably well knew were bound to break out when they did.

A prime example were the recent r…

ICBC ... their claims took years to settle, and by the time the lawyers were paid, there was virtually nothing left

With exactly two months remaining until the next provincial election on May 9th, I still fail to see how the BC Conservative Party will be able to run a credible campaign.  THAT SAID ... I must give kudos to whoever it was that recently managed to snare John Twigg to become their Director of Policy and Communication. 

I asked John if a piece he wrote a few days ago, could be used on my blog, and of course he said yes.  He didn't however send me a Bio for him, although he did agree to send me a photo I could use.  For those who are not aware of John (seriously are there any?), here is what I have cobbled together from several different sources.


John Twigg was until recently an independent journalist specializing in politics, business and economics. 


Descended from BC pioneer families, Twigg was born and raised in West Vancouver.  He is a graduate (1972) of the University of BC (Bachelor of Arts in political science and English).  A few months before the pivotal 1972 election campai…

CHRISTY CLARK ... stranger to the truth ... nose stretcher ... fanciful fabrication

Today, Wednesday March 8, is International Women's Day, and according to the website  International Women's Day is all about unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy and action ... we're asking you to #BeBoldForChange ... help forge a better working world ...


Some, however, would have to question how some women are helping to forge a better world. 


Never mind the follies and foibles of Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne back east ... or even Rachel Notley right next door in Alberta.  What kind of role model would most think BC Premier Christy Clark is for young women aspiring to consider a role, helping to shape policy and legislation, by becoming elected officials?


Just for interest sake, this morning, I did a Google news search under Christy Clark.  Of the top 10 listings, the following four (in order) were definitely negative ... a couple severely so.  Going further down the list also came up with more and more stories, and features, which did not put the Premier in a positiv…

The Situation in the Province Appears to be Deteriorating

Tomorrow (March 7th) the Physiotherapy Association of BC (PABC) will be holding a news conference in Kamloops, hosted byCEOChristine Bradstock.

According to a recent Media Release, the PABC has prepared a series of position papers on health related topics. Two papers have been published to date: the first on how physiotherapy can help reduce surgical Wait Times, and the second on how physiotherapy can help improve health for Seniors.

Ms. Bradstock will release the Physiotherapy Association of BC’s third paper at tomorrows new conference beginning at 10:30 am in the Scotch Creek Room of the Sandman Signature Hotel, in downtown Kamloops.


As noted above, there have already been two papers presented, from the series of four.


The first on how physiotherapy can reduce wait times stated that, " ... British Columbians in need of joint-replacement surgery face some of the longest wait times in Canada ... BC in ninth place among Canada’s 10 provinces. Even more worrisome, the situation in the…