“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

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Great Debate: Sickly Smile ... You Should Have Done This ... You Never Apologized



Here's my synopsis of the televised election debate last light, between BC Liberal Christy Clark, the Green Party's Andrew Weaver, and John Horgan for the NDP. 

Lights -- Cameras -- Action.  And then basically the same thing played out over and over, through-out the 90 minutes.


Christy Clark

                                    Jobs

            sickly smile

                                                You'll add more taxes

                        Sickly smile

$1.00 a day


Andrew Weaver (alternate looking Left to Right -- alternately pointing Left to Right)

                You didn't do this ...

                                                                                                                You didn't do that ...

                                You should have done this ...

You should have done that ...


John Horgan (I'll keep smiling not matter what they through at me)

            "If you came to question period more often I could ask you about ..."

"You've never apologized to the kids that lost a generation of educational opportunity"

                        Housing ... "Why did you wait so long"

"We have put forward legislation 6 times to get big money out of politics"


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

JOHN TWIGG: "The best choice ... is someone who has innovative ideas for major systemic improvements"


BC First Party President John Twigg

North Island, at the northern end of Vancouver Island, is a long way from where I live here in the riding of Kamloops South Thompson.  Regardless, an individual, a maverick some might say, is running in that riding.  Many are likely aware of him, however for those who are not, here is a bit of a bio on John Twigg:

 

Before he was even old enough to vote he canvassed for the Pierre Trudeau Liberals in 1967-68 , and was involved in various public and student causes in the 1960s.

 

During the 1972 BC Provincial election, in which the Social Credit government of W.A.C. Bennett was defeated, he became Press Secretary to NDP leader Dave Barrett, and was then Press Secretary to Premier Dave Barrett 1972-75 (first one in B.C. history)


He covered many elections as a journalist, including the Parti Quebecois's first breakthrough win, and several notable elections in Saskatchewan and B.C.

 

John was an early member of Reform Party of Canada, campaign manager for a Canadian Alliance candidate in Burnaby-North, briefly leader of the B.C. Refederation Party, a campaign manager for a Green Party candidate in North Island, and a campaign worker for B.C. First Party, notably in a by-election in Delta.  He has been a director of North Island and West Vancouver-Howe Sound NDP constituencies, was briefly a substitute delegate to BC NDP provincial council.

 

In the referendum battle on the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) he was a supporter and volunteer for the NO side. And most recently he was the Director of Policy and Communications for the BC Conservative Party.

 

So why is John running a candidate for the North Island Riding?

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Heaven help us! Christy Clark is 'not scared of Donald Trump' ... and she's 'not scared of the rich American union leaders'



The other day, a friend posted a comment to something I had shared online.   

They asked, "Why do politicians feel like they need to dress up when in photo ops?  The kind of dress up that I guess is supposed to say Look at me. I'm just like you"

Well Christy Clark is NOT just like me ... or the majority of British Columbians ... and she really hasn't had to worry much about getting the kind of job the rest of British Columbians struggle to find; one where they can raise a family, and send their children to schools of higher education.

I find her expensive photo ops, where she show up with her phony beaming smile, to be galling.

Which is why at another one of her recent hard hat / safety vest events, in Quesnel this past Friday (April 21st) I found her comments to be irresponsible, or at the very least, careless.  Here's what she had to say:

Friday, April 21, 2017

Here's What You Had To Say Regarding; " I CAN'T support that kind of campaign ..."



Yesterday's post (I CAN'T support that kind of campaign, or a party that would allow a leadership team to okay that kind of campaigning)  sure generated a lot of interest, and comments. 

From personal emails I received, to comments on my own blog, to comments on the Armchair Mayor's blog, people certainly had thoughts on me spoiling my ballot.  Here's a sampling of what folks had to say:


Pierre ...
I always maintained that a government not only has the responsibility to “govern” but it also has the responsibility to set the moral tone among the masses. Similarly to a family, where parents cannot expect righteousness in their children if themselves, behave amorally.

I never thought much of Ms. Clark, I think even less of her now and it is obvious she has to go. The “X”, no matter how big it is across the ballot won’t help.  Hold your nose, put a smaller “X” where the pollsters tell you to and then pat yourself in the back, because that’s the rightful thing to do.


Anonymous #1 ...
Hi Al. 
As I’m sure you can guess, I’m in exactly the same position.  I think that people should be encouraged to work for and support any independent or at least non-Liberal/NDP candidate in their riding if they like the person and think they would work hard.  I am most certainly not a fan of the Green policies but I will cast my vote there as a warning to the Liberals that they should shape up.  Maybe if they lose a few seats to “non-traditional” candidates they will pay attention. 

Spoiling your ballot is a waste of time.  Nobody will see it except the poll clerk and they’ll not report your big X to anyone. 

Hope all is well at your end of the swamp...

Thursday, April 20, 2017

MACDOUGALL: As Might Be Expected, Horgan Came Off as a Loudmouth Baboon



How times have changed.

A few short months ago, John Horgan earned the nickname "Say Anything" as he flip-flopped on major issues.  Well, it seems John has added a wrinkle to that little sobriquet by refusing answer questions from a Global TV reporter on the future of the Site C hydro power project in the event of an NDP win in the election.

John chose to add "Say Nothing" to his list of nicknames.

When pressed for an answer, Horgan simply said it was complicated and wasn't that easy to answer the question.  This response follows the months of him, and his fellow travelers, yapping in the legislature about how and why Site C should be stopped.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

I CAN'T support that kind of campaign, or a party that would allow a leadership team to okay that kind of campaigning


The BC Liberal Party "Troll" truck has been
showing up at NDP campaign stops in recent days

A friend and acquaintance asked me today, "If the BC Liberals are Liberals, then why do the use Federal Conservative 'blue' so prominently on their signs and advertising?  Isn't the Liberal color supposed to be Red?"

Let me say, before going further, this individual has not lived in Canada for all that long, and so someone asking the question made perfect sense.

I said to them, and I'm paraphrasing now, "BC is kind of a weird place. For a long time we had Liberal party ... the Conservative party ... and then after awhile we had the CCF, which eventually became the NDP.

Now the Liberals were Liberal in every way ... the Conservatives were Conservative in every way ... and the CCF was the peoples party made up of socialists, unionists, and what I'll call social democrats.

With a Conservative / Liberal coalition government falling apart, and the CCF threatening to take the reins of government, a plucky Okanagan fellow (and former Conservative MLA) by the name of W.A.C. Bennett became Premier of the province when the Social Credit Party won the majority of seats in the 1952 provincial election.

Thus began a non-traditional party (Liberal or Conservative) gaining the reins of government in British Columbia ... and doing so for a very long time.  The Socreds governed center right as conservatives, however with just enough liberal impact to keep both liberals and conservatives happy under one tent.

With only a few exceptions of short-lived NDP governments, Social Credit held the reins of power until the election of 1991, losing again to the NDP.  What followed was the rapid collapse of Social Credit within just four short years ... and within just a few more years it basically had collapsed into obscurity and become a non-entity in BC politics.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

WEEKLY RECAP ... a look at posts from this week



Here's a recap of the week ... in case you missed some of these posts from the Thoughts on BC
Politics and more blog.

Like many other old guys, nowadays I find my mind more frequently drifting down nostalgic paths to those good old days when things were simpler and life for most of us was more fulfilling...

The latest fooferaw over bridge tolling policy is a prime example of what has gone so badly wrong in B.C. politics.

Wednesday April 12th from Alan Forseth:
So, how many watched the Christy Clark Show on Global TV, at the launch of the 2013 Provincial election.  Sadly, I did a search for it at the old link, however it appears to have been taken down, as I can no longer find it.

Everyone is covering the main political parties in BC (ie: BC Liberals, BC NDP, BC Green Party), so I thought I would take a moment to shed some light on the BC Conservative Party ... BC First ... and YES, the Social Credit Party.
I’ve commented here a couple of times about the Liberal record on avoiding some of the forums, but I can see their point of view. There are, actually, several good reasons why candidates should not attend so-called single-issue forums.

HOWEVER ... without parental consent ... you must wait until the age of 19 for the following rights as an individual ...


In Kamloops I'm Alan Forseth, and  that my friends is the week that was.  Have a blessed Easter weekend.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

WHAT'S CHANGED from a government Minister stating legislation would be guided by 'solid scientific evidence'?



At the age of 18, without parental consent, what legal rights do individuals in British Columbians have? 

JANE PHILPOT: "I am proud to stand up for
our drug policy that is informed by solid
scientific evidence and uses a lens of public health
to maximize education and minimize harm
"
Well it's pretty minimal ... basically you have the right to vote in a Municipal, Provincial, or Federal general election.

HOWEVER ... without parental consent ... you must wait until the age of 19 for the following rights as an individual:
- to get married
- to get a drivers license
- to join the Armed Forces
- to purchase alcoholic beverages
- and to purchase tobacco products

As many are aware, this week,  the federal government announced it will be making it legal to purchase Pot (cannabis) by July1st of next year; the wheels are fully engaged to have that happen by that date.  So then, at what age has the Justin Trudeau Liberal government decided that Canadians will be able to purchase Cannabis / Marijuana? 

Despite repeated warning from the Canadian Psychiatric Association, urging the Federal Liberal government to make it illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase cannabis, the age will be set at 18.

Friday, April 14, 2017

MEL ROTHENBURGER: "What’s so important about topics like the environment and education that they deserve discussion on their own?"



SOME PEOPLE are concerned about the fact B.C. Liberal candidates Peter Milobar (Kamloops North Thompson) and Todd Stone (Kamloops South Thompson) haven’t accepted invitations to attend certain forums. It came up again with respect to last night’s (April 13, 2017) forum at TRU co-sponsored by the TRU Faculty Association, CUPE 3500, CUPE 4879, and Kamloops Thompson Teachers Association.

I’ve commented here a couple of times about the Liberal record on avoiding some of the forums, but I can see their point of view.

There are, actually, several good reasons why candidates should not attend so-called single-issue forums:


  • Single-issue forums get too detailed. You have to do way too much homework on whatever the topic is.
  • It’s too hard to use weasel words at forums, so if you can reduce the number of forums you have to attend, and have a plausible-sounding excuse such as “I’d rather be door-knocking and talking to people on their doorsteps,” it really helps.
  • Single-issue forums draw tough crowds, especially for candidates from the governing party. Why take heat from a room full of people when you could be holding court with a friendly crowd at a coffee party or BBQ?

Thursday, April 13, 2017

MICHAEL HENSHALL (Fraser Nicola candidate for Social Credit Party): "The problem now facing us is many British Columbians are not able to afford the bed they are sleeping in"



Everyone is covering the main political parties in BC (ie: BC Liberals, BC NDP, BC Green Party), so I thought I would take a moment to shed some light on the BC Conservative Party ... BC First ... and YES, the Social Credit Party

First to the BC Conservative Party for a moment.

Nels Harrington, who was running for the party in the riding of Vernon Monashee announced he is dropping out of the race due to an unexpected increase in work commitments.  Harrington's Campaign Manager was to have been Scott Anderson.  Anderson was the Conservative candidate for the riding in the 2013 election; he placed third on election day winning a respectable 11.75% of votes cast.

As for another former 2013 BC Conservative candidate (Chilliwack - Hope riding), Michael Henshall has confirmed to me that he will be running for the BC Social Credit Party in the riding of Fraser Nicola.  That will pit him up against current BC Liberal incumbent Jackie Tegart ... and former NDP MLA Harry Lali.

I was actually surprised to learn the Social Credit Party is still registered, however a quick look on the Elections BC website indicated that indeed they are.

Henshall is definitely up against some stiff competition, but as a former candidate for the BC Conservative Party, he'll know what it's like to be a underdog. Still, on Facebook this morning, in response to someone saying Christy Clark and the BC Liberals should take credit for their victories, he stated:

"Could you explain some of those victories?

If inflation wasn't running so hot in real estate in BC you would see the provincial economy go into a downward tailspin that would blow your mind. Trudeau and Clark are loving the inflation with the #1 revenue source last year being the Property Transfer Tax.

The problem now facing us is many British Columbians are not able to afford the bed they are sleeping in."

Commenting to me just a few moments ago, Henshall stated:

"Many British Columbian businesses in the resource sector are looking South of the 49th due to less regulation and lower taxation. I am concerned that the policies of  the Greens', the NDP, and the BC Liberals are going to export these jobs that provide a foundation for a healthy economy. 

Those three parties are not considering the basics for a healthy economy but are depending on the 'Property Purchase Tax' that has become the 'cash cow' for the provincial government."

Meantime, what's new with John Twigg?  A media release from him very early (gahwk ... 1:09am) says he will be in Victoria this afternoon (Apr 13) to meet, and speak with, the media.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Todd Stone, Christy Clark, or any others in the BC Liberal government --- "What Has Changed?"



So, how many watched the Christy Clark Show on Global TV, at the launch of the 2013 Provincial election.  Sadly, I did a search for it at the old link, however it appears to have been taken down, as I can no longer find it.

Snapshots of Christy Clark and 2013 election campaign
I did watch it though back then, and looking back at social media comments I made at the time, I noted that I believed she was deserving of ... the Best Female Actress award from the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television’s new CANADIAN SCREEN AWARDS (recognizes excellence in film, television and digital media productions).

So what did I have to say that night on April 14th -- 2013


Comment #1 
Just watching the taped version of Christy's 1/2 hour info-mercial. Well right off the bat I'll ask the same thing you did Christy ... "Why is it okay to for our government to leave our kids with a debt?"

You (Christy Clark) should be ashamed because YOU have left us worse off. Your Liberal government has doubled our debt :(  


Comment #2 
Christy Clark asks: "Do we want look after our kids future -- do we want to give them choices, that they're going to want to have, to run their future -- or do we want to take away their future by saddling them with debt?"

Monday, April 10, 2017

That the BC Liberals should have such a conversion, on the eve of an election campaign, is kind of like Paul's conversion on the road to Damascus



The latest fooferaw over bridge tolling policy is a prime example of what has gone so badly wrong in B.C. politics.


Government of BC, Todd Stone, Kamloops, MLA
Kamloops MLA, and Minister of Transportation, Todd Stone
on hand for "Completion" notice of the Port Mann Bridge
It began with the B.C. Liberal Party government's pronouncement Sunday, by Finance Minister Mike de Jong, that if they are re-elected in the May 9 provincial election they will put a cap on bridge tolls of ("only?") $500 a year, saving some regular commuters about $1,000 a year but doing nothing to help less frequent users.


That the Liberals should have such a conversion on the eve of an election campaign is kind of like Paul's conversion on the road to Damascus: it reverses many years of an opposite policy. But of course it still doesn't address the underlying problems in financing transportation projects in Metro Vancouver and around the province, namely that the Liberals' new quasi-privatized bridges have become chronic money-losers for the provincial government.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

THE SIDEWINDER - Life Ain't What It Used To Be



Like many other old guys, nowadays I find my mind more frequently drifting down nostalgic paths to those good old days when things were simpler and life for most of us was more fulfilling. It leads me to wonder if we, as an urban civilization, are evolving or devolving.

Maple Ridge -- photo from years gone by
Not that many decades ago, life out here in the suburbs meant that families with three kids probably lived in an affordable 1,200 square-foot, three-bedroom home with an unfinished basement on a large lot. I think it's an important distinction that we called it home, not just a place where we lived.  Some families called the same house their home for several generations without any need to build a bigger house.

As property values increased insanely, and more families were forced through economics and other circumstances to live in townhouses or apartments, fewer and fewer people thought of them as homes. It became just a place where they all lived but it wasn't really a home.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Instead of saying it's a non-starter, you should say it's an idea that deserves more study, and it will be interesting to see how Twigg unveils it



Late last night, in a post breaking news that John Twigg had left the BC Conservative Party (only to resurface as the Leader of BC First), I let it be known that I was, "... not sure at all about a parallel currency, I can't imagine how it could possibly work ... and the proposal to resurrect the Bank of BC seems like a complete non-starter."

He responded to me stating;
Reviving Bank of B.C. and issuing a parallel currency  - IMO you shouldn't be so quick to diss something you don't understand. (Yet.)

Here, in John's own words, is his rationale for the idea, and in hindsight it does sound like something at least worth looking into.

JOHN TWIGG
I'm a former Financial Editor who is familiar with central banks policy, creation of money, roles of currency and other related topics and have been familiar with these issues for many decades. Interestingly another guy who was knowledgeable about them was Roger Rocan. The creation of money by fiat versus borrowing it from private banks who instead create currency out of thin air and then charge for it has long been a contentious issue. It probably was what got JFK assassinated because he was planning to get Congress to issue money.

W.A.C. Bennett; Premier of
BC from 1952 to 1972
Canada is one of the few nations in the world that owns its own central bank but more nations should, otherwise we pay private banks huge sums for the privilege of having a currency.

WAC Bennett unilaterally issued a silver dollar in 1958.

Yes there are huge, but largely false, worries about creating money out of thin air supposedly being inflationary, but when done within reason (i.e. reflecting the realities of GDP and need for enabling commerce) it is rarely a problem.

Why is it okay for private banks to create money out of thin air but not for public-owned central banks to do so? It's a shibboleth.

Friday, April 7, 2017

JOHN TWIGG: "I can promise you it won't be a boring campaign!"



Well it seems like the BC Conservative Party leadership announcement ended up being much ado about nothing -- perhaps?

Maybe so, maybe not, as the leadership (being the Board and Executive) have still not been forthcoming on who the new interim leader is, or was to have been.  This afternoon (April 7), after several days of speculation (CHNL newsperson Shane Woodford was also trying to find out details), there was still no word.
John Twigg is now the FORMER
Director of  Policy and Communications
for the BC Conservative Party


MEANTIME ... I decided to contact a BC political acquaintance, John Twigg, to see if I could find out even a crumb of information on what had happened.  Much to my surprise he responded by saying to me ... 

"Funny you should ask. I was literally at this moment debating on whether or not to tell you about my departure today from BCCP, and decided to not broadcast anything for fear of being seen as disputatious. I have told only a few friends, and some people who needed to know (like my official agent), that I have left the BC Conservative Party over a misunderstanding of what my role would be during the campaign." 

He went further, stating, "This happened today at lunch so I am not at liberty to tell you what the party's plans may or may not be regarding an interim leader even if I knew what they are, which I do know but only slightly. You will have to ask someone who knows and has authority to speak." 

So what plans does he have now?  Hold onto your seats, the now former Director of Policy and Communications, for the BC Conservative Party, will be taking on the role of Leader in the BC First Party.  He will also be running, as a candidate for the party, in North Island.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Christy Clark's BC Liberal Government Does Not Even Know Where Rural BC Is Located!



A recent BC Government News post, from Donna Barnett (Ministry of State for Rural Development), indicated that the "Province accepting applications to Rural Dividend Fund.  This will happen between April 3rd to May 31st



The government plans to provide funding in four different areas:

  1. Community capacity building
  2. Workforce development
  3. Community and economic development ... and ...
  4. Business sector development



CHILLIWACK:  Is this the face of Rural BC
Quoting the government release, it stated:

The Rural Dividend was established in April 2016, with input from the Rural Advisory Council, to help small rural communities reinvigorate and diversify their local economies. In its first year, the program has already provided over $24 million in economic development grants



Being the government of Christy Clark, "Balanced Budget 2017" had to get in there right away, (anyone else sick of hearing that term / phrase dozens of times a day?) , as they went on about how much they were making available.



But let me ask this ... why is there a Rural Dividend Fund in the first place?



Well according to the BC Liberal government it's, "... one of the key ways the B.C. government is taking action to strengthen, grow and diversify rural communities ... it builds on the immediate investments and long-term action plan outlined in BC’s Rural Economic Development Strategy that are expected to create over 26,000 jobs and add $2.8 billion to provincial GDP."



Cariboo South Liberal MLA, and former Mayor of 100 Mile House, glowing states that;  

Investing in rural communities is a key priority for our government. The Rural Dividend is already making a difference by diversifying the economy and creating jobs in small rural communities.



Let me say this Donna ... "You live in the Cariboo ... and far more than Christy Clark, and the majority of MLA's who all live in the Metro - Vancouver and greater Victoria area ... you know why rural communities are dying.  It's because of YOUR government!"


Sunday, April 2, 2017

BEN BESLER: Get ready ... Get Set ... Can you feel the excitement? NO? Me neither



Get ready ... Get Set ...

That's right folks, the most boring election in BC provincial history is upon us. In fact 5, count 'em, 5 whole weeks until the most avid voters among us take their leisurely stroll to their local voting station, turn to their spouse as they stand in line and ask with a shrug - as I've observed far too often - “who am I voting for?”.

Yes, we will be putting our well thought out mark beside the candidate or party that seemed the most familiar at the time.

The problem is, as you have probably just realized, that many are not aware we are into another election in British Columbia. Sure, in my neighbourhood a fringe candidate from the Green Party has jumped queue and ironically littered civic land with signage weeks before the writ officially will drop, signaling like a referees whistle, that the pleads for your vote will now commence.

Oh, I'm sure there may be a few energized poli-sci students and a handful of old political stalwarts who are eagerly awaiting the phone call from their candidate of choice.  The call will indicate that brochures, and other branding tools, have arrived at the campaign office.  These individuals will in short order see the inevitable – finding those brochures so graciously deposited in the bottoms of garbage cans from the Pacific Ocean to the eastern stretches of the mighty Rocky Mountains.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

It will NOT WORK. And furthermore, I believe it will ONLY INFLICT FURTHER DAMAGE TO THE BC CONSERVATIVE BRAND



This mornings political email avalanche was indeed an avalanche, as always, and it included one from the BC Conservative Party. 

 

The Subject line?  "Electorally enfranchised or no?"

 

I thought, that's an interesting, what are they up to now?  Turns out I had been made aware of the topic awhile back, in a basic general discussion.  Still I am, and was, surprised that it came to pass.

Here is a copy of today's email.



Bob Bray, candidates
What do I think?  Well, first off, it will not be much of a stealth campaign because everyone is now aware of their intentions. 

I also have to say however, that the individual that I discussed this idea with, a few weeks back, probably had the best of intention -- however it will NOT work.  And furthermore, I believe it will ONLY INFLICT FURTHER DAMAGE TO THE BC CONSERVATIVE BRAND.

The BC Conservatives plan is to endorse individuals.  It's unclear from the email I received however, whether they are actually to be BC Conservative candidates.  If discussions previously are what I think this plan is about, then these individuals will actually be running as Independents.  They will however be endorsed by the party.

As you can see, the only support they will have is by being included on the party website (I suspect there will be a separate section for endorsed rather than official candidates), but after that they are on their own ... no campaign signs, no campaign office ... no advertisements.

Having been part of a doomed campaign from the outset, as the Campaign Manager for B C Conservative Candidate Peter Sharp in Kamloops South Thompson, it actually doesn't sound a lot different from the 2013 election campaign actually.  After the party imploded, we were pretty much on our own to try and be a credible option.