“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

Monday, July 31, 2017

A conversation with Sean and I ... and an Announcement From Me

The other day a BC political acquaintance, Sean Upshaw, and I had an online / offline conversation.  This followed up on my blog post of Saturday July 29th entitled, "Well Christy Clark never did move there -- and poor Sean never had a chance to sell her a house either"

Sean good naturedly (I hope) took exception to my title for the post and responded to me by saying:

For the record, Sean Upshaw is not poor in anyway. I would have declined to sell her a house any ways as I prefer to work with people who are sincere. Having said that I wish her luck in her next endeavour.

Maybe now the party to the right of centre can find someone who is not affiliated with Trudeau to lead them.

Hmmmm ... I said to myself, 'Is he referring to the BC Liberals being right of center?? ... or ...?? '.  And so I asked him:

I'm interested by the wording on your comment Sean ... the party to the 'right of centre' can find someone who is.  Would you / do you call the BC Liberals a party to centre right -- and if so, is it only because there is currently no true centre right party (in name and policy) prepared at the moment to present an alternative to voters? 

I ask this because I believe that Christy and the BC Liberals have governed, despite protests to the contrary, to the centre-left.

Back came Sean stating:
I like you consider the BC Liberals left, as you said, under Christy Clark. There are a few true Conservatives in the BC Liberals. The reference was a general one with no real party affiliation being endorsed.

Unfortunately the BC Conservatives have totally buffooned any chance of being taken serious. I think Michael Henshall (Socred candidate in May for the riding of Fraser Nicola) is on the right (pun intended) path.  I think the only Credible Hope for BC is to resurrect the Socreds.

This of course could change if a very high profile Conservative took over the helm of the BC Liberals, but then that would trigger an automatic name change.

Interesting comment about the Socreds, however I did explore that over a year ago, and so I said:

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Well Christy Clark never did move there -- and poor Sean never had a chance to sell her a house either

Say What? 

Former BC Premier Christy Clark who resigned on Friday
July 28th as Premier and Westside - Kelowna MLA
Early in the morning yesterday, I go outside to work in the yard and the next thing I know Christy Clark had resigned. Let me tell you, if I'd known sooner, that was all it took, I would have done it earlier.

No surprise, but looking to social media, there was a mix of both good and bad, as people commented of Christy's departure.  Here's just a small sampling:

  • Christy Clark resigning is good but a party is not *a* person. Every rotten decision & its harmful legacy belongs to BC Lib Party 
  • Few understand the sacrifice & the "all in" commitment needed for public life. Christy Clark responded to that call: not once, but twice. 
  • Christy Clark, and Gordon Campbell before her, hurt working class people in BC the entire time they were in office. Good riddance to bad rubbish. 
  • Why should we say we thank someone for their service when we don't mean it and when policies were harmful. Look how she treated teachers. 
  • Thank you for your dedication to our great province and its people! Sad to see you step down! Wishing you the best! 
  • I've had enough of her saccharine smirk and rising poverty rates. BC's treatment of children & disabled is a crying shame. 
  • Christy Clark. An awesome individual. A history maker. A stunning record. A friend of BC. A friend of Canada. A friend of mine.


Christy Clark's resignation, as the leader of the BC Liberal Party, will come
as a shock to most people, but was viewed as inevitable by many others.

The sudden departure, on Friday (July 28th), of Clark from the front ranks
of provincial Liberal politics, will almost certainly see the re-emergence of
many of the old backroom boys from Gordon Campbell's era at the helm.

With her departure, Clark must wear a mantle of guilt, as the single
most determinant factor in the defeat of several Liberal MLAs,
resulting in the May 9 election of John Horgan as B.C.'s premier.

The hatred and venom, which was generated by Clark, might now be
allowed to dissipate if the Liberals take a cautious approach and
choose a new leader with few ties to the bully boy days of the past.

What's up next?

Well let's start with Westside - Kelowna. Having just been to the polls in the May 9th election, residents there will electing a new MLA as soon as GreeNDP Premier John Horgan calls a by-election.

How long will he wait?  That's the big question, because now he does not have to worry about the Speaker of House siding with the government to pass legislation.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Given her rant, and the same and similar by others of the same ilk, I think my Blah-Blah-Blah paragraph is more fitting

The gnashing of teeth by our neighbours, next door in Alberta, continues frothing away yesterday (July 25th).  On the heels of the Progressive Conservatives, and Wildrose parties coming together on the weekend, the NDP's
Sarah Marjorie Hoffman, current Deputy Premier of Alberta,
and Minister of Health in the NDP cabinet of Rachel Notley
Sarah Hoffman got herself in a lather against the forces of evil -- that being the new United Conservative Party.

Rachael Notley's Deputy Premier, Sarah Hoffman, had this to say:

  • blah blah blah ... all conservatives hate LGTBQ ...
  • blah blah blah ... we / me / you will know it because he's a white Anglo-Saxon male 
  • blah blah blah ... he held views that were anti LGTBQ previously, and so those will always be his beliefs ...
  • blah blah blah ... I will rake the new United Conservative Leader over the coals because as a self-righteous leftie I am allowed to do this ...
  • blah blah blah ... no one had better ever question my motives ...
  • blah blah blah ... you don't attend pride parades ...
  • blah blah blah... insert any other assertion you've ever heard, and feel free to add as many more as you can think of

Oooooops ... no ... the story actually said that Deputy premier Sarah Hoffman questioned Cooper’s sincerity, telling reporters in Calgary that he needs to better explain how and when his “extreme opinions” altered.

He either owes Albertans an explanation or his resignation,” she said Tuesday.

Hoffman said homophobia continues to be a theme with conservative leaders in Alberta, noting the most recent heads of the Progressive Conservative and Wildrose parties — Jason Kenney and Brian Jean — have failed to attend pride parades.

Given her extremist rant, and the same and similar by others of the same ilk, I think my Blah-Blah-Blah paragraph is more fitting.  All I can say is I hope that doesn't come to the forefront here in BC. 

No ... I guess here instead what we actually have to be concerned about is environmental extremism -- courtesy of our John Horgan / Andrew Weaver GreeNDP government.

Yesterday the PETRONAS LNG project in Port Edward, near Prince Rupert, bit the dust.  What's going to be next?

In Kamloops, I'm Alan Forseth.  The floors yours now, so let's hear from you.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

“I am completely underwhelmed,” was one of the milder terms McComb used

THE SIDEWINDER:  Following the election of the NDP, anyone expecting quick action on social housing issues in Maple Ridge, and the rest of British Columbia, will likely be in for a huge disappointment.
NDP MLA Selina Robinson
Coquitlam - Malardville

As part of his gender balanced cabinet, Premier John Horgan appointed Coquitlam - Maillardville MLA Selina Robinson as the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.  Other than having served as a member of Coquitlam's city council, it is not clear what other expertise Robinson brings to the table, particularly on the demanding housing portfolio.

Robinson's performance on Jon McComb's CKNW talk show on Monday morning revealed her seemingly total lack of ability to answer even the simplest of questions on housing issues.

Robinson said there was no clear timeline on how or when the NDP government would tackle the housing crisis.

McComb is usually thoughtful and polite, regardless of who he is interviewing but following Robinson's less than stellar response to questions concerning housing, the normally genial talk show host offered a very harsh critique of her performance.
“I am completely underwhelmed,” was one of the milder terms McComb used.

He added that she was mealy-mouthed and was still campaigning.

How all of this plays out in Maple Ridge could result in further delays in dealing with the homeless issue, and low cost social housing.  It seems that Nicole Read's 2014 campaign goal of dealing with homelessness within a few months of her election as mayor could be even further delayed. 

Even though BC Housing still has $15 million set aside for a purpose-built shelter in Maple Ridge, and city hall has had the report of the MLAs committee on a proposed shelter, Mayor Read's council appears stuck and totally lacking in direction on the topic.

With the next municipal election only 16 months away, I guess we can expect that the mayoralty campaigns will soon begin to heat up with new and even bigger promises on issues such as homelessness, drug addiction and related crimes, and alcoholism and mental health.

The almost certain promises and commitments of the coming campaign remind me of a few lines from a soliloquy in MacBeth,

“It is a tale told by an idiot,
Full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.”

SANDY Macdougall (aka The Sidewinder)... is a retired newspaper reporter. He was elected for three consecutive terms to Maple Ridge municipal council in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and also ran for the Progressive Conservatives in Kim Campbell's ill-fated federal election campaign

Monday, July 24, 2017

But back to Alberta, and the vote to merge the Progressive Conservative and Wildrose parties

Wildrose Leader Brian Jean and Progressive Conservative leader
  Jason Kenney May 18th announcing tentative deal to unite parties

Next door in Alberta over the weekend, members of the Progressive Conservative Party -- and the Wildrose Party -- both agreed to a merger.

And how was that hailed by the mainstream media, including CTV?  Their focus was on the paltry number (5%) of Progressive Conservatives who were 'lamenting the death of Alberta's historic PC party'.

The former President of the party, Katherine O'Neill  spoke of a lot of grieving going on ... and that a lot of people were heartbroken.  It should however be noted that O'Neill left the party, after Jason Kenney's victory as party leader.  From what I have read, I take that to mean that she was far more progressive (left-leaning?) than she was conservative. 

And therein, lies the rub, as it were, with attaching the word progressive, to the word conservative.  Personally I find it more of a correct descriptive to call the majority of today's conservatives to instead be ... 'conservative with a social conscience'

What does that mean?  Well most would agree that Conservatism would relate to:
... disposed to preserve existing conditions ... cautiously moderate ... traditional in style or manner

And "Social Conscience", according to the dictionary.com means:
... an attitude of sensitivity toward and sense of responsibility regarding injustice and problems in society

Now before I go any further, let me state that MY description of being Conservative WITH a Social Conscience has been lambasted by others who would call themselves simply conservative.  They would disagree with me stating that I can be a conservative with a social conscience, as much as I do in attaching Progressive to the world Conservative.

As I am the one writing this piece however, I have the prerogative to say they are wrong.  That said, they are certainly welcome to disagree with me though.

But back to Alberta, and the vote to merge the Progressive Conservative and Wildrose parties.  To those opposed I say:

Good grief; get over it!  I for one look forward to hearing the good news of the NDP being kicked out of government in Alberta!  

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Doug Donaldson given nod to take over as Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development

Good morning ... (or afternoon ... or evening -- depending on what time you are reading this. 

Today's post is a mix of my own thoughts ... a BC government News release ... and background information on one of John Horgan's new Cabinet Ministers ... Doug Donaldson (Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development).

BC GOVERNMENT NEWS:  Office of the Premier

Premier John Horgan announced his new cabinet today to build a better B.C. and get results for people.

Our government will offer families relief from high costs and fees, strengthen services like health care and education, and create good jobs and economic opportunity across B.C.,” said Premier John Horgan.

We will put people at the heart of everything we do. And we’ll work hard to deliver on our commitments to British Columbians.”

The new cabinet is made up of 20 ministers and two ministers of state. In addition, six MLAs have been named as parliamentary secretaries. Premier Horgan’s cabinet is the first in B.C. history to achieve gender parity, with 10 women named to cabinet and one named minister of state.

Ministerial portfolios reflect the government’s focus on making life better for people including a stand-alone Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions, a Minister of State for Child Care, and a Minister for Social Development and Poverty Reduction. The government is also putting a special focus on jobs and opportunity in B.C.’s tech sector.

The government includes a mix of new and experienced MLAs and also includes:

  • Four ministers and two parliamentary secretaries aged 40 and under 
  • 10 ministers and parliamentary secretaries who identify as a visible minority
  • The first First Nations woman appointed to cabinet

Starting today, we will deliver a government that works for people. We’re going to work hard every day to build a better B.C.,” said Horgan. 


  • Premier – Hon. John Horgan
  • Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training – Hon. Melanie Mark
  • Minister of Agriculture – Hon. Lana Popham
  • Attorney General – Hon. David Eby
  • Minister of Children and Family Development – Hon. Katrine Conroy
  • Minister of State for Child Care – Hon. Katrina Chen
  • Minister of Citizens’ Services – Hon. Jinny Sims
  • Minister of Education – Hon. Rob Fleming
  • Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources – Hon. Michelle Mungall
  • Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy – Hon. George Heyman
  • Minister of Finance and Deputy Premier – Hon. Carole James
  • Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development – Hon. Doug Donaldson
  • Minister of Health – Hon. Adrian Dix
  • Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation – Hon. Scott Fraser
  • Minister of Jobs, Trade, and Technology – Hon. Bruce Ralston
  • Minister of State for Trade – Hon. George Chow
  • Minister of Labour – Hon. Harry Bains
  • Minister of Mental Health and Addictions – Hon. Judy Darcy
  • Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing – Hon. Selina Robinson
  • Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General – Hon. Mike Farnworth
  • Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction – Hon. Shane Simpson
  • Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture – Hon. Lisa Beare
  • Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure – Hon. Claire Trevena

Doug Donaldson has served as the MLA for Stikine
since May 13, 2009. Before being elected MLA he served
four terms as a municipal councillor in Hazelton
WITH LITTLE to choose from, with regards to selection of Cabinet Ministers, from outside of Vancouver Island and metro-Vancouver, Doug Donaldson has been given the nod to take over as the Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development.

Donaldson, who hails from the Stikine riding, spoke at the Association for Mineral Exploration (AME) this past January in Vancouver, alongside Green Party leader Andrew Weaver ... and now retired BC Liberal Cabinet Minister Bill Bennett. 

Their session with AME was to ...  provide their mineral exploration and mining policy positions during a facilitated question and answer period with delegates.

The Backgrounder for Minister Donaldson, on the AME Convention website, stated that:

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

MLA Todd Stone has continued tirelessly through-out BC's current forest disaster. For that, and no matter what our political leanings, he is to be commended

In-coming NDP Premier John Horgan

TODAY ... NDP Leader John Horgan will be sworn in as the new Premier of British Columbia.  How long his government, supported by Andrew Weaver and his two Green MLA's, lasts is unknown at this time of course -- we'll just have to wait and see.

Meantime, Christy Clark exits the Premiers office, and her position as leader of the BC Liberals is also be unknown.  Some (many?) say the knives are out to have her replaced, and that of course should be no surprise to anyone.

As to my own Kamloops South MLA Todd Stone; in a Facebook post yesterday, he stated;
As the Interior has been ravaged with wildfires over the past 10 days, it has been by privilege to be on point through this emergency with my colleague, Minister of Forests John Rustad (who has done an outstanding job).

While we have often been the face of government’s efforts to respond to the wildfires and support those most directly impacted, we have the easy jobs compared to those in the public service. I have been proud to work with such incredible public servants as the dedicated professionals in Emergency Management BC, MOTI, FLNRO, Wildfire Service, and the many folks from other ministries and partner agencies.

My confidence that we will get through the current wildfire emergency is rooted in personally knowing the public servants who are in charge - they are the best in the country.

That said, as MLA I will continue to do whatever I can to assist in the emergency
effort and to be there for folks throughout the Interior, as partisan politics has no place during an emergency response – we are all British Columbians, and will get through this challenge by working together and supporting one another.

Mr Stone has continued tirelessly, through-out BC's current forest disaster, in ensuring that things continued as smoothly as this possibly can.  For that, and no matter what our political leanings, he is to be commended.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Todd Stone and Peter Milobar, by all means possible, extort this government to end the never ending delaying process of review after review

With all the troubles and strife people in the Cached Creek / Ashcroft area ... and all the way through, and just past, Williams Lake are going through ... it's hard to get worked up -- annoyed -- or just plain miffed at matters that are political in nature.

Kamloops City Councilor Denis Walsh
I mean, really it is.  WITH ONE EXCEPTION.  The recent letter written by Kamloops City Councillor Denis Walsh.  To be fair (to me that is), I did wait five days while I let things simmer to see if what I had thought up first reading his letter, had changed it all.

It did not.

The letter Denis Walsh wrote to Christy Clark, Andrew Weaver, and soon to be Premier John Horgan had all of the hallmarks of the rabid opposition that has been stirred up for several years now.

It was all filled with all of the buzz words, of doom and gloom, that one would expect ... and even more.  Those included:

...policies on the Ajax mine approval process shock the conscience of the public

...controversial, unacceptable, obsolete and unfair

...not be allowed to proceed in a discriminatory way

...formal disapproval

...virtually powerless regarding the approval process and regulation

...the project could pose serious risks to Kamloops residents’ life and health

...completely unacceptable

...direct threat to the lives and security of the persons living below

...catastrophic failure

...an arbitrary abdication of your foremost responsibility

...opponents have begun queries to legal counsel

Monday, July 10, 2017

Khadr played upon the democratic freedoms and rights that Canadian have

WELL I CERTAINLY STIRRED UP REACTION when my last post went online, as well as other comments, which were made online elsewhere.  People opposed, to what I had to say, had comments which included the following: 

Okay, I'm f - - king sick of the idiocy and done with writing a diatribe every single time a friend posts about how they're upset that Trudeau is giving a terrorist $10m. ...

  • You people are.... willfully ignorant and hypocritical ..

·         God help us. What’s next everybody is “packing”, burning crosses, and having segregated bathrooms.  This rhetoric is disturbing.  Canadians are better than this.

  • My mind is in awe of the number of people who have no respect for what being tortured actually means. Who foolishly think that they wouldn't break ...

  • If our governments are willing to trap and torture people on foreign soil then we have become as bad as our enemies. What's more, a government which will commit war crimes and break international agreements on the treatment of prisoners will eventually have no issues doing the same to it's own people.

  • Oh for f - - ks sake he was a child soldier tortured to make his alleged confession.

  • ... these people are not interested in researching the facts. They just want fodder to feed their insatiable appetite for hatred.

  • …this is by far the stupidest op-piece ever written. ... there are laws in this country and they apply equally and should not differentiate regardless how conservatives may “feel” about it …Trudeau notwithstanding …

On the other had, numerous people agreed with what I had to say, and also what I had re-posted on similar opinions and beliefs.  Comments included: 

...Justin’s reign will run its course. History will show if this is blood money. What bothers me about Justin is his statement, used quite often, “I speak for all Canadians”. 

...A little strong perhaps?  Nope.  Trudeau has the wrong finger up though (FYI ... the post on my personal blog had a photo of Justin Trudeau pointing with one of his fingers) 

...this is not the Canadian way. its wrong 

... traitors are dealt will severely, but here in Canada, we are such a nice, pleasant people, we pay them off, and apologize for any bad words they might have heard ... am I missing something? My moral compass must be skewed... 

...You have expressed my thoughts very well ... 

So, in hindsight, what do I think now?  

Saturday, July 8, 2017

This puke stated that he hoped the settlement (which most would consider blood money) would help restore his reputation

So our daisies and sunshine ... photo bombing ... life is grand PM Justin Trudeau, along with his Liberal government, has issued a formal apology to a terrorist ... who belonged to a terrorist family ... who injured, killed, and maimed untold numbers of people. 

I don't give a crap about what anyone else may have to say --- this was D I S G U S T I N G, and a slap in the face to all Canadians who believe in justice.

TERRORIST Omar Khadr was captured, and sent to Guantanamo Bay under a
Omar Khadr -- terrorist receives +$10 million
pay-out after murdering battlefield medic
PREVIOUS LIBERAL government --- he was brought back by a Conservative government.

Regardless however -- his CRIME got him where he ended up.  NO ONE, other than his own terrorist father (and other family members), are responsible for that.

Andrew Sheer had it right in this GLOBAL NEWS story:

This settlement is a choice made by Justin Trudeau … a slap in the face to the men and women in uniform who face incredible danger every day to keep us safe ... it’s not just wrong, it’s disgusting.”

Jason Kenny was also right, in comments posted to his Facebook page:
"The Trudeau government believes in compensating terrorists, not victims of terrorism ... it appears that the Liberals colluded with Khadr to ensure the widow of US medic Sgt Christopher Speer murdered by Omar Khadr - would be unable to seize Khadr's multi-million dollar bounty. This is beyond shameful. The Trudeau Liberals have shown, yet again, how deeply out of touch they are with Canadians."

Terrorists do not -- no should not -- have the same rights the rest of Canadians, or any other innocent victims of terrorist activities -- and there have been hundreds of examples all across the globe in dozens of countries.  When individuals resort to terrorist activities, their right end at the exact moment they make that choice!

In a CBC interview, this puke (Khadr) stated that he hoped the settlement (which most would consider blood money) would help restore his reputation.

"I think it restores a little bit my reputation here in Canada, and I think that's the biggest thing for me".

NO Omar -- the only thing it does is infuriate the vast majority of Canadians ... and further fortifies the unworthiness of Justin Trudeau to lead this country.

In Kamloops, I'm Alan Forseth.

Monday, July 3, 2017

I've held every position from sign making, to being a candidate for MLA; I am VERY aware of what it takes to win a campaign

For those who read my last post titled, "BC Liberals will win next election, Greens will be wiped out" on the Armchair Mayors website, or in its original title, "That has never happened before, and most will consider it to be a perversion of democracy", on my own "Thoughts on BC Politics and More" blog, it elicited a strong response from at least a few people. 

Gary commented ... Shame on you Alan—I thought you were a loyal Conservative, you have completely forgotten about the resurgence of your party in the next election. If there is anything that Christy Clark has done with her un-Liberal throne speech it will be to revitalize the BC Conservative Party. More than half the BC Liberal Party are hard core Conservatives and they have just been left high and dry by Christy’s throne speech. Your numbers are way off—lets look at this again in four years.

Alan Forseth -- BC Reform Party candidate
1996 BC Provincial election
Kamloops North Thompson riding

YES … am a loyal conservative

Having worked in ALL aspects of an election campaign (from sign making and leaflet drops, up to and including being a candidate in the ’96 provincial election) I am VERY aware of what it takes to win a campaign. If there is an election in anything less than 10 to 12 months they WILL NOT be ready. In a year to 18 months, with a strong principled and believable leader, they will.

If these things are met, and they can welcome back small ‘c’ conservatives that desire a party then can support, it will still take 2, maybe 3, election cycles to form government.

I’m ready to roll up my sleeves, and go to work to make it happen. Now I, and others, wait for the BC Conservatives to see if they’re ready to become a serious contender.

TONY BRUMMEL commented:
I absolutely disagree with you Alan. I think that Clarks hierocracy will resonate with the electorate.  I think she has guaranteed a win for Mr Horgan in the next election ... the electorate “that is those who actually vote” is not that stupid ... they will rebel against Clark ...

Hey Tony … I love how politics can bring out such strong and passionate beliefs. It IS great for our democracy and keeps it strong!

Sadly, too many people will believe what they want to hear, and will ignore all evidence to the contrary. That’s why I think they would win a strong mandate, if our new John Horgan led NDP government falls in the next few month.

We’re in interesting times.

CAL DAVIS stated ... I don't understand why you made an apology to the provincial conservatives.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

SANDY Macdougall: "Wow Canada ... memories of those events left an indelible impression on me ..."

Three or four times over the years, that I worked as a reporter, I was privileged to cover Canada Day citizenship ceremonies. The memories of those events left an indelible impression on me and reminded me of just how fortunate we are to live in the best country in the world.

Families who had fled from war torn countries, often having been forced to leave loved ones behind; people who had fought against the impossible odds of starvation and disease, and those who were simply seeking a better life for themselves and their children, they all came to Canada seeking the hope and commitment we held out to them.

These ceremonies always aroused a humility in my soul and re-awakened my sense of gratitude for being a Canadian.

Too often we forget how truly blessed we are in Canada; that our struggles in this country are nothing compared to much of the rest if the world.

Certainly, we have poverty and many other social issues which can drag people down to the depths of despair but we also have the ability to solve these problems when we set our minds to it, something many of the countries of origin of our immigrants and refugees do not have.

A great example of the most important privilege we enjoy in our democratic nation is exemplified in the election we have just completed in British Columbia.

The partisan political battles were hard fought by candidates with widely diverse platforms and we emerged with a new government. Passion and commitment were evident throughout the campaign but, at the end of it all, the reins of government were passed in emotional but peaceful and non-violent ceremonies.

How long the new government will last is unknown but if and when it falls, it will be a peaceful, bloodless occasion.

There are many more things for which we can be grateful in Canada and we can all join together today to celebrate our diversity and love of freedom.

SANDY Macdougall ... AKA 'The Sidwinder' ... is a retired newspaper reporter. He was elected for three consecutive terms to Maple Ridge municipal council in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and also ran for the Progressive Conservatives in Kim Campbell's ill-fated federal election campaign.