“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

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

I suffered either bullying, or intimidation, and back then, the consequences were not as easily understood as they are today

Photo: Global News 
Okanagan RCMP Superintendent Jim
McNamara and Inspector Gord Stewart

Today is Pink Shirt Day - a day to recognize bullying, in all of its' forms and everywhere it occurs - in public, in the workplace and at home.  My nephew, Steve Forseth, posted the following comments on Pink Shirt Day, which I have asked to be able to share here.

Here is what he had to say:

The history of this day goes back to Nova Scotia in 2007 when local Grade 9 student Charles Mcneil was bullied for wearing a pink shirt during the first day of school. Subsequently, David Shepherd and Travis Price of Berwick, Nova Scotia then bought and distributed 50 pink shirts to support Charles Mcneil.

Since then, it has grown all across the world. It is also referred to as "Anti-Bullying Day". in 2012, the United Nations declared May 4th as "Anti-Bullying Day"

2018's Pink Shirt Day theme is "Nice Needs No Filter" and a focus on "Cyber-Bullying".  More details can be viewed at http://www.pinkshirtday.ca

And if I might - a little personal testimony here:
From 1993 - 1997 was the period of high school for myself.  It was where I suffered either bullying, or intimidation, and back then, the consequences were not as easily understood as they are today.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Let's be clear. You Dan Davies ... and your fellow bc LIBERALS ... do not have the right expect anyone's vote

Dan Davies, BC Liberal MLA, Peace River North

On Saturday February 24th Dan Davies, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Peace Rover North, decided to enlighten voters (especially those who support or voted BC Conservative in the last general election), with what he considered to be the correct (?) political knowledge regarding conservatives and liberals.  This was done on his Facebook page.  Here is the statement he posted:

I just wanted to put a post out regarding some information being shared by the BC Conservative Party.

As I have said many times before - our party is made up of people from the Center Right to the Right of the political spectrum; it is a coalition party. I have been a member of the CPC (Conservative Party of Canada) for many years, and was on the local Riding Association executive for a time.

The BC Liberal Party is about Free Enterprise, smaller government and is fiscally conservative. As you can read below*, the federal Conservative Party has close ties with provincial coalition parties, such as the Saskatchewan Party and the British Columbia Liberal Party (not associated with the federal Liberal Party of Canada). In fact the Saskatchewan Party comes from similar roots.

Here are the numbers from the 2 ridings we lost, due to the BC Conservative party splitting the vote us.

Ronna-Rae Leonard - NDP - 10,886
Jim Benninger - BCLIB - 10,697
Ernie Sellentin - GRN - 5,351
Leah Catherine McCulloch - CON - 2,201

Maple Ridge/Mission:
Bob D'Eith - NDP - 10,988
Marc Dalton - BCLIB - 10,663
Peter Pak Chiu Tam - GRN - 3,467
Trevor Hamilton - CON - 934
Jeff Monds - LTN - 145

Here was my response to Mr. Davies

Just so there is no confusion Dan, let me begin by stating that I am a member of the BC Conservative Party. I am a BC Conservative because the bc LIBERAL Party is exactly that, Liberal.  It is not like the Yukon Party... or the Saskatchewan Party ... or Alberta's United Conservative Party; it is as I stated, the bc LIBERAL Party.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

They need work and a future and faith ... not handouts and drugs and patronization

Today I pleased to be able to present a guest commentary from Tom Birch.  A former resident of the North Okanagan, and a gentleman who states he is a "proud conservative", he now resides in the City of Prince George.  Out of everything I have read regarding the Colten Boushie** murder trial, this is by fair the most honest, and balanced.

The Boushie murder trial is tragic on many levels.

It is not about the right to defend yourself. Self-defense was not the plea. It was about whether the death was accidental due to the chaotic events created by the crime in process.

For those saying that the farmer, Gerald Stanley, had the right to kill Boushie because he was committing a crime, please stop.

It was not about race. What happened was the result of the crime in process and the question is whether it was an accident or not. Those who bring racism to this trial were already carrying it with them. And for those few who say he had it coming because he was First Nations, you have serious issues and you need to rethink your life.

This is not an excuse for political grandstanding and race baiting that undermines our judicial system. I would tell the those politicians who sink to this depth to stop but they can’t see (or don’t care about) the damage they are doing.

But these events do highlight racial issues. The tragedy began years ago when Boushie and his friends lost all hope and decided that crime was fun and somehow justified. This can happen to any young people from any racial group, but it is rampant in some bands.

The lesson here is to give them hope. To do that they need work and a future and faith ... not handouts and drugs and patronizing.  Redeeming a lost generation should be the focus.

It was too late for this young man, but if you want to do something in his memory, let it be to reach the others while there is still time.

My heart does go out to his family. Not because they were denied justice, I don’t think they were, but because they did not know how to reach their son with hope and no one was there to help. 

And now they are political pawns, being used in a way that will widen racial gulfs and make the problems for their youth even worse.

And those, as I noted above, are the comments of Tom Birch.   Got a comment to make?  This is your chance to share it now.

**  Colten Boushie was a young Indigenous man from the Red Pheasant Cree Nation, in Saskatchewan

Monday, February 5, 2018

Good news! There is finally room for a Conservative party in BC

Or I guess I could have titled this commentary after the Little Texas song, "It's Time To Be Loud and Proud"

Some might say (and indeed have done so) that it's, "Time to recruit Diane Watts as the leader of the BC Conservatives."  Well for starters, she probably isn't interested, but if she was I'd say, "Please ... NO ... the party does NOT need some one else's hand-me-down!"

Many would say that she has true conservative bona-fides, but then if that's the case, why is she a BC Liberal?   She ran as a BC Liberal leadership candidate. ... she lost as a BC LIBERAL leadership candidate ... and BC Conservatives should not even think of considering her.

I say that not simply because of what just happened on Saturday evening, on the fifth and final round of voting for the BC Liberal leadership, but rather, because of what happened six years ago.  

Sunday, February 4, 2018

When they are all gone and long forgotten, Barrett will still be remembered by many as a legend in this province and in Canada

Two giants in their own right. NDP leader Dave
Barrett being interviewed by Jack Webster

Rest In Peace Dave Barrett ... a personal reminiscence from the Sidewinder, Sandy Macdougall

I never voted for Barrett but he was a giant in BC politics, and his like will never again be seen in socialist ranks.  John Horgan, and his NDP colleagues, are panty waists compared to Barrett. When they are all gone and long forgotten, Barrett will still be remembered by many as a legend in this province and in Canada.

The first time I met Dave Barrett was when he picked me up as I was hitchhiking, from Mission to Haney, in the mid 1960s. Barrett was a Captain of the Guards at Haney Correctional Institute (a jail mainly for Young Offenders.  It later became Pacific Vocational Institute after the jail was closed)He was fired shortly thereafter for his political activities*

The John Howard Society then hired him (I also worked for them many years later), with the promise he would not campaign while he was on the job.  Following his election as Premier, he paid a visit to his buddies at the John Howard office. When asked how he managed to control his ego as the Premier, he responded, "That's easy. Everyday when I leave home for work, Shirley says, Goodbye, asshole."

I think Dave Barrett was the only MLA who ever had to be physically removed from the legislature (or some might say he was unceremoniously dragged by his feet from the chambers) for failure to apologize for comments he had made.  It was an infamous incident, and resulted in the defeat of John Parks, the Socred speaker who had ordered his removal. 

Parks replacement following the next election was John Cashore, the most decent NDP to ever hold a seat in the B.C. Legislature.

I met Barrett many times in subsequent years through politics. We obviously held diverse views, but he was a hell of a politician, and one of the most charismatic guys I ever heard speak.   

In my opinion, he will be remembered long after all of our current MLAs are dead and buried; and that could be a large part of why he was made an officer of the Order of Canada in 2005, and named a member of the Order of BC in 2012. 

* Wikipedia:
He had been fired from his job, by the provincial government in 1959, after it became known that he was running for a CCF nomination.  He had to fight for reinstatement, as at the time civil servants were barred from running for office

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Retired provincial court Judge Wallace Gilby Craig, "The Four Pillars have been reduced to a single toothpick"

This is an edited version, of a written submission, present by Sandy Macdougal (AKA The Sidewinder), at a January 31st, 2017 Public Meeting on homelessness.

In terms of sheltering the homeless, whether they are drug addicts, alcoholics, or mentally ill, I will state at the outset that doing nothing is not an option for our neighbourhood.  The status quo does an injustice to local residents and does nothing to improve the lot of the homeless.

I would also point out that this is not a matter of democracy. It is a matter of government at all levels carrying out their implied duties to maintain peace and good order in our community

The Four Pillars are supposed to include prevention, treatment, enforcement and harm reduction.  A vast array of supportive statistics usually accompany the promotion of these pillars but actual experience and observation by police and the judiciary show another side of the argument.

As stated by retired provincial court J, the Four Pillars have been reduced to a single toothpick, that being the safe injection sites.

Prior to his retirement, Judge Craig spent twenty-five years hearing cases in the provincial court facility at 312 Main Street, in the heart of Vancouver's skid road. He sat on hundreds, maybe even thousands, of drug cases.

“Proponents of the ideology of harm reduction – with their strident claims that reducing harm will bring drug addiction and related crime under control – are nothing more than self-serving propagandists,” Judge Craig stated in a column published in the North Shore News.

He continued that the mantra-like repetitive use of the words 'harm reduction' is intended to make truth out of their illusion that addiction is a manageable illness.

“It is cunning nonsense,” Judge Craig added.

Harm reduction has resulted in the promotion of unmanageable needle exchange programs, frequently unsafe injection sites and open-ended drug maintenance programs using methadone, Judge Craig added.

Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian

Januray 31st at 8pm ... at Tweet from @RadioNLNews
#Kamloops mayor @ken_kchristian wants to see a rethink on the
number of free needles harm reduction staff are giving addicts, says
discarded needles creating health risk to the public.

Kamloops mayor wants fewer needles handed out to addicts


As people living near the mobile supervised injection site complain
about crime, an influx of drug dealers, and needles littering the
are the mayor of Kamloops says they have a point.

Ken Christian says mobile injection site staff are getting a little
too liberal when they are handing out supplies to addicts including
way too many needles.  Christian says addicts are then not being
careful when they are disposing their used needles.

“You know I get it. When you are addicted to opioids recycling
probably isn’t your biggest issue. Really what we are creating
now when we try to prevent blood borne disease among users
we are creating now a risk of blood borne disease among the
public. That is unfair and we have to rethink that.”

Christian says the city has a part to play in getting addicts on a road
to recovery including by helping where it can on the housing front.

In my own experience in Maple Ridge, the needle exchange program has resulted in the pollution of private and public property with discarded needles and used condoms, creating a public health risk at huge cost to the city and province.

Al Arsenault, a retired Vancouver City Police constable, told Judge Craig, “Needle exchange programs do not steer addicts away from drug use, nor, does the program serve to promote abstinence.

“Here's your needle, now don't do drugs, is a lousy way to persuade addicts to begin recovery."