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Showing posts from June, 2018

Shouldn't there be room for them on the Commission, at least in an advisory role, to explain what it's like to be on an actual budget

As a friend of mine said to me, "It is wonderfully generous of them to use our money this way --- and to get more bureaucracy for BC Hydro.  Their annual costs to run this program is not something to ignore."
And that was one of the thoughts I postulated when I wrote last Saturdays commentary, "They can call it what they want; Clean Energy Levy, Crisis Fund, Conservation Rate.At the end of the day it's a tax"

Sure, it's only $3.00 ... at least for the present ... however my point was that it's NOT up to these Utility Commission members to decide where MY charity should be given.
Look at the names on the list of Board members -- there's not one on there that's likely to ever be concerned about the cost of living.
So ... if they're feeling flush ... I don't think ANY of us would object to these individuals coughing up the nearly ONE MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR that BC Hydro's so-called Customer Crisis Fund will require.
So who sits on the BC Uti…

"Are addicts the only one who deserve harm reduction? Who is looking out for neighbourhoods?"

While, the title of this blog is "Thoughts on BC Politics and More" ... I wonder how many have noticed, or remember, the sub-heading?It states that it is to include, "A Discussion on the political, economic, and social issues in British Columbia and Canada".
That was deliberate on my part, as I did not want this blog to merely be a political commentary, and yes I know, some of you will also include the word 'rhetoric' --- fair enough.That said, socio- economic issues are important to me, and I believe to the majority of people as well.That's why I have always described myself as a fiscal conservative, with a social conscience.
I believe a community cannot be healthy if there is only a focus on jobs and money -- the well-being of its' people / citizens must also be factored in.That's why today I am pleased to offer the following commentary from two Kamloops residents ... Caroline King, and Dennis Giesbrecht.Here's what they had to say, and as …

We have lost our way as civilized individuals, whose only purpose is to smear those that have the courage to put themselves forward in an effort to better their community

Greetings friends ...
This is one of those rare occasions, when I post more than one commentary on the blog site.Recently, Kamloops City Councillor Tina Lange announced that she will not be seeking re-election this Fall.There were a large number of congrats sent her way, regrettably however, some people felt the need for character assassination.
Fellow Kamloops City Councillor Dieter Dudy took exception, and wrote what I felt to be an excellent opinion piece on it.With his permission, I am delighted to present it to you now.
... Alan



This morning I read the column that Dale Bass had written on Tina Lange’s decision to not seek re-election this fall. After thirteen years on council, she felt it was time to hang up her skates. 
I must admit that I have some mixed emotions regarding this decision. On the one hand, I’m truly happy that Tina will be able to spend time with her family and also continue to travel to the far reaches of the world. On the other hand, Tina’s presence will be missed…

Really, do you go out and purchase an unknown bag of goods, when you go to the store, and then wait until you get home to see what they've given you?

OKAY ... there are three questions I'm wondering about, when it comes to British Columbians deciding on IF we change how we currently vote. And ... if we do, what that new system will be.
Question #1 Why are we not getting an explanation of who will decide on the proportional representative going to legislature.As it stand now, they won't be voter elected but potentially, at least, party hacks.
Right now many / most of us complain that our elected representatives DO NOT in fact represent us; instead represent they party they belong to.Basically they do as they are told.On the other hand, maybe they will be voter elected, perhaps by using the votes each has received, and picking the one(s) who received the most.
Then again it would be fair to ask, "Will they be an MLA from the region they were running in, or just a floating not responsible to anyone but the party they represent?"
Are those not good questions -- and how many more can you add to just this one first question?

They can call it what they want; Clean Energy Levy, Crisis Fund, Conservation Rate. At the end of the day it's a tax

HEY FORTIS ... what the heck is the Clean Energy Levy that I have just recently noticed I am paying?Looking at the back of my statement, under the Definitions and Explanation of Terms does not provide the answer, it is conveniently absent.A search through Google however comes up with the answer -- a response directly from Fortis:
In addition to those charges, there are other items on the bill that we collect on behalf of all three levels of government.
This includes GST for the federal government, the carbon tax for the provincial government and the clean energy levy, which goes toward supporting investment by the provincial government in clean energy technology.
HOLD ON A SECOND... the Clean Energy Levy sounds like exactly what we were told the Carbon Tax was for.At least that is what the Government of BC states online in a section entitled, British Columbia's Carbon Tax
(The BC) Government will consult on a new clean growth incentive program for large industria…

HOW does a country that allows its' security forces to trample all over the rights -- the MOST BASIC OF RIGHTS -- get to be on the UN Human Rights Council?

I am still an avid news reader, and a story today peaked my interest for a couple of reasons.First though, let me present you with three lists of countries.Bear with me for a moment, and I'll let you know what they are all about.In the meantime, is there anything you notice, that stands out, about these lists?
1.Denmark ... 94.7 2.Iceland ... 94.5 3.Austria ... 91.5 4.Finland ... 90.5 5.New Zealand ... 90.4 6.Singapore ... 90.1 7.Switzerland ... 89.1 8.Canada ... 87.8 9.Czech Republic ... 87.8 10.Slovenia ... 87 11.Portugal ... 86.8 12.Australia ... 86.3 13.Germany ... 85 14.Norway ... 85 15.Netherlands ... 84.3 16.Qatar ... 83.7 17.Poland ... 83.7 18.Ireland ... 83.2 19.Croatia ... 83 20.Spain ... 82.9 21.Hungary ... 82.8 22.Republic of Korea (South Korea) ... 82.2 23.Slovakia ... 79.9 24.Japan ... 79.9 25.Chile ... 79.0 26.United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland ... 78.7 27.United Arab Emirates ... 78.7 28.Mongolia ... 71.7 29.Belgium ... 69.7 30.Togo ... 69.1 31.United States of America

HEADLINE SAYS: "Province opens the door to housing investment on reserves"

HEADLINE SAYS:  "Province opens the door to housing investment on reserves".  And with that came news that British Columbia would be the first province in Canada to, "invest provincial housing funds into on-reserve housing."BUT HOLD ON A MINUTE, isn't providing funding for safe and affordable on-reserve First Nations housing a Federal responsibility?Yes it is.And it is provided for already.A government website, for Indigenous Service Canada, under the heading of First Nations Housing, states:

"Budget 2017 and Budget 2018 propose dedicated funding of $600 million over three years to support First Nation housing on reserve as part of a Housing Strategy that is being developed with First Nations.

Budget 2016 provided $416.6 million over two years, through the former Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (now Indigenous Services Canada), to improve on-reserve housing conditions, reduce overcrowding and increase health and safety. This was in addition to about…

Lower production, product inventory levels increasing, and employment down. That, does not sound good to me

The latest from BC Stats (June 15th) shows a possible reason for falling employment in British Columbia last month.Using information from Stats Canada (https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/180615/dq180615b-eng.htm), BC Stats reported that manufacturing sales (seasonal adjusted) dropped in April, compared to the month before.The drop was 1.3%, to $56.2 billion ... this was the first drop following two months of increases.
That said, in that one sector of the Canadian economy alone, sales were down in 10 of 21 industries -- and sales were down a whopping 49.6%.Leading the way was sales of transportation equipment manufacturing (-15.2%). In addition, large decreases were seen in the sale of electrical equipment, appliance and components (-8.1%) as well as non-metallic mineral product manufacturing (‑7.7%).
Averaged across Canada, the sale of manufactured goods saw a decline of 1.3% in April compared to the previous month of March.Sales in the petroleum and coal products and tran…

Am I being a 'protectionist'? You bet, but only as long as we don't have a level playing field to play on

This afternoon June 13th), Sheila Gunn, from the Rebel media, sent me an email asking me to stand up for Maxine Bernier.She stated:

"Last night, Andrew Scheer fired Maxine Bernier from the Conservative Party’s shadow cabinet.The reason? Bernier, the party’s most popular MP from Quebec, opposes “supply management" for Quebec’s dairy industry.
Of course, supply management is just a fancy way of saying: we all have to pay triple the normal price for milk, cheese and yogurt, because Quebec dairy farmers have managed to lobby Ottawa for subsidies.
It makes the rest of us hundreds of dollars poorer every year, and it benefits a handful of Quebec businessmen."

Now don't get me wrong, I don't want to pay anymore than I have too, but I also DO NOT want to see Canadian farmers, ranchers, and dairy producers driven out of business.Contrary to want anyone has to say, American producers ARE SUBSIDIZED ... and subsidized in a BIG way.

From February 8th, 2018:
... the American go…

One thing is certain, there were big job losses across all sectors of industry, including oil and gas

Across the province late last week, news media outlets dutifully reported that the unemployment rate in BC was down.  Down to 4.8% in May ... down from 5.0% in April and below the 5.6% from 12 months ago. 


Truth to tell, I don't actually recall many in the media reporting this -- perhaps due to the Ontario provincial election that saw Kathleen Wynne's LIBERAL party decimated by the Doug Ford Conservatives.


Even Kamloops own CFJC News reported, "Kamloops Un-Employment Rate Plunges to 5.9% in May".  But in their brief story, comes this fact ... around 1,500 fewer people looking for work (4,400) year-over-year) dropping the unemployment rate to 5.9 per cent.


It seems like only the Alaska Highway News (June 8th) however dug a little deeper.  Here's what they also included in their story:


"In British Columbia, employment fell by 12,000 in the month, according to Stats Canada.  For the first time since May 2015, employment in British Columbia recorded virtually no gr…