“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

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

"We are strong, united, and ready to take our place as one of four major parties in British Columbia." That's probably one of the biggest reasons for the on-going and continued growth in approval the party has seen.

What's happening with the BC Conservative Party these days?  Well first of all let me say that since returning to the fold, and becoming a member of the party once again, I have tried to avoid making Thoughts on BC Politics and More, simply a PR piece fort the party.  I hope you will agree that I have been successful in that.

So, today, I deviate a bit, and will devote this commentary entirely to the party!

And, I'll start first of all with how the people of BC are viewing the party.  Based on polling since the early Spring, what I am seeing is slow and steady.  A recent poll taken a few weeks back showed BC Conservatives with support at 12% ... and back in March Mainstreet Research had the Conservatives sitting at 8.9%.

According to a new Mainstreet Research Poll, BC Conservative support is now sitting at 14.6 percent.  Of course it is still a long ways from what will be needed to capture seats when the next provincial election is held in 2021.  That said, the fact the party has moved from eight percent, to twelve percent, and now just over 14 and a half percent, shows the BC Conservative party is growing as the choice for more and more British Columbians!

Current BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson
being sworn in by former premier Christy Clark
One thing I noted with interest, in this new poll, was the rating for BC Liberal, NDP, and Green Party leaders.  According to Mainstreet Research, their latest poll found that we in British Columbians have an overall negative opinion of all four party leaders.

It is unusual that Horgan, Wilkinson, and Weaver have net negative favourability ratings, but it is even more unusual that over 30% of British Columbians either are not sure or are not familiar with all of these leaders, especially with a sitting premier.”

Of course the BC Conservative Party currently does not have an elected leader, although interim leader Scott Anderson has been filling in on the role.  Early this spring Anderson indicated in part that Conservative growth was due to the emergence of the BC Conservatives as a credible, and responsible alternative to the tax and spend philosophy of the BC Liberals.

"We want to encourage technological advances in clean energy, resource development, and consumer products, and we think BC can be a leader in Canadian innovation," said Anderson. "But none of that is going to happen if the other three parties keep throwing stumbling blocks in front of economic development."

As to the role of an elected leader, the Party’s Board of Directors recently met, and confirmed Bryce Crigger as Chair for the Leadership Convention.  Crigger ran as a Candidate for the BC Conservatives in the 2013 provincial election, and currently serves as President of the Parksville – Qualicum Riding Association.

The leadership race for the BC Conservative Party will open later this Fall, on

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Revenues will need to be directed towards programs that are able to mitigate the issues, and human carnage, that arises from the sale of drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, and even gambling and lottery products

On Wednesday July 18th, the Manitoba government outlined key components of its recreational cannabis regulatory regime -- one of those being the Social Responsibility Fee (SRF), which will be imposed on all licensed pot retailers in the province.

Now I am the first one to question ANY new taxes and / or fees, however this is one which I can embrace fully.  That's because the Government of Manitoba has indicated that revenues generated by the SRF will help fund social costs associated with the legalization of cannabis. 

In announcing the new Social Responsibility Fee, Manitoba's Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister, Blaine Pedersen, stated, “The various health, safety, education and enforcement implications of legalized cannabis fall almost entirely to the provincial level of government.”

Our plan will help cover these provincial costs and also ensure fairness, recognizing the social responsibility retailers must share.” 

As of October 17th, the sale of legal licensed pot will come into effect.  That being the case, then we in British Columbia need to have the same foresight as legislators in the province of Manitoba.

Much like the use (or perhaps better stated misuse) of alcohol, drugs and psychotics like heroin, crack, misused prescription drugs, crystal meth, and cocaine ... the use and misuse of pot can also have SERIOUS side effects.  And despite the fact that many claim cannabis is safe, and we need not worry, there are warnings that should be heeded.  The government of Canada, itself, states that the consumption of cannabis, like alcohol and tobacco, poses a number of health risks. 

The website Cannabis in Canada, Get The Facts, says that women who are pregnant or breast feeding can put the fetus or new born child at risk.  Heavy cannabis use has also been linked to lower birth weight, and there may also be other health risks associated with cannabis use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

And of course at any age, cannabis use can affect how the way the brain functions, especially those under the age of 25 as the Canadian medical community pointed out to the government during the process to bring about the legalization of pot.

Some have laughed or scoffed at the statement that cannabis can be a habituating drug, however close to 1 in 3 people who use cannabis will develop a problem with their use -- and as many as one in ten can develope an addiction to it. (Volkow ND, Baler RD, Compton WM, Weiss SR. Adverse health effects of marijuana use. N Engl J Med 2014 Jun 5;370(23):2219-27)

Given this, I believe we in British Columbia need to have a program similar to Manitoba's Social Responsibility Fee.  I am concerned however that we do not appear to have anything currently in place (or on the horizon) with regards to the aspect of social responsibility, and the protection and well being of users, their families, and the community at large.

BC's Liquor Distribution Branch, who will be responsible for the distribution of legal cannabis seems to think responsibility ends with:

1) encouraging and supporting the responsible use of our products is a core value of our organization

2) managing a safe, regulated supply chain for pot as they do for liquor ... and ...

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

99% recovery, in my opinion, is a figure which has to be grossly inflated -- or a misdirect of numbers

The issue of discarded needles has been a prominent topic of discussion around the city of Kamloops as of late, but it's not just a problem happening here.  For months now, all aspects of media have been running stories about the issue, and problems associated with it.  Here's just a very small sampling:

... (she) is speaking out after her six-year-old nephew stepped on a used needle in Kelowna’s popular City park and it went through the bottom of his shoe.

... a little girl needed medical attention after getting pricked by a discarded needle during a school outing in Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park on Friday

... police are investigating after a three-year-old child was pricked by an uncapped syringe on Monday afternoon ... child's parents said they noticed the uncapped syringe after the child began to cry.

... an abundance of needles springing up around Vernon, BC has the public outraged with safety concerns

... a month ago we found 200 used needles in one garbage can, and the paraphernalia that goes with it.  I don’t want to scare the wits out of everyone, I just want them to be aware, and be careful

So how are cities across Canada dealing with the issue of discarded needs?

If you Google it, you'll find that volunteers have taken to cleaning up parks, laneways and underneath bridges in their communities.  Volunteers have also been going out with rubber gloves and garbage bags to pick up the drug paraphernalia left behind as well.  Additionally, people have been using social media, and  posting photos, of needles found in their neighbourhoods, in an effort to call attention to what they say is a growing problem.
Kamloops City Councillor Ray Dhaliwal
with Ms. King

"It is bewildering why a small minority would be
against this
needle/sharp buy back program. It
seems like Interior Health are worried about
Caroline King receiving and having needles
needles turned in, and not worried about the
general public getting poked as they try to enjoy
a walk through their cities. If this is one of the
reasons why Interior Health are against
Caroline’s buy back trial program ... and
a program that IS Working ... then this makes
no sense!" ~~ Ray Dhaliwal

Here in Kamloops, Caroline King and Dennis Giesbrecht have initiated a Needle Buy-Back Program, and as news of it has spread, other communities are asking about it.

Why?  Well according to Caroline King a recent example, from Victoria, is reason enough.

"Victoria police just issued a public safety warning after a third person was poked in their downtown core," she stated.  "Kamloops has a list that is growing and we can include many other communities in that list. What will it take for government officials to take responsibility, and make changes to their antiquated harm reduction policy? We need bold leaders willing to stand up when others sit down --- but most of all, we need leaders willing to try everything and anything to keep you safe!" 

Both Caroline, and project partner Dennis Giesbrecht are passionate about making a difference.  Stated Dennis, "We despise the current system but if we ever expect to change it we need positive conversation with positive solutions. Let’s make that the end goal." 

Caroline indicated she has had some Kamloops residents say to her that basically, these people are two legged rats bringing it on themselves.  But to that, she says, "I feel their frustration, but I promise you that these fragile humans are far from two legged rats. They are children in some cases as young as 14, some are throw away foster care age-outs, and some are, in many cases, severely mentally ill."

Friday, July 13, 2018

BC Government Announces $9.5 Million in Structural Flood Mitigation Funding ($220,00 to the Cariboo ... $730,000 to the Okanagan ... and $75,000 for the Thompson Nicola)

Yesterday (June 12th, 2018), the Public Safety and Solicitor General's Office in BC announced that communities throughout the province will be receiving approximately $9.5 million in provincial emergency preparedness funding for structural flood mitigation. 


Included in that total, will be pump stations and dikes... as well as funding for signage, trailer storage, safety vests, training, uniforms ... and erosion protection and bank stabilization.

The Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) has released the funding for the structural flood mitigation component of the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund.

Yesterdays announcement was part of a $33.5-million plan, for what has been intended to assist communities in BC prepare for, and respond to, disasters.

Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General was quoted stating, “When we released the first round of funding, I talked about how critically important these programs are to assist our most vulnerable communities."

He went on to state, “The flooding we continued to see in the province this year shows this funding is more vital than ever to make sure communities are prepared.”

Funding for the structural flood mitigation projects will be focused on three areas.  These will include Flood Risk Assessment, Mapping, and Mitigation ... Emergency Social Services .... and Emergency Operation Centres. 

In the Okanagan, Thompson, Cariboo and Nicola regions of the province, this years funding has been announced for the following projects:

CARIBOO ... total funding approximately $220,00

... the Cariboo Regional District gets $25,00 emergency operations equipment and training
... my old hometown of Williams Lake will receive $25,000 to be used towards an ESS capacity building ... and $24,200 goes to Williams Lake for an EOC technology upgrade
... EOC and a training project for Cache Creek will be funded with just under $25,000 ... and $23,395 to Cache Creek for Training, Supplies and Recruitment
... Quesnel will be receiving $15,500 for a group lodging trailer and equipment.  Quesnel will also be the recipient of an addition $19,000 for EOC and training updates
... Clinton receives $10,00 for flood risk analysis.  As well, Clinton will see $25,00 for EOC IT and equipment
... $25,000 will head to Wells for area emergency preparedness

OKANAGAN (North, South and Central) ... total funding approximately $730,000

Monday, July 9, 2018

BEN BESLER: Good Lord! Someone punch me! What kind of a hell hole did I just stumble into?

No hockey, bikes, chalk drawings: This BC neighbourhood has declared a war on fun.” ... reads the headline from the National Post and the Vancouver Province.

This can’t be the “Beautiful BC” I grew up in?

In Central European folklore, Krampus is a horned,
anthropomorphic figure described as "half-goat,
half-demon", who, during the Christmas season,
punishes children who have misbehaved
“Any use of a roadway for any purpose other than access to and
from strata lots and, where permitted, for parking is prohibited.
Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, a roadway may
not be used for play, including hockey, baseball, basketball, skateboarding,
chalk artistry, bicycling or other sports and recreational activities.”

A BC strata, Artisan Gardens in Chemainus, has found the need to summon, and unleash, the spirit of Krampus on its children a bit early this year.  How?  By
invoking a “children should be seen and not heard” policy. They have effectively removed children from their strata’s outdoor common areas.

The rationale for this enforcement is, of course, the priggishly disingenuous concerns for the children’s safety. Someone could get hurt! They cry.

Seriously?  Hasn’t this whole, “the world needs to be bubble wrapped” nonsense gone on long enough?

Listen! If you don’t want kids around, move to an adult only community.

But when visits to grandma’s house get cut short, or don’t happen at all, because grandma will get a fine by the nosy apparatchiks (if the kids need to
get a little fresh air), don’t come crying to me.

Think about it.

We expect our meat to be raised better than this ... we want it Free Range.

Don’t we?

If this is just the beginning, tell me, "Where will the war on kids end?" 

No chalk ... No bike riding ... No street hockey ... because it’s unsafe?  Puh-leez ... how un-Canadian ... eh!

BEN BESLER ... has been active in provincial politics for many years.  Former Vice President of the BC Conservative Party and Regional Organizer for the successful Fight HST citizens initiative. He offers a often colourful perspective to conservative thought.

Friday, July 6, 2018

I did not get your other message but will of course try to fairly represent the very valid frustrations you express, which are widely shared in this province

Vancouver Star reporter David P. Ball 

Vancouver Star news and photography reporter David Ball said he would write a balanced news story on the Greenpeace protesters, and comments from some in the public that they should have been cut down. I think, given as I was one of the individuals quoted as saying they should have been cut down, that he did indeed do a fair and balanced job.

It went online tonight (Friday July 6th)

"Ex-public safety minister among commenters saying ‘cut the cables’ of B.C. bridge protesters"

You can read his news story HERE  

And, if you missed it yesterday, here is the piece that I wrote following my exchange with David Ball.

"Even if it was in jest, such phrases are inappropriate for you as someone who has run for public office in the past"

Click HERE  

DAVID P. BALL is a Vancouver based reporter covering democracy and politics.  
Follow him on Twitter at:   @davidpball
Follow him on Facebook at:   https://www.facebook.com/davidpball

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Even if it was in jest, such phrases are inappropriate for you as someone who has run for public office in the past

Well I must say it has been some time since a reporter, outside of the Kamloops area, has sought me out for comment.  It happened today however, and it had to do with seven Greenpeace protesters who took it upon themselves to hang from the Iron Workers Memorial Bridge, and block a tanker which was legally about to head out to sea.  This demonstration of course to protest the ALSO LEGAL Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion.

Seeking me out was David Ball, a reporter for the Star in Vancouver.  He emailed the following to me:

Good afternoon Mr. Forseth,

I am a reporter with The Star Vancouver newspaper and covering yesterday's illegal bridge protest and arrests.

I noted that hundreds of social media users have used phrases such as "cut their ropes," and that you used the phrase as well:

Alan Forseth, BC Reform Party MLA
candidate for Kamloops North
Thompson -- 1996 General Election
"Damn shame they couldn't have just cut the ropes if these moron protesters, and just let them fall in the river."

Do you stand by that sentiment?

Can you please comment on allegations that any reasonable person would interpret that as suggesting police should have caused people to fall to their death or serious injury?

And also criticisms that even if it was in jest, such phrases are inappropriate for you as someone who has run for public office in the past?

I thought, "Why not?", and so I sent him the reply which follows.  Maybe it will resonate with you as well:

I do not believe most people would take seriously, the comment I and others made.  Instead, it should show the frustration that a very large (and I would personally say a majority) of people in B.C. feel about eco / enviro radicals, who time and time again, hold the provinces resource and development industry hostage.