“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, October 31, 2018

FELDSTED: When climate change organizers advocate treason by removing our right to be governed by elected representatives in a constitutional monarchy, they go too far

Canada Should Be Legally Bound to Its Climate Promises -- passing the 2009 Climate Change Accountability Act could close the gap between our country's ambitions and its actions.   
Cameron Fenton  ~~  350.org  / Huffington Post ~~  10/30/2018

During the recent House of Commons emergency climate debate, spurred by an alarming new UN climate change report, there were many politicians talking about the need for Canada to rise to the challenge of climate change. Many of these same politicians acknowledged that, right now, Canada's policies aren't enough to line up with what scientists are saying we need to do.

… it reminded me of the last time I was in the House of Commons watching Question Period. I was there supporting legislation that, if brought back, could close the gap between Canada's climate promises and our climate policy.

… I was in the House of Commons gallery with around 100 other young people from all across Canada … hundreds of youth from across the country had come to the nation's capital to rally for climate action — would spark some action from our elected leaders.

It didn't. Question Period droned on as if we weren't there, as if the Copenhagen climate summit wasn't a few weeks away and as if the existential threat of a scorched earth wasn't waiting in the wings.

Eventually, a few among us got fed up and started chanting … calling for the passage of Bill C-311, known as the Climate Change Accountability Act.

Mr. Fenton is entitled to his opinion, but he is must not to attack the constitutional sovereignty of Canada. Our elected representatives in Parliament cannot be bound by an agreement sponsored by the United Nations or any of its agencies. The Paris Agreement is a stack of useless verbiage.  

If he had bothered to read the text of the Paris agreement, he would discover that the agreement does not apply to all world nations and that there is no penalty for a nation that fails to meet agreement carbon emission targets. 

Monday, October 29, 2018

Leadership Race launch is the start of a new chapter for the BC Conservative Party

This is one of those rare occasions when I promote something specifically to do with the BC Conservative Party.  The following has been submitted by Andrew Mann, Leadership Committee Chair for the BC Conservative Party:

I’m excited to announce that today marks the launch of the British Columbia Conservative Party leadership race. We will be accepting nomination forms until December 31, and on February 23, 2019 we will elect a new leader. To inquire about running to be our new leader, or if you would like to get involved with the party, please go to our website at www.bcconservative.ca. 

This leadership race is the start of a new chapter for our party and our province. British Columbia deserves better than it has been getting for the past decades. We have watched three political parties trying to get into our wallets while distracting us with semantics.

Only one party in British Columbia opposes the money grab euphemistically called the “Carbon Tax,” or as Ralph Goodall now calls it, the “Environmental Regulatory Charge.”

Only one party stands shoulder to shoulder with the other western provinces in saying "no" to this green-washed tax grab.

IAN C MacLEOD: The “my vote doesn’t count” argument is bogus, unless one believes “also-rans” deserve “participation medals”

Guest Commentator Ian MacLeod
-- see full BIO below --

Today, we have a Guest Post from Ian MacLeod, who says ... the Proportional Representation (PR) referendum before BC today must be defeated, both due to the rigged and deeply flawed process and on the long-term damage a yes vote would do to BC.  Here's why ...

FIRST, the process is rigged and fatally flawed, and fails on at least 3 counts:

“A pig in the poke”: Unlike 2005 and 2009, there was no real consultation as to the options. If we vote yes to PR on this incomplete package, we then have to choose from three options without the real and meaningful details (size of ridings, number of members per riding, method of selecting PR “top-ups”, etc) – a real “pig in the poke”.

A rigged choice: It is rigged to support the extorted deal with the Green Party. Proportional Representation (PR) is the only option offered, not surprisingly, the one most suited to the Greens. The Greens have never earned more than 17% of the popular vote (averaging about 11% over the past 5 BC elections), but believe that should entitle them to seats and perhaps, like now, a disproportionate balance of power.

As few as perhaps 6% of eligible BC voters could fundamentally change BC’s electoral system: There are no minimum thresholds of votes, whether by total responses or regional distribution, required to have a so called binding vote on the new, foggy, PR model. That is problematic in three ways:

… if only 30% of eligible voters respond (not inconceivable, as mail-in votes have notoriously low response rates), 15% + 1 of eligible voters will fundamentally change the structure of our voting system and impose PR on everyone else, without even knowing the model;

… if the Lower Mainland votes yes and the rest of the province no, the rest of the province is screwed, being swamped by the higher population in the lower mainland; and

… if only 15% plus 1 (as noted above) succeed in imposing PR, marginally over one third of those (i.e. slightly over 5% of eligible voters!) could impose one of the three un-detailed options on the whole Province (ironically, akin to a perverse FPTP on the option).

This is not fair, not reasonable and it could have dangerous repercussions.

SECOND, as to substance, and with apologies to David Letterman, here is a “Top 10 List” of why PR would be a terrible choice for BC:

10. PR is not about good government, but rather about often be single issue, “me first” advocacy.  Normally, political parties try to build consensus in order to get as wide as possible support in order to run as a “government in waiting”. However, PR promotes “me first”. The “my vote doesn’t count” argument is bogus, unless one believes “also-rans” deserve “participation medals”. It is bizarre that parties attaining maybe only 10% or 15% of the vote, and being even third place or worse finishers, could be granted seats that may give them the balance of power - 85% or 90% of the voters did not vote for them!

Sunday, October 28, 2018

FRANK LEONARD: Message to the newly elected; "They are not inviting you, they are inviting your position"

Former Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard
-- see complete bio below --

Mr. Mayor ... Mr. Chair ... Mr. President.  

There you go – carry one of those titles around for a while and you’ll think you’re pretty special.  In fact, you might even seem smart as so many marvel at your words. The key is though to know how you’ll be treated when the title is gone.

Elsewhere in these stories I will describe how I’ve chased these titles since grade five.  And this means I learned at an early age what happens when they are gone.  

The toughest school age experience was being a ‘mover and shaker’ in our grade nine class, and so assured that I could get elected School President for my grade ten year (this was at a time that junior high was grade eight to ten.)  My dad’s transfer to Victoria put an end to that and I arrived at a new school for grade ten with no one really giving a damn about my suggestions or yet alone leadership.  It was a long year and it took to the end of grade eleven to finally challenge for School President, albeit unsuccessfully.

The first adult experience came in 1986.  Somehow, I managed to serve as President of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce in 1985 at the ripe age of 30.  My wife and I attended cocktail parties, receptions, and fundraisers all year long.  During the day I came and went from our family business to chair meetings, speak at media announcements, attend ribbon cuttings and of course meet Premiers and Cabinet Ministers.  But as soon as my term was up, the invites thinned out considerably.  Seems the invites were to the Chamber President but not for me.

The darkest contrast came when I lost the May 1996 provincial election.  I’d spent three years doing everything the leader had asked, and that often meant meeting industry and lobby groups to represent the new face of our party.  Ferry rides, Vancouver hotel rooms, lunches and dinners were all part of the menu as I flourished within Gordon Campbell’s inner circle – so much so that I was named in a Vancouver Sun story as one of the party’s ‘up and comers.’   

The day after my election defeat that all changed – no one wanted to meet with me, including Campbell.  That summer was a long one.  So I was very much prepared for life after my eighteen years as Mayor in 2014.   

Saturday, October 27, 2018

FELDSTED: McKenna sounds like a clueless bimbo huckstering useless trash at a trade show

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna

McKenna defends federal government's carbon tax plan amid premiers' opposition.  Catherine McKenna says premiers, including Doug Ford, who call carbon tax a cash grab are 'absolutely wrong'  ~~  CBC Radio  ~~  Oct 24, 2018

The federal government has gone on the offensive to explain its newly announced plan to slap a carbon tax on the provinces and territories that did not sign onto the pan-Canadian framework on climate change.

Residents of Manitoba, New Brunswick, Ontario and Saskatchewan can expect to pay more for gas by April, while also receiving "incentive rebates" from the federal government.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe called the plan that was unveiled Tuesday "a shell game."
Ontario Premier Doug Ford called it "the worst tax ever, anywhere" and "the most divisive, most regressive tax in Canadian history."

CBC Radio asked Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, “You're using a tax to attempt to change behaviour of people, to try to get people and businesses to pollute less. And yet at the same time you're offering a rebate to some of those same people. What is my incentive to change my behaviour if you're taxing me now but paying me later?”

To READ and HEAR the full story, CLICK HERE

Let’s start by saying this inane virtue signalling gibberish is consistent with recent federal communications. Next, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna sounds like a clueless bimbo huckstering useless trash at a trade show. It is also possible that she is testing out legal cannabis.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Todd Stone says, “One and Done” -- No need to fill in Question 2”. Respectfully, he and his fellow BC Liberal MLAs are wrong

From Todd Stone, to Tracy Redies, to John Yapp, to Jane Thornthwaite, to Doug Clovechok, to Mike Bernier, to Lorne Letnick … the list of BC Liberal MLA’s all singing from the same song book goes on and on as their united voices all say, “Vote One and Done". 

Let me say this … they, along with supporters of the BC Liberal Party are WRONG! 

Even IF you do support retaining our current system of  and have no wish to change to some form of Proportional Representation, it IS vitally important for you to vote on Question #2! 

Despite the Liberals trying to persuade us differently, there is indeed plenty of information on the vote, and it is from an independent source – Elections BC.  There you’ll find pretty much everything you need to make an informed choice about the different voting systems, and the different rules for each … including how voters cast their ballot, how votes are counted, and how votes translate into seats in the legislature.

You’ll also find these important words (italics and Bold added by me for emphasis):

  • Whether you prefer First Past the Post, or a proportional system, depends on what’s important to you. No voting system is perfect – otherwise everyone would use the same system!
  •  Every voting system requires trade-offs between competing priorities.
  • Neutral information from Elections BC will help you understand the characteristics of First Past the Post and the proposed proportional systems, but the decision about which system is best, is up to you 
  • get information from all sides in the debate to help make your decision.

The key information I got from that is that no voting system is perfect … and even more importantly… the decision about which system is best for you, is UP TO YOU.

Whether or not I support First Past the Post, what will happen IF a majority of those casting a ballot support changing to one of the three systems of Proportional Representation?

Thursday, October 25, 2018

FELDSTED: Politicians lead by example, and the example they display is horrendous on a good day … borderline slander and constant attacks set the stage for chaos

De Niro, Biden latest targets of suspicious packages also sent to Democrats, Trump critics.  Trump, in a rally Wednesday and tweet early Thursday, assigns primary blame to media coverage ~~ Associated Press / CBC News ~~  Oct 25, 2018

Police intercepted suspicious packages addressed to actor Robert De Niro and former vice-president Joe Biden on Thursday, and investigators said they were similar to crude pipe bombs sent to former president Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and CNN.....

I do not often comment on American politics, but make an exception because Canada politics is headed down the same path. Most of our MPs represent the party they are attached to instead of the people who elected them. That will have bad long-term consequences. We want our MPs act like someone we would like to invite for dinner when they are on the job in Ottawa.

The media picks up its cues from political parties, and their representatives. The anything goes, no holds barred, partisan bickering is over the top. Endless disparagement of opponents, innuendo, demeaning commentary, borderline slander and constant attacks set the stage for chaos.

When common courtesy, common sense, decorum, polite and respectful debate, ethics and honesty are trampled on the floor by competing political factions, the stage is set for chaos.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

He's giving us our money back??

Guess what?  Justin Trudeau's LIBERALS are going to give us back the money they ripped off from us with the Carbon Tax -- just like the bcLIBERALS did(n't).

Yah Right!!

UNGER: That gets the speculation going … who is going to run for whom?

UPDATE CBC News (Oct 24, 2018 11:29 AM)  ...  "BC MP Sheila Malcolmson to leave federal NDP to seek provincial seat"

One election is in the vault, but there’s no rest in politics – we’re heavily into a by-election which hasn’t been called yet. MLA Len Krog’s election as mayor of Nanaimo will create a vacancy in the Legislature when he resigns. 

I wonder if Leonard considered the political avalanche he may have triggered. The provincial by-election could possibly trigger a federal by-election here. Or if things don’t work out, a surprise provincial election.

Krog’s resignation may come soon. Premier John Horgan has already announced that he wants an MLA in the House before the budget debate, which usually takes place in February. So a January by-election seems almost certain. The stakes are mighty big in this one, the result could change who governs our province.

If the NDP candidate wins, it’s status quo. If the Liberals squeak out a win, that could spell a full-blown provincial election. A Liberal win would leave the NDP / Greens having the same number of seats as the Liberals, giving the Lieutenant Governor little choice but to call a general election.

FELDSTED: Further strengthening their stranglehold over governance is not in the interests of those governed

The basic premise of democracy is governance of the people, by the people for the people. It was conceived to avoid rule by armies, cabals, churches, gentry or kings.

From October 22 to November 30, British Columbia residents will be asked to mail in a ballot in a Referendum on Proportional Representation. They will either vote to maintain the current First-Past-The-Post system or change to one of three proportional systems offered by the government.

Unfortunately, the only proportional systems on the ballot are ‘Party Systems’ in which parties choose some of the MLAs. There are proportional systems in which voters choose all the MLAs. Unfortunately, none of these will be on the ballot.

In 2004, the Citizen's Assembly, a randomly chosen group of voters, looked at all forms of proportional representation. They rejected the systems in which parties choose some of the MLAs and recommended a system called STV in which citizens vote for all their MLAs. The government has chosen to limit choices to proportional systems in which parties choose some of your MLAs for you.

Any proportional representation choice will see a significant shift of power from voters to political parties. This is of grave concern.

Political party executives, governance boards and hirelings are not elected. They are not responsible to the people of British Columbia. No matter how bad their decisions or how inane their influence, they cannot be voted out or replaced.

Our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, embodied in our constitution, states that:

3. Every citizen of Canada has the right to vote in an election of members of the House of Commons or of a legislative assembly and to be qualified for membership therein.

British Columbians have a right to vote for an elect a member of the BC Legislature. There is no provision for a political party or any other entity to change the results of an electors’ choice.

Political parties are already infringing on the Charter right to be considered for office. They hold internal contests for the right to run for office in a constituency, and can refuse to endorse or allow someone to run for office, if they do not adhere to party rules and ideologies. They are controlling the representatives chosen by the people, which is a violation of the basic premise of democracy.

Further strengthening their stranglehold over governance is not in the interests of those governed.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Now upon reading this, would you think the same as I did? The government plans to provide funding to help with transit difficulties in the lower mainland?

I’d like you to take a minute to read the following headline, from a BC Government media release sent out today …

Province helps fund Metro Vancouver transit and transportation improvements

Now upon reading this, would you think the same as I did?  The government plans to provide new funding to help with transit difficulties in the lower mainland? 

If that is indeed what you thought, like me, we’d both be wrong.

No, instead here is what is actually happening.

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, headed by the Honourable Selina Robinson, has proposed changes ('changes' = tax increases) to the Parking Rights Tax – and that is what will help TransLink fund major transit and transportation improvements to keep people and goods moving quickly, safely and affordably in Metro Vancouver.

Apparently, TransLink has projected that the increases to the Parking Rights Tax will bring in and additional $10 million a year in new revenue from what they are calling a minor increase to the Parking Rights Tax.

Monday, October 22, 2018

There is nothing about carbon emission reductions that has anything to do with ‘saving the planet’ … that is hokum

Not seeing the forests for the trillions of trees
Mark Bonokoski  ~~ Toronto Sun ~~ August 10, 2016

Thanks to Statistics Canada, Wikipedia, and reader Ollie Waschuk, a retired teacher, there would appear to be sufficient evidence to put forward the argument that Canada should be selling carbon credits to other countries, and using that money to relieve Canadians of some of their tax burden.

We are virtually without sin when it comes to the net result of carbon arithmetic. In fact, Canada should be given credit for chewing up a goodly portion of the world’s carbon emissions, and not just for absorbing all of our own.

There is nothing about carbon emission reductions that has anything to do with ‘saving the planet’.

That is hokum.

The original plan, the Kyoto Accord, was a sham designed to move billions of dollars from first world nations to third world nations.  Like any other scam, the precept had to be simple and plausible.

In politics, as in life, no defeat is permanent. No victory is everlasting. The battle is never over

Saturday brought interesting results, from all around the province, as polls closed at 8pm on municipal and school board elections.

For starters, Saturday’s civic election had numerous notable moments, including in the City of Nanaimo, where former NDP MLA Leonard Krog will soon take over as mayor.  That leaves the provincial riding open, and … it also means BC Premier John Horgan will need to call a by-election.  Given his NDP razor thin majority in the legislature, only due to being propped up by Andrew Weaver’s Green Party, that is not a riding he’ll want to even consider the possibility of losing.  Look for a star candidate to be on the ballot.

Newly elected North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring
Also, on Vancouver Island, former North Cowichan city councilor Al Siebring decided to take a run at the Mayors chair which was being held by Jon Lefebure, who had 16 years of public service in the District of North Cowichan.  At the end of vote counting he had won the election … and it was close!

Well, it appears I have been elected Mayor of North Cowichan” … Siebring commented, before going on to say … “The margin of victory could barely have been slimmer; just 10 votes. If anyone ever tells you your vote doesn't count, don't believe them!”

Across the water, in the City of Vancouver, it should be noted that Kennedy Stewart IS NOT the first Independent Mayor in decades.  How can that be said with all of the union paid full-time staffers on his campaign.  His campaign was bolstered by untold numbers of union supporters, as well as four members of Vancouver and District Labour Council unions.  They, continued to collect their union salaries while pretty much working full-time to support Stewart's campaign.  The ballot may not have recognized him as being a party candidate, but NDP and unions are the parties that supported him.

Former Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan
Crossing over Boundary Road, voters in Burnaby turfed Derek Corrigan, who had wasted over a MILLION dollars of tax-payers money fighting against the Trans Mountain Pipeline -- something they did not have legal authority to block.  I have to say that in recent years, any news story with him always seemed to portray an angry and cranky individual.  He really will be now, I guess, after losing in his attempt at a sixth term in the Mayors chair.,

Also sticky with Burnaby, determined Anti-SOGI 123 advocate Laura-Lynn Thompson, who called the materials ‘crazy teaching’, failed to gain a spot on the Burnaby School Board.  She placed well back in the pack with the third fewest votes cast in her favour.

Headed east, former BC Liberal cabinet Minister Peter Fassbender was defeated in his bid for elected office for a second time in under two years, losing the Mayors race in Langley by just 206 votes.  Prior to entering provincial politics in 2013, he had been mayor of Langley for eight years.

Closer to home, current Thompson Nicola Regional District (TNRD) Chair, and long-time Mayor of Cache Creek, John Ranta, was defeated by Santo Talarico by just 26 votes.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Employer Health Tax to affect roughly 60,000 “mostly” small businesses in the province -- “They aren’t going to get any relief”, the response from BC Finance Minister Carole James

This past Tuesday (October 16th), the BC government stated it was moving forward with its plan to eliminate Medical Service Plan (MSP) premiums and introduce the employer health tax (EHT).  Together, they claimed these two things would reduce taxes on people and businesses by approximately $800 million each year.
Is that true?  

Well all I can say is that does NOT seem to be factual given what many have to say … many who should be in the know.  Here’s just a sampling:

‘BC …less affordable for families and less attractive for business’ is not exactly a slogan for success.  ~~ Fraser Institute

… Select Committee on Finance told the tax would add $700,000 a year in expenses and the City simply cannot "absorb" those costs, as the Finance Minister suggested municipalities could do ~~ City of Prince George

“Ultimately, it’s going to be passed on, I think, to their customers …” ~~ Dent Benefits Consulting

“… this unexpected payroll tax will hit small- and medium-sized businesses hard” ~~ Iain Black (CEO) Greater Vancouver Board of Trade

"The provincial government gets pat on the back for getting rid of everybody's MSP and then we get a kick in the knee for raising their taxes to pay for their MSP" ~~ Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian

Going back to the governments media release, Carole James, Minister of Finance was quoted as saying, “The EHT is a fairer approach, similar to other provinces, and that means lower taxes for British Columbians… less than 5% of B.C. businesses will pay the full EHT rate of 1.95%”

Let's look at this again, and ask the question; "Is it true this plan by our NDP government going to save you and I money at the end of the day?"  Well not according to the Union of BC Municipalities, and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business!

Friday, October 19, 2018

FELDSTED: Peddling fentanyl is much more dangerous than the criminal with a handgun, but we are wasting time discussing handgun bans which criminals will ignore

We are doing a lot of hand-wringing, and giving lip service, to the surge in fentanyl overdoses, but we are not taking any positive action to stop the carnage.

We need to bring in very stiff penalties for the possession opioids by other than medical professionals, pharmacists and people with valid prescriptions.  People caught distributing, importing or manufacturing opioids should face prison terms of between 10 and 25 years without bail, reduction for time spent in pre-trial custody, or parole.

They are dealing in illegal and lethal substances extremely harmful to society. 

One hundred and thirty (130) Canadian were killed by criminal use of handguns in 2013. Meantime, in 2016, there were 3,005 opioid-related deaths and the number of opioid related deaths is rising rapidly (3,996 in 2017 – 33% increase)

If 2018 stays on track, the number will be over 5,000 this year.

The criminal peddling fentanyl is much more dangerous than the criminal with a handgun, but we are wasting time discussing handgun bans which criminals will ignore. The penalties must be consistent with the risk of harm and people are dying in large numbers.  

If we want to reduce crime we must stop treating criminals as victims, and treat them as the predators they are. We do not owe a convicted criminal rehabilitation, or the luxuries, he or she lacks when they are locked up. If they want to watch TV and communicate through e-mail, then they must obey the law.

The adult day care centres must go. Prison should not be a place anyone wants to go to, or return to. The era of prisoners demanding amenities many people in our society can’t afford has to end.    

John Feldsted
Political Consultant & Strategist
Winnipeg, Manitoba