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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

Thoughts on BC Politics and More ... 2019 ... the year in review

Last year Canadian energy, forestry and the economy topped the most read commentaries – and especially forestry. We also had a new party leader, by way of Trevor Bolin, take over the helm of the BC Conservative Party. Andrew Scheer will soon be replaced as the leader of the federal Conservatives, as will BC Green Party leader Andrew Weaver.

Other stories presented during the past year revolved around ICBC, policing and blockades ... Donald Trump and Justin Trudeau, the Canadian election which was held just two and a half short months ago ... wild salmon and salmon farming ... the undefinable middle-class ... the ecology ... the SNC-Lavalin affair ... more embarrassment from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ... ... trade wars ... climate change ... simmering hostilities between Quebec and Alberta ... and so much more.

What follows now however, are the stories and commentaries that caught the attention of the most readers over the past 12 months:

# 10 ... BC Hydro illegally adding GST to the Customer Crisis Fund (no matter how little the amount) – only makes it worse (August 9th)

... regardless of the amount of the tax, the Excise Tax Act obviously and clearly DOES NOT give permission to charge GST on the Crisis Fund -- there is NO supply / supplies being provided. Instead the Customer Crisis Fund is a source of revenue taken from 1.8 million residential customers, in order for Hydro to have someone else pay for delinquent accounts ...

#9 ... CANADA’S ENERGY CITIZENS: We wanted to show you a headline from this morning (March 13th)

 ... new policies have made our country less competitive while we let foreign oil continue to sail into our country without the same regulatory challenges ... jobs for all Canadians right across the country that have disappeared and are instead being sent to other countries like the United States, Saudi Arabia or Nigeria ...

#8 ... We’re not the ones sitting at some coffee bar sucking a latte, while consciously or unconsciously enjoy the rewards provided by the very resource workers, they hope to shut down (January 7th)

... many of the people wearing hardhats and work boots and gloves, are actually the very ones who spend their lives, both work and leisure, out in British Columbians forests, rivers, lakes, and wildlands. We’re the ones who are actually connected to the environment ...

#7 ... ADAM OLSEN -- Skeetchestn Indian Band Chief Ron Ignace considers the spraying of herbicide ‘an act of cultural genocide, because you are killing our foods and medicines’ (September 9th)

... in every community I visited this summer, forestry issues were central to the concerns of the people I met with. Many people had worked a full career in the forests, and they had very little positive to say about the state of the industry and the state of our ecosystems. There was harsh criticism of how this critical resource has been mismanaged over the years ...

#6 ... KURT PEATS:  Does Somebody Have to Die Before the Cops do Something? OR, why Don’t You Catch Some Real Criminals? (January 8th)

... the Criminal Code of Canada also gives the officer legal authority to use “…as much force as is necessary” in order to effect the arrest ... police deal primarily with criminal matters, things like assault, theft, break and enters, impaired driving and the like. It’s when the police are called upon to intervene in “civil matters” the rules are not so clear and in fact, are almost always non-existent ...

#5 ... To Be or Not to Be, that is the question (about Daylight Savings Time) (July 3rd)

It’s clear there is no shortage of views on how we should observe time in British Columbia, said Premier John Horgan. I’m very pleased so many people have already taken part in this engagement to help determine the best way forward for B.C., and I encourage everyone to take the survey and let us know what they think ...

CLICK HERE for the latest government news on the status of Daylight-Saving Time

#4 … “The advantage I have is over a decade of experience in local politics, two decades in business, and a burning passion to see the other provinces become envious of BC” – Trevor Bolin, BC Conservative Party leader (April 7th)

why now, and why you, I asked the BC Conservatives new leader?  Without hesitation, or a pause, he quickly began by stating, “The right time was 5 minutes ago; the next best time is right now. We have had a provincial Liberal government that identified as a coalition for the last decade and a half. We now are governed by the NDP, and another coalition”. On a roll, he continued ...

#3 ... On the Tolko closure in Quesnel, “My opinion is that when the mills went to the free market system to get logs, their area just went for a shit. The cost to get logs to Quesnel is pretty high” (May 15th)

consumption has increased, employees have decreased, and then you’re dealing with the American tariffs right, so it’s challenging for us to keep a handle on what’s going on, and keep our members working. And in turn the companies have the same dilemma, of the same sort of thing, in a different way ...

#2 ... All I can say is if that’s how maintaining a strong economy, and putting people first works, I’m not so sure those of us living in BC will be able to afford much more of it (March 8th)

... Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology, had much to say following the release of Statistics Canada's February Labour Force Survey. He did however miss a few stats that perhaps he was hoping people would notice – I didn’t ...

AND FINALLY, taking the top spot as the most read commentary of the year, and one which I think is also one of the shortest, here’s our friend John Feldsted ...

#1 ... Trudeau and Trump do not have to like one another, but must maintain a level of decorum and respect (December 5th)

.... Trudeau fails to realize that if there was a “jaw dropping” announcement or pronouncement during the press interview, Trump’s political enemies will jump on it. It is important to avoid the perception of appearing as one of those political enemies when dealing with a neighbour, important trading partner and defence ally ...

It's been a pleasure once again, through-out the year, to provide you with the thoughts and comments of our writers and contributors. I hope you’ve enjoyed their efforts, and perhaps they’ve made you stop and re-think, or reconsider, a viewpoint you had to see if it still made sense.


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