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NorthReport

Christmas comes early to Premier John Horgan and the NDP

Horgan 51% support!

 

Government of British Columbia Report Card November 2019

 

https://insightswest.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Rep_IW_2019BCGovtReportCard_25Nov2019.pdf

Aristotleded24

NorthReport wrote:
Christmas comes early to Premier John Horgan and the NDP

Horgan 51% support!

 

Government of British Columbia Report Card November 2019

 

https://insightswest.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Rep_IW_2019BCGovtReportCard_25Nov2019.pdf

Horgan has been in office for a long time. He has had time to make decisions that alienated people. He has to contend with the Site C dam, LNG, issues with the teachers, and a possible transit strike. To have over 51% approval despite all of this is a remarkable achievement.

bekayne

So the Potemkin Village of a party is at 17%.

NorthReport

Wilkinson seems to be a dud. Maybe the Potemkin Cons will overtake the Christy Clark gang

Regardless more good news for Premier John Horgan here

Collective bargaining is alive and well in BC presently and a transit strike appears to have been averted 

Aristotleded24

NorthReport wrote:
Wilkinson seems to be a dud. Maybe the Potemkin Cons will overtake the Christy Clark gang

Seems that the only hope that the right-wing has of unseating the NDP is to ditch the Liberal brand and find something else.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

The case for ecosocialism

I know I’m a settler, not invited to this land by its original peoples, I know I’ve got a lot of work to do here to get right with Indigenous people and my own conscience. For me, helping to start the BC Ecosocialists is part of that work.

So here we go. I’m Geoff Berner. I’m a Jewish folk singer, writer and activist. I was born and raised in Vancouver, B.C.

I’m here as a member of the board of Canada’s newest party, the BC Ecosocialists, and I have the honour and daunting responsibility of having been asked by the others on the board to be the first to speak.

quote:

Here’s what my friends tell me, everywhere I go: Things are getting worse, and nobody in power seems to want to do anything about it.

My friends in Ymir, near Nelson, showed me how the NDP-Green government is set on logging their precious watershed for only a million dollars’ worth of timber. Their NDP MLA ran for office, promising to protect their water. They are devastated by Michelle Mungall’s lies.

My friends on the Gulf Islands tell me the fishery there is nearly finished, because of poor management, fish farms and warming waters, and what licences remain mostly belong to Jimmy Pattison, the evil billionaire whom Premier John Horgan likes to bear hug.

My friends in Cawston, in the Similkameen Valley, tell me about the struggles of small farmers to stay afloat when everything is set up in favour of the big, corporate, Roundup-spraying agribusinesses. And they tell me about the routine and well-known financial, physical and sexual abuse of workers hired to pick the crops, in a province run by the NDP, a party that was once founded to give workers power. What a cruel joke that history has become.

quote:

I went up and played a benefit outside Fort St. John against the Site C dam. The NDP and Greens try to gaslight the people opposing these policies, but we know the NDP and Greens promised to stop Site C and LNG. We have the video footage. How cynical and awful do you have to be to betray a promise like that, and then pretend you never said any such thing? It’s hard to imagine for ordinary people who don’t lie for a living.

My Indigenous friends tell me of the lies and the ongoing colonialism and racism they face. Their dark and sophisticated dry humour reminds me so much of Jewish humour in the face of antisemitism. They mock the obviously insincere lip service that the NDP-Green government pays to reconciliation and Indigenous rights, all the while helping industry continue to snatch and despoil more land. And this government continues to do the same to Indigenous children, snatching them into a foster care system that is bigger and just as abusive as the residential school system that these official people now make costless apologies about and cry crocodile tears over. It’s disgusting.

quote:

So what are we going to do for these kids? Just tell them that the Liberals would be worse, so suck it up? That the Greens were right to prop up austerity and the doubling of our carbon output? Because it could be even worse?! Is that our message to the youth?

I marched with these anxious young people against the climate catastrophe, with 200,000 in the streets of Vancouver, my hometown, and there they all were, full of hope, and also outrage and frustration. And How dare you! And no one to vote for. No one to vote for.

I watched, agog, as the same politicians that are doubling down on fossil fuels and austerity, effusively praised these kids, who were literally begging for their lives.

Is that the best we can do? Leaders like that?

Were we made to be dominated by corporate power? Were we made to step over our fellow human beings in the street? Were we made to sigh and shrug, when our friends, our relations, tell us, “I don’t know how I’m going to pay the rent this month. And I don’t know how I can deal with all this debt.” When they say, “I keep having to work more, but I’m so traumatized by what’s happening at work that I don’t know how much longer I can keep it up.” Were we made to sigh and shrug when the scientists duly report AGAIN, as they have been for 40 years, that everything around us is fucking dying? People, were we humans beings made for despair?

No. We were not made for that. We refuse to accept that. As a point of human honour, we refuse this death cult that our society has become, that our political parties have become.

So we have set out to do something. We don’t know if it’s going to work, but we’re going to try.

And when a bunch of us got together to collaborate on policy, in every category, we set ourselves a question:

What if we just decided not to be assholes about everything? What if we acted like everyone, every person, really mattered? Mattered as much as Jimmy Pattison.

NorthReport

So if we can’t get PR and it’s highly unlikely that we will, minority government is probably the next best thing

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..every time you turn around there's another lie exposed.

Clean B.C. is quietly using coal and gas power from out of province. Here’s why

British Columbians naturally assume they’re using clean power when they fire up holiday lights, juice up a cell phone or plug in a shiny new electric car. 

That’s the message conveyed in advertisements for the CleanBC initiative launched by the NDP government, which has spent $3.17 million on a CleanBC “information campaign,” including almost $570,000 for focus group testing and telephone town halls, according to the B.C. finance ministry.

“We’ll reduce air pollution by shifting to clean B.C. energy,” say the CleanBC ads, which feature scenic photos of hydro reservoirs. “CleanBC: Our Nature. Our Power. Our Future.” 

Yet despite all the bumph, British Columbians have no way of knowing if the electricity they use comes from a coal-fired plant in Alberta or Wyoming, a nuclear plant in Washington, a gas-fired plant in California or a hydro dam in B.C. 

Here’s why. 

BC Hydro’s wholly-owned corporate subsidiary, Powerex Corp., exports B.C. power when prices are high and imports power from other jurisdictions when prices are low. 

In 2018, for instance, B.C. imported more electricity than it exported — not because B.C. has a power shortage (it has a growing surplus due to the recent spate of mill closures) but because Powerex reaps bigger profits when BC Hydro slows down generators to import cheaper power, especially at night.

“B.C. buys its power from outside B.C., which we would argue is not clean,” says Martin Mullany, interim executive director for Clean Energy BC

“A good chunk of the electricity we use is imported,” Mullany says. “In reality we are trading for brown power” — meaning power generated from conventional ‘dirty’ sources such as coal and gas. 

Wyoming, which generates almost 90 per cent of its power from coal, was among the 12 U.S. states that exported power to B.C. last year. (Notably, B.C. did not export any electricity to Wyoming in 2018.)

Utah, where coal-fired power plants produce 70 per cent of the state’s energy, and Montana, which derives about 55 per cent of its power from coal, also exported power to B.C. last year. 

So did Nebraska, which gets 63 per cent of its power from coal, 15 per cent from nuclear plants, 14 per cent from wind and three per cent from natural gas.   

Coal is responsible for about 23 per cent of the power generated in Arizona, another exporter to B.C., while gas produces about 44 per cent of the electricity in that state......

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..more

quote:

Mullany points out that Powerex’s priority is to make money for the province and not to reduce emissions.

“It’s not there for the cleanest outcome,” he said. “At some time we have to step up to say it’s either the money or the clean power, which is more important to us?”

Electricity bought and sold by little-known, unregulated Powerex

These transactions are money-makers for Powerex, an opaque entity that is exempt from B.C.’s freedom of information laws. 

Little detailed information is available to the public about the dealings of Powerex, which is overseen by a board of directors comprised of BC Hydro board members and BC Hydro CEO and president Chris O’Reilly. 

According to BC Hydro’s annual service plan, Powerex’s net income ranged from $59 million to $436 million from 2014 to 2018. 

Powerex’s CEO Tom Bechard — the highest paid public servant in the province — took home $939,000 in pay and benefits last year, earning $430,000 of his executive compensation through a bonus and holdback based on his individual and company performance.  

“The problem is that all of the trade goes on at Powerex and Powerex is an unregulated entity,” Mullany says. 

“We will never know the true picture. It’s a black box.” 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..final post from this piece

quote:

Counting carbon emissions from B.C. power imports

That adds up to a lot of carbon.

In 2017, the latest year for which statistics are available, electricity imports to B.C. totalled just over 1.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, according to the B.C. environment ministry — roughly the equivalent of putting 255,000 new cars on the road, using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s calculation of 4.71 tonnes of annual carbon emissions for a standard passenger vehicle. 

These figures far outstrip the estimated local and upstream emissions from the contested Woodfibre LNG plant in Squamish that is expected to release annual emissions equivalent to 170,000 new cars on the road.

Import emissions cast a new light on B.C.’s latest “milestone” announcement that 30,000 electric cars are now among 3.7 million registered vehicles in the province.

“Making sure more of the vehicles driven in the province are powered by BC Hydro’s clean electricity is one of the most important steps to reduce [carbon] pollution,” said the November 28 release from the energy ministry.

Aristotleded24

MSP Premiums to disappear in the new year:

Quote:

British Columbians will no longer pay Medical Services Plan premiums as of Jan. 1, as that tax burden shifts to employers, Premier John Horgan said Dec. 5.

The elimination of premiums means a net tax cut of $800 million, the government said. Individuals will save up to $900 per year, while families will see up to $1,800 per year staying in their wallets.

The other side of the coin, however, is an increased cost to employers for labour, which could be passed on to employees or consumers, said Business Council of B.C. (BCBC) chief policy officer Jock Finlayson.

kropotkin1951

On of the few things the BC NDP has done as promised. It is a major tax shift away from the working poor who mostly paid the MSP premiums. People with jobs that included benefits will not see any real change.

 

NorthReport
NorthReport
NorthReport
kropotkin1951

NorthReport wrote:

https://www.straight.com/news/1150036/vancouver-1st-vsb-candidate-quits-party-over-anti-sogi-video

October 12th, 2018 at 2:09 PM Not exactly breaking news and no comment WTF

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

A Christmas message from northeast BC

I wanted to share the reality of living in the sacrifice zone.

This is a short video of a nearby fracked gas well where I live in Dawson Creek. This video was taken on the way to my son's hockey game.

We had no idea that this fracked gas well site was under development, and even though this is less than 3km from my home we were not notified. We're not even in the emergency response zone for another fracked gas well site less than 1 km away from our home.

Once Encana has completed the frack developments in our community we will live within 3 km of 96 fracked gas well sites.

There is no requirement for any baseline monitoring or mitigation of these fracking sites. To put it in perspective, no air quality monitoring is required on this 2–3 meter high flare stack.

Did I mention this is next to a river and a critical elk winter range? This is not only devastating for the environment and wildlife but living within 3 km of fracking holds the highest health risks.

I feel like we have tried everything to stop these developments or at least make changes to regulations but nothing seems to stop this machine!

It is so frustrating to feel so powerless when your family is in danger. Especially when Dawson Creek is seeing elevated cancers and the most at risk seem to be children.

The north is out of sight and out of mind. This would never happen in the south.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Jean Swanson: Close-up look at who runs Vancouver City Hall

Who runs the city? I got a good look at a recent Vancouver city council session.

City staff had recommended that council approve—at its November 26 meeting—a grant to Landlord B.C., a landlord lobby group, to administer an energy retrofit program for older apartment buildings that would make this critical rental stock better for the environment while keeping existing tenants in place.

Living in the demoviction and renoviction capital of Canada, I appreciate the importance of these kinds of renovations. Even though I wasn’t keen on the program being administered by a landlord lobby group, I decided I’d vote in favour if the city could ensure that rents in the renovated apartments would remain affordable.

quote:

B.C.’s rent control laws apply only to existing tenants. When a new tenant moves in, landlords can increase their rents as high as the market will bear. My fear was, and still is, that landlords of renovated buildings will have a profit incentive to evict their current tenants using one excuse or another.

So I proposed an amendment to the staff recommendation calling for buildings that got grants to have vacancy control. That is, the rent controls are applied to the unit, not the tenant, so landlords can’t raise the rent as much as they want.

There used to be a federal program that did this. It was called the Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program, and it provided money to landlords to upgrade single-room-occupancy hotels in exchange for rent control.  So there was even a precedent for what I proposed.

To my surprise, my amendment passed.

A few minutes later, all the councillors received another surprise—an email from Landlord B.C. saying that if my amendment stood, they wouldn’t participate in the program.

A few minutes after that, Coun. Lisa Dominato said in light of the email, she wanted to rescind my amendment. Though Coun. Pete Fry argued that vacancy control would provide security for tenants and was consistent with the goals of the publicly funded program, and I uged council to find another body to administer the program, my amendment couldn’t be saved.

quote:

Literally a few minutes after Landlord B.C. complained, the mayor and council changed a vote to do what the landlord lobby wanted. You can watch it all unfold in the video below.

Ken Burch

The only thing you can call that is cowardice.

Ken Burch

(self-delete. dupe post.)

Aristotleded24
Ken Burch

NorthReport wrote:

Christmas comes early to Premier John Horgan and the NDP

Horgan 51% support!

 

Government of British Columbia Report Card November 2019

 

https://insightswest.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Rep_IW_2019BCGovtReportCard_25Nov2019.pdf

51% overall prosperity for his coalition government.  The poll had the BCNDP at 35%, only three points ahead of the BC Liberals.  If the BC Conservative vote obediently collapses in the name of return a "free enterpriser" party to power(btw, is "enterpriser" actually even a word?), The BC Liberals will have a better than even chance of winning.

Don't get me wrong, I'd like to see the BCNDP make solid gains at the next election(or, if it falters, for the BC Ecosocialists to rise dramatically, absorb the combined BCNDP and BC Green votes and form a majority left-wing government), but it doesn't help anything to prevent polling data as saying something it doesn't say.

NorthReport

Why Sweden’s Central Bank Divested from Alberta and Reinvested in BC

https://thetyee.ca/News/2019/12/03/Sweden-Central-Bank-Divest-Alberta/

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Escape of 20,000 non-native salmon on B.C. coast threatens wild stocks, farm phase-out plan

The escape of an estimated 20,000 non-native fish off Vancouver Island demonstrates the urgent need to phase out ocean-based farming and calls into question the federal government's own five-year deadline, say wild salmon advocates.

Stan Proboszcz, science and campaign adviser with the Watershed Watch Society, said the salmon escape may have ecological impacts on already struggling wild stocks.

"It's incidents like this that make it pretty clear that we really do need the federal government to move on removing farms from British Columbian waters. This is just another stressor on wild fish, so we just hope that we see a plan very soon," he said Monday.

He said Atlantic salmon can compete with wild Pacific salmon for food and habitat, as well as spread parasites and viruses.....

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Ken Burch wrote:

NorthReport wrote:

Christmas comes early to Premier John Horgan and the NDP

Horgan 51% support!

 

Government of British Columbia Report Card November 2019

 

https://insightswest.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Rep_IW_2019BCGovtReportCard_25Nov2019.pdf

51% overall prosperity for his coalition government.  The poll had the BCNDP at 35%, only three points ahead of the BC Liberals.  If the BC Conservative vote obediently collapses in the name of return a "free enterpriser" party to power(btw, is "enterpriser" actually even a word?), The BC Liberals will have a better than even chance of winning.

Don't get me wrong, I'd like to see the BCNDP make solid gains at the next election(or, if it falters, for the BC Ecosocialists to rise dramatically, absorb the combined BCNDP and BC Green votes and form a majority left-wing government), but it doesn't help anything to prevent polling data as saying something it doesn't say.

If the BC NDP wants to win the next election, they will likely have to convince a substantial number of left-wing Green Party supporters to vote for them. This may prove to be a difficult task, given that the BC NDP have done little on the environment front that would convince environmental voters to support the party:

Since taking office, the BC NDP have:

  • Abandoned their opposition to the Trans-Mountain pipeline expansion.
  • Approved the continued construction of the Site C dam.
  • Continued to support fracking/LNG, presiding over a continued expanison of the industry.
  • Continued to approve clearcut logging in ecologically sensitive areas.
  • Continued to allow PowerX to import dirty power from outside BC, despite BC producing more than enough power to meet domestic consumption needs.

The few environmental measures that the BC NDP have adopted (ban on grizzly bear hunting; partial phase-out of open pen fish farming; increase in the carbon tax; measures to encourage more electric vehicle purchases) pale in comparison to the environmental destruction that they have allowed to continue.

To be fair, the Green Party has been propping up the BC NDP minority government, and so are not entirely off the hook for the government's environmental record. However, the Green Party will get a pass from some voters because a) they are not the governing party (even though they are propping it up), and b) they have the word Green in their name.

kropotkin1951

That is a very good analysis Left Turn.  I parked my vote with the BC NDP last election because they promised a process to get to PR and then they set up a referendum system that many feel was designed to fail. They love to be the dictators in a majority government. When I see the RCMP attacking the camps on the BC NDP backed fracked gas pipeline I cannot conclude anything other than that their commitment to UNDRIP is no more real than their commitment to meeting the critical CO2 reductions. We will never recover the aquifers in the North East that are being poisoned, as we chat, for short term economic gain that is primarily going to foreign owned corporations. The BC NDP is an extractionist party so they cannot be an Eco-socialist alternative.

I live in a riding where the most likely outcome is a BC Liberal win as the Greens eat away enough NDP support to cost them the seat but not enough to win it themselves. If the BC Eco-Socialists run a credible candidate in my riding I will be voting for them.

Aristotleded24

Interesting last few posts overall. Ken mentions that the coalition is at 51% support. What's really interesting is that both the Liberals and the NDP are down from their 2017 marks, with the Conservatives and Greens picking up. I've also seen polling that has the Green leader more popular than the Liberal one. It's true that Liberal popluarity has gone up. Perhaps that is because the Liberals recently voted in favour of the UNDRIP bill, which was passed unanimously. Perhaps the NDP will gain support when there are more contentious issues. On their side, Left Turn has pointed out some of the shortcomings of the BC NDP on the environment front. It's true that the Greens were part of that government, but that gives them leverage to say, "this is why we need to elect more Green MLAs to the Legislature." The elimination of the MSP Premiums will certainly help the NDP. The NDP approach on ICBC doesn't appear to be popular at the moment, but that is something they can easily flip on the BC Liberals. Speaking of which, I don't see how the right-wing wins another election without ditching the Liberal brand completely.

NorthReport

Being In Power Helps NDP Beat BC Liberals In  2019 Fundraising With $3.7 Million

 

http://thelinkpaper.ca/?p=79110

Ken Burch

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Interesting last few posts overall. Ken mentions that the coalition is at 51% support. What's really interesting is that both the Liberals and the NDP are down from their 2017 marks, with the Conservatives and Greens picking up. I've also seen polling that has the Green leader more popular than the Liberal one. It's true that Liberal popluarity has gone up. Perhaps that is because the Liberals recently voted in favour of the UNDRIP bill, which was passed unanimously. Perhaps the NDP will gain support when there are more contentious issues. On their side, Left Turn has pointed out some of the shortcomings of the BC NDP on the environment front. It's true that the Greens were part of that government, but that gives them leverage to say, "this is why we need to elect more Green MLAs to the Legislature." The elimination of the MSP Premiums will certainly help the NDP. The NDP approach on ICBC doesn't appear to be popular at the moment, but that is something they can easily flip on the BC Liberals. Speaking of which, I don't see how the right-wing wins another election without ditching the Liberal brand completely.

They could reconstitute themselves as the BC wing of THIS party:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberal_Party_of_Australia

Aristotleded24

The Angus Reid Premier popularity rankings for March are out, and they show a very dramatic shift. After 3 years near the top of the pack in public approval, Horgan has slid 10 points in popularity to 47% and is in the middle of the pack. Note that support for the NDP has dropped off dramiatically from how peopel voted in 2017. Here is why I believe the hill Horgan has to climb to win a majority has become steeper, if not insurmountable:

1) The soft green vote. There is a longstanding history of tension between the NDP and the environmental movement going back to its last time in government. In 2017, the NDP worked very hard to win over these voters, and the Greens still won 3 seats, and in Burke Mountain, had a margin of victory that exceeded the gap between the first place Liberals and the then-incumbent NDP MLA. Pipelines to the coast were a major issue for this group of voters. Horgan promised to fight this pipeline, however it is a fight he has been losing in the courts and with the federal government, and now it looks like this pipeline will go through at the end of the day. The recent tensions over the gas pipeline are another reason. I'll expand on this idea in the following paragraph. For now, I'll state that a soft green voter might say, well, I voted NDP and still got the same Liberal policies, why not vote Green even if it costs the NDP the seat? Which brings me to:

2) The Liberal Party. This is a government that was never popular, which left the province in a mess, who has an unpopular leader obviously speaking for the upper classes and tone deaf to every day BCers. The gas pipeline has breathed new life into this party. Why? Remember how Christy Clark tried to build an LNG pipeline? There's a reason that project failed. Instead of jumping on its grave, the NDP revived it. This is not going to win over any Liberal voters. Instead, the Liberals will be able to claim credit for pusing through something that they were doing. Imagnie for a second, a right-wing government using tax dollars to subsidize a project like LNG. I think the opinion on these boards would be near universal that the government should instead use those funds to create jobs in renewable energy and land restoration. Why couldn't Horgan have done the same? Furthermore, the crisis in the forestry sector has begun to make headlines in recent years. It's true that the Liberal policy is largely to blame and the areas affected mostly vote Liberal. Unfortunatley, the NDP hasn't significantly grappled with this challenge, they haven't made any major changes in policy direction from what the BC Liberals were doing, and with the crisis continuing, there is no reason for these people to give the NDP a second look. Furthermore, the NDP has been losing seats to the Liberals in the Interior since its highwater mark in 2005. I don't know if the Liberals can take the remaining NDP seats in the area, but it makes their path much more difficult.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Expanded officers’ duties bring calls for public caution

The B.C. Civil Liberties Association is warning both the public and the authorities to ensure compliance officers and police don’t overstep their legal bounds after a ministerial order expanded such officers’ duties.

“It is important that people are actively aware and informed about their rights during the pandemic, and that police officers and compliance officers absolutely not over-reach their authorized powers in B.C.,” association executive director Harsha Walia said.

quote:

Those officers can now:

• monitor closed or restricted facilities and areas;

• give warnings, information and advice to persons in respect of public health orders, including warnings to persons who may be acting in contravention of a public health order; and

• provide health officers with information about potential contraventions of a public health order.

Those provincial compliance officers cannot:

• detain an individual as a result of a contravention or suspected contravention of a public health order; or

 • issue an order, fine or penalty, including an administrative penalty, under the Public Health Act.

The City of Vancouver soon followed April 7 with a description of its work, including closures of bars, pubs, restaurants, salons, barbershops, spas and many other restrictions.

“The city has deployed staff from a number of departments to help ensure compliance with these orders,” a news release said in the wake of the March 19 declaration of a municipal state of emergency.

The city has done thousands of inspections and issued more than 1,400 physical distance warnings.

Walia said there’s a fine line not to be crossed as to what kind of officer has what sort of power and authority. She said police officers, compliance officers and enforcement officers in B.C. are explicitly not empowered to enforce public health orders in BC. 

“This means they absolutely do not have the legal authority and should not be ticketing or detaining people, including collecting identifying information, from people who may be in violation of public health orders,” Walia said.

“The provincial guidelines make clear that their scope is to ensure voluntary compliance without enforcement interventions.”

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

TransLink implements cost saving measures

TransLink today announced a series of cost-saving measures to preserve Metro Vancouver’s transit system along with a commitment from the Province to ensure near-regular service can be restored by September. TransLink is losing $75 million per month with ridership down by 83% while still providing transit services for essential workers. This rate of financial loss is not sustainable.

Given the significant financial challenges facing the regional transportation authority, TransLink and its operating companies today announced the following cost-saving measures:

  • Implement further suspension of transit services on Bus, SkyTrain, SeaBus, and West Coast Express, beginning this week.
  • Issue temporary layoff notices to 1,492 employees. These employees work in various positions at TransLink, Coast Mountain Bus Company, and British Columbia Rapid Transit Company.
  • Reduce senior executive salaries and Board remuneration by 10%.
  • Reduce organizational costs and program expenditures, including:
    • Deferral of the 2020 Major Road Network operations, maintenance and rehabilitation program funding to municipalities.
    • Deferral of 2020 service expansions.
  • Spend cash reserves to sustain current essential service operations through to the end of 2020.

“This has been an incredibly tough decision and one we do not take lightly,” says TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “We’ve done our best to try and reduce costs through other means, but TransLink is losing $75 million per month, and we’re left with no other options. It’s not lost on me what an impact this decision will have on the lives of our employees and their families. I fully expect those affected will be recalled once TransLink returns to regular operations, which we are now planning for back-to-school in September, if consistent with provincial guidelines.”

NorthReport

Good article in Vancouver Sun today about the fall and rise of BC NDP Health Minister Adrian Dix

NorthReport

Do you believe Weaver?

Former B.C. Green leader Andrew Weaver claims ex-caucus colleagues refused to bring down government over LNG

https://www.straight.com/news/former-bc-green-leader-andrew-weaver-claims-ex-caucus-colleagues-refused-to-bring-down

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Ranch Energy bankruptcy finalized, 401 orphan wells dumped on B.C. for cleanup

For Arthur Hadland, the news that the BC Oil and Gas Commission has assumed responsibility for 401 orphan wells left by a bankrupt oil and gas company is both a blessing and a curse. 

The blessing is that Hadland’s 99-year-old father — one of three dozen Peace region landowners with inactive wells on their properties following the bankruptcy of Ranch Energy — will finally receive almost $25,000 in overdue rent for two wells on the family’s grain and seed farm in northeast B.C.

“He was very pleased,” said Hadland, who can’t visit his father in a Fort St. John senior’s home because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but speaks to him regularly on the phone. 

“His speech is somewhat disassembled because he had that stroke, but he’s fully intelligent. Those oil wells have just stuck in his craw his whole life. It’s always on his mind. So when he heard that, he said ‘very good, very good.’ I’m pleased that he was able to hear that towards the end of his life.”

But the curse is that Hadland and his father Austin, in a small but symbolic way as federal taxpayers, could wind up paying to decommission and restore some of the 401 orphan well sites and three facilities left by Calgary-based Ranch Energy, whose court-approved bankruptcy transaction closed on June 12.

That’s because $15 million in funding for B.C.’s orphan site reclamation fund comes from federal taxpayers, as part of a $1.7 billion economic stimulus package announced by the Trudeau government in April to clean up orphan and inactive oil and gas wells in Alberta, Saskatchewan and B.C. 

The orphan fund, managed by the BC Oil and Gas Commission, is responsible for decommissioning and rehabilitating well sites whose owners have gone bankrupt or can’t be found.

The addition of 401 Ranch orphan wells and three facilities, announced on June 17, more than doubles B.C.’s orphan well tally, bringing it to 770.

That compares to 220 orphan wells in March 2017 — an increase of 250 per cent.....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

B.C. proposal would give hospitals right to detain youth who have overdosed

The B.C. government has proposed changes to its Mental Health Act that would allow people who are under 19 to be hospitalized without their consent for up to seven days following an overdose.

The changes, which passed a first reading in the legislature Tuesday, are designed to help young people who are in crisis and provide enough time for them to be stabilized and discharged with a plan to voluntarily connect with health services and support, said Judy Darcy, B.C.‘s Minister for Mental Health and Addictions.

“They would not have forced treatment. There would be voluntary treatment and, very importantly, medical staff would work with youth to develop a care plan upon discharge from the hospital,” Ms. Darcy said.

quote:

In a statement on Tuesday, B.C. Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe questioned the wisdom of making such legislative changes without ensuring adequate treatment is available.

“Without an established, evidence-based, accessible system of substance-use treatment services, I am concerned there is the potential for serious unintended consequences as a result of these legislative amendments, including the potential for an increase in fatalities,” Ms. Lapointe said.

Several reports, including a 2016 report by then-children’s advocate Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, have documented a dire shortage of specialized treatment for B.C. youth dealing with drug and alcohol addiction.

The proposed changes don’t address the lack of residential treatment beds for young people in parts of the province, says Rachel Staples, whose son Elliott Eurchuk died of an overdose in the family’s Victoria home on April 20, 2018, when he was 16.

“It is a step in the right direction, but I think it is a little short-sighted, because there are still no treatment beds, particularly on Vancouver Island,” Ms. Staples said Tuesday in an interview.

“So even if a child decided of their own volition that they wanted to go into treatment, the [treatment] beds are still siloed, meaning that they’re regional, and the wait lists are three to four months, if not longer,” she added.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

B.C. rarely inspects hazardous waste handlers despite companies frequently breaking rules

B.C. rarely inspects hazardous waste handlers even though the province knows companies routinely break the rules, an investigation by The Narwhal reveals.

The Narwhal has also learned that even when provincial environmental compliance and enforcement staff do check companies, it’s virtually impossible for them to effectively investigate because the government stopped producing a digital database of shipments at the end of 2014 and now stuffs paper documents into cardboard boxes without a filing system.

Provincial investigators  — as well as journalists and members of the public — can no longer easily access information on where companies are picking up and moving hazardous waste such as batteries laden with corrosive acids, dangerous flammable liquids, spent and carcinogenic dry cleaning fluids, biomedical waste from hospitals, lung-destroying asbestos fibres and industrial sludges contaminated with heavy metals and pesticides. 

And if anyone outside of the government wants access to that information, they’ll have to pay an exorbitant amount. When The Narwhal requested a complete paper record of the most recent year of hazardous waste shipments, it was told it would have to pay  $125,910 to obtain the documents.

Andrew Gage, a lawyer with West Coast Environmental Law, said the change to a paper-only system is “hugely problematic” from a law enforcement perspective given the “high levels of non-compliance” by companies in an industry that has associations with organized crime....

...

..from the 1st link in the piece

B.C.’s vanishing hazardous waste database

Three years ago, as the B.C. government’s environmental record was being called into question during a dispute over the delivery of contaminated soils to Shawnigan Lake, the government quietly undercut the ability of public servants to investigate companies that were illegally dumping the worst wastes of the lot.

It stopped producing a critical database that tracked hazardous waste shipments across the province.

Worldwide, waste management companies have become vulnerable to takeover by organized crime or unscrupulous operators who undercut their competitors for contracts and then “dispose” of their waste by illegal means, disappearing toxic sludge much like a mobster gets rid of an associate he has just whacked.

British Columbia is not immune to such activity. I know.

I know, because on two separate occasions I used that now defunct database to show how two different companies had flagrantly violated provincial rules governing hazardous wastes. In one case, the operator was quite literally pumping hazardous wastes into the sewer system, ultimately forcing the government to declare a state of environmental emergency at the site.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Media Advisory of Press Conference: Bill 22 Stands to Increase the Opioid Crisis and Youth Deaths; Bill 22 Must be Withdrawn

Posted on July 24, 2020

WHAT: The Union of BC Indian Chiefs, Health Justice, and BC Civil Liberties Association are hosting a press conference urging the provincial government to withdraw Bill 22. Bill 22 proposes amendments to BC’s Mental Health Act to create a new form of detention and involuntary health care in BC for youth who have experienced an overdose.

Speakers will address key concerns with Bill 22, including:

  • Involuntary detention, including use of restraints, of youth for up to 7 days following an overdose, without the consent of a youth or a parent/guardian.
  • Lack of comprehensive and meaningful engagement with Indigenous peoples, contrary to the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
  • Harmful impacts of coercive healthcare on youth who use substances during an opioid overdose health crisis.
  • Establishing a comprehensive voluntary system of substance use services throughout BC.

WHEN: Monday July 27, 2020 at 10 a.m. PST

WHERE:  Via Zoom, media registration opens at 9:45 am. Simultaneous livestream through UBCIC Facebook page.

SPEAKERS:

  • Jennifer Charlesworth: BC’s Representative for Children and Youth
  • Kukpi7 Judy Wilson: Union of BC Indian Chiefs
  • Kali Sedgemore: member of ‘Namgis First Nation, OPS youth peer and outreach worker
  • Hawkfeather Peterson: BC/Yukon Association of Drug War Survivors
  • Garth Mullins: Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users, Crackdown Podcast
  • Laura Johnston: Health Justice
  • Meghan McDermott: BC Civil Liberties Association
epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

CAPP, LNG industry lobby B.C. government for long-term discount on hydroelectricity

The oil and gas industry is lobbying the B.C. government for a long-term discount on hydroelectricity, blaming the COVID-19 pandemic for its recent financial woes. Analysts say such a deal could leave residential hydro customers subsidizing one of the most profitable industries in the world. 

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers and the BC LNG Alliance are pushing for the discount through their participation in the province’s comprehensive review of BC Hydro, which began in June 2018 and is set to wrap up this summer.

The purpose of the review is to determine how the publicly owned utility will support CleanBC, the province’s climate plan. The review will also help frame BC Hydro’s 20-year plan, which is slated to be released in early 2021..... 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

epaulo13 wrote:

Media Advisory of Press Conference: Bill 22 Stands to Increase the Opioid Crisis and Youth Deaths; Bill 22 Must be Withdrawn

Posted on July 24, 2020

WHAT: The Union of BC Indian Chiefs, Health Justice, and BC Civil Liberties Association are hosting a press conference urging the provincial government to withdraw Bill 22. Bill 22 proposes amendments to BC’s Mental Health Act to create a new form of detention and involuntary health care in BC for youth who have experienced an overdose.

Speakers will address key concerns with Bill 22, including:

  • Involuntary detention, including use of restraints, of youth for up to 7 days following an overdose, without the consent of a youth or a parent/guardian.
  • Lack of comprehensive and meaningful engagement with Indigenous peoples, contrary to the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
  • Harmful impacts of coercive healthcare on youth who use substances during an opioid overdose health crisis.
  • Establishing a comprehensive voluntary system of substance use services throughout BC.

WHEN: Monday July 27, 2020 at 10 a.m. PST

WHERE:  Via Zoom, media registration opens at 9:45 am. Simultaneous livestream through UBCIC Facebook page.

SPEAKERS:

  • Jennifer Charlesworth: BC’s Representative for Children and Youth
  • Kukpi7 Judy Wilson: Union of BC Indian Chiefs
  • Kali Sedgemore: member of ‘Namgis First Nation, OPS youth peer and outreach worker
  • Hawkfeather Peterson: BC/Yukon Association of Drug War Survivors
  • Garth Mullins: Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users, Crackdown Podcast
  • Laura Johnston: Health Justice
  • Meghan McDermott: BC Civil Liberties Association

..the press conference ended about 10 min ago on this very important topic. it exposes the war on drugs mentality of the bc gov and horgan in particular. the bill excluded the participation of youth and relevant people on the ground as well as rightful title holders. but don't take my word for it. :) check it out for yourself as the recording is already available.

    Link

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

New calf J57 is was spotted swimming with mother orca J35 on Saturday. It's believed the calf was born Sept. 4. (Katie Jones/Center for Whale Research)

Orca that carried dead calf for 17 days gives birth to healthy new baby

A southern resident killer whale who carried her dead calf for two weeks in 2018 in a heart-wrenching display of mourning has once again given birth.

The new calf was spotted swimming alongside its mother in the U.S. waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca on Saturday, according to the Center for Whale Research, which is based in Washington state.

The centre described the calf as "healthy and precocious." 

"The calf was seen and seen to be rambunctious enough and keeping up with all three pods that were here in this region," said Deborah Giles, a whale research biologist at the University of Washington's Center for Conservation Biology.

"There was a lot of socialization going on that day ... and the calf was seen socializing with other members and keeping up with everybody and demonstrating a lot of surface active behaviour.".....

Aristotleded24

Not good:

Quote:

The union representing B.C. teachers is asking the Labour Relations Board to step in and force the province to address teachers' concerns about working conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The B.C. Teachers' Federation (BCTF) filed an application Thursday under section 88 of the Labour Relations Code, which the union describes as a "rarely used provision" of the law.

"The employer is taking advantage of your professionalism, the high expectations you put on yourselves and your caring for students," BCTF president Teri Mooring wrote in a message to teachers Thursday evening.

"I know many of you feel unsafe and the government is failing to ensure school districts are doing everything they can to ensure you and your students are as safe as you can be."

Section 88 of the code allows the board to take action to settle differences between employers and employees when they arise during the term of a collective agreement.

In the application to the Labour Relations Board, the BCTF calls for the board to "assist the parties on an expedited basis to resolve these urgent concerns and prevent labour unrest."

A teachers federation should not be that frustrated with any government, let alone an NDP government, that it feels it needs to take issues to the labour board to resolve.

Pondering

Just because it is an NDP government doesn't mean there won't be labour issues and tough negotiations. Environmentalists and Indigenous peoples aren't satisfied either.

They are still way better than the alternatives.

kropotkin1951

Aristotleded24 wrote:

A teachers federation should not be that frustrated with any government, let alone an NDP government, that it feels it needs to take issues to the labour board to resolve.

This is BC where the teachers spent a decade fighting the government in the courts. They know their rights.

https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/b-c-teachers-win-landmark-supre...

Aristotleded24

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Aristotleded24 wrote:

A teachers federation should not be that frustrated with any government, let alone an NDP government, that it feels it needs to take issues to the labour board to resolve.

This is BC where the teachers spent a decade fighting the government in the courts. They know their rights.

https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/b-c-teachers-win-landmark-supre...

So one party the teachers have to fight in the courts, another at the labour board. That sounds horrible for them. I understand that there may be points of disagreement, but the refusal to negotiate to the point that teachers feel they have to take these steps to me is very disrespectful.

NorthReport

Pass the popcorn!

Jane lost her seat because North Vancouver-Seymour voters found out what she is really like when that video was released.  

https://vancouversun.com/opinion/op-ed/jane-thornthwaite-why-my-apology-...

 

NorthReport
NorthReport
NorthReport
NorthReport

Will BC's right-wing business community's political front er political party, the BC Liberals ever recover?

https://thebreaker.news/opinion/podcast-159/

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