BC Pre May 14, 2013 Election Call

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US regulator fines Kinder Morgan for breaking 27 safety rules



Liberal counterattack on outreach scandal falls flat 

NDP outreach plan cut from a different cloth than the government’s version 

  • So were the Liberals and the NDP essentially up to the same nasty business, misusing government resources to try to gain support from multicultural communities?

There are similarities. We only learned about both schemes from leaked documents. Without the leaks, there is no indication that either would have told us what they were up to.

The really damaging material about the Liberals came out after the initial leak was investigated by a team of deputy ministers, who confirmed that the details were as bad as could have been imagined.

The leaked document that informed the stories about the NDP outreach fund was a draft management letter from Auditor General John Doyle to the Legislative Assembly Management Committee, which includes Liberal and NDP MLAs.

The management committee was plucked from the obscurity from which it has long operated last summer by a devastating report from the Auditor General, who found the books on the internal affairs of the legislature were so poorly kept he couldn’t tell in many cases whether money was being properly spent or purloined.

It was in that murky world that the NDP caucus fund was set up, with the blessing of the comptroller general, in 2005. That comptroller has since been replaced.

Every NDP MLA contributed $200 a month from the money they received for constituency expenses to a fund that could be used for what were considered to be common benefits that they couldn’t otherwise afford.

One of the primary uses of the fund was to hire Gabriel Yiu for multicultural outreach, primarily in the Chinese community. Yiu was hired as a contractor, according the New Democrats, not an employee. He did work for caucus, being paid as much as $75,582 in 2008 to a low of $31,841 in 2012. For that he provided translation services and attended events with MLAs.

He also wrote articles denouncing the Liberal government, but New Democrats say he did that on his own time, not for them. When he ran as an NDP candidate he wasn’t being paid from the fund.

When the auditor general finally took a look at the arrangement, he said it was inappropriate and a partisan use of funds, which is contrary to the guidelines given for the use of constituency funds in the MLA’s handbook.

When they got that advice from the auditor general, the NDP stopped using the fund.

So were the two breaches the same? Hardly.

To equate the two is to say there is no difference between the work MLAs do for constituents and the work political parties do to secure votes. Constituency work is political in the sense that everything a government does is political.

If people like what you are doing, they are more likely to vote for you, whether as a government or an individual MLA.

What the Liberals were doing was trying to use government resources, not just caucus funds, for the benefit of the political party. They were looking for “quick wins.” That was wrong and elements of it may even have been illegal.

What the NDP did was also wrong under the rules of the legislature, but the scheme met the loose standards of the time when it was set up, standards under which the Liberals had also been happy to operate until challenged by the auditor general. When it was finally flagged as inappropriate, not by the Liberals but by Doyle, it was shut down.



BC Has Plenty of Room to Raise Taxes

Next time someone says we can't, here are debunking facts.

We have choices

How is it, ultimately, that in one of the richest provinces of one of the richest countries in the world, we are told our options are so limited?

B.C. ought to have a more steeply progressive tax system, with more tax brackets at upper-income levels. This would raise additional revenues for needed programs AND ensure those at the top pay a fair share AND help us tackle income inequality.

For most of us, our B.C. provincial income taxes are remarkably low, given what we receive in public services (as outlined in a CCPA blog post here). The scope of unmet social and environmental needs in our province means most of us need to pitch in a little more to strengthen our communities and build a province we can all be proud of.

Ultimately, as the CCPA recently found in its polling with Environics, most British Columbians are prepared to pay a little more of their income in taxes, provided it results in better access to public services, less poverty, and a healthier environment.

It is time for a thoughtful, democratic conversation about taxes. The idea that we should debate whether taxes are 'good' or 'bad' is old. The questions we need to answer now are: What are the things we want to pay for together, and how can we raise the money needed in a way that ensures everyone pays their fair share?  [Tyee]




I would not be appreciably surprised if, after Dix arrives, he concludes through a full audit of the books that the province is in much worse shape than they ever could have imagined based on the numbers available to them while in opposition. That opens the door to taxing more than promised (which I'm OK with) but I'd prefer that it not be done in an underhanded way a la McGuinty. The latter discovered that Eves left the province in worse shape than imagined, but came up with a "health tax" to cover it.




So what do you think this is about?


Don’t ask why. Those of you who know (there are three of you) will be salivating. Those of you who don’t, can dream.

I’m in the midst of breaking a particular story wide open and need today to finish researching and composing it.

It will be the only post this week because I want you to take it and distribute it to every corner of this province and this country. Everyone you know should read it to see just what kind of monumental lies Christy Clark tells and how, until tomorrow, she’s gotten away with one of them–a huge one, among the ones she tells you on a daily basis. I’ve never in my life encountered a politician, who tells lies about every major file her government is attached to–and I’ve been observing politics and politicians for over thirty years. Gordon Campbell, Glen Clark or Bill Vanderzalm were fine purveyors of pure honesty, in comparison.

So, tomorrow, prepare for clear evidence that the RCMP are either totally asleep in BC or completely incompetent and should have never had that contract signed. They can choose which one, as the evidence I will lay out, in detail, SCREAMS for an investigation and Special Prosecutor.

And it is the conduct of Christy Clark, who has covered, manipulated, and fabricated a story line on this particular scandal, which should be part of that investigation.

If this happens, the woman pretending to be premier MUST be gone. There has never been a premier of BC, who was part of an RCMP investigation, that sat while the police were conducting their examination of evidence.

This is an exceedingly serious matter and speaks to the heart of why Christy Clark will not win the next election, and why the longer she is kept in office, the greater the degradation to the integrity of this once-great province.

No change at the top will alter Adrian Dix’s sure ascendancy to the premier’s chair.



OK, here we go. Was wondering when this was going to occur.

Christy Clark coming out for Northern Gateway soon? 

Federal enhanced oil spill prevention regime will provide Christy Clark the opportunity









Canada already has a strong spill prevention system in place and has never experienced a major incident, so this seems more like political  maneuvering to try and help get desperate scandal prone, but more friendly to the Enbridge  pipeline proposal, Premier Christy Clark elected by the people of BC.


Harper government plans ‘world class’ system to address oil spill fears

 More rigourous tanker inspections, expert panel planned



BC Hydro powers up Site C megaproject 

Crown corporation says project that would flood farmland is necessary to meet growing demand for electricity





LNG gold rush has the oil patch upping its presence in Vancouver

Companies get boots on the ground as B.C. pushes to become an export hub for the chilled fossil fuel




Christy Clark: The Comeback Week That Wasn’t! #bcpoli #canpoli #webelievinbc




LNG facility eyed by late 2017

Proposed operation at Woodfibre would employ 50 to 100 people: company president




Get out the picket signs this thing is not going in unopposed no matter who forms government.  How bereft of ideas can we get when selling carbon as fast as we can is the only future for our province.

Besides can you say Tumbler Ridge. The Socreds had the same pitch for coal to Japan and look how well that turned out.


NorthReport wrote:

Our Premier


Deja Vu



What in the world is this Robbins SCE Research? The web site is full of grievous spelling errors and nonsensical run-on sentences. Doesn't look like somewhere that I'd cite as a source for anything.


And again today.

Is there no end to the investigations into Premier Christy Clark and her Liberal cohorts behaviour?

Premier Clark must seriously take BC voters for fools as her approach seems to be I can do anything I want to do, ethical or not, legal or not, because no records will be kept of anything and my people will just use therir personal emails which no one can access. How does one run a government that way with no record keeping?

BC info and privacy commissioner's office examining outreach scandal



She obviously has some serious concerns that laws were broken or she wouldn't be launching an investigation.

B.C. privacy watchdog reviews Liberals’ ethnic vote plan over use of personal email






She can run, and she has been doing a lot of that recently, tbut she can't hide. 

It sure looks like the BC Liberals are going to be caught in something, and who knows how big this is going to be - it may be huge.

The Multiethnic Strate(r)gy...Will The 'Quick Wins' Become 'Big Losses'?




Information watchdog launches wide-ranging look into Clark’s ethnic strategy

Information watchdog Elizabeth Denham has launched an investigation into Premier Christy Clark’s ethnic strategy, focusing on possible sharing of confidential information with the B.C. Liberal Party and the use of personal emails to avoid public scrutiny.

Denham, the independent overseer of both access to information and protection of privacy, said the starting point was the leaked strategy produced by Clark’s inner circle plus the highly critical report on it from a quartet of deputy ministers.

“These documents raise important questions about whether personal email accounts were being used in an attempt to evade access to information law, and whether personal information was inappropriately shared,” said Denham, via a press release from her office Monday.

“I have directed my staff to conduct a preliminary investigation into the activities described in the multicultural strategic outreach plan, including alleged information sharing between public servants and the BC Liberal Party. “

The deputies, led by the head of the public service John Dyble, last Thursday cited multiple violations of standards of conduct for public servants in the development of the strategy.

They documented the widespread use of personal email accounts in an attempt to conceal the partisan aspects of the strategy from requests filed under provincial access to information law.

They found that confidential information was shared inappropriately and perhaps illegally outside of the confines of the public service.

Plus personal information about participants in government-organized ethnic outreach “roundtables” was compiled without their permission and squirrelled away in personal email accounts, apparently as a prelude to making it available for electioneering purposes by the Liberal party.

One member of Clark’s inner circle forwarded more than 1,000 emails from his government account to one of three personal accounts.

Another Liberal staffer was caught sending “lists of individuals who had been attending events,” to her personal email account on March 4, three days after the investigation was launched, and on the very day that all information was supposed to be turned over to the investigators.

But the review had its limitations, as the deputies themselves admitted.

“Because it is difficult to distinguish between party and government events given the way they were being coordinated, it is difficult to know which lists were government (and as such subject to government restrictions on custody and control of this information) or party,” they wrote.

“Without knowing the expectations of the participants of events it is difficult to conclude whether policy or standards on the information itself were breached.”

Neither their terms of reference from the premier, nor their powers as deputies permitted them to do more than raise an eyebrow about the ultimate destination of all those lists of names and other confidential and personal information material.

In particular, the scope of their review did not include “external partisan activities,” meaning, first and foremost, the involvement of the Liberal party or its operatives.

In particular, the scope of their review did not include “external partisan activities,” meaning, first and foremost, the involvement of the Liberal party or its operatives.

Denham and her staffers operate under no such constraints, as her press release made clear.



Sometimes when it rains, it just pours, and pours, and pours.






Christy Clark, Bill Bennett, Sean Leslie, CKNW, Promoters of Fake Stories, A Straight Goods Raw Ex`pose




Promise one thing, do another

In the Throne Speech delivered February 12, Premier Christy Clark promised that natural gas royalties could "exceed one hundred billion dollars over the next 30 years." She added, "This resource belongs to the people of British Columbia, both here today and those to follow."

That latter comment explains my discomfort with her government's gradual withdrawal from taxing natural resources. In fact, Liberals act as if those are the indivisible assets of companies given exploitation rights. Voters in the May election should judge Liberals resource taxation policies by their actions not by their promises.

In 2006, revenues from the resource sector were $4.5 billion and, in the current fiscal year ending March 31, the take is forecast to be $2.5 billion. $1.8 billion of that reduction relates to natural gas, despite the volume of produced gas rising by 24% between 2006 and 2012.

Clark talks of annual gas royalties flowing into treasury in amounts sufficient to payoff billions of provincial debt, eliminate sales taxes and invest in education and infrastructure. I suggest that Clark is as sincere in her plans for the BC Prosperity Fund as she was in this promise, made two years ago: 

"In March 2011, government reaffirmed its commitment to Open Government and the goals of greater transparency and accountability, building public trust, and connecting people with government."

In fact, under Clark, the Premier's office has been acting to lessen transparency and accountability by destroying and concealing written records of their actions. While publicly claiming commitment to openness, Liberals acted to cloak government business in secrecy. The same group now asks citizens to believe they are prepared to claim a fair share of future resource revenues from the province's gas producers. The record indicates that political promise would as be as hollow as the one pledging transparency and accountability.





This is the kind of thing that Bill Bennett does behind the scenes when voters are not watching, and hopefully he will get defeated in the upcoming election.

FOI reveals second project was approved for Mandarin-only miners

Former Energy and Mines minister Bill Bennett. (SUBMITTED)





Premier Christy Clark is now trying to avoid talking with the media. What's she afraid of?  Laughing




BC Excalibur Party - the Newest Political Party in BC


BC Liberal-NDP Chinese head-tax apology falls apart





Like whaling, BC's coal industry is best put behind us

B.C. is the biggest exporter of coal in Canada; emissions released abroad from our exported coal equal the emissions released here at home. B.C. plans to develop more than 10 new coal mines and wants to double coal exports. Proposals under review would make Metro Vancouver the biggest coal exporter in North America.

Why is B.C., with its stated "green goals," intent on expanding its coal footprint? To paraphrase the Americans, "It's the economy, stupid." The market, so goes the argument, demands our coal and use of our ports; a conflict between our ethical and economic interests is unavoidable. This argument, of course, is nonsense.

Coal prices have yet to account for damage done to health and climate. Imagine running a furniture company using wood from the factory building itself to make the product. We could sell furniture cheaply, expanding employment and sales, but only until the building collapsed. Not paying the true cost of wood would be short-sighted. The same goes for coal.

Input prices are the other side of the ledger. BC Hydro subsidizes energy costs for new coal mines, distorting the market and drawing labour and capital from alternative industries.

Federal policy on Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs) creates more subsidies. A Chinese company mining in B.C. wants to import Chinese miners who, under TFW rules, can be paid 15 per cent less than Canadians.

The company claims the skills aren't available locally. But unions have gone to court arguing specifically that they do exist or that workers could be trained for them. Really what the firm means is that they can't get the skills at the wages they are willing to pay, and the project could be unviable if they have to pay more. But if that's true then we as a society shouldn't want this project to proceed: only by undercutting Canadian wages could we get around the fact that the workers are more valued somewhere else in the economy.

The usual response? Energy and labour subsidies "jump start" industry, generating profit that benefits B.C. Again, without considering the environmental cost of coal, this is nonsense. No one benefits in the long run if we destroy our climate and health.




Mandarin Need Cited as Feds OK'd 95 Chinese Miners for Gething

FOI docs show greenlighting of foreign temp staffing of second coal mining project in BC.






Someone needs to really flesh out these financial backers - they sound more than a little shaky to me.


Kitimat Refinery Project Demands Transparency

David Black's gambit is turning into a big election issue, but what do we know about its financial backers?

For example, under the section titled "Project master-planning" are 11 futuristic photos/graphics of cities and buildings. No airport projects appear to be present, although strangely, one graphic looks like a nuclear power plant of some kind.

A major problem with all of these photos/graphics on the website is that there is almost no accompanying text to identify the location of these projects or the names of the clients. Two of the drawings have some text but the lettering is so small most is impossible to read even when blown up (one drawing appears to depict an aerial view of a site somewhere on the coast of Albania). Leaving the website, readers and prospective investors could be excused for feeling downright mystified.

The "Media" section of the website is no better. Instead of press releases or news reports, all that is posted is an email address for a contact person (an email was sent to this address on March 13 requesting an interview but so far there has been no reply). The website has no names, street addresses or phone numbers for company officers or branches, nor any history of the firm.

Black vague on financer's past projects

In a March 11 interview with this reporter, David Black was asked about the track record of Oppenheimer Investments Group. Black said that he had conducted his own research into the firm and was satisfied with their credentials, although he did not provide the names of any specific airport projects the group claims to have worked on.

One thing is clear. Oppenheimer Investments Group has no affiliation whatsoever with the investment bank Oppenheimer & Co, which is headquartered in New York and has 3,500 employees





NorthReport wrote:

So what do you think this is about?


Don’t ask why. Those of you who know (there are three of you) will be salivating. Those of you who don’t, can dream.

I’m in the midst of breaking a particular story wide open and need today to finish researching and composing it.

It will be the only post this week because I want you to take it and distribute it to every corner of this province and this country. Everyone you know should read it to see just what kind of monumental lies Christy Clark tells and how, until tomorrow, she’s gotten away with one of them–a huge one, among the ones she tells you on a daily basis. 



While Tsakumis is correct that Christy is lying and will lose the election, he, himself has little credibility - not when he tells in another post that Liberal MLA Kash Heed is a Liberal "whose good-guy rating is hugely on the rebound" (http://alexgtsakumis.com/2013/03/06/exclusive-breaking-news-failed-city-...)  Alex has a strong tendency to self-promote with blowheart comments that he has got the most important news of the election. 

"On April 9, 2010, Heed resigned (as Solicitor General) in response to an unspecified RCMP investigation involving violations of the Elections Act. Heed is the third consecutive solicitor-general to step down in the last 25 months. Fund-raising irregularities subsequently came to light but the Special Prosecutor exonerated Heed of involvement and he came back into cabinet on May 4, 2010. Then. less than 24 hours later, the Special Prosecutor himself resigned when it was discovered that the law firm he came from had made financial contributions to the election campaign of Heed's party, the Liberals. Heed, once again, stepped down pending a more detailed probe into the case." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kash_Heed)

His campaign manager even pled guilty "to charges of campaign overspending and misleading election investigators". (http://canada.360-news.in/regional/former-kash-heed-campaign-manager-ple...)

Of course Heed claims to know nothing about any of this. Heed is not running in this election as the stench from his past practices is too much even for Christy Clark. 

The long catalog of scandals associated with Heed is described below.  




Since when does any political pundit have to be correct 100% of the time?



One of Premier Clark's fall guys resigns only a month into his new job.

Bonney is Harry Bloy's business partner, Bloy being the only MLA who supported Clark for leader.

Ethnicgate planner Brian Bonney quits as CEO of the Canadian Home Builders' Association of B.C.




Pat Bell Accused of “Bid-Rigging” Wood Design Center,

Shirley Bond Demanding Government Funding and

Christy Clark Supporting Both Actions!

Dan McLaren and Brian Fehr Speak!








The BC Liberals seem to be taking a page out of the GOP election handbook, following Harper's footsteps,  and working it well


How Tanking Turnout Makes for Ugly Elections

Wedge issues and fear politics win when voters stay home, pollsters say.





Go Cummins go!  Laughing

Free enterprise supporters: Unite!

Reeling from the HST fiasco, the Port Mann Bridge ice-bomb debacle, and now Ethnic-gate, the B.C. Liberal party has imploded electorally and cannot defeat the NDP in the upcoming provincial election.

Let’s face it, they will be lucky to hold on to more than 10 seats throughout the province.

This means that unless free enterprise voters rally around an alternative party, we are going to have a disastrous return of the NDP to power in B.C.



All the more reason why someone like Sam Sullivan would be an appropriate leader for the BC Liberals. He's used to having a caucus in the single digits. (Ha!)

What ever came of the Olympic Clock? Maybe we can resurrect it as the Election Clock.


Typical BC Liberal sleaze. I wish the press would ask Premier Clark who these investors are as they have an almost useless website? Oops I forgot, Premeir Clark is hiding from the media. Now you know things have to be seriously bad for the BC Liberals when their leader is hiding from the right-wing press.

Libs and NDP spar over CKNW interview



Premier Clark is at least entertaining if nothing else.

Christy Clark’s ultimatum to feds: No Kits Coast Guard station, no pipelineMetro/Jennifer GauthierA Coast Guard hovercraft lands on Spanish Banks beach in Vancouver in this file photo.

B.C. Premier Christy Clark has issued a new ultimatum to the Harper government: No Kitsilano Coast Guard Station, no expansion of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline.







And we see how often those Liberal talking points are repeated in the media day in, day out. The problem for the Liberals though is that the voters of BC have had enough of Premier Christy Clark and her band of ......, and want to throw the bums out at the first opportunity.

If their lips are moving, the Liberals are following a script 

  If their lips are moving, the Liberals are following a script Even Premier Christy Clark 


Like they were reading from a script, isn’t it?

Last Thursday also saw the Liberal communications office distributing a line of response to that day’s opinion poll from Ipsos Reid, showing the governing party trailing the Opposition by a ruinous 19 points.

“Two polls, two different stories,” was the headline, atop talking points that urged Liberals to refocus attention on a rival poll from Campaign Research, reporting a mere five-point lead for the New Democrats over the Liberals.

“This poll was in the field on the day the NDP were caught in a scandal diverting funds from their constituency offices for partisan purposes,” said the party missive.

“Regardless of the poll results today, what really matters is what voters decide in May,” it continued, full of hope. “Recent elections in Canada see dramatic change during the writ period — Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, and at the federal level.”

This week brought the leak of two more sets of Liberal talking points, dealing with entrepreneur David Black’s ambitious proposal to establish an oil refinery on the B.C. coast.

One touted the results of an independent review of the $25-billion development: “The proposal is real and has the potential to create thousands of jobs in B.C.”

The other swatted the New Democrats for their lack of enthusiasm for Black’s proposal, citing a comment from Opposition energy critic John Horgan.

“But I think it’s irresponsible to assume because the guy has an idea that it’s going to be successful, because that’s not the track record of private sector investment,” read the carefully selected quote from a longer interview with Horgan on radio station CKNW. “Everybody’s got a good idea ... As they say, there’s a sucker born every minute.”

Then the talking point: “For the NDP to tell investors not to bring good ideas to British Columbia sends the wrong message. To say the private sector has a bad record of creating jobs is disrespectful. And to belittle investors with credible ideas by calling them suckers is irresponsible.”

Horgan’s words, wrenched from context, serve as a reminder of why parties strive to keep everyone on message in a campaign where every stray comment is grist for the partisan mill.

But those efforts, like the messy details of sausage-making, are not necessarily flattering when aired publicly. After reading the above cited missives, one could be tempted to ask any Liberal candidate, “is that you talking, or just your talking points?”






Just freakin' lovely.

Oil spill clean-up ship hit sandbar en route to government news conference in Vancouver  


 Oil spill clean-up ship hit sandbar en route to government news conference in Vancouver Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver speaks Monday in Vancouver during an announcement about changes to improve oil tanker safety on the west coast.Photograph by: DARRYL DYCK , THE CANADIAN PRESS

British Columbia’s largest oil spill response vessel got stuck on a sandbar near the mouth of the Fraser River Monday while on its way to a news conference where two federal ministers touted the Conservative government’s spill defence plan.

The shipping-industry-funded company in charge of the vessel confirmed it ran aground briefly on an uncharted sandbar off Sand Heads at the mouth of the Fraser River while on its way from its Esquimalt base to the Coal Harbour news conference. However, it denied the ship had a “close quarters situation” with a BC Ferry near Active Pass earlier Monday – as claimed by the Coast Guard’s marine communications union.

In a news release issued Wednesday, Canadian Auto Workers Local 2182 spokesman Allan Hughes said the vessel’s slow trip to the conference underscored how ill prepared B.C. is for an oil spill.

“It’s astonishing to think that the safety and protection of Canada’s busiest port is dependent on a quick response in the event of an oil spill and this is what we get – a response vessel grounding itself and taking 11 hours to arrive in Vancouver,” said Hughes. “Minister Joe Oliver announced nothing actually new on Monday to add to the Port of Vancouver’s protection and didn’t bother telling media about the (vessel’s) incident or just how far away major oil spill response ships are from Vancouver.”





Tension lines in BC NDP will show up more frequently



NorthReport wrote:

Tension lines in BC NDP will show up more frequently


If not before the election, then certainly after. Mulroney coasted to a massive majority victory, after which point his MPs were completely fearless to speak out against him.


Oil Spill Response Vessel Runs Aground After Almost Crashing With A BC Ferry



A Jumbo Summer Ahead?

Opposition continues to dog the resort town with no residents, while the coming BC election raises stakes.

Artist rendering of the Jumbo Glacier Report