Sunday, July 17, 2005

The Real Scoop on COPE's AGM

As one who was there, I've been reading with interest
and annoyance the analysis of what people think
happened at the latest COPE AGM, Wednesday,
July 13th.

Essentially, three things were on the agenda.

1. Amendments to the Constitution & By-laws of COPE
to bring it in line with the Society Act. A dry, but inform-
ative briefing on the changes and then voting took place.

Decisions included:

(i)Individuals from jurisdictions outside of Vancouver
can join COPE as members. They will have a voice in
decisions, but no vote.

(ii)The resolution on age restriction of those joining
COPE was struck down. Most speakers didn't agree
that there should be an age restriction, especially
in light of the need to get some new, young blood
into the party. The left, among others, are a big fan
of talking the talk and miserably failing in walking the
talk on this one.

2. Penny Parry was voted in by acclamation for
the open spot on the COPE Executive. This is for
the position of fundraiser, obviously a crucial role
going into the fall. Ms. Parry seems like she has
great energy and a lot of experience to bring to
this important role.

3. Negotiations with "Friends of Larry"/Vision

The Negotiating team consisted of COPE insiders,
as well as players from the Vancouver District
Labour Council
Executive. They had a really tough
job to do, of that there is no doubt. However, the
"plan" negotiated fell far from the mark for many
for the following reasons:

(i) Members of COPE were being urged to walk
away from established democratic process in the
party and simply accept Jim Green as the mayoral
candidate of choice from both "sides." In addition,
COPE as a whole was being asked to simply rubber
stamp 5 unknown Vision Vancouver candidates,
sight and sound unseen. The catchiest line of the
night, from Donna Morgan, former co-chair of
COPE was perfect to describe the leap of faith
being asked of a democratic party, passing a
resolution about "shadowy men from a shadowy
planet." If anyone wants to run under the COPE
slate, then they better work their magic with their
supporters and get their butt into the inevitable
nominating meeting. It's as simple as that.
The citizens of Vancouver, the members of COPE
and other jurisdictions affected by decisions made
here cannot afford to be signing a blank cheque to
anyone, too much is at stake over the next 5 years.

If Jim Green wants to be a mayoral candidate,
then he better show up for the nominating meeting
like all the other proposed candidates. The scuttle
butt that he essentially told the negotiating team that
either he is the declared mayoral candidate by both sides,
or the "Friends" camp wouldn't be at the table just
smacks of the unacceptable, unethical and undemocratic
actions of a bully. COPE does not need this kind of
game playing, nor does the City of Vancouver. If
you are proving yourself to be rigid, inflexible and
unwilling to show up even for this meeting (yes, Green
wasn't even at the meeting due to a teaching commit-
ment), then what kind of mayor will you make? What
kind of consensus building will be possible on council?
What kind of relationships will be made with others
in the business and other sectors (not just developers)?
This goes for all the other "Lite" too. If they want to
run under the COPE banner, then show up for nom-
inations just like everyone else. With "Friends" like
these, do we really need enemies? COPE members
can't hand over the party to a majority of 6 people
(1 mayoral candidate and 5 Vision Vancouver
councillours) who refuse to be identified to the very
party that is working on "reconciliation" with them.
That would just be plain stupid.

I'm tired of all the scaredy cats who keep raising the
spectre of this "split" putting the NPA in a better position
to sweep into power. Oh puhleeze. They aren't exactly
lighting the world on fire. No offense to Peter Ladner,
or Sam Sullivan, but neither of them spells out leader
of the party. Sure they've paid their dues, but they just
don't inspire the masses in the way a real leader needs to.

Now, listen up all of you who think Tim Louis is the
mayoral candidate of choice. No offense whatsoever to
Mr. Louis, who is clearly a dedicted, committed advocate
and activist. I guarantee it, if COPE runs Mr. Louis as a
mayoral candidate that COPE will be unlikely to win the
election in November. I say ditto for Jim Green. People
outside of the left have this "head buried in the sand"
mentality and don't like to have their icons knocked.
You can line up all the politicians to speak on their behalf
(Jenny, Libby, George etc.).
But as the NPA learned in their epic landslide loss,
when you are out of touch with the voters, you will lose
big time and your party will disintegrate. To win this
next municipal election, like the last provincial one,
we must appeal to the moderates amongst the electorate.
The spectre of Tim Louis, or Jim Green, as mayor frightens
and even angers many who are close the centre, or even
on the right of it. I talk to people from lots of walks of
life and most would never in a million years vote for
either Louis, or Green. They do not trust them, they
think they are too radical, or they just don't like them,
or what they stand for. This election is here for COPE
to lose and it's my belief we will lose it if either of those
candidates are run for mayor. I'll reserve judgement
for now on who I think should run for mayor to see
how things play out a bit more. Hell, even the BC Liberals
have some democracy left, at least when it comes to
their riding nominations, like them or not.
The bottom line for COPE is that we must not be pennywise
and pound foolish by turning away from the democratic
process that underlies this party. As a newer player in
the sandbox though, I can't help but wonder if all the
discord and discomfort at the dramas and soap operas
within and without COPE isn't also a reaction to the change
that is inevitable amongst all working relationships and
within organizations. Change is difficult and stressful, as
is conflict. However handled well and skillfully, resolution
can bring new energy, commitment and direction to an
endeavour, or organization. It seems to me that COPE
needs a new direction, some new faces and voices and
I think people on all sides need to chill out, stop being so
self-interested and continue our party's commitment to
democracy, social justice and inclusion. With dedication to
solid values, beliefs and strengths COPE will evolve and
continue to provide the citizens of Vancouver with the
good, balanced and sustainable governance we deserve
and require as we move through this decade.


COPE Classics face a grim future with Green
Charlie smith
, (14-Jul-2005).
The Georgian

COPE members say more talks needed
COPE News, (July 13, 2005).

Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE) members directed
their Executive to resume negotiations for a joint slate with
Councillor Jim Green and his Vision Vancouver group.

With Friends Like These....
The Pacific Gazetteer
(July 13, 2005).

Given that COPE just can't quite patch things up,
it looks like the big prize in Vancouver civic politics
at the moment are a bunch of Friends, none of
whom lives in an apartment on TV.

We're talking, of course, about the Friends of soon
-to-be-former mayor Larry Campbell, a PR and
fundraising juggernaut that may go for Lite man
Jim Green which will go a long way in determining
how viable Classic guy David Cadman's campaign
will be.

Underbelly News: Downtown Eastside


Last night COPE members rejected an offer put
forward by their executive to anoint Jim Green
as their Mayoral candidate. Members voted
123-96 not to entertain the motion put forward
around unity with the Friends of Larry Campbell
now called Jim Green's Vision Vancouver.

Jim Green in his usual style was too much of a
coward to attend the meeting. He had his wife
Roberta McCann attempt to negotiate the deal last
week. Despite the best efforts of elected politicians
Libby Davies, Jenny Kwan, David Chudnovsky
and certain labour heads, promoting Jim Green for
Mayor, the deal was rejected.

Vancouver councillor urges colleague to drop
election appeal
CKNW, (July 17, 2005).

VANCOUVER/CKNW(AM980) - Vancouver councillor
Jim Green is hoping his fellow COPE councillor Tim
Stevenson will drop his appeal of the provincial election
result in Vancouver-Burrard and run again civically under
the new 'Vision Vancouver' banner.

Technically, that appeal in the courts could still go ahead --
but if a by-election is called for the provincial seat, the NDP
would have to nominate a new candidate if Stevenson were
elected for another civic term.

Green says Stevenson's decision will be a huge factor in his
own decision on whether to run for mayor.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Do the Liberals take Immigration Issues Seriously? You Decide.

An open letter to Premier Gordon Campbell

Naeem "Nick" Noorani Publisher,
The Canadian Immigrant Magazine

Dear Premier Campbell:

Congratulations on your re-election in the last provincial
election. We hope that in your next four years as leader
of this province you will focus more attention on the
integration of immigrants in this province - a crucial
area in which your government and our province has
not been doing so well.

In the recent 2004 Inter-Provincial Report Card on
Language and Settlement Services in Canada
, B.C.
received a failing grade; other provinces like Ontario,
Quebec, Alberta and Manitoba fared much better.
The Canada West Foundation corroborated these
results recently after conducting a year-long research
study - it found that current immigration policy and
practice in western Canada is flawed, and immigrants
are not being allowed to achieve their potential.

Read the letter in it's entirety.


What excellent and common sense ideas that the
BC government should, but probably won't implement.
Hmm, what Wally Oppal's got to say about these things,
he is the
Minister responsible for Multiculturalism?
Gee, I seem to have a problem, can't exactly find
the Ministry of Multiculturalism on the "government at
a glance" website,
hmm? I wonder where it is? But I did find this
2003/4 Report on Multiculturalism from the BC government.
I bet it reads a bit different than the Report Card.
Hmm, which one to believe?

Another thing, I checked out the Ministry of
Labour and Citizens Services
and can't seem to find
much in the way of services beyond labour issues.
I'd think immigration was a "citizen's service."
Everything on the government website that I
can find pretty much dates back to the time of
the MCAWS conglomeration, including govern-
ment planning and issues of immigration.

Step it up Liberals. Mr. Noorani is exactly right,
we must provide the resources to support and
assist new Canadians in settling here, children and
adults need ESL courses both for the learning of
English, as well as the connections they make with
other new Canadians and the introduction they
receive to some Canadian values and culture.
And being integrated into the labour force is crucial
for all of us. It's a win-win scenario.

Canada needs immigration and we should be honoured
that citizens from around the globe want to make them-
selves at home here. I know that successive generations
of immigration policy have been based on racist premises,
using immigrants as cheap labour. Isn't it time to stop
exploiting and denying the academic credentials and
professionalism of those trained abroad in a variety of
careers. We're really shooting ourselves in the foot,
because I don't know about where you all live, but it is
very hard to find a family doctor, nursing shortages etc. etc.
I suppose there could be a more nefarious plot: by running
the public health care system into the ground, they can
more easily advocate for a private health care system.

I can't write a post about exploitation of immigrants
and not mention the sexism and racism involved in the
nanny trade in Canada.
Advocates call for changes to Ottawa's 'nanny'
. CBC News, (
25 Mar 2005).

VANCOUVER - The Department of Immigration and the
Philippines Congress are now investigating Canada's Live
-in Caregiver Program - which provides thousands of
Canadian households with nannies - after claims the
program violates those workers' human rights.

In most cases, women who want to emigrate to Canada
come as nannies and live with their Canadian employers.

More Federal Funding for Immigrant Services is

Good News
- But It Will Only Be Effective if Spent On
Core Settlement and Language Services, Author of New
Report Card Warns

Simon Fraser University Releases a New Inter-
Provincial Report Card on Language and Settlement
Services for Immigrants in Canada: A System in Crisis.
Visible Minorities in BC: A Directory of Some
Ethno-cultural Organizations in BC.
Racism, Sexism, and Visible Minority Immigrant Women
in Canada.
Roxana Ng.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Peace and Solace to Chuck Cadman & his family

Independent MP Chuck Cadman dies of cancer News Staff

Independent MP Chuck Cadman died Saturday at home in
Surrey, B.C. after a two-year battle with cancer. He was 57.

Cadman had been receiving chemotherapy for melanoma,
and made headlines this year as he flew to Ottawa to cast
one crucial vote that helped avert a spring election.
Independent MP Cadman dies
CBC News, (09 Jul 2005).

Independent MP Chuck Cadman, who cast the deciding vote
that let Paul Martin's minority Liberal government survive
a confidence motion in May, has died of skin cancer.

MP Cadman helped remind the public that there are some
decent, ethical and principled people still involved in politics.
Canadians should mourn his loss and we're in his debt for
his self-less participation in a vote that helped save this
country when he was in the midst of his own very personal
and important fight against cancer. I think of MP Cadman
as a mentor, someone to be respected and looked up to in
this wacky world of politics.

Blessings and peace to him, his family and friends. He will be
missed. The world is a better place for his time and work here.
Thank you.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Terrorism: A Consequence, or part of the Globalization Agenda?

Four bombs in 50 minutes - Britain suffers its
worst-ever terror attack

Hugh Muir and Rosie Cowan
Friday July 8, 2005
The Guardian

Summit thrown into confusion

Blair's departure forces changes to programme

Ewen MacAskill
Friday July 8, 2005
The Guardian

The G8 leaders' meeting at Gleneagles, Perthshire was disrupted
yesterday by the attacks in London.

Ex-Mossad Chief Calls For World War After
London Attack:

Rules of conflict for a world war

By Efraim Halevi

07/07/05 "The Jerusalem Post"
- - The multiple,
simultaneous explosions that took place today on the
London transportation system were the work of perp-
etrators who had an operational capacity of considerable
scope. They have come a long way since the two attacks
of the year 1998 against the American embassies in
Nairobi and Dar-Es-Salaam, and the aircraft actions of
September 11, 2001.

We are in the throes of a world war, raging over the entire
globe and characterized by the absence of lines of conflict
and an easily identifiable enemy. There are sometimes long
pauses between one attack and another, consequently
creating the wrong impression that the battle is all over,
or at least in the process of being won.

Generally speaking, the populations at large are not involved
in the conflict, and by and large play the role of bystanders.
But once in a while, these innocents are caught up in the
maelstrom and suffer the most cruel and wicked of punish-
ments meted out by those who are not bound by any rules
of conduct or any norms of structured society. For a while,
too short a while, we are engrossed with the sheer horror
of what we see and hear, but, with the passage of time,
our memories fade and we return to our daily lives, forget-
ting that the war is still raging out there and more strikes
are sure to follow.
I like the style and flow of this author and some of his points.
However I don't agree with his "requirement that each and
every country effectively declare itself at war with inter-
national Islamist terror" because this bias fails to also include
some of the reasons why terrorism is being taken to such
extreme levels.

I also honestly believe this world doesn't need more
war. Parents don't need to lose more children to violence.
Lawless and greedy transnational corporations don't need
more opportunities to push war so they can steal the oil
and hand out the reparation contracts to their buddies to
rebuild the nations they've destroyed.

When Corporations Rule the World

"... the establishment can't admit [that] it is human rights
violations that make ... countries attractive to business --
so history has to be fudged, including denial of our
support of regimes of terror and the practices that provide
favorable climates of investment, and our destabilization
of democracies that [don't] meet [the] standard of service
to the transnational corporation..."

Edward Herman, economist and media analyst

Israel Warned United Kingdom About Possible Attacks

07/07/05 "Stratfor Consulting Intelligence Agency"


There has been massive confusion over a denial made
by the Israelis that the Scotland Yard had warned the
Israeli Embassy in London of possible terrorist attacks
“minutes before” the first bomb went off July 7. Israel
warned London of the attacks a “couple of days ago,”
but British authorities failed to respond accordingly to
deter the attacks, according to an unconfirmed rumor
circulating in intelligence circles. While Israel is keeping
quiet for the time-being, British Prime Minister Tony
Blair soon will be facing the heat for his failure to take
" What we have is not a market economy. It is a corporately
planned and controlled economy. "

" We have a world in which a handful of corporations,
dettached from any link to any place or community,
have extended their power beyond the reach of most
governments. "

David Korten, economist and internationalist
Special Report - G8. The Guardian.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Sorry to see you go Larry - Vancouver City Hall News

Larry Campbell calls it quits
CBC News, (June 30, 2005).

Vancouver Mayor Larry Campbell says he won't run
for re-election this fall, calling himself an "accidental
politician." He made the announcement at a news
conference at city hall on Thursday morning.

Campbell says he just isn't a politician, and people
who expected a politician as mayor, didn't get one.
And he says he also made a mistake in overestimating
his own leadership abilities, and thinking he could pull
together the broad coalition that made up the original
COPE council caucus.

He also says it was no secret that he didn't like sitting
through long council meetings But he says he has
accomplished what he set out to do with the establish-
ment of the safe injection site, with the redevelopment
of Woodward's, the RAV rapid-transit line approval
and the referendum on the 2010 Olympics.
Mayor Larry Rides Into Sunset
CKNW, (June 30, 2005).

VANCOUVER(CKNWAM980) - Vancouver Mayor
Larry Campbell will not seek re-election this fall.

The former Provincial Coroner announced today he
won't run again. Health concerns and the widening rift
with COPE, the civic party under which he ran in 2002,
have been cited by observers, but today he simply
stated that he is "not a politician".

At the same time, Campbell noted he's accomplished
a lot over the past three years, including instituting the
"Four Pillars" anti-drug strategy, the Olympics plebiscite
and the start of the Woodwards' property re-development
on the Downtown East Side.

Campbell predicts Jim Green will be the next mayor
of Vancouver.

And as for his own future? "I've applied to be a greeter
at Wal-Mart".

Well, I guess that's it then. I guess the death of the Walmart
and Canadian Tire projects were the straw that broke the
Campbell's back. His response to future job is an example
of why I thought a lot for Larry. Hmm, wonder if there will
be a nice summer break and we'll here about Larry in the
fall as a Federal Liberal candidate. Some summer chill out
time will go a long way towards lowering the heart pressure
in time for another go around.

Why are my hackles raised about Jim Green being in the
mayor's chair? It makes the most sense, they need someone
who has a name. I can't see anyone else on council filling that
seat. And Green's fingers are in the biggest, most important
pies. Still doesn't feel right. The COPE AGM should be
June 23, 2005

General Membership Meeting

A General Meeting of COPE members will be held at
7 pm on Wednesday, July 13, 2005 at the WISE Hall,
at 1882 Adanac St, Vancouver BC.

Agenda for the meeting:

• Report on Negotiations with the Friends of Larry Campbell;

• Election to fill vacancy on COPE Executive;

• Consider amendments to COPE Constitution and Bylaws;

• Other business.

BCGEU Convention Update

Heyman Returned As BCGEU Chief
CKNW, (June 27 2005).

VANCOUVER(CKNWAM980) - George Heyman
has been re-elected for another three-year term as
President of the BC Government and Service Employees'

Heyman, who first became President in 1999, ran unopposed.

Delegates at the Union's convention also elected Judi Filion
as Secretary-Treasurer. Four vice-presidents were also elected:
Mike Clarke and Darryl Walker were re-elected;
newly elected are Colleen Jones and Lorene Oikawa.
Game on. This is the team that will be leading BCGEU into a
very important time, spring 2005, when the collective agree-
ment of thousands of workers around the province will be finished
and in need of negotiations. Interesting times that's for sure.

Convention was quite an interesting event. Let's just say the saying
politics as a blood sport have a whole new meaning to me now.
Since it was a constitutional convention, most of the time was
used to go through resolutions ad infinitum. Some good ones didn't
even make it to the floor though. There were a lot of impassioned
speakers and information shared about what led to the resolutions.

Stephen Lewis, the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy for HIV/
AIDS in Africa, was the keynote speaker. He was one of the best
speaker's I've ever heard. He had the entire audience in laughter,
tears, thought, care and concern for our neighbours in Africa,
especially the legions of children who live & die there, victims of
the greed of the Western nations as much as the epidemic of HIV/
AIDS. His speech was a great reminder that we need to stop being
so localized, insular and self-interested in our thinking and truly
remember that we are all global citizens. Our actions (or inactions)
here in Canada, can deeply affect the well-being of those in Africa.

Carole James & Jim Sinclair both came gave speeches too. They didn't
say anything one wouldn't expect to a room full of labour activists
going into a bargaining year. Rah, rah, rah.

The most interesting thing about it all was the election for female
vice president. Three women were nomimated from the convention
floor against 2 candidates, Lorene Oikawa & Ann Chambers, who had
been actively campaigning for some time. Colleen Watson threw her
name into the ring late. Colleen Jones (Component 5 - Liquor Stores)
was the spoiler. She came out of nowhere, but her low-key, "average
working woman" humble approach obviously worked magic on
delegates, because even surprising herself it seemed, she was elected.
As she said in her winning speech, she didn't expect to come to con-
vention as a delegate and leave as a vice president. To me it was a
really good example of democracy at work within BCGEU. Anything
is possible.

A lot of emphasis was put on improving communications within the
union and with members. Hopefully the new Provincial Executive
will follow through on their commitments to this. There will never
be a more important time for communication and cohesion in
BCGEU than over this next year.
BCGEU: Convention Update
June 30, 2005

Lower union dues, strong support for stewards, increased
contact with members, and new officers highlight 2005

Convention delegates also endorsed a resolution put forward by
the union’s provincial executive to lower union dues from the
current 2 per cent to 1.85 per cent of gross pay effective the
first full pay period in August 2005.

"Members have strongly supported our effort to fight the
Campbell Liberals’ attack on public sector workers over the
past four years," said president George Heyman. "Now that
our financial position is stable and we have the largest
defence fund ever in the event of strikes, our members
deserve a break on their union dues."

In her last financial presentation to convention as chair of
the convention finance committee, retiring secretary-
treasurer Diane Wood reported a substantial increase in
the union’s defence fund, to more than $18 million. In
addition to the defence fund, the union has also allocated
more than $2 million to a fight-back reserve fund to
complement annual budget allocations to campaigns in
defence of jobs and public services, leaving a year-end
total of $26.5 million in defense assets.

"We’re in a strong position heading into bargaining next
year for about 50,000 of our members, and we’ll make
sure our members get the very best agreements possible
– agreements that provide stability, job security and fair
wage increases."

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The Real Story at the Ministry of Children and Family Development

Sean Holman, (June 21, 2005). Public Eye On-line

Children and family development bureaucrats have had one
of the ministry's most precious programs removed from their
care. The provincial Liberals have transfered responsibility
for children and youth mental health to the civil servants at
health, who also currently hold the adult mental health file.
That amalgamation, which existed before the Liberals came
into office, might seem to make sense. But there are apparently
concerns within the bureaucracy that, with so many other
programs to look after, health may not pay enough attention
to the child and youth mental health plan - introduced two
years ago by then Children and Family Development
Minister Gordon Hogg.

The Young and The Restless
Sean Holman.

As Public Eye previously reported, provincial cabinet
ministers weren't the only ones who got shuffled last week.
Many political aides also did the two-step, switching from
one portfolio to another. The following is a complete list
of which ministerial assistants are where, as compiled by
our spies.

Attorney general, Jason Kuzminski
Children and family development, Sharon McKinnon
Childcare, Jennifer Burnett
Community services, Steven Puhallo
Labour and citizens' services, David Cyr and Bill Hepburn
Ministry of Children and Family Development
2005/06 – 2007/08 - Service Plan

Ministry Overview and Core Business Areas

Adult Community Living Services
[2005/06: Budget: $520,478,000 and 161 FTEs]

Child and Family Development
[2005/06: Budget: $589,842,000 and 2,734 FTEs]

Early Childhood Development, Child Care and
Supports to Children with Special Needs
[2005/06: Budget: $395,588,000 and 308 FTEs]

MCFD Resource Summary

Includes adjustment for the estimated number of FTEs
that will be transferred to community governance authorities
as the process proceeds (an estimated 250 in 2006/07 and
an additional 2,507 in 2007/08). The number of actual
FTEs transferred will depend on the timing of the transfer,
which is based on the readiness of authorities to take on

Full-time Equivalents (Direct FTEs)

Adult Community Living Services -
2005/06 - 161 FTE's
2006/07 - 2,584 FTE's

Child and Family Development -
2005/06 - 2584 FTE'
2007/08 - 77

Information Resources Management Plan -
Executive Summary
Opposition Critics
David Schreck, (June 22, 2003). Strategic Thoughts.

The Campbell government has been busy privatizing or contracting out much
of government information technology functions. There are rumours that by
the end of summer government may contract out or "outsource" more than
2,500 'servers' that are used to store their day to day work or case files
throughout government, in other words, servers that hold some of the most
confidential information in government. Lali may have his hands full if those
rumours prove true.
Minister of Finance, (May 6, 2004). Auditor’s Investigation
CareNet Technology Society and the Provincial
Dealing with Douglas F. Walls.

"MCFD recognized some on-going value of the secure network
connections for the service agencies and continued to pay for
the connections until February 2004" (p.15).

"We understand that MCFD has undertaken a new project
which would have made the CareNet project redundant in
any event" (p.15).

"MCFD eliminated the Province's account receivable from
Carenet by journal entry in the total amount of $537,180
by means of journal voucher transfer of funds from MCFD
to Common IT Services (CITS) formerly the Information
Technology Services Division (ITSD)" (p. ix).
Citrix - The "global leader" in IT access experience appears
to have been rewarded a lucrative and time limited BC
Government contract.

From job posting

Ministry of Management Services, Common IT Services,
Application Hosting Services
- The Server Administrator is
responsible for managing the installation, configuration,
maintenance and problem resolution of the hardware, operating
system, network components and layered software on the NT/
Windows/Citrix government shared and ministry dedicated
server infrastructure. This includes the following areas shared
file and print, authentication/security, e-mail, intranet, internet,
database, and custom application servers.

"Organizational change is invariably accompanied by changes in
leaders and support personnel, new ideas about what the core
business of these organizations should be, or reconfigurations in
the constellations of interests at play."

"... changes ... some combination of program expenditure reductions,
overhead and staffing cuts, contracting out ... new financial manage-
ment and accounting systems... new delivery systems... coupled
with changes in the use of technology... new administrative processes
and program requirements" (p.325-326).

Aucoin, Peter, (1998). Restructuring government for the manage-
ment and delivery of public services. In Taking Stock: Assessing
public sector reforms, edited by B. Guy Peters and Donald J.
Savoie. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press.

Game On

Official Opposition Critic Appointments

Victoria -- Official Opposition Leader Carole James today
announced the appointments of her team of opposition critics.

Opposition Appointments:

Leader, Official Opposition -- Carole James, MLA Victoria-Beacon Hill

Opposition Caucus Chair -- Jenny Kwan, MLA Vancouver-Mount Pleasant

Opposition House Leader -- Mike Farnworth, MLA Port Coquitlam-Burke Mountain

Opposition Caucus Whip -- Katrine Conroy, MLA West Kootenay-Boundary

Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation -- Scott Fraser, MLA Alberni-Qualicum

Advanced Education -- Gregor Robertson, MLA Vancouver-Fairview

Agriculture and Lands -- Bruce Ralston, MLA Surrey-Whalley

Attorney General -- Leonard Krog, MLA Nanaimo

Children and Family Development -- Adrian Dix, MLA Vancouver-Kingsway

Childcare -- Diane Thorne, MLA Coquitlam-Mallairdville

Citizen Services -- Harry Lali, MLA Yale-Lillooet

Community Services -- Sue Hammell, MLA Surrey-Green Timbers

Crown Corporations -- Guy Gentner, MLA Delta North

Economic Development -- Mike Farnworth, MLA Port Coquitlam-Burke Mountain

Education -- John Horgan, MLA Malahat-Juan de Fuca

Employment and Income Assistance -- Claire Trevena, MLA North Island

Energy and Mines -- Corky Evans, MLA Nelson-Creston

Environment -- Shane Simpson, MLA Vancouver-Hastings

Ferries and Ports -- Gary Coons, MLA North Coast

Finance -- Jenny Kwan, MLA Vancouver-Mount Pleasant

Fisheries -- Robin Austin, MLA Skeena

Forests and Range -- Bob Simpson, MLA Cariboo North

Health -- David Cubberley, MLA Saanich South

Housing -- Doug Routley, MLA Cowichan-Ladysmith

Human Rights, Multiculturalism and Immigration, Raj Chouhan, MLA Burnaby-Edmonds

Intergovernmental Relations -- Michael Sather, MLA Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows

Labour -- Chuck Puchmayr, MLA New Westminster

Mental Health -- Charlie Wyse, MLA Cariboo South

Municipal Affairs -- Norm Macdonald, MLA Columbia River-Revelstoke

Olympics -- Harry Bains, MLA Surrey-Newton

Public Accounts Committee Chair (Designate) -- Rob Fleming, MLA Victoria-Hillside

Public Safety and Solicitor General -- Jagrup Brar, MLA Surrey-Panorama Ridge

Seniors Health -- Katrine Conroy, MLA West Kootenay-Boundary

Small Business, Revenue and Deregulation -- Maurine Karagianis, MLA Esquimalt-Metchosin

Tourism, Sports and the Arts -- Nicholas Simons, MLA Powell River-Sunshine Coast

Transportation -- David Chudnovsky, MLA Vancouver-Kensington
Opposition Critics
David Schreck, (June 22, 2003).

There are rumours that by the end of summer government may contract out
or "outsource" more than 2,500 'servers' that are used to store their day to
day work or case files throughout government, in other words, servers that
hold some of the most confidential information in government. Lali may
have his hands full if those rumours prove true.


Manufacturing Children's Lives & Deaths

Coroner Adopts New Child Death Review Process
CKNW, (June 21, 2005).

VANCOUVER(CKNWAM980) - The BC Coroner's Service
is adopting a new process for reviewing deaths of children,
after the investigation into the death of 2-year-old Chassidy

Chassidy was accidentally smothered by her father while
he was drunk, and he was later convicted of criminal
negligence causing death.

Assistant Deputy Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe says Chassidy's
family, members of her native band and other community
representatives took part in the review, "and that resulted
in some recommendations to the coroner which the coroner
adopted, and it allowed everybody to be heard and to have
some control over the outcome, some sense that their issues
were considered and were considered to be important."

The recommendations include better training for hospital staff
and police when it comes to identifying and assessing child
abuse and better information sharing among community
Ministry of Children and Family Development.
Review Findings Released in Death of Child
: Chronology

Summary of the Director's Case Review Into the Death of CW.
(October 22, 2003).
CBC, (February, 2003). Saving the Native Children.
News in Review.
Foster parent says Sto:lo system is flawed
By Kevin Gillies,(December 09, 2003). Abbotsford Times.

The Sto:lo child welfare program Xyolhemeyhl has failed
children in several instances, including the case of Chassidy
Whitford, according to a woman who has fostered several
First Nations kids for the program.

Xyolhemeyhl [pronounced heoth-meeth] has come under
public scrutiny since two-year-old Chassidy was discovered
dead on the Lakahahmen reserve Sept. 21.]
Critical report ignored

By Lisa Morry, (
December 09, 2003). Chilliwack Times.

In particular, the report, by CS/RESORS Consulting, Ltd., Elizabeth M.
Robinson, Inc. and Gordon Blackwell, states that 73.2 per cent of
child protection and guardianship files reviewed did not have a plan
of care on file. Of those files, 83 per cent did not have a safety
assessment on file and 83 per cent also did not have a risk assess-
ment on file.

"While the number of files overall is small (41), the findings have
particular strength because of their uniformity. That is, the rate
of sheer absence of records or of lack of currency of those records
that exist is very high indeed; or, put another way, there is a very
low proportion of activities for which information is current or even
present at all," the report states.


It's outrageous that the Liberals think they can water down
and cover up the reality that Chassidy Whitford, a child who
was barely two, lost her life due to the failure of the child
welfare system. As reported by CKNW and no-where to be
found on the government website, the BC coroner's autopsy
report suggests more training for police and hospital staff,
and increased information sharing are the answers to how
this child did not receive the protection and intervention
she deserved from the child welfare authorities,
her family,
community and other professionals. If people are taking
the "hands off" turning a blind eye approach to protecting
children, then they also get the blame and the accountability
for children being hurt.

Hmm, no mention of the "notable gaps in the investigation
process," some of which included staff who investigated did
not recognize the nature of the risk to the child. The investi-
gator did not seek consultation, or receive it, the proper case
process and documentation was not performed and people
who may have been important to interview were not sought
out about the circumstances and safety
of the child"
Summary of the Director's Case Review).

Further audits of the agency found issues of accountability
and documentation, including a high majority of children's files
with no plans of care. Other conditions that impacted practice
included the complexity of the work and "the appalling social
conditions and an overwhelming caseload," (CBC, February,

Now, to be clear, this isn't an attack on Xyolhemeyhl, who
I'm sure were doing the best they could with the human and
other resources available. I'm afraid that those delegated to
provide protection to children can't play things loosy-goosy.
There are policy and practice standards for a reason. And to
be fair, BC has its share of good ones.

Leaders within Aboriginal agencies and others must help
train staff in learning policy, model and teach good practice
themselves and encourage staff to be involved in training.
All of this will assist workers in developing better skills, know-
ledge and assess the safety of children and the needs of them
and their families more accurately.

Another key to child welfare organizations and improved practice
is that there must be appropriate staffing levels. I fully believe
that those working strictly with Aboriginal children and families
must have lower caseloads. The complexity and intensity of the
problems facing First Nations families and communities cannot be
underestimated. The rich relationships and work that can be
created with families cannot occur when workloads, or caseloads,
are too high. An organization cannot develop an experienced,
competent work force in child protection if they keep burning
staff out. There is no social worker tree. They're not as expendable
as I've been led to think government believes. Sometimes I wonder
if the Liberals also think the populations being served in child
protection are expendable too?

The messy part of child protection is that sometimes in spite of
the best interventions tragedies happen. Child protection isn't
an exact science and the organizations are serving higher-risk
individuals and families. But the bottom line is that ethical, com-
petent and knowledgeable leadership and supervision is what is
needed in any child welfare organization. Sadly, this appears to
be lacking in many. The only way things are going to change, or
improve, is if the Liberals realize that the more fiscal constraint
Treasury Board imposes the less focus is given to the safety and
well-being of children and youth.

I'm urging that there be no more cuts to the Ministry of Children
and Family Development. I have a hunch they are happening,
even separate from the impending devolution of CLBC and the
money that goes with them. I'm urging that the authorities
halt the process to privatize the child welfare system.
The children's bodies are stacking up and even in their
deaths children's realities are being manufactured
the very state that is responsible for their well-being.

United Nations,
(2 September 1990).
Convention on the Rights of the Child

Article 3
1. In all actions concerning children, whether under-
taken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of
law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best
interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.

2. States Parties undertake to ensure the child such protection
and care as is necessary for his or her well-being, taking into
account the rights and duties of his or her parents, legal guard-
ians, or other individuals legally responsible for him or her, and,
to this end, shall take all appropriate legislative and adminis-
trative measures.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Community Living Privatization

Parents pan transfer of disabilities services:
'People not aware of what's happening, the
implications,' mother of autistic son says

Brad Badelt, (June 18, 2005). Vancouver Sun,
p. B1 & 4.

An independent authority will take over responsi-
bility for providing disability services across BC
from the provincial government in early July, but
parents of disabled children say they have been
left in the dark about the changes.

The transfer of services to Community Living BC
(CLBC), a Crown agency with government-appoint-
ed directors, marks a major step in the govern-
ment's long-standing plan to decentralize the
Ministry of Children and Family Development.

CLBC chair Lois Hollstedt said the official hand-off
is expected July 1st. "There is a letter that
will be
going out
to all the people we serve," Hollstedt
said. "To make certain people are fully aware of
the change."

But Dawn Steele, who has a 12-year-old son with
autism, said she is frustrated by the lack of
consultation. "The first issue, in my eyes, is this
is all going to happen July 1 and there's been no
public announcement, or discussion," Steele said.
"People are not aware of what's happening and
the implications."

Barb Laird's daughter has Down Syndrome, but
she said she has not received any formal notifi-
cation about the changes. "I've heard it's happen-
ing," said Laird, who receives an electronic news-
letter from CLBC every month. But she didn't
know it was going to be July 1, and she is worried
about how it will work.

New agency will control $600 million
in funding)

The transition will move $600 million in funding -
provided to about 15,000 individuals and families
across the province - to the authority of CLBC.

"The great motivations to move outside of govern-
ment are more flexibility, more independence from
government and more ability to really put the person
to be served in the centre, rather than the system,"
Hollstedt said Friday.

The province has been planning to overhaul the ministry
since early 2002, but has been delayed several times,
most notably with the resignation of former restructuring
coordinator Peter Wall (should be Doug) amid allegations
of scandal in early 2004.

One change expected within the next two years is indivi-
dual funding, which Hollstedt said would allow individuals
or families to shop for their own services rather than rely
strictly on those provided by government.

The new funding mechanism, which will be voluntary,
would also make it easier for disabled people to move from
one region to another, Hollstedt. "One of the biggest com-
plaints about the current system is you can't take your
money across regional boundaries. You can't even take it
from city to city," she said.

But Steele is worried about whether CLBC - formed on an
interim basis in late 2002 - has enough experience to
provide such widespread services.

"They're saying they're going to increasingly rely on comm-
unities and families to provide the needed support," Steele
said. "That basically assumes that there is capacity in the
community and among families to do more than they're
doing now. It's an insult."

Laird, who likes the idea of being able to choose services for
her daughter, said she is concerned about where the money
will come from, particularly with a growing population of
disabled adults.

"I'm hopeful with CLBC I'm going to have more of a say as
to what my daughter's going to have [for services]," Laird
said, "because what's out there [right now] isn't necessarily
what I want for her."


The bottom line that people really don't want to hear is
that this entire process to devolve Community Living
Services is tarnished and flawed due to the fiscally driven
motivations and influence of Doug Walls. Despite the input
of many, one has only to read the reports from the initial
phases of the plan to realize that anything that Mr. Walls
was part of must be suspect.

The PriceWaterhouseCooper audit is really clear in stating
that Mr. Walls was able to insinuate himself into the Interim
Authority and the Community Living Transition Steering
Committee, as the driving force and chief architect to the
plan that has seen many leaders come and go, in efforts to
meet dangerous, poorly conceived deadlines and plans.
Mr. Walls was reported to have obtained a number of unten-
dered contracts under different business names from the
BC Liberals. He got money for nothing at the expense of
children, youth and families that needed it AND he got
to design the new system that will serve them.

Okay, strike 1, Ms. Hollstedt. The fact that the parents of
those receiving supports and services through MCFD have
not even been informed about the impending "devolution"
of the services they are no doubt quite in need of for their
children, speaks volumes about who will really be at the
"centre" of this service delivery system.

I've been scouring the various organizations devoted and
funded(some with untendered government and foundation
contracts) for any mention, update, sneak peak at the news
of the rapidly approaching devolution and have found not a
bit of news. This really speaks to the climate of communication,
collaboration and oversight that can be expected of an organi-
zation that has political appointees on it's Board of Directors
and the people they will appoint to sit on the regional micro-

The Community Living BC Business Plan 2005
only just released this month. Considering the subtitle “Building
the Foundation for the Future” it seems a little late to
release this document only two weeks before the most significant
and risky change and service re-organization in the area of
services and supports to developmentally disabled and special
needs children, youth and adults in a decade.

Having conducted a lot of research over the last while about
the history, background and process for the devolution of
CLS to CLBC, I’ve discovered that there are no less than at
least eight (8) consultation reports about the readiness of
CLBC to devolve (see below for references). Most point out
significant problems related to funding for devolution and
infrastructure development, organizational capacity, potential
for ongoing funding problems and concerns about possible
cuts to service in communities as a result of expected budget
shortfalls, and readiness and stability of leadership.

Now, to be certain, this ethos for community governance,
whether that is at federal and provincial levels, signals just
how much new public management is all the rage to the policy
hacks. I'm not necessarily opposed to it, but I'm not observing
the best examples of the execution of it all. Fundamentally,
I'm observing the rapid, ill-conceived plans for service re-design,
transformation and the ensuing consequences put far too many
at-risk due to the failure of the social safety net to catch them.

Advocate for Service Quality

The BC Coalition of People with Disabilities

BC FamilyNet, (June 18, 2005). Letter to Premier Campbell.

BC Government and Employee Union, (May 30, 2005).
Memorandum of Agreement reached on employees
transferring from government to Community Living

Boyd, B., (May, 2004). Devolution of Services to Community
Living BC:Updated Assessment of Readiness.

CBC News, (May 12 2004). Bad management, but no fraud in Walls
affair: report.

CBC News, (2004, January 23). Hogg resigns over audit.

CBC News (2004, January 19). RCMP recommended charges in
car dealership case.

CBC News, (2004 May 12). Report on Doug Walls due Wednesday.
CBC News, (2004, Mar. 4). Shake-up at Community Living B.C.

Ministry of Children & Family Development.
Chronology of Events:Transition to Community
Governance for Community Living Services.

BC Association for Community Living.

Community Living Coalition

Community Living Society

Milowsky, Fred, (September 30, 2004). An Operational
Examination of the Community Living Service Delivery

Minister of Finance, (May 6, 2004). Auditor’s Investigation
CareNet Technology Society and the Provincial
Dealing with Douglas F. Walls.

Sage Group Management Consultants, (Sept. 24, 2003).
New Governance - Some Considerations.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Prostitution News

Debate over prostitution heats up
CKNW, (June 19, 2005).

Parliamentary Sub-committee continues studying
proposed changes to Canada's prostitution laws,
a women's advocate in Vancouver is hoping Ottawa
will learn from examples set by Sweden.

In that country, several training programs are
available to help women get out of prostitution.
They also have more access to welfare.

Suzanne Jay with the Vancouver Rape Relief and
Women's Centre agrees prostitution should be
de-criminalized, but the men buying and selling it
should still be punished, "By making sure that
there's a guaranteed livable income that's available
universally across Canada, we're making sure that
women don't have to prostitute. We have a pretty
good tradition of not selling blood or body
and I think that we should veer away
from selling
human beings."

The Federal report on proposed changes to current
prostitution laws could be released in September.
Right on Ms. Jay.
Prostitutes meet for forum in Vancouver
CKNW, (June 17, 2005).

VANCOUVER/CKN(AM980) - Former and current
sex trade workers are gathering in Vancouver this
weekend as part of their effort to draw attention to
their concerns.

Law reform and services for sex trade workers are
high up on the agenda of the Canadian National Coalition
of Experiential Women.

The group's national co-coordinator Cherry Kingsley
says it's their third such meeting, and first in Vancouver.

The meeting also comes shortly after police in Edmonton
announced for the first time a serial killer is suspected
in the murders of several prostitutes.

The group hosts a public forum on Sunday.
International Centre to Combat Exploitation of

The purchase and use of the body of a child for sexual
gratification is an abominable act and a desecration of
the human spirit. We must all do what we can to reduce
this deplorable practice.
~ Senator Landon Pearson

ICCEC is a bridge between survivors and those who can
help end the commercial sexual exploitation of children
(CSEC). Our work includes advocacy, coalition building,
curriculum development, speaking engagements and
research. We are registered in Canada as a non-profit
organization. An international volunteer board of
directors and a small staff carry out our operations.
Canadian Association of Police Boards.

Guest Speaker:
Ms. Cherry Kingsley, Special Advisor, International
Centre to Combat Exploitation of Children and
National Coordinator- Canadian National Coalition of
Experiential Women.

Historically, both the public and police have
viewed women and children associated with
the sex trade as criminal, liable, nuisances,
and even disposable. Government policies,
legislation and community attitudes can at
times keep them voiceless, invisible and
impoverished, without rights and opportuni-
ties or even choice as to whether they remain
in the sex trade or whether they survive.
They are not only vulnerable, but are targets
of violence, rape, slavery and perhaps most
damaging of all, exclusion.

Ms. Kingsley noted there are four isolating
factors facing children and youth in the sex trade:

1) Age - it is easier to manipulate and lie to someone
who is young and small;
2) Laws - that marginalize children and youth;
3) Market - some individuals want to buy young
people for many reasons; a lack of diseases such as
AIDS is one.
4) Poverty, homelessness and abuse make young
people vulnerable.
Retirement Home for Elder Sex Workers
Downtown Eastside: Underbelly News.
Jamie Lee Hamilton. Originally in 24

Mexico City - In Mexico City's colonial downtown,
women whose ages range from 60 to 85 offer sex
in exchange for a few pesos or a bite to eat. They
live on the street. Dusty sheets of cardboard are
their beds.

Ostracised by society, rejected by their families
and with no place to spend their final years, they
are forced to continue to practise their profession.

But hope for a better life is beginning to crystallise.
In the coming months, 60 of these elderly prostitutes
will move into an 18th-century building donated by
the local government and located in San Jacinto
square in the heart of Mexico City.