Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Cabinet Predictions

Cabinet horserace - place your bets!

By Bill Tieleman. 24 Hours

"The horse I bet on was so slow, the jockey kept a
diary of the trip." - Henny Youngman

In mid-June Premier Gordon Campbell picks the
winners in the highest stakes horse race in B.C. -
the provincial cabinet. Those winners get a big raise -
$39,000 extra for a full minister, $25,000 for a
minister of state over and above their $75,400
MLA salary.

No Change After Recounts

Provincial election results stand – so far
CBC News, (May 31 2005).

VANCOUVER – There have been no changes so far
in the May 17 provincial election results. Officials from
Elections B.C. have completed recounts in seven ridings
and the results remain the same in Burnaby-Edmonds,
Burnaby North, Cariboo North, Skeena and Saanich South.
However, thousands of absentee ballots are scheduled to
be counted Tuesday, and that could make a difference
in two very close races.

New Democrat Tim Stevenson has a 17 vote lead over
Liberal Lorne Mayencourt in Vancouver-Burrard. In
Cariboo South, Liberal Walt Cobb trails NDP candidate
Charlie Wyse by 32 votes.
New Numbers, Same Results in Provincial Elections
May, 31 2005 - 7:00 AM

VICTORIA(CKNWAM980) - Reconts in seven
BC ridings are now complete, but while there were
some slight changes to the vote totals, the winners
are the same. However, the results in at least two of
those ridings are still up in the air, pending the counting
of the absentee ballots.

The closest races remain in Vancouver-Burrard,
where New Democrat Tim Stevenson now leads
Liberal Lorne Mayencourt by seventeen votes, and
in Cariboo-South, where Charlie Wyse of the NDP
leads Liberal Walt Cobb by 32.

But the big key now is the absentee ballots, which
have yet to be counted. Nearly 18,000 ballots still
have to be counted, and there are 933 ballots to be
tallied in Cariboo-South.

The final results may not be known until this
afternoon or even tomorrow, and then candidates
will have six days to ask for a judicial recount.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Liberals re-organize again

Government Re-organization
David Schreck, (May 30, 2005).

The executive of the government of British Columbia will soon be
restructured. Under the authority of Section 13 of the Constitution Act,
an Order in Council (OIC) will be adopted that will name the ministries
and set out the responsibilities of each ministry for the second term
of the Campbell government.

Election Recount Update

Election recounts cost time and money
May, 30 2005 - 11:00 AM

VANCOUVER/CKNW(AM980) - A record number
of recounts has Elections BC calling for changes.

Elections BC staff will do their final count today, adding
absentee ballots to the election day total...but they're
also doing a record eight recounts.

Only Cariboo-South and Vancouver-Burrard are really
close---and Jennifer Miller with Elections BC says
recounts likely won't change much in the other ridings.

"It may change slightly but in most cases it doesn't,
what will, may change the results of course are the
absentee ballots."

Miller says recounts cost time and money...

"On average it costs about five-thousand dollars to do
a recount or more depending on the location and the
number of ballots to be considered."

She says Elections BC may ask the government to put
in some minimum thresholds to allow for recounts.

What I can't figure out is that we can get a tally of
the votes on the day of the election, May 17th, but
here we are almost 2 weeks later and the absentee
ballots still haven't been counted. I'm not sure what
the deadline was for those, perhaps that's the problem,
but it seems pretty strange to me in the face of the
efficiency of the other processes Elections BC organizes.
It's also surprising they don't have a threshold of votes
whereby a recount can occur. This race was especially
close in ridings such as Vancouver-Burrard, so that
should be automatic, but in others I could see how a
recount should be done. It's interesting that the
additional absentee ballots could play a significant
role in some of the outcomes.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Who Is Really Going to Pay?

By Irwin Loy, 24 hours, (May 27, 2005).

Pony up the cash to help the homeless. That's
the message to condo developers from the City
of Vancouver.

Coun. Jim Green says developers looking to convert
old low-income housing into ritzy condos can expect
to pay more than the $5,000 per room fee the city
now charges. The money funds social housing to
replace the lost rooms, but Green says it isn't nearly
enough to cover the $150,000 per unit cost of
building new ones.

Peter Simpson, CEO of Greater Vancouver Home
Builders' Association, says the extra costs are a
"necessary evil," but worries they'll be passed on to

"Vancouver is one of the most expensive places to
live in Canada and that's nothing to celebrate,"
Simpson told 24 hours yesterday.

Without regulating low-income room conversions,
the city worries 1,500 rooms could be lost by 2015.
There are currently about 6,000 rooms downtown.

News from Vancouver City Hall

Green goes extra miles to 'do his duty'

By Mike Howell-Staff writer, (May 26, 2005).
The Vancouver Courier On-line.

Coun. Jim Green was on the phone from Milan,
Italy talking about why he spent the most money
of any council member, including the mayor, on
travel expenses last year.

It was Friday and he and a contingent from Vancouver,
including the mayor's executive assistant Geoff Meggs,
had just met with the Canadian consul general in Milan.

Green's trip, like the $13,259 worth of trips he took in
2004, is being paid for by the city, or in this case, the
"mayor's discretionary fund." Green said he didn't know
how much the final tab will be.
Vancouver City Hall - 2004 Statement of Financial Information

Police Chief at top of city's financial heap
By Mike Howell-Staff writer
, (May 26, 2005).
The Vancouver Courier On-line.

Vancouver's top cop was also the city's top paid
employee last year, raking in $223,856 and spending
$20,000 on conferences, courses and training, according
to city financial statements for 2004.

Police Chief Jamie Graham's pay included a $15,000 bonus,
which he received in 2004 for his performance in 2003-a
year the police department exceeded its budget by $4.5

Trustees looking ahead to November civic vote
By Naoibh O'Connor-Staff writer
, (May 26, 2005).
The Vancouver Courier On-line.

One election is done and another postponed, but
there's at least one more to go this year when
voters cast ballots during the civic race in November.

Most school trustees are weighing their options,
although Angela Kenyon and Jane Bouey, both of COPE,
have confirmed plans to run for reelection.
Bad Fads Museum: www.badfads.com

Friday, May 27, 2005

A United COPE is the best bet for Vancouver's Future

To COPE or not to COPE
May, 27 2005 - 11:00 AM

VANCOUVER/CKNW(AM980) - About 300 people
from trade unionists to developers have turned out to
help raise money for the re-election of Vancouver councilor
Jim Green.

Green says it wasn't his goal to raise a lot of money because
he wanted the event open to all walks of life.

He says what was raised is still being tallied.

Green will seek a second term in office this November but
it's still unclear if he'll be running under the COPE banner
or "Friends of Larry Campbell."

The 'friends' haven't severed ties entirely with COPE but are
operating as a separate caucus.

The mayor's still is deciding whether to breakaway from
COPE - he says that decision will be made in June. Campbell
just this week said he is still not sure if he's going to seek
another term in office.

Green says he's moving ahead on the assumption the mayor
will be running.

What seems to keep being swept under the rug is what the City
of Vancouver has to lose if the "friends" break away from COPE.
Everyone loves a fight, great spectacle, blood thirst and picking
sides etc. It's amazing to me that adults are really no different
than kids in this respect.

The biggest issue appears to be that it has been forgotten that
COPE is still saddled with the debt that was incurred by the last
civic election. No-one likes to talk about this. Larry got into bed
with COPE, the unions, the left and the grassroots which are all
part of the coalition that is COPE. It was a smart, pragmatic move
for a man who hadn't been involved in politics at this level before.
He trotted around, with hat in hand, hoping this would be the ticket
to get his butt in the mayor's chair. And it worked, that plus the
fact that Vancouver was so disillusioned by the arrogance and
complete disconnection from the insular, tired NPA. As well as the
reaction to the neo-conservative agenda of the BC Liberal's govern-
ing at the provincial level.

Now I know that politics is partly strategic alliances and planning,
seizing opportunities & being pragmatic, but I'm sorry, "the friends
of Larry" are not being accountable for the debt that got them
those seats at City Hall. They aren't showing any integrity by
walking away from that debt & they are blowing the chance to
continue the good work that Vancouver City Council has done. I'm
glad Larry became our mayor, I think he makes a great mayor for
Vancouver. He's got the charisma, smarts and personality to
present a good face to the world and work with other levels of
government to our benefit. He is also a true leader, not afraid to
take questionable, or unpopular, stances on things and support
controversial proposals, such as safe injection sites & the heroin
trials. But dammit, I want to be able to respect my mayor.
I want to see someone who isn't going to walk away from his
responsibilities when the going gets rough, (ie. the debt & in-
fighting), who isn't going to take a school yard fight and turn it
into what this has become, something that threatens the future
of Vancouver. And Larry doesn't shoulder the entire burden
at all. Fred Bass' little speech at the AGM was a cheap, public
& political shot and I wish to hell he hadn't done it.
I think Bass let a lot of people down that day too. What the
majority of COPE members appear to want is for this rift to
be resolved. I want this too.

The COPE dominated city council has made some of the most
positive and progressive policies this city, or others, has ever seen.
And I am very, very proud of the hard work, foresight and commit-
ment all members of City Hall have demonstrated. All political
parties have a wide spectrum of players, some more radical, some
more pragmatic and some more conservative. That's what makes
parties (and democracy) great. Each side can argue things through,
maybe learn from each other, vote with their conscience and hope-
fully find a way to balance each other out and continue to work
together for the greater good. I don't believe COPE needs to split.
I don't know if anyone has suggested mediation to them, but I am.
Having used it in my work, which can be even more divisive, I've
seen the positives of mediating relationships and coming to an
agreed upon course of action and plan. COPE as a whole is worth
fighting for. Vancouver deserves the best elected officials we
have to offer and I think we have them. Let's not piss it all away
over ego and ideological clashes.

The people I have come to respect most in my life are those who
are able to step back from perilous and ego-driven decisions and
actions to think once more about how they got where they are,
what goals they had in the first place and what they are going to
do to ensure the best outcome, not just for themselves, but those
who they have the opportunity to help. I respect these people
the most because they take themselves out of the frame, think
about the big picture and how much everyone else has to lose.
Changing paths is always an option. The best and brightest people
only move forward in their development as individuals and
leaders, when they think about the greater good, over personal
issues and gains. Individual values, beliefs, commitment and
consideration is something that often seem to get lost in the
excessive din of the political arena, with partisan actors whisper-
ing in one's ear. An intact COPE team has so much more to offer
as we head ever closer towards the Olympics. I also strongly
believe that an united COPE is absolutely necessary to continue
to challenge the BC government, still with a Liberal majority,
over the next four years. I hope that Larry and all of the
members of COPE will think about the big picture and do
what's right and best for the citizens of Vancouver.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Doug Walls will be tried on fraud charges

Walls to be tried by judge alone
May, 26 2005 - 8:00 AM

VANCOUVER/CKNW(AM980) - Former BC Liberal Party
Riding Association President Doug Walls has chosen to be
tried on fraud charges by a judge alone.

The case deals with a money shuffling scheme perpetrated
as a car dealership Walls was co-owner of sank into bankruptcy.

A preliminary hearing won't be held until January of next year.

Walls also worked as a consultant for the Children and Families
Ministry. An audit that included a review of the ministry's dealings
with him found evidence of bad financial management but no sign
of fraud.

The audit led to the resignation of cabinet minister Gordon Hogg
and the firing of his deputy.

Recount Update

Fifth recount requested by Liberals
CBC News, (May 26 2005).

VICTORIA – There are now at least five seats in question
as officials at Elections B.C. prepare for recounts next week.
All five are in ridings where New Democrats appear to have
won close victories. The latest is Skeena, where Liberal
cabinet minister Roger Harris lost to New Democrat Robin
Austin by 439 votes on election night.

"We anticipate that because of the recounts, these five
electoral districts probably won't have final counts completed
until the end of the day on the 31st or even possibly the first
of June," says Elections B.C. spokesperson Jennifer Miller.
"But we do anticipate the final count in the other 74 ridings
will be completed by the end of the day on May 30th."
There are also enough absentee ballots still to be counted
in all five of those ridings to affect the outcome.

As of now, the Liberals elected 45 members in last week's
election and the NDP 34.
Teachers call Premier Campbell to account for
defamatory statements made prior to election

May 26, 2005

The B.C. Teachers' Federation has filed suit in B.C. Supreme
Court, calling Premier Gordon Campbell to account for
defamatory statements he made five days prior to the election.
James wants greater voice for NDP at legislature
CBC News, (May 26 2005).

VICTORIA – NDP Leader Carole James says New Democrats
will push for a longer question period and a more active committee
system to make proceedings at the legislature more accountable.

At 15 minutes, B.C.'s question period is the shortest in the

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Homelessness in Vancouver

Just came back from the Special Committee meeting on the
Homeless Action Plan
at Vancouver City Hall. There were old
and new faces making submissions to Larry Campbell, Mayor
and Chair and city council. Most endorsing the plan, some
certain parts, or groups, some breaking it down into
another advising the City to grab the social funding money
from the Feds as fast as can be. The speakers list numbered
at 45,
I can't believe they'll get through that tonight. Not all
who spoke
were cheery and approving of the plan. One woman
from the
Aboriginal Mother's Centre was very articulate at
where the report really discusses the epidemic
homelessness of
too many Aboriginal people.

The stats don't
tell the story. None of them do. It bothers me so
much that
"homeless people" really are faceless, invisible and
to so many people. It makes it easy to think of people as
disposable and not worthy of the wealthy state providing a
social safety net to those who don't make it so well in this New Era
of hope and benefit for so many others. Privilege and a relative
economic level of success makes many people forget, or maybe
they never understood how close anyone can be to homelessness
when you make a crappy minimum wage job, or are on welfare.
For the life of me I can't understand how I used to live on $8 an
hour of full time wage slave work in record stores. I had my own
basement suite, took transit, went to college, and partied a lot
(it was the 90's and the "alternative" scene"). But even though
I was able to do it, I was always keenly aware that I was one lost
day of work was the difference between paying rent and not.
But I also had parents to rely on and in this world, there are
many who don't have that source of support. Most kids in care
don't have that. They get a wave goodbye and a nice to know you
at the welfare office, sometimes before they are even 19. If they
are lucky they've still got contact with some family members.

I was one of the earlier speakers, I concentrated my comments
on the systemic failure of all level of governments to provide the
basic necessities of life to children and youth in our society and
how that is contrary to our prevailing legislation, provincially the
Child, Family & Community Services Act (2002).

I also made reference to Articles 27 & 34 of the
Convention on the Rights of the Child, (
September 2, 1990).

I talked about some of the risk factors and reasons young people
end up on the street, mainly to do with abuse and neglect, family
breakdown and choice, because home is intolerable. I talked about
the high-risk for contracting HIV, Hep B & C and not being able
to access health services. These are all things that are happening
here in this city.

I wasn't able to really discuss much about the sexual abuse and
exploitation of children and youth that is happening in this city,
probably even as I write this. Vancouver is internationally known
for an open-air sex market for our children. What the hell is wrong
with this picture? Maybe we should put some pretty pictures of
12 year olds having their bodies and souls being sold on the
brochure for the Olympics. I have known some of these children
and the adults they become. They are so lost, disconnected and
marginalized and most can't find their way out of the life alive.
All levels of government ignore this issue while they spend millions
on the Gomery Inquiry. While they have raids in our Legislature
related to money laundering, influence peddling and bribery.
While city councillours and other big wigs fly to Torino, Italy
for a little Olympic fact-finding mission on our dime. The lack
of effort on the part of governments to deal the sexual exploit-
ation of children in our city tells me that this is a tolerable and
acceptable thing to those who hold the power and the purse

I also wasn't able to get into the harrassment, scorn and victim-
ization youth experience at the hands of adults, other youth and
police officers employed by this city. I know there is a new joint
committee between the cops and Aboriginal youth, but bullying
by the cops is such an institutionalized problem, one that Chief
Constable Jamie Graham doesn't seem inclined to deal with
at all as we can see in the "twilight" trial and his general response
to anything Pivot Legal Society has to say.

I strongly advocated for a continuum of housing options for youth
and I too endorsed the plan.
After listening to a few more speakers,
it was time to go. My heart kind of went out to Larry and the city
council, as they had a long, long night ahead of them to look
and interested. It didn't take Peter Ladner long to lose
focus, as he was
checking and writing e-mail early into the sub-
missions. I'm glad we
could leave written submissions too, five
minutes went very fast, unless
you were the people who went
over and Larry had to cut them off,
if they'd let him. He was on
his best, most polite behaviour, that was clear. Too bad people
aren't given Robert's Rules of Order when they walk in the door.
It seemed like a comfortable, amiable atmosphere,
where every-
one knew their place and even the angry ones were
tolerated too.
Larry and the audience wished Ellen Woodsworth
and Jim Green
a happy birthday and the house erupted in laughter
as one
presenter's trouth moubles had him picking a word that
with city, but not quite as tame. As I was leaving I saw
Kim Kerr
from DERA giving the bored media a good sound bite for

tomorrow's news. And as many people expressed, they would sit

back and wait for the action part of the plan to kick in. The
is real and valid. Too many reports, consultations and
Too little action, change and improvement in the
circumstances of our most vulner
able citizens. I'm not holding
my breathe, but I am hopeful that
this council, if it can find a way
to stay together, will hear most of us and really advocate for the

Homeless Action Plan to move forward. The rest is up to the
provincial and federal governments and ourselves.
Homeless Plan Hears Delegations
May, 25 2005 - 10:00 PM

VANCOUVER(CKNW/AM980) - Lots of criticism for the
provincial and federal governments, as Vancouver City Council
listened to dozens of delegations on the issue of homelessness.

The list of speakers was short on people with first hand struggles.

Instead, council heard plenty from advocates, many of them
pleading for improvements to income assistance.

"and I stand here ashamed at the state that our welfare system
is in."

As well as affordable shelter.

"the federal government bowing out of social housing has created
a huge mess."

The occasion was the city's Homeless Action Plan, which received
repeated praise from delegations.

Its main recommendations involve the higher levels of government.

Homeless in Vancouver
David Schreck, (May 27, 2005).

"Changing access to welfare would have a significant effect on
reducing the homelessness that we see on the streets everyday.
It would then be possible for people to have money for rent and
move inside."

Homeless Action Plan, City of Vancouver, April 26, 2005, p. 6.

At a Special Council meeting on May 25, 2005, Vancouver City Council
adopted recommendations contained in the Homeless Action Plan.
Adoption of the plan, with minor modifications, follows a process that
took almost two years. It began with a request by Council on August 13,
2003, that a staff member be designated as the city's "homeless policy
co-ordinator". The City has done a good job focusing on what can be done
about homelessness, but as the city manger said in her report to council:
"The majority of the plan implementation, however, is dependent on the level
of Senior Government commitment as the underlying causes of homelessness
are within the jurisdiction of the Provincial and Federal governments."
Additional Commentary:

<>I am so digusted with the local press. There were at least 10
journalists at the Special Committee meeting. In the days
since, in my daily rounds of the media, the silence with which
the entire issue of homelessness is treated in the mainstream
media is absolutely unforgivable. Poor people clearly don't
count, matter, or exist in this so-called beautiful province of BC.
Unless they are causing inconvenience to the privileged, or
momentarily tweaking their white liberal guilt as they walk
on by in $200 shoes drinking their Starbucks. You should all
be ashamed of yourselves and I don't even know how you can
call yourselves journalists, or media, when you ignore such an
important issue. "But for the grace of God, so go I. "
In this world of globalization, no one is safe from marginalization.
Compassion and care for the plight of our most vulnerable
behooves us all. Someday you, or someone you love could live
and die on the street. Just ask the loved ones of Pickton's victims.
Those lost, beautiful women disappeared and died invisibly, because
none of us cared enough. My thoughts go to those women, to their
families and friends and all the other people who rest their heads on
concrete each night. I hope that people get it that poverty and
marginalization affect all of us, not just those who live it.

Monday, May 23, 2005

The New Voices of the Opposition in BC

The Truth about a 'Strong Opposition':
It's vital. But don’t expect the 'level of debate' to improve.

By Rafe Mair, (May 23, 2005). The Tyee.ca.

A good article by Rafe. As a neophyte involved in politics,
I too find the naivete of Carole Taylor and Wally Oppal touching,
if not a bit humourous and certainly ill-placed. I truly believe
most people, like the aforementioned, get into politics because
they "want to make a difference." Unfortunately, it doesn't take
long to realize that the well oiled political machine and game
(whether that is business, or labour) has it's own plan. Unless
people learn to play the game, they will be steamrolled and
disillusioned, or, like Chuck Cadman, they will make tough
decisions and hold onto their commitment and integrity by
thinking and acting according to their personal values. I think
that Ms. Taylor and Mr. Oppal will soon find out the pit of
snakes they have landed in and then their real game will be on,
how to make a difference by using cunning and strategic plans
and alliances.

Having read through some pertinent estimates "debates" by
Jenny Kwan & Joy MacPhail, I truly believe that most BC
citizens do not understand what personal costs must have
occurred to them to try to use what little voice and power
they had to challenge THE most corrupt and incompetent
government in BC's history. I believe they are both owed a
deep debt by the citizens of BC. The internal workings of
government, or the legislature remain a mystery to those
who have not been in the belly of the beast. Only those who
have been inside and got out alive can really know what
happens and no amount of educated guessing on the parts
of pundits, high-paid consultants, or media, can really tell
you the whole story. I am deeply encouraged by the increased
number of MLA's in opposition for the reasons you mentioned.
A well funded opposition research and support staff will catch
this government in their manufactured and Canwest disseminated

As you mentioned some members of the media, a much smaller
percentage than you envision, have done their jobs as journalists
and publishers over the past four years. I also think that members
of the media, especially the mainstream media, must begin to take
more responsibility for ignoring the big stories, by bowing to the
Canwest master and eating from the hand of the Liberals. There
needs to be a shake up and a true expansion of the role of media
in holding governments of all stripes accountable for public policy,
government actions and repercussions to the electorate, not just
the ones with money and ID who get to vote. I wonder if the media
hacks, who shill for the Liberals feel good about the work they do?
How can they? But then I also understand a bit more about how
people are cherry picked for reasons that often have nothing to
do with how competent, skillful, or effective they are at their
jobs. It's the Peter principle: "in a hierarchically structured
administration, people tend to be promoted up to their
"level of incompetence...
The net result is that most of the
higher levels of a bureaucracy will be filled by incompetent
people, who got there because they were quite good at doing
a different (and usually, but not always, easier) task than the
one they are expected to do."

If there is one thing the Liberals did well, it was to inspire the
ire of those in positions to create mechanisms for change,
such as the use of the internet and other media. We should
really thank them for giving all of us activists the fuel to
harness new and old technologies in the pursuit of social
justice, something which has certainly been lacking through
the last couple of egocentric decades. One thing that became
clear to me is that over the last 4 years, bloggers, pundits
and activists have created a new layer of oversight and
media exposure to government's failures, incompetence
and scandals. I look forward to continuing this over the
next 4 years and invite the mainstream media to join us
in that endeavour, instead of feeling threatened and dissing
the new voices. Maybe they should return to their roots of
journalism as a noble and important profession, reporting
the facts as they are, not as the Liberals, or Asper's of the
world wished they would be.

Senate hearing on media

Senate Sleeps While Media Concentrates: If the Senate’s
Winnipeg hearing is any indication of its commitment to media reform,
this one will be a ludicrously expensive write-off
On the Edge, By Lesley Hughes
March/April 2005
(Tuesday, May 17, 2005). The Filter.ca
The Senate Committee Studying Media held a public hearing
in Winnipeg in February, and it had all the excitement of any
party that nobody wants to give and nobody wants to attend.
Enough with the dog and pony shows across the country,
we know that media concentration, such as the Canwest
oligarchy, is a negative thing. As a citizen of this province
and country, I find it shameful that major newspapers shill
for politicians and parties, as I just witnessed in BC's election.
Big pictures and lots of press for Campbell, with a bit of coverage
of Carole James & Adriane Carr. Aren't there laws about
monopolies? There should be when it comes to the media.
The Asper viewpoint of the world is but one small piece
of the story. I'm singing the praises and hopes once again
for a diversity of voices and perspectives to be heard in the
mainstream corporate media. When did newspapers and news
leave real journalism behind and move into the entertainment
business? I know they need to sell the ads, but c'mon, it's
getting ridiculous. If you read the local newspapers, Vancouver
Sun & the Province, as well as watch Global News, you see
the majority of news and information spring from the same
source, It makes me wonder what has been left out in the
interests of an easy, more cost effective media feed. It's all
about the bottom-line in the corporate media, right?

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Still no word on Cabinet postings

Look of new Legislature not yet determined
May, 21 2005 - 10:00 PM

VANCOUVER - Neither the Premier or newly re-elected
members of the NDP are revealing much about how things
in the Legislature will look when the Provincial Government
resumes its work.

Premier Campbell says he has yet to contact any of his newly
-elected MLA's about possible cabinet positions but he says
it will be a task for the not-so-distant future, "I will take the
end of this week, the next probably four or five days, or
maybe even a week. I'll be meeting with all of the members
that were elected, talking to them about what their goals are."

Meanwhile, on the Opposition side, former NDP Cabinet Minister
Mike Farnworth, who was also re-elected to the Legislature, isn't
willing to comment on speculation he might be the next Oppostion
House Leader, "What we have to recognize is that we have an
opportunity here to come together as a team, and if we perform
as a team, we'll do well."

Both Campbell and Farnworth were appearing on CKNW's David
Berner Show, hosted by former Deputy Premier Christy Clark.
NDP Temping

In other news, Sean Holman, of the Vancouver Sun, reported
in his Saturday, May 21st column some NDP staff assignments
have been handed out to some of campaign staff and other party

Scott Perchall, will be Carole James' acting press secretary.
Suzanne Viet is on a two-month contract as the opposition
caucas' interim executive director.
David Perry is interim chief of staff.
Jim Rutkowski will be acting communications director.
Raj Sihota is acting deputy chief of staff.

Our own New Hampshire?

Last Updated May 18 2005 03:42 AM PDT
CBC News

VANCOUVER Kamloops has re-elected its Liberal MLA,
keeping its reputation as a bellwether riding that votes with the
I find this fascinating, who'd a thunk that little Kamloops is
on the cutting edge of political soothsaying? I wonder if their
special talents stretch to federal elections too? I sure hope
Chuck Cadman can get some peace, rest and health now.
I find Mr. Cadman to be a real inspiration as a politician
and that's not something I can say every day. He is the kind
of person that makes me want to play this game, because it
shows that people can play and not lose their integrity,
commitment and vision for why they get into politics.
I wish you all the best Mr. Cadman, may the force be with you.

Perhaps it is just me, but I sure find the new Star Wars:
Revenge of the Sith
is the perfect metaphor for the things
I am up against. And of course that makes me a Jedi Knight,
not Master, as I haven't perfected my tricks and powers, but
I will as I continue my battle against the evil Sith lords, who
seek to control the galaxy. I don't think I have to worry about
turning to the dark side, but you never know. I guess like Anakin
Skywalker finds out, pacts with the devil on either side place one
in precarious and potentially dangerous positions. I guess
Belinda will be able to tell some stories about that some day.
Hmm, maybe since Lucas is finished with the Star Wars saga
maybe he'll be looking for a new project?

Thursday, May 19, 2005

More on Blogs & Elections

Poll Patrol
By Jason Youmans, (May 18, 2005).
Monday Magazine.

"When voters in British Columbia went to the polls on May 17,
some were armed with information and opinions gleaned from
the websites of political pundits across the province. But the
question that remained, even after their votes were counted,
was: were they advertised to? Or were they simply informed?"
See link for whole article.
May, 18 2005 - 7:00 PM. CKNW.

The BC Nurses Union has been quick to set some post-election

Among them, legislation to protect health care workers from
needlestick injuries, and whistleblower protection for nurses
who speak out about conditions that are detrimental to patient

BCNU President Debra McPherson says her non-partisan
organization is pleased with the outcome of the provincial

"We're certainly happy that there's a strong opposition in
place but recognize also that the premier has retained the
government and that it's his government we'll have to work

So we have to congratulate him on his victory."

The union is asking for a meeting with the new government
and opposition and other stakeholeders, to work to improve
the health care system.
On what planet is the BCNU "non-partisan???" Is that a typo?
Vancouver-Burrard Wrangling
May, 18 2005 - 6:00 PM

VANCOUVER(CKNW/AM980) - The NDP candidate in
Vancouver Burrard says he's now pulled ahead of the Liberal
incumbent-- with just a dozen votes between them.

By morning, Liberal incumbent Lorne Mayencourt was still
ahead by 13 votes-- but by afternoon, his NDP challenger
Tim Stevenson got word he had pulled ahead.
NDP candidate says he won Vancouver-Burrard
CBC News, (May 19 2005).

What were you thinking Vancouver-Burrard & anyone who
voted Green, or other parties in this riding? How on earth
could anyone want Mayencourt to "represent" them?
It's laughable and makes the riding look like a joke. I'd like
to hear more from the VPD and the special prosecutor that is
looking into the little "skirmish" Mayencourt had with a street

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Voter Turnout & Commentary on Women in Politics

Despite record registration overall voter
turnout unchanged

May, 18 2005 - 3:00 PM

VANCOUVER/CKNW(AM980) - Elections B.C. says it
appears overall voter turnout improved little since the last
provincial election. <>Spokesperson Jennifer Miller says,
although the numbers do not include absentee ballots, at
this point only 55.6 per cent of eligible voters cast a ballot.
That final percentage is virtually unchanged from 2001,
which saw 55.4 per cent cast a ballot.

BC, like many other jurisdictions continues it's struggle to
engage more citizens in civic and electoral participation.
As a person on the street critique, leading right up to the
election people continued to ask me, "but who do I vote for?"
This voter malaise I guess describes the disconnect many
citizens feel from party politics, both at the provincial,
municipal and federal levels (which we will see sometime this
year as well). I could understand this apathy more if the
record of Gordon Campbell and the BC Liberal government's
actions (which I have referenced in mainstream and alternative
media in this blog) were much more hidden. The resounding
thing the undecided, or the citizens who chose not to vote,
seem to state is that they don't trust the NDP and never
will, because of the fast ferry fiasco, Bingogate and Glen
Clark's deck (the fact that he was exonerated in court doesn't
seem to register for a lot of people).

I am also going to make a rather sweeping generalization when
I say that women in the Generation X demographic tend to have
little interest in things political, or electoral. This won't win me
any friends, but it's the truth as I see it. There are too few
younger women interested in media, news, politics and civic partici-
pation and issues that affect ourselves, our families and communities.
As a pretty active political activist, I see very few women in their
30's, or younger, making the sometimes difficult and time
intensive efforts to become involved in anything beyond their
own spheres. This kind of apathy costs everyone, but women
and families most of all. I understand that we all have busy,
full lives, where we feel stretched each day and these are likely
the biggest reasons the majority of women do not get involved
politically. I've also noted a particularly unflattering tendency
towards self-interest in this demographic and younger ones.
I've got mine, get off my back jack.

I also wonder if women feel like they can make a difference in
the political world, a world clearly dominated by white, middle
class men, who cling to the reigns of power. I wonder whether
the majority of women believe in their abilities to be strong leaders?
And do they believe enough in other women to take up those reigns?
Looking around any community you can see that women of all
walks of life are leaders in their communities and doing many
positive things? Why is it more don't jump into the political fray?
I think it is a distinct possibility that many women still don't feel
confident enough to assert themselves. I also feel many women
believe the consequences of becoming political activists (of any stripe)
are not worth the benefits. Women and men are both guilty of judging
women's appearance of more importance than what they stand for,
or what kind of leader they will make. And the dirty pool of supposed
allies & real enemies yanking old skeletons out of closets that seem
to be part of the tricks of the political trade are so distasteful and
worrying that many women opt out (ask Kelly Quinn about that).
Who doesn't have skeletons? How long does someone get raked
over the coals? Hell, our Premier committed a felony offence in
another country during his tenure and has allegedly been up to all
sorts of other dirty work, it doesn't seem to be held against him.
We can see double standards still exist for women and men in

Stats Can Census research clearly illustrates that women still
bear more responsibility for child rearing and Elder care than
men, thus reducing their availability to be involved in a variety
of causes. A last explanation that is really clear to me is that
most women in politics do not have access to the kind of funding
that male candidates do. We are 52% of the population,
but we clearly do not share the same economic and business benefits
that men enjoy. These benefits and opportunities of the Old Boys
Club still exist. But naming this reality is distasteful, even amongst
women involved in politics. Some women, such as Belinda Stronach,
go on the record avoiding at all costs being called a feminist, one of
the most effective ways to ruin a woman's political chances, because
she will be labelled "a special interest group" and can kiss any broad-
based (unintentional joke) support a woman candidate might get if
she is pigeon-holed as a "feminist" in politics.

I strongly believe that more women of all ages and people of diverse
ethno-cultural groups must courageously jump into the political arena.
We have lots of role models, mentors and predecessors waiting to
give us a hand up the ladder. And for those already there make space
for the new voices and ideas. Actively take on the role of mentor and
encourage citizens to continue in the wacky world of politics.

The future of politics requires that fresh new faces and ideas from
a more diverse populace
are heard in government, in our communities
in political parties, in the labour community and in the media.
The present and future of our families, communities and province depend
on diversity, civic and electoral participation and inclusion.
Vancouver councillor says timing of Stronach affair timely
for her efforts

May, 20 2005 - 7:00 PM

VANCOUVER/CKNW(AM980) - A Vancouver COPE Councillor
is organizing a discussion next week on how to encourage women
to enter politics, and says it couldn't come at a better time given
the fall-out over the 'Belinda bombshell.'

Ellen Woodsworth -- of course -- referring to former Tory
Belinda Stronach crossing the floor of the Commons to become
a Liberal.

Woodsworth suggests some of the names Stronach has been
called are 'appalling.'

She notes Tory Deputy Leader Peter MacKay -- Stronach's
former boyfriend -- wasn't called any names when he broke
a promise not to unite the Conservatives and the Canadian Alliance.

Stronach has been called an 'attractive dipstick' by one
Conservative MP, with another accusing her of 'whoring herself'
to the Liberals.

Gina Bishop, (May 12, 2005) Civic engagement among
young new and Aboriginal Canadians.
Opinion Canada.

Canadian Women's Congress-
Women's Campaign School in BC.

Centre for Research & Information, (November 4, 2004).
Canadians want more women in elected office

Martin's White Knight: Stronach's switch may be enough
to save the Liberal government
By Campbell Clark & Brian Laghi, (May 18, 2005 ). Globe and Mail.

Equal Voice- BC Chapter

Harper still can't be trusted

By Allen Garr, (May 18, 2005). The Vancouver Courier.

Carole Taylor's Heavy Load: B.C. Liberals expect her star
appeal to woo women back. But after four years, the gender
divide is wide.
Barbara McLintock, (April 4, 2005). The Tyee.ca

Belittling Belinda: We’re told she’s a ‘blonde bombshell

heartbreaking attractive dipstick whore.’ Nothing
specific, of course.

Shannon Rupp, (
May 18, 2005). The Tyee.ca
Still Counting: Women in Politics Across Canada

Women in Politics Bibliographic Database

Women's Political Representation in Canada

NDP Women Fail to Win Party Nominations
By Charlie Smith, (20-Jan-2005 ).

More Election Updates

Preliminary Election Results
38th Provincial General Election - May 17, 2005
Elections B.C.
Five possible recounts come to light in B.C. election
May, 18 2005 - 10:10 AM

VANCOUVER/CKNW(AM980) - The final outcomes
will not change the fact we have elected another majority
Liberal government.<>But official recounts are a possibility in
five constituencies, now, where the unofficial, election-night
tallies show margins of fewer than 300 votes separating the
winner from the runner-up.
NDP exceeds expectations
Last Updated May 18 2005 05:06 AM PDT
CBC News

VANCOUVER The New Democratic Party has captured
33 seats in the B.C. election, exceeding even its leader's
expectations of how well the party would do Tuesday night.
Female Candidates Nominated

It's midnight and here are the results for women candidates
in the 2005 B.C. provincial election at this time.
Congratulations to all the women candidates who ran
in this election. We thank you.

Congratulations to all of you, too, who worked on candidates'
campaigns, helped others to vote and voted in this election.
The winners are listed below, and here are the compiled
results compared against past elections:
  • In 2005, women make up 22.8% of MLAs
  • In 2001, women made up 24% of MLAs
  • In 1996, women made up 28% of MLAs
The percentage of women elected is trending downwards.
On average statistically, women tend to win in the same
proportion as men. In this case, women lost a disproportion-
ately higher number of seats then did male candidates.
The Liberals ran 25 women, the NDP 23 and 18 women won.

Had women won in proportion to their numbers as candidates
with the 2 parties that had representatives elected, we might
have expected about 24 women to be elected.

Winning Women Candidates

1. Coquitlam-Mallairdville – Diane Thorpe (NDP) - TBC
Delta South – Val Roddick (LIB)

3. Esquimalt-Metchosin – Maurine Karagianis (NDP)

4. Kelowna-Mission - Sindi Hawkins (LIB)

5. Langley - Mary Polak (LIB)

6. Maple Ridge-Mission - Jenny Stevens (NDP)

7. North Island - Claire Trevena (NDP)

8. North Vancouver-Lonsdale - Katherine Anne Whittred (LIB)

9. Oak Bay–Gordon Head - Ida Chong (LIB)

10. Prince George-Mt Robson - Shirley Bond (LIB)

11. Richmond Centre - Olga Ilich (LIB)

12. Richmond East - Linda Reid (LIB)

13. Surrey-Green Timbers - Sue Hammell (NDP)

14. Vancouver-Langara - Carole Taylor (LIB)

15. Vancouver-Mt Pleasant - Jenny Kwan (NDP)

16. Victoria-Beacon Hill - Carole James (NDP)

17. West Kootenay-Boundary - Katrine Convoy (NDP)

18. West Vancouver-Garibaldi - Joan McIntyre (LIB)


10 Liberal women

8 NDP women

Join us and we'll change the 'Body Politic'
www.equalvoice.ca infobc@equalvoice.ca

BC is the REAL winner in this Election

Campbell bruised, public well-served by election

Paul Willococks: Paying Attention
Campbell wins second majority, loses 9 from cabinet
May 17 2005 11:43 PM. CBC News
Overall Election Results
I have to admit the big NDP win made me a bit teary,
not sad at all, very, very happy. There will be more
balance and more opportunity to hold the BC Liberals
accountable for their actions towards the most vulnerable
people in BC, some of of whom I work with who are
drowning, or even dying. Their lives and deaths will
no longer be invisible. And I sincerely hope that the
opposition fights and provides the leadership to help
create more stability in the organizational culture of
the BC government, it is sorely needed.
James says Liberals sent message with positive
NDP results

May, 17 2005 - 11:40 PM
Way to go NDP and supporters. I know how much hard
work went into the campaign.

Way to go BC for renewing my hope that we can blend
economic plans and development with values of social
support and care for each other. I hope a real balance
can be found in this province.
Last Updated May 17 2005 10:44 PM PDT
CBC News

VANCOUVER The referendum on electoral reform
is in a very close race, with about 56 per cent voting 'yes'
and 44 per cent voting 'no'.
Surprised myself & voted yes to STV as well,
as someone else said, to shake things up.
Although I guess we've gotten our wish on that tonight too.
STV referendum update
May, 18 2005 - 12:00 AM

VANCOUVER/CKNW(AM980) - To pass, the Single
Transferrable Vote referendum must be approved by
60 per cent of the valid votes cast, and by the majority
of valid votes cast in at least 48 of the 79 electoral districts.

By Total Votes Cast
3,843 of 9,865 polls reported (percentage in brackets)

Yes 339,334 votes (56.7)
No 259,515 votes (43.3)

By Electoral District at 12:00 a.m. PDT
Yes leading in 51 districts
No leading in 2 district

Now onto a couple of Cabinet predictions:

Wally Oppal - new AG
Colin Hanson - hmm, maybe will continue as Minister of Finance.
Carole Taylor - maybe Deputy Minister and Minister of Children
& Family Development? Or will that be Linda Reid, she's paid some
dues as a Minister of State & proved she could deliver again.

Very happy Hagen may be gone, but scared to see who will take his
place. MCFD needs someone who actually knows something about
child welfare AND who actually cares about the children & youth
of this province.
B.C. Election results and comment
From Babble at Rabble.ca

Monday, May 16, 2005

The Truth Behind the Lies of the Mainstream Media

Is Campbell a “made man”? With enough rumours
to end his career, how come the media leave him alone?

By Kevin Potvin
What's the B.C. election really about?
The B.C. Liberals are not here for you or me; they are not
committed to ensuring working people have what we need,
or in protecting human rights or workers' rights. They are
here to privatize and sell off B.C. to the highest bidder.

Debra Critchley, (May 16, 2005). Rabble.ca
Earth to B.C: A plea to conscience voters:
The difficult truth is: a vote for the Green Party is a vote
for Gordon Campbell. And a vote for Campbell is a vote for extinction.
Howard Breen, (May 16, 2005). Rabble.ca

I'm feeling pretty bleak and fatalistic and hoping that my forebodings
are wrong for tomorrow's count. One thing that has become clear
as I have created this blog is that the revolutionary spirit of
dissidence, free speech and political engagement has created a
large presence of social justice and political activists in BC over
the last 4 years. I am sincerely committed to continuing to
unmask Gordon Campbell and the BC Liberals for what and who
they truly are and how their policies and actions hurt the
marginalized and vulnerable people in our province.

I hope all of the social justice, political activists & pundits I have
had the pleasure to read, and feel are my peers and community
will continue in your efforts to bring different perspectives to the
mainstream, the truth behind the Canwest-manufactured lies and
the struggle for social justice in BC. We have all made a difference
and contributed something so valuable to the public discourse about
politics in British Columbia.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Journalist highlights BC Liberals American-style of negative campaign

Joel Connelly, (May 11, 2005). In the Northwest:
Going negative in politics goes north to Canada.

VANCOUVER, B.C. -- After polls showed his party's lead
had slipped, British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell
slipped into an attack mode that is a proven formula for
right-thinking politicians in the United States and Canada.
Hmm, makes one wonder what other tricks the BC Liberals
have learned from their American buddies waiting in the
wings for our power & water?

Blogs & the Election - A Matter of Free Speech

Blogs are advertising: Elections B.C.
CBC News, (May 12 2005)
VANCOUVER – Elections B.C. is having a hard time
keeping up with a boom of bloggers who are publishing
partisan messages during the current election campaign.
Election Advertising - Elections BC
Vanessa Richmond, (April 12, 2005).
Blog Trolling in Election Season: I’m no political
genius, so I turned to weblogs. Will BC’s voters
do the same? The Tyee: A Feisty One Online.
Peter Tupper, (February 21, 2005).
The Blogosphere’s New World Disorder: Weblogs are
changing electronic media, but that change is just
beginning to take shape. The Tyee: A Feisty One Online.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Teachers have no plan for strike vote

I've about had it with Canwest Global & the BC Liberals
ridiculous scare tactics. This can only be interpreted
as serious fear and concern on the part of the Liberals of
how well the NDP are doing in the polls and in public opinion.

I only wonder why these people got into journalism in the
first place. Surely they wanted to provide the people with
truth, or at least an unbiased telling of the truths of different
sides. When did big media get into bed with political parties?
Pat Martens. CanWest, and the Death of Journalism.
Adbusters Magazine.
For the record: Teachers have no plan for strike vote:
Liberals play politics of fear with students and parents

Contrary to reports on BCTV Global last evening and
in today's Vancouver Sun, B.C. teachers have no plan
for a strike vote. BCTF President Jinny Sims said she
wants to assure parents that there is absolutely no
plan for any disruption in the school year.

"It is unconscionable for Premier Campbell to claim
that there are plans for a school strike only weeks
before provincial exams and days after the election,
" Sims said.

"It is outrageous that the premier would tell such
blatant lies to the electorate," Sims added. "This
is nothing less than fear-mongering. It is a disturbing
act of desperation from a government that has failed
our students and therefore needs to deflect scrutiny
of its record."

Sims said there is evidence that the B.C. Liberals
had insider knowledge of The Vancouver Sun's page-one
story this morning.

"Open the paper on any day of the week, and you can
clearly see the close connections between Sun management
and the Liberal party," Sims said. "But today we received
a copy of an e-mail that proves Liberal party insiders
had advance notice of today's front page story, and
which reveals their true intention of using the issue
of teacher bargaining to divide the public and
needlessly alarm parents."

The e-mail from Irene Barr, president of the B.C. Liberal
Women's Commission
, stated that she had learned that the
front page would feature a story about teachers planning
a strike vote shortly after the election.

Barr wrote: "This is a GREAT issue for us to have our
supporters rise up on to say NO MORE! Again, this is a
tremendous wedge issue being handed to us on a silver

Sims said she was particularly shocked to note that
the e-mail was sent at 1:50 a.m. long before The Sun
hits the newstands or doorsteps. "One wonders how a
party functionary would have advance notice of the
newspaper's content unless there is active collusion
between CanWest and the Liberals," Sims said.

Sims called on Sun publisher Dennis Skulsky to
explain this apparent breach of journalistic integrity.
And she appealed to Gordon Campbell to stop spreading
falsehoods and fear about an imaginary teacher strike.

"What we've seen today from the premier is exactly
the sort of acrimonious politics that British Columbians
reject," Sims said. "This government is unable to defend
its record on education, and so they are lashing out at
teachers. It's not right and it won't work."
From the Gazetteer:
"This is a totally manufactured issue."
Rod Mickleburgh, May 14, 2005 on CBC's 28 Days.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Fall out from the Debate:

How the Media Bias Affects the Opinions of BC

CBC News, (May 3 2005). Campbell's credibility questioned
during debate.

CKNW, (May, 04 2005). Leadership debate leads to mixed reactions.

Help CKNW out with their poll, if you can believe it Gordon Campbell
& Adrienne Carr are ahead of Carole James and that is just ridiculous
if one looks objectively at the performance of each leader in the debate.
The question is:
"Who do you think won the leadership debate on Tuesday night?"

To have your say, please visit CKNW today:

Liberals version: 2005 Leader's Debate

From the NDP: And media commentators agree:
"From the first mini-debate on the economy to the
closing battle on leadership, James hammered on
Campbell like a second-hand bongo drum and I
thought she got the better of him in most of the
exchanges … In my view, Carole James easily
won last night's debate"
(Michael Smyth, Vancouver Province)

"James scores in debate" (headline, Victoria-Times Colonist)

"NDP Leader walks tall" (headline, Vancouver Province)

"Rookie James shows poise" (headline, The Globe and Mail)

"A poll conducted by Ipsos-Reid immediately following the
debate indicated that 31 per cent thought James won the
debate compared with 23 per cent for Campbell and
12 per cent for Carr" (Vancouver Sun).

"I thought the premier was very defensive. (NDP Leader)
Carole James really plugged into what became the
underlying theme of the evening, the issue of trust"
(political commentator Norman Ruff, quoted in Canadian

"Campbell not so good. The Premier was put on the
defensive early on and seemed unable to break out of
that" (Ruff on Gordon Campbell, quoted in The Globe
and Mail).

"The bad news for Campbell is that Carole James
clearly established herself as a credible leader”
(Kyle Braid, Ipsos-Reid).

"Ms. James acquitted herself well, hammering away
at the past four years of Mr. Campbell's government
and putting the Liberal Leader on the defensive for
much of the hour"
(Rod Mickleburgh, The Globe and Mail).

"[Carole James] grabbed every advantage she could
to cement the impression of a poised, articulate leader
who knows what's going on and is very familiar with
the government's weaknesses... She emerged from the
hour-long joust looking like a very competent leader.
She skated a few rings around the premier"
(Les Leyne, Victoria-Times Colonist).

"[Gordon Campbell] didn't really come up with a
coherent, comprehensive explanation of the fall downs
his government sustained"
(Les Leyne, Victoria-Times Colonist).

"It wasn't a great performance from Campbell, who
seemed the most tense of the three for much of the time."
(Paul Willcocks, Vancouver Sun).

"Adriane Carr, like the Green party in most political
situations, struggled to be a presence"
(Paul Willcocks, Vancouver Sun).

"The debate gave the biggest boost to the campaign of
NDP leader Carole James, who highlighted weak areas
of the Liberal record and scored points in arguing the
NDP would do a better job in managing health and education"
(Paul Willcocks, Vancouver Sun).

"On balance, I think Carole James was the overall winner. ...
She was extremely well-informed, her confidence was
obvious and she looked leader-like, she looked premier-like"
(Former Liberal Leader Gordon Wilson, quoted in
Victoria Times-Colonist).