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.

Friday, June 17, 2005

How the BC Liberals handle Whistle Blowing

Proposed Speaker of the House discusses new position
CKNW, (June 17, 2005).

PENTICTON/CKNW(AM980) - Premier Campbell's
selection for Speaker of the House is rejecting speculation
about why he's been demoted.

Bill Barisoff says he's proud to have the chance to serve
as Speaker and denies the recent uproar over endangered
turtles lead to his removal as Minister of Water, Land and
Air Protection.

He stands by the plan to move the turtles despite what
became a feeding frenzy by Liberal opponents, suggesting
the proposed habitat change would have been better for
the turtles.

The courts deemed Barisoff was in the wrong when he
approved construction of a new entrance into a park that
would have forced them to move the turtles.

Meanwhile, Barisoff says he intends to be as fair as possible
at his new post, should he be elected to the position.
Peons get quick lesson in environmental politics.
Kick Me Again, Have You Had Enough Yet?
(June 6 2005).

The ballots are counted, the Campbell Liberals rule supreme,
and in case anyone thought having 33 or 34 NDP MLAs
sitting in the Leg is going to make these Liberals liberals
on matters such as the environment or freedom of speech,
your local LIberal apparat set the tone beautifully last week.
Career civil servant Gordon McAdam was fired four hours
before his retirement for trying to save endangered painted
turtle breeding grounds.

That should tell the rest of the peons where they stand.
Shut up or pay the price.

According to the Globe and Mail, McAdam, who had won
six exemplary employee awards during his years of service,
was told he had three minutes to leave the building, and got
hauled out by security guards intent on not letting the
troublemaker pinch a pencil sharpener or vandalize a

The issue is whether it is or is not a good idea to save a
Kootenay developer considerable expenses by the
government paving the turtle breeding ground at public
expense without, natch, the adhering to government
guidelines and all that sort of red tape. McAdam, an
ecologist working for what used to be a Ministry of the
Environment, feel no regret at having blown the whistle
on your New Era types, and it isn't hard to see is it now
why a man might want to retire at the earliest opportunity
from a job with a government like that.

Looks like the painted turtles might be saved by court action.
We eagerly await a full report on the matter in the organs
of the CanWest media monopoly.
McAdams firing cries for whistle-blower law
Editorial. The Province, (June 16, 2005), p. A22.

Whenever we find the Canadian Taxpayers Federation
and BC's NDP clamouring for the same thing, it's time to
take notice. The two organizations are usually firmly
planted on opposite sides of the ideological fence.

But the unlikely allies have joined forces in calling for
provincial legislation that would protect whistle-blowers-
specifically, civil servants who squawk when the govern-
ment's trying to pull a fast one.

The need for such protection was highlighted recently
by the case of Gord McAdams, who blew the whistle
after Victoria set out to break its own BC Park Act,
and got fired for his diligence.

Of course, we have to take the call from Opposition
Leader Carole James's gang with a grain of salt.

But can Premier Gordon Campbell rise above partisan
politics and give us a law that is sorely needed?
We hope so.
The editor of the Province almost had me thinking that
they might be approaching this issue with common sense.
The second to last sentence, a weak attempt to continue
the NDP bashing and bias, shows that they still don't get it.
The NDP might actually be thinking of the public interest
"rising above partisan politics," unlike their Liberal buddies
and the self-interest inherent in their actions as stewards
of Crown lands.


Those who disclose information about something they
believe to be harmful to the public's interest, occurring
in business or in government. It includes disclosure to
authorities within the organization, to outside agencies
or to the media.

Reason for Whistleblowing Laws

Whistleblowing provisions are designed to facilitate
regulation and enforcement of laws by encouraging
employees to report evidence essential for industry
regulation and the prosecution of corporate wrongdoers.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

New BC Liberal Cabinet

Executive Council of the BC Legislature
June 16, 2005

Gordon Campbell - Premier

George Abbott - Minister of Health

Pat Bell - Minister of Agriculture and Lands

Bill Bennett - Minister of State for Mining

Shirley Bond - Minister of Education
Minister Responsible for Early Learning and Literacy
Deputy Premier

Ida Chong - Minister of Community Services
Minister Responsible for Seniors' & Women's Issues

Rich Coleman - Minister of Forests and Range
Minister Responsible for Housing

Tom Christensen -Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation

Murray Coell - Minister of Advanced Education
Minister Responsible for Research & Technology

Michael de Jong - Minister of Labour and Citizens’ Services

Kevin Falcon - Minister of Transportation

Stan Hagen - Minister of Children and Family Development

Colin Hansen - Minister of Economic Development
Minister Responsible for the Asia-Pacific Initiative and the Olympics

Olga Ilich - Minister of Tourism, Sports and the Arts

John Les - Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General

Richard Neufeld - Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources

Wally Oppal - Attorney General
Minister Responsible for Multiculturalism

Barry Penner -Minister of Environment
Minister Responsible for Water Stewardship and Sustainable Communities

Linda Reid - Minister of State for Childcare

Claude Richmond - Minister of Employment and Income Assistance

Carole Taylor - Minister of Finance

Rick Thorpe - Minister of Small Business and Revenue
Minister Responsible for Deregulation

John Van Dongen -Minister of State for Intergovernmental Relations


Perhaps I shouldn't be suprised, in fact, I'm not, but this one
mighty white Cabinet. So much for beautiful, DIVERSE, BC.
They couldn't appoint any of the Chinese MLA's to the
Asia-Pacific Ministry at least. Or would that have looked too
tokenistic? At least an effort at diversity would have been

No gender balance either, wow, 4 full blown female ministers
and 1 minister of state. That is an abysmal 5/23 in the Executive
Cabinet, or 22%. That just sucks.

Carole Taylor received an interesting post, Finance. And one can
only assume that Shirley Bond is one of the most faithful of the
flock with her busy assignments. Perhaps naming her Deputy
Premier is a way to appease the women-folk for the lame
showing. Again, not surprising.

Curious what this new "Citizens’ Services" is all about. Hmm,
planning to be a little more concerned with democracy and
the rights of citizens??? Hahaha.

Also, no mention of House Speaker yet.
Another interesting tidbit:

Nancy Campbell, Gordon Campbell's wife, has a new gig as
Principal of the Howe Sound Secondary in Squamish. Hmm,
guess they've really moved on, eh? I wish her the best, she
really deserves it after everything is said and done.

Thanks to the Province and Sean Holman, who's back in
the saddle with Public Eye Online. Welcome back.

Congrats on your new column in 24 Hours too.

By Sean Holman, (June 17, 2005). 24 hours.

The titles may have changed. But in the end, most of
the names remained the same. That was one of the
results of yesterday's cabinet swearing-in ceremony.

Policing Update

Police Board Chair pledges review in wake of
critical report

CKNW, (June, 15 2005).

VANCOUVER/CKNW(AM980) - The Vancouver
Police Board is promising a policy review as part of
its response to a scathing report by the Police Complaint

Vancouver Mayor -- and Police Board Chair -- Larry
Campbell is pledging to undertake a 'comprehensive'
policy review.

Campbell says the board is considering ways to ensure
officers fully co-operate with officials during investiga-
tions of their conduct.

This is the first time the Mayor has spoken about the
report since its release two weeks ago.
Secrecy at police board meeting
CKNW, (June 15 2005).

VANCOUVER/CKNW(AM980) - An air of secrecy
continues to hover over the Vancouver Police Department
after the mayor of Vancouver forced reporters to leave
a police board meeting this afternoon.

After Police Chief Jamie Graham initially agreed to
give a statement about an adjudicators ruling invol-
ving two fired Vancouver constables, he was told
by mayor Larry Campbell to stay inside the meeting
for the board's in camera session.

Constable Tim Fanning ended up facing several irate

"He wouldn't speak to us today because he's gotta
wait for the final phase so after June 22nd then he'll
be able to talk to us ok?"

The public portion of the meeting lasted less than
ten minutes.
Judge to investigate police complaint process
CBC News, (Jun 14 2005).

VICTORIA – A retired judge has been appointed by
the provincial government to investigate the handling
of complaints against the Vancouver Police Department
and other municipal police forces in B.C.

FROM JUNE 2, 2005: Police watchdog recommends audit
of Vancouver force

Police Complaints Commissioner Dirk Ryneveld
recently released a report highly critical of the VPD,
accusing some officers of not co-operating with an
external RCMP investigation.
The Honourable Rich Coleman, Minister of Public Safety
and Solicitor General, directs the Director of Police Services
to conduct a review into matters concerning policing in
British Columbia, pursuant to section 42 of the Police Act.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Come to think of it, I could use a Taser


VICTORIA (CP) - A report in British Columbia says
the full force of Tasers should only be considered for
use by police on suspects who are aggressively attacking
or trying to assault an officer.

The final report done for B.C.'s police complaints commis-
sioner on Taser technology and released on Tuesday also
recommended the appointment of a provincial co-ordinator
on the use of force to evaluate new and existing technologies
available to police.

"Canadian police forces should be obliged to stop using
Tasers until truly independent and objective studies have
been done on their safety implications," Cameron Ward
said in a statement.

At least six people have died in Canada after being shocked
by Tasers, which fire two barbs attached to a wire that
deliver a 50,000-volt shock on contact for up to five
seconds. The weapon is meant to immobilize aggressors by
shocking their muscles.
Latest Commentary - Taser report biased, flawed

Cameron Ward, (June 14, 2005).

A report on taser technology released today parrots
the manufacturer’s claims and glosses over 126 deaths
proximal to Taser use, says Cameron Ward, lawyer for
Robert Bagnell’s family. (Robert Bagnell, 44, died June
23, 2004 after being tasered by Vancouver police.)
“Canadian police forces should be obliged to stop using
Tasers until truly independent and objective studies
have been done on their safety implications”, he said.

There have been 126 deaths proximate to Taser use
in North America since September, 1999. Ten of those
have occurred in Canada.
[source: Arizona Republic]

Stun gun under fire
Law Enforcement, New MLA Pleased With Taser
CKNW, (Jun, 14 2005).

VANCOUVER/CKNW(AM980) - An extensive study
gives "thumbs up" to the Taser electronic stun gun, although
at least one human rights lawyer still has reservations.

The report by members of the Victoria police department
finds Tasers are an acceptable method of force, and while
they have been "involved" in over 140 deaths in North
America, they have not been the direct cause.


For that very reason, human rights lawyer Cameron Ward
has a lot of problems with police using Tasers on drug addicts,
especially when they're having psychotic episodes. "The
police often subdue people who have not committed any
criminal offence, but who have been the subject of a 9-1-1
emergency call for medical assistance and in fact, in some
of the cases here in Vancouver, deaths have ensued as
the result of those calls."

Meantime, newly elected MLA Wally Oppal says stun guns
are valuable when dealing with suspects who put the lives
of others and themselves in danger. "To say that they
shouldn't be using it is liks saying well, maybe they
shouldn't use handguns either. The fact is, under
appropriate circumstances, we authorize police to use
force to subdue people who need to be subdued."

The report recommends the appointment of a provincial
"use of force" co-ordinator, something Oppal suggested
more than a decade ago in the course of his investigation
into police conduct.
New report sets out taser guidelines
CKNW, (Jun, 14 2005)

VANCOUVER/CKNW(AM980) - A report written
for the BC. Police Complaint Commissioner is
setting out guidelines for the use of tasers.

The report was ordered after the deaths of four people
who were zapped by police officers.

The report recommends tasers not be used on people
showing only passive resistance - like a drunk who
won't get out of their car.

The level of taser use should escalate based on the
threat - with full deployment reserved for subjects
who could cause death or bodily harm.

There should also be a provincial use of force
coordinator to assist police.

The review was written by Victoria Police.

In the past taser proponents have indicated the fifty
thousand volt zap would not directly kill someone
but could aggravate a pre existing condition or
seriously affect someone freaking out while on drugs.