Tuesday, November 24, 2009

We're #1 - In Child Poverty - BC's Kids Lose Again

You sir, are an @$$. Here's a tip for you & your minions. B.S. (ie. the spin machine of the overpaid and overstaffed PAB) and telling the same untruths over and over doesn't make them true. It doesn't make you more palatable to those who are living beyond desperation and the rest of us. Those who know that their government has not only failed them, but has completely excluded them from participation and inclusion in their own society.

Why isn't our government concerned about the growing legions of alienated and discarded people slipping into deep poverty, homelessness and the distress of being forced into a place of abject and unrelenting survival seeking?
Why are they ushering so many into social dislocation, of deprivation, even at the most tender and vulnerable ages?

Who does this benefit?

The BC Liberals are failing in so many ways. And the people, the ones with nothing left to lose are getting damn sick, tired, hopeless and angry about it.

Back to the Basics - See the Dark Lord explaining what the province is doing to remediate child poverty. Basically nothing. I bet you're shocked.
Public Eye Online. Nov. 24, 2009.

The provincial government will be "reducing people's taxes, increasing the number of jobs and investing in education." That seemed to be the extent of Gordon Campbell's plan to deal with the rate of child poverty in British Columbia - which is the highest in the country for the sixth year in a row. Of course, the premier could have likely said more about what his government is doing to solve that problem. But he didn't when reporters scrummed him on his way into a caucus meeting.

Report on the Budget 2010 Consultations

2009 BC Child Poverty Report Card
First Call: BC Child & Youth Advocacy Coalition

Premier Campbell’s BC Progress Board has argued, “All children, irrespective of their social background, should have an equal chance to succeed in the province, and there is compelling evidence that children from low income families are at greater risk.”

British Columbia had the highest child poverty rate in Canada for the sixth year in a row in 2007. According to the Statistics Canada before-tax Low Income Cut-Offs (LICOs), the proportion of children living in poverty in BC was 18.8% – well above the national child poverty rate of 15%. This means that an estimated 156,000 children were living in poverty in BC. That is greater than the combined population of Nanaimo and Prince George.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Crime & Public Disorder: Why are the BC Liberals Driving this Train to Hell?

This is absolute nonsense. So whose job is it going to be to be running the criminal records for welfare applicants? Where is the information found going to be kept? For how long? Who gets access to that information? Will it become part of someone's personal file with the welfare ministry? Now, here's the million dollar questions - what choice will criminals have but to continue to create crime & the public disorder that arises out of this life and collateral damage?

We should all be asking ourselves why the BC government is doing so much to promote crime & disorder in Beautiful BC in such a short time? Because we should all understand that is what happening on a gigantic scale. These people are just devoid of morality, it's so bloody odious.

I don't even think this is legal. I'm sure they will waste tons of taxpayers funds defending the indefensible for the Charter suit. But then most people have no idea they can look up anyone's name and find out whether they've had criminal charges against them in the last few years, where, how many appearances, whether they've been ordered for psychiatric assessment and what their sentence was. Go ahead, test it out with your name, or someone you know.

Court Services Online

Record could stop Welfare


Housing and Social Development Minister Rich Coleman is defending a bill that will cut off welfare for people convicted of indictable criminal offences.

Coleman had said the bill would cut off welfare for serious crimes like sexual assault and murder, but in debate with the NDP this week he admitted the legislation does not spell that out and "indictable offences" could include minor crimes like shoplifting.

But he says the intent is still to only cut off welfare for serious crimes, "But you know, there's a way to balance that, and we'll do that."

Coleman denies an NDP claim the bill casts too wide a net, and could see single moms lose their welfare for minor offences.

The Minister has this to say about the opposition, "You know, they have a love affair with criminals, these guys."

'NW: "Who?"

RC: "The NDP."

NDP critic Shane Simpson says Coleman's comments are ridiculous, "Well, that's just an absurd comment. I believe the problem with the Minister is the Minister when he spoke in second reading, he either misrepresented the truth when he suggested what this bill was, or he didn't understand his own legislation. And then he got caught on that when we got to further debate the other day, and I suspect the Minister's just feeling a little testy because he was shown to be wrong."

Simpson says the Government should have spelled out in the legislation exactly what crimes would see people cut off from welfare.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Psychopathology Breeds Contempt for the Public Good

See, I wasn't joking about the size of the ego and there is no room in BC for this disgusting kind of arrogance. Get the hell out of our Province and back to the depths to which you belong. You can't talk about OUR people like this. People who swore an Oath to the public good in BC, unlike those whose only fealty is sworn to the Almighty dollar no matter what it costs the citizens of the province one is visiting. And there are more than a few of 'em careening around BC right now.

I say let's give it a whirl, say bye-bye to the pocket liners, re-jig the Boards (no more double-dipping and conflict of interest), cap the salaries of CEO and directors and get back to an understanding of what public services are all about - serving the public interest.

BC Ferries Boss Dismisses Report of Being Overpaid as "Nonsense"
Comptroller general biased toward public-sector model, Hahn suggests

Lindsay Kines, Times Colonist. November 10, 2009.


David Hahn began an interview by saying he had to be careful with his comments, then variously referred to the report's findings and recommendations as "biased," "nonsense," "craziness" and "dumb."

Hahn even objected to a section where comptroller general Cheryl Wenezenki-Yolland stated that, compensation aside, the quasi-private company was reasonably well-managed.

"I'd probably take exception with the word 'reasonably,' " he said. "I think it's so much better, it's night and day."

Hahn, who earned more than $1 million last year, said he was insulted by the report's suggestion that he had too much influence over his compensation. The board decides how much he gets paid, not him, he said.

"I kind of chuckled, and thought it was sad at the same time, when she said the targets were easy to achieve," he said. "Do you think building ships in B.C. and getting that done the right way is easy to achieve? Do you think the on-time performance on the ships or changing the culture of B.C. Ferries from what it was to what it is, is easy?

"I don't know. Maybe she never rides the ferries or didn't ride them a long time ago. But I know from where it was to where it is today, we've got a lot to be proud of."

Hahn also rejected the report's call for increased accountability and greater separation between the B.C. Ferry Authority and B.C. Ferries' board of directors. The authority appoints itself to the B.C. Ferries board, creating what Wenezenki-Yolland called a conflict of interest. She also recommended an expanded role for the B.C. ferry commissioner.

Hahn suggested Wenezenki-Yolland was "biased" toward a public-sector model.

"I think she's saying B.C. Ferries should return to the way of the past. And let me tell you, if they fully implemented her mindset and it went back into this Crown environment, it would take less than a year for things to fall apart."


Narcissistic Personality Disorder

A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

  1. has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
  2. is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
  3. believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
  4. requires excessive admiration
  5. has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
  6. is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
  7. lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
  8. is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her
  9. shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

Friday, November 06, 2009

Off with Their Gigantic Inflated Heads: BC Liberal Appointees Bleeding Taxpayers Dry

“The relevant talents of the guy that Gordon Campbell's appointees have hired to run BC's ferry fleet appear to lie mainly in breaking up and selling off a major transportation company's assets.”
[The Troubled Company Reporter ; Georgia Straight Dec 18/03]

The Queen had it right "Off with their Heads" only I would add with their Greedy Egomaniac heads. Well, the latest audits are in. Great work on the part of Comptroller General Cheryl Wenezenki-Yolland in exposing the monumental waste of tax payer dollars on the salaries of the Transportation Kings.

But, lets be clear, this latest bombshell (not) is laid, as usual, at the BC Liberals feet. They picked their henchmen, they filled the boards and they waved goodbye to our taxpayer funds, while many of us waved goodbye to adequate transportation services.

But - it's not like any of this is new News. It's been reported before what these scoundrels were doing on the public dime:

On April 1st , the BC Ferry Authority Board of Directors gave themselves a retroactive $233,000 pay hike on top of salaries and bonuses totaling $730,000 for attending meetings to increase fares and vote themselves pay raises. [Vancouver Sun Apr 16/08; Hansard Apr 15/08]

And what did Kevin Falcon, then Minister of Transportation have to stay to taxpayers: "Boo hoo."

Who on earth has ever heard of such a flagrant conflict of interest (and violation of the public interest) to have some of the same members sitting on the board that would set the salaries for themselves?

What layer of hell do these people spring from and how do they actually look at themselves in the mirror each day and not know what gigantic failures they are as protectors of BC's public good? At least everyone else now knows it too. Sorry excuses. I'd be hanging my head in shame if I were named as part of something like this - but, guess what, I WOULDN"T EVER FIND MYSELF DOING THIS TO THE TAXPAYERS OF BC. If you asked most taxpayers about this, I think they would say "nice gig, how do I get a sweet deal like this to pick my own salary? But seriously, ask ten random people on the street and they would get what a crappy deal this is for those of us who have to actually PAY THEM.

Read about 'em and weep at what they've been getting away with at our expense
(bye bye Health care system...):

BC Ferry Services Inc. Board of Directors

BC Ferry Authority
Board of Directors

Translink: Proudly & Openly Screwing Taxpayers for Years

It's also been reported that Translink is completely unaccountable. Like that is news.

TransLink Pay Scale Raises Eyebrows in BC
CBC News. February 8, 2008.

Directors of the Greater Vancouver transit authority have raised eyebrows by voting to award themselves a hefty pay package.

Behind closed doors and without issuing a press release, the TransLink board approved a wage scale that pays six times more than what the previous board was being paid to do similar work.

News of the increases come after the B.C. Ministry of Transportation restructured the TransLink board last year, replacing elected directors with appointed ones.


What to Do: Housecleaning is the Only Way to Go:

The best way for efficiencies to be made is start cutting at the top and work their way down, chop, chop, chop of the Boards. I think a few million can be found chopping the exorbitant, unsustainable salaries of these BC Liberal appointees who've been sucking taxpayers dry as taxes and fees were raised for the citizens of BC just to get basic transportation, if they even have that anymore.

So, Monday, what can we expect from Hahn? What can we expect from the government? Prendergrast has made it easy for the province by already bowing out and heading back to NY. I think there must be some sort of ferry fleet Emperor Hahn could find to tear apart back in his home state of New Yawk, or somewhere else.

It's pretty clear, the taxpayers of BC can't afford these free-wheelin', high-life livin' Emperors anymore. Hello, remember - ECONOMIC CRISIS. If that's what all of us non-Royals have to deal with, then so can these folks.

Major BC Ferries and TransLink reforms needed: report Video
CBC News.

The top levels of both BC Ferries and TransLink require a major restructuring to give them more accountability, greater transparency and better oversight, B.C.'s comptroller general says.

Senior Ferries Staff Overpaid: Labour Relations Expert
Rob Shaw and Ann Hui, Times Colonist
. July 30, 2009.

"Taxpayers can't, like shareholders in a private business, protest or sell shares in B.C. Ferries if they're unhappy with the way it's run. We don't have that choice as taxpayers," he said [Ken Thornicroft, professor of law and labour relations with the University of Victoria's business school].

Ferries CEO David Hahn receives more than $1 million a year in salary and benefits. His four vice-presidents each earn around $500,000 a year, bringing the senior management total to more than $3 million a year.

Follow the disappearing dollars, to find out what this was all really about, anyone noticing a theme about disappearing Crown lands (BC Ferries, BC Rail...)
from William Thomas:

On April 2, 2003, Kevin Falcon and the Minister of Land and Water quietly signed documents transferring all BC Ferry crown land, foreshore, water lots, terminals, berths and parking lots to the BC Transportation Financing Authority in exchange for a $330 million promissory note. The BCTFA immediately turned around and charged the Campbell government $330 million for a 60-year lease on the berths and terminals just transferred to it.

So the newly formed and heavily indebted BC Ferry Services Inc. handed back BCTFA's $330 million to lease the facilities it had owned just seconds ago. Presto! What had been public crown land was now owned by the newly hatched BC Transportation Financing Authority.

BC Ferries ended up with an insupportable debt that was soon to quadruple under a massive and long overdue modernization of ships and shore facilities that could best be carried out by the provincial government. But not after this bookkeeping flim-flam that removed government liability to what it called an “arms-length” distance that left taxpayers liable for any payback shortfalls.

By holding all but one voting share of the company, the province now owned a private company called BC Ferry Services. To insure that the BC government could not “interfere” with what is no longer a provincial ferry fleet, this voting share was handed to the newly created BC Ferry Authority, which controls the new BC Ferry Service through its Board of Directors. As the Ferry Authority explains on its website, “By its structure, the Authority ensures the operations of BC Ferries are independent from the provincial government.” [bcferryauthority.com]

TransLink eyes $18M tax hike for Metro Vancouver residents

TransLink is facing an $18-million budget shortfall and residential property owners may be asked to pick up the tab for the transit authority.

TransLink, the regional transit authority, used to be run by a board made up of regional mayors and councillors. But in March 2007, B.C. Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon announced sweeping changes to TransLink.

The former board was replaced by a government-appointed board of professionals — accountants, lawyers and engineers who govern day-to-day operations — and by a council of 30 mayors to look at long-term planning.

One of the first moves of the new board was to hold a vote behind closed doors to give themselves pay raises without any public notice, raising their pay to more than six times what the previous board was paid.

TransLink head departs for new job in NYC
CBC News.

Finance official offers fixes for Ferries, TransLink :: The Hook

Andrew MacLeod.