Saturday, January 23, 2010

What Secrets do the BC Liberals have to Hide? Suspension of Access to Information & Privacy Investigations in BC

Foul demons be gone! What more do we have to put up with? On the eve of the Olympics more madness from our government, which seems to be adrift of a captain and rapidly heading for the rocks.

What a mockery this loathsome BC Liberal regime makes of even a pretense of fairness and of valuing the rights, dignity and respect for people of BC. They are an insult to freedom and liberty to the citizens of our province.

The man most in the know of the secrets and risks to the BC government, David Loukedelis, the so-called "independent officer" [aka BC Liberal appointee] who was the Commissioner of the Office of Information & Privacy Commission (OIPC) has just scored a gig as Deputy Minister of the Attorney General. The AG, home of the Justice Branch, the lawyers who protect the government from accounting for their employees gross lapses and errors and sometimes criminal acts. Boy, if one were suspicious one might think this had been coming for awhile, Loukedelis has been remarkably benign in this most important role. What secrets does Mr. Loukedelis bring to his new post, you bet there will be many.

2nd B.C. public servant fired for welfare privacy breach
CBC News

In April, the RCMP found files on 1,400 social assistance clients in the home of a government worker, but it took the government seven months to notify those whose confidential files were involved.

Loukidelis's investigation is one of several taking place into the security breach that has already led to the firing of two civil servants, one of whom reportedly had a criminal record for credit card fraud and counterfeiting at the time he was hired.

This resignation and appointment and how it has all been handled stinks to high heaven. If you look at a Ministry of Children & Families, they've had numerous changes of useless and clueless figure-heads. The delegations of it's employees didn't cease because some new idiot was on the way out and a new one in. The day-to-day work and mandate did not cease while the new lamb to the slaughter was briefed on the file by those whose jobs it is to carry on business and mandate while the political nonsense carries on. People can't possibly think it's that the elected ones (many of whom have little to no experience doing anything of much use) or Liberal appointees (Order in Council) who are really bringing the brains, elbow grease and know-how to the table??? Is anyone that naive?

Installed into the position in 1999, he has weathered the changing of the guard time and time again. Since the entire BC government is run out of Premier Gordon Campbell's office (which explains A LOT), there is no way that Mr. Loukedelis left the one position and was appointed a Deputy Minister (Order in Council) without that happening through the Premier himself. No competent, moral, or ethical government, or administration would make this set of decisions and leave the Commission without a delegated leader (in this case a Commissioner) unless it served the government's political purposes.

The government of BC, the BC Liberal government, is operating outside the laws of natural justice and the people of BC must do something about this before everything that matters to us is stripped by these banana republic corpo-demons.

Commissioner David Loukidelis' letter of resignation (19 Jan. 2010)
I hereby resign, effective today, as Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia.

DOCUMENT: Mary Carlson letter (PDF)

Privacy Official Sounds 'Urgent' Alarm
CBC News. January 22, 2010.

Work at the office of B.C.'s Information and Privacy Commission in Victoria is reported to have ground to a halt after the commissioner resigned suddenly this week.

Privacy Commissioner David Loukidelis resigned unexpectedly Wednesday to take a job as deputy attorney general.

Commission executive director Mary Carlson circulated a letter labelled "extremely urgent" at the B.C. legislature Friday calling for a quick resolution of the situation.

The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner is independent from government and monitors and enforces British Columbia's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and Personal Information Protection Act.


How B.C.'s Government Tracks, Stalls Muckrakers

A deeper look at how Liberals track FOI-filing reporters reveals the methods, the spins, and how the reporter herself ended up on the list.

By Ann Rees, 3 Apr 2004,

But confidential "Advice to Minister" notes show the FOI process in B.C. has been twisted to serve as a communications tool, which allows government to scrutinize the FOI activities of law-abiding citizens who intend to hold it accountable.

The 65 communications notes obtained under FOI show spin doctors, using a sophisticated surveillance system, routinely track and review potentially-damaging requests.

All requests from media, anyone working for the Opposition, lobby groups, and others, who might use records to embarrass government, are automatically flagged as "sensitive" on the government-wide database.

Records deemed politically dangerous are reviewed by Liberal spin doctors prior to releasing them to the requester.

In addition, troublesome requesters are often identified by name and brought to the attention of the minister responsible, a breach of privacy protections in the Act.

And the entire exercise has the blessing of cabinet ministers, and the Office of the Premier through its Public Affairs Bureau (PAB) which designed and operates the communications FOI surveillance system.

Meanwhile, the Office of the Privacy and Information Commissioner launched an investigation following complaints from several requesters, including this reporter, who were identified in the confidential communications notes.

Not only did the ministry track requests which I had filed to MCFD directly, it also tracked related FOI requests which I had submitted to Regional Health Authorities which operate separate FOI systems - logging my legal activities across different levels of government and flagging them to the attention of the Minister.


The “10 steps” that any would-be dictator must go through to close down an open society:

  1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy.
  2. Create secret prisons where torture takes place.
  3. Develop a thug caste or paramilitary force not answerable to the people.
  4. Set up an internal surveillance system.
  5. Harass citizens’ groups and rights organizations.
  6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release.
  7. Target key individuals.
  8. Control the press.
  9. Declare all dissent to be treason.
  10. Suspend the rule of law.

Monday, January 11, 2010

2009 Top Ten Reasons the BC Liberals Still Suck

Because We all Know they Suck. I think even some of their people even know it too.

From cradle to grave in BC, the BC Liberals have found a way to tax us, harm us, sell BC's resources and assets, and kill BC's future prosperity. Unless you happen to be rich. Gordon Campbell doesn't have to care (and doesn't), he will be richly rewarded by his corporate and political masters for screwing the citizens of BC. He has led the worst and most corrupt government in BC and possibly Canadian history.

A decade in government has demonstrated that time and time again, the BC Liberal regime is incapable of acting in the public's interest and they have displayed a ruthless, Machiavellian bloodthirst to pick the government and province's bones clean. Ask yourselves - what legacy has the BC Liberals left in their wake. BC will never be the same after their bloodletting is done.

BC is #1 in Child Poverty for 6 Years in a Row!!!
Grinding, don't-ever-have-enough poverty. That's how the BC Liberals like to keep our future generations & their families. While Gordon Campbell is jetting all over the world and Canada, having photo-ops, over 100,000 BC kids each day don't have enough food, or the basic necessities of life. This is the shame of BC. Get real Mary, enough window dressing from the bunch of you, get to work and help our kids have a future or start building the jails now. Child poverty has been the choice of the BC Liberal government since 2001.

BC Liberals Senior Tax (BCST)
Not satisfied that around BC many of our elders live out the end of their lives in care homes, some better than others. Most of these citizens have worked their entire lives and contributed and paid into BC's coffers so that systems of care would be there for them when they need it most. Oh, no, if there is money to be made, trust the BC Liberals to find it. Come 2010, they will be raising care-home fees by eight per cent. In 2011, they will increase the fees by 10 per. This Seniors Tax will impact 75 per cent of seniors living in care homes.

I don't think that most citizens truly understand how much of our province and infrastructure has been privatized, with billions of dollars flowing to private corportations, dollars that used to flow into our governments coffers to pay for public services. This means jobs lost, revenue paid into government, resources and assets lost forever. Crown lands. Agricultural lands given up to developer friends.

They are Piss Poor Manager's of the Public Purse
Why are they in politics in the first place? If they ran a business like they administered our government most of them would bankrupt a lemondade stand. Would you hire a Kevin Falcon, or a Rich Coleman? What about a Mary Polak? Why do you think they gave themselves "transitional" salaries and training etc. when they don't make it back into government. BC Liberal MLA's names are mud and unless they have an actual profession to return to, their employment prospects are pretty slim. But, they've taken care of that - the disgraced always find themselves with some snazzy corporate Directorships. And if you've been a BC Liberal MLA over the last decade, make no mistake about it - you are considered a disgrace to a growing majority, remember that when it's time to return to private life.
See BC's Bizarre Fiscal Plan for more details. And be afraid, very afraid.

Slashing & Burning Health Care & Community Support Services
Cancellation of thousands of surgeries. Downgrading health care services offered at local hospitals. Slashing of mental health and addiction services for adults and CHILDREN. Cuts to community support that actually prevent significant harm that requires more costly and intensive interventions. Penny-wise pound foolish public policy. And we all know where they money's going, we aren't stupid. To the 2 week party - the Olympics. That will bankrupt all of us. Our next generation of BC children who aren't even born yet will be left holding the bag. Who could have ever conceived of leaving unborn citizens a legacy of debt and substandard public services? The BC Liberals could conceive of it and they made it happen. Remember that next time at the polls. See Campbell Cuts for more details.

Lies, Omissions and Treachery in the 2009 Provincial Election
Does this sound familiar? The budget deficit will be maintained at $495 million. A blatant, total lie to the people of BC. After the election, we were told some version of the truth (they really don't know how to do that) and the real deficit figure was more like $2.8 billion.

They suppressed government documents during the election, purposefully obstructing the public's right to know by manipulating Freedom of Information requests. They didn't want taxpayers to know about the increase in people on Income Assistance.

They failed to mention they were bringing in the HST (Hey Stupid Tax). It would have been difficult for anyone to vote for them if the public knew about that. So, they omitted that from their platform, lying by omission to the people of BC.

B.S.Illusion & Inaction on Climate Change
Remember how in the last term Gordon Campbell was all about the environment, about doing something about climate change. Remember how he told us bringing in the Carbon Tax (CT) was going to somehow magically make a difference. Well, it's made a difference alright - it's slicing off even more of our meagre funds. For people who have no choice but to heat their homes & drive because there is no transit, or those who need their cars - we are paying and paying and paying. And not a damn thing has been done for the environment.

In fact, under the BC Liberals leadership, the environment is in the worse shape it's ever been, with no plans to do anything about it - except expand the damage. They plan to expand coal methane bed extraction, go big in privatizing more of our rivers to "Independent Power Producers." Why should corporations own our rivers and sell the power back to us for more money? Where have our salmon gone? The Feds plan to investigate, no interest from the BC Liberals to find out why these crucial food resources have been disappearing under their leadership.

BC Liberal Homelessness
The blame rests squarely on the head of this government. They brought in some of the most draconian, cruel and evil public policies any government in Canada (or elsewhere) ever has. They slashed the numbers on welfare. They brought in barriers to accessing it. They brought in reasons to disqualify people.

In a decade BC's rate of homelessness has exploded around the province. Cities and towns that never had issues of homelessness now do. Children, youth and families are now homeless. We have a generation of people who have been marginalized, socially excluded and forced into a mode of survival that a just, humane and compassionate government would never allow. But Gordon Campbell's BC Liberal government created this crisis. No matter how much Coleman blathers on about the province buying up hotels. There are still thousands of people homeless around BC. Because their own government made it thus. It is a provincial disgrace.

Housing and Support for Adults with Severe Addictions and/or Mental Illness in British Columbia ( 765 KB)

Bringing in the HST
As if the rising cost of living, the Carbon Tax they brought in last year and the downward spiral of most of our budgets, the parasitical government decided to bring in this tax that will include so many more things that never used to be taxed. There is a reason even typical Liberal supporters such as the BC Restaurant & Food Association has started a petition against it. Sign the petition here. The HST is going to downgrade all of our standards of living at a time when none of us can afford that.
And, the one that seems be the most important reason the BC Liberals Still Suck:
They have lowered the bar so far, we will truly never be the same again as a society. We are all tarnished a bunch more because of them.
In May 2009 they ran at least 4 BC Liberal candidates (and incumbent serving MLA's) who were under investigation for various violations (Rich Coleman & Mary Polak for interference in the Langley municipal election, as far as we know they've been exonerated and no charges have ever been filed). Whatever happened with the "Other aspects of the complaint [that] are still being evaluated, Thiessen said. He couldn't give extensive details, noting that, so far, there were "only allegations" being looked into. Other individuals or agencies are also involved.

Then there is John Les, who had to resign as Solicitor General when "special prosecutor Robin McFee has been examining whether Les "improperly benefited from any commercial transactions involving land developers."

And Les' predecessor, leadfoot Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General John Van Dongen resigned from the BC Liberal Cabinet "following revelations that his driver's licence has been suspended for excessive speeding... van Dongen said the suspension had been triggered by two cases of "excessive speeding" in the last 18 months on a highway on Vancouver Island and on Highway 99."

But, in a surprise move, the usually moral people of Abbotsford returned the Honourable Van Dongen to the People's House. See what I mean, lowering the bar. For good.

Mentioned above, the lies, the treachery and deceit in not telling voters (including to their business buddies who were forking over the election ca$h) that they were bringing in the HST.

It hasn't been enough to plunge thousands into unrelenting poverty and homelessness, then the BC Liberals brought in legislation so that in the May 2009 election, those same thousands no longer have a right to vote for their own government. If they don't have ID, or anyone to "vouch" for them, then their own BC Liberal government disenfranchised them and took away the basic right conveyed to citizens in a democracy - to vote.

For moving forward with the pillaging of our lands, our resources, our Rivers.
Lower the bar so we have no choice but to get used to paying transnational Corporate masters our hard earned & dwindling paycheques. We're all really just serfs to the oligarchy in the BC Liberal regime and their Shadowy puppet masters.

Is it really too much to ask that this madness stop? We are in a new year and a new decade. The possibilities and opportunities for positive change are endless and at the tip of our fingers.

It is really time for the More of Us (than the few of them) to kick some BC Liberal @$$. We need to take back our Province and stop more hurt and fix the damage done.
Who's up for that as a Res/volution?