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  • — Published Date: April 14, 2014   (Issue 42-15)

    District defeats deferral, declares non-confidence in rail foundation

    A district board  non-confidence motion regarding the “existing administrative function of the Island Corridor Foundation (ICF)” passed resoundingly Tuesday, despite an attempt to postpone it until the end of May.

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    More than 100 protesters stretched almost a block in a march to protest against having a garbage incinerator in Nanaimo. ~ Photos by Chris Bowers

    Islanders unite against incinerator

    Gabriolans and Nanaimoites joined forces in Nanaimo Friday at the corner of Commercial and Terminal in a protest against the installation of an incinerator at Duke Point.

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    Partners Robert Stutzman (left) and David Chapman stand in front of the view at their new restaurant in Silva Bay. ~ Photo by Chris Bowers

    Robert’s Place expanding to Silva Bay

    It’s official: the contracts are signed, the keys handed over, and Robert Stutzman of Robert’s Place will add running the Silva Bay pub and restaurant to his “to do” list this summer.

    Parks Committee revises plan for Mudge beach accesses

    The Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee (POSAC) recently revised its priorities for the development of Mudge Island beach accesses.

    $18,000 awarded to PHC for housing program

    A request from People for a Healthy Community (PHC) Executive Director Brenda Fowler for $18,000 towards the agency’s  Gabriola  Guardian housing program was granted unanimously and almost without comment Tuesday.

    Madrona development permit amended to reflect future plans

    Trustees have agreed to amendments to a Madrona Market development permit application that will re-label a corner of the lot that was originally called ‘green-space’.

    Trust test drives climate change regulations

    Trustees ran draft greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction regulations past a small crowd of Gabriolans at an April 3 Local Trust Committee (LTC) community information meeting at the Haven.

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    Richard Smith: “The Market” can’t save the planet, but humans can.

    Capitalism or humans, not both, says eco-socialist

    “Either we save capitalism or we save the humans, but we can’t save both,” Dr.

    — Published Date: April 7, 2014   (Issue 42-14)

    ‘Duke Point Stinks’ takes on city hall

    Plans are well underway for Gabriolans to notch up the noise against an incinerator at Duke Point, according to incineration opponents organised under the name of ‘Duke Point Stinks’.

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    Seniors and youth took their time getting back onto the ferry March 31 to protest cuts to service and the seniors’ discount. ~ Photo by Chris Bowers

    Seniors, youth protest slashing of seniors’ ferry fare discount

    Gabriolans did not allow the last day of free-to-seniors’ ferry fares to go unremarked March 31, thanks to a rally for seniors and youth organised by the 86 year old and long-time activist  Jean McLaren.

    Read our lips
    ‘User-pay’ shipwrecks ferry system, communities: ferry chairs

    The BC Liberal government’s “user-pay ideology” that has been “mindlessly imposed on the ferry system up to and beyond the tipping point … is now crippling BC’s coastal region and undermining BC’s tourism reputation internationally”.

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    Back row: Coaches Tony Vickers and Glen Murphy; Players standing: Liam Colbourne, Blake Buchanan, Andrew Lenz, and Conner Maddison; Players kneeling: Kyron Gilcrest-Heath, Adin Brenner, Finn Bradbrooke, Tyson deJong, and Sam Hooton.

    15 for 15!
    Gabriola soccer team scores perfect season

    Given that they won every game in their regular season, both the boys and Coach Glen Murphy of Gabriola’s under 13 soccer team deserve loud applause Coach Tony Vickers told the Flying Shingle by email Tuesday.

    Railway disagreement about agreement follows Parksville push to start over

    A disagreement on whether there has been an agreement between VIA Rail and the Island Corridor Foundation (ICF) to proceed with passenger service on the old E and N Railway lines, comes on the heels of a March 25 notice of motion by Parksville Director Marc Lefebvre to go back to the drawing table on what to do about the rail line.

    Gabriolan economist concerned garbage next to be privatised

    An incinerator that many Gabriolans are concerned may be located at Duke Point raises the whole question of who will handle garbage in the future and how says Gabriolan and economist Erik Andersen.

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    Museum archivist Janet Stobbs is looking for information on these bridge drawings. ~ Photo by Chris Bowers

    Bridge talk nothing new, says Bulic

    At a March 20 presentation of Bridges Over Troubled Waters: The history of fixed links from Mainland BC to the Islands”, Bulic told a crowd of about 50 people at the Agi Hall, that the idea arose first in 1870 “when John A.

    Park and trail open houses well-attended

    Attendance at a pair of open houses on Village core developments was so good that the five people there to field questions were “run off our feet,” Regional Director Howard Houle told the Flying Shingle in a Thursday interview.

    Trust allows special events in community parks

    In a second split decision that reversed an earlier split decision, the Local Trust Committee (LTC) has agreed to a proposed bylaw that will allow special events in all Gabriola  parks.

    Health dept. issues Nanaimo measles advisory

    A single case of measles “in someone who attends an education setting” in the Nanaimo area has been confirmed by health officials.

    Christopher Michael faces further charges

    Gabriolan Christopher David Michael, 38, who was convicted of breaking and entering and possession of stolen property in May 2013, was arrested in Campbell River March 27 on two new break and enter warrants, says Gabriola RCMP Corporal Markus Muntener.

    RCMP implements safe school plan

    Gabriola Island RCMP and Gabriola Elementary School (GES) are pleased to announce the completion and implementation of a Safe School plan.

    — Published Date: April 1, 2014   (Issue 42-13)

    Correction
    April 3 Community Information Meeting will discuss climate change policy, not agricultural policy

    A community information meeting planned for April 3 at 6:30 at the Haven is meant to discuss climate change policy, not agricultural policy as reported in Monday's Flying Shingle.

    — Published Date: March 31, 2014   (Issue 42-13)

    Nanaimo on notice for incineration discussion

    Depending on the outcome of a motion by Councillor Diane Brennan to lift a tabled Dec.

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    NDP nomination hopeful Sheila Malcolmson (left) chats with NDP MPs Nathan Cullen, and Jean Crowder at a meeting in Nanaimo. ~ Photo by Chris Bowers

    Malcolmson sets sights on feds’ failings

    “Despite great work at the local level,” federal NDP MP nomination hopeful Sheila Malcolmson told a March 24 full house at Artworks, “we are being failed by our federal government.”

    Housing, produce stands primary Trust topics in farm bylaw

    Housing – including allowing  secondary suites of up to 968 square feet on agricultural lands – and farm stand sizes were the primary topics considered by trustees in preparing draft agricultural bylaws for public review.

    Clarification:

    Re: GIRO nomination process underway Although GIRO’s AGM usually takes place in April, this year it will take place mid-July.

    Revised ferry schedules released

    BC Ferries (BC) have released draft schedules introducing service cuts for the Quinsam – the ferry that services the Gabriola to Nanaimo route.

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    NDP MP Nathan Cullen: ‘The governments issue permits, but only people can grant permission’.

    Enbridge pipeline will be stopped, asserts Kitimat MP

    “Know this:” asserted Skeena Bulkley-Valley NDP MP Nathan Cullen at a March 22 stopover in Nanaimo, “one way or another the Enbridge pipeline will not be built.

    — Published Date: March 24, 2014   (Issue 42-12)
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    Islands Trust Chair Sheila Malcolmson running for the NDP nomination for new Ladysmith-Nanaimo riding

    Malcolmson signs up for the big leagues

    Islands Trust Council Chair and Gabriola local Trustee Sheila Malcolmson threw her hat into the national ring Saturday, declaring her intention to run for the nomination for the NDP in the new Nanaimo-Ladysmith riding.

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    Ferry protesters give the V for victory after a successful launch of a coastal campaign against service cuts at rally in Victoria. ~ Photo by Chris Bowers

    Cold-calls created coastal coalition

    “Cold-called them.” That’s how ferry activist Kathy Ramsey contacted all the coastal residents that she and the grassroots BC Marine Highway worked with to “stitch together an alliance from Saturna to Haida Gwaii” to fight ferry service cuts.

    Meetings, meetings, meetings
    Incinerator proponents reach out repeatedly to elected reps.

    In what appears to be the tip of the iceberg in a blizzard of invitations, electoral area directors were invited to attend coffee shop meetings with incineration proponents last week.

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    Quadra Islander Leah Windram: some things are more important than grades. ~ Photo by Chris Bowers

    Province displays colonial attitude in treatment of ferry users

    Coastal ferry users are getting a taste of “what it feels like to be an Indian” Council of Haida Nations member Chief Jason Alsop told ferry protesters at a March 11 rally at the BC legislature.

    GIRO nomination process underway

    Note: This storty has been updated to clarify the date of the AGM.

    North Rd. Trail plan ready for review

    Note: this story has been updated to include a correction in times for the open house.

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    Moderator Steve Struthers raises a chuckle from both crowd and panellists while laying down the law on how the discussion will proceed. Left to right: Randy Young, Dyan Dunsmoor-Farley, Susan Yates, and Steve Struthers. ~ Photo by Chris Bowers

    Museum panel split on bridge to Gabriola

    “Yes, no, and no,” summed up the responses of three panellists on whether there should be a bridge to Gabriola from Vancouver Island at a Thursday forum presented by the Gabriola museum board at the Agi Hall.

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    Students prepare to set smolts free in one of the classroom releases from the early 1990s. ~ Photo submitted by Jethro Baker

    Stream stewardship pays off

    The Streamkeepers program is all about promoting and supporting stewardship of community streams.

    Steve Jackson resigns as go-to GERTIE guy

    The GERTIE community bus committee wishes to announce that Steve Jackson has stepped down from his position as the coordinator of bus operations.

    — Published Date: April 14, 2014   (Issue 42-15)

    Chris’s Comments
    Assume you have an ad salesperson

    There’s an old joke, the punchline of which – in my mind at least – is archetypal of the difference between a great “plan” and the rubber on the road.

    A Modest Opinion
    I might be a broken record

    A couple of articles ago I discussed how I believed that North Korea held the perfect election recently, with 100 per cent of voters turning out and voting for the same person (who, yes, was perhaps also the ONLY person on the ballot … which I think makes things less confusing for people, and that’s why they want to turn out and vote).

    — Published Date: April 7, 2014   (Issue 42-14)

    Editorial
    Polling the people

    Although it’s likely we’d be rooting for different outcomes, we agree with Gabriolan Gordon Lawson (see letters here) that the only accurate way of knowing whether Gabriolans and Mudgekins want a bridge from Duke Point across Mudge to Gabriola would be through a poll of some sort.

    Kids’ Corner
    The Dog and the Dragon

    Once upon a time there was a princess.

    Bafflegab

    An ongoing conversation between “Gabe” a seasoned islander and a political junkie, and “Youth” a young, hesitant newcomer to the weird, whacky and often disturbing world of Canadian politics. Gabe attempts to explain the current situation with the federal government and other political disorders.

    Waging Words
    Civilisation?

    I once heard of the report of a group of psychiatrists tasked with studying the overall state of mind of the human race.

    — Published Date: March 31, 2014   (Issue 42-13)

    Editorial
    The joy of breathing

    A discussion about woodstoves on the Gabriola Facebook page is interesting for a couple of reasons.

    A Modest Opinion
    A form letter for the end of the world

    If you’re reading this, I fear it’s too late.

    — Published Date: March 24, 2014   (Issue 42-12)

    Editorial
    Standing for justice

    It’s interesting that in three stories in this edition, speakers note that coastal residents are being treated like second-class citizens or – as Chief Jason Alsop most succinctly put it – are learning “what it feels like to be an Indian”.

    Kids’ Corner
    Edward the Dragon and the Odd One Out (an extract)

    Edward lived happily in the valley of dragons with all of the other nice dragons.

    Democracy Watch
    Abuse of the Herding Instinct

    “Othering”, a phenomenon studied by social scientists, is a herding process many of us watched, suffered from, or perpetrated at school.

    Waging Words
    Facing our Shadow

    The history of humanity, according to philosopher Eckhart Tolle, is “the history of insanity” which is “threatening to destroy us”.

    Theatre of the Absurd
    Family

    The idea of family is at once simple and complicated.

    — Published Date: April 14, 2014   (Issue 42-15)
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    Harold Jenner (top left) Klaus Horky (bottom left), and Xanon Jensen dress appropriately to sing Hunker Down, while Mitch Levine and the rest of the choir sing along. ~ Photo by Chris Bowers

    Island Singers usher in Spring

    The Gabriola Island Singers Spring concert performed its usual excellent job of ushering in spring, bringing with it a pleasant arrangement of folk songs and guest performers for the Singers’ loyal audience.

    Chris’s Comments
    Assume you have an ad salesperson

    There’s an old joke, the punchline of which – in my mind at least – is archetypal of the difference between a great “plan” and the rubber on the road.

    A Modest Opinion
    I might be a broken record

    A couple of articles ago I discussed how I believed that North Korea held the perfect election recently, with 100 per cent of voters turning out and voting for the same person (who, yes, was perhaps also the ONLY person on the ballot … which I think makes things less confusing for people, and that’s why they want to turn out and vote).

    Dear Gabby

    So my house is a bit grubby and so are the kids, because I am not one to worry too much about a little dirt and some untidiness.

    — Published Date: April 7, 2014   (Issue 42-14)

    Kids’ Corner
    The Dog and the Dragon

    Once upon a time there was a princess.

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    Donna Deacon’s “E.K. Hornbeck” is not the only one up to some monkey business in Inherit the Wind

    ‘Inherit the Wind’ begs comparison between Harperism, McCarthyism

    “McCarthyism may be gone,” notes Director Miranda Holmes in the program for Gabriola Players’ recent production of Inherit the Wind, “but we live in a time when the teaching of evolution is still being challenged.

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    American Crow. ~ Photo by Kevin McGowan

    Just for the Birds
    The sex life of crows

    If the title of today’s column made you sit right up and take notice (that was, I admit, my goal), I should warn you that for crows, getting to sex isn’t simple.

    Behind the Garden Gate
    April Garden

    Spring has sprung. It’s been slow in arriving but each week brings a little progress: a bit warmer temperatures, a few earliest leaves, a few blossoms, a rhodo blooming here, an azalea there.

    Bafflegab

    An ongoing conversation between “Gabe” a seasoned islander and a political junkie, and “Youth” a young, hesitant newcomer to the weird, whacky and often disturbing world of Canadian politics. Gabe attempts to explain the current situation with the federal government and other political disorders.

    Dear Gabby

    I watched the play at the Rollo Centre the other night and I could have done a much better job of it.

    Focus on Food
    Reflections on eating meat

    More and more people are choosing not to eat meat.

    Waging Words
    Civilisation?

    I once heard of the report of a group of psychiatrists tasked with studying the overall state of mind of the human race.

    The other CO2 problem

    Increased CO2 in the atmosphere causes global warming, but there is another CO2 problem, equally devastating – the acidification of the ocean.

    — Published Date: March 31, 2014   (Issue 42-13)

    A Modest Opinion
    A form letter for the end of the world

    If you’re reading this, I fear it’s too late.

    THE DAILY EXAGGERATOR
    Volume 4: Issue 4 End of season tournament full of surprises

    “It felt from the start that it wasn’t going to be our tournament,” said Coach Murphy.

    Dear Gabby

    I hate it when the sun shines into our house this time of year.

    Click for larger photo
    Janet Vickers

    The ubiquitous nature of power

    Why would an elected government cut services that would ultimately harm the economy when they build their campaigns on the economy?

    — Published Date: March 24, 2014   (Issue 42-12)

    Kids’ Corner
    Edward the Dragon and the Odd One Out (an extract)

    Edward lived happily in the valley of dragons with all of the other nice dragons.

    The Bad Cats and the Princely Martin
    Part One

    I would like to tell you a story. 

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    Paul Psyllakis drinks a bit of his Kastamonitsa Extra Virgin Olive Oil every day for his health. ~ Photo submitted by Paul Psyllakis

    Partners in Produce
    For the love of olive oil

    Victoria’s Paul Psyllakis, from whom comes the Kastamonitsa Extra Virgin Olive Oil sold at Village Foods, isn’t just a supplier.

    Democracy Watch
    Abuse of the Herding Instinct

    “Othering”, a phenomenon studied by social scientists, is a herding process many of us watched, suffered from, or perpetrated at school.

    Dear Gabby

    I have an unusual problem.

    Rudischer Reports
    March 2014 report

    Since our last Local Trust committee meeting I met with the RCMP to discuss their priorities for the next year.

    Vegeteers’ corner
    Local meat and the environment

    Eating locally and eating vegan don’t have to be mutually exclusive; in fact, I’m living proof that it’s possible.

    Exploring environmentally-friendly economics

    Sustainable Gabriola and the Vancouver Eco-Socialist Group are bringing writer and author Richard Smith from New York City to Gabriola to conduct a forum on the theme, ‘No to climate change!

    Waging Words
    Facing our Shadow

    The history of humanity, according to philosopher Eckhart Tolle, is “the history of insanity” which is “threatening to destroy us”.

    Theatre of the Absurd
    Family

    The idea of family is at once simple and complicated.

    — Published Date: April 14, 2014   (Issue 42-15)

    Harmac’s bad enough, already

    Dear John Rattan, Jim Kipp, Bill Bestwick, Bill McKay, and Fred Pattje, I am one of thousands of people who value the air we breathe.

    — Published Date: April 7, 2014   (Issue 42-14)

    Little cash in burning garbage

    Dear Nanaimo Mayor and Council, Linked is a List of 20 articles published in Vancouver newspapers: www.vancouverobserver.com/news/smoke-series-puts-spotlight-metro-vancouvers-480-million-incineration-plan.

    Referendum should decide bridge issue

     Dear Editor, It was interesting to see our museum panel discussing the idea of a fixed link to Gabriola. 

    Taxes should support public services, not private profits

    Dear Premier, I would like to draw your attention to an article in the Province entitled Michael Smyth: History exposes transport minister’s claim about our ocean highways.

    DIY Army

    Dear Editor, A recent CTV headline notes that “Families of fallen soldiers invited to Ottawa service must pay own way”.

    Incineration not so ‘progressive’

    Dear Editor, Some facts about incineration: The BC Chamber of Commerce opposes garbage incineration.

    Liberals remain wrong on ferries

    Dear Premier Clark, Re: Concerns about BC government’s BC Ferries service cuts, fare hikes, and infrastructure funding With this week’s implementation of another four per cent fare increase, cuts to the seniors’ discount, and final service reductions announced, I want you to understand Islands Trust Council’s concerns about your government’s handling of BC Ferries policy.

    — Published Date: March 31, 2014   (Issue 42-13)

    GIRO AGM set for mid-July

    Dear Editor, At a special board meeting on March 24, the board decided that the Gabriola Island Recycling Organisation will hold its Annual General Meeting in mid-July this year. 

    Thanks Bob!

    Dear Editor, GERTIE Gratitude Thank you GERTIE bus and driver Bob Andrews for picking up people from The Haven and Departure Bay and getting them to Ben Wong’s Celebration of Life up at VIU and then getting everyone back to where they needed to be.

    Many thanks from school

    Dear Editor, One hundred and seventy-five thank yous to the Lions for donating $2,500 to the Gabriola Elementary School’s (GES) nature garden.

    — Published Date: March 24, 2014   (Issue 42-12)

    Vegan versus local morals: round three

    Dear Editor, In Sal Dominelli‘s article (“Local Living – Finale”) he responds to my recent letter criticising his description of veganism as “extreme” and provides a wide-ranging criticism of veganism.

    Incineration pits environment against dubious economics

    Mayor Ruttan and Nanaimo city council Re: Incinerator I am writing you to express my deep concern over the possibility of the proposed incinerator at Duke Point.

    A whole different meaning for ‘going green’

    Dear Editor, How it should be done While der Harpenführer has tried his best to destroy our democracy, he must still be green with envy upon learning that North Korean “supreme leader” Kim Jong-un was recently “elected” to the Supreme People’s Assembly with 100 per cent of the votes cast.


    As Long as the Rivers Run
    A series of articles about the European invasion and colonisation of Canada.

    As Long as the Rivers Run: 1
    Déjà vu All Over Again

    I began this series of articles at a time when the Snuneymuxw treaty negotiations were in full swing and it had become clear that lands on Gabriola would be among those involved in the treaty settlement.

    As Long as the Rivers Run: 2
    One Little Two Little Three Little White Men…

    We return to our intrepid Empire builders on the shores of North America somewhere around the mid 1500's.

    As Long as the Rivers Run: 3
    Four Thousand, Five Thousand, Six Thousand White Men…

    Stage One Continued If you tuned in to the ongoing saga of First Nations relationships with European infiltrators at or after the Oka standoff, you will be surprised to discover that the French colonials were originally seen as the invaders of choice, before “Wolf the Dauntless Hero came and planted firm Britannia's flag”, etc.,

    As Long as the Rivers Run: 4
    Seventy Thousand, Eighty Thousand, Ninety Thousand White Men…

    Stage One Goes On… We left our First Nations heroes on the cusp of getting involved, without benefit of counsel, in legal discussions with some not very nice empire builders (or is “nice empire builder" an oxymoron?).

    As Long as the Rivers Run: 5
    Millions of Little White Men

    The End of Stage One While our First Nations protagonists are coming to terms with the reality that the white man's government cannot be trusted, let me explain how the Europeans of the 18th century made peace with themselves over their rude behaviour as guests in other peoples' lands.

    As Long as the Rivers Run: 6
    A Few Missed Bits

    As we have arrived at the end of stage one of the European invasion of Canada, there are three loose ends that I want to weave into the fabric of our narrative.

    As Long as the Rivers Run: 7
    Knocking Them Down

    Stage Two Shingle readers may recall that the British invasion of Canada was effected through three stages (Sucking them in, knocking them down, and sitting on them).

    As Long as the Rivers Run: 8
    Of Agents, Bureaucracies, Missionaries and Other Deadly Weapons

    Stage Two goes on Last article we looked at how the colonial government used the Indian Act, and the Indian Commissions to “knock down” (render irrelevant) First Nations' resistance to the theft of their lands.

    As Long as the Rivers Run: 9
    Education, the Great Equaliser

    A Stage Two AND a Stage Three Affair Education of Canada’s Aboriginal children has been a handy little device used to accomplish two goals for the price of one.

    As Long as the Rivers Run: 10
    Education, the Great Equaliser, Part Dos

    OK. Let’s review. What is the “big deal” about education for First Nations and other Aboriginals?

    As Long as the Rivers Run: 11
    And Then There’s BC … Perfecting the Performance of Passing the Buck, OR The Sins of the Great-Great-Grandfathers.

    BC, being the hardest part of Canada to reach from Europe, was the last province of Canada to be invaded by the Europeans.

    As long as the Rivers Run: 13
    The Resistance: the Tip of the Iceberg

    Stage Four Now that we’ve dealt with the 1885 rebellion, let’s look at the more typical ways in which Canada’s indigenous peoples resisted colonization.

    As Long as the Rivers Run: 14
    The Resistance Continues…

    As we’ve seen, First nations and Metis became separate communities towards the end of the 18th century.

    As Long as the Rivers Run: 15
    And Then There’s BC… Part Two

    The Resistance Continues As mentioned previously, there were positive aspects about the fact that BC was the last province of Canada to be invaded by Europe.

    As Long as the Rivers Run: 16
    The Ice Beneath The Waters: The Heart of the Resistance

    Perhaps you have noticed that except for BC, there was little or no overt resistance by the Aboriginal communities to colonisation, between the 1895 rebellion, and the resurgence of activism in the early 1920’s.

    As long as the Rivers Run: 17
    The Bottom Line

    I have no qualms in embracing the label of “bleeding heart socialist”, and it will surprise no-one that I reject the neo-classical religio-economic belief system.

    As Long as the Rivers Run: 18
    Last Thoughts and Loose Ends

    Once more I’ve come to the end of this discussion.


    Frequently Asked Questions About First-Past-the-Post and BC-STV

    Following is the first of two sets of FAQs about the Single Transferable Vote, and our current voting system.

    No common ground on voting systems

    The debate on BC’s proposed shift to a Single Transferable Vote (STV) electoral system charged into high gear March 17 at a public forum at the Community Hall.

    How the STV proposal came to be

    Thanks to a strange accident of circumstances in which Gordon Campbell won popular support but lost the election in 1996, then nearly wiped out the New Democrats in 2001 with only fifty seven per cent of the popular vote, he kept a promise made in opposition (one of the few he has ever kept), and proposed to make a change to our electoral system.

    Click for larger photo
    Denise Savoie and Jean Crowder open the forum ~ Photo by Chris Bowers

    VOTING FORUM
    Power to the people? It’s not happening

    The real problem with democracy is that power is increasingly coalescing in the offices of party leaders, according to Vancouver Island University (VIU) prof.

    Proportional Representation:
    Why the Citizens’ Assembly chose the Single Transferable Vote

    Why is the single transferable vote (STV) the other choice of voting system for BC on the referendum this coming May 12, 2009?


    Dear Gord #58

    So Mr. Premier, as this may be my last epistle to your august self, I’ve been contemplating how best to bid you adieu and maintain the same sense of decorum and high literary standards that have always earmarked these epistles.

    Dear Gord #57

    I was hoping you’d take a page from Danny Williams’ book of political etiquette and quit within a week of announcing your resignation.

    Dear Gord #56

    Congratulations on your retirement. That will teach me to write my column a few days early!

    Dear Gord #55

    So Mr. Premier, at the recent meeting of the Union of BC Municipalities, you compared yourself and your finance minister, Colin Hansen, to “skating partners” stating that your implementation of the generally despised HST was a bit “rushed”.

    Dear Gord #54

    Well Mr. Premier, it would appear that there are only two options for you and your government regarding the Hated Sales Tax now that the courts have decided that they agree with your statement that the whole exercise was “a victory for democracy”.

    Dear Gord # 53

    So Mr. Premier, how’s your summer going?

    Dear Gord #52

    So Mr. Premier, how’s your summer going so far?

    Dear Gord #51

    So Mr. Premier, I understand that you intend to spend your summer convincing people that the HST is a good thing.

    Dear Gord # 50

    Mr. Premier, I need your help, and I don’t know who else to turn to for this assistance.

    Dear Gord #49

    Well Mr. Premier, it seems you’re finding out what happens when you try to run a government on a bankrupt ideology.

    Dear Gord #48

    Ah Mr. Premier, you must be basking in the afterglow of the Olympic experience.

    Dear Gord #47

    Mr. Premier, you seem to have kept a fairly low profile for the last few weeks, although there has been a lot going on politically.

    Dear Gord 46

    Well Mr. Premier, you must be getting excited what with presenting yourself as a poster boy at the Copenhagen Climate Change conference, and then Christmas, and then the Olympics just a few short weeks away.

    Fried: Sunny Side up
    (A slightly sardonic series of satirical ruminations on the federal political scene.)

    God knows I try to make sense of the political antics in this fair country.

    Dear Gord 45

    Well Mr. Premier, it’s been an interesting few days with all this Olympic excitement.

    Dear Gord 44

    Now Mr. Premier, hang on to your hat.

    Dear Gord 43

    If what you and Minister Hansen say is true (and even previous Liberal Minister Christy Clark is having trouble swallowing this line) and you didn’t think about the idea of the HST until the election was over, I’d like to suggest that you and your Minister not think about a few other things.

    Dear Gord 42

    So Mr. Premier, this harmonized sales tax thing appears to have not been well received by the citizens of BC.

    Dear Gord 41

    Well Mr. Premier, you’ve been unnaturally quiet since your successful bid to reclaim your political throne.

    Dear Gord 40

    Well Mr. Premier, you did it.

    Dear Gord 39

    Mr. Premier, hopefully this is the second last missive I shall be penning to your right honourable self.

    Dear Gord 38

    With a provincial election just around the corner and remembering that it’s always good to look at where we’ve been to better see where we might be going, I thought it advisable to compile a list of your government’s actions, decisions and their consequences over the past few years just to remind voters and to provide some sense of where we would be heading should your government get re-elected on May 12.

    Dear Gord 37

    Mr. Premier, I wonder, has anyone mentioned to you that there’s an election coming up in May?

    Dear Gord 36

    As the May election approaches, I’ve become increasingly aware of the fact that politics, at least the way we appear to be currently practising this art in BC and in Canada, seems to be increasingly negative, partisan, divisive and unhealthy.

    Dear Gord 35

    Well, welcome to 2009 Mr.

    Dear Gord 34

    You know Mr. Premier, I’ve been a political junkie for as long as I can remember.

    Dear Gord 33

    Well Mr. Premier, it was interesting to see you on television a couple of weeks ago when you presented your ten point solution to address the economic tsunami and the impacts it might have on our fair province.

    Dear Gord 32

    Mr. Premier, in spite of establishing dates for both the spring and fall sittings of the legislature, you have once again cancelled the fall sitting.

    Dear Gord 31

    Gord, Gord, Gord. I continue to be amazed at the new lows to which both your government and your political associate Prime Minister Harper will sink!

    Dear Gord 30

    Mr. Premier, I realize you’re in Beijing at the moment, enjoying the Olympics.

    Dear Gord 29

    Well Mr. Premier, you’ve managed to be spoken of by almost every citizen of British Columbia on Canada Day and beyond.

    Mainlanders react to another increase in highway tolls

    Tongue-in-Cheek Press People living on the mainland of British Columbia and in the interior are once again complaining about the newest increase to highway tolls recently announced by the BC Highways Corporation.

    Dear Gord 28

    Well Mr. Premier, you and your band of merry Ministers must be pleased with yourselves having finished off this session of the Legislative Assembly with your signature blend of arrogance, partisan pomposity, and your obvious distain for accepted parliamentary procedure.

    Dear Gord 27

    Well Mr. Premier, it’s been an interesting month!

    Dear Gord 26

    Mr. Premier, I appreciate that you’re busy but, I’m surprised, nay astonished, that you haven’t had one personal comment or reaction about the increase in BC Ferries fares over the past five years.

    Dear Gord 25

    Mr. Premier! It would appear that certain of your Ministers and minions have a remarkable tendency to develop recurring cases of hoof and mouth disease!

    Dear Gord 24

    Mr. Premier, there are a number of things that have caught my attention in the last little while.

    Dear Gord 24

    Mr. Premier, there are a number of things that have caught my attention in the last little while.

    Dear Gord 23

    Well Happy New Year Mr.

    Dear Gord 22

    Well Mr. Premier, it’s getting close to the end of the year, and I figured this would be a great time to take a look at the overall performance of you and your government over the past twelve months.

    Dear gord 21

    Ah Mr. Premier, although you’ve provided me with enough material to write a daily column lately, what with the extra few bucks that the new Vancouver Convention Centre will cost us (over 400 additional million, wasn’t it?)

    Dear Gord 20

    Well Mr. Premier, you do keep me on my toes – metaphorically speaking.

    Dear Gord 19

    Well Mr. Premier, it feels like summer’s over and I’m looking forward to the excitement that comes with the fall session of the Provincial Legislature.

    Dear Gord 17

    Hope you’re enjoying your summer Mr.

    Dear Gord 16

    Mr. Premier, I just wanted to take this opportunity to review the events of the past few weeks for your government, tie up a few loose ends and get ready for summer.

    Dear Gord 15

    Mr. Premier, every time I even remotely consider terminating this one-sided dialogue with your honourable self, you serve me up a platter of new and deeply disconcerting decisions that pull me back into the process and leave me aghast with your apparent capacity to be out of touch with the world the rest of us appear to inhabit!

    Dear Gord 14

    Well congratulations on finally getting to meet the Governator!

    Dear Gord 13

    Gord! I thought I was going to be able to leave you for a while, hoping that the antics of your superegos, Stephen and George, would attract my attention.

    Dear gord 12

    Well Mr. Premier, as much as I’ve enjoyed our admittedly one way conversations over the past year, I’ve come to the conclusion that I must admit that it doesn’t seem to be having the impact I had hoped for when we began this monologue.

    Dear Gord 11

    So welcome to 2007 Mr.

    Dear Gord 10

    As it’s getting close to Christmas and Chanukah, I thought I’d send out my wish list for BC for this time of year.First

    Dear Gord 9

    So when I got back from vacation, I heard that you cancelled the regular fall sitting of the Legislative Assembly because it was reported you stated that debating issues in the Legislature was nothing but 'busy work'.

    Dear Gord 8

    As much as I value our in-depth conversations, my focus this time is on your philosophical colleague, Stephen (Steve) Harper.

    Dear Gord 7

    Well it’s summer and in the fine tradition of your government, you’ve managed to slide some hefty pay increases to the senior political staff and top bureaucrats, arguing that “we have to make sure that we have compensation that's fair and reasonable.”

    Dear Gord 6

    Let’s talk about BC Ferries this time and let’s cut through the bureaucratic mumble-jumble and the pretension that BC Ferries is a private corporation.

    Dear Gord 4

    You know Gord, as much as I enjoy our ongoing (admittedly one-sided ) conversation, at the moment my attention has been ripped from your exploits and riveted on those of the newly minted, minority Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his hordes of Republican wannabes.

    Dear Gord 3

    Well it’s been while since I’ve taken pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard.)

    Dear Gord 2

    When I first contemplated penning a regular missive to your right honourable self, I thought perhaps it might be both cathartic (for me) and an incentive to at least consider looking at the decisions you and your government are making in a different light.

    Dear Gord 1

    It would appear that your plan to completely privatize BC Ferries and to ensure that only the wealthy will be able to afford to live on the Gulf Islands is close to success.

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