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  • The Flying Shingle is currently out of production, while discussions continue about what format, if any, it may have in the future. However the website will be maintained so that interested readers may access archival and other information (see top menu).

    The Flying Shingle is currently out of production, while discussions continue about what format, if any, it may have in the future. However the website will be maintained so that interested readers may access archival and other information (see top menu).

    The Flying Shingle is currently out of production, while discussions continue about what format, if any, it may have in the future. However the website will be maintained so that interested readers may access archival and other information (see top menu).

    The Flying Shingle is currently out of production, while discussions continue about what format, if any, it may have in the future. However the website will be maintained so that interested readers may access archival and other information (see top menu).

    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

    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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