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  • — Published Date: July 21, 2014   (Issue 43-08)

    Trust splits on Village core parking

    Trustee Sheila Malcolmson and Local Trust Committee (LTC) Chair David Graham Thursday voted to remove requirements that Village core developers provide onsite parking, despite a last minute attempt by Trustee Gisele Rudischer to reinstall those requirements.

    Finding relief from roadside brushing

    Residents may plead their case for why specific areas or roads on Gabriola should be spared what road officials call aerial “pruning” or “brushing” by inviting those officials to come and view those locations, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure Operations Manager Johnathan Tillie told trustees on Thursday.

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    Raft sits on the beach in Descanso Bay. ~ Photo by Chris Bowers

    Raft floated by oil tanks breaks moorings in heavy winds

    A raft made by Gabriolan Ken Rosmas, which he said he was using to “mock” BC Ferries, broke loose from its moorings in Descanso Bay in high winds last week and ran ashore by Harrison Way.

    Looking for a team to keep the Shingle going

    Stop press! Yes, well, that is exactly what is happening.

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    Intrepid haymakers stop for a photo op. in the Cuthbertson field. Left to right: Imelda Cuthbertson, Fred Kaarsemaker, Mary Ann McDonald, Robbie Huston (front), Mary Wilson and Fred Harris. ~ Photo submitted by Mary Wilson

    Gabriolans make hay – sunshine or not

    The ancient practice of hay-making by hand is getting new life on Gabriola.

    Climate Change regulatory bylaws given third reading

    ‘Climate change’ regulations meant to put two out of 10 greenhouse gas emission reduction bylaws into effect were given third reading at Thursday’s Local Trust Committee meeting at the WI Hall.

    GIRO’s AGM goes smoothly

    GIRO’s annual general meeting (AGM) proceeded relatively sedately Tuesday, in contrast to a special meeting held in 2013 in which GIRO members confronted their board on a number of issues.

    Mireau objects to Coats Marsh Park road to nowhere

    Gabriolan Guy Mireau is concerned that because the Coats Marsh Management Plan is still a draft, changes may be made to it that don’t follow the vision the community has for the park.

    — Published Date: July 14, 2014   (Issue 43-07)

    Innovative ‘help the kelp’ program seeds success

    Efforts to help regrow the kelp beds off Gabriola’s coast have paid off, according to kelp helper Michael Mehta.

    Consultant predicts proof ferry policy damages coastal economies

    An economic consultant hired by the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) to study the economic impacts of ferry service cuts and ever-rising fares on coastal communities believes he can make “a very good case” to back up claims those impacts are negative, according to Trustee Sheila Malcolmson.

    District proceeds cautiously with rail funding agreement

    Regional directors voted Tuesday to proceed with a contribution agreement to put almost $1 million towards upgrading the former E and N Railway on Vancouver Island.

    Residents remind road officials about bad roads

    Gabriolans informed or reminded highways officials of a list of annoying and/or dangerous roads and intersections at a June 25 public meeting at Agi Hall.

    Farm bylaws ready for public hearing

    Updated agricultural bylaws – including regulations for dealing with medical marijuana production – are due for their final community hearing July 16 in preparation for the July 17 Local Trust Committee (LTC) meeting.

    Road spray in riparian area raises resident’s concerns

    Gabriolan Harold Bell is wondering why EMCON is spraying for road dust on a road that he says is within 20 feet of a “salmon enhancement program” stream.

    Mudge, De Courcy islanders okayed to vote through mail-in ballots

    Mudge and De Courcy islands have been designated “remote from voting places,” which will permit residents of those islands to vote through mail-in ballot.

    — Published Date: July 7, 2014   (Issue 43-06)
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    To the delight of all those present, Dinah D’s Contraband Swingband provided the music at the annual Canada Day celebrations sponsored by Village Foods’at Folklife Village. Left to right: Aaron Cadwaladr on guitar, Dinah D on standup bass, Brendan Holm on drums, Nick Lariviere on trombone, Jeff Poynter on sax, and Tina Jones on trumpet. ~ Photo by Chris Bowers

    Canada Day celebrations kick off summer on Gabe

    Gabriolans kicked off summer holidays and celebrated Canada Day with their usual flair Tuesday, with free music and food sponsored by Village Foods in the Folklife Village parking lot, and the annual potato cannon contest at Brickyard Beach.

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    Thespian and Gabriolan Antony Holland was feted by family and friends at Artworks before heading off to receive an Order of Canada award on Canada Day. ~ Photo by Nicholas Halpin

    Antony Holland awarded the Order of Canada

    Gabriolan Antony Holland has received the Order of Canada for his lifetime of service to the theatrical arts.

    District re-funds popular woodstove exchange program

    The Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) will contribute $20,000 towards a 2014 woodstove exchange program.

    No new publicly-funded paved roads, says transportation official, but private funding OK

    The transportation ministry has neither plans nor money to pave any more roads on Gabriola anytime in the foreseeable future.

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    GabEnergy member Michael Mehta’s five solar panel array can power his house AND create credit from 10 am to 2 pm ‘on most days’. ~ Photo by Chris Bowers

    GabEnergy: helping Gabriolans take back their power

    If you’re feeling powerless about increasing  energy costs, or would like to enjoy the financial benefits of solar power but don’t have the money or space for a solar array, you may be interested in what GabEnergy – Gabriola’s latest registered non-profit – is up to.

    — Published Date: June 30, 2014   (Issue 43-05)

    Dust spraying delayed due to sinking barge

    Dust suppression spraying on Gabriola roads would normally have been completed by this time of year, but the barge transporting the material sank while on its way to Vancouver Island, according to EMCON Supervisor Rob Heaslip.

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    Masamba sets the mood Saturday afternoon at the first annual Salish Sea Islanders music festival at the excellent ‘shades of the ‘60s’ venue on the grassy hill behind Twin Beaches mall. ~ Photo by Chris Bowers

    First annual Salish Sea Islanders music festival kicks off at Twin Beaches

    The Canada Day long weekend saw the first of what organiser Erin Mancor hopes will be many annual music festivals on the hill behind Twin Beaches mall.

    More ferry lineup signs planned, but enforcement also needed

    The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) can erect road signs to instruct drivers on how to appropriately use the ferry lineup, but it’s up to the RCMP to enforce those signs, MOTI Operations Manager Johnathan Tillie told participants at a Wednesday public meeting for Gabriolans and transportation officials.

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    Firefighters extinguish fire in one of the logs on Sandwell Beach. ~ Photo by Rick Jackson

    Fire crews called out to Sandwell Beach fire

    A June 21 morning fire in Sandwell Beach Park appears to have been started by people lighting a campfire on the beach, according to Fire Chief Rick Jackson.

    Village traffic calming plan awaits submission of North Road trail plan

    A decision on what the ministry of highways might do to calm traffic in Gabriola’s Village core awaits the completion of plans for the North Road trail, according to Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) Operations Manager Johnathon Tillie.

    Trustees add public space requirement to Village core development guidelines

    Trustees are proposing that at least 15 per cent of new and re-development in the Village core development permit area – or DPA7 – be dedicated to public open space.

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    Gabriola Health Care Foundation Vice-president Nancy Rowan (centre) holds up a cheque for $10,000 that her foundation has given to People for a Healthy Community (PHC). Rowan is flanked by PHC Executive Director Brenda Fowler (left) and PHC President Charlie Cheffins. ~ Photo by Chris Bowers

    Health foundation donates $10,000 to PHC counselling program

    People for a Healthy Community (PHC) has ten thousand reasons to be grateful to the Gabriola Health Care Foundation (GHCF), thanks to the donation of a cheque in that amount for PHC’s low cost/no cost counselling services.

    Trust reduces fees for riparian assessment permits

    Trustees gave all three readings Thursday to a bylaw reducing the cost of development permits for landowners wanting to assess whether they can build on lands identified as potential fish habitat.

    Highways to confer with Young about invasive species on Gabe

    A transportation engineer will contact Gabriolan and inveterate ‘Broom-basher’ Randy Young to discuss what can be done about disposing of invasive plants on Gabriola after they have been uprooted by volunteers.

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    A contingent of SOSers, all appropriately attired, met at the ferry lineup June 23 to fete Raging Grannies member Jean McLaren (in sandals) on her way to the Montreal Raging Grannies convention. ~ Photo by Chris Bowers

    SOS sings McLaren off to Montreal

    Gabriolan, long-time activist, Raging Granny, and Save Our Shores (SOS) member Jean McLaren was feted by a few of her SOS team members June 23 as a send-off to the 27th annual Raging Grannies convention in Montreal.

    Mudgekins track down beach access pins

    Mudge Island volunteers are working their way through a number of beach accesses to identify the location of the survey pins for future reference.

    GabEnergy, Bullfrog Power form alternative energy partnership

    Canada’s leading green energy provider, Bullfrog Power, and Gabriola Island-based GabEnergy, are pleased to announce a new partnership to support the development of a solar photovoltaic co-op on the island.

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    Japaness Knotweed has been seen at the corner of Cooper and South Road. ~ Photo submitted by Randy Young

    Invasive Japanese Knotweed on Gabriola

    Japanese Knotweed is an invasive species that grows in dense stands capable of crowding out all other vegetation and degrading native plant communities.

    — Published Date: June 23, 2014   (Issue 43-04)
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    Left to right: Linnet Kartar, Sharon McInnes, Dennis Johnston, Jean McLaren, Maureen Karagianis, Sheila Haniszewska. A small contingent of Save Our Shores members hold an impromptu rally at Folklife Village in response to the decision by Harper Conservatives to okay an Enbridge pipeline proposal. Members Karagianis and Haniszewska hold a gifted Mohawk Warrior Flag, ‘in support of First Nations and Metis people who will be standing on the front lines’. ~ Photo by Chris Bowers

    Enbridge pipeline decision
    Activists predict ‘long, hot summer’

    “(Prime Minister Stephen Harper) has lit a fuse, and this is going to be a long … hot summer,” said Save Our Shores (SOS) member Sharon McInnes and others who gathered Tuesday at Folklife Village.

    Click for larger photo
    Chloe Straw: ‘It’s a privilege to connect with Gabriolans about what they love.’

    Asset mapping project aims to build on community strengths

    People for a Healthy Community’s (PHC) latest initiative – a community asset mapping project – aims to provide a venue through which Gabriolans can make the island “as strong a community as possible”.

    ‘Gas tax’ uses expanded

    The federal government has expanded the list of projects for which local governments are allowed to use Community Works Fund (CWF) – or gas tax – allotments.

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    GERTIE’s birthday cake was “generously prepared by Village Food Market and decorated by bakery artist, Mike Caine,” says GERTIE organiser Judith Roux, who submitted this photo.

    GERTIE celebrates first birthday!

    GERTIE celebrated its first year of operation June 14, in the Village parking lot with speeches, sparkling juice, and cake (featuring a beautiful rendering of a Sprinter by Mike Caine) supplied by Village Foods.

    RDN reluctantly registers contravention notice

    The Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) board somewhat reluctantly moved to have staff register a notice of bylaw contravention on a home on South Road on Gabriola.

    Morrow sentenced on trafficking charges

    Gabriolan Nathanial Robert Morrow has been sentenced to eight months jail time, and eight months probation with respect to two counts of trafficking in a controlled substance.

    Police looking for road-sign vandals

    Police are looking for information on who has been vandalising Gabriola road signs.

    — Published Date: July 21, 2014   (Issue 43-08)

    Editorial
    Experimenting on Gabriola

    The decision by trustees Sheila Malcolmson and David Graham to remove requirements for onsite car and truck parking in future Village core commercial development means Gabriola is now the subject of two Trust experiments.

    Dirty coal, dirty oil, and dirty gas

    Most people know that the combustion of fossil fuels emits massive amounts of greenhouse gases, causing climate change, and also the acidification of the ocean.

    — Published Date: July 14, 2014   (Issue 43-07)

    Editorial
    On not being railroaded

    Regional Directors are right to be reading between the lines regarding suggestions from the Island Corridor Foundation (ICF) that an “agreement” has been struck with VIA Rail (see here).

    Waging Words
    The path of most resistance

    One of the first things my partner Mike and I did after buying our house on Gabriola was investigate the trails and paths near our home.

    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.

    — Published Date: July 7, 2014   (Issue 43-06)

    Editorial
    Internationally local injustice

    With the sadly predictable retaliation by Israel in response to the kidnap and murder of three Israeli youths, quite possibly in an equally sadly predictable response to the 1,400 Palestinian children –  an average of one every three days – who have been killed by the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in the last 13 years, it’s ironic to learn why the federal NDP has rejected film maker Paul Manly’s nomination application for the Nanaimo-Ladysmith candidacy.

    A Modest Opinion
    Concrete proof we need MORE birth control

    The Supreme Court of The United States, or SCOTUS as they like to be known (not to be mistaken with scrotum, the word I see, and now you’ll see, every time you look at the acronym SCOTUS) recently declared (like an old southern bell) that US employers could refuse to cover birth control in their health insurance plans due to religious beliefs.

    — Published Date: June 30, 2014   (Issue 43-05)

    Chris’s Comments
    The final Shingle deadline?

    First a big thank you to everyone who has made a point of telling me how much they hope that someone will step up to buy the Flying Shingle – especially those who then go on to explain exactly why, and/or what they appreciate about the paper.

    Democracy Watch
    The Trust

    Newcomers talk about the Trust with puzzlement and irritation.

    Waging Words
    Why do we have a country?

    It may seem like a silly question, but is it?

    Theatre of the Absurd
    Poverty

    The idea of poverty includes concepts of paucity, deficiency, scarcity, insufficiency, and lack.

    — Published Date: June 23, 2014   (Issue 43-04)

    Editorial
    Time to check the batteries on your channel changer

    It would have been interesting to be a fly on the Harper Conservatives’ caucus wall while they decided how they were going to go about saying ‘yes’ to the Enbridge pipeline, knowing how unpopular that ‘yes’ would be.

    A Modest Opinion
    A simple solution to the gun problem

    Alright loyal readers, apparently there have been a lot of shootings recently but, like most of you, I haven’t really paid attention to them because I’m not a woman or a student, so why would I?

    — Published Date: July 21, 2014   (Issue 43-08)

    A Modest Opinion
    Nathaniel Moher’s Guide to Saving the World, Pt. … oh, who cares!

    Guys, let’s get serious here for a second.

    Dear Gabby

    It’s so nice out that I spend most of my time out in the yard, just sitting around.

    — Published Date: July 14, 2014   (Issue 43-07)
    Click for larger photo
    Red hot pokers and bird baths will attract warblers passing through on migration. ~ Photo by Sharon McInnes

    Just for the Birds
    Is your yard bird-friendly?

    I was looking out the window, watching the bird activity in the front yard, as I ate my morning granola.

    Focus on Food
    The times they are a changin’

    “Normalcy bias” is the tendency to believe the future will be like the past.

    Waging Words
    The path of most resistance

    One of the first things my partner Mike and I did after buying our house on Gabriola was investigate the trails and paths near our home.

    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.

    — Published Date: July 7, 2014   (Issue 43-06)

    A Modest Opinion
    Concrete proof we need MORE birth control

    The Supreme Court of The United States, or SCOTUS as they like to be known (not to be mistaken with scrotum, the word I see, and now you’ll see, every time you look at the acronym SCOTUS) recently declared (like an old southern bell) that US employers could refuse to cover birth control in their health insurance plans due to religious beliefs.

    Click for larger photo
    Gabriolan Gary Fjellgaard lectures a clearly unrepentant June Harrison (left), former editor of the Flying Shingle, in the lineup for salmon at a salmon barbeque long past. ~ Photo by Chris Bowers

    Party Time!
    Gabriola Community Hall Turns 30

    Come out and celebrate The Gabriola Island Community Hall at our annual Salmon BBQ, Saturday Aug.

    The Sword, the Cup, and the Commons
    Beloved community

    On first hearing these two words together, I thought ‘beloved’ seemed too intimate for my ‘community’.

    Dear Gabby

    It’s time again for the weekday pulse of cars from the ferry driving into the Village, so I’ve learned to not go there except about half an hour after the ferry hits Descanso.

    — Published Date: June 30, 2014   (Issue 43-05)

    Chris’s Comments
    The final Shingle deadline?

    First a big thank you to everyone who has made a point of telling me how much they hope that someone will step up to buy the Flying Shingle – especially those who then go on to explain exactly why, and/or what they appreciate about the paper.

    Democracy Watch
    The Trust

    Newcomers talk about the Trust with puzzlement and irritation.

    Regional Director’s Report
    May 2014

    I hope everyone is enjoying Spring moving into Summer.

    Dear Gabby

    I’ve been here for a long time, Gabby.

    Waging Words
    Why do we have a country?

    It may seem like a silly question, but is it?

    Theatre of the Absurd
    Poverty

    The idea of poverty includes concepts of paucity, deficiency, scarcity, insufficiency, and lack.

    — Published Date: June 23, 2014   (Issue 43-04)

    A Modest Opinion
    A simple solution to the gun problem

    Alright loyal readers, apparently there have been a lot of shootings recently but, like most of you, I haven’t really paid attention to them because I’m not a woman or a student, so why would I?

    Second-growth Gardens

    The following is a reprint of an article written by  retired anthropologist and former Gabriolan Michael Kew.

    — Published Date: July 21, 2014   (Issue 43-08)

    Smart meter safety standards not necessarily correct

    Patrick Wruck Complaints BC Utilities Commission Mr.

    — Published Date: July 14, 2014   (Issue 43-07)

    Looking for Gabriolans to help the Shingle evolve

    Dear fellow Gabriolans, I am deeply distressed by Chris Bowers’ announcements of the possible demise of the Flying Shingle when she, very understandably, needs to step down at the end of August.

    Vive la non-conformance

    Dear Editor, Re: Non-conforming development We live up the street from the reverends Tom’s and Elizabeth’s mini-farm.

    — Published Date: June 30, 2014   (Issue 43-05)
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    Doug Harrison (left) presents first prize painting to Andy Earle. ~ Photo by Cec Ashley

    ‘Community Spirit’s’ outfit evidence of community spirit

    Dear Editor, Since January of this year fundraising has taken place on Gabriola to raise money for the Ladysmith & District Marine Rescue Society to raise enough money to supply their new rescue vessel with much needed equipment such as radar, new helmets, VHF radios, GPS, and a host of other equipment to outfit the vessel.

    PALS shows up, Gabriolans not so much

    Dear Editor, Recently over 20 volunteers from Gabriola, Nanaimo, Parksville, and Qualicum Beach met on Gabriola for Emergency Pet Shelter training.

    — Published Date: June 23, 2014   (Issue 43-04)

    Harper’s ‘yes’ a call to action for SOS

    Dear Editor, Re: Northern Gateway Approval Does the Prime Minister’s decision to allow Enbridge to build a pipeline from the Alberta tars sands to Kitimat BC herald the death of democracy in Canada?


    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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