Up is down and those protesting against the pending rise of a new fascism are the real enemy.

Everyone should be opposed to fascism.

I saw on my TV the white supremacist “protests” at Charlottesville from a year ago and the news of the woman their movement murdered in protesting these neo-nazis, but today I learned that this woman and the uppity protesters she was part of are the real enemy.

No seriously, that’s what opinion piece the National Post published today.

Look. In the normal discourse in politics, the normal left right and centre have this perpetual debate on issues of importance.

But it must never be ok or normalized that a group be protesting under the Nazi banner using phrases like “Jews will not replace us” and “blood and soil” (taken directly from 1930’s Germany).

Nobody should be ok with this. All rational left, right and centre thinking folks have to be united here. In fact, it was a failure of the rational majority to unite that saw Hitler rise to power.

Sure, opinions are constitutionally protected, especially ones published in news papers and related outlets. But it doesn’t make the article any less stupid.

Or wrong.

My2bits.

Andrew Wilkinson and his BC Liberals would be wise not to do a victory lap on the appeals court decision.

Whoops. Too late, they did.

How did we end up here? The NDP government tried to assert their right as a provincial government to protect rivers, streams and our coastline.

As it turns out, the environment wasn’t considered in this judgement, only a jurisdiction issue.

Which strikes me as odd, as the means the federal government used to initially approve #kmx was through a provincially signed “equivalency agreement”. Theoretically, if an agreement such as this can be approved, it can be repealed too.

Interesting words used in Andrew Wilkinson’s comments today that the BC govt was “smacked down”. Mr Hubris should remind Andy that it took the Supreme Court 20 minutes to “smack down” the BC Liberal government anti-teacher laws (after the BC appeals court upheld the BC Liberal government position).

This isn’t over yet. Not by a long shot.

My2bits

I’m voting for Bob Chamberlin, NDP

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This wasn’t a hard decision to be honest, but its a solid choice. Bob needs to be the next MP for Nanaimo-Ladysmith and I am happy to cast my vote for him.

But now a word about some unsettling developments that I have learned in the recent past.

I get that the other parties, candidates and their supporters/volunteers also want to win, but there is a disturbing narrative coming from some folks who profess their support for the Green party’s candidate.

I can’t say that I know their candidate on any personal level and have no reason to think he’s not genuine in his beliefs and philosophy, and I honour that – even if I’m not going to vote for that. But for some of his supporters to undercut the NDP candidate because “he’s not from here” is a chilling new kind of bigotry that I never thought would come from folks supporting a party called Green.

A short trip into history regarding their leader, Elizabeth May, would tell a story of how she went from an adviser in the Mulroney PC party government to holding memberships in the Liberals and NDP before settling on the Green Party. Her story takes her to several places as candidate before deciding on Saanich/Gulf Islands. She was a candidate in Nova Scotia and Ontario first before moving to Vancouver Island.

But, Bob Chamberlin, a ‘parachute candidate’ (who has lived in Nanaimo before, but resided in North Vancouver just prior to announcing his candidacy) is deemed by certain activists as unsuitable to be MP.

It sure takes some white-settler chutzpah to deride a First Nation candidate that he’s somehow unsuitable for this job because he spent seven years away in various roles. Especially by fans of a party that portrays itself as a friend to first nations (the Greens).

Bob Chamberlin with his long background in First Nation’s reconciliation, fish and wildlife habitat is deemed by at least some local area green party folks that his physical residency in Nanaimo deems him disqualified as a potential MP; regardless of the recent history of their own party leader travelling the country for a winnable seat to campaign in.

The Green party’s growth in recent years has been largely at the expense of the other, more established parties. This is a fact they are proud to talk about at length. Whereas, Bob Chamberlin wasn’t overtly a partisan previously, but the moment he becomes candidate he’s under attack because “he’s not from here”. That’s a very unwelcoming stand to take when your whole movement is based on welcoming folks from elsewhere.

I’m going to assume that this narrative is held only by a very small group and not promoted or held as a belief by the central campaign. We live in a region that see folks come and go all the time, and whether you just arrived here or have been here for 40+ years, you should be made to feel welcome regardless.

And to those who play that “he’s not from here, we don’t want him” card, go fuck yourself. That’s not how progressive Canadians roll.

my2bits

BC Liberals playing a dangerous blame-game on fuel prices

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Look, I get it. Andrew Wilkinson’s BC Liberals are the opposition and they’ve got a job to do in trying to throw in enough shade towards the government so that they can portray themselves as the champion of the little guy and the NDP is the aloof elitists governing from their ivory tower; disconnected from reality.

To do that however, the BC Liberals will have to campaign against themselves and against their own policies.

To that end, I draw your attention to the attempt to swoon Andrew Weaver’s Green Party into a BC Liberal led coalition with promises made in their 2017 Speech from the Throne that pledged (among other things), a $50/tonne carbon tax (just as the NDP had promised).

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Next up would be the false attribution of *all* fuel taxes to the NDP. This is false and the BC Liberals know it. There are taxes on fuel, and on average, they’re higher than other regions in Canada; but we’re not the only place that has taxes on fuel. But to listen to the BC Liberals, its 100% the NDP’s fault and they’re supposed to arbitrarily lower these taxes, regardless of what funding impacts this makes to various local governments and transit authorities.

We lost five of seven refineries in BC over the decades. The BC Liberals would blame the NDP for this; despite this trend taking place over a generation (or two). It didn’t happen overnight, and the reasons inconveniently undercut a BC Liberal narrative.

Consider what car you drove 30 years ago. Imagine its fuel economy then, now imagine paying the fuel costs in today’s market. Aren’t you glad this shift to higher efficiency cars and trucks has taken place? I know I am. And for the first time in my life, I am considering an electric or hybrid vehicle to make my transport dollar go even further.

A generation ago, in our 1980’s fuel crisis, powerful thinkers in all parties saw the vulnerability we had in gas guzzling vehicles. So they went down a path of regulating higher efficiency cars, smaller engine blocks and pollution controls. It all helped. Industry responded by building cars and trucks to meet the standards, but it had an interesting side effect. It caused us to buy less fuel, drive further on what we had, plan better, and change our way of thinking.

We’re in another energy crisis of sorts, and to listen to some grotesquely opportunistic politicians, there is someone to blame here (the folks in power of course). But the last energy crisis forced innovation and change and there’s no reason to think that it can’t happen again.

The price of gas isn’t at record levels because of a penny increase to the carbon tax, its because there’s a serious supply issue on the west coast and the free market is doing exactly what it does. Andrew Wilkinson and his merry band of negative nellies would have the NDP cut taxes that had zero to do with the rapidly increasing gas price, but would profoundly impact the province’s ability to deliver on transportation needs. But that doesn’t matter when your a crass opportunist.

What matters is that Andrew Wilkinson and his BC Liberals are now standing in opposition to the philosophy they had when they first introduced the carbon tax (the first in North America I might add); where attaching a price to carbon was supposed to change behavior/habits. As a partisan myself, even I give credit where its due, the carbon tax has worked. While the spike in gas prices isn’t necessarily related to taxes but it may as well be, and now is as good a time as any to rethink how we drive and how often. It may not cut the price of fuel, but maybe it will lower our demand a bit.

So, here we are. BC Liberals attacking a policy they once championed. They may think this is good politics (and in the short term it is), but there’s more than a few of us ready to staple this one to their foreheads in the coming weeks and months ahead; and most certainly in the next campaign.

my2bits

Shady ‘labour’ group upset at fair representation for workers

At stake are the regulations regarding large infrastructure projects in BC that the new NDP government has set in place. In a nutshell, the government is pursuing PLA’s (or project labour agreements) which pre-establish union rates and guarantee no work stoppage on a project. They can be more expensive in one sense as pay rates may be relatively higher, but also deliver certainty and are famous for their on-the-job training and apprenticeship programs.

Enter the Progressive Contractors Association, allies of CLAC.

CLAC, or Christian Labour Association of Canada and their allies, are mighty upset by this. While CLAC meets a legal definition of union in the sense of protected status as a member of an association, to most unions, they’d describe CLAC as a ‘rat union’.

CLAC hasn’t done itself any favours to quell this reputation, it lost a recent arbitration with a friendly employer it had a so-called ‘voluntary recognition agreement’ they fought against SEIU. I’ll let you read it for yourself; a link to the LRB decision is linked in the article.

CLAC and the PCA are friendly to the BC Liberals because dealing with these folks gives the BC Liberals some badly needed credentials that they need to not sound so anti-union.

We’re at this place because for 16 years, the BC Liberals gutted the apprenticeship and training programs in BC while the demand for construction and blue collar trades hasn’t gone anywhere but up. How bad is it? Then-Premier got up in front of a business crowd to call for more temporary foreign workers to build LNG.

So this may come as a surprise to folks when the BC Liberals have a phishing page on their site paying lip service to the call for BC workers being prioritized for LNG.

No, seriously.

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In my view, the court challenge being launched against the NDP government’s CBA (Community Benefit Agreement), which is a PLA by definition, is futile. PLA’s have been ruled legal and constitutional before and that’s how WAC Bennett got his dam built in the Peace Country (and many projects since).

Allies of CLAC and the BC Liberals should take this as a lesson that instead of being adversarial and attack working people, start treating them fairly and with respect and you’ll never be on the wrong side of labour again.

But that is a choice.

My2bits

Palmer’s advertorial for BC Liberal a sad display of using political talking points to draft “editorials”

A sad ‘editorial‘ published by Vaughn Palmer today misses the mark and faces a legitimate fact check.

The BC Liberals, desperate for an angle to attack the NDP have railed against the unusually high gas prices in BC, specifically in the lower mainland. They’re doing this by attacking the BC carbon tax that they would have you believe the NDP invented and jacked it all the way to 8.78 cents/litre. The fact is that the NDP did increase the already existing carbon tax by (wait for it) by 2 cents per litre in two years.

Enter, Vaughn Palmer.

Picking up where the BC Liberals left off, the opinion writer then attempts to pin *all* fuel taxes on the NDP (which were largely in place before assuming power in 2017). But don’t let a good spin get in the way of facts.

Vaughn then makes the flawed argument that the delayed Kinder Morgan expansion would ease gas prices. Its a flawed argument because its false. The pipeline expansion is for export only, and the price at the pump will likely increase.

Vaughn goes on about refineries; next time he opens his yap about refineries, he should do some research. The proposed Kitimat refinery and attached pipeline has the support of Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver.

These items are worthy of the theatrics of Question Period as they would easily be batted away by facts. I didn’t expect them to be picked up by long time reporter/opinion writer Vaughn Palmer.

my2bits

Remember when the carbon tax was a conservative idea?

To ground our reader into the context of this story, click here first.

Now consider that the groundswell of opposition to carbon taxes comes from an array of conservative parties in Canada.

They’ve been successfully baited into opposing a program that came from their movement.

Well done, idiots.