My name is Peter Kelly (he/him) and I have been a resident of Nanaimo since 1997. I’m a past president of the Nanaimo area ferry workers union, a single parent, concerned citizen and I offer my full support and endorsement of Lisa Marie Barron for the Federal NDP nomination for the seat of Nanaimo-Ladysmith.
I have known Lisa for over 10 years and was an enthusiastic supporter in her campaign for school district trustee in the previous local elections and I feel that Lisa is the right kind of leadership we need today.
Lisa’s generosity, compassion, empathy and honest talk is lacking in Ottawa and absent here today. Lisa is the right choice and I encourage all NDP members to follow me and support Lisa in her bid to become the next Member of Parliament from our region.
Once you get over the relatively early election call, you’ll come to the same conclusion. Its about choices. Revert back to the party and leadership brand that hurt BC’s most vulnerable, destroyed the BC forest industry, bled the life out of BC Hydro and ICBC for political gain, and attacked educators and healthcare workers in unions who are 80% female in demographic composition. Or keep moving forward from that 16 year legacy of destruction – with the NDP.
I’ve made it clear that I don’t generally want a snap election, but having one doesn’t dissuade me from my vote – or who I will vote for. In fact, this gives us the opportunity to crush the BC Liberals like they rightly deserved in 2017.
While I appreciate the Green Party choosing to side with the NDP in the early days just after the 2017 election, the unique circumstances that gave us this minority parliament are a one-in-a-million and not likely to repeat themselves. I understand that it could have gone the other way. Chances are that this arrangement isn’t going to happen again; it will either be a BC Liberal or an NDP majority government.
Of course, all hasn’t gone to plan…and sure, no party is perfect. Nobody could have predicted a global pandemic that would disrupt our way of life, but here we are. Which goes to the next point.
There are some who would have argued against an early election because of the pandemic, and I hear your point. You are saying that there is a major infection risk to large groups gathering (to vote, I assume). But let me tell you this: ElectionsBC, the non-partisan agency that manages provincial elections, has been working closely with the Provincial Health Office to plan a mitigation process so that voters’ risks are slim to none.
Expect generous early voting opportunities and expanded absentee/mail-in options. The bottom line is that voting in BC will be as safe as ever, and given some recent examples of fuckery happening south of us, free from interference by one side or another who would rather you not vote – or not allow your vote to count.
Yes, it sure seems that we’re on an upswing in covid19 reported infections in BC. While we have done very well in managing the pandemic provincially, every sign is pointing to an unavoidable second-wave. So lets try on a thought experiment:
Should we have had that election three months ago when case reporting was lower than it is now?
Should we wait until later when caseload reporting is explosive and we’re risking another shut down?
Should we go now when its safe and under the close guidance of the public health office?
I’ve been monitoring the debate publicly, and there’s some surprising correlation between those who demand their businesses (night clubs, high capacity venues, etc) be allowed to open up with exemptions to the safe opening rules – and those arguing its unsafe to vote.
‘but its too early’
This minority parliament has survived longer than almost every pundit suggested. That its lasted three-and-a-half years is pretty good. The fact that most minority governments last less than two years, BC can take a bow.
With all the safety precautions in place, voting by mail, etc, to *not* vote would be its own choice. With grave consequences. I point to the example (also) south of us of what not-voting could produce. It gave America a Donald Trump presidency, and may do so again.
The BC Liberals are not any better than the broken version of the party they were in 2017. They are worse. They chose as leader one of the worst examples of the 1% elitist ruling class they could have picked. They said the quiet part out loud. Andrew Wilkinson has consistently proven himself to be the champion of the Howe street elite with zero regard for what goes on in your town, or main street.
What’s worse, is Andrew Wilkinson is no outsider. He was party president of the BC Liberals when Gordon Campbell came to power in 2001; moved on over to government payroll as a deputy minister shortly after. He’s been a lobbyist to pressure government policy, then was a lawyer suing government on behalf of big tobacco when he was outside government.
Then he ran for a seat, became a Christy Clark cabinet minister and later Leader of his party.
While there is nothing illegal or technically wrong about Andrew’s political career path, he cannot at all claim to be any sort of brand renewal or offer any ‘fresh start’. Especially when he’s already signaled his campaign priorities will be massive tax cuts for the rich – exactly where Gordon Campbell left off.
This is the narrative that got Campbell his majority too. But the tax cut flowing from this promise produced the worse non-pandemic related deficit in BC history and led to a decade of cuts to funding to the most vulnerable in BC with service fee increases for everyone else. For the ‘average people’, their tax cut largely evaporated.
No, the NDP are not perfect, and that wouldn’t change in a majority government either. People are allowed to not-be perfect and this is a fair standard for our political leadership too. But I will happily choose to re-elect that imperfect-but-trying NDP government than one that is willfully harming the citizens its pretending to govern under the BC Liberals.
From the hyperventilating going on, you’d think that Trudeau has outlawed all firearms.
He’s done the thing that so many Canadians mock Americans for: banning of military grade weapons. Included on the list you’d find RPG’s and rocket launchers. Here’s the list.
What he is guilty of is exploiting another crisis to do this, but that’s Trudeau. But in doing so, he’s managed to bait a lot of people into taking on Trump-like NRA/Republican talking points. Y’all stepped right into it.
Trudeau always wanted to campaign against a Trump-like irrational group think. Given some of the reactions so far, you’ve played right into his hands.
Now he gets to run on a polarizing issue while nobody is talking about his various other failures.
Don’t lift a finger to stop these far right imbeciles from looking any more stupid than they already do.
But, aren’t they stupid? Of course they are, but now they’re drifting into the realm of irrational.
The above screenshot is from Canada Proud, a relative newcomer to the social media self-fellatio of the right wing nuttosphere.
They’ve latched onto what is bubbling up in the Trump world of alternative facts and it may have a profound impact on American politics. It must not do the same here.
Justin Trudeau did not create the $140 billion debt prior to the covid19 pandemic. That was already there. Some of it was by decisions of his government, much of it was left over from all previous administrations.
To then argue or light your hair on fire over the costs rising from the mitigation efforts infers that either they would not have spent a penny to help Canadians through this pandemic.
You’ll note that they ignore this problem when it comes to conservative regimes in Alberta, Ontario or under Trump.
Somehow, money only matters (that needs to be paid back) when non-conservatives are in charge.
They do have a point. Money borrowed like this does need to be paid.
But the right wing has no real answers. They’d cut taxes for the rich again and gut social spending, as they always do. By doing so they serve to widen the already obscene rich/poor gap they pretend to care about. They don’t. They only have one master: money.
They will not entertain a wealth tax, they will not examine a basic income, they won’t lift a finger for social housing. They’ll pretend to care about front line essential workers but undermine the workplace safety provisions they need.
Because they’ve always done this.
I’m not a Liberal Party supporter, but I don’t see any way that massive debt charges were avoidable when large swaths of employees were told to stay home from work while social distancing guidelines take effect.
Nobody had fun doing this and it’s going to cause other issues soon enough. But, money? Well if your only God is money, then your worship over it at least makes sense.
At 1:23:45am local time April 26, 1986, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine SSR, a series of errors and bad judgment led to an explosion in reactor #4 that spread radioactive material through much of western Europe.
Design flaws of the reactor type that were suppressed by the state meant that the safety countermeasures would fail during a safety test leading the a catastrophic accident. It cost lives immediately in the explosion, it cost lives in the attempt to put out the radioactive fire, it cost lives in the months long mitigation efforts to cap the spread of radiation. It cost lives by the thousands.
Good, honest heroic people of the Soviet Union paid with their lives to make safe the region around Ukraine and stop the threat of a nuclear holocaust through much of western Europe.
Chernobyl, however, is the perfect metaphor for the Soviet Union. Built up on dangerous mythology that would fail if tested. And it did.
Former General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev wrote in 2006 that the Chernobyl incident was likely the true cause of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Perhaps he is right. Generations of corruption and cynicism finally let loose and nobody trusted the regime anymore.
We are in danger of repeating a mistake. While this isn’t a nuclear plant melting down, we’re in a global crisis of another brand. A pandemic.
Several of our leaders are bent on returning life back to normal – the “normal” we had prior to the outbreak. It’s the same yearning to maintain status quo that the former Soviet authorities were fixated on. Because to let any other narrative slip in there it meant that change would have to be embraced.
The Soviet Union paid a price. It wasn’t until well after the Chernobyl incident that they were forced to admit that their reactor type had a critical design flaws, but in having their science community point out this flaw in years previous; it was an admission that by suppressing the information of the flaw the Soviet Union became responsible for the disaster. They alone could have prevented it, but they weren’t prepared to change.
In striving to return to normal as this pandemic burns through its process, by refusing to change, we are collectively setting ourselves up for the next disaster.
It’s true that nobody can take “blame” for the onset of Coronavirus, but how we deal with it should be revealing as to the various leadership styles out there.
For the Soviet Union, it was prestige and power. Today it’s money. Money isn’t everything. Just like prestige and power can quickly evaporate.
The notion that “we’re all in this together” cannot just be a political tag line, it has to be a new philosophy. Both in these times of crisis but as we emerge.
On the other side of this pandemic, we have to rethink how we care for our most vulnerable so that they may lead a dignified and relative independent existence. Homelessness needs to stop completely. The tax code needs to stop coddling the one percent. We need to invest in a universal safety net. Nobody should starve or be homeless.
We are granted by our creator this place among the stars as our home, and no place else like it exists. It’s our moral obligation to care for it and care for each other. We have no place else to go.
Either we change or die. Change isn’t going to be easy or fast, but doing nothing and pretending that we can just carry on as “normal” is the lie. And that lie will be our doom.
To listen to the BC Liberals talk, everything was going swimmingly when they handed over the keys to power in 2017.
But as it turns out like everything, the truth was a lot different than the rhetoric.
The BC Liberals would claim success on the real estate front except the fact that their industry reforms in the early 2000’s led to the outrageous shadow flipping and affordability issues the lower mainland now faces. It’s taken a speculation tax and re-regulation to partially slow down an overheated market.
The motivation was obvious. When homes and property is sold, they pay a property transfer tax that amounts to billions in provincial revenue that doesn’t have to come from income tax or sales tax. The problem with this scenario is that it pushed real estate prices into the stratosphere with hyperinflation increases that all but ruled out home ownership for average people.
By the time the BC Liberals reacted and reigned in the shadow flipping cash cow they created, the damage was done.
What the BC Liberals never considered is that for the economy to function, you need your blue collar, front line workers an ability to live and work in the economy they’re supposed to provide services into.
Nobody can afford to live in Vancouver unless you’re well above $150k a year income level. Imagine trying to operate a restaurant where you cannot hire cooks or servers because they can’t afford rent in the area they’d need to work in, and the prevailing wage structure doesn’t come close to helping them.
The BC Liberals created a 1% economy that catered to the top tier and ignored everyone else.
The downside that nobody is talking about here is that eventually the real estate market will crash out unless there’s some intervention to let the steam out slowly. A crash here triggers a recession.
How is this related to the BC Liberals mishandling of ICBC? It’s the same pandering to their well financed benefactors. But instead of big real estate and big developers, it’s trial lawyers.
It’s the same re-jig of regulations that opened the door for friends to make a lot of money while ignoring the potential damages it causes.
In the case of ICBC, the BC Liberal changes allowed for more litigation and court fighting which amplified legal fees and payouts; all of which is covered by ratepayers premiums.
What the BC Liberals did, instead of taking the extra revenue from a property transfer tax, is they scooped reserve cash from ICBC for the same reason. It wasn’t a sales or income tax.
In hauling money out of crown corporations and cashing in the windfall from a white-hot real estate market, the government was taking in $3-4 billion per year that was unrelated to the performance of the economy, and literally it was unsustainable.
They were warned on ICBC. They chose to ignore it.
Fast forward to the current moment. The BC Liberals are spending heavily as opposition party in their chosen social media venues to attack the NDP over ICBC.
What kind of idiots do they take us for?
The NDP is trying to navigate a path to repair things the BC Liberals willingly broke. And they’re doing so while simultaneously fighting legal challenges by the benefactors who’re seeing their gravy train dry up.
Well I’ve got news for you. My ICBC premiums are for my protection, so that I’m insured while driving my vehicle; no matter what happens. It’s not the BC Liberal money tree they can freely pluck from because of their own financial incompetence.
The NDP might not be perfect nor get everything right. But I appreciate that they’re trying to fix what was broken and are moving the ball forward.
So while this process might be awkward and imperfect, I’ll gladly vote for the NDP in the next election for attempting the right thing.
The last thing BC needs is a return to office, the BC Liberals who deliberately and willingly tried to break and vandalize the things we hold dear. May they never see the inside of the halls of power again.
If you’re just tuning in now, you may have been tempted to think the rising star of the conservatives will run to the rescue of beleaguered modest and middle income earners and save Canada from the elitist egg heads of the Liberal Party.
There’s a problem with that.
Both Liberal and Conservative politicians serve the same super-establishment and 1% to the cost of everyone else.
Both defend a neoliberal economic model. In fact, they all champion an economic model that since the 1980’s has wrecked the middle class and driven the wedge between rich and poor to its worst extreme in recent history.
Through no fault of their own, the rising generation of millenials may need to save for 29 years in order to afford a home in Canada’s cities.
Now, I’m a ½ generation ahead of a millenial; the so-called “GenX” now at age 45. Getting into the home ownership game wasn’t that severe for us. And we were the first unfortunate beneficiary of this neoliberal economic model. Now it’s worse.
The current duopoly of red/blue governments do nothing to change this. Their promises are mere window dressing next to the mess it’s made.
Tiny tax cuts here, boutique tax credits there hide the ugly truth behind the big lie. Both Liberals and Conservatives offer no change. More of the same.
So who does?
For the business rags to condemn the NDPs tax agenda (which even I think is relatively timid) means that the NDP is headed in the correct direction.
And let’s undo a narrative right now. The conservatives seem ready to cast the Liberals as a bunch of Eastern, out of touch, university egg heads completely detached from the reality on Main Street.
While there may be an element of truth to that, there is nothing wrong with being educated. In fact, that’s what we parents look forward to in our kids. Finish school, get some education/vocation and make something of yourself. Those who would demonize the educated are attacking our own youth. Stop it.
And what’s worse is that the conservatives have their own brand of super elite “egg heads” that are just as out of touch with every day folks. But they come in the flavour of energy lobbyists, social conservatives, xenophobic policy writers and advocates of the super rich.
So we’re back into a class warfare politics again. But don’t think for a moment that team blue is any better than team red. They’re both terrible.
I’m not unfamiliar to contract talks between unions and their bosses, and I’m old enough to remember that most of the noise is the rhetorical hot air that both sides breathe in order to rally public opinion to each respective side. So with that being said, I’m pretty much ignoring the noise being made publicly about what’s going on in the negotiating room between the BCTF and the employer, the BCPSEA.
It however wasn’t long ago that the BC Liberals, directly interfering with negotiations last time, trotted out heavy hitting cabinet ministers and Premier Clark with their “affordability zone” mantra.
Since then, the teachers union won their appeal at the Supreme Court that restored class size and composition language that was illegally stripped away by legislation introduced by none other than (then) Deputy Premier and Education Minister Christy Clark when Gordon Campbell was Premier.
I do have to inject a reality check here. Both sides are free to ask for whatever they think they’ll get in contract talks. Aim high and see where negotiations take you. The employer is free to ask all they want for movement on CSC language, but it doesn’t mean teachers have to agree to any changes there – that was a win in court. The union is also free to ask for whatever they feel they’ll get; see how this works?
What is harmful though, is that the rhetoric can get toxic outside the negotiating rooms. Teachers are a powerful ally to the NDP and some loud mouths online are using this delicate negotiating period as a means to drive a wedge here. As if by electing the BC Liberals back to power will mean any better gains for teachers (hint: it won’t).
Do yourselves a favour and let the negotiating teams do their work; ignore the rhetorical hot air like its a bad smell..because it will blow away.