Opposition attacks on Royal BC Museum rebuild are some of the most repugnant in BC political history.

See update

Opposition attacks against against the proposed rebuild of the Royal BC Museum coming from the BC Liberals and Greens are sad, but predictable. It’s opportunist too. They both attempt to create a wedge issue (for which they are attempting to be on the right side of) by arguing that it’s a binary choice. They cast it as ‘Museum or healthcare’; or, ‘Museum or education’; ‘Museum or climate change’. You get the picture.

The reality is, and the BC Liberals know it – as they have served in government before (Greens too, in a supporting role in the 2017-20 confidence and supply arrangement with the NDP) – that government can do more than one thing at a time. In fact, we expect it; its literally their job.

Government doesn’t run its books like a household – it cannot do that…and it rightly shouldn’t.

As we continue to climb out from the effects of the pandemic, we go from high unemployment to not-enough-workers. Wages are finally moving up. Net effect? More tax revenue from more people working and at higher wages. BC’s economic performance is the best in Canada; better than most jurisdictions in North America.

This allows us to do things. Such as rebuilding a museum that has been asking for help since 2006 – and put on a shelf in favour of other vanity projects like the new Trade and Convention Centre, BC Place roof replacement, Port Mann bridge (and more, and all were grossly over budget).

What burns me is that in this era of recognizing the collective impact of European settlers harm to the First Nations of BC, this museum project allows a more accurate re-telling of what really went on.

This previous year (and more recent headlines) have showcased the thousands of unmarked graves of children who died while in care at the various religious/church operated, government sanctioned residential schools.

Were these children murdered? Neglected? Sick and died from natural causes? I don’t know. Their cause of death is important, but these children deserve to be known by name, their extended families deserve answers, and we must be accountable to this. All of it.

The lost children (the tens of thousands of them), the many complicated matters which need addressing in our delicate walk to full reconciliation, are journeys that need telling in a renewed museum.

Imagine a new museum that finally tells the (living) story of our collective failure in our relations with our first nations – not only to ourselves in BC, but to the world? That would be a good start.

The cost? Government says it will cost $768 million. But, like other large projects, expect it to go over budget. That’s just the reality of things. Especially in todays world where products needed for rebuilding and the highly skilled labour needed are in short supply.

The cost to refurbish? More. Asbestos removal, remediation of the current structure would clearly be a different cost structure than removal of the old, building new.

Over-spending on large projects is nothing new, and hardly controversial anymore. Taxpayers are used to this by now.

The opposition casts this as a thing that should be cancelled; possibly delayed into the future. But given the facts, this will inevitably be required, and there is no delay possible that makes the costs go down any.

I mean, I expect this from the BC Liberals. They cast the museum rebuild as a vanity project. Unfair, especially when the project moves forward in partnership with first nations. And who are the BC Liberals to lecture anyone on vanity projects? Have we forgotten already about ‘quickwins’, ‘om-the-bridge’, Port Mann fiasco, TransLink tinkering?

Oh I know; calls from those saying “that’s in the past, your guys need to worry about now and into the future”. They’re right! Voters are well aware of BC Liberal duplicity and hypocrisy here, but there is little to gain by rehashing it – they lost the election…electoral mileage made from their dismal failings is a credit well cashed in.

But this is about today and the future too. The proposal would only be finished its construction process in 2030 – two whole electoral terms away from now.

Every sign is pointing to a looming recession; a general hangover from the insanity over the pandemic crash – then its rocket-speed ‘recovery’.

Housing prices and general inflation has caused economic problems of their own. By pricing out working people from participating in a housing market (or rental market for that matter), there will be a huge underclass of folks unable to support the small and medium businesses who need free flowing, disposable income from paycheques from workers in order to survive. Folks are just trying to survive.

Government can sit back and do nothing, letting the chips fall where they may…or they can be proactive about it. BC needs a new museum as the old one can’t do it anymore.

The build, the narrative change and the location all serve an economic-health sensitive industry in Victoria well and would bolster the private sector; at a time when they could use it the most. Of course, Victoria isn’t the only place that matters in BC – but as I’ve mentioned, government is capable of handling more than one thing at a time. That’s what they’re supposed to do.

Opposing the museum rebuild is a knee-jerk conservative reaction that I expected from the BC Liberals, I did not expect it from BC’s Green Party. They seemingly have taken on the right wing talking point that funding a new museum is a binary choice ‘at the expense of..’ when it clearly is not.

I’m not going to pretend to be able to sway the opinions of those who hate the NDP and just found a new reason to bolster their hate.

No.

To the overwhelming of rational people in BC however, do not be swayed by the negative nellies on the opposition side. This is a government as you know that isn’t engaging in one-off populist things. Building a new museum – regardless of rhetorical nonsense – is a bold and justified program that will benefit our province in the near term and well into the future.

This is what coherent leadership is supposed to do.

my2bits

Edit: To anyone suggesting that the Royal BC Museum rebuild is a surprise that nobody wanted or talked about, this is incorrect. The earliest I have discovered that the RBCM board had discussed in public the notion of renovations or major structural concerns was in 2005 as part of their 2005/06 annual report.

Here’s the 2008/09 – 2010/11 service report with even more explicit references to the project idea now so controversial.

And this Tom Hawthorne, on twitter, reminding folks of this.

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Update:

Well it looks like the museum project is shelved for now. Blowback in the public space was overwhelming as many folks argue that now is not the time for such an endeavor.

That’s too bad. I was in favour, and I believe that the museum rebuild would have been a net positive for the capitol region and BC in general.

But I am no expert and certainly not in control of policy here.

John Horgan, as leader and Premier having to back down from a major initiative like this – is a setback to be sure. Instead of blaming others – he owned it personally.

If I understand one thing about BC voters, they’ll respect and support a political leader who comes across as human as we all are; including accepting mistakes as they come along.

So, with that, I note that from the folks who demonized the NDP and John Horgan for proposing the museum rebuild – now demonize him for cancelling it.

Folks are watching.

Conservatives are determined to re-elect Trudeau – this time with a majority. This is awful.

There was a series of social media posts circulated by various prominent conservative political leaders and thinkers in Canada which elevated the angry rants of some white-nationalist, covid-truther EU politicians as evidence that the world hates Trudeau and is harming Canada’s reputation around the world.

Bunk.

I am no Trudeau fan whatsoever, but I don’t hate him. My opposition is policy based and there are substantial gaps between him and I on environment, poverty, disability assistance and others. The gaps are significant enough that I will never vote Liberal; not under their current policy direction at least.

But Conservatives hate him.

No. Completely false. But from this 2016 tweet from Conservative insider Steven Taylor – which goes without any explanation or context – you are MEANT to make that connection.

They do so with a visceral hatred usually reserved for Nazi’s or Stalin’s regime. In fact; some of his conservative opponents in the deeper interwebs share memes and conspiracy theories that compare Trudeau TO Hitler…and Stalin. One of the more famous ones is connecting Justin to Fidel Casto; which has repeatedly been debunked.

Its not that conservatives actually believe that Trudeau is a family relative of Castro (they likely know that he isn’t), the point is to make you hate Trudeau as well.

Its the same tactic republicans used against President Barack Obama. He was falsely accused of being born in Kenya (which would have made him ineligible to run for president at all), then that he was Muslim. Of course there is no rule that excludes a Muslim from seeking the nomination of a party to run for President, in fact – there’s a rule that outlaws a religious test for holding public office).

Why? Because you cannot use certain language (or words that start with “N”) to identify black folks. That would be nakedly racist; but if you mask it around some (false) ineligibility narratives (Kenya) and paint Obama with being Islamic; the racist voter gets to vote against the black guy without saying that as the reason. Keeping in mind that the post-2001 world was pretty hostile to Muslims; especially in America.

Hitler? C’mon.

The same campaign baggage is being attached to Justin Trudeau, but in a country who would have elected Obama by an 80% margin if we could, this hate-standard is risky at best.

There are many reasons to oppose Trudeau (and Obama) – on based policy and performance. Both are objectively centrist who borrow more from the conservative economic theories than an actual liberal or left – where bolder, more decisive solutions lay.

But the conservatives are making it easy for Justin.

The deeply personal, character attacks launched towards Justin by several conservatives, and their proxies are quickly swept aside with “we might not be perfect, but we’re not crazy like them”.

In the context of the outcast EU politico’s that went after Trudeau with lines not much different than the worst rhetoric of the #KarenConvoy bunch, Conservatives should have dismissed them on the spot. Imagine if any one of the current crop of CPC leadership candidates, sitting MP’s, fanbase online had remarked, “while we have little in common with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, we will not share any moral ground or political space with unabashedly racist, xenophobic political figures who even the EU assembly keeps at a distance.”

They did not. Nobody did. But the internet is forever, and those who gave space to the crazy right wing in the EU here will also feature in Liberal Party campaign ads.

Justin Trudeau probably cannot believe his luck; and if he gets re-elected – its your fault.

My2bits

Partisan attacks against the NDP/ICBC policyholder rebates is manna from heaven for the NDP.

It was announced the other day that from the ballooning ICBC surplus, that the crown owned insurance company would send to policy holders a rebate of $110 for regular policy holders and $165 for commercial policy holders in response to record high gasoline prices.

The attack from the BC Liberals and their affiliated partisans was that the sum wasn’t enough. Others took an opportunity to politically eviscerate ICBC and the NDP’s reforms therein.

The NDP couldn’t be happier with this clumsy self-own from their political adversaries; and in doing so, the opposition made themselves out to be the elitist, corporate owned entity that they are. So much so that I predict they will be nostalgic for Andrew Wilkinson soon.

But first, some background on ICBC.

The Insurance Corporation of BC was established in the 1970’s BC NDP government under Premier Dave Barrett. The idea was that vehicle insurance should be a publicly held and controlled entity and that it should be provided at or near cost to the public.

It’s roll out was clunky to be sure and it we met with immediate hostility to a patchwork of private insurers at the time. Despite the chaos it was born from, its largely met its purpose, despite every effort by opponents of the NDP (Social Credit, BC Liberal) to hobble and dismantle it.

That is until the latter half of the last BC Liberal regime.

In the past, if there was a surplus in the operations of ICBC, it was utilized mostly to keep insurance rates low – or cap any potential rate increases. ICBC, like BC Hydro (for much the same reason) were the crown jewels in the BC advantage for residents and drivers.

The BC Liberals saw an opening though. They would direct both crown corporations to divert billions of dollars of their budgets to the provincial government as a backdoor tax increase – to increase revenue as other (‘trickle down’) ideas failed us.

They did this despite hobbling the operations of both crowns. In the case of BC Hydro, they were compelled to borrow the money for which the province claimed as income – creating a better bottom line budget number than what would have been revealed. For ICBC, this ‘dividend’ was taken regardless of the the plight of the insurance carrier and drained its reserve funds.

In both circumstances, world events and market conditions demanded that both crown corporations see some internal reforms so that they would remain solvent and viable operations into the future. The BC Liberal government went as far as commissioning a report to examine the operations of ICBC and what reforms were needed.

They had the information, they knew what to do. They failed to act. Not only did they fail to act, they attempted to conceal the truth from the public.

The ICBC dumpster fire is a narrative well told in BC’s political world, it partially led to the landslide re-election of the NDP in 2020 after a fluky minority NDP government that only took office with one seat parliamentary majority with the assistance of the BC Green Party.

Why is this relative now?

As a result of the ICBC reforms instituted by the NDP after 2017, the crown corporation now operates largely on a no-fault system. This cuts out much of the litigation costs; and more importantly, cuts out billions paid to trial lawyers who you can imagine are not impressed in the slightest. I mean, I can understand this to a point; especially if you’ve set up your entire legal practice based on the former ICBC adversarial litigation model.

For the rest of us, we saw this as a cash cow for lawyers that inflated premiums as ICBC had to pay awards – to clients and law firms…on top of everything else going on that shouldn’t be.

The reforms instituted by the NDP to ICBC has freed up billions; much has been returned to policy holders already. At least $1.4 billion has been returned and pledged (as of this last weeks announcement) plus a rate reduction last year of 20%.

Shouldn’t rate reductions and insurance rebates be celebrated? Of course. That this has been at all possible is quite a miracle compared to the direction ICBC was headed in 2017. Five years later, a large surplus – with billions going back to drivers.

Politically speaking, if I was a BC Liberal, I would avoid talking about ICBC at all – as the public will have a good memory their intentional, malicious ineptitude while handling this file.

So this was the time their MLA’s go on the attack?

The NDP could not have asked for a better opportunity to remind how badly the BC Liberals failed BC on ICBC.

In trying to score a drive-by smear that the NDP hasn’t done enough to help drivers, the BC Liberals inadvertently revealed their incompetence and why they should not govern..at all.

The BC Liberal approach is typical – lower gas taxes. This is modelled after what Alberta is attempting by suspending their own gas tax (cutting 13 cents per litre) to “lower gas prices” and provide relief.

good idea, huh?

The thing about this move is that it opened the door immediately for big oil to step up with price increases of their own.

WHOOPSIES

If you’re keeping track of this; cutting the tax as such, was a lateral transfer of money from government to big oil – that consumers still pay for…and may more for. There was no benefit to drivers at all; but exposed the BC Liberals as lackies to both big oil and irrelevant.

Even the notion they have floated about cutting the carbon tax (which they created) would suspend a one penny per litre increase slated for April 1. Same math applies, cut the tax, industry picks up the slack.

Gas taxes in BC are expressed in terms of cents per litre, so the BC gov’t makes no extra money if the retail price goes up. Only the GST (which is charged as a percentage) would increase its cash intake with a retail price increase.

Cutting BC’s various gas taxes would merely cut into provincial revenue; potentially harming the funding for programs which depend on said funds. We’ve already shown how industry would scoop up what the taxes would drop, so no benefit goes to the driver. This flawed ideology exposes the BC Liberals and almost every conservative politician pushing this narrative; a narrative that is a warm breath away from the proven failure of ‘trickle down economic theory’.

But, as General Napoleon Bonaparte once remarked – ‘never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake’.

My2bits

Federal NDP/Liberal CASA deal being cast as a coup d’état by incoherent conservative man-babies

To listen to some of the white hot rage thrown about by conservatives, their allies in the punditry and several folks in the #karenconvoy toddler tantrum party, the NDP and Liberals performed a successful January 6th-type overthrow of the government; or at least that’s the narrative they would like you to believe.

These clowns have no currency to trade except the political value of hate. To be honest, hate itself can motivate people into actions – for better or worse.

In selling their hate, they wrap it in a bunch of lies – because there is no factual basis for their counter-attacks.

There is no ‘coalition’, and any educated person will tell you that. What has been agreed to is a formal ‘confidence and supply agreement’ that assures that the minority government will have the necessary legislative votes for confidence reasons in exchange for concessions made to an opposition party. There is nothing unusual, immoral, illegal or unconstitutional about it. Its a tool available to Parliament by government to maintain office and its literally how Canada’s healthcare system and old age pension changes were enacted.

Parties reaching across the isle when there is no majority government is the expectation of voters who expect their leaders to get substantial things done. In this case, its an expansion of the national healthcare package to include dental care and pharmacare for the first time. If done right, this will be a life-changing enhancement for millions – including thousands of self employed and small business operators who function without a substantial extended healthcare package normally available from large companies or government employers.

Nobody expected conservatives to like anything about this development, but they are taking their hate – misogyny and other intolerances to new depths to instill revulsion towards Justin Trudeau and Jagmeet Singh.

I’m not suggesting that there’s no appeal for this tactic, but in a country famous for its ability to compromise and strike deals internally to accomplish big things, they’re coming off as violently hostile to compromise and deal making. This is a general philosophy only reserved for the most radical groups; some political, some religious…and it looks awful. They are appealing to the most hateful and bigoted subgroups in our society…don’t think we haven’t noticed.

Noteworthy however is the atomic-bomb thrown at the idea from Warren Kinsella. He’s a former Chretien-Liberal insider who now runs “Daisy Group”, a consulting firm in Ontario who served a variety of clients – and pens opinion pieces in local nespapers.

I think I expected better of him than this. With a legal background that he has, calling this ‘sneaky and undemocratic’ is about as false as you can get. But maybe his client base includes more and more conservative types and this is the worldview they’re all sharing now.

My own personal perspective is that while I appreciate our MP’s and opposing caucuses working together for measurable results, I don’t think ‘means testing’ dental care is consistent with the universality of medicare. I think that more substantive goals could have been agreed upon in electoral reform, and there’s some taxation/benefit areas missing from this deal. Like, where is any mention of a wealth tax? How about something profound for our fellow Canadian’s living with disabilities? Sure, we’ll see what happens in the next budget – and I am hopeful, but I remember the Liberals betrayal on electoral reform from 2015.

Still. Watching the Conservatives lose their minds of what’s largely a housekeeping matter so that we don’t land in another premature election makes me support this (admittedly imperfect) deal even more.

You clowns aren’t ready for power. Unhinged rhetoric is never helpful – regardless of which side foists it upon the public.

For now, I’ll go with this…and I suspect a super-majority of Canadians agree with me.

My2bits

Liberals try to corner NDP and fail.

From the outset of the 2021 election call, when the federal Liberals saw that their plan of an easy romp to a majority was clouded, they pulled the emergency trigger.

True to form, when the Liberals have their backs against the wall, they charge that a CPC government would repeal a woman access to her private health matters (read: outlaw abortion access). Never mind that this was a matter decided by the supreme court and has largely been untouched since the early 1980’s.

Well that failed to move the needle, so then the federal Liberals launch a broadside on “CPC plans to privatize healthcare”. Well the sad reality check is that Canada’s healthcare system is heavily private and much of that happened under Liberal leadership. What’s more telling is that the Liberals aren’t pledging to reverse this trend, they’re scaring folks that the Conservatives might make it worse. If they were real progressives on this, they’d argue to increase the scope of healthcare to include mental health, dental care and more. But they haven’t and they wont.

The third pillar in Liberal scare tactics is to scare progressives that “THE NDP MIGHT WORK WITH CONSERVATIVES” (against the Liberals?). This historically has been a more effective attack – in terms of moving the needle, but it doesn’t hold much water. Historically, the Liberals and Conservatives share far more in common than either of them do with the NDP. In terms of parliamentary votes, if it has anything to do with economic justice for workers or the environment, the Liberals most reliable ally are the CPC.

Not that it matters. All Liberals have to do is say it; that there’s some nefarious plan of the CPC and NDP to throw the Liberals out. It almost never checks out as far as facts go, but never let a good spin get in the way of the truth.

Recently, an editorializing journalist suggested that since the NDP leader didn’t explicitly say that he wasn’t going to team up with the CPC, Liberals pounced immediately as finding the proof that it WAS going to happen.

Exhibit A: Liberals think they have a smoking gun.

Except that editorialists are opinion writers. As it turns out, the facts point elsewhere. The interview where Jagmeet Singh is asked point blank if he would work with Erin O’Toole if he scored a minority parliamentary win in the election, Jagmeet wasn’t non-committal, he forcefully said that the NDP and CPC on most matters were incompatible. But don’t take my word for it, watch the interview yourself.

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Liberals are pretty desperate to glean their message from the interview above. But they have run up against a wall here. They don’t have any significant new ideas that could not have been accomplished in the functioning parliament that had two years left in its mandate, so they’re resorting to scare tactics and misinformation to whip up vote they feel entitled to.

Ultimately, the operation of the next parliament is up to voters, most of whom didn’t feel this early election was necessary. No matter, here we are, Canadian’s will vote regardless – and the party leaders will respect the verdict and work with the cards they’re dealt – not the ones they want.

There’s no use trying to re-litigate the election call itself – that ship has sailed. But if anything has been made clear by this stunt, its this: Justin Trudeau had a functioning government and a mostly cooperative parliament. He had a mandate and enough good will to continue at least for another year – hopefully to see the backside of this pandemic leave.

He chose politics over governing; there is not compelling issue that sparked this campaign – no decisive wedge that required attention – except to get us to the other side of the pandemic.

Maybe Justin has given us an issue to contemplate.

He might not like the answer.

My2bits

My heart aches for the Pacheedaht

I must start out by reminding readers that I am neither first nation, nor a member of the Pacheedaht first nation. That being said, the recent chain of events has me wondering the mindset of the Pacheedaht who were outnumbered by the protesters blockading their lands in an attempt to stop a duly signed logging agreement from being acted upon.

The Pacheedaht, like every other first nation in BC have been under the thumb of the colonial system from the first arrival of their European masters several hundred years ago. Generations of indigenous folks have had to endure unspeakable things as the rulers took land, took children and tried to eradicate cultures and societies which have existed beyond memory.

To make a long story short, first nations in BC have won successive court cases and political battles that have allowed them to emerge again as nations’ within Canada.

This places us on the path we’re on today of reconciliation. That is to say; coming to terms with our horrible past and the terrible things we did to our first nations; a path forward. What that looks like for each and every first nation is complicated and presumably highly technical…but that’s a discussion for people smarter than me and elders of the various first nations.

Where the Pacheedaht’s role is here is that they’re well down the path to a modern treaty and an established business plan to get major improvements for their people.

As a nation that claims as its traditional territories on the pacific, several mountains and valleys, rivers and all the wildlife in between, the Pacheedaht know a thing or two about managing a forest…as they’ve done for thousands of years.

I suppose it was a natural leap for these folks to branch into a modern, professional local forest industry as a source of revenue and job creation for their people. Its worked well. Read this.

Now we arrive at the Fairy Creek event. The background comes from this deal. In short, the Pacheedaht signed a deal with Teal Jones (logging company) to log a tiny blip of trees above the Fairy Creek basin and outside the established protected area. 20 hectares of a total 1200 hectares of the valley…or 1.67%.

This was too much for the Rainforest Flying Squad who declared that they would set up blockades to stop any logging and road building to the affected area. The standoff began.

Teal Jones had a legal right to build a road, access the trees, cut and remove and pay the Pacheedaht a handsome sum of cash for that right. The court said so, the Pacheedaht said so. So the blockade was declared illegal and police moved in to start removing protesters by arresting them.

To their credit, despite an illegal blockade, the protesters political cause is easier to defend than logging in old growth areas. But what was missing from the discussion was the fact that the Pacheedaht leadership signed a deal to log trees from land they control and some environmentalists were trying to stop them. The protesters were determined to make this a political matter to directly attack the NDP government – who was trying to let the Pacheedaht remain as the deciders in this matter – as the new UNDRIP legislation intends.

I try to imagine myself in others shoes in a conflict. How would I feel?

I imagine that the Pacheedaht are probably feeling under siege right now. Their voices are being completely ignored by the protesters. The Pacheedaht leadership signed a perfectly legal agreement to land some provincial cash (a share of the stumpage fees collected) and the deal through the Teal Jones contract. They were perfectly asserting their rights to make substantial decisions on the fate of their territory and they’ve been undermined and ignored.

So they caved. They have been successfully bullied out of their land for the next couple of years through this deferral they sought out. To think that a group of self identified left-wing activists sidelined the wishes of an area first nation and ignore them completely is outrageous.

So this deferral is enough to have the protesters back down and leave Pacheedaht territory?

Nope.

Having ‘won’, the protesters have moved the goalposts. They want more.

Haven’t the Pacheedaht seen this movie before? Outside Influences showing up to their lands dictating what they can or cannot do with their lands and territory? I thought reconciliation and UNDRIP were supposed to move past that.

This is Pacheedaht territory and they have a right to self determination and the right to act in the best interests of their people.

Leave them alone.

My2bits

Endorsement of Lisa Marie Barron

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.

You can see this amazing candidate for yourself and follow for updates here: facebook.com/ElectLisaMarieBarron
Lisa’s website is here: https://www.lisamariebarron.ca/

If you are not yet a member of the NDP and would like to in order to support Lisa, please click here for an online membership application.

My2bits

Every party should root out bigots in their ranks

Least of all, one that markets itself as left-of-centre.

Today we’re learning of the suspension of Jeremy Corbyn from the UK Labour Party caucus pending an investigation of his conduct regarding internal processes of handling incidents of antisemitism.

I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on the internal mechanisms of the Labour Party or the viability of these allegations.

But it sure strikes me as odd that a (former) leader whose brand is literally as a stand against racism and bigotry would be accused of such internally. To me, this looks more like a well orchestrated smear by internal opponents who finally got rid of their version of Bernie Sanders.

I also not going to deny that there are a fringe element of bigots that worm their way into parties of the left…which is horrible. Parties of the left should offer no safe haven to the ideals and ways of hate. Those belong to the right wing where it was invented.

The further right you get politically, the more nationalist and quasi-relgious-ethnostate you’re comfortable with. This is what makes it the perfect breeding ground for the hateful ideas that spawned the Nazi movement.

The further left you get politically, the more egalitarian and anti-state you get. This is the breeding ground for anti-capitalism and folks whose ideals oppose power by powerful rich people and corporations – it should be hostile to people trying to exploit fears, unknowns and stereotypes.

To the many who dedicate their activism to lifting people out of poverty, chase racism and hate from the mainstream discourse and right historical wrongs, I salute you.

To those who would use our political and ideological movement to advance your fringe ideas of hate and division, fuck you.

my2bits

Green elitism on full display

The new federal Green Party leader lost a byelection which was called before she was selected as leader – to replace the Liberal MP who was finance minister.

As per party constitution, the NDP promptly selected a candidate, Brian Chang, a person who campaigned under the party banner in 2019 general election and finished a respectable second place – in a deeply liberal district.

When the Greens selected Annamie Paul as leader, loud demands were made of the NDP to quit the race and endorse Annamie. No other demand was made of any other party. Just the NDP.

A disputable interpretation of ‘leaders courtesy’ was cited, that allowed a major party leader to run in a seat without serious opposition to give the person an easy path to Parliament to lead their party. The problematic part of their argument was that it typically applies when the party in question surrenders a seat (MP resigns) to allow for the newly crowned leader to run.

That wasn’t the case here. The seat was decidedly liberal leaning with a slight tilt to the NDP under normal campaign circumstances.

Leaders’ courtesy may have applied if former leader Elizabeth May quit her seat in Saanich – Gulf Islands to give Annamie Paul a fairly easy path to Parliament.

But in the ensuing temper tantrum by May and other Green noisemakers, they undermined Annamie Paul’s ability to campaign openly and win a seat on her own steam. Further, this action effectively made Elizabeth May the leader again. But wait, there’s more.

The Greens could claim that if Annamie Paul was elected, she would be the first black MP to lead a federal party in Parliament. But their party was trying to bully another person of colour and LGTBQ person out of their duly won NDP nomination.

Trying to bully a candidate out of an election contest BECAUSE I WANT MY PARTY TO WIN is itself a form of voter suppression.

The Greens, already tone-deaf on diversity issues, revealed themselves in this latest act of entitled stupidity.

Elizabeth May have bullied the NDP at every opportunity; she and her cabal tried to force three different leadership candidates mid campaign from her party. She injected herself into the BC campaign trying to scandalize the NDP trying to campaign for seats (incumbent Greens) IN A GENERAL ELECTION.

Elizabeth May was once seen as a model parliamentarian; she’s become anything but that. Now as an ambassador to her party and movement, she’s become radioactive to anything Green – and if rank and file Greens don’t stand up to this elitism and arrogance, they’re no better than she is – an no better than the parties they claim moral superiority to.

my2bits

BC Liberals are no bridge builders

Expect the BC Liberals to demonize the NDP over the Massey ‘tunnel’ replacement, but remember how morally repugnant that party is and the politics they played beforehand. Every word spoken by them must be taken with several grains of salt.

Its true that politicians play a blacktop politics game; as in ‘vote for me and I’ll build [thing]’, usually some major infrastructure. But that wasn’t necessary in 2001 as the BC Liberals strolled to power against a weakened NDP and needed to promise very little outside the platitudes they’ve failed to live up to since.

But, infrastructure is needed. BC has aging bridges and highways that need replacing. The oldest one being the Pattullo Bridge connecting north Surrey/Delta to New Westminster. It was opened for business in 1937. On the other side of the spectrum, there’s the Port Mann Bridge which was originally opened in 1964. Guess which the BC Liberals decided to replace? Not the older, Pattullo Bridge.

The idea wasn’t without controversy. It was to be an expanded, 10 lane bridge; build under the BC Liberals preferred P3 model; with tolls. Public Private Partnerships were preferred by the BC Liberals because it kept the debt load off the provincial books, even if taxpayers ended up paying more under this framework.

Well the deal fell through and the BC Liberal government was forced to use the traditional model of financing, keeping the toll.

By keeping this toll in place, the BC Liberal government forced a significant uptick on the already over-capacity Alex Fraser Bridge and the pre-WW2 Pattullo Bridge; triggering traffic jams like nobody had seen before.

These are the clowns who built the Sea To Sky on another P3 model, but using ‘shadow tolls‘ to pay the consortium who built the project and its their model for the (now cancelled) Massey Bridge project.

This is what the BC Liberals will try to attack the NDP over, and while crossing the Fraser River through the ‘tunnel’ is a pain in the ass at the best of times, the NDP has likely saved taxpayers a tonne of money so that a more transparent project may be done.

The BC Liberals never built a Pattullo replacement bridge because it wasn’t politically expedient to serve traditional NDP leaning seats when they could drop in a mega-billion dollar project in some swing seats they needed to keep.

These folks are desperate to get back into power…and will say anything to do so.

My2bits