Run away health care challenges

British Columbia’s health care system may be beyond redemption, there isn’t enough money to fix it. B.C. Budget 2023/24 totals $81.2 Billion and health care takes a $31-Billion bite – 38% per cent. Then education at $17.6 billion takes another 22 per cent. Sixty per cent of the budget goes to health and education. All the rest of government operations have to divide up the remaining 40 per cent.

Diverting cancer radiation treatments to U.S. is a very small part of a much bigger picture and it’s not a solution, it’s a temporary band aid. It was tried for a short time in 1996 and didn’t solve the problem. It does nothing to shorten the waiting lists for diagnosis and all the other levels of the cancer story before it ever gets to radiation treatment.

The government cannot throw enough money at the lack of family doctors. There just isn’t that amount of money or the number of available doctors. It spreads across the system – nurses are also operating short staffed.

Homelessness and mental illness are part of the challenge but the only solution is government with enough financial resources to fix what’s wrong.

It’s not a New Democrat issue, nor a B.C. United issue – both have played this game over decades without success.

We’re getting constant spending announcements, almost daily since David Eby became premier, but it remains to be seen how many of the promises eventually see cheques written.

Obfuscation does not help. Health Minister Adrian Dix recently claimed 3,800 new health care workers have been hired by government. He failed to mention that many of those may not really be new, but rather workers from the private sector who were absorbed when the government assumed control of seniors health facilities and those staff went on the government payroll.

It's impossible to even throw a ball park figure on how much more money is needed, and I haven’t seen anyone make projections, likely because it’s so far out of reach it hasn’t even been pursued.

Can government ever get enough money and at the other end, would we be able to pay the level of taxes needed to solve the problem? Think along the lines of doubling income taxes, plus a lot of other supply lines you could tap into and it still might not be enough.


Soon we won't know who

or how it really happened

230519 – Many of us know history. Future generations may never know the true story of the past but instead a sanitized reversion comfortable with today’s narrative. The woke-washing of history is running amok.

The latest examples come from Parks and Heritage Canada and our Passport Office.

Creating the most stir has been the deletion of Terry Fox from Canadian passports while Parks Canada is busy sanitizing plaques at historic sites which point out Canada’s past.

Politics is at the forefront in both cases. Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre condemns the Liberals for the passport redesign, while standing in front of the National War Memorial, which has also been removed from future passports. He calls the new passport Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s “colouring book” because it features images of a squirrel eating a nut and a man raking leaves.

This is not new, it’s been going on with government changes forever. Liberals tend to take Canada in a more independent direction, and Conservatives in a more historical direction.

For instance, former prime minister Stephen Harper repainted the government plane red, white and blue with “True North Strong and Free” written on it, and put “royal” back into the names of the Royal Canadian Air Force and Royal Canadian Navy.

Plaques and story boards are affixed to old buildings where someone important used to live. Or they’re mounted on a rock overlooking where something once happened.

Fort Langley is one of the sites slated for historical cleansing along with other fur trade forts  such as Manitoba’s York Factory. Others relate to the War of 1812, like Queenston Heights in Ontario.

About one third of the 2,192 plaque texts are considered high priority for change. That includes Indigenous portrayal or language such as “Indian” or “Eskimo.”

Controversial beliefs held by historical figures are also being cleansed from plaques. They include one of the Fathers of Confederation, our first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald who has been the target in other campaigns as well.

History is supposed to be a depiction of what happened, not what some wish had happened.

Thank goodness, the last time I renewed my passport I opted for the 10-years version. Terry Fox will travel with me for another half dozen years or so rather than some nut-chewing squirrel.

Attempt to ban natural gas

is delusional and hypocritical

230518 – The green gang on city council appear to have their heads some place where they’re getting a lot more natural gas than sunshine. On top of blowing tons of money on an imaginary climate “crisis”, they are trying to find a way to ban natural gas installations in the building permit process. That’s right, they want to ban natural gas in Nanaimo.

The green team voted 5-4 to have staff find out whether they can legally get away with this in the first place, and failing that, how they can coerce the provincial government to take that route.

It’s hypocritical and delusional. Many of them still travel in their carbon-fuel-guzzlers in their screwed-up traffic patterns beside unused bike lanes on their way to lecture us. They are a majority on council so their misguided logic carries the day. They are obsessed with saving us from what we don’t need saving from. There is no crisis, it’s a figment of the imagination.

Nanaimo has a long history with natural gas. A city committee worked its fingers to the bone to bring natural gas to Vancouver Island in the 1980s. The late Geoff Matthews, Larry Hume and Dean Finlayson devoted countless months and years making it happen. They went right to the top, engaging Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Premier Bill Vander Zalm.

Vancouver Island got the pipeline, but former Mayor Gary Korpan insists we got screwed, and he’s got the proof. He’s on a continuing mission to get the same gas franchise fees that Mainland communities have had over the years. We’ve been shorted by millions of dollars and Gary is not walking away from it even though his message has on deaf ears from successive Social Credit, Liberal and New Democrat governments. The figures are there in black and white.

While we’ve got climate zealots trying to shut it down the provincial government is investing tons of money in natural gas development in Northern B.C. That would be squandered if the misguided greens and their followers foist their woke mentality on the rest of us.

On top of that, we’re sitting on top of a vast pool of natural gas riches, under ground in the Cedar area. All it needs is a little fracking.

How do people like this get elected? Actually quite easily. When the majority of voters don’t turn up at the polls a small number galvanizing around a specific issue are elected. Only 24 per cent of eligible voters turned out at the last election, but do the 76 per cent who didn’t bother deserve what they got?

See the special report by Mark Mills, senior fellow of the Manhattan Institute on Prager University TV with the real future of oil and gas.


The real future of oil and gas

Is skipping class becoming

a problem for city council?

230512 - Idle thoughts of an idle fellow. Whatever happened to the attendance reports for city council? I remember when they were a regular part of the process and we knew who the truants were. Are all council members putting in their hours or are there sluggards? We don’t know, maybe we should.

On top of that, has high tech created voting by cell phone instead of personally showing up?

UPDATE - As I waxed eloquent yesterday about voting records on each issue I learned they are available at the city's website HERE. They are just not in the local news media any more. It may take a little while to learn to use the site but save this link and keep track of what's happening.

Get it right the first time

230507 - The old adage is to never look a gift horse in the mouth. The city is getting $1.8 million from the federal government to develop a gun and gang violence prevention strategy which city council has endorsed.

Any program with this intent should be good news, but only if it’s effective with the right focus. It’s easy to take federal money, but will the program achieve its intended purpose? Too many such programs turn out to be window dressing for political show? Will there be definitive results or simply a string of committees and meetings?

Coun. Sheryl Armstrong said the strategy does not include targeting youths already in organized crime. The rest of council should be paying close heed to her concerns, she knows what she’s talking about based on her extensive experience as a member of the RCMP working with gangs. Focussing on street gangs misses the point, she says. Many of the main gangs with the weapons come from more-affluent families.

Council endorsed the plan in spite of Armstrong's caution and that underlines the concern that it may be a half-baked project which may look at only part the problem and result in nothing more than a public relations exercise rather of a workable strategy.

Why should taxpayers foot the bill for rich folks to drive around in fancy, pricey electric cars? A news release from the city says 99 per cent of privately-owned homes do not have electrical vehicle charging wiring but our virtue-signalling Council has decided to give them $150 each to install this type of appliance for personal use.

How about filling in a few potholes instead? A reader adds EV owners don't even pay for the cost of roads. 230504

Farnworth in a pickle with

Surrey policing decision

Kicking the can down the road seldom resolves a problem. The Surrey policing decision is a shining example of indecision leading to more problems.

Attorney General Mike Farnworth was given the impossible task of pleasing everyone at the same time, and his verdict left just as big a mess as he was tasked with cleaning up. As is most often the case, the taxpayer is stuck with the outcome.

Lackluster voter turnout in the 2018 election gave then-Mayor Doug McCallum the green light to create a new municipal police force, replacing the RCMP. McCallum ran on that as a major platform plank and won the election.

Surrey went ahead and formed Surrey Police Service, putting the infrastructure in place at the costs of millions of dollars.

Mccallum’s political opposition mounted a campaign to reverse the decision and keep the RCMP. It got quite nasty and McCallum was unseated by Coun. Brenda Locke who became the new mayor. She moved quickly to make it official, keep the RCMP and disband the new police force which had already hired management and officers at the cost of millions of dollars.

That’s when Farnworth was forced to step in, and try to invoke the wisdom of Solomon by “urging” the retention of the SPS and dismissal of the RCMP with the province dumping in $30 million a year for five years to pay part of the mess. Now other municipalities are chanting "me too" to the government payout, despite the province alredy doling out $1 billion in funding for infrastructure.

Locke being no political pushover quickly declared she was ignoring what turned out to be merely suggestions by Farnworth. She was going to push ahead to reinstate the RCMP.

Farnworth’s recommendations were no walk in the park – about 500 pages in all with virtually unlimited wiggle room. It was no easy task. Voters had tacitly approved the policing switch and then changed their mind. Now the rest of the provincial taxpayers are stuck with the outcome.

This is one case where the attorney general might have been better off by making a definitive ruling even though that meant drawing the wrath of supporters on either one side or the other. But that’s why we elected people to government, to make decisions, popular or unpopular.

Remember, you can please all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.


Government is not working because

politics keeps getting in the way

It is an indisputable fact that governments no longer function to achieve our needs, leading to contradictory and impossible ambitions. 

There are countless examples, but let’s look at the most obvious in our daily lives. Close to home, governments dangle political philosophies to deal with increasing crime, drug use, mental health and housing.

They apply band aids to an open wound. They say they want to solve the problems – but they are afraid to apply real solutions for fear of hurting feelings. They use words like stigma when responding to street drug use, they plead human rights when it becomes a question of mandating institutionalization of the victims of those criminal activities.

Political posturing has led to the decriminalization of drugs, increasing their availability, only multiplying the problems. They must surely know they are failing the victims but remain true to their mantra. There’s no such things as “safer” drugs.

It’s an unarguable fact that you can’t have law and order without crime and punishment.

For more than a hundred years politics has dragged on the issue of indigenous people in our country, stretching it on and on without a resolution, only dumping tons and tons of money at it. After a century government should long have solved the claims issues, they have been there all that time and many are coming to light just recently. In essence, it’s become an industry operated by lawyers.

The modus operandi of politics is diversion – changing the subject and talking about anything else. Like the myth of “solving” climate change. It’s a smoke screen to cover their shortcomings. Or the new "woke" religeon.

Our prime minister insisted that billions and billions of public dollars for an electric vehicle battery factory came about because “everybody demands it.” That is simply flat out not true.

U.S. tranpsortation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is taking the obfuscation to the extreme, preaching that streets and roads are racist because they transport more white people than others. C'mon, Pete.

Or fueling a national debate about whether we are male or female or something in between. In the meantime people are still huddling in tents, subsisting on drugs without proper medical treatment.

It’s not the Liberals, it’s not the Conservatives and it’s not the New Democrats, it’s all of them taking their turns with meaningless bafflegab. They just take turns shuffling seats in Parliament and Legislatures.

Another example I ran into is an individual trying to develop his property for housing but is forced to endure endless red tape and expenses at the government level. Each of those steps costs the developer a lot of money. That’s especially evident when one municipality on Vancouver Island can approve building projects within weeks while in others take up to two years and more.

That is countless trips to municipal government hearings and bureaucracy, at all of which specialists have to be paid for their attendance. Again and again. It adds up to a significant portion of the cost of housing.

Then comes the hypocritical action of government adding significant taxes to the sale of homes, the total costs of which then take many prospective buyers out of qualification for financing. As long as the provincial government keeps the property transfer tax they are not serious about housing affordability. On today’s average selling price of a home that adds about $12,500 to the cost of buying a home.

A poll in the U.S. recently showed only 25 per cent of voters support the Democrat party and 25 per cent back the Republicans. The rest? They are looking at independents who earned 50 per cent  popularity. But forming a party of independents would simply wind up in another party.

Running around community to community handing out money is not a magic wand, it does not solve problems. It only addresses the fears of the moment, if even that.

There is no argument that we are headed in the same direction. Our politics is based on personal attacks rather than actually solving problems. The NDP hates the Conservatives, the Conservatives hate the Liberals, and the Liberals . . . you know that tune. All the while, nobody is taking care of business like they are elected to do. 

Meanwhile hospital emergency departments continue to be shut down over weekends, and many people can't find a family doctor. That spells the failure of politics.

First Nations Health Authority is

proof there's more than one way

2330416 -When is two-tiered health care acceptable and when is it not? The style of health care delivery has been an ongoing debate over private clinics versus public facilities. It been tested in the courts unsuccessfully a number of times.


We already have a two-tiered system. The federal government has committed $8 Billion in renewed funding for The First Nations Health Authority. There’s good reason for this separate tier in the health care system. Indigenous people have a lower life expectancy than the general population and also experience higher rates of illness, including mental health and substance use disorders.


It hopes to change that by taking on more responsibility for delivering health services for Indigenous communities. The federal government has renewed its agreement for 10 years. It grants the health authority control planning, management and delivery of health programs in 200 B.C. communities.


This level of service is an excellent example of how need has to be met by service, and that includes utilizing the private health care solutions. MORE

Electric vehicles could pose danger onboard ferries

230412 – A Norwegian shipping company has banned electric, hybrid, and hydrogen cars from its ferries after concluding  the risk to safety was too significant. Fires in electric behicles can not be extinguished.

The risks for ships from Electric cars have been discussed since the ferry “Felicity Ace” sank off the Azores, Portugal, last February. E-vehicles on board caught fire and could not be extinguished. The ship sank with thousands of electric cars, including Porsche and Bentley “green” vehicles.

Capt. Rahul Khanna, global head of marine consulting at Allianz, a marine insurance specialist, explains that the problem with EVs is that lithium-ion batteries in the cars can actually propagate the fire, igniting more vigorously as compared to conventional cars. A single vehicle fire could prove catastrophic.

According to a report by the Trade Winds shipping news service, Havila’s Chief executive Bent Martini said the risk analysis showed that the fire in an electric car required a particularly complex rescue operation. The crew on board could not afford this. Passengers would also be at risk. This is different for vehicles with combustion engines. A possible fire is usually easy to fight by the ship’s crew.

Even Greenpeace warned against e-cars on ships: “In general, electronic components and especially electric vehicles pose a risk for every transport.”

Electoral boundary revisions come as a surprise for many

Hundreds and hundreds of us in Lantzville and North Nanaimo are about to move – to Courtenay and Alberni. And we appear to have been asleep at the switch.

Granted, there were numerous opportunities to address the question but not too many voters were aware. The last public submissions were received in June last year.

That’s the plan of the Electoral Boundaries commission, and it’s too late to voice your opinion, the deadline has passed. I cannot recall the report of the commission being made public in the media and advertising, or any opinion in the public realm from our elected officials. Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Lisa Marie Barron made a written submission, raising concerns about chopping out part of our community and moving it to Courtenay-Alberni.

It's like crying over spilled milk. There’s one slight opportunity and that is through a member of Parliament, with a deadline of March 7, that’s Tuesday. MPs have one last go at it, not that it's a likely result.

The proposal is to transfer Lantzville and basically the area north of Hammond Bay Road to the Courtenay-Alberni federal riding. It’s based on population and Nanaimo’s growth has put us on the upper edge of that number.

 It’s a numbers game. There are complicated numerical formulas which have resulted in part of Courtenay being moved to North Island, thus making room for those being transferred from Nanaimo. The report makes reference to Nanaimo’s population growth, arguing that we will be under represented.

To me that raises the question of how well we would be represented by a member of Parliament based in Port Alberni or Courtenay instead of here in Nanaimo even if the numbers were out of whack?

There are numerous legitimate arguments against this move.

Dover Bay school has been used as a polling location for municipal, provincial and federal elections for years, we’ve become accustomed to it. Sure, it could still be used for those who transfer north, but all the Nanaimo voters south of Hammond Bay Road will have to go to a new location to vote.

As well, that area is represented in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District, making a convenient unit.

All our municipal connections are with the City of Nanaimo, and lopping off part of the city could create unnecessary havoc, especially when dealing with Ottawa.

Some argue that the same applies to the Regional District, but the district is situated largely in the riding to the north to begin with, so the impact would be minimal.

As some have suggested, it would be simpler to move Ladysmith to the Cowichan-Malahat-Langford district. It may make geographic sense but not the numbers game as the southern riding is also over-populated at this point.

So, welcome to Courtenay-Alberni, for at least the next ten years after which we go through the process again. By then we will likely need another electoral district on Vancouver Island due to growth, and that will mean shaking up the boundaries again.

The target population for EDAs is 116,300
The average Vancouver Island total is 123,052, illustrating how far we are over the limits.

Current populations for Island EDAs
Courtenay-Alberni, 1222,753
Cowichan-Malahat-Langford, 124,115
Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke, 120,170
Nanaimo-Ladysmith, 122,857
North Island-Powell River, 125,840
Saanich-Gulf Islands, 122,147
Victoria, 123,482

Following is an excerpt from the report of the commission

Vancouver Island is represented by seven Members of Parliament. Its population has grown over the past 10years, and done so unevenly, leading to an average electoral district population in the region over the province's quota. While the Commission has not increased the Island's number of electoral districts, for the reason stated above, it considers that in the interests of voter parity significant discrepancies in population among certain electoral districts must result in some boundary adjustments to reduce the variations among districts. The result is a set of electoral districts on Vancouver Island with minimal regional variation in population.

Two areas are currently in particular need of some reconfiguration to be faithful to the Commission's task. These are the boundaries affecting the mid-Island, a matter that has ripple effects on the neighbouring electoral districts, and the appropriate electoral boundaries within the Saanich Peninsula. The area of highest provincial growth, the City of Langford in the current Cowichan—Malahat—Langford electoral district, is fortunately within a district that has been able to absorb the increase without greatly exceeding the regional average, and, accordingly, that electoral district has only minor changes, consistent with public suggestions. The Commission has agreed with submissions that the existing boundaries of the Victoria electoral district should remain unchanged.

The mid-Island area presents particular challenges for existing Nanaimo—Ladysmith and its neighbouring districts. Nanaimo—Ladysmith has experienced high population growth, and the City of Nanaimo is a major trading and service centre, creating a strong community of interest in the region. Yet the population of Nanaimo—Ladysmith is the highest on Vancouver Island, and the interests of parity and proper weight for the constituents' votes require a response to bring the population more into conformity with the other Island electoral districts.

Geography allows only two solutions: moving the southern boundary northward, so as to assign residents in Nanaimo—Ladysmith to Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, or moving the northern boundary southward to assign residents in Nanaimo—Ladysmith to current Courtenay—Alberni. The southern-boundary alternative would have a domino effect around the Malahat area more disruptive than the northern-boundary alternative. The Proposal had redrawn the northern boundary of Nanaimo—Ladysmith to assign Lantzville and the adjoined area of north Nanaimo to Courtenay—Alberni. The Commission received many comments questioning this concept and stressing the strong ties that Lantzville and the Nanaimo area have with the remainder of the present electoral district. Presenters asked that the City of Nanaimo be kept whole.

The Commission has considered these concerns, but is ultimately of the view that the proposed alteration represents the most appropriate response to the district's current divergence from quota. The Commission agrees with the suggestion that an area of Nanaimo in the Brannen Lake vicinity, which was proposed to be included in Courtenay—Alberni, should remain in Nanaimo—Ladysmith, and it now proposes to adjust the Courtenay—Alberni and Nanaimo—Ladysmith boundary to more closely follow the Nanaimo city boundary in this area.

Assignment of Lantzville and the adjoined area of north Nanaimo to Courtenay—Alberni has a ripple effect, giving Courtenay—Alberni an unduly large population. In turn, this required the Commission to examine Courtenay—Alberni's northern boundary with current North Island—Powell River. That present boundary divides the three neighbouring municipalities of Cumberland, Courtenay and Comox by including Comox within North Island—Powell River, at present the most sparsely populated electoral district of Vancouver Island. In response to the ripple effect created by reducing the Nanaimo—Ladysmith population, the Commission had proposed dividing Courtenay at the natural boundary of the Courtenay River, joining the eastern portion of Courtenay with Comox in North Island—Powell River and keeping the western portion within Courtenay—Alberni. The Commission appreciated that this proposed change would be controversial, and so it has been.

At public hearings and in written submissions, residents questioned assigning the City of Courtenay to two electoral districts. Some presenters acknowledged the need to address the large divergence of population in Nanaimo—Ladysmith from the quota, and suggested that population room in the mid to north Island districts could be created by transferring Powell River to an electoral district on the Mainland. The suggestion to transfer Powell River to a Mainland electoral district provoked a number of submissions from residents of Powell River, resisting the idea and commenting positively on Powell River's current placement in North Island—Powell River.

You can see the FULL REPORT here.

Reconciliation is only the first step toward truth

Reconciliation has become a household term in relation to history involving indigenous people and those who took over by invasion. Other than a fancy buzz word, what does it mean?

The dictionary defines reconciliation as the action of making one view or belief compatible with another: any possibility of reconciliation between clearly opposed positions. That is only the first step. It sounds and looks good on paper but there are other steps without which there can never be resolution.

Restitution and reparation are very similar. The history of the United States shows that alone will not settle the issue. They have gone past that stage to restitution, the act of giving back something that was lost or stolen, or of paying money for the loss.Numerous jurisdictions in the U.S. are now developing reparation plans to compensate for slavery many generations ago.

Retribution is probably the oldest justification of punishment. It is the fact that the individual has committed a wrongful act that justifies punishment, and that the punishment should be proportional to the wrong committed.

Then comes the truth. Governments are falling all over themselves trying to reconcile, not making it clear that the next stages inherently come after the first stage.

Reclaiming rights
for the homeless

The enablers of homelessness cite victims’ rights in their failure to tackle the problem head on.

Whose rights are being taken away? In reality, those who argue against involuntary institutionalization are denying the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for those unable to help themselves. By not helping them when they are incapable of making sound decisions, rejecting the services that can help them, that’s how their rights are denied.

For many living on the streets is a choice between seeking the help they need or continuing with their addictions. Once you’re hooked it’s not an easy choice but rather a priority of when and where to get the next fix. It’s not simple, drug addiction and mental health issues go hand in hand. By not treating the victims we are in fact accomplices by not helping them to reclaim their rights.

Attaching other labels does not solve the problem. Being homeless and being unhoused are the same thing, but some insist that the word change removes the stigma. It’s a stigma only for those who preach it, to the victims it makes no difference. Linguistic gymnastics don't improve the lot of the homeless.

Creating more programs that let them stay on the streets is not helping them. Building homeless shelters without the necessary services is an abdication of responsibility by those who could restore their rights. It is not a virtue to turn a blind eye to their plight by slapping up more bricks and mortar. It doesn't help either to label people who don't subscribe to voluntary treatment as not caring. That’s cop-out.

Less work for same pay does not add up

Less work for the same pay. Now there’s a tantalizingincentive for workers. The B.C. Green Party’s proposal for a four-day work weekpilot project demonstrates how out of touch the party is with reality.

Less work for the same pay boils down to a 20-per-centincrease is wage costs for employers. And as is so often the case with GreenParty schemes, they want the taxpayers to pick up the tab through tax creditsfor participating businesses.

They point to the United Kingdom where this has been tried, claimingit’s been very effective.

This comes at a time where we already have a labourshortage, we can’t find enough workers to fill the present need. Cutting backto four days would mean another hit on being able to fill staffing needs, a20-per-cent increase in job vacancies.

Party Leader Sonia Furstenau argues we need to put thewell-being and the work life balance of people at the centre and if we have ahealthier and more well work force we’ll see a decrease in costs on ourhealthcare system on our public safety system. How? Does she have the facts toback that up?

Not surprisingly, not everyone is in favour. David Screech ofGregg’s Furniture And Upholstery in Victoria says it would hurt, not benefit,his small business.

“Medium-sized and small businesses are already strugglinglike mad in this climate. The idea that we can lose a full day of productionand pay our staff the same amount of money in a competitive market makes nosense at all,” he argues.

Hopefully saner heads will prevail in the NDP and BC Liberalparties in the Legislature.

Tolerance means including everyone, not just a select few

The woke gospel is beginning to test my tolerance. If you’re not singing from their songbook apparently you are evil and doomed to purgatory. We used to be able to disagree and still respect each other. Now the self-righteous in our midst spew hate when opinions clash. Media preach tolerance and love but do not follow their own sermonizing as they preach hate and intolerance.

That vitriol is coming out after NHL player Ivan Provorov chose not to participate in a social engineering ceremony before a game. It doesn’t matter what the topic of the event was, that’s not the issue.

The bleeding heart political correctness in sports leagues and media screams inclusivity while in practice they exercise exclusion. Diversity and inclusion mean including everyone of every stripe and color, not just the selective flavour of the day. We can all have our own thoughts on any issue, and we have a right to our beliefs.

This is not a commentary on the event which the player opted out of, but the lecturing that nobody has a right to a differing point of view, especially when based on religion. Shame on these condescending twits and their venomous delusionary belief that their views are on a higher plane.

Thankfully, reason appears to ride with the majority. After the furor over the incident, Povorov’s Philadelphia Flyers jersey sold out immediately on internet marketing sites – I’m told at $235 Canadian, eh?

You're only as good as

the promises you keep


Politicians and promises are synonymous. It’s the same story with politicians and broken promises.

When David Eby was a candidate for the leadership of the B.C. NDP and the premiership he was very generous with promises of what he intended to for our province.

Now he’s doing a fancy two-step. It didn’t take him long to backtrack on what he had offered. 

Rob Shaw, who covers the Legislature, writes Eby is walking back two key promises from his leadership campaign – a new provincial mental health facility, and a proposal to involuntarily detain people who overdose for medical treatment.

Eby says that may not happen now that he’s taken office, despite the proposals being early centrepieces of his leadership bid and areas in which he’s made very specific pledges for action. “Eby said his leadership ideas were just that – ideas that he’s now turned over to more knowledgeable experts to figure out whether they are viable or should be shelved in favour of different solutions,” writes Shaw.

That’s not sitting well with a lot of people across the political spectrum who had high hopes for positive action on those two issues. An NDP friend of mine was unequivocal that Eby “bloody well better not back down. He has to step up or it will Premier Falcon. And I am so sick of all of this I don’t care who does it as long as they do it. Local small facilities I absolutely support but with secure involuntary care.”

That’s the reaction from more than just a few people. In the meantime our new premier is busy shovelling out even more goodies. They sound promising, all shiny and sparkling, but will be keep his word?

Read Rob Shaw’s full report HERE

There are statistics and then there are damned lies


A Toronto researcher was awarded a grant by the Canadian government to study the safety risks of unvaccinated drivers. The professor got a grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada titled "Encouraging Vaccine Confidence in Canada."

Statistics can prove anything you want them to. He looked at medical records of people who were hospitalized after car accidents, and found that 25 per cent of the accidents involved unvaccinated individuals. Let’s see now, that then means 75 per cent were vaccinated drivers.

He concluded that the "risks" might justify changes to driver insurance policies in the future. Ah ha, that’s the bottom line. FULL STORY.

Jews begin eight-day

Chanukah celebration


Sunday was the first night of Hanukkah or Chanukah, marked by Jews around the world. Central Vancouver Island Jews held a menorah lighting ceremony in Nanaimo on Sunday. The celebration ends on Dec. 26.

The eight-day celebration commemorates the rededication during the second century B.C. of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, where according to legend, Jews had risen up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors. Eight candles of the menorah symbolize the number of days that the Temple lantern blazed; the ninth, the shamash, is a helper candle used to light the others.

Families light one candle on the first day, two on the second, and so on, after sundown during the eight days of Hanukkah while reciting prayers and singing songs. Hanukkah lasts for eight nights to commemorate how long the holy light burned.

Crypto currency nothing

but monkey business


Crypto currency has been in the news quite a lot recently, what with one of the biggest companies crashing. I have never bought into the concept of buying smoke and mirrors, so I was really interested in an annonymous presentation I ran across recently. It totally lays out how crypto currencyworks, in Layman's terms.

Not long ago a merchant found a lot of monkeys that lived near a certain Village. 

One day he came to the Village saying he wanted to buy monkeys. He announced he would buy the monkeys at $100 each.

The villagers thought that this man must be crazy - how can somebody buy stray monkeys at $100 each? Still some people caught some monkeys and gave it to this merchant and he gave $100 for each monkey. The news spread like wildfire and people caught monkeys and sold them to the merchant.


After a few days, the merchant announced that he will buy monkeys at $200 each. The lazy villagers also ran around to catch the remaining monkeys. They sold the remaining monkeys at $200 each. 

The merchant then announced that he will buy monkeys for $500 each. The villagers started to lose sleep. They caught six or seven monkeys, which was all that was left and got $500 each. The villagers were waiting anxiously for the next announcement. 

Then the merchant announced that he is going on holiday for a week, but when he returns, he will buy monkeys at $1,000 each. He also said that his employee will be in charge, and would take care of the monkeys he bought pending his return. 

The Merchant went on holiday. The Villagers were frantic and very sad as there were no more monkeys left for them to sell it at $1,000 each as was promised by the Merchant. 

Then the Merchant's employee contacted them and told them that he would secretly sell them some monkeys at $700 each. The news spread like wildfire. As the Merchant promised on his return that he would buy monkeys at $1000 each, they would achieve a $300 profit for each monkey. 

The next day the Villagers queued up near the monkey cage. The employee sold all the monkeys at $700 each. The Rich bought monkeys in large lots. The poor borrowed money from money lenders and bought the rest of the monkeys. The Villagers took care of their monkeys and waited for the Merchant to return. 


However nobody came. Then they ran to find the employee. However he was not to be found. The Villagers then realized that they have been duped buying the useless stray monkeys at $700 each, and were now unable to sell them.

This monkey business is now known as Bitcoin.

A new approach needed

to affordale housing


A lot has been made of affordable housing for the past few years as prices soared into the stratosphere. Many people, especially politicians, wax eloquent about how we can get home ownership, or even rental, in the financial range of most people.

Governments keep poking into the home building industry with countless plans that never seem to amount to much, if anything. All are related to someone else picking up the tab, the concept of “government can fix all problems by throwing money at them”. The sad reality is it has not worked.

While I served as a city councillor in Nanaimo, one of my portfolios was working on homelessness, especially for people requiring low-barrier housing. My first co-chair was Diane Brennan, and in the next term it was Fred Pattje. Together with those two dedicated councillors, in the face of a lot of neighbourhood opposition, we were able to get close to 150 housing units for those vulnerable people in our city.

The concept at the time was quite simple. The city provided serviced and zoned land at no cost. The province paid for the housing to go on that land, with the management of those properties contracted out. There will always be slight hitches, but the projects in Nanaimo have worked well.

At the time we tackled this, homeless counts were usually close to 50 people at any one time. After the city and the province provided that housing for about 150 people, the census on the street reveals in the vicinity of 100 or more homeless people. Is it possible to ever provide enough services, will we ever catch up?

Reflecting on that experience and the focus on affordable housing almost everywhere, how can society lower the cost of housing in a free market? It’s easy to assign blame, especially to foreign buyers, but that’s not bringing us any closer to a solution. Blaming someone is easy, solving the problem is more difficult. Is it totally up to government to continue to write the cheques to cover the costs, with no end in sight? The concern over affordability is not about homeless citizens but those who are employed but the cost of housing is simply out of reach. They can and are willing to pay, but it has to be within their budget.

A new approach could very well draw on the experiences of the approach toward homelessness. For years developers have been required to set aside certain portions of their projects for park and recreation sites, their contribution to the community in return for the right to build. Parks are nice, a roof over your head is more practical.

How about changing that philosophy and encouraging developers to contribute to an affordability fund or actually building facilities to provide more affordable housing? As in the example above, the municipality could provide zoned and serviced land. The builder could put up the lower-cost housing as a contribution toward more affordability.

Designating city-owned land for such projects is one of the main planks in this concept. For many home owners in Nanaimo, this year was the first time that their tax assessments showed the land portion was greater than the house. That then tells us a lot more about affordability than the actual cost of construction.

The city of Nanaimo is land poor, but over a period of time could develop a land assembly process where it could build up its inventory. Nothing happens overnight, we have to start somewhere.

Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization that builds homes, often with municipal help, and makes them available to lower income families through “sweat equity” where the families that qualify earn their down payment. The only downside of this concept is that it is a non-profit and cannot meet the demand that exists throughout the province and the country. It results in a couple of projects a year, far from meeting the demand.

There may be some holes in the idea of having builder-developers giving a community contribution to the municipality for the opportunity to develop, and challenges for the municipalities, but nothing else appears to be working. Housing for the homeless has not been totally solved, but what was done has made a big dent in the problem. Why not give it a try as it relates to affordability, or at least devote serious investigation of the idea?

Does anyone have a better idea?