On the Left Side

Enough Harper

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Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper rises to his feet to take journalist's questions after making a policy statement promising federal funding for a Toronto transit project during a speech at a Toronto Transit Commission depot in Toronto on Thursday, June 18, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

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Rafe:–The Christy Clark Excuse For a Government and The BC NDP’s Lack Of Opposition Vigour

Rafe Mair

Rafe Mair


Dear Richard

Your article of yesterday is very disturbing in a number of ways. Quite by coincidence, the following story appears on the CBC

A leading seismic scientist says B.C.’s energy infrastructure and gasfield workers may be vulnerable to earthquakes caused by fracking.

Earthquakes triggered by fracking have been felt in Fort Nelson and Fort St. John, but University of Calgary geophysicist David Eaton says the shaking is strongest in remote areas near fracking sites.

“Certainly in the immediate area where there’s infrastructure established by the oil and gas industry, including pipelines and well bore casings, then it’s something that really requires some careful analysis,” said Eaton.

Premier Christy Clark

Premier Christy Clark

Because we have been brainwashed, mainly through a lack of a proper opposition, we somehow don’t connect these two stories. It’s almost as if trouble with the foundation of a building was no concern of those on the 15th floor.

The governments of this province, going back a decade or more, but most especially this government, has done nothing to investigate the entire process of producing LNG as well as the shipping of the natural gas, it’s conversion into LNG, and it’s shipping to market.

The Christy Clark excuse for a government gives us no option but to accept the word of industry which somehow, is never terribly self-critical.

It’s awful thing to say but industry doesn’t even concern itself with the safety of workers and others and never has. Every safety measure has been achieved by strong opposition to laissez-faire in industry and nothing has changed.

BC NDP Leader John Horgan

BC NDP Leader John Horgan

This is not an anti-business screed – one cannot expect industry to be any different than anyone else having its own self interest and obligations foremost in it’s decision-making.

They are expected to provide dividends for their shareholders – the government is expected to see that they do so properly, honestly, and with due regard for their workers.

What is the crime, if I may use that word, is the lack of opposition holding industry’s and government’s feet to the fire.

I write this because those who live on Vancouver Island generally and specifically those who live in your region are standing alone against the evil of a rapacious industry and a greedy, and I might add, grossly negligent government.

Rafe-Howe Sound Needs Public SupportI In Face Of Woodfibre-LNG ProposalProposal

Rafe-Howe Sound Needs Public SupportI In Face Of Woodfibre-LNG ProposalProposal

We are in the Howe Sound area know what that’s like. We have them fighting the proposed Woodfibre LNG plant for years without any help whatsoever from our MLA, MP or the NDP.

There was a time, for example, if I may say so, when I was in government, that the leader of the opposition, Dave Barrett, would have assigned one of his MLAs to support us and help us in our fight.

This is not my first attack in these pages against the current NDP and its leader John Horgan. When I do make these criticisms invariably somebody accuses me of being anti-NDP from experiences in days of yore.

All I can say is that those were very different days indeed.

Dave BArrett

Former BC NDP Premier Dave Barrett

Let me use this example. There is one law for the East Coast and one for the West Coast with respect to LNG tankers. Harper’s government has banned them with damning rhetoric in the House of Commons on the East Coast yet he can’t get enough of them on the West Coast.

This issue seems to be taboo and no politician wants to touch it! Why? Is it somehow unCanadian to point out that we’re getting royally screwed by Ottawa’s bias on the West Coast of this country?

My question is this – can you imagine this situation in past years without a massive response from Premier WAC Bennett, Premier Dave Barrett, or Premier Bill Bennett?

Former BC Social Credit Premier WAC Bennett

Former BC Social Credit Premier WAC Bennett

On the same theme can you imagine the Bill Bennett government, of which I was a part, getting away with what Christy Clark does?

Can you imagine Dave Barrett and his very able front benchers sitting on their hands and watching us destroy the Province without a murmur?

I am afraid that the public often misinterprets vigorous opposition as personal hatred. Certainly in my case that never existed on either side and I might tell say that despite being one of his most vociferous political foes, I was honoured to be invited Dave Barrett’s 80th birthday party, being so far as I could tell, the only Socred to be there. I was treated cordially by all,

Now to the meat of the matter. You are going through a considerable struggle with the “Establishment”. Unhappily, that “Establishment” also includes the official Opposition, and its leader, if that’s the right word, John Horgan.

Former BC Social Credit Premier Bill Bennett

Former BC Social Credit Premier Bill Bennett

You are entitled to the ear if not succour and support of the Official Opposition and you’re not going to get it.

The Official Opposition in our system is an extremely important and honourable position. Its ancient duty is to hold the government strictly to account on everything they do, however meritorious it may seem.

I have used this phrase before but it is one of the most apt political maxims I know – “it is the duty of the opposition to a oppose“. So said Lord Randolph Churchill in the 1880s and it is as appropriate today as It was then.

Let me close by giving you the benefit of our experience in Howe Sound this matter. We have no one in the provincial legislature save Dr. Andrew Weaver of the Green Party to speak for us, advise us and help us.

Andrew Weaver BC Green Party MLA

Andrew Weaver BC Green Party MLA

We are bereft of all political assistance in a system where that is supposed to be provided and traditionally always has been provided by the opposition. We have been left with a member of Parliament and a member of the Legislature who have been less useful than tits on a bull.

Neither John Weston MP nor Jordan Sturdy MLA will consult with us or even answer our mail much less take our concerns to their governments. Nearby NDP members are nowhere to be seen.

I find this astonishing. As a former member of the BC cabinet I did not expect us to get away with anything at all without an outpouring of anger from across the aisle. This was expected and as it should be.

What the hell does John Horgan think that his duty is in our parliamentary system? To cozy up to the premier and make polite little noises of concern once in a while but at the end of the day signing where he is told to sign?


Steelhead LNG and Malahat Nation Cut Deal To Bring LNG Project To Saanich Inlet

There is a great misapprehension abroad that the opposition ought to support things the government are doing which are good. Leaving aside motherhood issues, this is nonsense.

No matter how good the government policy is, the public will never know all of the details, where the bodies are buried, where the problems might be, where the unattended consequences might show up, unless it is fully cross-examined word by word before the government gets to pass it.


What the public – and John Horgan – must understand is that there is absolutely nothing inconsistent with that – under those circumstances the opposition has done exactly what Lord Randolph said they should do and they have performed their duty to the public by making sure the government policy is meritorious.

Until you can’t get the opposition to behave as they ought to in a parliamentary democracy, you’ll be on your own and I can only suggest that you do as we are doing in Howe Sound, fight like hell, never give up and don’t expect anybody else to help you.

I am reminded of David Low’s famous cartoon in 1940, when France fell. He showed a British Tommy, standing on the cliffs of Dover, shaking his fist at incoming aircraft, and saying “very well,  alone”.

Sir David Low cartoon, showing a British soldier in 1940 Caption reads:"Very Well, Alone"

Sir David Low cartoon, showing a British soldier in 1940
Caption reads:”Very Well, Alone”


Steelhead LNG-Malahat Nation Plans Proceed. Chief Michael Harry And Council Have Resigned!

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

We may be in the throes of a Federal Election and trying to enjoy the last few weeks of summer but the Steelhead LNG-Malahat Nation proposal to establish a floating LNG

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BC Green’s Adam Olsen Is Opposed To An LNG Facility in the Saanich Inlet

Adam Olsen-Interim President BC Greens

BC Green Interim President Adam Olsen attended the Steelhead LNG Malahat Nation announcement of plans to build a floating LNG facility in the Saanich Inlet. His response is contained in this article below.


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I am in total sympathy with the Malahat First Nation’s desire to create a solid financial base.

Saanich Inlet

By Dorothy Field

In my Cobble Hill days, I spent about five years fighting David Butterfield’s proposed “village” at the Bamberton site on steep shores above the Saanich Inlet.

With dedication and hard work,

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Butch the Rooster-Watch Out for Him During this Election Period. An Election Classic!



Butch the RoosterSarah was in the fertilized egg business. She had several hundred young pullets and ten roosters to fertilize the eggs. She kept records and any rooster not performing went into the

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Rafe Mair’s ‘State of the Union’ on Canadian environmental politics

Rafe Mair


Rafe Mair’s take on the state of Canada today is compelling, instructive and a reality check for those of us following the federal elections through the lens of the sad sack tattered media.

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Water Shortages Dictate Changes Whether We Like It Or Not–Freeze All Residential Rezoning–Raise The Weir.


Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Rainy days, especially rainy summer days are but sweet memories for those of living on the ‘Left Coast.’ The reality is hitting home. Forest fires raging through areas where forest fires

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Margaret Atwood column pulled, re-posted on National Post website


One of the advantages of the second longest campaign in Canadian history is that there is more time for voters and pundits to observe and comment on the various leaders, parties and issues. What Harper

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Green Party Interim President Responds to Steelhead LNG -Malahat Nation LNG Announcement-Audio


The BC Greens Interim leader came out shortly after the Steelhead-Malahat Nation public announcement.

Here is a release from Adam Olsen Interim BC Green Leader.


Malahat LNG by Adam Olsen Interim President BC

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Thomas Mulcair To Hecklers-Show A Little Respect To First Nations!

Thomas Mulcair smiling


Malahat Nation- Steelhead LNG Deal Suspect! — Chief and Band Resigned! Updated

Steelhead logo

There is an odious smell emanating from this proposed deal.

The BC Government’s involvement through this via Treaty negotiations raises many questions.

This LNG proposal has been under negotiation for over 13 months.


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Malahat Nation and Steelhead LNG to Announce an LNG project.

Malahat logo

Cowichan Conversations broke the story of an impending LNG Project announcement August 9th.

Since then Chief Michael Harry has resigned following allegations of his accepting funds from South Island Aggregates. (SIA)

This latest development has

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Welcome the Duncan Journal to the Media Mix In Cowichan


Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

In the hurly burly world of newspapers, we welcome the latest entrant the Duncan Journal headed up by Nick Caumanns, Laurie Thomson and Rick Saare.

Both Nick Caumanns and Laurie Thompson,

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Stephen Harper’s Old Yeller

Steve and his Dad out on the back 40!

John Dozorsky from the Ukranian Canadian Congress and of course our PM Steve


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John Koury Withdraws From Tory Nomination Process-Endorses Martin Barker

John Koury

News Release August 17, 2015

John Koury Withdraws From Tory Nomination Process

John Koury

Duncan BC – Recent North Cowichan Councillor and Conservative Candidate hopeful, John Koury, announced today that he is withdrawing his

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Tory Hopeful Martin Barker Has Posted That John Koury Has Withdrawn From Race

John Koury

Longtime Conservative activist, candidate and former North Cowichan Councillor John Koury is no longer pursuing the Cowichan Malahat Langford nomination to represent the Conservatives in the federal election.

There are more questions than answers at

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Justin Trudeau Says He Is Not Ready — For More of Steve Harper’s Government



NDP Candidate Alistair MacGregor’s Duncan Office Opening

Alistair Victory


Many thanks to the 150+ supporters who came out to the opening of my Duncan Campaign Office! We raised funds to help pay for the office, collected over 120 new volunteers and

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Harper Haters Will Love This New York Times Op-Ed


Stephen Harper, the prime minister of Canada, is creating a legacy of secrecy and ignorance. Photo Credit Mark Blinch/Reuters



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Neil Young Snubs Donald Trump,


Neil Young snubs Donald Trump, gives “Rockin’ in the Free World” to Bernie Sanders


Criticizing Israel’s Politics Isn’t Anti-Semitism


The political hijacking of nominated candidates right to speak out is of serious consequence to all Canadians.

Conservative leader Stephen Harper and NDP leader Thomas Mulcair have both been severe and irrational, if not self

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PBS The Man Who Saved The World- The Cuban Crisis



Veterans Declare War on Harper


With the ever growing number of groups angry with Stephen Harper, and with the voter participation issue an unknown, there could be some big surprises on Election day, Oct 19th.

What really makes this fascinating

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CBC-Take A Minute And Enjoy The Orcas At Play


Nearly 50 orcas belonging to the J and L pods were captured on video travelling through B.C.’s Active Pass near Galiano Island on Sunday.

Gary Cullen shot video of the whales, including a baby

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Tories’ false claims about pot laws put youth at risk: drug policy centre


We still have a long way to go before the Oct 19th Federal election and the campaign is getting goofier by the day.

Steve says that Canadians do not want pot legalized. Such a

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North Cowichan Prepare To Empty And Then Refill Their Massive Aquatic Centre Pool During Drought

North Cowichan Mayor Jon Lefebure

CHEK TV and CBC News ran stories about the Island Savings Aquatic Centre (The Cowichan Community Centre Pool)- being drained and then refilled.

North Cowichan Mayor Jon Lefebure

This is outrageous when residents and

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Fran Hunt-Jinnouchi on rumoured LNG project in Cowichan-Malahat-Langford

Screen Shot 2015-06-07 at 6.55.24 PM

STATEMENT – Fran Hunt-Jinnouchi on rumoured LNG project in Cowichan-Malahat-Langford

August 12, 2015

Unconfirmed reports suggest that the Malahat First Nation and Steelhead LNG are planning to announce a liquified natural gas (LNG) project.

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Malahat Chief Michael Harry Has Resigned!



Word of the mass resignation of the Malahat Nation Chief and Council has been directed to Cowichan Conversations.

But there were conflicting reports regarding whether or not the full Council also has stepped

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A glimpse into the unexplainable and unwarranted CVRD firing of Bob McDonald

Former CVRD Recycling Manager Bob McDonald. A valuable asset lost.

Originally published in the South Cowichan Echo.

By Peter W. Rusland

Peter Rusland

A veil of legal secrecy concerning severance of several Cowichan region staffers was lifted in documents obtained by the Chemainus Courier

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Malahat Nation intends to announce an LNG project.


Here is another shocker for Vancouver Island and Gulf Island communities.

It appears that LNG Tankers may soon be plying our waters as the Malahat Nation and Steelhead LNG forge a partnership that could bring

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