Hey BCTF Teachers-Loose Lips Sink Ships–Tell Media to Call BC Federation President Jim Iker

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

It is a cynical game being played out by some media types regarding the BCTF struggle to negotiate a collective agreement with Premier Christy Clark’s anti-public education BC Liberal’s

Watch out for the media game of trying engage teachers in second guessing over their leaderships tactics.

This is not helpful folks. You elect a President and executive members to represent your interests. Do not let the media suck you in and then later listen to them say that there is a difference of opinion amongst BCTF members.

Do not play their divide and conquer game, it will only undermine your efforts. This is a time for discipline and solidarity.

Loose lips sink ships!

Ultra Zionists Protest Marriage Between An Israeli and a Muslim – Other Israeli’s Stood In Support of the Wedding

PM Steve Harper, supported attack on Gaza on our name.

PM Steve Harper, supported thes attacks on Gaza in our name.

This video clearly shows the extremist views that drives the hatred fuelled attacks against Palestinians that our Canadian Government supports and extols.

Supporters of the marriage also gathered on the streets and offered their contrasting views.

Similar expressions from hateful anti-Semitic forces can also be seen where Arabs call for the eradication of Israel and its inhabitants.

It seems that the moderate and progressive voices have been drowned out and do not form a part of the narrative. The politically moderate  must step up and participate fully.

Support Harper on Gaza

Support Harper on Gaza

I believe we that are the majority and the alternative is more of what we all have seen for decades in the Mid East. It is not possible to turn the tide when only the extreme views are given voice.

Our Prime Minister Harper, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and NDP leader Thomas Mulcair unreservedly support the Benjamin Netanyahu right wing militants.

Libby Davies NDP MP

Libby Davies NDP MP

NDP MP Alecandfe Boulerice speaks out

Alexandre Boulerice

Only very recently has Mulcair diluted his rhetoric Until recently his position and Harper’s were indistinguishable

Quebec NDP MP Alexandre Boulerice has stepped away from Mulcair’s posture as has NDP MP Libby Davies  Their efforts in a firmly controlled and whipped caucus may have contributed to Mulcair altering his earlier rigid position.


Only Leader to speak out against Israeli's attack on Gaza

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May only leader to speak out against Israeli’s attack on Gaza

The Young NDP are in sync with party policy unlike Tom Mulcair’s stance.

In spite of some rumbling within the NDP tent the Canada only Green Party leader Elizabeth May has come out against the slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza.

Progressive Jews and Israeli’s need our support for they too are being pressured to conform to the thinly veiled genocidal attacks against Palestinians. We have heard from the extremists and now we need to hear from the majority of moderates if political change is to become a possibility

BCTF-BC Government Continue Talks Behind Closed Doors

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Day 2 of talks with mediator Vince Ready, now seemingly immersed, are going well enough that are continuing and we are not hearing exactly how it is going. The longer they are at it the better chance of reaching an agreement.

Chatter out there that has schools possibly opening on the scheduled September 2nd seems a little misplaced to me. Many teachers will be going to new schools and classrooms without out time to set the room up to be ready for the students and that does not happen without a lot of work and preparation.

Remember that the teachers were locked out prior to the end of the last school term and were prohibited from entering earlier and staying later than usual. They were also banned from their classrooms during lunch break.

It was all that many could manage to dismantle their classrooms and get out as they were forced to do. The wisdom of that heavy-handed edict from Education Minister Peter Fassbender will come home to roost following an agreement if indeed one is reached.

In any case the delay will be short, but not unduly so.

Here is the latest report from BCTV-CTV News


Both sides in the teacher labour dispute sat down with a mediator to see if they can reach an agreement

The Canadian Press

School districts in B.C. are holding off telling parents that classes will be cancelled next Tuesday as the teachers’ strike continues and negotiations unfold. The past several days have seen the B.C. Teachers’ Federation and the employer meet with the education minister and a labour mediator in an attempt to prevent the strike from derailing the start of the school year.

Read More

Pivotal meeting underway between mediator Vince Ready, BCTF and BCPSEA

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

This is really the first day where there is any chance of progress since the Strike-Lockout began. The gamey Education Minister Peter Fassbender had been insisting on numerous pre-conditions.

I  suggest that if he does not remove those specious pre-conditions the talks will not last long.

I cannot see seasoned mediator Vince Ready playing games such as those advanced by  Education Minister Fassbender.

“Hope” is the operative word as union and government negotiators meet behind closed doors with mediator Vince Ready today in Richmond.

How long will these seats remain empty?

How long will these seats remain empty?

Heading into a private meeting room at a hotel, Ready made it clear today’s talks are exploratory.“No, there are no preconditions. ‘Is this doable by September 2nd?’ It will depend on negotiations, and the negotiating teams, you know.”

The government’s lead negotiator, Peter Cameron, also says no pre-conditions have been set on today’s session.

Meanwhile, people heading into a meeting held by the Vancouver teachers’ unions said they aren’t pleased with the minister’s idea of two weeks to cool off.

“Cooling off? He’s been cooled off all summer. He’s not been willing to negotiate with us.”

“I think it’s a ploy by the government to relieve pressure on them. I think it’s a clear indication that what we have been doing has been contributing pressure to the government.”

As for whether they think school could start on time next week?

“I have no idea.”

“I would love to say I’m hopeful for that. Yesterday, Fassbender’s comments really kind of stuck in my craw.”

They say the “cooling off” proposal is a sign the province is feeling the pressure.

Canada-EU trade deal threatened by EU lawmakers

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Every once in awhile commonsense and decency trumps greed and avarice, not often, but it is news when it happens.

Our PM Steve Harper has polished up an apple for the corporate world in an attempt to pave the way to huge profits through yet another crippling trade deal. This time with the European Union. (EU)

Looks as if he has hit a few bumps as he tries to set the terms and position the US to follow in with a sweetheart deal that would further entrench the corporate world at the cost of local authorities and the consumers.

It is about time. Let’s hope the EU can shine a light on the sellout for what it is. They are not buying what Steve is selling. Harper should stay home and address concerns affecting Canadians instead of pimping for the US and their corporations.

Here is the CBC’s take on it:

EU lawmakers are threatening to block a multi-billion dollar trade pact between Canada and the European Union — a blueprint for a much bigger EU-U.S. deal — because it would allow firms to sue governments if they breach the treaty.

The agreement with Canada, a draft of which was seen by Reuters, could increase bilateral trade by one fifth to $37 billion (26 billion euros).


Prime Minister Stephen Harper stands with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.  Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press

But European consumer and environmental groups say a mechanism in the accord would allow multinationals to bully the EU’s 28 governments into doing their bidding regardless of environmental, labour and food laws and would set a bad precedent for the planned EU-U.S. trade pact.

The European Parliament must ratify both the Canada and the U.S. pacts. Since elections in May, the rise of nationalist, Eurosceptic parties in the legislature, many of them opposed to globalization, have complicated the EU’s free-trade ambitions.

“The Greens will fight hard to get a majority in the parliament against (the EU-Canada deal),” said Claude Turmes of the Green group, echoing concerns from others in the European Parliament, including the Socialist bloc.

Deal an “affront to democracy”

Tiziana Beghin, an EU lawmaker from Italy’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement who sits on the parliament’s influential trade committee, called the EU-Canada deal an “affront to democracy”.

“Giving corporations the right to sue governments for loss of anticipated profit would be ridiculous if it were not so dangerous,” she told Reuters.

According to the draft accord, the chapter on “Investor-State Dispute Settlement” (ISDS) allows companies to sue either an EU country or Canada in a special court if they think their trade interests have been damaged.

Some member states, including Germany, the EU’s biggest economy, have also expressed opposition to the ISDS.

Canada and the European Commission deny accusations that the ISDS mechanism will give multinationals too much power. They say dispute settlement has been an important part of trade deals since the North American Free Trade Agreement 20 years ago.

Some in business consider it an insurance policy against the impact of laws on their profits or against expropriation.

Negative signal

In the European Parliament, it is not yet clear whether there is enough opposition to block the EU-Canada deal, but the very fact such threats are being made indicates the change in tone from the previous, more business-friendly parliament.

Together with the Socialists’ 191 members, the political groups opposing the agreement could count on 341 votes, just 35 short of a majority.

Passing the accord is likely to depend on centrist parties forming a grand coalition and much will depend on how the Socialists, who say they oppose the dispute mechanism, vote.

In 2012 the EU Parliament flexed its muscles by rejecting an Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which would have set global standards for enforcement of intellectual property rights.

Blocking the Canada trade deal would send a very negative signal on the chances of the even more ambitious EU-U.S. accord, which if approved would encompass almost half of the global economy and about a third of world trade.

“This issue is very important since the accord with Canada with the arbitration clause would foreshadow a deal with the United States,” said French far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

Hostility to the dispute settlement panel has united those such as Le Pen, who see it as a threat to national sovereignty, and those worried about the implications for environmental law.

Dutch Green MEP Bas Eickhout said the draft deal would “open the backdoor” for firms to kill off environmental legislation.

The EU and Canada hope to sign the accord — officially known as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)— at an Ottawa summit on Sept. 25-26, officials said. It must still be ratified by both the EU and Canadian parliaments.

New York Times-As Truce Holds, Dazed Gazans Get Down to Business

From the New York Times



Life did not exactly return to normal, after a summer of more than 2,100 deaths and vast destruction. But many residents who were displaced by seven weeks of Israeli attacks returned to their homes, fishermen ventured into deeper waters again and brown-uniformed security officers spread out in border areas to make sure that no rogue rockets would be fired to threaten the fragile calm.

There many stories and reports available and I have included a number below.

Aljazerra Palestinian joy as Israel agrees Gaza truce

Reuters What’s in the Gaza peace deal?

Exposing the Truth-50 Days Gaza War Ends

Global Research-Gaza Ceasefire: Hold the Cheers

Christian Science Monitor-Finally a real cease-fire between Hamas and Israel? (+video) 

BBC  Gaza-Israel conflict: Is the fighting over?



‘Severe… Pervasive… Irreversible”: IPCC’s Devastating Climate Change Conclusions (Video)

Here is a stunning report from Common Dreams

by Jon Queally, Common Dreams staff writer
A draft of the UN panel’s synthesis report on the global scientific community’s assessment of human-caused global warming offers the starkest and most strongly-worded warning yet of the dangers ahead

That’s the assessment of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which has sent world governments a draft of its final “Synthesis Report” which seeks to tie together previous reports the panel has released over the last year and offers a stark assessment of the perilous future the planet and humanity face due to global warming and climate change.

Based on a clear and overwhelming consensus among the world’s leading scientists, the draft says that failure to adequately acknowledge and act on previous warnings has put the planet on a path where “severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts” of human-caused climate change will surely be felt in the decades to come.

Read More

Canada rated as peaceful but risking environmental practices that threaten natural beauty

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Canada has been described as a beautiful country, peaceful and inhabited by warm,  friendly people.

For decades we were respected and in part earned our reputation way through ‘Peacekeeping efforts’ but how that has changed.

This post was excerpted from a piece in and seen on Facebook.

Look what they say about us!




Having one of the best standards of living in the world, Canada is also one of the safest countries on Earth. It has a population of approximately 33 million people, yet it’s the second largest country in the world by area. With relatively clean and safe cities, spectacular scenery, and extremely friendly people, Canada is a wonderful and peaceful country to live in.

The largest strike against the peace score of Canada is that it has a comparatively high military capability, though it currently is not involved in any conflict. It is also privatising its environmental regulators, so its natural beauty is likely decreasing.

About Author

Katharine J. Tobal

I’m the founder of Realities Watch, and a Syrian activist, reporter, photographer, and graphic designer. I am currently located in Lattakia, Syria. I am in my final year of studying for a Bachelors degree in Information Technology. I’m interested in politics, human rights and media, as well as web design and development.

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Shawnigan’s April Sanderson Works To Save The Blue Throated Macaws

The photo of this brilliant Blue Throated Macaw caught my eye and drew me in to read Cowichan Citizen reporter Kevin Rothbauer’s story about the amazing work of Shawnigan’s April Sanderson. She has dedicated her efforts to save this beautiful bird from extinction.

Many of you have already seen the story, but in case you missed it, here it is again.


A blue-throated macaw, one of 17 bound for release in Bolivia after being raised locally, nibbles on a walnut in a large cage at a Shawnigan Lake aviary. Photograph By Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen


By Kevin Rothbauer
Cowichan Valley Citizen

According to the World Parrot Trust, for every blue-throated macaw in the wild, there are 3,750 African elephants, 200 rhinos, 12 giant pandas, and six mountain gorillas.

That’s about to change, however slightly, with the release of 17 birds raised in Shawnigan Lake.

Those birds are among 27 who are leaving April Sanderson’s Shawnigan Lake aviary this week. Five breeding pairs will remain in Toronto, where African Lion Safari will take over Sanderson’s breeding program, while the majority will eventually head to Bolivia to be gradually release into their natural habitat.

Read More

Russell Brand absolutely demolishes Fox News over Ferguson coverage

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Our MSM had left a large opening for challenging, inquiring interpretaions in regard to the events of the day.

Turns out that artists, musicians and comediens often fill the missing gap with hard hitting commentary, satire and editorial assessment.

Jon Stewart’s ‘The Daily Show,’ Stephen Colbert’s the ‘Colbert Report’ and many in their circle often provide content that is avoided by most of the MSM.

Across the pond Britain’s Russell Brand brings a hard hitting contrast and he does not mince his words.


Russell Brand (Credit: AP/Ellis O’Brien)

Written by Ian Blair:

Russell Brand eviscerated Fox News’ coverage of the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, on Thursday, blasting the network for its one-sidedness.

“It’s so outrageous,” Brand said on the latest episode of his show, “The Trews.”

“It’s almost art.”

Brand criticized Fox News for its nearly unanimous support of Darren Wilson, the white Ferguson police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown earlier this month, and for its deeply negative attitude toward protesters in the Missouri city.

“I think what’s interesting about Fox News’ coverage is the complete evisceration of any compassion in the argument,” Brand said. “Pain and suffering is the lifeblood of their channel. There’s no one so disadvantaged, so oppressed, that Fox News can’t get some mileage out of exploiting or condemning them.”

Beginning his takedown, Brand homed in on Greg Gutfeld’s comments on “Red Eye,” where the host said that “the media, like humanity, can only handle two sides to a story, and they almost always flock to one side — and it’s David, never Goliath.”

Cutting in, Brand cannily responded: “Yeah … When you look at the Bible, you think, ‘Hang on here! Should we revise this clearly allegorical story about David and Goliath? What about Goliath — the hapless, lovable giant?’ No, you don’t — Goliath is clearly there to demonstrate oppressive power, isn’t he?”

Brand continued his assault on Gutfield, playing a segment where Gutfield called the overwhelming support for Brown whom the “Red Eye” host deemed the “underdog” the result of “decades of pop culture, deeming what’s cool and what isn’t.”

Interjecting, Brand offered his rebuttal.

“It’s not ‘cool’ to stick up for the people of Ferguson, who after a century of oppression and the only limited success of the civil rights movement, have decided that after the killing of an unarmed man to protest. They’re doing it because they like some of their trainers,” Brand said, referring to expensive athletic shoes.

Brand also took aim at Fox News contributor Jason L. Riley, author of the book “Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed.” Riley, who consistently has attempted to explain black crime as a pathological deficiency, recently lambasted President Barack Obama for his comments that “black crime stems from poverty, or a racist criminal justice system, which is nonsense!”

Brand wouldn’t stand for it.

“That’s outrageous,” Brand said. “Of course there’s an economic aspect to the argument. Of course there’s a social aspect. You can’t just bring out the author of the book ‘We Deserve to Be Shot’ to bring out arguments just so Fox News can keep being as they are.”

He continued: “People don’t just spontaneously have an attitude toward the criminal justice system …Like the same way you might not have an attitude to your dishwasher. If your dishwasher doesn’t do anything except wash the dishes, you won’t just suddenly wonder one day, ‘You know, it’s really unjust the way that dishwasher keeps shooting unarmed black men!’”

    Ian Blair is a Master’s Candidate in the Cultural Reporting and Criticism program at NYU. Follow him on Twitter: @i2theb.