On the Left Side

BN-ET417_hk_G_20140929050939Too Big to Succeed? The Struggle to Manage the Hong Kong Protests

Harper at UN - They all leftStephen Harper and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Week

Greenwash King- Patrick Moore RAFE: Greenwash King Patrick Moore - Sows Seeds of Climate Change Doubt

house-of-commons-speaker-andrew-scheerANALYSIS: 3 ways to encourage Speaker to clean it up our Parliament

Bernard SandersBernie Sanders: Longterm Democratic strategy is “pathetic”

imageRussian foreign minister delivers blistering attack on U.S., NATO

691114-refugee-boat1-500x281Boatload of American Refugees Land In St. Johns Newfoundland-Satire

CharloGreene-300x225Controversial “F**k It…I Quit” Comments by Marijuana Advocate/Broadcaster Reveal There are Black People in Alaska-Satire>

Dentist2-300x199Dentist Appointment Reason Harper Only World Leader Absent from U.N. Climate Change Conference-Satire

380239_King-AbdullahSaudi ex-officer forms liberation movement for Arabian Peninsula

aptopix-britain-stormsClimate change impacts 'might already be considered dangerous'

Kinder Morgan - Mychaylo Prystupa_2759 3000wBREAKING NEWS: Burnaby wins ruling against Kinder Morgan

Dennis KucinichDennis Kuchinich:The Real Reason We Are Bombing Syria

9445420B.C. premier not concerned about Petronas threat to pull out of $10-billion LNG project

10234486Richard Branson is rolling out unlimited vacations at his company:

ParliamentCommentary: Commons Speaker needs to resign

Horgan ann Nicholas SimonCanada China Investment Agreement Reckless

It's Time For B.C. Teachers To Stop Lying To Parents

Todd StoneStone rejects fare rollback at BC Ferries

billybraggBilly Bragg-Exclusive: Scottish nationalism and British nationalism aren’t the same

Brian GallantBrian Gallant's New Brunswick Liberals Win Majority Government

ClassroomWhat You See in Today's Public School Classroom Is A Mirage

PROTEST-videoSixteenByNine540Climate Change Protesters Tangle With Police at Wall St.

polarFor Polar Bears, a Climate Change Twist


Sharon Jackson – And Another Kick at the Cat 2014

Well finally the BC Local Government Elections are on the front burner with election day being held on November 15th.

Cowichan Conversations will be making an effort to cover the issues and candidates in as subjective a manner as possible.

Kicking it off this morning is a release from City of Duncan Councillor Sharon Jackson, who has announced that she will once again be seeking re-election to Duncan City Council.

Media Release from City of Duncan Councillor Sharon Jackson


Duncan City Hall

After giving it great thought and wondering if I can still meaningfully contribute, I have decided to pick up my nomination papers at Duncan City Hall today.

I have been elected since 1996 and have seen many changes in Duncan, most of them have been very positive. Council has had to manage the fallout from provincial downloading, increasing funding toward social issues that never used to be the case.

Citizens want more and better services with a Public Works Staff that has essentially not changed in number since 1986. Paying for policing. Then NOT paying for policing. Using that money for infrastructure projects, and thank goodness we had it after the terrible floods of 2008.

We are in good shape and I see huge challenges on the horizon. to amalgamate or not? Only 4% of the people who answered our Citizen satisfaction survey thought it was of any importance at all. I am unclear why we are going ahead, although I do not mind asking the question.

Downtown design and revitalization that appears to be going ahead with very little public or professional input. this must change. As a small downtown, we need an Advisory Design Panel to help future councils make good decisions about our built environment.

The active transportation plan is very important. Making how we, and successive generations will be able to move from community to community easily, safely, and in multiple ways is the way of the future. Personally I am terrified to ride a bike in Duncan. It ought to be easy.

And for so many of us on fixed incomes, we must have thoughtful budget deliberations that takes that fact into account.

So, once more, my friends, I ask for your support on November 5th or 12th in the advanced polls and on November 15th, on election day.

Tips, rumours and releases can be sent to Contact@richardhughes.ca

“World-Class” BC LNG brings Third World deals with the likes of Petronas

Kevin Logan’s latest post from the Commonsense Canadian is reproduced here with permission.

Kevin Logan-Contributor

Kevin Logan-Contributor

It’s possible that the majority of British Columbians would agree with developing our natural gas resources – even for export – if our own energy security was guaranteed, the economic benefits accrued to British Columbians and we did it all in such a way that we are able to maintain our international reputation as an environmental leader and awe-inspiring tourist destination.

However, contrary to the BC Liberal election campaign rhetoric, the government’s LNG development model offers none of this and with the Malaysian state- owned behemoth Petronas as their lead proponent, it’s guaranteed we will reach none of these objectives.

‘World-Class’ rhetoric ushers in Third World-style deals

Christy Clark has made of lot of claims to maintain her hold on BC’s most powerful office, chief among them has been the bold but baseless proclamation that her government will erase BC’s fast burgeoning debt and fill a 100 Billion-dollar “Prosperity Fund” by developing our resources in nothing less than “world-class” fashion.


However, while such soundbites may win election campaigns in the developed world, the facts prove that the Clark government’s public narrative is thoroughly divorced from the Third World-style backroom reality that has been driving the BC Liberal LNG negotiation style.

But we have been calling them out for years.

Here at The Common Sense Canadian, I have been drilling down to deconstruct the details of the Clark/Coleman public narrative as they have unfolded for years now.

We were the first to report that Coleman was negotiating these deals under non-disclosure agreements and we broke down each of the most outlandish “BC Liberal LNG Myths” here and here.

We were also the first to dissect the Harper-approved, Goliath 25-year, $400 billion export deal that was quietly ushered in for Petronas while the media focus was on Enbridge’s Northern Gateway heavy oil pipeline proposal and tar sands expansion under foreign state-owned enterprises (SOE).

At the time, we exposed how Petronas moved to dominate the BC LNG landscape as Stephen Harper offered hollow assurances about foreign SOE’s not owning and controlling too much of our domestic resources, all while our own crown corporations were being hobbled and scrapped.

Now, at the eleventh hour as it relates to the fiscal and legislative framework for LNG, it is time to counter Petronas and their “Hard Ball” tactics with some hard ball of our own and not simply rely on the softball antics and deceptive backroom shenanigans of the Clark and Harper regimes.

Petronas ain’t no saint

Idris Shuhud at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court in 2013 (BERNAMA)

Idris Shuhud at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court in 2013

In recent years, while Petronas was topping out as the most profitable Asian company on record, according to the Fortune 500, they were also becoming mired in several corruption cases – including a series of indictments brought by the US Department of Justice in 2009 for foreign bribery conspiracy.


Read more:



Providing Elder Care Cooperatively

Community Consultations for New Elder Cco-op
Cowichan Elder Care Co-operative
Community Consultations

The newly formed Cowichan Elder Care Co-operative recently began a series of consultations to solicit feedback from local seniors and service providers on our plan to bring services to the community. I am happy to report that as a result of these efforts, our membership has tripled in size over the last week.

If you are interested in learning more about this initiative and have not yet attended one of our consultations, please join us this Thursday (October 2) from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Maple Bay Rowing Club. We will also have separate sessions the following week in Ladysmith and Mill Bay, as well as our first annual general meeting on October 24th, where we will elect a new Board of Directors.

Please see the enclosed poster for more information, and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Rob Douglas
Cowichan Elder Care Co-operative


An Open Letter to the West From Islamic State


Damien Gillis-BC Should Not Be Bullied or Suckered by Petronas Over LNG Taxes

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

The stakes in the fossil fuel game are high as are the risks taken by those who blindly speak of the riches coming our way from the irresponsible development of BC LNG.

The bullish approach taken by the BC Liberal Premier Christy Clark and her duet of cheerleaders Ministers Rich Coleman and Bill Bennett defies logic.

Recall their reckless approach allowing China and Malaysia to dominate our natural resource extraction on their terms in a process starved giveaway at bargain day prices.

We should call for a limo to drive Petronas CEO Shamsul Abbas to the airport for his flight back home.  Their greed shows disrespect and underlines why we should not be selling out our resources as the BC Liberals have been doing.


Here is a post from Damien Gillis at the Commonsense Canadian that beckons back to the days of Tommy Douglas to shine a light on the reckless approach taken by Premier Christy Clark.



Petronas CEO Shamsul Abbas addressing BC LNG conference (Damien Gillis)

Written by Damien Gillis

News this morning that Malaysian energy giant Petronas is considering pulling out of the nascent BC LNG industry over the taxes the province wishes to collect from its gas resources called to mind a legendary story about Tommy Douglas when he was premier of Saskatchewan. I cannot attest to whether the tale is true or apocryphal, but it’s certainly instructive to British Columbian’s in this particular situation.

It goes like this:After meeting with oil tycoons considering doing business in the province and trying to secure a royalty and investment climate beneficial to their interests, Premier Douglas emerged from the closed-door gathering, whereupon several reporters asked him how it went.


Tommy Douglas-Former CCF Premier of Saskatchewan

I’ve got some bad news and some good news,” Douglas told the press.The bad news is the oil companies are leaving…The good news is they’re leaving the oil behind.

Douglas was right. The resource wasn’t going anywhere – and no sense developing it unless its owners (the citizens of the province – how often forget this) stand to get their fair share.

If market prices or the costs of extraction don’t allow for that, then we can always leave it in the ground until such time as they do.

Flash forward to present-day BC and a familiar pattern is repeating itself. The oil and gas industry wants our resources, but they don’t want to pay for them. Whether BC Premier Christy Clark has the fortitude and vision of Douglas remains to be seen.
Petronas Threatens to Take its Ball and Go Home

Read More

Shawnigan’s Sonia Furstenau Has Thrown Her Hat Into The CVRD Ring!

Sonia Furstenau has declared for Shawnigan

Sonia Furstenau has declared for Shawnigan

As we await the Environmental Appeal Board’s verdict on whether to uphold South Island Aggregate’s permit to put five million tonnes of contaminated soil in our watershed, we need to be clear and direct with the BC government: No matter what the EAB decides, the people of Shawnigan Lake will never give up the fight to protect our watershed.

Much of my adult life has been committed to advocacy and fighting for justice. As a long-time volunteer and board member of Results Canada, I have written articles about global issues, met with MPs, Cabinet Ministers, and attended meetings at the World Bank and the IMF. Currently, I am a volunteer with Citizens Climate Lobby – a group committed to generating action on climate change – and I have twice paid my way to Washington DC to join hundreds of other volunteers who meet with US Senators and Members of Congress.

For the last two years, I have been committed to fighting SIA’s permit, which threatens the survival of our watershed. Now I am taking my commitment to Shawnigan Lake one step further, and launching my campaign to be the community’s next Area Director.

My platform focuses on four main issues: the protection and restoration of the watershed, sustainable and cooperative economic development for Shawnigan Lake, open, responsible and transparent governance, and community-building.

One thing above all is clear to me. We need to work together if we are going to reach our full potential as a vibrant and diverse community.

My passion for Shawnigan Lake was kindled over a decade ago, when I began to spend summer holidays up here with my family. When I was offered a job to teach at Dwight School that included an on-campus suite with a view of the lake, I knew immediately that we had found our new home. We moved to Shawnigan Lake in 2011, easily settling into the community where my husband Blaise Salmon’s family has lived since the 1960s.

A year later, we moved off-campus onto a property we purchased on Shawnigan-Mill Bay Road – the property came with two alpaca, so I have learned to spin the wool, which I use to knit up presents for family members.

I believe that new economic thinking can be applied in Shawnigan Lake. Where we invest our money can have a significant impact on the world around us. I am excited to see small communities in BC and Alberta opt for cooperative community investment funds, and I think that it is a real possibility for Shawnigan Lake. By investing in our own community, we can have a much greater say in our own future. This is one way that we can be proactive about Shawnigan’s future, rather than reactive to threats.

Since moving to Shawnigan, I have been actively involved in the fight to stop the contaminated soil site in our watershed. I have had numerous articles and letters published in local papers, including an op-ed in the Times-Colonist in May of this year, and I have done television and radio interviews with CFAX, Chek, Sun FM, Global, and CTV news. As a long-time activist and advocate, I have skills and experience that I wanted to commit to this fight, which is a fight for the survival of Shawnigan Lake.

I also organized two community letter-writing events at Dwight School, which generated over 300 letters to government. Once the students learned about the proposal to put a contaminated site in the Shawnigan Lake watershed, they wrote passionate and articulate letters to Christy Clark and Mary Polack, as well as our MLA Bill Routley and the NDP Environment Critic Spencer Chandra Herbert. Students from all over the world not only learned about an issue that is important to the Shawnigan Lake community, they also learned that civic engagement and advocacy are essential parts of a healthy democracy.

Shawnigan Lake has incredible potential, particularly considering its past. It was a pre-eminent tourist destination in its heyday a hundred years ago. There were two spectacularly beautiful hotels on the lake, one of which was located on the current Dwight School Site. The Strathcona Hotel was elegant and luxurious, and an exceptional tourist attraction. With a clear vision and concerted effort, we can help restore Shawnigan Lake as the ultimate weekend getaway – and this will be made that much more possible with the restoration of train service on the island.

The Shawnigan community has come together in its fight for the watershed. We need to maintain that unity and use it to shape our future. In order to do this, we need leadership that fosters collaboration, cooperation, and action in Shawnigan Lake. I have the commitment, experience, and passion to offer that leadership.

SUZUKI-It Makes No Sense To Elevate Economics Above The Biosphere


Naomi Klein-This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate


The tide is turning as citizens stand up and speak out on a global scale. 360 thousand hit the streets in New York City and thousands more protested in cities throughout the world.

At the same time our ignorant neo con PM Steve Harper, the ‘Fearless Defender of the Overdogs’,  is in complete denial and has not even bothered to show up at the UN Summit on Climate change in New York.

What must people think of Canada now?

Naomi Klein

Naomi Klein. Photo by justine warrington (CC BY 2.0)

By Alexander Reed Kelly

Every week the Truthdig editorial staff selects a Truthdigger of the Week, a group or person worthy of recognition for speaking truth to power, breaking the story or blowing the whistle. It is not a lifetime achievement award. Rather, we’re looking for newsmakers whose actions in a given week are worth celebrating.

Anxiety over the state of the human future has tracked the same upward course of global temperatures ever since world leaders failed at the highly anticipated United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen in 2009 to commit to a plan preventing the warming of Earth’s atmosphere to potentially uninhabitable levels. Sunday, that anxiety is finding expression in the form of thousands of people representing themselves and more than 1,500 organizations in a march southward through the streets of Manhattan two days before a new generation of government, business and civil society leaders converge on U.N. headquarters for a new round of presentations.

Hosted by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the summit intends in the words of its website to “mobilize political will for an ambitious global agreement by 2015 that limits the world to a less than 2-degree Celsius rise in global temperature.” In spite of the conspicuous vagueness of that aim, many observers will no doubt marvel in frustration at the refusal of representatives of most of the leading nations to consider action that exceeds mild, financially anodyne manipulations of major industrial markets. This recognition on a mass scale of the inadequacy of the prevailing wisdom to deal with the accelerating emergency is owed to critics who have devoted themselves to understanding the intersection of the climate crisis and economics. Chief among them is journalist Naomi Klein.

Klein established herself as a strong critic of globalized and deregulated capitalism with “No Logo” in 2000. The book has been described in many places as a gospel of the anti-corporate globalization movement. “The Shock Doctrine” in 2007 led many readers to see proponents of deregulated capitalism exploiting mass natural, economic or other disasters as opportunities to expand business or push through new legislation and seize powers they would have never been granted in peacetime due to their anti-social nature. Her latest book, “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate,” brings the insights of her previous major works to bear on the climate crisis.

Read More

Opposites Attract: The New Conservative Love Affair With Canada

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Canada and the US share the world’s longest undefended border, speak the same language approximately, and, as is engraved on the ‘Peace Arch’ in Blaine Washington we are ‘Children of a Common Mother’.

We have a great deal in common and yet there are social and cultural differences that remind us that we are not quite the same, not yet anyway.

This article by Josh Barro appeared in the New York Times and is worth a look to see how we are now seen from an American perspective.

Oh, and take a look at what Americans are saying about Canada in the revealing comments that follow the article.


You may remember your liberal friends threatening to move to Canada after George W. Bush was re-elected. But something surprising has happened in the last few years: Conservatives have fallen in love with Canada.

The conservative journalist John Fund wrote in National Review this month that Canada is becoming “more American than America.” That’s the same John Fund who wrote a 1995 Wall Street Journal staff editorial calling Canada “an honorary member of the third world.” A lot can change in two decades.


Graphic by Eiko Ojala

In August, when Burger King announced its intention to acquire the Canadian coffee-and-doughnuts chain Tim Hortons and reincorporate up north, The Journal editorialized that the United States should focus on copying Canada’s attractive corporate tax policies, not on holding American companies captive.

“Canada has become a far more business-friendly tax jurisdiction than the U.S.,” America’s leading conservative editorial page wrote. “The Burger King deal also signals the continuing success of Canada’s historic move toward open markets and economic growth.”

Read More

Taking a Call for Climate Change to the Streets of New York City

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger


Read Lisa W. Foderaro’s comprehensive New York Times report that saw 100,000 demonstrators that hit the streets of New York city calling for action on ‘Climate Change.’
Leaders from throughout the world attended the Summit Meeting on Climate Change. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper underlined his indifference and irresponsibility by refusing to attend this important Climate Change Summit.

It is a national disgrace and further diminishes Canada’s reputation throughout the world.

By LISA W. FODERARO-New York Times

Legions of demonstrators frustrated by international inaction on global warming descended on New York City on Sunday, marching through the heart of Manhattan with a message of alarm for world leaders set to gather this week at the United Nations for a summit meeting on climate change.

Coursing through Midtown, from Columbus Circle to Times Square and the Far West Side, the People’s Climate March was a spectacle even for a city known for doing things big, and it was joined, in solidarity, by demonstrations on Sunday across the globe, from Paris to Papua New Guinea.

“I’m here because I really feel that every major social movement in this country has come when people get together,” said Carol Sutton of Norwalk, Conn., the president of a teachers’ union. “It begins in the streets.”

See more- includes slide show and video