Courtenay City Council member David Frisch announced early last week that he is running for mayor. Frisch is the second sitting councillor to enter the mayoral race, just 225 days away. Erik Eriksson launched his campaign for mayor several months ago. Then, late in the week, Bob Wells announced that he would also compete for the mayor’s chair.
When times are tough, governments like to spin bad news budgets as a call for every segment of society to share in the pain.
Rarely, when times are good, do they set out a blueprint to share the gain, something the last government paid dearly for.
Finance minister Carole James rightly recognized that B.C.’s social fabric is a little frayed and some mending might be the order of the day.
While her budgetary themes were dead on, the devil is still in the detail.
British Columbia is often defined by what divides us: geography, politics, social interests, environmental issues.
Something else that divides us? Our bank balances or the size of our payday loans.
B.C. is home to the uber-wealthy, the mere wealthy runner-ups, the keeping our heads above water crowd and the four in 10 British Columbians who are $200 away from not being able to pay their bills, that last one according to the latest MNP Consumer Debt Index report.
Tough crowds to please. Throw last month’s provincial budget into the mix and it’s sure to spark some reaction from all quarters.
Pity the poor scribes who have to make sense of it all in a matter of hours during the budget lock-up, ready to tweet as the Finance minister rises in the legislature.
Then the days go by and the impact of various budgetary measures begin to sink in.
What could possibly be more absurd than hordes of American people and their legislators spending a lot of anxious time worrying over whether Russian agents injected game changing, Trump promoting “fake news” along with highly persuasive algorithm-informed bot-ature into the American election?
Is the approval of the Kinder-Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline really in the National Interest? Prime Minister Trudeau, Premier of Alberta Rachel Notley, and the National Energy Board (NEB) all say it is. Elizabeth May, head of the federal Green Party, says it is not.
In our last chronicle we discussed the shamanic journey. In this chronicle the Shaman is going to take us on a journey. The journey itself is imaginary. The place he is taking us to is very real— down to the cellular level, to the world beneath cultures.
On July 27th, 1918 Albert ‘Ginger’ Goodwin was shot and killed on the slopes of Alone Mountain by a special deputy of the Dominion Police. The deputy was essentially ‘acquitted’ of manslaughter. ‘Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose’.
But Ginger was not forgotten and this year people will gather on the weekend of June 23rd in Cumberland BC to commemorate Ginger’s life and his death. The Cumberland Museum and Archives , along with the Campbell River, Courtenay and District Labour Council and the BC labour movement, will make this 100th year anniversary one to remember. There will be theatre productions, labour choruses, workshops, BBQs and art, plus the traditional events associated with Miners Memorial such as ‘Songs of the Workers’, a graveside service and a pancake breakfast.
Sometimes the real identity behind a fake identity story can be just as good a story. This may be one of those times.
Meet Michael Beattie, a resident of Brantford, Ontario.
Last month, Mr. Beattie had a BA in engineering from McGill University, a MBA from Western University (sic) and “a personal net worth of $228 million,” all according to his very fictitious bio on his very fictitious website.
Turns out he’s a convicted perjurer and fraudster and is facing new charges for fraud over $5,000, laundering proceeds of crime, and possession of proceeds of property obtained by crime over $5,000 in Ontario.
He had been Caledon, Ontario’s fleet manager in the town’s public works department, when he was charged in 2016.
Beattie’s lawyer for his latest endeavour – Grant McGlaughlin at Goodmans LLP, a Bay Street, Toronto law firm – initially “denied that his client was the man who was charged,” The Globe and Mail reported.
This week, Beattie was dumped by the firm.
Why is any of this relevant to British Columbia?
Some years ago I was giving a workshop in Rankin Inlet, an Inuit village on the west coast of Hudson Bay. There were a number of elders in the group all of whom had lived many years on the land. During one of the breaks I asked them how they would know when it was time to abandon their snow houses and move to a place where the hunting would be better. One of the elders said, “The shaman would tell us.”
When a political party sets rules for a leadership race and tries to be all things to all members, the result can end up looking more like the proverbial camel designed by a committee than a true and fair method for members to choose a new leader.
As they did in 2011, the B.C. Liberal party opted to continue with its practice of favouring ridings over members.