That's what makes Ford Nation so extraordinary -- the incredible dichotomy that exists when it comes to criticism of most politicians and criticism of Rob Ford. Ford effectively gets what amounts to a jaw-dropping free pass from his base (in Toronto or in B.C.) nine times out of 10.
The intertwining of lobbyists with a political party's fundraising apparatus is worrisome, because ultimately both sides risk developing a dependency on keeping the other happy and the money flowing. It rarely ends well.
The next hurdle, should it come to that, is the escalation of protests and the use of peaceful civil disobedience to stop the pipeline. Already over 20,000 people have pledged to join with First Nations to do whatever it takes to stop the pipeline and prevent the destruction it would bring with it.
The federal government's failure to respect the will of British Columbians is particularly ironic. In 1980 when Trudeau introduced the National Energy Program, Albertans were outraged. They argued that it was utterly inappropriate for the federal government to interfere with their energy policy as it was deemed to be within provincial jurisdiction. Have we not learned anything from history?
First Nations will undoubtedly take the project to court and if need be, tens of thousands of British Columbians have pledged to stand with them and take direct action to stop this pipeline. Hopefully it won't have to come to that. Ultimately, if after everything, Enbridge still tries to ram their pipeline through B.C., it may make Clayoquot Sound look like a walk in the park. Assuming he doesn't surprise us by rejecting Enbridge outright, Harper will end up regretting that he didn't oppose this pipeline, as it will likely cost him some critical seats in a close election.
If Crown corporation execs and Christy Clark's makeup/communications team warrant hefty increases to their already bloated salaries, why can't there be an agreement on a reasonable wage increase for teachers?
I take ingredients from my own family's pantry and fridge so we can bake, make playdough, create senses-stimulating art projects, and learn about nutrition in a hands-on way. I am not compensated for the money I spend educating B.C. students as a result of government underfunding.
Why won't a single member of Christy Clark's government stand up for the importance of public education? Were our current MLAs not once students themselves? Are they afraid they'll get kicked out of the cool kid club? Does she tell them what to wear? How to do their hair? Who to sit with at lunch? I know a high school clique when I see one.
You can still go on road trips. But instead of visiting China, why not visit those countries that are heavily investing in sustainable, renewable resources? You wouldn't have to go far. Just a quick trip to California. With "the world's eighth-largest economy in 2013," accepting that climate change is a reality -- it is quickly moving away from its dependency on fossil fuel. Certainly B.C. could follow suit.
When conflict of interest legislation is drafted to go out of its way to ensure that it won't actually find any conflicts of interest, it shouldn't come as a surprise if it rarely does. And that pretty well sums up the legislative reach of B.C.'s declawed Members' Conflict of Interest Act.
B.C.'s past legislated discrimination of "non-mainstream" aliens extended to far more than the Chinese, but also to Indo-Canadians and Japanese-Canadians. So why it is today the provincial government only wants to say sorry to the Chinese? Why is it focusing on advertising the apology among the Chinese, and lacking the courage to extend that effort to the entire province? By doing so, B.C. has failed to translate this apology as a political agenda for all citizens.
Canadians' politics are local, not national. The lack of confidence in governments to take on the country's big issues means Canadians trust their governments with smaller, achievable goals. Affordable, doable policy solutions trump vague, grand promises, programs, or visions.
What do a Conservative party senator from Ontario, the Toronto Blue Jays, an Ontario public sector union and a part-owner of the Calgary Flames all have in common? If their chequebook is any indication, they have a keen interest in B.C. politics.
With a federal decision on Northern Gateway imminent, this vote in Kitimat sets the tone. If the Canadian government supports the project, Premier Christy Clark will be facing a challenge to similar to the one Kitimat's leadership stared down on Monday night.
There is another reason why we cannot afford to take much longer to increase conservation and tighten the rules. One major logging company operating in the region is not a member of the Joint Solutions Project. Instead, TimberWest has a long history of opposing increases in conservation and undertaking extremely profit-driven logging operations in the southern-most portion of the Great Bear Rainforest with very little remaining old-growth.
Variations on an ancient indigenous practice are going viral in the social media. Called -- and you've probably heard of it already-- "Winter Challenge 2014," participants are asked to either fully immerse themselves in a body of water or, where there's snow, make snow angels while wearing swim attire or, lastly, where either of these aren't possible, getting drenched with a pail of water will do. Regardless of the method, the main idea is to get off the couch, out of the house and acquaint yourself with the winter cold.