If there is one thing that can be said about all the attention directed to Enbridge's Northern Gateway Project, it is that it's provided ample distraction for other projects and issues to move along without getting the same ass-kicking Enbridge is. Take for example, the Pacific Trails Pipeline project ( also referred to as the KSL line). With minimal media coverage during the approval process, it has by and large flown completely under the radar of most British Columbians. That's a damn shame in my opinion, and I'm going to tell you why.
The Northern Gateway is now becoming the National Nightmare. Canada has a new Two Solitudes in the 21st century. The dividing line is not the Ottawa River but the Rockies. It appears that in Alberta -- not just columnists but bloggers and tweeters as well -- seem to believe that if they just yell loud enough, that the people of B.C. will eventually realize their thought errors and join in supporting Alberta's manifest destiny.
Calgary continues to suffer from a stereotype that has been affixed to it largely by people that don't know, and for the most part, have never stepped foot in this city. A couple of weeks ago, a guy named "Calgary Joe", burst onto the political stage. This man embodies 21st-century Calgary.
Well, the feisty dust-up between she-premiers Christy Clark of British Columbia and Allison Redford of Alberta has been a lot of things, but a feminine puff of perfumed air into our muddy phallocracy isn't one of them. When writing about a high-profile disagreement between two powerful women, one should always be sensitive, and avoid lapsing into lazy, sexist cliches. Unless, of course, you're a female writer.
Currently, half of the Great Bear Rainforest remains open to logging. The recommendation to set aside 70 per cent of the natural old-growth forest has yet to be implemented. It's not just in BC, but globally that many agreements to protect the earth must be realized. Hopefully, at the Earth Summit in Rio, Canada can lead the way.
Young people are increasingly concerned about the irresponsibility of so-called "grown-ups" and the stupid decisions they are making with regards to the future, in full light of science that is telling them just how wrong those decisions are.
Debt can be turned around, and one need only look to former Alberta premier Ralph Klein to see how. The government needs to restructure itself, ensuring it is lean and efficient, and only does the things that governments should be doing -- no frills, please.
B.C. Finance Minister Kevin Falcon, like a cliché movie hero, is slowly sinking into quicksand. He recently told British Columbians that economic growth has slowed, Crown Corporation revenues are down and the provincial deficit is exploding. The true culprit -- runaway spending -- has yet to be addressed.
British Columbia presents another counter-example to the thesis of this being a good time for governments to go to the polls. To be sure, Canadians demand security in tough economic times. However, the lesson from British Columbia is that they also demand competent, honest government.
Municipal elections are notable for their small turnout. In many communities across B.C., a few votes can make a big difference, which is why people concerned about high taxes and bloated spending need to vote to change the culture of their council -- and then hold their new leaders accountable for their decisions.
The premier is an intelligent woman; she must know that the very expensive elements of the crime bill have nothing to do with making our streets safer.
If women are poised to play a bigger role in politics, I believe there will be a gender effect, but I don't think left vs. right is the best way of framing it. I agree that women will make politics more progressive, but this is not necessarily the same as more left-wing.
Cutbacks in sheriff services continues unabated with the layoff of 34 more sheriffs this month and a growing concern that U.S.-style courtroom violence may be an unintended consequence.