Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Of course it first started with Harper taking his ball and storming off the field, forcing Parliament to be suspended so he could avoid a vote of non-confidence.
Now he has appointed 18 people as senators, even though Harper has always stated those positions should be elected directly by rank-and-file Canadians.
I don't want to disparage the new appointees as I'm sure they are all fine people and qualified in their own fields. But one has to wonder how Harper came up with the short list.
Certainly Pamela Wallin and Mike Duffy are entertaining enough on TV and have some political knowledge, but should critical affairs of state be left in the hands of talking heads? And if it should be, were Rex Murphy and Lloyd Robertson unavailable? For that matter, if Harper was looking for media types to wade into the trenches, I know of a really handsome, talented guy in Vernon (see photo above) that would have been willing to put life on hold for the good of the country.
And if Nancy Greene Raine is going to be in the Senate, how about other sports figures from days-gone-by? I mean, who wouldn't want to see Dave "Tiger" Williams in the Upper Chamber, or perhaps even Toller Cranston? Wouldn't it be great to see Senator Lui Passaglia going up against Senator Randy Ferbey over the state of agricultural subsidies? Heck, Don Cherry could be chairman of the committee on foreign affairs.
Harper also missed one category completely — '80s rock stars.
Can't you see it now — April Wine, Kim Mitchell, Trooper, Chilliwack? Of course if that were to happen, Funtastic would have a hard time booking acts for the summer festival.
Also on the list of appointees is Nicole Eaton, whose primary reason for becoming a senator is being a member of the prestigious Eaton family. But if there's a need for a retail dynasty inside the Senate, my vote would have been for the Sharma clan at City Furniture.
It should also be pointed out that at least one of the new senators ran unsuccessfully for the Conservatives in the federal election. Which makes me wonder why Harper is so quick to claim that a coalition government would be illegitimate because the Liberals and NDP didn't gain the confidence of electors Oct. 14. This new senator didn't cut the mustard with voters in her own riding, but now she can help run the government. Where I come from, that spells hyp-o-crit-i-cal.
But that appears to be a common theme with Harper.
He argues that he is a strong advocate for democracy but he tries to undermine a legitimate concept within the parliamentary system, primarily a coalition. Despite an elected Senate being a major plank of the Conservative platform, Harper stacked the benches so he can gain political advantage. And that also goes against another long-standing Conservative policy that Parliament should not be corrupted for purely partisan reasons.
Harper also doesn't seem to understand that when he got Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean to suspend Parliament, it was placed on extended Christmas break. That means all major changes to how Parliament operates, including Senate appointments, should be delayed. And that is especially true when a majority of MPs don't have confidence in Harper.
But the truly sad part is that if Harper is going to make a mockery of our democratic system, he should have done it with complete style.
And that means some potentially great senators have been missed, including Alan Thicke and Ben Mulroney. Of course Bubbles, Ricky and Julian are also soon retiring, and they'll be looking for work.
Apparently, Richard saved his best for last. Good thing he was not appointed or Harper's gain would have been our loss!
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
The Liberal Party was completely rejected by Canadians in the last election. They received their lowest share of the popular vote since Confederation.
Now, the Liberals are trying to take power through the back door.
As you read this letter, the Liberals are holding secret negotiations with the socialist NDP and the separatist Bloc Quebecois to overturn the wishes of the Canadian voters and take power.
They want to take power and impose on Canadians a prime minister without any personal mandate, a Liberal-NDP coalition not one voter has ever endorsed, and have it all backstopped by the separatist Bloc Quebecois who simply want to destroy and break up this wonderful land from sea to sea.
Senior Liberal insiders are trying to fool Canadians into thinking their scheme has something to do with the economy.
But it is clear the Liberals do not care about the economy.
They only care about regaining power and regaining their entitlements.
They've learned something since being turfed out of office over the sponsorship scandal.
On Oct. 14, Canadians passed judgment on the Liberals.
The Liberals have no mandate to lead a government.
The Liberals have no mandate to cut a deal with the NDP and the Liberals certainly do not have a mandate to cut a deal with the separatists who want to destroy our country.
We now know we are no longer competing with just the official opposition, we are competing against a co-ordinated campaign between Liberals, socialists and separatists to impose their agenda on Canadians.
Knut A. Krogstad
Correct! The liberals have no more of a mandate to cut a deal with the NDP nor the separatist than do the Conservatives, yet, in order to carry on with a minority government they have to do just that! Interesting, is it not?
It was with extreme pleasure that I read the letter to the editor on Nov. 21, 2008. I was profoundly impressed that the letter writer was able to have intimate conversations with God. I am not being cynical here. Hopefully, she can pass on some burning questions that I have.
First, why is it that in Sub-Saharian Africa over thirty million people suffer from HIV Aids while thirty million Canadians do almost nothing?
Twenty three plus million of our population are Christians and the Bible clearly says “Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord thy God which He hath given thee” (Deut. 16:17).
Second, please ask Him why world famine is such cruel problem when the number of really rich people and the really poor people on the planet now match. That makes the following piece of arithmetics very simple indeed:
The cost of providing one billion people with 250 kilograms of grain every year is approximately $40 billion dollars. If one billion rich people, who coincidently happen to be mostly Christian, gave forty dollars per year we would end world hunger. The bible says “Thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother” (Deut. 15:7).
Third, please ask Him if finds it just a bit ironic that when He looks at downtown Vernon and sees that homeless people abound while the residents of Vernon, mostly Christian, stand by and do nothing but shout, “Not in my backyard!” I believe the Bible says “Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land” (Deut. 15:11).
I sure hope the letter writer asks the Almighty these questions and receives an answer.
No comments needed!
Our new mayor, Jim Garlick, made much of open and transparent government prior to his election particularly as it related to the firing of the fire chief.
Now Mr. Garlick has fired the chief administrative officer of Coldstream. In-camera. Behind closed doors.
I wonder if he sees the irony?
The writer should consult the Community Charter, in particular Section 116, 2 (f) as well as Section 151 in its entirety. They clarify the Mayor's responsibilities as well as his powers and how the rest of Council fits in.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
FERNIE, B.C. - As many as eight people may be dead after an avalanche in the B.C. Interior buried 11 snowmobilers.
RCMP Cpl. Andy Veltmeyer confirmed eight people were buried under the snow. Jennifer Henkes, a spokeswoman with the Interior Health Authority, said there were some fatalities, but she couldn't say how many people were killed. "Interior Health would like to extend its deepest condolences to the victims' families during this very difficult time for them in the Elk Valley," she said.
Three people were taken to hospital, Henkes said, with two discharged Sunday and one remaining in stable condition.
The avalanche happened Sunday afternoon between Sparwood and Fernie in B.C.'s Elk Valley, about three hundred kilometres southwest of Calgary.
Unconfirmed reports indicated the search had been called off for the night.
The Canadian Avalanche Centre issued an alert on Sunday saying mountain conditions in the region were "very touchy" because of a new snowstorm with wind combined with a weak snowpack.
Friday, December 26, 2008
Just before Christmas, the North Okanagan experienced more than a week of temperatures dipping below the -20 C mark. The cause was a direct line of flows coming down from the North Pole.
“It’s normal to have temperatures below -20 but to have a week straight of this?” said Gabor Fricska, Environment Canada meteorologist out of Kelowna.
In fact, Saturday’s low of -27.8 broke an 87-year-old record for Vernon. The coldest it’s been on Dec. 20 before that was -27.2, in 1921.
Normal temperatures for this time of year are around the -1 (highs) and -5 (lows) range.
So for those residents wondering if the temperatures are even close to normal, the evidence points to no.
“It’s unusual to have 10 days of this kind of weather, being this cold,” said Fricska. “When you’re breaking records that are almost 100 years old.”
But there is relief today and in the days ahead.
“It’s still going to be below normal but not massively below normal like what we’ve seen,” said Fricska. “With the temperatures we’ve seen it’s hard to get rid of it completely.”
The change in the weather comes from flows that have switched from the north to now coming off the Pacific Ocean.
“Day time highs should be hovering a little over freezing,” said Fricska.
Aside from what January could bring, he adds: “I think we’re done with the minus 20s.”
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
[Editor's note: Back by popular demand, The Tyee again is offering its readers a series of New Ideas for the New Year. We're publishing a new one starting today through Jan. 2. They're intended to get everyone's problem-solving, creative thinking going for 2009. Later in January we'll be asking you to suggest your own new ideas for the new year, and publish a selection.]
Ludlow, a traditional market town in the south of England, sidles close to the Welsh border. An 11th-century castle stands sentinel over it, reminding inhabitants of the area's Norman past.
This is the first in the New Ideas for the New Year, 2009 series.
During the course of a half-hour phone conversation with Graeme Kidd, who served as Ludlow's mayor for three years, I came to learn how Ludlow became the first officially recognized "slow town" or "Citta Slow" in the U.K.
Back in the mid-'90s, Kidd was invited to a meeting at a local pub, where community folks gathered to decide how to take on Tesco, a chain store with sights on Ludlow. As the discussion grew more heated, according to Kidd, "We drank some more beer, and got more and more creative." He tells me that they decided to "play to the town's strengths" by fighting back with food and drink that were produced using "local products and traditional skills." The food festival that the clan of locals started in 1995 soon grew into the "biggest and best of its kind in the U.K.," according to Kidd, effectively doubling the population of this community of 10,000 for three days each September.
It also helped vault Ludlow into the Citta Slow movement, a growing collection of towns -- recognizable by a snail logo -- dedicated to relaxation, sustainability, quality of life, community and preservation of tradition.
As Kidd tells me, the designation is "not a marketing tool," but a new way to think about civic planning that recognizes "the quality of life for people who live in your town and for the people who visit."
A tasty lifestyle
That Ludlow's transformation began with food is highly appropriate -- the trend towards slow towns grew out of Italy's nearly two-decade-old slow-food movement.
Those who embraced the Italian philosophy realized it was about much more than what they were having for lunch. It was about how they chose to live their lives.
Hence Citta Slow, a more ambitious movement that hit the ground in Italy circa 1999 ("Citta," Italian for "town" and "Slow" for "slow food"), and now boasts about 100 adherents across Europe, Asia and Australia.
Citta Slow applicants must adhere to a set of criteria to qualify. These address the unique qualities of the town, the sustainability of its infrastructure, the preservation of its history and the maintenance of local ways of doing things.
Cowichan Bay gets it
Are B.C.'s towns up to the challenge?
Mara Jernigan, who runs Fairburn Farm http://www.fairburnfarm.bc.ca/ in the Cowichan Valley, tells me that her hometown of Cowichan Bay on Vancouver Island "doesn't want to be a cookie cutter community where you find the same stuff you find anywhere." It was Jernigan, also president of Slow Food Canada, who signed the application that might turn Cowichan Bay into North America's first official slow town.
Along with others in her community, Jernigan was concerned that new development was poised to erase the history of this special place. Her group decided that a map was needed to document the area's unique character, so it enlisted the skills of UVic environmental studies professor Briony Penn, a mapmaker who specializes in artistic reliefs that reflect regional attributes.
Jernigan explains that in order to communicate the meaning of a place, "a map has to show context, not just borders." "If you have a different kind of map, people can say 'Hey, isn't that where the herons lay their eggs and hatch their young?'" The finished product, which now hangs in the True Grain Bakery, the hub of the town, will allow people to begin to understand the depth of history of Cowichan Bay and the surrounding area, especially as regards food production. It might also help the community achieve Citta Slow designation.
Slowing down Gibsons
Gibsons, where I call home, is neither a market town, nor an agricultural area. Yet, its Sustainable Transportation Task Force, which I recently joined, has begun tossing around the notion of Citta Slow as a way to improve the liveability of the lower portion of town. We are looking at slowing down traffic, encouraging street culture, promoting artisanal producers and meeting the sustainability goals set out in the Official Community Plan (OCP). According task force spokesperson Jody Schick, "There is a lot of will in Gibsons with people who have been involved in the OCP. The challenge is getting the boots on the ground and applying that vision statement into action."
Schick sees our group engaging with the public so that artists and musicians can reclaim the town's common spaces allowing children to play outside their fenced yards.
These conversations have given me a new understanding. Citta Slow can never be defined by any one issue, whether it is food production, traffic or development. As the Citta Slow organization puts it, the movement is about countering the "proliferation of uniformity" wrought on civilization by a homogenizing global culture of capitalism. This is the soul for which, in this day, every town needs to fight.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
A WOMAN was flying from Seattle to San Francisco . Unexpectedly, the plane was diverted to Sacramento along the way. The flight attendant explained that there would be a delay, and if the passengers wanted to get off the aircraft the plane would re-board in 50 minutes.
Everybody got off the plane except one lady who was blind. The man had noticed her as he walked by and could tell the lady was blind because her Seeing Eye dog lay quietly underneath the seats in front of her throughout the entire flight.
He could also tell she had flown this very flight before because the pilotapproached her, and calling her by name, said, 'Kathy, we are in Sacramento for almost an hour. Would you like to get off and stretch your legs?' The blind lady replied, 'No thanks, but maybe Buddy would like to stretch his legs.'
Picture this: All the people in the gate area came to a complete standstill when they looked up and saw the pilot walk off the plane with a Seeing Eye dog! The pilot was even wearing sunglasses. People scattered. They not only tried to change planes, but they were trying to change airlines!
True story... Have a great day and remember...
THINGS AREN'T ALWAYS AS THEY APPEAR. A DAY WITHOUT LAUGHTER IS A DAY WASTED!!!
Saturday, December 20, 2008
The firefighter’s former chief and comrade, Leo Lecavalier, has been invited back to the department as a volunteer member.
“I can re-join the fire department,” said Lecavalier, who was dismissed by the former Coldstream council Aug. 1.
The new council, under the leadership of Mayor Jim Garlick, has unanimously voted to invite Lecavalier back as a member.
That decision came on the same night the new council voted to dismiss Wendy Kay, chief administrative officer.
Garlick says there is no relation between the two, at least none that he can talk about.
“It was something we were moving towards on anyway,” said Garlick, who personally delivered a letter to Lecavalier with the news.
Lecavalier’s return may also evolve into a return to his former position after the fire hall’s annual general meeting, which includes the chief election, Jan. 9.
“This gives the members an opportunity to, if I run, re-elect me,” said Lecavalier. “Right now, I’m planning on putting my name back in.
“I think I owe that to the community and the members.”
Lecavalier says the news has been greeted warmly by the firefighters.
“The guys were just itching for me to come back.”
Deputy chief Lawrie Skolrood, who has been acting as chief during Lecavalier’s time away, says his return is unquestionably good news.
“There definitely was some jubilation, for sure,” said Skolrood, of the members’ reaction. “Everybody’s pleased that it is resolved.
“It’s a start, for sure.”
Both Garlick and Lecavalier agree that the next step is to work on council’s relationship with the fire department.
“There’s a lot of things that have to be resolved and worked out,” said Lecavalier. “You can’t do this to volunteers, treat them like this.”
He said a priority is looking at the future structure of the fire hall and maintaining a volunteer fire department as long as possible.
While he is optimistic about the future, Lecavalier is disappointed with the events of the situation.
“It’s sad that there’s been so many people hurt though this,” said Lecavalier, thanking the community, the firefighters, their families and his own family for all their support.
“If there’s a lesson for anybody here...treat people a little more respectfully.”
Friday, December 19, 2008
1. “THAT Leo Lecavalier be allowed to join the Coldstream Fire Department if he wishes.”
2. “THAT Mayor Garlick be directed to send a letter to Leo Lecavalier informing Leo Lecavalier of Council’s Resolution, with a copy of the letter to be sent to Coldstream and Lavington Fire Departments.”
Thursday, December 18, 2008
By Jennifer Smith - Vernon Morning Star
A mere week before Christmas, Coldstream’s new council has axed a key component to the administrative workings of the community.
“Wendy Kay is no longer working for the District of Coldstream,” said Mayor Jim Garlick.
“It’s without cause,” he said of the reasoning.
The decision to dismiss Kay, the chief administrative officer, was made at an in-camera council meeting Wednesday.
That decision came after Kay was put on a paid leave, effective just a day before, on Tuesday.
“We wish her well on her new endeavours,” said Garlick.
Kay has worked at the District of Coldstream for 15 years. She has held the CAO position since 2005, before which she was director of corporate administration.
The timing of the decision is the most disappointing for Kay.
“What are we, seven days away from Christmas,” said the mother of four kids. “I am a sole bread winner, my husband is retired.”
Under her employment contract, Kay will receive a severance package but numbers are not yet known.
In 2007, Kay earned $104,729 and had expenses of $9,083 (which included a vehicle allowance).
When the North Okanagan Regional District paid out severance to its former chief administrative officer Barry Gagnon, it was paid as a yearly salary of $167,547. He resigned in 2006 and payment continued to 2008.
Despite the situation, Kay plans to take some time to spend with her family.
“This is the first time in 12 years my kids have come home and I’ve been here,” she said.
She is also optimistic about the future, saying: “Every door opens a new opportunity.”
As for her old job, it is being worked on.
“We’re working to deal with the position of CAO,” said Garlick, adding that there is a system for the interim where other employees will work collectively to pick up the slack.
The decision to dismiss Kay was made by council, but Garlick cannot say which councillors voted for or against the dismissal.
“That’s all in-camera.”
The chief administrative officer directs planning, co-ordination and control of all municipal operations in accordance with the objectives, policies and plans approved by council. The CAO reports directly to council and acts as their primary policy advisor.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
The policy of Council is that sewer extension is development driven. That happened to all the developments on Middleton Mountain, the Highlands subdivision and most recently on Aberdeen Road. The only exception to this policy was the line built at the expense of sewer utility customers from McClounie to Aberdeen Road. Furthermore, Coldstream Meadows was not charged a connection fee upon connecting up to 160 units to this line while all other customers are charged a connection fee of $2,000. The public interest would have required the developer to pay the cost of his sewer connection.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
(1) Funding Applications for Kalamalka Beach Promenade and Middleton Mountain Park
· Report from the Director of Engineering Services, dated December 9, 2008
· Letter from the Office of the Premier, dated December 5, 2008
THAT the report from the Director of Engineering Services, dated December 9, 2008, and the letter from the Office of the Premier, dated December 5, 2008, regarding Funding Applications for Kalamalka Beach Promenade and Middleton Mountain Park, be received;
AND THAT Council authorize the application for funding of $75,000 for the Kalamalka Beach Promenade under the LocalMotion Program, subject to Greater Vernon Parks’ commitment to provide 25% of the project cost, that is, $37,500, in addition to the District’s 25% commitment of $37,500 from the Community Enhancement Fund;
AND THAT Council authorize the application for funding of $375,000 for the Middleton Mountain Park under the Towns for Tomorrow Program on behalf of Greater Vernon Parks;
AND FURTHER THAT staff be directed to complete the predesign study and negotiate land acquisition with property owners affected by the Kidston Road multi-use pathway between Coldstream Creek Road and the Red Gate, to allow for future budgeting and funding application.
· Email from Norm Hladun, dated December 8, 2008
· Email from Donna and Les Anderson, dated December 4, 2008
THAT the emails from Norm Hladun, dated December 8, 2008, and Donna and Les Anderson, dated December 4, 2008, regarding Kalavista Neighbourhood Concerns, be received;
AND THAT the emails be forwarded to the Kalavista Neighbourhood Committee.
Friday, December 12, 2008
In his first week on job, Vancouver's new mayor has announced a major shakeup at city hall.
Mayor Gregor Robertson and his new city council announced Friday they have decided to replace the city's top bureaucrat, city manager Judy Rogers.
In her place, the council has already hired Penny Ballem, a former deputy minister of health for B.C.'s Liberal government
Ballem, who was one of Canada's most experienced deputy health ministers, resigned from that position in June 2006 over concerns about how the Campbell government was running the province's health care system.
Robertson said the decision was made this morning, and Judy Rogers has accepted a severance package in line with her 20 years of employment with the city.
Rogers, who has served as city manager since 1999, was the highest paid employee at city hall with a pay package worth $292,000 in 2007.
The departure of Rogers is the second change in the top management at city hall under the new mayor and council
The city's chief financial officer, Estelle Lo, resigned just after the Nov. 15 civic election.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
The bio-solids facility south of Vernon is a step closer to dumping some of its product into the Greater Vernon landfill.
NORD directors have approved the disposal of 4 loads a week, each weighing about 14 tons, for a six month trial period.
Vernon director Jack Gilroy says it will allow the over-loaded facility to get back to its normal production, hopefully reducing the odour.
"We really don't have too many other options. We'll look into options but to get this loading done right so we can make the plant run properly, to show people it does work, we have to do this."
The Environment Ministry still needs to approve the plan before the dumping starts.
Coldstream director Doug Dirk was the lone opponent, saying allowing the landfill option will decrease the urgency to look for other alternatives, which could include spreading it on farm land.
The bio solids facility on Commonage Road in Area B converts sewage waste from Vernon and Kelowna, into Ogogrow fertilizer.
My personal opinion: This is not a good idea. The "product" to be dumped into the landfill is basically "crap" removed from the sewage treatment plant.
The reason: the composting plant is not large enough to handle the entire sewage waste from Vernon and Kelowna.
There are two potential problems: this practice will shorten the life of the landfill and it may eventually leach into Kal Lake through fractured rock forming the base of the landfill.
Again, this is my personal opinion.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Greg Betts was appointed as the new Administrator of NORD.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
The sewage being produced on Silver Star Mountain is increasingly seen as a serious threat to our local water supply (Coldstream Creek) and the aquifer. In accordance with the goals and objectives of the CRA I want to encourage you all to attend the rally described below. Also click on the websites mentioned to learn about the gravity of this situation.
Steve Heeren, President, CRA
People and groups in our communities have been trying for years to get government to prevent our waterways from being used as toilets. While governments point fingers, the situation is worsening. We must act now, before it becomes impossible to turn back.
Maude Barlow said it, Water Protection in Canada IS A MYTH (Blue Covenant)
Care about Clean Water? JOIN us Dec 12th!
22,000,000 gallons of sewage per year are discharged in Silver Star Park, at the top of our watersheds, affecting an aquifer in fractured rock and 4 nearby creeks, including Coldstream creek which provides water to tens of thousands of people, and feeds
Join us in
! Friday Dec. 12 Vernon
Sign letters to our MP's and MLA's demanding
accountability from Government
Let's show we care
WHEN: Friday December 12 - Join us anytime between 11:30 and 1 PM
WHERE: 11:30 -12:15 In front of
12:15 Parade! along
WHY: To bring media attention and demand government accountability.
There will be information and various speakers. Bring a placard for the parade and dress colourfully to attract attention.
QUESTIONS or TroubleShooting?: 250-309-5973 or 250-547-6292 and sensociety.org/SLAMSS.htm
PRINT A POSTER AND POST AROUND TOWN - LET'S GET AS MANY PEOPLE AS WE CAN:
Huguette Allen, for SLAMSS
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Updated: December 04, 2008 2:54 PM
Two missionaries with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints received a scare on the night of Dec. 2 when they saw what they think was a set of sasquatch footprints outside of their Burns Lake home.
Tyler Beck and Brad Blazzard are in B.C. for two years, rotating in different communities throughout the Smithers and Burns Lake area for the past seven months.
"The first thing we thought was that someone was playing a trick on us," Beck said."But we don't know anyone our age who would do that and our house in on the southside, so pretty much in the middle of nowhere."
The footprints, which Beck said was about 20 inches long is right in front of Beck's porch, leading to the path where the pair keep their wood shed.
Beck said prior to finding the footprint at 9:30 p.m. on the night of Dec. 2, he didn't really believe in the possibility of bigfoot.
"I still don't know what to think," he said. "I have heard some pretty ridiculous things about bigfoot but now I am leaning toward the edge of thinking it may be possible."
The house sits in front of a lake and Beck said in the four-and-a-half months he has been there, he has seen all manner of coyotes and wolves. This is the first time he has seen any sign of the fabled creature.
In addition to a rash of sightings in the Bulkley Valley in the summer and fall, Larry Sommerfield, a self-proclaimed sasquatch hunter from Terrace had a cast that he claimed was a sasquatch print.
Sommerfield was reluctant to tell The Terrace Standard how he came into possession of the 16-inch long cast, except to say that it was made in mid-August from a footprint found in a gravel pit just east of the Kitselas First Nation's subdivision east of Terrace on Highway 16.
Brian Vike, Director of HBCC UFO research is still trying to verify three sasquatch sightings in Moricetown.
“Since I got the initial call, I’ve had no other information,” Vike told the Houston Today. “ As near as I can tell, the sightings all happened after the end of September but I have called and called but no one is calling me back.”
The lady who called on the morning of Halloween, told Vike that there had been a rash of sightings on the native reserve. Unfortunately without talking to someone who could give a first-person account, Vike said the information is hearsay at best.
Vike got the details from the first account from the woman’s mother.
“Allegedly, she was walking out to the mailbox and this thing walked in front of her,” Vike said. “But I called and called and got nowhere so I am thinking this is a little fishy.”
Another women apparently told friends that she had seen a sasquatch peeking in someone’s window.
The last report allegedly involved a school bus driver who saw the creature standing in a field.
A sighting in Houston in late July by Delores Harrie captured international media attention.
Harrie saw the creature out at her home on Buck Flats Road on July 28.
At 5:45 a.m. that morning, Harrie heard her dogs barking at the door. When she went down to investigate she saw that someone or something was rattling the door handle.
She eventually opened the door and the dogs were out like a shot, sniffing out something on he east side of her property.
When she looked out at the side of her house, she saw a creature that was walking on two legs.
“It was huge and it had long hair, not fur — kind of like the kind you see on an ox and a reddish brown, the colour of the trees that are killed by the pine beetle,” said the woman. “And it moved so fast, by the time I opened my door it had run from the porch to the other side of the house.”
Once outside, the dogs pursued the creature it continued along a dried-up ravine and disappeared into a forested area. Her oldest dog didn’t return for three hours.
“I was worried but what do you do, tell people your dog is chasing bigfoot?” she asked. “I drove up and down the road, looking for him and eventually he came back.”
After Harrie’s report, there was a report on Telkwa High Road and sightings in Campbell River.
"I have been here for almost five months trying to do good work and I end up with bigfoot prints in front of my house," Beck said.
Above are the meeting schedules of NORD and its various committees. If you plan to attend any of them you can schedule them in your calendar.
Friday, December 5, 2008
The claim that this practice will tackle the western pine beetle infestation is hogwash. The few trees felled along trails contribute only a minuscule amount of beetles to the environment compared to the untouched trees left in the rest of the park.
Dead trees lying on the ground and the chipped branches will not pose any fire hazard. The smoke from the burning, on the other hand, will create a discomfort and a potential health hazard to the neighbouring residents as well as contributing significant amounts of carbon dioxide to the environment. Perhaps Parks Branch should be charged a carbon tax on this ill advised venture.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Ignorance of parliamentary rules is distorting debate over legitimacy The Toronto Star
Wed 03 Dec 2008
Byline: Peter H. Russell
Source: Special to The Star
As Canadians live through the current political uproar in Ottawa it is important that they understand the constitutional rules of our parliamentary democracy.
The first rule is that when we hold an election we do not directly elect a prime minister. We elect a House of Commons. It is this elected chamber of Parliament that decides who governs the country.
The second rule of parliamentary government is that it is the leaders of the party or coalition of parties that have the confidence of a majority in the House of Commons who have the right to govern.
Immediately after an election the incumbent prime minister remains in office no matter how badly he or she may have done at the polls. In 1993, Kim Campbell was still prime minister of Canada even though her party had elected only two MPs. It was obvious that a Campbell Conservative government would not have the confidence of the newly elected House of Commons so she tendered her resignation to the Governor General. The Governor General then called on Jean Chretien, whose Liberal party had won a majority of seats in the House of Commons, to form a government.
The situation is not always so clear. After the 1985 provincial election in Ontario, the incumbent premier, Frank Miller, whose Conservatives had won the most seats but were nonetheless in a minority position in the Legislative Assembly, formed a government and prepared to meet the newly elected Legislature. But when it became clear that Liberal Leader David Peterson and NDP Leader Bob Rae, whose parties between them had a majority in the Legislature, had signed an agreement whereby the NDP for two years would support a Liberal minority government so long as it pursued certain legislative priorities, Miller submitted his government's resignation to the Lieutenant Governor.
These precedents and many, many others illustrate the basic point that in parliamentary democracies we elect parliaments not prime ministers, and that the Governor General (or the presidential head of state in a republican parliamentary system) must be advised by ministers who are supported by a majority in the elected house of parliament.
Now let's apply these rules of parliamentary democracy to the situation Canada now faces. After the Oct. 14 election, Stephen Harper remained Prime Minister, formed a new government and prepared to face the House. Although his party had improved its seat total it was still in a minority position in the House. This meant that to continue in office Harper would have to win enough support from the opposition benches to secure the confidence of the House.
For a few days it appeared that Harper would reach out in a conciliatory manner and garner the parliamentary support he needs on order to have the right to govern.
But, to put it mildly, on Nov. 27 just a few days into the session, through his finance minister's economic update, he made an abrupt U-turn. Instead of seeking support from the opposition, his government presented an in-your-face, take-it-or-leave-it position.
The opposition parties - all three of them - decided not to take it. Instead, they announced that they would use their collective majority in the House to vote no confidence in the Harper government and support an alternative coalition government.
The no-confidence vote is to take place next Monday. If the government loses that vote, the rules of parliamentary democracy give Harper two options. He can tender his government's resignation to the Governor General and clear the way for Madame Jean to ask Stephane Dion to form a Liberal-NDP coalition government. Or he can ask the Governor General to dissolve the 40th Parliament so that we can elect the 41st Parliament.
The first option - resignation - would be entirely constitutional. It involves no "usurpation" of power but is an honourable way out of the present impasse.
If Harper were to take the second option, the Governor General would have to consider carefully whether to grant his request for a dissolution. Her primary concern must be to protect parliamentary democracy. A steady diet of elections - four in four years - is not healthy for parliamentary democracy.
If there is an alternative government available that has a reasonable prospect of being supported for a period of time by a majority in the House of Commons, she would have reason to decline Harper's request. Harper would then have to resign, and the Governor General would commission Dion to form a government.
If this happens, again there would be no "usurpation" of power but a proper application of the rules and principles of parliamentary democracy. It has been very disturbing to hear over the last few days, from people who should know better, wild unparliamentary theories about our system of government. Elections are not simple popularity contests in which the leader whose party garners the most votes gets all the power.
I am greatly concerned that there is so little public knowledge of the constitutional rules that govern our parliamentary system of government. These rules are not formally written down in a legal text or taught in our schools. Maybe the most important lesson to take from the situation we are now living through is to begin to codify as much as we can of this "unwritten" part of our Constitution and to ensure that it is well taught in our schools.
Peter Russell is professor emeritus of political science at the University of Toronto and author of the recently published Two Cheers for Minority Government: The Evolution of Canadian Parliamentary Democracy.
People have opinions without considering the real facts about the federal government's problems. What seems to be ignored is the fact that whenever there is a vote in a minority government it is a coalition that decides the outcome of the vote. The 140+ conservatives cannot beat the 160+ combined opposition, thus, they have to have the help of another party for the passage of any bill which basically amounts to a coalition of two or more parties.
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- I have been a resident of Coldstream since 1976. I have had 15 years of experience on Council, 3 years as Mayor. As a current Councillor I am working to achieve fair water and sewer rates and to ensure that taxpayers get fair treatment. The current direction regarding water supply is unsustainable and I am doing all I can to get the most cost effective water supply possible.