Recent comments

  • Smoky sky advisory issued for region as fires blaze on   1 year 7 weeks ago

    This warning was lifted Wednesday. 

  • Are you a racist? A simple test you can do at home. Part 1/2   1 year 7 weeks ago

    Looking forward to the next bit.

  • Are you a racist? A simple test you can do at home. Part 1/2   1 year 7 weeks ago

    Hi Phil F. Thanks for the thoughtful comment. You did indeed catch me using a term loosely. 'Oppression' is slightly vague and I appreciate your categorizations. What I meant by the term in this piece was a reflection of the fact that when a specific racial group consistently suffers more than all the others, external, systemic forces are, I think, necessarily in play.

    I don't quite buy the 'most indiginous people aren't necessarily being actively oppressed today' argument. If a million or so white people in this country were suffering equally, perhaps because they belonged to a specific cultural or linguistic group, I don't think our response would be quite so...phlegmatic in terms of support and outrage. This passivity may not be 'active' racism in the sense of avowed beliefs in the superiority of one race over another, but it's certainly 'passive' racism in terms of being content with inaction. This is more than the remainder of past oppression or past racism. Simply read the comments on the Oppenheimer Park occupation in any online newspaper to get a sense of what lies not too far beneath the surface of Canadian egalitarianism.

    So there you go--you questioned 'oppression' and I replied with a definition of 'racism'! Aristotle would be proud of both of us.

    In part 2--which I really need to sit down and write--I'm going to argue that 'racism' itself is just a function of capitalism. So when I say the average Canadian is 'racist', I simply mean that they are embodying 'capitalist' values over human ones.--ed.

  • Are you a racist? A simple test you can do at home. Part 1/2   1 year 7 weeks ago

    I might be jumping the gun a bit, considering this is only part one, but I'll jump right into this and say that there are varying forms of oppression, so using that word can span quite a lot, especially these days.

    I think the term originally referred to something that was being done actively to hold back a person or a group from progressing fruitfully in their lives.  But these days it is bandied about to refer to any disadvantage that prevents a person or a group of people from progressing fruitfully in their lives.  An example of the former might be legal discrimination, such as being prevented from voting, or prevented from owning land, or inheriting the family fortune, or it might be even worse such as slavery.  Mostly this comes down to legally sanctioned oppression, but it can exist in a purely social form such as racism or sexism where a person might be treated less well than another based on race or sex.

    But oppression now means much more than that and can include what I would call situational oppression.  That would be where a person or group grows up disadvantaged merely because of the disadvantaged start they had in life.  If you grow up in a poor remote location, or in a disfunctional family, or both, it is extremely hard to bring yourself up.  Someone who grows up poor and in a poor and/or remote town won't get the same educational opportunities.  Someone who grows up in a disfunctional family will have a tough time socially because they are more likely to have learned poor social behaviour from their environment.   So a person growing up in that environment isn't being actively "oppressed" in the true sense of the word, but they are certainly disadvantaged and likely to remain so, as well as their children no matter if they are never the target of racism or sexism or any other groupism, and if they are legally the equal of everyone else.

    So while it's important to be aware that Native Canadians are disproportionally disadvataged, and while the source of that disadvantage might be past oppression, they aren't necessarily being oppressed now by other Canadians.

    I'd also like to touch on the wide variability of disadvantage within various Native groups.  Some tribes are very well off, and suffer little if any disadvantage compared to the general population.  So it's not a problem of "Native oppression".  That's a racist stance on its own.  If you're disadvantaged, you're disadvantaged regardless of race.  If Natives are disproportionally disavantaged today it's because of past oppression. Of course, I'm not saying there also isn't some true oppression still ongoing, and racism too.  Because I think there is.  But for most, their current poor situation is due more to a disadvantaged environment than to current oppression.

  • LETTER: 'Are teachers obviously wrong?'   1 year 8 weeks ago

    thanks for that letter clarifying the issues again...and reminding us of the true stakes in this stupid battle, which the Province insists on carrying out....

    as a Public Sector Worker, who worked with people with disabilities (mental and physical) for some 20 years, and who was a member of CUPE....i absolutely sympathise with the plight of teachers, whose contract was ripped up by the Campbell Lieberals back in 2002...along with the contracts of all other public sector workers, like ours....on the false claim that our unions were all in bed with the NDP.... i guess Campbell wasn't paying attention when we had to strike during the NDP tight fisted reign in BC....a strike of several weeks...yeah...sure we were in bed with them...what a bloody lie that was.

    we know from personal experience just how miserly, and cheap the B.C. Lieberals are when it comes to paying their public sector workers a fair wage....the MO appears to be attempting to keep wages ridiculously low, whilst cutting the workforce, and increasing the work load until workers are so stressed and exhausted by the new regimen that often they get sick...both mentally ill, and physically so....i blame my diabetes and associated issues on my job stress from those years....and a lot of the stress was the direct responsibility of the B.C. Lieberals and their niggardly policies when it comes to the most vulnerable citizens of the province. our clients were the real sufferers from all this "cost cutting", their lives grew increasing constrained by lack of staff, and funds....such that they were not as able to do the activities they were used to, and were forced to share workers far more than they had before....

    the B.C. Lieberals have lost several court cases, now over the Teachers' issues, that they inflicted on teaching staff back in 2002, the most recent, only this spring....and what do the Clarkistas do? they IGNORE the rulings...and waste our precious tax dollars in frivolous law suits.

    the Campbell version of these Fascists was cited by the UN for their arbitrary and draconian laws that they enacted on the backs of the Public Service sector....they were breaking International Labour Standards, right and left. what was their response? they simply ignored the findings....

    it was also the Campbell Lieberals who instigated new labour laws allowing kids above the age of 12 to work....and who changed the minimum call out hours from FOUR (if you are called out to work) two, or cheap are they you ask? so cheap that there is no comparison with any other province in Canada...

    in reality the Clarkistas, are actually Neo Cons...and more similar to the Harpocrite ReformaCons than any other political party...Liberals they are NOT...what they really are is the "Chamber of Commerce" party....

  • Solar Showdown   1 year 8 weeks ago

    klr's comment betrays the small mindedness characteristic of the right wing folks in this province....and in our area.....they are SO worried about taxes going to subsidise Solar power, when such subsidies could really help to bring Solar Power along to a more viable position in the ordinary marketplace.....after all as Ken Holmes says...if you don't want to subsidise Solar Power, then we should also remove all subsidies from the Oil and other resource extraction industries...after all it's our "tax dollars" to the tune of 4% of Government revenues, being "wasted" on these corporations....

    i find it indeed heartening to read Michael Jessen's article above, not only for the lovely, and thoughtful Buddhist quotes...i love Thich Nhat Hanh myself, as well as His Holiness, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche....and Pema Chodron....

    i especially liked that quote that said: "...

    “Life is fragile, like the dew hanging delicately on the grass, crystal drops that will be carried away on the first morning breeze.” – Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

    Beautiful....thanks for the update on Solar power, Michael...this article makes me want to rush out and get set up with a solar power system on my house....if only i could afford it right now....

  • Solar Showdown   1 year 8 weeks ago

    There's a strange effect in investing in solar these days.  Because of the pace of innovation in different solar cell technologies, the increasing mass production, and the increasing competition, the price of solar panels, specially on a price/watt generated is dropping rapidly.  In most things we purchase this is of little importance, but because solar energy investement takes a fairly long time to provide savings even a small drop in price can significantly reduce the time to pay off.  So the question becomes when to buy into it?  Ideally, you'd have a crystal ball that says price/watt will not drop significantly in the next 5 years and that would be the time to buy into  it.

  • Solar Showdown   1 year 8 weeks ago

    This rant against subsidies for solar energy projects is misplaced.

    These subsidies are a "drop in the ocean" when compared with the subsidies paid to the oil, gas and coal industries.

    According to a 2013 report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Canda pays almost 4% of its total government revenues as subsidies to the fossil fuel industries which means many, many billions of dollars a year.

    Just think about it!  Government revenues are taxes of one kind or another, so according to the IMF, 4% of all the taxes you pay goes towards subsidising the fossil fuel industries.

    If these subsidies were eliminated to create a level playing field, perhaps solar and other renewable energy sources would be more competitve and economically attractive ... without subsidies.

    How about starting a rant against subsidies to the oil, gas and coal industries ..... now that would be more worthwhile!  

  • Solar Showdown   1 year 8 weeks ago

    If solar is so darn attractive, install it yourself, so far it only exists with subsidy, my money,  I only spend my money on what I know works, not speculation, when solar is at parity you won't have to keep spinning the propaganda the solar industry and the green party keeps cranking out!

  • Police seek help in Rossland homicide   1 year 8 weeks ago

    As for the murder, we've heard nothing from the police and it's not the sort of thing where we just phone them up and they spill the beans. They'll announce when they have something.

  • Police seek help in Rossland homicide   1 year 8 weeks ago

    Context is too much hassle for some! You're an artist, Tyler, I think we need a visual representation of 'thumb trolls' or however these creatures might manifest themselves in the physical world. Perhaps a troll in a toga....-ed.

  • Solar Showdown   1 year 8 weeks ago

    The BC Government has shown some initiative to promote increasing use of solar energy by changing the BC Building Code to requre all new single family homes to be "solar hot water ready",  which means that they have to be built structurally to accomodate solar hot water systems.

    Effective June 21 2013, 48 local governments had signed on to this requirement which is intended to show some leadership in taking action against climate change at a local level.

    The City of Rossland was not one of the 48 listed, however anyone building a new home in Rossland should be encouraged to comply as it is much easier and cheaper to do this during new constructon than to make changes later. 

  • Police seek help in Rossland homicide   1 year 9 weeks ago

    I'm unsure what a "thumbs down" re. my previous query as to developments with the Feeney case indicates; perhaps you'd like to lend some context to that. Just a suggestion.


  • Police seek help in Rossland homicide   1 year 9 weeks ago

    Have there been any developments whatsoever with this investigation?

  • Solar Showdown   1 year 9 weeks ago

    I have spoken with many individuals about solar PV in this part of British Columbia, and it seems people commonly harbour a misconception that we do not have enough sunlight to make it a viable investment.  While that could certainly be the case for specific properties and certain specific valleys/small areas in BC, on the whole that sentiment is certainly not accurate.  I'd like to communicate to folks that just because you do not see solar systems on your neighbour's rooftop yet, it does not mean the potential isn't there.  Here is a link to the Natural Resources Canada site, displaying a map of annual solar insolation values across Canada.  This map demonstrates that much of the interior region of BC has annual solar insolation exposure approximately equal to that of southern Ontario, where solar PV uptake and production has boomed in recent years.

    The low rate of solar uptake in BC thus far has been primarily a result of a lack of a progessive provincial energy policy, and because we've been fortunate to have experienced a period of relatively low energy costs comparitive to other parts of Canada and the world.  This has lulled BC-ers into not having 'needed' to look for alternatives.  However, as you can see by BC's recently released long-term energy plan, that is coming to a rather abrupt end.  The rising cost of purchasing energy from the utility and rapidly lowering costs to purchase solar are on an inevitable collision course.  Grid-parity, in fact, has already been achieved and exceeded elsewhere.

    We are at the point where only a single trigger is needed to spur more interest in this technology in our region.  That could come in the form of higher energy costs, lowering solar costs, a subsidy/grant/feed-in-tariff and/or loosening net-metering rules to encourage people to spend the capital.  One or more of these things are inevitable. So get your surfboard ready...the solar wave is on our doorstep.  

  • BCSTA launches 'Back to School Action Plan'   1 year 9 weeks ago

    Doesn't this 'action plan' just boil down to asking teachers to pay for any improvements to student funding? Do these trustees have no assessment of their own regarding the needs of the young people they are charged with protecting? "There is much work to be done" indeed! Good lord! Why not do it, then? This article was brought to you by the same fine minds that closed RSS...--ed.

  • Local Bakery Delivers on Sustainable Transportation   1 year 9 weeks ago

    SWEET-- I WANT ONE!!!!!!

  • Solar Showdown   1 year 9 weeks ago

    It may come as a surprise to many to learn that in 2010 the largest solar photovoltaic power plant in the World was built in Sarnia, Ontario.

    Although it has since been surpassed in size, it demonstrates that solar power on a large scale is technically feasible in Canada.

    What may be even more of a surprise to many is that the Sarnia solar project was developed by Enbridge .... better known in more recent years for its proposed contoversial Northern Gateway pipeline.

    The biggest solar power project in Canada west of Ontario was recently announced by the City of Kimberley, B.C., and is to be built on the site of the old Cominco Sullivan mine on land donated byTeck. 


  • LETTER: Dan Albas needs further education   1 year 10 weeks ago


    Beverly McLaughlin, chief justice, deserves apology from PM, international jurists say:


  • LETTER: Dan Albas needs further education   1 year 10 weeks ago


    Remember in 2006 when Stephen Harper tried to reassure Canadians that they didn't need to worry about his "extreme tendencies" because three "safeguards" in our system of governance would hold him in check?

    One was the Senate as a chamber of sober second thought. Well, so much for that idea! Mr. Harper has mangled the Senate with wrong-headed appointments and constant manipulation. Trust is gone.

    Secondly, a strong public service was supposed to keep him within the confines of decent public policy. But Mr. Harper quickly made it known that advice from government officials is not valued and those who "speak truth to power" get punished. So intimidation reigns.

    The third safeguard was the Courts. And that's where the rubber hits the road.

    The judicial system has a measure of constitutional authority and independence that the first two do not. Governments are not above the law. When Prime Ministers, Parliaments and bureaucracies go wrong, citizens must have the right to challenge them in court.

    A number of courts at various levels - including judges who have been on the Bench for years and some who only just arrived - have questioned the legality and constitutionality of various Harper government actions and pieces of legislation. The issues at stake frequently involve the Charter of Canadian Rights and Freedoms, like a recent ruling that this government's treatment of refugees is, in some ways, "cruel and unusual".

    This enrages Harper Conservatives who have never accepted the legitimacy of the Charter - unlike some 80% of Canadians who regard it as a defining characteristic of our nationhood.

    So you have the unseemly spectacle of Stephen Harper and his entourage on frequent rampages against the courts and judges (including attacks on the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada) and the interpretations of the rights and freedoms enshrined in the Charter.

    What these Harper Conservatives ignore is that the Charter itself was duly and laboriously crafted, debated and enacted according to law. It reflects the democratic will of Canadians, which cannot be easily trumped.

    And it contains a safety valve - i.e., the "notwithstanding" clause - which dissidents can use, if they've got the courage. In other words, the Harper Conservatives could, in fact, legislate their distasteful ideology, but they would have to declare, upfront and explicitly for all Canadians to see, that they are doing so "notwithstanding" the traditions and values of a free and democratic society.

    Of course they'd rather not invoke the Notwithstanding Clause because it destroys their facade of respectability. So instead, they rant against the courts, accusing them of bad faith and "end runs" around democracy.

    Before embracing such criticism, note the prevailing mentality among the folks around Mr. Harper which led his Chief of Staff to think it was "okay" to make a $90,000 payment to a sitting Parliamentarian. Is that the kind of judgment you can trust, without recourse? And that's not all - take a hard look at the bruised and battered "democracy" that characterizes this Harper regime:

    • Hundreds of millions of tax dollars squandered on partisan government advertising to skew public opinion. Vicious attack-ads paid for with tax subsidies. Campaigns of character assassination aimed against charities, non-governmental organizations, church groups, public servants, scientists, statisticians, Officers of Parliament and public-interest watchdogs.

    • Tampering with Access-to-Information procedures. Stonewalling the Parliamentary Budget Officer. Limiting the work of House of Commons Committees.

    • Blatant misuse of Omnibus Bills, Prorogation and Closure to stifle reasonable debate and avoid accountability.

    • The conviction of the Conservative Party for more than a million dollars in illegal election campaign spending. The resignation of a Conservative Cabinet Minister over election violations in Labrador. The "robocall" electoral fraud trial now underway in Guelph. The Prime Minister's former Parliamentary Secretary on trial for other alleged election offences in Peterborough.

    • A Conservative scheme, defended publicly by Stephen Harper, to use robocalls to influence an independent electoral boundaries commission.

    • The new Conservative "Elections Act" which makes it harder for many Canadians to vote and easier for electoral fraud to go undetected.

    Given this perverse approach to democracy, it's probably a good thing that ordinary citizens have at least some ability to fight for their rights in court.

  • Problem North Shore bear killed after swimming across Kootenay Lake   1 year 10 weeks ago

    And so, if he was known to be "highly habituated" to garbage on Johnstone Road, have we "highly habituated" the Johnstone Road residents to the full extent of the bylaw? Or is this another one of the bylaws, as Mayor Dooley recently has admitted, that exist but aren't enforced? Because...?

  • LETTER: Dan Albas needs further education   1 year 10 weeks ago

    I listened to this show and was stunned by the lack of knowledge of the Harper Conservatives . Are we the people really that stupid? Only 40% voted for them This is NOT democratic. They want autocratic rule bought and paid for by corporations.

  • Seeking Contentment with Energy   1 year 11 weeks ago

    the real reason solar prices have come down is subsidies by the Chinese it has nothing to do with technology gains, solar anywhere in the world is unaffordable, it exists because of subsidies, subsidies don't work.

    Germany is showing the world solar was a mistake, if you know where to look behind the curtain, this information is slowly coming out.

    I am all for renewable energy, I am also for smart money, the green washers continue to force their agenda, which I am not willing to waste money on, I hope one day it becomes affordable, now its just everyone else who pays those who have solar, not for solar, but for lack of knowledge that it is unaffordable.

  • Interior Health CEO, Dr. Halpenny, makes house call to Kootenay Lake Hospital   1 year 11 weeks ago

    What a joke. Mr Halpenny says that Nelson residents have HART to rely on for fast safe transport. Wrong again Mr Halpenny.

    Well Mr Halpenny, everyone has heard of the Golden Hour, its name indicating the importance of getting treatment within an hour of an accident, stroke or heart attack. The Hart transport has never enabled a patient in Nelson to be treated in an hour. In fact no patient has arrived in Trail within three hours!! Nelson needs its surgery and internal medicine back, services that the IHA moved from Nelson to Trail. Helath care in Nelson is not adequate and nowhere near what it was even 40 years ago. And the costs have gone up each and every year so they haven't saved us a cent, just less care for more money.

    Just another expensive abysmal failure brought to you by the Kelowna focused Inferior Health Authority. The IHA has been nothing but bad news for Nelson health care.

  • Surprisingly no one hurt as horse trailer flips near Playmor Junction   1 year 11 weeks ago