Recent comments

  • New transfer station for garbage and recycling to open July 8   1 year 2 days ago

    Yes, I wrote Slocan instead of Salmo by accident.  I have changed it. Thanks for pointing that out.

  • New transfer station for garbage and recycling to open July 8   1 year 3 days ago

    Nelson trash to a landfill near Slocan? The author has that wrong, perhaps they meant Salmo?

    Though glad to see the transfer station off the waterfront I wonder about the location chosen by the RDCK. An already dangerous intersection at Insight Electronics on highway 6 has just become more dangerous with the increased volume of traffic. The RDCK gives incentives to employees to ride bicycles to work, yet in their great ecological wisdome greatly increase the distance garbage and recyclables must be hauled by carbon fuel burning vehicles. The RDCK has just increased the carbon foot print of the area.

      Land owners in the RDCK pay taxes for garbage and recycling. Please tell me, why must transfer stations be gated and wired like a prison compound? Increased dumping fees and limited access to transfer stations have increased illegle  dumping on forest roads, something that more of our taxes are paying to clean up.

  • Tahltan Nation prepare Aboriginal title case against Arctos Anthracite coal mine   1 year 3 days ago

    What the SCC established is that the consent of three parties will henceforth be required to advance a project: the resource extraction corporation, the provincial/federal government, and the First Nation on whose land the development is proposed.

    That there is a difference between "engaging" First Nations and obtaining their consent is evident in the number of legal challenges initiated by First Nations who are opposed to a project. Have you ever heard of a resource corporation or a government hauling a First Nation before a court to challenge their refusal to consent to a project? That is the effect of the SCC decision.

    As to Canada having the "toughest regulations and duty to public consultation" in the world, I'll take such claims with a grain of salt. I participated in a number of Canadian public consultations (e.g., Northern Gateway) and if that is "world class" then the terms does not mean much. If you can refer me to an independent academic comparative analysis of such regulations world-wide, I'll read the book before taking your claim at face value.

  • Tahltan Nation prepare Aboriginal title case against Arctos Anthracite coal mine   1 year 4 days ago

    In BC there are 14 recent Resource Sharing Agreements granting First Nations 37% of mineral taxes.

    And the Tahlan deserve one too; and they'll get it - as will every other First Nation in BC probably for all future mine developments.

    Andre, the public is ignorant of the relationships between First Nations and Mining (let alone understanding the mining industry). The industry has now had many years of engaging different interest groups and communities in the very challenging province of BC; where some of the toughest regulations and duty to public consultation exist anywhere in the world.

    The Mining Industry "gets it" and even shows leadership in these relationships.

    Local community doesn't get it though; First Nations are far more sophisticated advocating for the interest of their own.

    Maybe our villages and towns MIGHT also benefit for their OWN Resources Sharing Agreements. The idea would go far to change the parasitic relationship between urban centers and the rural hinterland.

  • Tahltan Nation prepare Aboriginal title case against Arctos Anthracite coal mine   1 year 4 days ago

    The resource revenue industry will have to take the time to consult the dictionary to understand the difference between consulting and consent.

    First Nations too  have an opportunity to weigh the long-term impact of job promises and investment. It would be worth their effort if First Nations were to go to Norway, spend a little time there to appreciate just what a sovereign wealth fund is, and how to manage such a fund for the long term benefit of the people from whose land resources are extracted.

  • Tahltan Nation prepare Aboriginal title case against Arctos Anthracite coal mine   1 year 4 days ago

    And a response from the mining industry...

    Today, the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia (AME BC) responded to the Supreme Court of Canada’s judgment that Aboriginal title over the land area as requested by the Tsilhqot’in Nation is granted, but that provincial laws and regulations still apply on the land.

    “While this is a complex and precedent-setting case that will require further review, we at AME BC know that the path forward is for the federal and provincial governments to continue consulting with the Tsilhqot’in Nation,” stated Gavin C. Dirom, President & CEO of AME BC. “The outcome of such consultation will enable further investment from the mineral exploration and development industry that will create jobs and shared economic opportunity for all British Columbians, including the people of the Tsilhqot’in Nation. Improved certainty about title, consistent decision making processes and the application of predictable and reasonable laws and regulations are critical to successfully attracting investment to British Columbia.”

    “It is important to recognize that the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed that provincial laws and regulations will continue to apply in the Tsilhqot’in Nation Aboriginal title area, subject to section 35 of the Constitution Act,” noted David McLelland, Chair of AME BC. “Government has the duty to consult with First Nations, but members of AME BC recognize that respectfully engaging with First Nations early and often creates mutual understanding, trust and respect. We have seen that mutual benefits can often occur when this approach is taken by everyone involved, including industry, First Nations and government.”

    “The exploration and development of mineral claims in the area could provide real and significant economic development opportunities and long-term net benefits to the Tsilhqot’in Nation and to everyone in British Columbia,” concluded Dirom.

  • Parallel realities   1 year 6 days ago

    can you possibly write so it is easier to read?  How about  it?

  • COMMENT: 'Class Composition' is more than an abstract bargaining term in the current BC teachers' strike   1 year 1 week ago

    The government's legislation was not just "deemed unlawful" by the courts, it was found to be in contravention of the Constitution. 

    As to the consequences, take that class of 32 including 8 "coded" kids in your example. Not only will the education of those 8 "coded" kids be inadequate because the kids will not get the focused attention they need to learn, the education of the other 24 kids suffers as well for the same reason. Any extra time and attention dedicated by the teacher to the "coded" kids is "stolen" from the "uncoded" ones. The government's position is a lose-lose-lose position: legally, for "coded" kids, and for "uncoded" kids.

     

  • Smart Meter protestors join cross-Canada Citizens for Safe Technology rally   1 year 1 week ago

    Being in the Kootenays over 60 years I have witnessed  a great company, WKP turn into Fortis who is turning us into corporate fodder for profit consumption by the elite and powerful satanic 1%. What a world!!!!  There must be  the alternative to this national corporate smart meter plan for me that doesn't hurt my health and  invade my privacy.NO TO SMART METERS!!!!NEVER TO SMART METERS!!!!

  • A Closer Look at Indian Dance--this Thursday in Castlegar   1 year 1 week ago

    CORRECTION: Please note that this dance performance actually runs from 4-5PM today. From 5-6 there will be a food and drink sharing as well as free dance lessons for those interested.--ed.

  • Occupy the Pipeline Everywhere rally planned Wednesday to oppose Northern Gateway decision   1 year 1 week ago

    Keith Wiley is a Canadian through and through. 

    He got his information from:-

    • listening to community members all along the way in 2012 when he and "the four geezers" undertook the very low-budget Kootenays to Kitimat Caravan trek to Hartley Bay and a number of other First Nations communities that will be affected by the Northern Gateway project.
    • listening to Canadians presenting to the National Energy Board's hearings in Kelowna in 2013
    • listening to Canadian scientists, Canadian politicians and Canadian First Nations leaders at the 2013 convergence here at the Brilliant Cultural Centre
    • reading

    Not an American in sight at any of the above.   Not an American dime funding any of it, to my knowledge.

  • Occupy the Pipeline Everywhere rally planned Wednesday to oppose Northern Gateway decision   1 year 1 week ago

    Who is Keith Wiley, and where does he get his rhetoric from?  Why not sell our oil at world prices, just like we pay world prices for gas at the pumps?  Instead we sell our oil at lower-than-world-prices to the States and have the filthy rich from the States come up to Canada swaying the minds of Canadians, afraid that we may sell our oil to someone else for the price we should be getting.  It's time to start thinking for ourselves instead of listening to the likes of Keith Wiley.

     

  • Reality is not what it used to be   1 year 3 weeks ago

    Wise people have noted that the proper journey of life is from self to other. Unfortunately, possession of money invariably enhances the Self and impedes spiritual progress. It's a pretty simple fact but, as a species and as individuals, we have a really, really hard time digesting it. Jesus was pretty clear on the subject, for example, but the religion that was formed around his name hasn't done a very good job of practising the whole 'camels and eye of the needle' thing.

  • Reality is not what it used to be   1 year 3 weeks ago

    You may want to at Alasdair MacIntyre's 'After Virtue' to your list of recommended books.

    Here is a thought of his that relates to your topic:

    "We should [therefore] expect that, if in a particular society the pursuit of external goods were to become dominant, the concept of the virtues might suffer first attrition and then perhaps something near total effacement, although simulacra might about."

    A further thought:

    "In what does the unity of an individual life consist? The answer is that its unity is the unity of a narrative embodied in a single life. To ask 'What is the good for me?' is to ask how best I might live out that unity and bring it to completion. To ask 'What is the good for man?' is to ask what all answers to the former question must have in common."

    Reading MacIntyre reveals the politics we have been pursuing in Canada for well over a decade as something we ought not take too much pride in.

  • Reality is not what it used to be   1 year 3 weeks ago

    The Nelson-y idea that money is 'attracted' to evolved souls is disgusting and evil. Sorry, sub-Saharan Africa--you're just not ready for a full belly yet, not like the Boomer elites of Nelson, BC! If people are willing to believe that, why don't they just come completely out of the closet as white supremacists, given how unequally material wealth is divided along racial lines in this world?

    Better to posit that wealth is a sort of cancer that's attracted to weak spiitual immune systems--it ultimately swallows up and replaces the soul. We don't only see this insane attitude in pot-dulled hippie discourse--Christianity manifests the same concept through the concept of 'stewardship' to which some of that religion's more benighted believers subscribe.

  • OP/ED: Minister releases statement on BCTF job action   1 year 3 weeks ago

    ... the government is, in the final analysis, the people. Right? Whose nose is being cut to save whose face?

    The kind of condition your daughter has to cope with, Ken, is not all that unusual. We were lucky. Our son is autistic, and at the time he was about 7 at the time the B.C. Government was headed by Dave Barrett. The government then funded a special school for autistic kids, the teacher-student ratio was 2 to 1. That's right, two teacher per child.

    Although of limited ability due to his autism, our son lives under supervision in the lower mainland, but has a full-time job cleaning in a restaurant kitchen in the lower mainland. Minimum wage, but has not been unemployed for a single day in his adult life.

    Was the public expense of his education worth the effort? Even if you ignore the personal experience and the social aspects of the life he has enjoyed, on purely economic terms the answer is a clear yes. 

  • OP/ED: Minister releases statement on BCTF job action   1 year 3 weeks ago

    You may be right Andre, and maybe class size and composition is an issue where "The Provincial Government needs an education about education" .... to steal the title of one of your previous comments. 

    One of my daughters is a teacher. When she told me her Grade 4 class had 29 students, my comment was "well....when your mom started teaching she had 43 students in her Grade 4 Class."

    My daughter then told me that her class has about 60% ESL (English as a second language); including two new immigrants with no Engish at all. Six of her students have IEPs (Independent Education Plans) because 3 are autistic, 1 mentally challenged and 2 with other learning disabilities.In addition, she has to cope with two students with severe behavioural problems.

    Out of her 29 students only 5 could be classed as "typical, ordinary students" and she commented that if all her students were like those 5 she could teach a class of 50.

    Bundling the kind of mix my daughter has to teach, together in one class seems unfair to everyone including teachers, students and parents. It only benefits the employer (the Government) by allowing cutbacks in special needs educatiion.

    I can understand why teachers want class size and composition on the negotiating table.          

  • OP/ED: Minister releases statement on BCTF job action   1 year 3 weeks ago

    I have not done enough research to categorically state the following to be true.

    My understanding, however, is that the reason salaries for B.C. teachers are below the Canadian average is that teachers had agree to a lower rate of pay in exchange for class size/composition considerations. Class size/composition, so teachers maintain, affects teaching efficacy.

    The government then went along with it then. Today the government is determined to use the lower salaries as the base line for future wage increases, but to detach class size/composition from the contract.

    The teacher traded salary for class size/composition, and now the government wants to maintain the salary half of the deal but reverse the class size/composition half.

    No wonder tempers are flaring.

  • OP/ED: Minister releases statement on BCTF job action   1 year 3 weeks ago

    I would be interested to hear from the folks who registered "thumbs down" to Andre's suggestion. 

    From what I have read, BC teachers are paid less than most of the other provinces. What would be wrong with paying teachers at the average rate of all the Southern provinces?

    A teacher in BC after 4-years of academic training (Category4) can look forward to starting at about the same pay as a school janitor.(about $43,000 per annum).

    A Category 6 teacher with a total of 6 or more years of academic and professional studies, including an acceptable graduate degree, can look forward to receiving about the same starting pay as a City Public Works labourer (about $53,520 per annum).

    It makes you wonder why anyone would want to be a teacher in BC!  

     

      

      

  • OP/ED: Minister releases statement on BCTF job action   1 year 3 weeks ago

    How about paying teachers at the Canadian average, based on Statistics Canada figures?

    http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/81-604-x/2012001/tbl/tbld2.1-eng.htm

    According to Stats Can the starting salary for teachers in B.C. is the lowest of any province and territory. Heck, the top salary of a B.C. teacher is less than the entry level for teachers in the NWT!

     

     

  • Op/Ed: Thoughts from a teacher's kid   1 year 3 weeks ago

    This article will give you an idea of employment terms in other developed countries:

     

    http://www.themuslimtimes.org/2013/07/countries/switzerland/salary-study-swiss-teachers-among-highest-paid-worldwide

  • Op/Ed: Thoughts from a teacher's kid   1 year 4 weeks ago

     

    The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Should we mark your "essay"?

  • Op/Ed: Thoughts from a teacher's kid   1 year 4 weeks ago

    I wonder just how much the "poor little children" would benifit from teachers making in eccess of $200,000.00 per year. and be required to work only 4 hours per day three days per week.    Some how, I don't  think anything would change.

    I read my grandson's grade eleven research essay a few months ago and I swear to God, if that was grade eleven work and rated at the given 90%, I dread the thought of him becoming a leader of our country, a doctor or anything that requires an education. 

    Les Anderson

     

  • The provincial government needs an education about education   1 year 4 weeks ago

    I admire your idealism and solution-oriented thinking, Andre. I'm afraid, however, that I no longer think we live in a democracy at the provincial or federal levels. Rather, we live in a system that merely serves the interests of capital--a place where good ideas--or ideas of any sort beyond the crude math of 'efficiency'--hold no sway.

    I can only imagine that things will get worse and worse for teachers and for everyone except the 1% as EVERYTHING is now measured solely in terms of 'productivity'. I was just reading an article from the Boundary Sentinel that speaks of Christina Lake's attempts to save their school. Parents saying that the value a school to a community can't be measured in dollars. Well, guess what? It can and it is. Say farewell to your school.

    This all reads as very depressing, doesn't it? I'm not writing from a negative space, however.  Maybe the most worrisome thing of all is that I seem to have accepted this view of things as a simple fact. Too many of us have drunk the Kool-Aid of 'money talks' and we'll now end up riding that train to whereever it leads us--then hopefully begin to rebuild after we hit rock bottom.

  • LETTER: Teachers using kids to mask greed   1 year 4 weeks ago

    Publishing an anonymous letter is not protecting a source, it is enabling a person to avoid accountability for a point of viewe expressed.

    When a reporter protects a source it means that the reporter gains access to information which the reporter then uses to publish a story after having verified and confirmed the veracity of the information provided which then contributes to a story of public interest.

    I have the right to believe that lawyers are crooks because they help criminals avoid the consequences of their actions, and that accountants are leeches because they help the rich avoid paying their fair share of taxes. If I have evidence of a lawyer or an accountant committing an act that is, if not outright illegal then at least unethical, and I pass that information to a reporter on the condition that I, the source of that information, be protected because the lawyer or accountant in question is my employer, then the reporter has an obligation to protect my identity when the information I have provided is used to corroborate a story published under the reporter's name.

    If all I want to do is make it known to the world that lawyers are crooks and accountants are leeches, I have the option of setting up my own blog, my own web page, or of fixing posters on power poles and highway overpasses. I need not attach my name to such publications.

    For a newspaper, be that of the digital or real paper kind, to publish my opinion anonymously, is to do what Will is says. That is so even if it is done by the Globe and Mail.