Behind the ostensible government

Behind the ostensible government

Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics, is the first task of the statesmanship of the day.

Disvalue for money

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In its last fiscal year, BC Investment Management Corporation (bcIMC) paid its top five executives $7.25 million. In its last fiscal year, Washington State Investment Board (WSIB) paid its top five executives $1.76 million. In Victoria, CEO Gordon Fyfe is paid almost five times the amount paid Gary Bruebaker, WSIB’s  Chief Investment Officer…

Damn the torpedoes…

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Leaders cannot keep marching in the same direction simply because they have invested heavily in a particular course of action. Instead, leaders must react to changing conditions and be willing to shift direction accordingly, perhaps even to pivot one hundred eighty degrees if the situation warrants it. This is not a complex direction but it doesn’t resonate with the small minds running government in Victoria. Regarding BC Hydro, they’ve become overly committed to announced policies despite consistently poor results and clear evidence of failure.

Conflict, was ist das?

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Conflict of Interest Commissioner has been unable to answer questions posed by journalist Bob Mackin. Of course, Fraser has only a handful of staff members to assist him so communicating with inquiring reporters is nigh impossible. When one man has only a single Executive Co-ordinator, one Executive Administrative Assistant, one Legal Officer and a single research assistant and faces one, two, even three formal opinions to be issued each year, some time saving moves are required.

Power from the powerful

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Politically connected individuals took advantage of citizens’ desire for clean, renewable energy and the Liberals wrote contracts with “lucky firms” that bore no relationship to market prices, guaranteed massive private profits and ensured all financial risks stayed with the public. The contracts in British Columbia last as long as sixty years and allow prices that are as much as 5x market value. In addition, the contracts have annual inflation escalators, a privilege allowed no other commercial segment. All taxpayers get is more power to sell at a loss.

Politics, journalism and easy virtue

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G20 country governments are providing $444 billion a year in subsidies for the production of fossil fuels. In Canada, at the federal level, this amounts to a minimum of $1.6 billion, mainly through tax expenditures. At the provincial level, tax breaks amount to a minimum of $979 million annually. In fact, the numbers are even larger. Fossil fuel companies recognize values gained when sympathetic politicians are there to determine financial policies so oil and gas producers spend extravagantly to sustain a synergetic relationship. In recent years, they’ve courted journalists and media companies whose financial comforts have been in decline. Many of those have turned out to be of easy virtue.

It’s a big club… and you ain’t in it

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They don’t want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them; that’s against their interests. …You know what they want? They want obedient workers… people who are just smart enough to run their machines and do the paperwork and just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it.

On the monorail to oblivion

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Were David Black and Christy Clark serious about the Kitimat refinery? During the mid-1960s, American entrepreneur John Shaheen, owner of Shaheen Natural Resources Company and various other petrochemical businesses, arranged to construct an oil refinery at Come By Chance, then an east coast hamlet. The plan was ill-fated and resulted in one of the single largest bankruptcies in Canadian history to that date. It also greatly added to NL’s mounting public debt.

Gas & petroleum rights sale, Aug/16

8 months

The Crown Petroleum and Natural Gas Rights Public Tender brought in $950,121 this week, raising the 2016 eight month total to $5.8 million. 2015 and 2016 are the two worst years among the last 20. It’s another bad result for a Premier who ran the last election on a claim that large natural gas revenues would result in a debt-free, sales tax free BC.

One way or another, we’ll pay

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Journalism should be at the root of the journalism business. Instead, daily publishers cut the news staff in half and charge twice as much for inferior content. Consumers responded by walking away. Rather than improving the output and persuading news consumers to pay for content, media moguls aim to have the Trudeau Government bail out their news businesses. It will happen too because Liberals have always been willing to spend public money if private advantage was there to be gained.

Pending: shift of sales tax from businesses to individuals

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When a small but politically influential group advocates change to reduce their taxation by $2+ billion a year, they want the rest of us paying instead. With the potential reward so large, the province’s business leaders will remain persistent in demanding relief from sales taxes. Because they’ve invested millions of dollars in the BC Liberal Party, they expect success. Business benefits directly from infrastructure and services financed by taxpayers. They expect safe and orderly communities; they expect police and fire protection; they want educated workers, communication and transportation systems; and they want utilities to serve their offices, factories and warehouses. They want those things; they just want others to pay for them.

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