Thursday, May 25, 2017

Victoria Viewpoints: Thursday, May 25, 2017




Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Provincial scene:


Grace McCarthy

Grace McCarthy: 1927-2017
Trailblazing B.C. politician Grace McCarthy dies
Former Cabinet Minister Grace McCarthy dies
Trailblazing B.C. politician Grace McCarthy was a tireless advocate for children
Grace McCarthy, influential B.C. cabinet minister for 3 decades, has died at 89
Amazing Grace left her influential fingerprints on B.C.
Grace McCarthy First Lady of B.C. Social Credit, dies at 89
B.C. political legend Grace McCarthy dies
'Amazing Grace' McCarthy dies at 89



After the counting ends ...

Vote counting done: Talks turn to minority government in B.C.
BC Greens seek to avoid another election
B.C. Green Party eyes long-term deal in pursuit of electoral reform
Vancouver mayor sees affordable-housing funds in NDP-Greens government
Power-sharing between B.C. parties is a mix of policies and personalities
B.C.'s political crisis creates transit funding fears
B.C. will have first minority government in 64 years


Kinder Morgan gives pipeline decision final OK
Kinder Morgan to proceed with Trans Mountain pipeline pending strong IPO
Canada's mayors call for speedy approval of proposals to address overdose crisis
4/20 events cost Vancouver nearly $250K
Coast Guard dismantles Vancouver's search and rescue dive team
B.C. Wildfire Service introduces new firefighting terms
Protestors removed from Imperial Metals' annual conference
Tahltan, B.C., reach agreement on plan to protect sacred headwaters
Schools feeling the crunch





Ottawa Observations: Thursday, May 25, 2017



Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Federal scene for Thursday, May 25, 2017.


Canada's judges urged to speak out and change outdated perceptions
Quebec seeks probe of Davie shipyard as part of ferry contract review
Citing Manchester, Trump rebukes NATO over defence spending
Conservatives, welcome to urban Canada. You need these voters
The new Conservative leader must look beyond the party's rural roots
Quebec resort town in Charlevoix region to host 2018 G7 meetings
Nigel Wright broke ethics rules during Duffy affair: watchdog
Ottawa seeks to preserve residential-school testimonies
In B.C., at least one certainty: Political leverage is fleeting
Are B.C. Greens ready for the spotlight?
To burst Trudeau's bubble, Conservatives need a sharper edge
More than a million restricted, prohibited guns in Canada
Trudeau suggests defence review will invest more in troops than weaponry
Nigel Wright broke ethics rules during Mike Duffy affair: watchdog
Families of missing, murdered women urge critics to get behind national inquiry
Trudeau says Canada will keep sharing intelligence amid U.S. controversies
Justin Trudeau faces next Trump test at NATO and G7 meetings
Liberals for over another $30 million to keep Canada at F-35 table
Tougher methane regulations to be phased in between 2020 and 2023 under Canada's climate change plan
Uncertainty the word as B.C. political parties wrestle for power
Supreme Court to look at constitutionality of victim surcharges
Government accused of hoarding Canadian history in 'secret' archives
Fate of residential school records in hands of Supreme Court
NATO members wait to hear where Trump stands on alliance's existence
Conservative leadership race down to its final days
Ethics watchdog says Harper aide Nigel Wright breached guidelines in Duffy affair
We must never accept terror as the new normal
Nigel Wright deserves better than this
The obvious lesson about terrorists - they hate us for who we are, not what we do
Alberta's British invasion: Massive military base allows troops from U.K. to replicate war
Details slow to come as first hearing on missing, murdered indigenous women set to begin
Nigel Wright violated ethics rules in trying to help pay Mike Duffy's Senate expenses: watchdog
'We have no choice': Liberals pour $142M into Phoenix pay system in hopes of fixing boondoggle
Political Neophyte Takes Aim at NDP leadership
Mayors across the country call for feds to lead on opioid 'national emergency'
Justin Trudeau could shuffle cabinet as agenda lags, rivals regroup
Former BC Cabinet minister Grace McCarthy dies
Trailblazing B.C. politician Grace McCarthy dies





A need for more details on McKay Street safety issues

According to Mayor Brain, some residents
of the McKay/Kootenay area consider
their neighbourhood to be dangerous
In all the excitement over the pursuit of a potential prize of 100,000 dollars for the McKay Street Park project, was a line in Mayor Brain's original notes related to the BCAA competition, a commentary that should stand out for residents far beyond the corner of  McKay Street and Kootenay Avenue.

As part of his preamble to the get out the vote campaign, was an observation from the Mayor that suggests to the reader that there is perhaps a bit more in the way of civic engagement to be done in that neighbourhood, beyond the ambitious parkland redevelopment project that has been proposed.

In the enthusiasm for the project, the Mayor offered up a short overview of how the project would rejuvenate the area, including one line that indicates that there are some very real problems that should be addressed sooner rather than later.



What should catch the attention of all who live in Prince Rupert is the observation of "At the moment, the space is considered dangerous by many residents, and at night it has been used by drug users as an area sheltered from view".

Moving beyond the hopeful quest for BCAA money for the potential park development, City Council might want to offer up some guidance for the residents of the area (and others) as to what immediate steps they (and the local RCMP detachment) are taking to make the city's neighbourhoods safer.

The subject of the level of crime, or public safety in the city is one that doesn't seem to get much attention from this current City Council.

A past practice that used to be a feature of previous City Council's no longer seems to be popular, as Council members no longer appear to invite the head of the RCMP detachment to Council chambers to provide any updates for the city's residents.

It's a missing element to the Council process which leaves residents somewhat out of touch with their local police department, whether through the delivery of local crime stats, or through a general outline as to what initiatives that the local detachment is currently engaged in.

Other than the occasional request by residents of council members for some help, usually made during public comment opportunities at City Council, the elected members rarely make mention of issues related to personal safety, whether it be in the McKay Street area, or anywhere else in the city for that matter.

Other communities around the Northwest frequently hear reports from their police departments as to what kind of challenges the front line officers are facing and how the community can help in the cause of public safety.

Terrace Council members for instance hear updates from their detachment on a regular basis and the Terrace RCMP is very active on social media and through their local website to provide updates on what is happening in that community.

It's a blue print from the east that perhaps Prince Rupert Council might want to adopt to provide more information to residents here.

For more items related to City Council see our archive page here.

Fore a look at some of the past work of Emergency responders from across the Northwest see our  monthly archive page here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review.


And now with the negotiating, we await a government.



'Welcome Back, my friends to the show that never ends ...
We're so glad you could attend!
Come inside, Come inside!
--Emerson Lake and Palmer

After a two week hiatus, the voters have finally spoken in Comox-Courtenay with the delivery of the final numbers from Election Day.

The Vancouver Island constituency, is a riding probably not of much notice to British Columbians prior to May 9th, but one which was thrust into the spotlight on election night with a razor thin vote count that tentatively gave victory to the NDP.

Just as British Columbians were to settle in for their Wednesday evening dinners, the election night decision finally was confirmed once and for all.

As the May 9th results were reviewed and absentee ballot votes added to the mix, the NDP actually built on their narrow lead of election day on Vancouver Island to claim the riding by 199 votes.

Elections BC which clearly prefers the glacial approach to their post election vote counting measures, managed to add two additional days of drama to the Great BC Vote Count project this week, taking us from the May Long Weekend into late Wednesday afternoon before the final provincial seat tally was announced.

The accounts of the balloting now set to list those who will assemble in the Legislature, once we have some idea as to who will form a government.



As the updates tricked out through the afternoon, Liberal leader Christy Clark,  seemingly decided that she didn't need to wait for any official breakdown of he final total, the political path ahead of her seemingly set in her mind.

Still technically Premier elect Clark for a moment one assumes, she issued a notice through the dinner hour yesterday to note that the Liberals would be looking to form a government. Using the term plurality rather than the more widely noted observation of the day of a minority government, the first for the province since the 1950's.




Whether Ms. Clark's ambitions come to pass will be in the hands of negotiation teams for the Liberals and Green Party, with the bargaining soon to heat up, as the Liberals review just how much of the Green demands they can possibly accept in a quest to remain in power.

Andrew Weaver, the leader of the Green's will seemingly take a page from the Election BC guide book, suggesting that it may be at least a week before he and his caucus are finished consulting with both the Liberals and the NDP and decide which way their political weather vane will swing when it comes to putting a provincial government in place.

Waiting patiently no doubt for all these political winds to settle down will be North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice.

As Elections BC issued the final notes for North Coast campaign the numbers realigned a bit, but the final results held firm for the most part from election day.

Hondo Arendt picked up an additional 17 votes good for 9.31% and 826 Green ballots counted, while Mr. Pond increased the BC Liberal's vote percentage to 33.66% adding an additional 200 votes to bring his final tally to 3,079.

The shift in numbers in the end however, had no impact on who gets to pack their bags and head off for Victoria. Ms. Rice, held her overall victory by a significant margin, increasing her vote total by 245 ballots to 5,243 votes, good for 57.31 per cent.


The re-elected NDP MLA has not had much to say since her election day victory, offering up a short update on Tuesday through her Facebook page, mainly to confirm the final numbers from Elections BC and to once again give her thanks to  those voters that gave her their vote.



She like everyone else in BC, will be watching to see how the negotiation dance ahead moves forward and who has the dance partner when the music comes to a stop.

How the story evolves over the next week could mean the difference in how three potential scenarios play out for the newly elected Ms. Rice.

An NDP partnership with the Greens would mean that John Horgan would be in the cabinet making business, the first time for an NDP Premier since the Glen Clark/Dan Miller/Ujjal Dosanjh days of 1996-2001.

The prospect of a Premier Horgan  era offers up two potential paths for Ms. Rice, one a cabinet spot and more prominence in the Legislature and the added bit of cash to a pay package to go along with such responsibilities.

The alternative NDP scenario would see a return to the back benches for the MLA from the North Coast, though with the potential of additional work in support of the work of Mr. Horgan's cabinet ministers.

Should Christy Clark find the right tone for the Greens and retain her post as Premier, Ms Rice's station in Legislature life would return to the familiar life of an opposition MLA, perhaps with a spot in Mr. Horgan's shadow cabinet.

Regardless of how the immediate future shapes up, one thing seems certain, if the history of minority governments is any indication at some point before the normal four year mandate of a government the minority situation will send us all back to the voting booth.

Something that will send Ms. Rice back to the election trail to seek the support of the voters one more time.

Wednesday's latest developments made for the majority of the provincial news filings for the day, some of the various stories and punditry can be reviewed below:

BC Liberals denied majority as final election count leaves government in danger
With all the votes finally counted in B.C., this is where the bartering gets real
B.C. Liberals fall short of majority following final vote count
B.C. NDP and Greens working on a governing framework, 'but we don't have that today'
NDP wins in Courtenay-Comox, leaving Liberals with minority government
A Green deal can give Clark or Horgan keys to power
B.C. Liberals to make pitch to continue government as a minority in legislature
B.C.'s political drama has only just begun
It's Official: Liberals 43, NDP 41, Greens 3
Christy Clark says B.C. Liberals 'have a responsibility' to form a government
B. C Green leader Andrew Weaver says his caucus wants a stable minority government
NDP Leader John Horgan is optimistic about making a deal with B.C. Green Leader Andrew Weaver
NDP win in Courtneay-Comox; Clark will try to form government
NDP government looks more likely
'Work together,' but with whom?
B.C. will have first minority government in 64 years
NDP wins Courtenay-Comox riding; minority government confirmed

You can review some of the background notes to the last two weeks of political mystery through our BC election Digest feature, our political portal D'Arcy McGee has been tracking some of the daily developments since Election Day.

The latest of updates can be found here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Victoria Viewpoints: Wednesday, May 24, 2017




Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Provincial scene:


After the counting ends ...

BC Liberals denied majority as final election count leaves government in danger
With all the votes finally counted in B.C., this is where the bartering gets real
B.C. Liberals fall short of majority following final vote count
B.C. NDP and Greens working on a governing framework, 'but we don't have that today'
NDP wins in Courtenay-Comox, leaving Liberals with minority government
A Green deal can give Clark or Horgan keys to power
B.C. Liberals to make pitch to continue government as a minority in legislature
B.C.'s political drama has only just begun
It's Official: Liberals 43, NDP 41, Greens 3
Christy Clark says B.C. Liberals 'have a responsibility' to form a government
B. C Green leader Andrew Weaver says his caucus wants a stable minority government
NDP Leader John Horgan is optimistic about making a deal with B.C. Green Leader Andrew Weaver
NDP win in Courtneay-Comox; Clark will try to form government
NDP government looks more likely
'Work together,' but with whom?
B.C. will have first minority government in 64 years
NDP wins Courtenay-Comox riding; minority government confirmed



New report proposes elevator to Granville Island
Higher rents, fewer units as Indigenous Housing Agencies Lose subsidies
British probe into Political campaigns' use of personal data reaches into BC
Victoria school district considers changing student placement rules
Details of plot to kill journalist revealed at Vallee murder trial
Don't ignore inquest results
One day left to give input on Vancouver's new logo
Wildfire burning out-of-control near Mount Robson Provincial Park



Ottawa Observations: Wednesday, May 24, 2017



Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Federal scene for Wednesday, May 24, 2017.




Senators amend legislation aimed at removing sexism from Indian Act
Bank of Canada leaves key rate unchanged, but 'soft hawkish tilt' emerges
U.S. Federal Reserve official urges preservation of trade ties with Mexico, Canada
What the Bank of Canada didn't say speaks volumes
Police deserve to march at Pride. The Manchester attack reminded me of that
Close the loophole for foreign money in Canadian elections
Canada considers donation to UN fund for victims of sex abuse by peacekeepers
Peter McKay, Jason Kenney say new Tory leader should be inclusive
Justice Minister's father calls missing, murdered inquiry a 'bloody farce'
BC Liberals denied majority as final election count leaves government in danger
With all the votes finally counted in B.C., this is where the bartering gets real
Canada brings home 1 of 2 Aurora surveillance planes from anti-ISIS mission
Jody Wilson-Raybould's father calls missing and murdered inquiry a 'bloody-farce'
U.S. view on NATO polarized while allied support climbs
NDP MP Nathan Cullen on tour demanding electoral reform
'Bittersweet' day for ex-RCMP women as sex-harassment lawsuit nears end
'Taxing the rich' gets biggest reaction in real-time survey of 2017 budget speech
53 First Nations reserves lack adequate fire protection: audit
NDP MP Nathan Cullen on tour demanding electoral reform
Price tag for fixing Phoenix pay system now tops original cost
Uncertain outlook keeps Bank of Canada firmly on sidelines for now
Ottawa offers $950 million for 'superclusters' to create jobs
Supreme Court to decide who owns the 38,000 stories of residential school survivors
Madeleine Meiulleur's appointment fails the non-partisan smell test
Time to stand up for Western civilization
Call it what it is, Islamist terrorism
Canada has dozens of jihadists walking free, yet authorities won't charge them
Manchester reminds us that we're all vulnerable
Foreign election influence happens in Canada too
'Urgent' Super Hornets are just another pawn in Trudeau's desire to prop up Bombardier
Final vote count confirms minority government in B.C., with Greens holding balance of power
Bernier brings ideas and personality to the Tory race. That's more than can be said for the others
Deadly Manchester attack pushes terrorism into spotlight at NATO summit, G7 meeting
New legislation good first step but not enough to curb fentanyl crisis: NDP critic
Canada deploys alternate numbers to defuse NATO defence spending situation
Canada a World Leader in Health? Not Exactly




Australian LNG proponent keeps Canadian focus on Kitimat plans

At one time the Australian LNG giant Woodside seemed quite bullish on the prospects of LNG development in the province, putting together a pair of Canadian plans, with the Prince Rupert region one of the potential sites that they were looking at for development of an LNG terminal as they looked to bring Alberta and British Columbia's gas reserves to world markets.

As recently as one year ago, Woodside had flagged the Grassy Point area north of Lax Kw'alaams as one area under consideration, going so far as to host an Open House at the time to keep North Coast residents up to date on their plans.

However, that interest it seems has cooled off over the last twelve months, with global financial twists and a shift in focus towards Kitimat seemingly knocking Prince Rupert off the immediate plans list.

When it comes to mentions of any development for Prince Rupert, the last focus put on Grassy Point by Woodside came back in 2016 when a 30 day comment period was opened.

Even the Government sites tracking LNG development have seen few mentions of the proposed development over the course of the last year.

The Province of British Columbia's EAO project page still lists Grassy Point as 'In Progress" while the last entry on the CEAA website for the proposal comes from November of 2014, when the Provincial process took over as a substitute.

As for their global development plans moving through this year and beyond, Woodside hosted an Investor Briefing Day yesterday, designed to bring current and would be investors up to speed on where the company if looking towards near and short term.

As part of that presentation company officials provided their blue print for 2017, with much of their attention returning to their side of the Pacific Ocean and those nations a little closer to Sydney, while other areas of potential development included Africa and Ireland to name a few locales.

That's not to say that British Columbia didn't get some attention from the Australian company, with their Canadian plans still part of the presentation, though listed much later in the presentation and more of a long term focus than of any impending production plans.




While the Grassy Point proposal is still featured as part of their overall BC holdings, any new details related to the proposed project didn't make it into the annual report for investors as part of the Tuesday presentation.

The main direction for Woodside's interest in Kitimat would appear to still be in some form of long term development. With the Australian company continuing to work on reducing the cost of the proposed pipeline and terminal aspects of their development plans.

The Kitimat plans are reviewed as part of Woodside's Horizon III planning, featuring a timeline of 2027 and beyond.

The majority of the key Kitimat related material goes from pages 64 - 66 of the 108 page report, which is available for review here.







Our past notes on the Woodside proposals for the North Coast can be found below:


Cross posted from the North Coast Review