Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Victoria Viewpoints: Wednesday, August 16, 2017

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

BC Wildfire emergency in Cariboo/Interior

An archive of notes from the BC wildfires 

British Columbia health authority issues new plan to tackle opioid crisis
Critics point to third-party advertisers for B.C. NDP's finance reform plan
B.C.'s wildfire season surpasses 1958 record for amount of land burned
Government relief announced for fire-stricken B.C. farmers, but details vague
Bid organizers peg Victoria Commonwealth Games cost at $955M
'Hatred and racism have no place in this city': Gregor Robertson condemns far-right rally
Saanich to ask fossil fuel producers to pay up for climate change
Mayoral candidate in Kamloops says he'll freeze property taxes
Victoria Commonwealth Games bid has $955M budget, envisions new stadium
B.C. election: These candidates were biggest spenders on Island
Last cash spree ends big-money era
Education help worth the cost
Commonwealth Games bid moves ahead
2017 now worst wildfire season in B.C.
British Columbia will have a $15 minimum wage by 2021
New NDP ministers tour Vancouver's tent city, Downtown Eastside
Mysterious 'Free Westbank' graffiti messages pop up in West Kelowna
2017 officially B.C.'s worst ever wildfire season
Report outlines need for rapid expansion of prescription opioids in response to the fentanyl crisis
VPD addresses security ahead of Saturday's far-right extremist rally

Ottawa Observations: Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Federal scene for  Wednesday, August 16, 2017

BC Wildfires

Our archive of notes can be found here

Saudi Arabia defends use of Canadian-made armoured vehicles against civilians
U.S. to seek tough NAFTA rules of origin in auto sector: trade czar
Ottawa pledges $21-million for Africa's famine crisis
Immigration tribunal to audit long-term detention practices
Butts, Bannon and an unexpectedly effective courtship
How Donald Trump could claim victory on NAFTA
U.S. magazine talks up friendship between senior Trudeau, Trump advisers
Charlie Angus taking leave from NDP leadership race after sister's death
Federal deal grants Ontario First Nations more control over education
Government vows to change fund for parents of murdered, missing children
Trump has alienated his allies in corporate America. Here's why that could derail his anti-NAFTA agenda
Trump team's tough NAFTA talk is just opening day bluster, experts say
Bromance begone: Gerald Butts must 'disavow' reported friendship with Steve Bannon, NDP leader says
Auto industry might drive NAFTA talks, early indications suggest
Conservative leader's free speech pledge wouldn't apply in U of T nationalist rally case
'Fundamentally failed': U.S. vows major overhaul as NAFTA talks formally begin
Charlie Angus takes short leave from NDP leadership race after sister's death
Does Canada take the threat of far-right extremism seriously?
Canada united, America divided on NAFTA as negotiations begin
Anishinabek leaders enter into historic self-governing education system
Canadians wary of Trudeau's mess
With NAFTA, the Americans will be playing hardball
Big government makes us small citizens
Justin Trudeau's top adviser has an unlikely friend in the Trump administration
North American farmers unite behind NAFTA, supply management spat likened to 'family fight'
Liberals to announce ship maintenance privatization deal Thursday despite national security concerns
How many jobs has NAFTA really cost the U.S.?
A NAFTA 'tweak'? Dream on.
How Jagmeet Singh hopes to win over the next generation of NDP voters
Robert Lighthizer's aggressive opening stance on NAFTA
U.S. takes hard line on NAFTA talks, but Canada is confident going forward: Freeland
Chrystia Freeland, Rex Tillerson jointly denounce Charlottesville violence
Steve Bannon tells New Yorker he's friends with top Trudeau advisor
More than half of Canadians think Ottawa isn't in control of refugee issue in Quebec: Ipsos poll
New U.S. ambassador's vast wealth includes up to $US$750K in Kinder Morgan stock
Singh takes on MPs in Bid for NDP Leadership

Green Leader Weaver calls out NDP Grizzly Hunt ban as 'political spin'

It's certainly not enough of a fracture to put the fate of the new NDP government in peril, but John Horgan and Andrew Weaver have just had another political spat, this time with the terms of Monday's announcement of a ban on the BC Grizzly Bear hunt serving as the point of fissure.

The ban was trumpeted by North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice as an NDP promise kept, however that's not quite how the leader of the NDP's new partner  in the Legislature sees things, with Weaver observing that in reality the announcement is just more political spin and one which will in the end make for a wasteful situation in the province's forests.

While noting that he was encouraged that the BC NDP is respecting the wishes of Coastal First Nations with their moratorium on the hunting of grizzlies in the Great Bear Rainforest, Weaver had a few cautions for the Horgan government when it came to their roll out of the new initiative, observing that it does not end grizzly bear hunting as many environmental groups have advocated for.

“I’m not sure how this will appease the concerns of anyone. It appears to me that the NDP were trying to play to environmental voters in the election campaign without thinking through their policies. “What we really need in BC is science-based approach to wildlife management, not a populist approach to species management."

Among his concerns related to the new NDP ban is that it creates a system in which not all of the animal will be harvested, with resident hunters no longer allowed to possess the hair, head and hide of grizzlies, something that is noted as wasteful by the hunting community.

The Green Party leader also expressed concerns over how the new regulations, set to go into effect at the end of November, will still allow for foreign hunters to shoot grizzlies in British Columbia, take a picture of themselves standing over the bear and then head home without harvesting any of the animal.

The Green leader has some company when it comes to those who consider the new NDP plan as not fully thought out, Steve Hamilton, the head of a Prince George based hunter's association outlined some of his concerns over how the NDP have rolled out their ban to the Vancouver Sun.

It seemingly won't be the last we hear from the Green leader on the issue, Mr. Weaver concluded his statement on the NDP announcement of Monday by advising that he will be working with the government in the months ahead to ensure the introduction of species at risk legislation.

You can review his full statement here.

More notes related to North Coast representation in the Legislature can be found here.

A wider overview of British Columbia politics is available on our political portal D'Arcy McGee.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Election Revenue/Expenses numbers released for North Coast campaign

When North Coast Residents went to the polls in May, the short economic burst of the BC election campaign came to an end for the region and with it the rush for fundraising and campaign spending.

Documentation released yesterday by Elections BC, provides the financial road map of sorts that was leading the three North Coast hopefuls towards the Legislature in Victoria.

The Statement of Election Income and Expenses for the three North Coast candidates provides a glimpse as to how the NDP, Liberals and Green party financed the quest for the seat in the Legislature, with British Columbia's two major parties making for the largest portion of the accounting numbers from the May campaign.

Jennifer Rice, the eventual winner of the seat in the BC Legislature and returning MLA posted a total income of $48,229.56 as of General Voting Day as a result of campaign donations and fundraising, with Expenses listed at $51,662.68.

Beyond the individual donations, the majority of the NDP funding came through transfers with $55,000 directed towards the North Coast efforts.

Of the expenses the largest amount was directed towards salaries and benefits ($11,000), Newsletters or promotional material ($8,000) and Travel ($4014.25).

Runner up Herb Pond, who sought the seat in the Legislature under the Liberal banner had the largest amounts both in political donations and expenses in the 2017 campaign.

His campaign claimed income by way of fundraising and donations to a total of $105,146.53, with expenses of $80,703.33 to election day, leaving $24,443.20 unspent.

The documents filed indicate that the BC Liberals put some significant money towards trying to unseat Ms. Rice the incumbent MLA, having transferred $103,246,53 towards Mr. Pond's campaign through to election day.

Of the expenses through April and May, media advertising claimed the largest chunk at $36,631, followed by newsletter and promotional material at $10,000 plus and office expenses at $4200 plus.

The Green Party's Hondo Arendt ran the most parsimonious campaign and one that was for the most part self funded, a total of 445 dollars is listed, with an additional contribution of 50 dollars declared to round out the statement declaration.

The only significant expense listed as part of the summary of expenses, 495 dollars worth of newsletter and promotional material.

There were no transfers recorded from the BC Greens towards the local campaign.

In the end, as the votes were counted, it would seem that Ms. Rice received the best return on investment for the 2017 campaign, claiming the North Coast seat by a significant margin over Mr. Pond.

The Green party's Hondo Arendt was the third place finisher on the North Coast.

2017 Final Results from Elections BC

Jennifer Rice -- 5,243
Herb Pond -- 3,079
Hondo Arendt -- 826

The full summary disclosures for each candidate from the 2017 North Coast campaign can be examined in detail from the links below:

Jennifer Rice -- NDP
Herb Pond -- BC Liberals
Hondo Arendt -- BC Green Party

More background on the North Coast's representation at the Legislature can be found on our Legislature Archive page.

Further notes of interest related to the provincial political scene can be reviewed on our political portal D'Arcy McGee.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Victoria Viewpoints: Tuesday, August 15, 2017

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

BC Wildfire emergency in Cariboo/Interior

An archive of notes from the BC wildfires 

B.C.'s Attorney-General not intent on capping election spending
B.C. aims for $15 minimum wage by 2021, lagging behind other provinces
Thousands of hectares burned as B.C. nears worst wildfire season
B.C. Jobs Minister's apology to fired LNG advocate not enough, lawyer says
Vancouver Mayor says city can't stop planned right-wing rally
B.C. MP says feds need to move faster on fisheries legislation
Investigation opened after decapitated bear found on Haida Gwaii beach
B.C. provincial government lukewarm on Victoria's Commonwealth Games bid
B.C. to boost minimum wage by 50 cents to $11.35
B.C. grizzly hunter calls new provincial ban wasteful, hurtful to local economies
B.C. to raise minimum wage by 50 cents an hour and promises $15 an hour
B.C. political parties release election spending totals
B.C.'s minimum wage rises to $11.35 per hour on Sept. 15
Engine problems sideline V2V Victoria-Vancouver ferry
Inertia deflected change on civic front
NDP must show plans for jobs
NDP to raise B.C. minimum wage by 50 cents
BC Green party leader slams NDP grizzly hunt ban as 'political spin'
NDP out-fundraising Liberals so far in 2017
NDP Government to end Grizzly Bear Trophy Hunting
Blame BC Liberal neglect, Not Climate Change, for Year of Fires
How Churches and Service Clubs can ease housing crunch
British Columbia will have a $15 Minimum Wage by 2021
Wildfires area  climate-change wake-up call
Engine problems sideline V2V Victoria-Vancouver ferry

Ottawa Observations: Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Federal scene for  Tuesday, August 15, 2017

BC Wildfires

Our archive of notes can be found here

NAFTA's first round of talks will jump right into Chapter 19
Canadian labour groups hope to even playing field in NAFTA talks
Trump, NAFTA and Canada's mostly reasonable wish list
Andrew Scheer's inclusive appeal shouldn't leave room for alt-right
Ireland's Prime Minister to join Trudeau in Montreal pride parade
Canadians killed in Burkina Faso remembered for desire to help others
Canada to clarify immigration policies with U.S. asylum seekers
Race to replace Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall gets first entrant
Ottawa to look at regulatory efficiency in environmental review revamp
NAFTA 2.0: Will our feminist government walk the equality talk?
Freeland outlines some of Canada's NAFTA priorities
Military reviewing investigation of "Proud Boys" who disrupted Halifax Indigenous ceremony
Modest money: small sums obscure more than 40 per cent of federal political donations
Tip 1 of Freeland's Art of the Deal: Expect things to get messy
Irish PM Leo Varadkar to march with Justin Trudeau in Montreal's Pride parade Sunday
Heritage minister orders CRTC To review decision to lower Canadian content
'Disgusting things to say': Petition calls for removal of Indigenous veterans leader
On NAFTA, Chrystia Freeland rightly sees an opportunity
Bizarre NAFTA demands a Liberal ploy
A first in Canada, this cutting-edge new intersection slashes congestion and saves lives
Meanwhile at the trade talks: Steady hands lead teams about to make-over NAFTA
Liberals plan for gender and indigenous chapters in NAFTA not likely to happen
Brad Wall is a good man, but not all that conservative
Health care's free in Canada right? Wrong, and you're paying a lot more than you think
Canada's illogical refugee policy favours illegal migrants
Justin Trudeau eyes possible trip to Mexico in October amid NAFTA talks
Strife in U.S. poses daunting policy test for Canada
Wildfires are a climate-change wake-up call

Jennifer Rice hails "a promise kept" with end to Grizzly Bear Trophy Hunt in BC

On Monday, the new NDP Government led by Premier John Horgan outlined its plans to bring to an end the annual Grizzly Bear Trophy Hunt in British Columbia.

Monday's announcement means that this years hunt, which is officially underway in the Peace country as of today, is set to be the last in the province.

Doug Donaldson, the Minister of Forest, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development made the announcement, providing the background to the government's plan to bring the hunt to an end.

“By bringing trophy hunting of grizzlies to an end, we’re delivering on our commitment to British Columbians, This action is supported by the vast majority of people across our province. 

In particular, we owe it to generations past and future to do all we can to protect the beauty and uniqueness of the Great Bear Rainforest. We believe the action we’re taking goes beyond the commitment to Coastal First Nations made as part of the 2016 Great Bear Rainforest agreements.”

The news was greeted with enthusiasm by North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice, who in a Facebook post this morning noted that the end to trophy hunting for Grizzly Bears was a promise made to citizens by the NDP, reflecting how the hunt is "not within our collective values".

To go with her update on the NDP announcement Ms. Rice included a You Tube video, reviewing a discussion with Chief Councillor Doug Nealoss of the Kitasso/Xai'Xai  First Nation on the theme of the grizzly bears and wildlife management in the region.

It's estimated that there are some 15,000 grizzly bears in British Columbia, with 250 of the animals taken by hungers each year. While the trophy hunt will come to an end, hunting for meat will continue to be allowed in British Columbia.

The province will consult with First Nations and stakeholder groups this fall to work on a the next steps towards bringing the hunt to an end and engage in a broader consultation process on wildlife management.

More notes related to the end of the trophy hunt, which comes into effect as of November 30th can be found here.

Further background on notes of interest from the Legislature can be reviewed on our archive page, while more expansive notes on BC Politics can be found on our political portal D'Arcy McGee.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

North Coast shore-workers bearing brunt of troubled fishing season

Employee call outs at Canadian Fish have been fewer and fewer this summer
as Prince Rupert feels the impact of another troubled fishing season

The North Coast fishery once an economic engine for Prince Rupert in the summer months and beyond, continues to show its strains and struggles this year with low stock returns and changing corporate planning providing for a double hit on the local industry and with it setting the scene for what will be a challenging fall and winter months for those that work at local plants.

Anyone who has walked or driven past the giant Canadian Fish plant at the foot of George Hills Way and Dry dock road can't help but notice the empty parking lot and significantly reduced level of trucks transiting to and from the plant this summer.

With few hours of employment for those workers that are even called in to work this year, the prospect of EI qualification could be a significant issue for the community as what little employment available begins to wind down by late September, something which could see local social services once again stretched to the breaking point.

A CBC British Columbia News story from yesterday offers up the testimony from local workers as to just how dire this year has been so far, along with with their fears for the future of the industry on the North Coast and what that may mean for the community as local workers no longer can find work here.

Such has been the news out of the fish plants this summer that UFAWU-Unifor the labour organization that represents the workers in Prince Rupert has already telegraphed its plans to seek out some assistance from North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice, a post on their Facebook page of a week ago indicating their plans to discuss fishery issues with her once the summer wildfire season has come to an end.

UFAWU's Northern rep, Joy Thorkelson also offered up some commentary on the impact of DFO decisions on the commercial sector this year, as well as to offer up some background related to the themes of the Northwest recreational and sport fishery, as well as the First Nations fishery, providing her review through a letter to the editor for the Terrace Standard on August 6th.

This years salmon fishery has once again put the focus on the declining fish stock returns, as well as reinforced the impact that has been felt in the community from the decision by Canadian Fish to remove their canning lines at the George Hills Plant, a move which has meant a large number of former workers to try and seek out other employment options as the fishing industry continues its retrenchment.

More notes related to fishing in the Northwest can be found on our archive page.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Add a Wi-Fi break to your highway travels in British Columbia

Hitting the highway doesn't necessarily mean that you have to be out of touch, with the province of British Columbia rolling out a new highway initiative this week to start the process of making for wifi hot spots on the provinces highway system.

One Northwest location has been included in the Free Wi-Fi Hot Spot program to this point, with Glacier View rest area on Highway 16 north of Smithers now Wi-fi live, offering a chance for travellers to take a break, avoid using their phones while on the road and hopefully aid in the quest to reduce distracted driving situations.

The program which has expansion plans in mind for next year is a partnership with Telus and ICBC.

A full list of the current Wi-Fi Spots in BC, as well as more background on the program can be found here.

More notes related to travel along the Highway 16 corridor can be reviewed here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Monday, August 14, 2017

Victoria Viewpoints: Monday, August 14, 2017

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

BC Wildfire emergency in Cariboo/Interior

An archive of notes from the BC wildfires 

B.C. moves to ban grizzly bear trophy hunting
B.C. Jobs Minister's apology to fired LNG advocate not enough, lawyer says
Small businesses affected by B.C. wildfires eligible for emergency grants
B.C. environmental group urges stop to Ajax Mine project over water-safety concerns
'We haven't even had a full week': fisheries workers in Prince Rupert struggling to make ends meet
Investigation launched after B.C. father visits hospital 4 times before stroke diagnosis
B.C. to end grizzly bear trophy hunting after this season
B.C. government announces emergency grant for small businesses, First Nations impacted by wildfires
NDP has yet to put price tag on 'defending B.C.'s interests' in pipeline expansion fight
NDP to enact BC wide ban on grizzly trophy hunt, while allowing hunt for meat
Grizzly bear trophy hunt to end November 30
NDP government ends grizzly bear trophy hunt in B.C.
Can Horgan Fix BC's Broken Environmental Protection System?

Ottawa Observations: Monday, August 14, 2017

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Federal scene for  Monday, August 14, 2017

BC Wildfires

Our archive of notes can be found here

Freeland outlines some of Canada's NAFTA priorities
Rebel Media co-founder quits over company's perceived ties to right-wing groups
Federal prison takes down kennel-like exercise pens for inmates in solitary confinement
Heritage Minister orders CRTC to review decision lowering Canadian content
Armenian-Canadians urge Liberals to stop export of armoured vehicles to Azerbaijan
Canada's goals for 'progressive' NAFTA include Labour and environmental standards, gender equality
Why NDP leadership hopeful Jagmeet Singh might need thousands of new members to win
Canada's 10 NAFTA demands: A list of what Canada wants as talks start this week
Politicians like Brad Wall must take the fall for boom and bust
2 Canadians among 18 killed in Burkina Faso attack
NAFTA talks start this week: Meet the U.S. lead negotiator who praised the deal
Two Canadians, pregnant newlywed student and volunteer killed in Burkina Faso attack
Politicians, agencies have no right to block critical social media comments
NAFTA: Keep calm and carry on
Is the Liberals' NAFTA wish list a sign they are setting up talks to fail?
Strife in U.S. poses daunting policy test for Canada

Northwest Resource Benefits Alliance members hail new government's engagement on revenue issues

A delegation of members of the Northwest Resource Benefits Alliance recently met with officials of the new NDP government in Victoria, and when they came out of their meetings with provincial team,  the Northwest delegation offered up some enthusiastic reviews of their get together.

Representing the Northwest at the discussion were: RBA Chair Bill Miller, Co-Chair Mayor Phil Germuth, Co-Chair Barry Pages and Mayor Lee Brain

As part of their engagement on a number of resource topics, the group met with  a range of provincial officials which included Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Carole James, Minister of Finance, Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary, Emergency Preparedness.

Also in attendance were Premier Horgan’s Chief of Staff, Geoff Meggs and Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver.

Resource Benefits Association Chair Bill Miller seemed to capture the spirit of the engagement with the provincial government group with a statement issued today:

“We commend the new BC NDP government’s steadfast commitment to the RBA,  ... Revenue sharing is the single most important issue to Northwest BC communities. We are pleased and grateful that the ministers, Mr. Weaver and senior staff made time for us and offered such strong support at this very busy time of transition for the government.”

Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain
was recently in Victoria part of
a Northwest delegation engaged
in discussions on resource benefits
Following the meetings, Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain expressed his confidence as to how he sees the process moving forward.

“The provincial government will now determine which ministry and senior staff representatives will lead negotiations with the RBA, ... The ministers are already familiar with the RBA issues, so we are confident that the right team will be put together quickly.”

For his part, Kitimat Mayor Phil Germuth outlined his observations on how the collective engagement could bring the entire Northwest closer to reaching its economic potential.

 “One of the main messages we heard from the ministers was how important and significant it is to have all 21 local governments from Vanderhoof to Masset, working together,  ... Coming together in solidarity on an issue that faces all of us is going to be key to ensuring the Northwest gets what it needs to move from a have-not region to achieve its full potential.”

The northwest delegation noted that they had received an overwhelming reaffirmation from the NDP provincial government of their election promise to begin negotiations for a revenue sharing agreement fit for the Northwest, with those discussions expected to begin in earnest later this fall.

The municipal and regional officials will re-connect with their provincial counterparts next month, when British Columbia's local government leaders assemble at the annual Union of BC Municipalities conference in Vancouver.

The full statement from the organization can be reviewed here.

A short overview of what the Alliance hopes to achieve from its negotiations with the province can be examined here.

You can learn more about the efforts of the Northwest Benefits Alliance from their website  and Facebook page.

For more items related to the provincial government see our Legislature archive page here, while a larger overview of provincial issues can be found on our portal D'Arcy McGee.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

One month window for Prince Rupert groups to submit applications for Community Grants

Non profit/Volunteer Community Groups in Prince Rupert have a little over thirty days to put together their application for funding from the City of Prince Rupert's Community Enhancement Grant process, with the deadline for applications for this years intake set for mid- September.

The annual call for applications sets in motion the decision making process for City staff and council members as they look to balance civic finances with community requests each year.

A guide to some of the community groups that have been assisted through the city's grant process can be found from the City's Annual Statement of Financial Information released each May.

The most recent listings, released earlier this year highlight the grant recipients as of December of 2016, with the City distributing over 1 million, 300 thousand dollars in funding that year.

An announcement from Friday (see here) outlined the scope of this years application process, the city is targeting January of 2018 as to when they will notify the successful applicants.

Completed application forms (available online here) must be completed in full with supporting documentation attached and submitted to City Hall by 4 PM on September 15th.

Some aspects for how the city is approaching grant money for civic groups have been under review over the last few years, with City Council looking to provide for more stable funding for larger groups such as the Prince Rupert Library and Lester Centre.

However, the smaller groups will continue to be considered under the current process of yearly applications.

For more items related to the City of Prince Rupert see our archive page here, further background on City Council discussions can be reviewed from our Council Discussion page.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

A new look at Provincial politics is on the horizon

For those that can never quite get enough background on provincial politics some good news in the offing, as an Ontario based publication makes its plans to enter the British Columbia new market.

An ad seeking a Victoria based reporter for a new publication called British Columbia Today has been listed, offering up a bit of a twist on the skill testing question aspect of employment searches.

Beyond the listing of the required skills that BC Today will be looking for, samples of your past writing will be required to be attached to your application, along with answers to three questions requiring a paragraph of your finest observations:

1) Did Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon make the right decision when she swore in John Horgan as premier? Why or why not? 2) 

If you had to hold one cabinet portfolio in the Province of British Columbia, which would you want to hold and why? 

 3) Explain in your own words how a government bill will get passed into law under the current B.C. government.

We're not sure what the timeline of employment might be suggesting, with the full time job listed as a contract position that lasts four months, with a potential to renew

(perhaps BC Today doesn't expect the drama in BC politics, or the minority government situation at the Leg to continue beyond November).

Those with an interest in covering the Victoria beat for the new publication have until August 20th to submit their resumes and their essay observations on the questions provided.

You can review the full job ad here.

BC Today would appear to be heading towards a September launch, with the Legislature position set to begin at the end of August.

The subscription based journal in Ontario, is that of a newsletter style, numbering towards six pages or so each day, offering up a synopsis of the day's events  and appears targeted towards the public service, politicians, and those that interact with them on a daily basis.

A sample version of the Ontario version is available here, offering a glimpse as to what the BC version may look like once it hits the Internet.

Alison Smith, the publisher hosts a twitter feed that offers up political commentary through the day, as well as background notes on the Queens Park Today version of the service.

More notes related to Northwest representation at the Legislature can be found on our archive page here, while a larger overview of the political scene is available on our political portal D'Arcy McGee.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Victoria Viewpoints: Saturday/Sunday August 12 and 13, 2017

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

BC Wildfire emergency in Cariboo/Interior

An archive of notes from the BC wildfires 

Vancouver struggles with demand for space in downtown schools
British Columbia's once-feted public auto insurer in financial crisis
Kinder Morgan: Let's move from battleground to common ground
ICBC in 'on the path to insolvency' and there's no clear fix
B.C. minister apologizes to Gordon Wilson for comments about work performance
Cruise ship industry warns Vancouver can't keep pace with demand
NDP orders review of government reliance on industry-hired experts
B.C. rules out amalgamating capital region, ponders more sharing of services
Exports of wood time us to the U.S.
Barring the gates no solution for our parks
Showdown looming over pipeline stall
B. C. government removes 4 of 5 board members overseeing Port Mann Bridge
B.C. Jobs Minister issues full retraction over claims regarding former LNG advocate
John Horgan's new NDP government - this feels like ... progress

Ottawa Observations: Saturday/Sunday, August 12-13, 2017

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Federal scene for  Saturday/Sunday, August 12-13, 2017

BC Wildfires

Our archive of notes can be found here

Freeland to address MPs on Canada's approach in NAFTA talks
Industry associations lobby Liberals ahead of NAFTA talks
Meet Chrystia Freeland, the woman defining Canada's foreign role
Will Trump use the 'madman' strategy in NAFTA negotiations?
Ontario eyes Quebec as source for clean power
TransCanada's pipeline outages weigh on natural gas industry
How many more Saudi videos does Ottawa need to see?
Former heads of Indigenous group point to where missing, murdered inquiry went wrong
Canada stakes out ground as historic NAFTA rewrite begins
Memo raises doubts about who was 'architect' of residential schools
Parti Quebecois wants to nix Safe Third Country Agreement amid asylum seeker boom
Small business owners say they are unfairly targeted by proposed tax changes
Canadian pastor freed by North Korea describes 'loneliness' of imprisonment
Liberal MP Darshan Kang accused of sexual harassment
Nebraska governor encourages Trump to not 'disrupt' relationship with Canada
Jagmeet Singh won't seek federal Commons seat until 2019 if chosen as NDP leader
'Extremely complex': How the hunt for clues in the Franklin shipwreck mystery is changing gears
Canada had 2 meetings with North Korean officials this week
Provinces must act to stop Big Pharma from hurting Canadians
Industry groups eyeing NAFTA talks pick up Liberal lobby
Whisky, shouting matches and cigarette ashes: What history tells us about NAFTA talks
Wait - maybe Charlie Angus leads the NDP leadership race
With Brad Wall gone, the energy sector needs a new defender
The new NAFTA must crack down on criminal industries
The great carbon scam
Brad Wall goes out on top

Friday, August 11, 2017

Victoria Viewpoints: Friday, August 11, 2017

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

BC Wildfire emergency in Cariboo/Interior

An archive of notes from the BC wildfires 

In B.C. and Alberta, regulators show signs of overcoming patio paranoia
Why LNG remains a coveted green solution
B.C. government removes majority of board overseeing Port Mann Bridge
Squamish paramedics want to add to B.C.'s air ambulance toolbox
Concerns about integrity of public health-care system prompt audits in B.C.
B.C.'s impending Kinder Morgan challenge is another straw on a very beleaguered camel
Four of five members on board overseeing Port Mann bridge tolls removed
Alberta could retaliate against B.C. over Trans Mountain, but it could get very ugly observers say
How to bungle a termination
Multi-pronged attack launched in B.C.'s pipeline politics
B.C.'s pipeline showdown begins
Human rights back on the agenda
Public banned from backcountry in the Cariboo due to wildfire risk
NEB approves Northeastern BC pipeline expansion project
Lack of affordable housing in the Okanagan being called a crisis
Tyee story on Translink data sharing with police prompts provincial investigation
Dining with Deputy Ministers for $275 a plate
LGBT health organizations ask B.C. government to cover HIV prevention drugs
B.C. Green Party leader questions NDP's 'no' to photo radar
'John whisperers' may be dispensable in party of smiles

Ottawa Observations: Friday, August 11, 2017

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Federal scene for  Friday, August 11, 2017

BC Wildfires

Our archive of notes can be found here

Freeland pledges support for U.S. as tensions escalate with North Korea
Ottawa announces measures to address right whale deaths in Gulf of St. Lawrence
Force drug firms to reveal payments to doctors, health leaders urge
MMIWG inquiry needs a reset. There's too much at stake
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Skeena MLA Ellis Ross raises concerns over NDP's Kinder Morgan pipeline approach

The Kinder Morgan pipeline is going
to be one of the NDPs first political battles
Yesterday's announcement by the governing NDP that they would be securing the services of a legal team to try and stop the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline is giving the opposition Liberals an early talking point, with Skeena's MLA Ellis Ross taking the lead in challenging that NDP position.

At a new conference held on Thursday, George Heyman the provinces Environment and Climate Change Strategy Minister, along with Attorney General David Eby outlined the government's position on Kinder Morgan.

“We are committed to fighting for B.C.’s interests and it is government’s desire to seek intervenor status in legal challenges to federal approval of the pipeline expansion and increased oil tanker traffic off B.C.'s coast,” ... “Mr. Berger will provide legal advice to government on the options for participation in legal challenges, and those hearings are scheduled to begin in federal court later this fall.” -- Attorney General David Eby on Kinder Morgan

Among the tools that the NDP plan to use, will be the services of Thomas Berger a long serving legal mind on issues of First Nations affairs in Canada and a former leader of the NDP, he will serve as external counsel to the government as part of their legal action related to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion plans.

You can review the government's complete announcement here.

The announcement to set in motion the legal challenge to the planned expansion quickly caught the attention of Skeena's Liberal MLA Ellis Ross, a former Chief Councillor with the Haisla Nation.

Mr. Ross who is serving as the Liberal's natural gas and petroleum resources critic outlined his concern over the message that the NDP is sending to investors in the energy sector.

Speaking to Mike Smyth of the Vancouver Province, who was hosting the CKNW"s Simi Sara show today, Ross expressed his shock and dismay offered up the view that the NDP were now sending a message that even if an energy proponent achieved all its benchmarks and regulatory approvals, there is no guarantee that the NDP government will respect that process and allow a project to be built.

During the course of his interview with Smyth, Ross offered up a range of observations on First nations concerns in addition to the theme of rights and titles, as well as putting some focus on the impact of NDP decisions on economic growth for the province and the message that it is sending out beyond B.C.'s borders.

"I can't believe that they have run out of tools so quickly, that they are going to use First Nations as a tool to stop a project in BC ... to use consultation as a reason, that's a very vague general reason, you're not going to get 100 per cent consensus on any project. when you're talking about rights and title." -- Ellis Ross speaking to Mike Smyth on CKNW Thursday 

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross on the NDP's Kinder Morgan announcement

You can review Mr. Ellis's full interview with Smyth from the CKNW audio portal, starting at the 12:17  point from the noon hour portion of the Thursday August 10 version of the show.

Also weighing in on the discussion over the NDP's legal moves was interim Opposition Leader Rich Coleman, who observes in a statement released today that British Columbians should be concerned that their government is spending tax dollars to stop a project that not only boosts British Columbia's local economies but would also be of benefit for the rest of the country.

Energy issues have quickly provided some of the early focus on the new NDP government of John Horgan, since coming to power last month, the NDP have seen a major LNG project at Port Edward cancelled by Petronas which cited market concerns for their decision.

Fallout on LNG issues also came from their handling of the the banishment of Gordon Wilson, with the Premier offering an apology for some of the comments related to the termination of Wilson from his duties promoting the prospects fo LNG development in the province.

As well, the NDP were quick to address their concerns over the proposed Site C hydro development in Northeast BC, putting that mega project under a review process.

More background related to the Legislature can be found here.

For further items related to British Columbia politics see our political portal D'Arcy McGee

 Cross posted from the North Coast Review