Category Archives: Agriculture

11 Weeks of Daily Harper Protests

The Harper Re-election Disaster Bus Totalitarianism: daily, for 11 weeks!

Get used to this.

People hate Harper and his Conservatives. We will see through his weak attempt to wedge oppositions parties by running a long election campaign because he has more money to spend.

Saturation will come fast.

We will remember how much contempt he holds for people and democracy.

We will listen to his 5 non-answers to 5 media questions each day and we will be constantly reminded of how much we can’t stand what he has done to Canada.

And we will see this. Every day:

Who Just Lost 63 Trillion Gallons of Water?

A few weeks ago, we saw that the California drought is going to increase BC’s food prices through the rest of the decade.

Scientists know things. This isn’t news to them.

They know we have burned too many fossil fuels so that the climate is changing.

The pine beetle has killed much of BC’s forests because winters haven’t been cold enough to kill them.

This week BC’s coast has experienced the remnants of a Tropical Storm Ana. So, that’s new.

California is becoming more of a desert, leading to increasing wild fires and more droughts.

These are the effects scientists have said would happen.

The BC Liberal Party, however, continues to reject science as if they were merely uneducated or blind with greed, despite having several scientists and doctors among their MLAs. Any cognitive dissonance?

They want to extract and sell as much fossil fuels as they can, so people can burn it instead of creating the post-carbon energy infrastructure of wind, solar, tidal, geothermal, and smarter hydro.

They want to ground the provincial government’s budget around the dirty money that comes from carbon-based fuels.

They want all the oil, gas and coal out of the ground fast so it can be burned for cash, thereby exacerbating climate breakdown.

And they want to flood more farmland for the Site C dam, which is NOT smart hydro, as if our food security weren’t already in peril. Let alone all the townhouses, golf courses and container parking lots covering our ALR lands.

This is not leadership.

This is corruption, greed, short-sightedness, ignorance and the most shameful government policies I’ve seen in my life.

If you still support the BC Liberal Party’s rejection of science, you are as foolish and ignorant as they are.

The Los Angeles Times reported California’s three largest reservoirs are at roughly 30 percent capacity. Other reservoirs are doing better — far better than the statewide average of 41 percent in 1997, when a devastating drought struck the state, said Ted Thomas, spokesman for the California Department of Water Resources.

As of last week Lake Oroville, one of California’s largest reservoirs, was at only 32 percent of its capacity. That’s pretty close to a record low.

The pairs of photographs below show the stark difference at Lake Oroville between 2011 and 2014.


California’s drought: What losing 63 trillion gallons of water looks like – The Washington Post.

Just How Many BC Government Comms Staff Are There?

crowded_factory.jpgBelow are all the job titles of all the comms staff in the BC Government Communications and Public Engagement bodies as of last week. Count with me! 🙂

There are 278 people!

278. That’s more than a few. The records include folks in these two areas:

Government Communications: which tends to the day-to-day communications
functions, including strategic communications, media relations and issues management; and
Strategic Initiatives Division: which largely consists of technical experts who provide
corporate online and data services to government.

But don’t take my word for it; count for yourself. I might be off by a few. My eyes get a bit blurry counting them all.

This part is very curious:

There are over 15 online editors in the “Media Monitoring Services” section alone. With two more online editors in the mega-gravity well, International Trade and Minister Responsible for Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism/Intergovernment Relations Secretariat.

But 278, really? Really?

  1. Is that high or low compared to other provinces/states?
  2. What are their job descriptions?
  3. Do they troll in Twitter, Facebook, the comments section at the CBC and other websites?
  4. How many sock puppets do they each manage, if any?
  5. Or do they just clip newspaper articles and count hashtag usage, and benignly report the data to the ministerial staff?
  6. Do they do partisan work for the BC Liberal Party, or do they do work only on BC government programs?
  7. Why are Agriculture and Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation so devoid of comms staff compared to all other ministries? I can guess. I bet you can too.
  8. If you could FOI, say, 5 job descriptions, which ones would you choose? [Me: online editor, public affairs officer, media monitoring assistant, and I’m still pondering two more.]
  9. Can you think of how to craft an FOI request to determine how much work various of the 278 staffers do that is for government versus for the political party in charge? Because they’ve had a blurring line problem in the past.

Granted, many of these positions are necessary just for government to function. But 278?

278? Say it with me. 278.

And that includes at least one comms director and one comms manager and generally at least 2 public affairs officers for each ministry. Are they really pumping out that much content and fielding that many requests from media? Remember, there are far fewer journalists in BC bopping around asking questions than there used to be before the great corporate media consolidation/purges!

But it turns out, there are only 4-5 news releases each day coming out of all of government. And while comms does far more than just pump out news releases, I wonder whether they might be a bit, you know, overstaffed?

So. here is the list of comms positions. Enjoy!

2014.07.14 Responsive Records