We must completely obliterate the BC Liberal Party. Because children aren’t pawns, except to the BC Liberal Party.
First Nation rejects province’s Pacific Trail cheque after child welfare program hitched to pipeline offer
A ham-fisted attempt to win First Nations support for the province’s liquefied natural gas ambitions has backfired, threatening support for the Pacific Trail pipeline needed to bring natural gas to Kitimat for a proposed LNG plant.
The Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have returned a cheque to the province and have backed away from a proposed agreement on the pipeline after the B.C. Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation linked its LNG offer to continued funding for vulnerable children in the northern coastal community.
“When we saw that they had rolled up our child welfare program in the LNG offer, we were dismayed. This is an absolute proof of the sharp dealings across this province to get this LNG initiative,” said Debbie Pierre, executive director for the Office of the Wet’suwet’en.
Despite being Metro News, Emily Jackson’s great piece yesterday [below] about how brutally cruel the Saskatchewan government is should make us mindful of a number of issues.
Not the least of which is that the neoliberal Saskatchewan Party has been photocopying many of the worst of BC’s regressive and anti-social policies.
That makes the BC Liberal government Saskatchewan’s poor-bashing mentor.
Let’s re-spin this piece and explore some key context, then work up some solutions!
In Saskatchewan there’s a lot of racism and classism and discrimination against the poor and those with mental health issues. BC too.
1 in 7 people in Saskatchewan is aboriginal.
In Saskatchewan, the police have been known to drive aboriginals out of town to dump them on the outskirts of town. In the winter. There are even jovial nicknames for that little jaunt.
Saskatchewan has cut funding to shelters. So has BC. It’s called poorbashing. People, after all, should pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Because, after all, we are all born with equal opportunity to succeed in life! [Myth, as you know.]
The BC premier is an opportunistic liar when it comes to the 2 men the Saskatchewan Party put on a bus with a one-way ticket to BC: “Wherever they are in Canada, we should be supporting them… if they decide to come to British Columbia, we’re going to support them in that.” There are hundreds of thousands of stories of people in BC who are being degraded, de-funded, insulted and left to dangle in the wind from almost 15 years of cuts to social programs. Perhaps she thinks these men from the bus can work in LNG because that’s mythical as the BC Liberal Party social conscience.
A Vancouver city councillor is deluded if he really believes his own words, that he “hopes Saskatchewan will look to British Columbia and Vancouver for how to properly treat people who need low barrier shelters.” Vancouver has a dismal record of actually contending with homelessness and inadequate housing. And if he really believes that anyone should look to the BC government for how to deal with the poor, he’s at best disingenuous. But then he shows his weakening credibility: “We’re a humane and just society here in Vancouver, and certainly our province is as well,” Jang said. “You just don’t treat people that way.” BC treats its vulnerable populations hideously. Our province is a train wreck.
This isn’t really all that difficult. #1-6 indicate some intentional planning, based on sincerity and integrity and actual concern to ensure that people in a rich country like Canada don’t have to live in squalor.
Which brings us to #8. Welcome, #8! Canadians are ignorant or oblivious or criminally indifferent to the squalor we have created over generations on reserves and for off-reserve first peoples. We are content with their inadequate housing, untreated mental health disorders and addictions, pathetic healthcare and education, insufficient physical and social infrastructure, and a myriad of other socio-economic problems reminiscent of 21st century failed states. And you won’t see any comments on this piece about how they just need to pull themselves up by their…bootstraps. I’ll just delete them upon submission. So there’s that.
Oh, and we also need the post-carbon energy infrastructure transition to ramp up to 11 now because delaying will create climate chaos that will exacerbate all the socio-economic problems above, and many more.
Ultimately, we can simply coordinate our ample brain power, increasing tax base and will to create a just and equitable Canada for everyone.
And if that isn’t compelling enough for you because it’s the right thing to do, imagine if you weren’t born who you were. Imagine you were born lacking the socio-economic entitlements you have and you lived in communities like I mentioned in #8. Bad luck, eh.
If you have the neurons to even just imagine that, then ask yourself, shouldn’t you be advocating for public policy that would provide people with the best shot at a good life on the off chance that you would have been born into a vulnerable community? After all, all humans deserve an equal chance to have a good life, and not be born into deprivation, right?
And if the answer is no, it’s probably because you weren’t and you’re ok enjoying your entitlements while others born into vulnerability can just rot.
There’s a word for that kind of person. Many words, even.
British Columbia Premier Christy Clark said the province should and will help the two homeless men en route to the west coast after the Saskatchewan government bought them one-way bus tickets to B.C., where neither had social services lined up.
Saskatchewan’s ministry of social services spent $500 on B.C.-bound bus tickets for the two First Nations men instead of helping them at home, where their local shelter recently faced funding cuts, the Saskatoon Star Phoenix reported Wednesday.
According to the newspaper, one man has family in Victoria and one, a 21-year-old who struggles with mental health problems, doesn’t know a soul in Vancouver, his final destination. The men embarked from North Battleford, Sask. Tuesday night, but it’s not clear whether they arrived in B.C.
Regardless, Clark said the province stands ready to help, adding that B.C.’s strong economy is attracting a variety of people.
“I think everybody in British Columbia would say we want to support people with serious mental illness and we want to make sure they get the care that they need,” Clark told reporters. “Wherever they are in Canada, we should be supporting them… if they decide to come to British Columbia, we’re going to support them in that.”
Vancouver Coun. Kerry Jang, who is also a psychiatry professor at UBC who researches mental illness, said this story shows homelessness is a problem across Canada, not just in major centres, and called for a national homelessness strategy. Meanwhile, he hopes Saskatchewan will look to British Columbia and Vancouver for how to properly treat people who need low barrier shelters.
“To treat two human beings that way, slapping them on the bus, one reportedly with mental health issues, to send them off into the night, is absolutely disgusting,” Jang said.
“I hope Saskatchewan learns from this and says we’ve got to invest in our social services and get people the best care to get them on their feet again, not push it off and hope fate will take care of them.”
The Star Phoenix reported that Saskatchewan social workers have the discretion to buy people bus tickets, usually to join family, but it is not typical. The government announced Wednesday it will review the case.
Vancouver’s annual homeless count takes place Wednesday night to Thursday morning. If volunteers meet either man, they will offer help.
“We’re a humane and just society here in Vancouver, and certainly our province is as well,” Jang said. “You just don’t treat people that way.”
U.K. officials announced legislation Friday that will require businesses with more than 250 employees to publish the differences in average salaries and bonuses between male and female employees. A government-sponsored website will rank businesses by their gender pay gap, spotlighting companies that have failed to address wage disparities.
“In recent years we’ve seen the best employers make groundbreaking strides in tackling gender inequality,” Minister for Women and Equalities Nicky Morgan said in a statement. “But the job won’t be complete until we see the talents of women and men recognized equally and fairly in every workplace.” She added that such measures would leave “nowhere for gender inequality to hide.”
One of the big bads from the 1980s is starting to emerge again in Alberta. Jingle mail — the act of walking away from an underwater mortgage by mailing your keys back to the bank — is a peculiarity of the Alberta residential market and an act of desperation. However, a combination of high debt and lost jobs make it an option in a province going through a significant economic reckoning.
It’s a report that could change the way that homeless people are treated in Canada. Funded by the federal government, “At Home/Chez Soi” is the largest study of its kind, with five years of research conducted in five major cities. It’s estimated that more than 150,000 people are homeless across the country, costing Canadians $1.4 billion each year.
The report suggests putting homeless people in housing, even before they have dealt with other problems such as mental illness and addiction, works to improve their lives. And it saves money.
The EU is a powerful vehicle for neoliberalism. When democracy in Greece pushes back, we see the length the EU will go to punish and control Greece.
Neoliberalism is inherently anti-democratic. Greece deserves our support. And we need to continue to oppose neoliberalism and the soft fascism in Canada [like C-51] that the Conservative and Liberal coalition have been pushing for decades.
Viewed from either side of the political spectrum, the EU looks like a disaster right now:
The conservatives are proven correct about the way the EU takes away national sovereignty: The Greeks voted in a referendum to reject the bailout … but were forced to accept it anyway.
And the leftists are proven correct about the way the banks control everything, and everyone else gets screwed: The Greek economy has been brought to its knees by debt, provided first by private investment banks like Goldman Sachs and then by Europe’s ruling German-French elite in the IMF and the EU. The entire bailout is structured to benefit the lending banks the most, not the people of Greece.
Suddenly, the tinfoil hat conspiracy theorists look like they were right all along!
This is the environment into which British Prime Minister David Cameron is calling for a national in/out referendum on the EU in the UK next year.
I’m sure it was just a coincidence that they both happened on Friday.
And I find it astonishing that Neil Dubord, the head of the Translink police [or his social media lackeys] would choose to follow my largely apolitical personal Twitter account [unless he also likes Pink Floyd and the Baltimore Orioles].
Also on Friday. More coincidence. Maybe he expected me to weigh in on why people hate his Translink cops. So here goes. Spoiler: it’s because some of them like to assault, bully and terrorize people, over $2.75.
So more broadly, why do people hate the Translink police?
When they cease to be public servants and peace keepers and begin to be terrorists.
In the post-9/11 world when a “democratic” [sic] government in Canada can pass, let alone introduce the fascist Bill C-51, which erodes our constitution, we are all, clearly, far more tolerant of totalitarianism among our authorities.
And let’s not pretend that this is just a problem with America, highlighted with the #BlackLivesMatter instances.
Why do cops assault and beat people?
Those that do may get off on it, the power trip.
They are racists, bigots or violently unhappy people with a desire to destroy others lives.
They are bullies and seek a job that lets them be bullies.
They have a sense of entitlement.
They feel they are immune from the laws that apply to the rest of us in a civilization.
They are rageful, violent people needing to beat up the weak and vulnerable.
They are sociopaths or psychopaths.
They are addicts and not in control of their faculties.
Body armour and guns [and maybe some day dogs too!] make them feel special/powerful.
Do you remember several years ago when someone thought it was a good idea to give guns to Skytrain cops? Largely to enforce $2.75 fares and $173 fare evasion tickets? But really, it’s to shoot the bad guys.
Do you remember someone decided that Translink cops in their cars could enforce a variety of laws far away from transit services? The police and RCMP are contracted to municipalities where there is civilian oversight. The Translink cops are accountable to Translink, which is a puppet of the BC government, which has been staunchly anti-accountable for virtually all of this century.
And remember when someone thought it was a good idea as well to give Skytrain cops attack dogs to hunt down the fare evaders, or sorry, bad guys? Thank all the people who lit their hair on fire about this egregious piece of lunacy; it never happened. But maybe now it will because now, if you are poor and you ask a bus driver for a free ride, and the Translink cops with their guns get on your bus for a fare check, they may beat you up, because of the $2.75 you didn’t have to pay, and because of the $173 fine they believe they are entitled to charge you, and because of the 9+ reasons above.
You just have look around the world to see what is taking place and what has been targeted to see what could happen. We already see the dogs in use right here at the airport. I have not heard any protest to that. We move close to 72 million people a year, we owe it to them to do the utmost to protect them.
But when people don’t trust the violent, rageful Translink cops, why would we want them unleashing dogs on us, or the poor, or dude who literally lost his faresaver? What kind of society do we want to live in, anyway?
So, read this careful:
When the driver allows someone to have a free ride, they are not a fare evader. They do not deserve to be taken down on the concrete.
Honk if you agree.
People ask for free rides because they are poor. Many who are poor don’t ask; many who aren’t poor, do. Drivers, I expect, have been given permission to allow free rides to avoid confrontations and escalations, particularly with people who may be dangerous, which is not synonymous with the poor. Seriously, which bus driver wants to escalate and possibly get attacked over $2.75?
So if a transit employee allows someone to get a free ride, why should another transit employee get to beat them up for that.
That’s called a mindfuck. It’s not OK. But why does it happen? See the 9+ reasons above.
And if you’re wondering about one particular reason why a lot of people didn’t vote or voted no in the Translink funding blackmail referendum, it’s because a lot of people think the Translink cops are violent thugs, looking for excuses to bully and attack people.
It’s just that lots of people don’t feel comfortable coming right out and saying that’s why they don’t want to give Translink more money. Even if it’s supposed to go to “good” things, people fear the back door police state will expand with more money. After all, how much do Translink cops make, anyway…all to enforce $2.75 fares? Dozens of them make over $100,000/year.
And before you go all “not all Translink cops are fascist bullies” on me, read about #NotAllMen and save your stupid comments to yourself. I won’t post them here. Life is too short for that; get a grip.
Where is the sense of compassion, dignity and public service these days?
Where are all the Translink cops who believe in protecting, not demeaning the public? And why do they tolerate their peers ruining their reputation?
Who told the Translink cops that a $2.75 fare and a $173 ticket were entitlements to treat other human beings like less than people?
Transit should be free, for these reasons. But it’s not. Yet. And it’s the lifeline for lots of economically struggling and marginalized people. Must it also be a place of dehumanization by our civil authorities themselves?
If the Translink organization is wondering why people hate them, it isn’t just because of Skytrain or escalator breakdowns, or buses that pass us by because they’re full. In the rain. In winter.
In part, it’s because Translink employs cops who like to beat people up. And sensible people think that’s bad, a crime and corrupt.
No one wants to be terrorized on transit. Especially by the police themselves.
So we should take a page out of the #BlackLivesMatter handbook: video record every time you see a Translink cop encounter a person. Every time! Even if nothing illegal or disrespectful happens, make them know that we are all recording them.
All. The. Time. I’m not kidding.
Since they don’t all believe they are servants of the public and keepers of the police, let’s record them all with our smart phones because apparently, they need to learn that they are not above the law.
Not only does a white shirt pepper spray an unarmed man at almost point blank range, watch what else happens.
The white shirt steps back a few steps after filling his face with pepper spray. Is he afraid of retaliation? From a man filled with pepper spray in his face?
Another non-white shirt decides that the injured man, who is taking slow steps backwards, is a sufficient threat that to take him down, he will do so by pulling his hair from behind so the man falls backward onto the street. Surely, there are less violent means of encouraging a seriously injured unarmed man to get on the ground?
When citizens approach the injured man, a swarm of police establish a perimeter and indiscriminately spray pepper spray at the citizens.