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Be opinionated. First, be informed.
Analysis & opinion
from Norman Farrell
"While one Canfor mill shuts down, another opens up, in China."Business in Vancouver, January, 2014:
"The constant flow of B.C. logs to overseas sawmills is hurting local custom cutters and lumber remanufacturers who rely on the fibre. They are finding it hard to source what keeps them in business..."The Globe and Mail, October 2013:
"...West Fraser announced that it will close its mill in Houston, B.C., by mid-2014, while Canfor plans to shut down its mill in Quesnel, B.C., next March..."Ecology and Society, 2013
"We found that the specialty mills ...contributed more jobs per volume of wood consumed and produced, produced more diverse primary and value-added wood products, targeted more diverse markets, and did more trading in logs of different species...
"Although all these activities resulted in more logs flowing toward their highest value use, we found that the specialty mills lacked a secure and adequate timber supply..."
Former auditor general George Morfitt has picked up some contract work as a result of being a member of the provincial government's B.C. horse racing industry management committee. That six-person committee was launched in January to help "restore the the industry's financial strength." And now Mr. Morfitt has been hired by the government's gaming policy and enforcement branch to "offer advice from a point of view independent of the horse racing industry." This, according to a government spokesperson. The notice of intent to award that contract - which is worth up to $25,000 - was rolled out last Wednesday. Mr. Morfitt will also preside over administrative review hearings concerning issues such as the revocation of horse racing registration or a gaming license.Morfitt is obviously a man of talent with expertise ranging from accounting and finance to public policy, horse racing, gambling, ferry operations, car sales, education, pharmaceuticals and public safety including installations involving electrical, gas, pressure vessels, elevating and amusement devices, railroads, etc. That he chooses to practice as a consultant in the public sector arises from his record of success. Success well earned, no doubt.
"Responsible for ensuring sustainable development of the province's land, water, and resources while protecting environmental values."Ignoring its stated role, to ensure development at one large and controversial project does not produce evidence that the fix is in and decisions already made, Environment Minister Mary Polak simply removed her department from further review. Fortuitously, she had booked time with Vaughn Palmer's Voice of BC and the two of them will be able to explain government actions before controversy mounts.
"Environmentalists and the B.C. NDP are questioning the motives behind a government bill signed Monday night that looks set to clear the way for the controversial Jumbo Glacier Resort — and others like it — to avoid any further costly, environmental reviews.The lowdown on changes to BC’s environmental laws, by West Coast Environmental Law.
"The order exempts prospective year-round ski resorts in B.C. from the Environmental Assessment process completely..."
"Grandiose Garibaldi Scheme Falls Flat on Its No-Assets."Some months ago, I tracked the life story of Jumbo Glacier Ski Resort. The proposal has reappeared occasionally since it was first reported in a July 1991 edition of the Vancouver Sun:
"A Japanese-backed company is planning to build a $250-million year-round ski resort on a series of spectacular glaciers west of Panorama..."In 1993, The Province was calling Jumbo Glacier Resort a certainty involving European and Asian investors. Two years later, newspapers said the project was proceeding with support from a consortium of Canadian, U.S. and European investors. In 2012, the Times Colonist repeated promises the ski hill would soon be operational. NW's Bill Good and others try to paint Jumbo as a victim of regulatory foot dragging but actually Jumbo has been an unfinanced scheme with proponents hoping that media play would attract investors. Shills in the corporate "news" operations are willing partners.
"A Federal judge overseeing the Oracle vs. Google patent lawsuit said that search giant has failed to comply with a request to document all payments to bloggers and writers covering the trial.
"...U.S. District Judge William Alsup said in his order:
"The August 7 order was not limited to authors “paid . . . to report or comment” or to “quid pro quo” situations. Rather, the order was designed to bring to light authors whose statements about the issues in the case might have been influenced by the receipt of money from Google or Oracle. For example, Oracle has disclosed that it retained a blogger as a consultant. Even though the payment was for consulting work, the payment might have influenced the blogger’s reports on issues in the civil action...
"Google suggests that it has paid so many commenters that it will be impossible to list them all..."
"Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence.
"The results provide substantial support for theories of Economic Elite Domination and for theories of Biased Pluralism, but not for theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy or Majoritarian Pluralism."
|Source: Economic Policy Institute - H/T Bob Rae|