What I Learned: World-Class Roads for B.C. - Just back from a panel on “Innovative Design and Development for World-Class Roadways for B.C.” (One of several cross-Canada events held by the Transporta...
1 hour ago
"The five happiest countries in the world--Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands--are all clustered in the same region, and all enjoy high levels of prosperity.Interesting. Canada's ruling political parties, mainstream media and business supported think tanks all claim that the way to a better society is less government, lower wages and reduced taxation. What are those Scandinavian countries doing wrong? Or, could it be that the higher purpose people in the North American ruling class don't give a fratteratterpeggaloomer about happy citizens.
"The Scandinavian countries do really well," says Jim Harter, a chief scientist at Gallup, which developed the poll. "One theory why is that they have their basic needs taken care of to a higher degree than other countries. When we look at all the data, those basic needs explain the relationship between income and well-being."
The RCMP paid a firm in Arizona more than $44,000 for "executive coaching" and other training for its top official, Commissioner William Elliott, as part of ongoing efforts to improve accountability in the force.Sources tell us his golf handicap improved from 36 to 32.
Elliott spent three days in Scottsdale in July for development of a "leadership action plan" with Malandro Communication, the same company the Royal Canadian Mounted Police intends to hire on a $220,000 contract to coach senior executives in leadership and accountability. . .
The Prime Minister’s Office admits it has received complaints from senior RCMP members about Commissioner William Elliott allegedly being verbally abusive, close-minded, arrogant and insulting.Perhaps Kommissar Elliott needs another three-day $44,000 golf weekend in Arizona. The first executive coaching session on leadership seems not to have worked.
The complainants include some of the force’s top officers, including deputy commissioners Tim Killam and Raf Souccar, the CBC reported Monday evening.
"There is supposed to be zero tolerance in the RCMP for managers who harass their subordinates and yet Elliott epitomized the bully boss."
|Toews & MA|
Government said an independent adviser, not yet chosen, will conduct an assessment but that report will not be made public. Instead, it will be stored in the room for inactive files at the public archives, joining Justice McDonald's Commission Report, David Brown's report on RCMP governance A Matter of Trust, Justice Major's Air India Report and countless pleas from former CPC Commissioner Paul Kennedy for changes in RCMP governance.“We are doing an analysis to see whether these concerns are merited, and if they are, what we do in respect of them.”
"Conservatives are considering appointing a commission to review commission appointments and, until that measure is taken, Prime Minister Harper is not certain whether or not reports already on file should be read. There is a possibility that some information may be out of date and, besides, the reports are awfully long and nobody bothered to highlight the good parts. However, we know our duty and do it well. We will look like we're doing something, even while we're doing nothing."Recommend this post
". . . Systematic under-reporting of civilian casualties in Afghanistan. Some of this is faulty reporting, some of it incoherent, some of it just incomplete. . . "Recommend this post
|Renovated and without window bars|
"Just thought you might be interested in another example of the bs about the HST having a positive effect for business.I suppose it is win-some, lose-some for consumers. The Vancouver newspapers assured us that businesses would pass through saving through elimination of the old retail sales tax so at least those prices went down. Right? No, the single issue price went up 25%. What a surprise. Recommend this post
"Before HST, the SeaWest Lounge was $10.00 to enter when traveling [by BC Ferries] between Schwartz Bay and Tsawwassen.
"I just paid $12 and the person behind the counter said, well, it was going to cost $10.70 so I guess they just took the opportunity to raise the fee!!!!!!"
A 33-year-old woman was charged with "sexual performance of a child," a second-degree felony punishable by 20 years in prison, based on a picture of her breast-feeding her 1-year-old son. Although the district attorney dropped the charges in the case, the parents had to fight for weeks to get their two children back from the Dallas County Child Protective Services.In cases such as that against the Jenkins family and their friends, despite evidence showing that no abuse of the children had occurred, records of the accusations and investigations will be kept on file for years.
|Checking up on Government|
It is impossible not to see irony in how the City of Edmonton has unleashed its publicly-owned utility, EPCOR (and its subsidiaries) to expand operations and generate profits across North America, while the Province of British Columbia -- under Gordon Campbell's BC Liberal government -- has stunted the growth of our publicly-owned utility, BC Hydro and Power Authority.BC Liberals mistrust the capitalist concept of competitive markets where rewards are associated with risks. Instead, they scrambled to eliminate energy investor downsides. That makes no sense in honest government. Of course, Campbell's government has been called many things, but not honest. Perhaps, the methodology is revealed. For some years, we were sold the concept of endless growth causing insatiable appetites for energy, leading to unrestrained demand and ever rising prices.
(Supporters of independent power production in this province often argue that BC Hydro staff do not have the skills needed to build and operate clean or green energy projects. Can it be true that Edmonton's public-sector possesses the requisite skill-sets, but British Columbia's does not?)
Clearly, Edmonton's elected officials have not been frightened by the financial "risk" associated with public-sector power generation, transmission and distribution -- the risk that Campbell, Jaccard and the IPPBC so loudly decry in our province.
Indeed, in BC Hydro's most-recent clean energy call, EPCOR and its related companies continue to seek profit-making opportunities in B.C.
On March 11, an EPCOR-related entity, CP Renewable Energy (B.C.) Limited Partnership won a new, long-term energy purchase agreement from BC Hydro for a wind farm near Tumbler Ridge.
During the last three years, the building boom spawned by green energy mandates in Oregon, Washington and California doubled the generation capacity of wind farms in the region. By 2013, it's expected to double again.BC Liberals assume the grid will take all of the surplus power capacity they plan to bring on stream. Because wind generated or run-of-river electricity cannot be stored, the public will be stuck with high cost off-peak power that has no value. That is the risk the private producers didn't want to take. BC Liberals took it instead and passed it to you and me, leaving the private producers with rewards without risks. The people stuck with the bills have no say. Recommend this post
That seems like great news. Plenty of carbon-free energy with no fuel costs. Jobs. Property taxes.
In the real world, however, the pace and geographic concentration of wind development, coupled with wild swings in its output, are overwhelming the region's electrical grid and outstripping its ability to use the power or send it elsewhere.
"Canadian newspaper markets tend to be more competitive than in the U.S., so Canadian media companies are more skilled at adjusting to change.
"The economic downturn seemed to enhance Canadian newspapers' role as a-reliable source of information. Readership is generally trending up after a period of decline."Had I been asked, I would have said:
"Canadian markets tend to be less competitive than in the U.S. and newspapers here don't worry as much about radio and TV stations because, through concentration of control and cross-media ownership, advertising prices are kept artificially high in broadcasting. Canadian companies have been more skilled at gouging advertisers and reducing readers services so there is less need to change.
"An enhanced role for Canadian newspapers as a-reliable source of information? Oh, really?Recommend this post
“Ground Zero Mosque supporters: doesn’t it stab you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the heartland? Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate.”This tweet is a pundit’s dream, a perfect storm for mud-slinging, flak, fuss, hurrahs, miffs, polemics, rows, rumpuses, and maybe some discussion.
When Barbara Maple left that job in April 2008, she was making $130,500 per year. By comparison, her successor Ken Cretney - the former general manager of the Marriott Pinnacle Downtown Hotel - is making $205,400 a year, as well as having received a $100,000 incentive payment in fiscal 2009/10. That pushed the total value of his compensation package up to $335,347.
“Construction of the fast ferries started before the scope, schedule and budget for the ships was firmly established. Indeed, these critical elements of ship construction were not managed in a disciplined way throughout the project. It seems self evident, at least in hindsight, that first-rate project management techniques that mitigate risk are essential on any project of this magnitude.Perhaps readers are wondering where we are going with this old story. I think it is important because it demonstrates how little politicians remember from days in the wilderness, once they enter plush lounges of power and sit in swivel chairs behind the desks.
“Additionally, the principles of project management are most needed, and most valuable, at the genesis of a project. A clear recognition of how scope, budget and schedule interrelate, together with appropriately precise estimates of these three elements, are essential to sorting out potentially successful projects from superficially attractive ideas that have little potential for practical success.
“Proven project management practices [should] be used on all significant capital projects.”
With our expansion complete, we’ve tripled our size to cover 1.1 million square feet (or four city blocks) for a combined total of 466,500 square feet of pre-function, meeting, exhibition, and ballroom space. The Vancouver Convention Centre now offers the ability to hold multiple simultaneous events, each with their own separate access and function spaces.All well and good. Sounds great but where are the customers? Here is a calendar showing the convention centre's availability. Days in red show the times that no events are scheduled and announced. Rather than hosting simultaneous events, they appear to be occupying the most costly empty space in Canada. Listings are from the Events Schedule published by the Convention Centre July 9, 2010.
Built over land and water, with floor-to-ceiling glass throughout that treats guests to phenomenal harbour and mountain views, our new West Building is a masterpiece of design, inspiration and sustainability. Our commitment to green technology can be found in every corner: the “living roof,” seawater heating and cooling, on-site water treatment and even fish habitat built into the foundation.
|All we know are the facts, ma'am|
The media are also facing criticism for the quality and accuracy of their G20 coverage. The most common complaint is that reports—from TV news, in particular—focused on images of burning police cars instead of peaceful demonstrations, on episodes of violence rather than the widespread arrests of people, some of whom did nothing more than leave their houses at an inopportune time. . .Silverman, being fair and balanced, quotes some of what I've written at Northern Insights and provides Mike Drolet's measured response on being held to account for Global work:
The criticisms of mainstream media coverage are, for the most part, not being met with official responses. Just as some members of the public feel as though those in charge of the planning and security of the G20 are not being brought to account, there is a segment of the population who express the same sentiment when it comes to the press. That lingering resentment found a focal point this week when bloggers and Twitter users accused Drolet and Global National of inserting misleading footage into a G20 report.
“This guy [Farrell] rants and raves like I’m trying to make it look worse than it was.”Recommend this post
". . . As if writing a satire or a piece of straight-faced ridicule, Globe and Mail writer Bill Curry , (front page, July 12) , for instance, reported on the search made by Stephen Harper to find a highly-qualified, ‘non-partisan’ (?) Governor General to succeed Ms. M. Jean. Curry’s report argues that the search was scrupulous and non-political.Recommend this post
"As Rick Salutin pointed out a few days earlier in his column, David Johnston, Governor-General-in-waiting, is a Stephen Harper hack. . . ."
I raised the issue about Global TV carelessly or deliberately (choose one) spicing its national news report about G20 demonstrators with video showing Vancouver Olympics vandals in action because I see it as part of a pattern. Sometimes through carelessness, other times through intention to shape the message, the news is distorted. Neither is tolerable. Democracy depends upon a free and accurate, unbiased press.
"The hardcore protesters are still yelling. But, are they starting to lose their followers? Over 5,000 were expected for this rally. Fewer than two showed up."July 10, the Northern Insights posting I'm wondering related how Global TV salted its report by adding unrelated footage to its video report on the Toronto G20 demonstrations. People trust TV news in Canada to be honest and video should reflect reality not fiction.