Jun. 22, 2022

Truth and Reconciliation is sweeping the country with more and more entities attempting to put a new face on their history. 

We’ve seen it in Nanaimo with our university and school district looking at erasing the names of many now-unsavory historical figures from our present-day reality. Rest assured, there will be a lot more to come.

Powell River is disappearing from the map, going whole hog with perhaps the most aggressive approach where the community is looking to erase the legacy of Israel Powell who was a major villain in the treatment of Indigenous people in the area. The former Powell River Regional District has already rebranded to qathet Regional District. The change was approved by the province in 2018 after the Tla’amin Nation elders gifted the word “qathet” to the regional district in 2017. Pronounced “KA-thet,” it means “working together,” and it is being phased over a period of time.

The list of organizations undergoing the process is impressive. Aside from the town’s name change, The Powell River Board of Education is in the process of changing its identity. The same goes for the Powell River Regional Hospital District and the Powell River Historical Museum and Archives.

Vancouver Island University is rebranding its Powell River campus to something more in line with the Tla’amin Nation which has been very aggressive in attempting to wipe out vestiges of the past.

The Peak newspaper has done extensive reporting on the impact of the changes. The newspaper printed the written response from the newly-named qathet Regional District by CAO Al Radke.

At the top of mind were things like: domain names; website; email addresses; email address signature blocks; voice mail messages; print ready logo(s) for using in regard to our computers; report templates; supplier announcements; media release and/or ads in local media; internal software/programming that had an outward public facing exposure, for example, iCompass, TV That’s Powell River, Envisio, et cetera; office building door signage; business cards. Many of these would have little or no cost consequence to them other than staff time invested.

“The more publicly-seen items such as office(s) sign(s), vehicle decals, park signage and beach access signs could wait until such time that it was truly warranted. When we purchase something like a vehicle which requires identification, we apply the new name and logo,” he said.

Radke said he consulted the Regional District of Nanaimo, which has periodically looked at a name change, and the costs involved. According to Radke, the RDN suggested a final price tag of upwards of $300,000 for the process.

What is the appropriate price for a clean slate?

And there is a differentiation on who qualifies be erased or recognized. The Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District is going through the hoops of wiping Coal Tyee, a notable Snuneymuxw leader from the past, off the list of acceptables because of his dealings with colonizers in the ancient past. MORE


Jun. 15, 2022

Brian Peckford has earned a reputation for tilting at windmills – especially as it relates to the controversy over Covid vaccines as a civil rights issue. When advocacy groups state that 91 per cent of Covid-related deaths in BC were among patients who had between one and three vaccine injections.

You have to wonder whether we’ve been snowed over the past three years. He’s so devoted to exposing the claims of various government agencies that he’s going to court over the issue.

“This is getting unreal, and my legal team in court just exposed that the Federal Government’s top epidemiologist DID NOT recommend vaccine travel mandates,” Brian notes in an e-mail. 

He also submits data from Advocacy BC asking whether the people of BC know what’s going on. Government ads are still blaring vaccines are safe while 91 per cent of deaths are from those who were vaccinated. 

The Canadian Advocacy Centre and Advocacy BC advocate for civil and human rights and social justice in BC and Canada.

They have issued BC statistics, from May 1 to 28, 2022 showing COVID19 health outcomes by vaccination status:
• Total Cases: 6,149, vaccinated 1-3 doses 85.7 per cent, not vaccinated 15 per cent. 
• Hospitalizations: 1,546, vaccinated 1-3 doses 85.3 per cent , not vaccinated 14 per cent. 
• Deaths: 314, vaccinated 1-3 doses 90.9  cent, not vaccinated 9 per cent.

From BC Health data, June 9 on their Twitter page


Jun. 9, 2022

Blissful ignorance is a threat to society – people virtue signalling without knowing the full impact of what they are promoting.

The big campaign in recent years has been the obsession with eliminating fossil fuel use through conversion to other sources of energy. Billions and billions are being spent to convert to electric vehicles without the infrastructure to service such a shift. One of the worst impacts of that switchover is that governments feel it’s their duty to provide charging stations rather than leaving it to private enterprise. If there’s demand the private sector is sure to step up to the plate.

The current electricity grid cannot carry the needed volume, never mind upgrading multiple-family living facilities at massive investments to accommodate EV charging services. Just another obstacle in the way of affordable housing. It has been stated that we’ll need half a dozen more Site C dams to satisfy the demand.

Sixty per cent of the electricity in Canada is generated from hydro sources. The remainder comes from a variety of sources, including natural gas, nuclear, wind, coal, biomass, solar, and petroleum. Canada has the fourth largest installed capacity of hydropower in the world. So no matter how well-intentioned we may be, 40 per cent of our electricity still comes from fossil fuel sources.

In the United States, Renewable energy sources account for only about 11 per cent of total energy production from a lot of different sources including wind and solar power, as well as geothermal energy, hydropower, and biofuels like ethanol. Sixty-one per cent of U.S. electricity is generated from fossil fuels – 38 per cent of that from natural gas and 22 per cent from coal. There’s a contradiction in using high-carbon-emitting coal to create so-called clean energy.

Nuclear-powered energy accounts for less than 20 per cent of U.S. electric energy production. The United States has 99 active commercial nuclear reactors in about 30 states from coast to coast with a handful of new reactors in the building process. This form of energy production boasts efficient energy production while emitting no carbon dioxide or controlled pollutants.

This is where the blissful ignorance comes in. Creating clean energy from fossil fuels only shifts the source to the 61 per cent generated from fossil fuels. And it takes way more coal to produce electricity than it does to run a car.

That’s nothing to say about the production sources used to build electric vehicle components and batteries which at this point require massive amounts of chemicals and minerals, and worse  still, are non-disposable.

The demand for electricity will skyrocket as large portions of the transportation sector convert. There are not enough non-fossil sources available to fulfil the expected demand over the long haul, thus more coal and natural gas needed to satisfy the demand – and thereby adding to pollution as demand goes up.

The whole philosophy of eliminating fossil fuel sources is like wetting the bed – it feels warm all over at the start but it soon becomes awfully uncomfortable.

What lies in store for future energy needs? 


Jun. 6, 2022

I blew off some steam in a recent column about turning into a curmudgeon, and what irritates me these days. The following was sent by an unknown author but it tells the story precisely.

Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman, that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment. 

The woman apologized and explained, "We didn't have this green thing back in my earlier days." 

The young clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations." 

She was right -- our generation didn't have the green thing in its day. 

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So, they really were recycled. 

But we didn't have the green thing back in our day. 

Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, that we reused for numerous things, most memorable besides household garbage bags, was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our schoolbooks. This was to ensure that public property, (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags. 

But too bad we didn't do the green thing back then. 

We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. 

But she was right. We didn't have the green thing in our day. 

Back then, we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the throwaway kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts -- wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. 

But that young lady is right; we didn't have the green thing back in our day. 

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used to wad up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. 

But she's right; we didn't have the green thing back then. 

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle everytime we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. 

But we didn't have the green thing back then. 

Back then, people took the streetcar, or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint. 

But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then? 

Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smart butt young person... 

We don't like being old in the first place, so it doesn't take much to tick us off.

Author unknown

Jun. 4, 2022

I have always been intrigued by the term curmudgeon. Such a funky-sounding word. The definition is “a cranky, ill-tempered individual, a person who is always angry and never socializes with others.” 

After all these years I may be morphing into a curmudgeon. There are a lot more things that annoy me now than when I was younger. There are countless new things I’m having a problem buying into.

What is being called “woke” is simply a philosophy, an opinion. But their ideas can be dangerous.

The gender-less society that is being shoved down our throats is a classic example. Mother Nature created two genders and designed them so that the whole idea was to procreate. Use the bathroom nature designed you to use.

And quit referring to individual people in the plural ‘they’ when it is either he or she. And major sports leagues trying to out virtue signal each other.

I’m also not buying into the climate religion. The activism associated with this is actually a form of zealotry. There’s just too much bull mixed in with the hot air. Driving us all into the poor house in order to force us into electric cars doesn’t add up. But somebody is making a lot of money, and it’s not me.

I support pipelines and fossil fuels – the world cannot function without them. And I still like plastic grocery bags. 

Education has become indoctrination than actual learning. For example, VIU is staging a conference this month to “explore concepts of eco-literacy and eco-activism in youth and children’s literature and culture.” So, that’s where it all begins.

The concept of diversity is the opposite of equality which, upon close examination, is really a modern form of racial identity.  It’s separation into convenient pigeon holes into which we can stuff people. I believe in the concept of a Canadian being a Canadian with special privilege for none. We cannot have two-tiered citizenship.

And rewriting history does not erase the past. Removing statues and renaming buildings does not wipe the slate clean. If anything, it can breed resentment.

One set of rules for all, regardless of Canada’s unsavoury history. What is past is past and today’s generation did not commit the atrocities of the past and should not be held to account for the transgressions of others in another century. It should not be a weapon used to extort money from the rest of society. It has turned into government handing out guilt money, and that is simply political gamesmanship. Many of those cases of conscience money have become regular installments, many have already been paid again and again in the past. It never seems to end

Various government rebates of taxes – like gasoline and insurance rates, for instance – are little more than political grift. Taking our money and redistributing it.

Remember when government solved real problems instead of creating them with diversions for the ills they are not capable of and willing to cure. The magic brush decriminalizing certain behaviours does not solve those problems, it only sweeps them under the carpet temporarily. Legalizing drug possession (the call it decriminalizing) is another step toward all of us meandering about in a permanent haze.

And oh yes, whoever came up with the idea of automatic telephone systems where you never get to talk to anyone, only pressing a bunch of numbers. Big business and government are particularly guilty of this. If they don’t want to talk to me, why should I do business with them?

It’s the same with self checkouts at retail outlets. In both this and the telephone answering, Canada has a lot of people looking for jobs.

Call me a curmudgeon for my discomfort with the direction society is heading with total disregard for personal responsibility. I think of myself as awake rather than woke. After all, they are both based on opinion – I have mine and they have theirs. The standard response nowadays is trotting out the bigot label which the dictionary describes as “someone having a view contrary to the prevailing view.”

I don’t hate anyone, I don’t dislike anyone. As a matter of fact, I like a lot of woke people, I just disagree with them. And that’s totally fine.