Tomorrow the victim impact statements will take place in the case relating to the senseless killing of Maple Batalia.
It’s a shame that this happened and it’s a shame that every parent of a daughter in this country could not be there to show how this impacts them because they too are victims.
I am a father of daughters and I hope that the sentence in this case reflects society’s disgust for stalking and femicide.
Far to often pleas are accepted to close a file and save the family reliving the murder over and over again.
The problem with that is that sentences are more lenient and therefore other families who have daughters suffer through the very same moment.
I hope tomorrow, when the statements are read and the sentence is calculated, the court sends a message to the community, Maple’s family and yes Maple herself that this will no longer be tolerated and that Maple’s death has meaning.
The sentence should likely be life ( Maple’s family gets life without her) but not a moment less than 21 years with no eligibility for parole.
Maybe then the community will be a little safer and some of these monsters will think twice before committing the most heinous of crimes.
Brooks resignation follows his thumping in the previous provincial election, several resignations on the provincial board, lack of funds raised by his team and most notably the recent lawsuit launched against him and certain member’s of his leadership contest team for smear letters written against candidate Rick Peterson.
The allegations have yet to be proven in court and come up for trial in November of 2016.
The board in the announcement of his resignation applauds Brooks for staying on at least until the Party`s February AGM.
There are a lot of us who think he should leave now and the harder the door hits him in the rear on the way out the better.
The party is not dead. Brooks resignation opens the doors for some exciting candidates to step forward.
I have heard a lot of chatter about new leaders in the last 24 hours.
There is a total vacuum at the top of the BC Conservative Party.
The Leader, Dan Brooks, is AWOL. No media presence. No visits to Party members. No profile.
Only two news releases in the past six months.
Almost every director elected to the Party board last November, including the president, resigned only weeks into their mandate.
There is no fundraising, no money, no momentum. What’s up?
Here’s maybe a clue as to why Brooks has walked away from the Party.
One year from now, in November of 2016, he’s scheduled to be in BC Supreme Court along with his former leadership campaign manager, Barry Sikora. Sikora is listed on the Party website as a regional director from Surrey.
In the 2014 BC Conservative leadership campaign, two anonymous smear letters against Brook’s leadership rival, Rick Peterson, were sent out to all 4,000 members of the BC Conservative Party across the province.
Following a Vancouver Police Department investigation and an internal Party report, Peterson filed a defamation claim against Brooks, Sikora and Sikora’s printing company, Classic Impressions Inc., alleging that the three parties were responsible for the production and dissemination of the anonymous letters, which attacked Peterson’s personal, political and professional reputation.
A November 2016 court date before a judge and 12-member jury is locked into place. Sources tell me that Kristy Fredericks, elected Party president in November of last year, abruptly resigned her post weeks after assuming her duties, along with every member of the board that she brought with her on the “Dan Brooks youth slate” at the November AGM, when she learned about the extent of the allegations.
Nothing has been proven yet, and it is only in court that the full details will be released.
It could get ugly. How ugly? Check out the current political defamation case playing out right now in BC Supreme Court, involving former Liberal MP Blair Wilson, who claims that anonymous claims against him amounted to “character assassination” . Here’s the link:
And here’s a quote from that story – bold italics are mine:
“The named defendants in the case include Bill Lougheed, former MLA Judi Tyabji, political strategist Mark Marissen, who is the former husband of Premier Christy Clark and political blogger Steve Janke, who published an anonymous letter detailing allegations against Wilson and forwarded to Elections Canada. Tyabji, who had conversations with Lougheed and O’Connor and was allegedly motivated by an ambition to remove Wilson from his MP’s job, was in court Wednesday representing herself.”
Sound familiar? I’m no legal expert, but part of this Blair Wilson case seems very similar to charges currently levied against Brooks and Sikora.
It’s clear to me that the fortunes of the BC Conservative Party under Dan Brooks’ leadership are on hold until this gets cleared up. If Brooks or his campaign manager were found to have a role in the anonymous smear letters against Peterson, it’s lights out for the Party in 2017.
And maybe this is why the Party Leader has decided to hide under a rock, hoping this all blows over.
Unless something shocking happens in the US Mid Terms the Republicans will get the required number of seats ( 5) and control the Senate and we can get on with the last of Lame duck Obama’s lame duck mandate.
This will make for a woeful week for left-wing parties and government in this continent.
This says either the Premier of Manitoba is a lousy leader or they think their current tax and grab policy will not work or both.
In Ontario the name calling has already stared and if I were a betting man I would say no way to Andrea Horwath being leader of the Ontario NDP going into the next election 4 years hence.
In my province of BC most people would be hard pressed to name the Leader of the NDP even though our current BC Liberal Government has given them ample opportunity to make hay on various issues. ( I love my LNG sung to the beat of I love my MTV)
The answer if you are wondering is John Horgan who is a smart guy who for some reason doesn’t seem to be resonating with the voting public.
Federally in this country the NDP is doing a bit of a death spiral of its own not gaining any traction with the public in recent polls.
In fact if an election were held right now ( It won’t) they would most likely be sha na na’d right out of their so-called Quebec strong hold.
Soon there will be more or less no left leaning governments nor will there be a left leaning NDP opposition.
Can it get any worse for those on the left of the political spectrum?
Today we have an excellent piece written by special guest blogger,Martin Rooney,detailing the economic impact of not flying the Pride Flag in Surrey.
So we have had the conversation about the social impact of raising and flying the Pride Flag at Surrey City Hall; (the statement that Surrey is open to the GLBT business community, that Surrey is embracing of the GLBT community by offering space that might facilitate an ever-growing youth population that is intolerant of labels and so on..) that has apparently fallen on deaf ears.
So now let us take a look at the potential economic positives of embracing flying the Pride Flag and fully embracing the Pride Festival and see if this was to be weekend of events how it could potentially have a positive impact on the city, its businesses and taxpayers…….
New West raised and flew the Pride Flag during the Olympic and Paralympic games on a city flag pole in unison with the National outpouring of support for the GLBT Athletes in Sochi .New Westminster has a fourth flag pole referred to as a friendship pole which is located just east of City Hall in Friendship Park. The City Council has totally embraced NW Pride, closed off Columbia Street for the Festival Day and many local businesses are sponsors/partners of this years Festival. Anticipated economic impact to New West is expected to be north of $500k according the President of Royal City Pride.
Prince George Annual Gay Pride Celebrations across North America are used as major tools to generate economic activity while promoting a right culture and a safe and inclusive community for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Two-Spirited, Queer and Questioning citizens. While in major city centres like Vancouver, Victoria, Toronto etc. are much more likely to see more tourism and local economic activities based on size and location, places like Prince George are in a uniquely different situation and often have to work smarter to create more activity. The Prince George Pride Society has worked very hard to bridge the gap between local businesses and local government as a means to move forward plans to use the Gay Pride Celebrations to generate more economic activity. The positive relationships that have been formed with local business such as Topaz Bead Gallery, SHAGG Romance Enhancement Centres, the Ramada Hotel, etc. have all benefited directly from the ongoing support of our Mayor and Council. ” Due to the nature of our local economic industry drivers and the diversity that exists within a smaller centre like Prince George we recognize that the economic and social success aspects of the Gay Pride Celebration are not mutually exclusive to one relationship or another. In fact it is only from the successful and positive relationships between local government, businesses, labour unions, and other service agencies that the Pride Celebrations in Prince George has survived and flourished over the last 18 years. While the actual economic impact has not been analyzed at this point, we know that these relationships would not have been continued if the economic relationship was not successful”. (Valentine Crawford – PG Pride)
Victoria and other cities hosting Pride have not surveyed the record of economic impact known at time of writing; there was no need to, it is however apparent that positive economic impact occurred as these cities continue to host Pride events. Trina Mousseau (Tourism Victoria) reports that there is a huge positive economic impact to embracing Pride in Victoria. People frequent local bars, stores and spend money, as they are having fun. The Legislature flies the Pride Flag as does the city and down by the inner harbour. Quote “The Pride Parade has significant economic impact to Victoria. It is a day where thousands of people fill our streets, restaurants and shops, spending money while showing their support for our vibrant LGBTQ community.”
Vancouver flew the Pride Flag in support of the Sochi Athletes and flies the Pride Flag at City Hall, has banners throughout the west end, has side walks painted in the rainbow colours, and this year on the “flag island” at the foot of Davie and Denman, is flying 6 trans pride flags and 6 rainbow pride flags. This is the first year that Vancouver Pride Parade has become an official civic event and the estimated economic impact to the Vancouver economy is $30 M according to the VPS General Manager Ray Lam – yes MILLION generated over week-long celebrations. Attendance at the Parade in 2013 was some 500,000 people line the route.(source Global TV). Vancouver is also advertised worldwide as a tourist destination for GLBT Travel.
A historic first for North America with Toronto having just hosted the first ever World Pride in North America. Despite the lack of support both visible and apparent from Mayor Rob Ford. the scenes of Canada’s largest city embracing millions or people from across the Globe proud of who they are, was amazing. There was also a human rights conference attached to the World Pride events,
The economic impact of the willingness to fly the Pride flag on municipal flag poles and embrace Pride Parades and/or festivals has served many Canadian cities well. Imagine the potential economic impact of Surrey Pride if the city was to embrace the Flag and look at placing the festival to “open” Fusion Festival week. Holland Park would be full two weekends in a row, and the economic impact could be astounding to the local businesses.
So what is the city of Surrey doing to embrace a potentially large positive economic impact of Pride to its residents?
Refusing to fly the Pride Flag and “sponsoring” the Pride Festival to the tune of $1,000! yes $1,000 does not send a positive message to the Pride and business communities in Surrey or around the world for that matter.
Whether it be a 4th flag pole or amend the recent flag Protocol it might be advisable to take a proactive approach and live the motto – “The Future Lives Here”.
As I sit at meetings or walk and talk with people the discussion always seems to be the same.
It revolves around the theme of lack of involvement by either voters, younger people or volunteers.
I have friends in all walks of politics and this is a problem that is common to everybody.
Why don’t people vote they ask? Why aren’t young people getting involved?
I think people are involved, just differently than vote counters are accustomed to.
People are crying our for fiscally,socially and morally responsible politicians.
They want to know that their vote matters,that the people they elect will vote how their constituents feel. ( Not the party or the slate way)
They need to know that when politicians campaign on openness and accountability that they mean what they say.
They want to be consulted before major decisions are made. ( As do some politicians too!)
Right now that doesn’t happen.
Need an example? Time and time again all politicians refuse to show their expense receipts.
How big a deal would that really be?
They don’t want politicians to take advantage of the rules even though there are loopholes that make it okay. ( See any number of articles that reference taking a spouse on a taxpayer-funded trip).
So maybe just maybe those missing people are voting, just in a way the world is not accustomed.
Maybe (people) are voting with their feet and maybe voter turnout should be counted differently.
As in voter turnout was 100% but only 35% bothered to use a pencil.
Over the next couple of years we face elections in this country that range from municipal, provincial to federal.
We need to evaluate our choices more than ever.
We need honest, moral people willing to play leading roles in their community.
Leading roles that not only encourage young people to volunteer and vote but also to grow up and be the kind of politician we all want and need.
We also need to encourage those folks who vote with their feet rather than the traditional way in the booth.
I’ll do my part to help.
I’ll use this space to help evaluate both the good and the bad leading up to those elections no matter what the political stripe.
It’s why I’ll stand on my soap box , megaphone in hand being a shameless self promoter of those folks that represent the best interest of the voting public. ( My megaphone is very social and it can be heard on Facebook and Twitter)
Now that the convention is over and Craig Keating has been elected president of the BCNDP where do they go from here?
Firstly, the election of Keating was a great first step in cleaning house and removing some of the old guard from the party. Keating is a nice guy and a good campaigner ( I met him briefly at the main Save BC Film rally earlier this year).
Jag Brar, who was his opponent in the race is also a stand up guy who represented his constituents well in his former role as an MLA. Keating’s victory could be the federal NDP’s gain should Brar decide to make a run for a federal nomination in the run up to the 2015 election.
So what does the NDP need to be perceived as a government in waiting?
Secondly they have to clean up Moe Sihota’s mess and deal with that nagging fallout from the Carole James coup. ( see the link above)
This stuff should have been met head on when they had the chance and not left for the incoming president and executive to deal with. It should have been water under the bridge month’s ago.
Probably the best thing that could happen now would be MLA James ( who has shown guts,determination and class in her handling of said coup) to address this and say let’s move on ( again).
Perhaps then the BCNDP can get on with their two most important tasks namely choosing the right leader and building a war chest to fight the next election in 2017.
The right leader is the most important decision they will have to make in the next short while. That person will be responsible for firing up,rebuilding the party and leading it into the next election.
That leader must not only be able to inspire the average undecided voter to take a look,kick the tires and ultimately vote for them but also be able to open the wallets of business and union people alike.
The second part is vitally important to the BCNDP because they are now $2 million in debt having spent $14 million in the election. ( say what you want about Adrian Dix but he got the party to 50% in the polls and raised a lot of money).
The problem is that none of the so-called leadership candidates are very inspiring save for one. ( I know the so-called front runner is Mike Farnworth but ZZZZZZZZ, wake me up after the election)
The one that could inspire and rally the troops is John Horgan and he has already said no.
John understands people from all spectrum’s of the electorate. He is also a smart business person. ( I worked with John on a project a number of years ago and can testify to his business acumen).
He speaks and talks with the kind of emotion that get’s people to stand up and take notice.
A Horgan led BCNDP would scare the pants of of the BC Liberals and give the party the shot in the arm it desperately needs.
If I were Craig Keating I would be on the phone to John Horgan and do everything in my power to get him to change his mind.
Failure to do that and unless another inspiring candidate steps forward will almost certainly relegate the BCNDP to the backbenches in 2017.
It’s only fair if Jeffrey Simpson of the Globe and Mail can write about discussions with his Uncle Fred on Galiano Island, I can at least report on discussions our alien friends are having this week as it relates to North America.
I can only imagine what one Alien Underling would report to his Commander on the goings on ( or not ) on our continent in the last week.
It would go something like this:
Commander: What have you to report from your post overseeing North America?
Commander : What do you mean nothing, that cannot be !
Underling: It is so, this week.
Commander : Explain yourself or be replaced!
Underling: Sir in the USA everything is closed, the government is shut down. They were discussing something called ObamaCare but one side just walked away shutting down the government. Right now the man named Obama who seems to be the inventor of the care is threatening them with a debt ceiling whatever that is. They are not listening. I think it should be called Obamawedon’tcare!
Commander: Surely something must be happening in Canada?
Underling: No Sir the man they call the Prime Minister has prorogued parliament. That means in a sense they too are shut down.
Commander : What about in your favorite place to report from BC, surely there is something to report there. Nary a week goes by without Premier Clark and her government getting themselves in some sort of trouble?
Underling: Not this week sir. Premier Clark refuses to open the government’s place of business and has herself pretty much gone into hiding.
Commander: Into hiding?
Underling : Yes sure she tried for some sort of thing called a quick win and is now being investigated by something called the RCMP.
Commander: What happens if she is found guilty
Underling : I am not sure sir. By all reports the RCMP shot somebody with a 3 inch knife 9 times and tasered him. I can’t imagine what they would do for quick winning.
Commander : Is there anything on the horizon that you will be reporting on other than nothing?
Underling : yes I have heard of something called a BC Conservative AGM……..