|Fighting the Flames of Destruction
A Salute to the Heroes: BC's
While slash and burn
economics are the current order in BC politics, with many people saying
they are the worst in BC’s history, an even more consequential slash and
burn is going on the in BC Interior, as the worst year for forest fire
damage ever recorded continues to take its toll.
As of Wednesday evening,
over 3000 fires have been burning in BC’s forests, according to the
office of the BC Fire Commissioner. Although BC, with its heavy
coniferous forestlands, is no stranger to forest fires, this year’s
amount of damage and the level of effort needed to fight these blazes
are the worst since the province began keeping records on forest fires.
The Great BC Fire of ’03 is generating
it’s own media firestorm. Images of
hundreds of burn-out homes, dramatic shots of trees engulfed in flames,
photos of firefighters slogging through the smoke, all create and
reinforce the spirit of involvement in some sort of basic elemental
In the largest conflagration this year,
the Kelowna fire, the actions of the firefighters should be considered
heroic both individually and collectively. The
citizens of Kelowna owe them a great debt of gratitude.
it’s not just Kelowna because by the time we go to press there will
have been over 3,000 individual fires over one hectare in BC since
April 1st of this year. And those fires
will have all been extinguished by the people on the ground.
Liberal Private Hydro Plan
Threatens Rate Hikes, Loss of Control
to admit it’s selling off BC Hydro, the BC Liberal government is
preparing to sell off power transmission systems and turn of over power
supply control to an integrated private grid with the United States.
That has labour
and consumer groups predicating substantial rate hikes and a decline in
power security and access, and this is especially galling in the wake of
the massive power blackout in central Canada and the US east coast that
left millions of people without electricity.
“If implemented, the BC
Government's Energy Plan will result in BC Hydro ceding control of our
transmission system to a private sector consortium of U.S. utilities. In the process,
British Columbians will lose the ability to plan the system to meet the
needs of BC businesses and citizens as a first priority,” says John
Young, of the BC Citizens for Public Power, a large ad hoc coalition of
BC residents and organizations formed to block the Liberal regime’s
sell-off the public power utility. “By
needlessly making our transmission system subservient to U.S. interests, the Government is,
once again, making an enormous public policy mistake as a result of
BC Health Care Flunks Poll
The corporate media and business elite may
praise it, but the general public isn’t happy with the results of the
Liberals regimes and its health care management.
Almost 47 per cent give government "poor"
health rating, with an additional 25 per cent saying it is at best fair.
A significant majority, 58 per cent, oppose so-called “public private
partnerships”—or “P3s”—where a private for-profit firm operates a
health facility or service and the public pays for it via its tax
dollars, while a full 60 per cent doubt health service quality can be
maintained by private contractors
Those were the findings of a Mustel Group
poll commissioned by the Hospital Employees' Union earlier this month.