Friday, November 25, 2011

An invitation to post

During the election the topics submitted to the blog by some of the candidates proved to be successful in creating the discussion we're famous for. I would like to extend this invitation to any blogger so if you have a topic you would like to see 'POSTED' please e.mail it to here at the blog. Anonymous 'COMMENTS' have been an important part of the discussions on the blog over the years and if you wish your 'POST' idea to be anonymous please indicate it in your e.mail and it will be 'Posted by John Sharpe'. If you're feeling more adventurous you may want to request permission to become a registered, 'named' poster via the same e.mail.

Looking forward to the discussions.


sue lakes cook said...

OK John - let me be the first. Once upon a time this was the season of compassion, caring, giving and selflessness.
Of course that was in the time when Christianity was respected. Now in our "politically correct" climate where respect for religion is dicated not chosen, the big C has been replaced with Capatilism.

However let's look at the big divide which is being created by the rich and the poor. The horrible truth is that many of the new poor cannot help it. They can be people working as hard as they can in minimum wage jobs, or they can be in the growing number of seniors living in poverty.

The question is - where exactly does our moral obligation lie in such small things as dental care, usually the first thing to go when one is poor.

Is it reasonable to expect the public to pay for families of City employees (be they Management, Fire Department or other employees) making over $75,000.00 per year full dental and health bills?

In 2010 the City paid $922,414.08 to the Pacific Blue Cross, that is just under 1 million for 450 people.

While non-union seniors are expected to survive on $537.00 per month, the City spent $ 2,726,811.34 to the BC Pension Corp.

Just what are the details of the dental and the pension plan? Why are taxpayers obligated to pay for City employees (including the Fire Department) and their whole families for full dental and health plans?
What are the details of the pension plans?
How much would taxpayers be saved if those plans where cut in half in what they provided, or if those earning over $75,000.00 where told the truth - you are already earning enough take care of yourselves?

Anonymous said...

Sour grapes Sue. Tell us all what is keeping you from earning a good salary? You keep whining about people who are earning a decent salary without seeming to understand what they are doing to earn that salary. Are you a licensed engineer, accountant or any kind of professional? Do you know what the equivalent salaries for these professions are in the private sector? Why would a public employee not be compensated on a similar level to his private sector counterpart?

All you do is whine about people who are earning more than you. If you aren't happy, perhaps it you who needs to change. I'll ask again, what's keeping you from earning a decent salary? When it comes to taxes, I think we're all looking to see value for our money. So rather than going after the people who are working hard and earning their salaries, why don't you go after the policies that are creating waste. Start addressing those things rather than whine about people earning more than you. You're coming off as a person who thinks she is entitled to more than she really deserves. You pay your way just like the rest of us. And don't you dare blame peoples loss of compassion/christianity for your position. You are the only one who is responsible for your condition.

Anonymous said...

It is a shame the crazies have over run. I hope to meet Sue Lakes Cook in person one day.

Seems like it could be a unique conversation.

Anonymous said...

You think Sue isn't the 'crazy' one here?! If whining about people who work hard and are making a decent living, compared to her, is your idea of sanity, I really don't want to be part of your reality. WHy is she constantly railing against middle income earners? As I said, sour grapes.

Anonymous said...


One of your ploys is to pretend that you don't understand what's going on. Then you have the obvious explained to you (repeatedly) expecting a new answer that meets your expectations.

Of course that never happens and you just get more frustrated and angry.

The reason that public (and private) sector unions have benefits is that those benefits have been negotiated by their unions (and agreed to by their employers - in the case of the public sector that is council) as part of their collective agreements.

The benefits (or wages for that matter) cannot be arbitrarily reduced or eliminated as that would violate labour law and they would be reinstated by an arbitrator.

Get it?

sue lakes cook said...

This is NOT about me, and if you had the ability to understand the written word you would understand that.
FACT: Canada is aging now and for the next 15 years like never before in the history of Canada.
Many of the seniors did not work in Union jobs and do not have company penions to fall back on.
Many of people who are becoming seniors were single parents and worked to support our families and did not have the opportunity to save.
As far as jobs are concerned, please do not be so arrogant to try and say that people who work for Unions are more educated, intelligent or skilled then those who work in non-union jobs, what a total load of garbage.
Even seniors on below the poverty level have to pay taxes, and I was just told at the Seniors One Stop Centre that there are many seniors on the North Shore living below poverty.
This blog really shows the truth, and I quess it was pretty stupid to think that those earning over $75,000.00 completely out of the pockets of tax payers would be prepared to show any compassion let alone give anything up for those self same people.
I think the City should definately invest in their employees on some word and reading programs so that they can acutally understand the written word.

sue lakes cook said...

By the way, since the taxpayers are paying Union workers wages, would it not be true that the taxpayers are the employers?

Anonymous said...

So I guess Sue wants the working population to pay for seniors living expenses because those same seniors didn't save for their own retirements? We already pay taxes, quite a lot too. A portion of those taxes go towards assisted living and resident care facilities. So Sue, you expect us to pay for their day to day expenses as well? Where are the families of these seniors, Sue? Where's the family responsibility to their parents. Why does the care of these seniors have fall squarely on the shoulders of the tax payer? Explain that to me Sue. And answer my previous question. What is keeping you from earning a good salary? Why are you always ragging on people who work hard and make a decent living? And no, I'm not a union employee. Nor do I work for the City. So save your assumptions. I'm self employed and my salary varies from year to year. You know who's responsible for my retirement? Me. I have no union pension or guaranteed salary, but certainly don't begrudge a person for having such. Seems to me that you have contempt for any person who is living above the poverty level. Tell me Sue, if it weren't for the middle class tax payer, where do you think all the your seniors would be? There comes a point where the tax paying citizen will say enough and tell people like you to keep your fingers off our wallets.

Anonymous said...


Where do you get your data from? The majority of this country’s wealth is held by seniors.

Anonymous said...

Let's face it the unions are
going to be clamped down on.

There is no more money.

sue lakes cook said...

I too have been self employed so I understand completely how that system works. At this point of time I am working for a company where I do have coverage for my medical and dental and I live a very comfortable live so again this is not about me.
I am sorry you have so much hate and disrespect for seniors, who have probably paid more taxes in their life time then they will ever get back from you, their taxes also spent schools, hospitals, libraries and public buildings and communities that are the envy of the world.
Many seniors would love to keep working but they are the only group left which are openly discriminated against in hiring, and companies find many ways of getting rid of them in a way in which they avoid human rights action.
The public purse is in danger of shrinking in the world economy crisis. I think you are correct that seniors are going to be the first target of resententment and I do believe euthansia will be legalized to get rid of seniors, however, others will be in line for serious cutting and I do believe those on the public pay roll will be in line for massive cuts as well.
The seniors are not the only ones in danger in BC, we also have the largest child poverty in the country as well = quess you do not have any concerns there as well.
Have yourself a very merry little Christmas, a drink of smugness and a meal of self importance. I actually feel very sorry for you.

Anonymous said...

The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

Anonymous said...

So, seniors are the only ones who pay taxes? who knew? Sue your rhetoric paints you as incredibly uninformed. No hatred for seniors here, but confused as to why they should get special consideration? They've had their lives to work and plan for their retirement. I'm more concerned for the young people out there who are unemployed and underemployed. What about breaks for the young families? You know the ones who are trying to raise families and put a little savings away for their future? They don't get discounts from the drug or grocery stores one day each week. Your contempt and vitriol toward anyone who doesn't think the same as you is tiresome, Sue.

Anonymous said...

Sue, Sue, Sue...

In fact, it IS all about you. Always has been.

When you're poor, it's about poverty.

When you're aging, it's about seniors.

When you live in Lower Lonsdale, it's about L.L.

You're exactly like the civic unions.

Your issues are the important ones, anyone that disagrees is to be denigrated and your solution is to put your hand in the public pocket.

There's a big difference between a social safety net for the helpless and handouts to the clueless.

Those that squandered a lifetime of opportunities to be self-sufficient in their old age are to be pitied and should be given basic assistance. Their poor life decisions and behaviours that resulted in their circumstances should not be further encourageed through additional subsidies.

sue lakes cook said...

Read again and you will see that in this and other postings I have definately included young families, especially those with one parent who can only find work in a mimimum wage job.
I certainly believe that there are many things that should be looked at for those families. Some of which would be Federal and Provincial. I have a sister in Abbotsford and she and husband work very hard but are still struggling to raise three children. One of the challenges they have had to made is because one of their sons is a fantastic baseball player (the Yankees are looking at him) and there is very little help with parents who have a super athletic child. I think the family allowance should be increased for one example. Also much more funding needs to be put in place for day care, as well perhaps a greater tax break for families where one parent is staying at home to look after the children.
Would you agree with these ideas? Of course not because you are after the messenger and not the message.
How do you feel about tax dollars going towards those who are ill due to unsafe sexual practices, drug and alcohol addiction (which life styles have been chosen)? Better to take care of these people rather then seniors?
Please tell me where there are deals every day for seniors?
Only two choices in life dear friend, live until you are a senior or die young, very clear which choice you have made.
By the way, my neighborhood is like night and day since I started my campaign down here. I am so glad and proud that I made that stand.

Anonymous said...

No Sue, I don't want public tax dollars spent on promising atheletes.

On that subject, there are tens of millions of dollars paid to atheletes, coaches, managers, and especially team owners.

The Province did a survey of the major league teams in other cities paying part or all of their profits towards their activities.

Guess what?

Most ML teams paid all or most of the cost of their stadiums. Here the taxpayers paid $1/2 billion for a stadium roof that still leaks!! The stadium construction itself also footed by me and you.

Most ML teams pay all or most of their extraordinary playoff costs. Here the taxpayers foot the bill.

With the money being made on sports related industry they should create a fund for promising players in order to sustain those profits and the taxpayers shouldn't pay a dime.

Sue, I could go down your list item by item and explain that the taxpayers are not responsible for fit and mentally capable citizens except as a temporary safety net to assist in unanticipated short term emergencies.

And finally, yes Sue, I have made the choice in my life to be responsible for myself and my family, avoid irresponsible behaviours, ensure that during my 40 years of employment put away enough to not be a burden on taxpayers. That meant some denial of immediate fun, not choosing to over indulge in alcohol and drug avoidance, doing stuff I didn't feel like doing but knew that it was the right thing, and never doing something that would cause irreversable damage to my physical, mental or financial health.

It's childishly simple Sue. Remember the lessons from the fable of The Ant and The Grasshopper with the ant saving for winter and the grasshopper having a summer of fun and starving in the winter?

Here's a short list. Find your choices on one side or the other and your life outcome is quite predictable.

Our friends took trips to Vegas, ski holidays, or Hawaii. We stayed home with the kids.

Our friends drove new cars bought on time. We drove old 3rd hand cars bought for cash.

Our friends lived in expensive housing that they could never pay off. We lived in modest housing and paid off our mortgage.

Our friends had beautiful leather clothing and expensive jewellery. We had cloth coats and just our wedding rings.

Our friends loved to party with lots of alcohol and some used drugs. Some became dependent and ruined their lives. We partied less frequently and wrapped it up earlier as we had to get up with the kids in the morning.

Our friends always carried a balance on their credit cards and paid the crazy interest rates. We paid cash and had to forego things we couldn't afford except that we took a mortgage on our house.

Get the picture?

Now some of those same friends think that we should pay more tax to help them have a more comfortable life as seniors.

Silly grasshoppers, winter always comes.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and Sue, two more points.

When we decided to have children we accepted the responsibility to pay for them ourselves. We never dreamed of having kids and going to the taxpayers to pay for our decision. Both of us worked and we paid babysitting out of our own pockets when our schedules didn't allow for one or the other to be at home.

Finally, we had never considered that we had a "right" to housing in the area of our choice.
We found housing in areas the we could afford that others had allowed to run down. Aside from our jobs we painted and repaired housing and increased it's value then sold the improved home and started working again on another run down home.

So we worked our day jobs and worked upgrading our houses in order to have housing in the areas that we preferred. No right. No entitlement. Now we don't require taxpayer assistance.

You're right. There are two choices but not the choices that you suggested.

Anonymous said...

Excellent Posts 9:16 & 9:36! Bravo!

Anonymous said...

last two posts

Luck of the draw sometimes. many
have just done what you have done
and don't have it all in the end
and not by choice Many circumstances
out there.

Anonymous said...

To 12:40, thank you.

To 1:27, yes bad stuff happens. Dread disease, a terrible accident, insanity, a catastrophic unpredictable event. No doubt.

My point stands that given prudent life choices the majority can maximize their potential to care for themselves at any age and stage of life.

Given imprudent life choices you maximize the likelihood that you will be seeking public assistance.

An unanticipated disaster over which one had absolutely no possibility to avoid can happen - they're just rare.

Foolish major life decisions that one had every opportunity to avoid are much more likely to end in long term pain.

Problem is, many people who make foolish and damaging life decisions are the same ones that feel comfortable seeking someone else to help pay for the results.

sue .lakes cook said...

How nice to stand on top of the hill and snub those below you with your higher then thou ponitifications.

The question I asked is very simple - whether you like it or not you are being forced to pay for supportive programs for others. These go the full range of programs to support immigrants, those with physical and mental issues, those who are ill due to irresponsible life choices such as drug and alcohol addiction, and unsafe sexual practices, First Nations peoples, those in prisons, people who are in public sector union jobs, politicians, senators, seniors those on welfare and the Royal family. Do I think all of the above should be supported = NO.

Now I am sure there are many other issues that I have not touched on, and I too, agree that there are huge questions regarding all public funding whether it be health care, education the arts, sports, scientific exploration, etc. Do I agree with public funding of all of these programs = NO.

However the fact is that those of us who are lucky enough to live in the Western world have a tradition of trying to help and support those who cannot support themselves. Personally I would rather put my resources into saving animals and trees then human beings, but I live in a collective society where sharing is a given (and thank God for that)
Contrary to the charges you are making against me, I was lucky enough to be a stay at home for many years and have only been in the workplace since 1986, my range of jobs have been from Music Agent, to retail sales, to administrative assistant and to work for some very wonderful companies. Some of my jobs have been wonderful, but I have also worked in jobs that were terrible such as telemarketing, and cleaning on a major construction job and I have worked at places where myself and fellow workers were equal to a piece of dirt.
For the last 5 years I have worked in West Vancouver where I have a daily exposure to those who live in a bubble of unlimited wealth. My managers are immigrants and in their home country they are land owners and are very rich, but Canada did not give them a wide range of jobs. Now they do the same kind of work that they have servants do for them in their home land.
You know what I have learned, that life is not fair, that there will always be someone richer and more successful then you, but there will always be someone not so lucky.
I believe we have an obligation to share with our other human beings. It is sad that we often do not have a choice where that sharing takes place, but I would rather that then live someplace where everyone is filled with the same smug self righteousness that you display.

Anonymous said...

Sue, you are the only one displaying smug self-righteousness.

Anonymous said...

Smug? I re-read my post, then I re-read your post, then I re-read Aesop. All looking for smugness.

My post describes living in dumpy houses in working class neighbourhoods, driving old used cars, two parents having to work and paying our own childcare, not taking expensive vacations (camping in a tent was a big one), wearing utilitarian clothing, not using credit cards etc. in order to put money away for our old age.

In other words living in a state of self-imposed privation.

Don't really agree that "smug" is a good descriptor as one isn't "smug" about living in a worn house, driving a used wreck or making do with just the basics.

On the other hand, your posts have a common thread:

- seniors who didn't save for their retirement? Give them money from taxes;
- parents whose kids show atheletic promise? Give them money from taxes.
- single parents? Give them more money from taxes.

Apparently you "believe that we have an obligation to share with our other human beings" and that sharing seems to best be done by someone other than you.

You know Sue, we're not that different.

Our (self-imposed) close to the poverty line privation took place when we were young. We saved for our senior years and now we are fairly comfortable.

You were fairly comfortable when you were young and now you're close to poverty line privation as a senior.

Just a matter of personal choice and priorities I suppose.

The last line of Aesop's Ant and the Grasshopper states: It is wise to worry about tomorrow today.

I hope Aesop and that ant weren't just being smug.

sue lakes cook said...

The thing is we are living in a society where the government and not the people are making choices as to where you tax dollars go in terms of charity.
While you have the right to your opinions I still have to ask you where you would like this impossed take over of your taxes to go in terms of charity.
You have made it clear that you do not with to support seniors or struggling families, or sports expenses for families.
I ask you again - do you agree with supporting people on welfare, immigrants those who have chosen addiction over life and those who believe in unsafe sexual practices.
Just waiting for an answer that I am not sure you with to give.

Anonymous said...

I prefer fewer services to special interest groups and more tax dollars left in the taxpayers pocket.

I am content to see my tax dollars go to superior health care, world competitive education of our youth, the safety of our society including the law courts and expanded prison system.

I support a social safety net for the mentally and/or physically impaired of all ages including seniors.

I cannot understand how we could possibly spend huge public dollars on a stadium (which should and could be privately funded) while at the same time our hospitals rely on revenue from lotteries.

I would have thought that we should spend those huge public dollars on hospitals while sports enthusiasts sold lottery tickets for stadium roofs.

I would rather see our foreign aid money redirected internally to our own needy. (Note we don't raise tax dollars we redirect them.)

I don't want to encourage a drug addiction industry through tax dollars. If you are a drug addict then concurrent with accessing free drugs and needles is compulsory drug treatment with the goal and expectation of freedom from addiction. Then career training to become a contributing member of society.

I don't want gov't donating tax dollars to charity. I personally donate to the Salvation Army for local charity and World Vision for international charity.

I don't want to waste our tax dollars on those exploiting our system. Immigrants convicted of criminal acts should be returned to their country of origin upon conviction. No endless appeals tying up our legal system and costing the taxpayers a bundle.

Finally, I want my tax dollars spent responsibly. For example, if an Indian Reserve is given $90 million dollars and the money is not distributed for the benefit of the natives, then I want someone to step in and correct that situation.

So, Sue. I want to limit taxation and have our tax dollars spent prudently and frugally.

sue lakes cook said...

I hope I do not give you a major heart attack but I actually agree with every word you just said.
For you information we have a box in our lobby for donations of food for the Salvation Army. Within 2 days the box was full. I put it in my dog's doggy buggy and Louie and I walked up to the Sally Ann to donate it.
Waiting at the door where 5 men. One was a fellow I have known for a long time who suffers from a mental illness (which is very sad because he is actually a fellow that ran for school board years before he became ill). The other four where senior men. I was very happy that are small building has people that are willing to help.
The box is well on its way to being filled for my delivery on my days off next week.
For Christmas I will give a donation to the SPCA for my large family, with small things for my 3 kids, grandchild and David

Anonymous said...

No, you didn't give me a heart attack.

Gov't should just supply essential services. Period.

Everything else should be supplied privately and at the cost of those using the service.

Roads, water, public transport, sewage, public safety incl. legal and courts, health, general education, safety net to mental/physcially challenged. Essentials.

Golf courses, stadiums, artificial turf fields, public expense childcare. Nice to have non-essentials.

The lists could go on but you get the idea.