Wednesday, June 22, 2011

North Shore 2011 Consumer Advocacy Group Seeks new Membership

The Harmonized Sales Tax is a hastily planned taxation system. British Columbia has one of the highest costs of living conditions in Canada.

On June 21, 2011, Gary Hee, announced future plans to initiate the North Shore 2011 Consumer Advocacy Group in North Vancouver, B.C. The primary purpose of the Group is to analyze, record and document,and emphasize the cost effects of the Harmonized Sales Tax charged on taxable items purchased by individuals and families. News media organizations will be informed of the Group's findings by press releases when evidence is available.

The secondary purpose of the Group is to watch for, highlight, and prevent future government plans or intentions to tax HST on the sale of existing older homes and related renovation construction projects.

This not-for-profit organization is seeking new members. Students up to seniors are welcomed. Other chapters will be formed in the future. A steering committee will manage the policies and mandate of the Group.

A suggested membership fee of $12.00 per year is voluntary or by donation.

Mailing address is Suite 460, 1641 Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver, BC, V7M 2J5

Contact by email:

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

DNV Considering Random ballots

So the DNV wants to experiment with random names instead of alphabetical order on the ballots. If the premise is that the bias tends to be for the names at the top of the ballots or closer to the beginning of alphabetical order, then Roger might not be happy and you might not have to think Big. Will it make any difference?

HICKS, Robin

MURI, Lisa





WALTON, Richard


BACK, Holly

A FIREMAN, Unknown


Speaking of who, has anyone heard of other random names who might be running in this November's Municipal Election?

Sunday, June 05, 2011

DNV council unanimous in support of OCP

I sat in on last Monday's regular council meeting to hear what DNV council had to say about item 8.2 OCP Bylaw 7900, 2011 - Consideration of third reading.

It came as little surprise that council was unanimous on approving the OCP except for some slight considerations. They all praised the efforts of staff, OCP round table members, and the public for their participation in the process of the last two years.

Counc Doug MacKay-Dunn singled himself out somewhat by calling for a "blue-ribbon committee" on the 'A word' ( Amalgamation) and I sensed other council members sat uneasily through that part of his speech. Do I also sense a MacKay-Dunn November election platform?

Counc. Nixon called for a committee to monitor the goals of the OCP.

Most councillors touched on the 5000 members of the the public who attended the OCP process and concurred on this figure save for a lack of young families involved even though some speakers at the public hearing the previous week expressed concern it was really more like 1500-2000 public participants.

I felt better about agenda item 3.2 Day of the Honey Bee - May 29th, 2011

Council could adopt the OCP document as soon as June 27th with Metro Vancouver Approval.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Senate Reform Bad for BC Bad for North Vancouver

Reformers held that the regions needed more say and an "equal" “effective” and “elected” senate was the best way of achieving a balance between population centers in Eastern Canada and the rest of us. However, such a conception, and for that matter an "effective" version of the current senate, does not stand up to scrutiny. The problem is fivefold.

First such an argument rests on a false contrast; seats in the House of Commons are supposed to be assigned on basis of population, but that is not the case. Consider the 905. There are currently 4 plus million living in the 905 and there are currently 32 seats for an average of just over 127,000 people per riding. There are 6 ridings with over a 140,000 people in the 905, Bramalea - Gore - Malton (152,698) Brampton West (170,422) Halton (151,943), Mississauga - Erindale (143,361) Oak Ridges - Markham (169,642) and Vaughan (154,206). By contrast there are 4.5 million people in Sask, Man, NWT, Nuv, Yuk, PEI, NS, NFLD, and NB and there are 62 seats for an average of 72,000 people per riding. Moreover, there is but one riding in the 9, Selkirk Interlake (90,807), with over 90,000 people.

Second, the people living in Canada’s less populated provinces have a mechanism to assure that regional concerns are addressed; it is called provincial jurisdiction and provincial representation. By the very nature of living in a province with a small population, the 135,851 people in PEI have plenty of ways of addressing regional concerns that are not available to, for example, the 136 470 people living in Mississauga - Brampton South.

The third reason is a province is no more or less than the people that make up that province. Giving the 135,851 in PEI the power to determine everything under provincial jurisdiction, provincial representation and 4 MPs well all the while giving the 170, 422 residents of Brampton West one MP is bad enough as it is. Having one "effective" Senator for every 72,997 New Brunswick residents (10 senators in total) versus one Senator for every 685, 581 BC residents (6 senators in total) is just piling on.

Four, as Benjamin Franklin put it, having two equally matched houses makes as much sense as tying two equally matched horses to either end of a buggy and having them both pull. Having two houses is a recipe for political gridlock and pork barrel politics.

Five, leaving aside the fact that no province has a second chamber, most having abolished them long ago, and that there are numerous examples of unicameral nation states (e.g., New Zealand, Denmark, Finland, Israel, Sweden, Iceland, Liechtenstein, South Korea and Portugal), we already have a de facto unicameral state as it is -- just ask the supporters of a Triple E senate. After all, one can not argue on the one hand that the current senate is undemocratic and so contributes to the "democratic deficit" and on the other hand argue that the senate is “ineffective”. A body that adds nothing to the genuinely "effective" process can not take away anything either.