I’ve been away from regular posting for a while, tending to my head and the staph infection I contracted in hospital or as I call it “the city of germs”. Plus the hospital was in Toronto so I was consumed by Margaret Atwood’s cage fight with the Visigoth named Ford.
I’ve missed a lot, but I’m trying to catch up. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the stories I’ve run across just this last week or so.
Clark’s Job agenda: now you see it, now you don’t
In the ten days or so since Premier Clark announced her jobs agenda with its focus on copper and coal mining, worldwide mineral indices have gone into free fall.
According to Bloomberg market reports “Copper fell 29 percent to $6,800 this year on the London Metal Exchange, heading for its second-worst year in almost a quarter century. Prices dropped 54 percent in 2008. Futures traded on the Comex exchange in New York slumped 31 percent to $3.085 a pound, the worst performer in the Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities.”
Copper and coal mining are where Clark expects new BC mine openings that will compete with new ventures in Chile, Australia and other suppliers to the Chinese market. At the same time Chinese demand is expected to slow if not contract.
But who cares about all this nasty, bad, bad news. Plug your ears! Because Christy is just… I don’t know, she’s just so fun. Due diligence is such a downer when you’ve got smiles and camera ops.
A new week, a new focus
First Premier Clark claimed her agenda was to put “Families First”, then it was “Jobs First”, because “BC is where Canada Starts” (if you turn Canada upside down. It’s kind of cool cause it looks like a dog out walking).
Now the Vancouver Sun is reporting that, according to Clark’s first Throne Speech, Education is her top priority.
I love me a little ADHD.
Where’d that new party come from?
Could the BC Liberal Party rebranding hold the clue to Clark’s real top priority.
Do ya think?
Could it be that Christy’s top priority might just be Christy?
You didn’t know there was a civic election?
Susan Anton and the NPA do and to prove it they recently announced they would go ahead without Translink to build a $200 million plus streetcar project linking the Olympic Village, Stanley Park and the West End. Financing they claim will come from Greece or someplace like that.
The exciting new line would eventually weave around non-existent neighbourhoods, empty docks and the DTES, duplicating existing bus and Skytrain routes.
The NPA expects 4 to 5 million riders a year. Most of them will be tourists who will want to visit the Olympic ghost town and the closed up at night downtown and cruise docks.
Anton says the NPA plans to bring their experience arranging the Olympic Village financing with a bankrupt developer and a teetering New York Hedge fund to the project financing, which will take the same P3 form.
If that doesn’t work, Vancouver taxpayers will, as with the Olympic Village project, be on the hook for the $200 plus million project. Oh, whatever.
Candidate Anton, who admitted the NPA didn’t do due diligence on the Millenium/hedge fund Olympic Village deal, told the media the streetcar P3 is a whole new game that the NPA is actually prepared for. “We can do a private sector deal to pay for this,’ Anton said. I’ve just been talking to the guys at BC Rail and they tell me they’ve got a deal for Vancouver that you wouldn’t believe…”
Anton’s campaign is managed by Norman Stowe of the Pace Group, who recently helped bring in the new BC Place roof with a 100 per cent cost overrun. Taxpayers are now paying the entire $563 million cost of the project contrary to initial promises by the BC government and PavCo that they wouldn’t have to pay a dime.
“Norm’s my kind of guy. He doesn’t read the fine print but goes for the bold strokes, said Anton. “I rely on his knowledge and skills when it comes to sketchy, costly projects like this streetcar announcement’.
Opportunity knocks and knocks and knocks…
And speaking of more elections, perennial federal, provincial and now civic candidate Adrianne Carr has announced that she will be running for something this fall. “I’ve got an app that pings me when a new election comes up. It was a little confused by all these municipal elections… so many, my phone pinging all the time and driving my cat nuts.
“But my good luck, I saw Vancouver and said ‘hey I know where that is, I’m in’. Unless there’s a provincial election or, even better a federal one, or maybe a run for congress in Washington…