ALR: Talking points or a plan?

And I thought the sale of BC Rail was fixed from the start.

A month ago Vaughn Palmer wrote a now prescient column on the ALR.  The column seemed to come out of nowhere:  A group of Agricultural Land Reserve supporters showed up at the annual budget hearings to provide input on the core review of the ALR.

Core Review of the ALR?  Neither the chair nor the vice chair of the Budget Input Committee knew anything about the Core Review of the ALR.

And, Palmer noted,  you think they would, particularly because the Chair of the Budget Input Committee is also the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister Responsible for the Core Review, Pat Pimm.

Geez.  It would be as if the government were hiding its real agenda if it didn’t even tell its own Parliamentary Secretaries what was really up with the Core Review and the budget before sending them out on the road to gather public input.

Turns out they didn’t.  And they are. Hiding the real agenda.

Turns out the Parliamentary Secretary is just an ignorant straw man whose job it is to keep interested people from asking hard questions.

The Globe is reporting today that the government is planning to get rid of BC’s innovative Agricultural Land Reserve.  The paper is written. The Cabinet is listening.  Even if the leak messes things up for a few weeks, the Reserve and Commission as deciders are likely dead meat.

How brown is that?  Why it’s almost as brown as a fake and meaningless five-point ask on a pipeline that they were going to approve regardless – just as soon as they got a tricky little election out of the way.

This is why the BC NDP owed it to the people of BC to win the May election.  This is why the House sits less than a month a year.  This is why the Liberals will always outraise the BC NDP and why the NDP should never count on the big business sector for its ask.


I added oxy today to go along with the methadone, gabapentamine, advil and tylenol.  To make sure I can cross the border and visit a restaurant or bookstore or both in Bellingham over the next month or so, one of my palliative care docs, whom I love btw, wrote a little mosh note to the border patrol.

“He’s no pusher, he’s just another guy with advanced, non-operable cancer that will surely kill him within a month or two.  Don’t worry, be happy and let him through.”

I hope they listen.  I have books to buy and cool restaurants and oyster bars to visit on the old Fairhaven highway.

And another BTW: I’m worried about this because if anything happens I just don’t have the health care coverage to pay for a medivac.  You see, up here our taxes still pay for this great health care I get.

Yes, I know it could be a little cheaper taxwise.  What couldn’t these days? But it is a lot cheaper per patient than America’s and it does spread the cost out in equality minded fashion through the tax system.  You can’t beat that, even if your web sites don’t work so well.


Finally.  And that word carries a lot of meaning for me these days…

My doc gave me up to 8 weeks today, saying she wouldn’t be surprised to see me make Christmas, not that I’m a big celebrant.  Some people even believe I’ll sneak into the New Year, which is a big deal when my own docs originally thought I wouldn’t make it much past Labour Day.

I don’t know how I feel about that.  Wrapping my head – so to speak – around time to live is a strange thing to do.  All I know is that right now I don’t want to die.  I haven’t found peace if that’s what you are supposed to do.  I don’t even know under which rock to look.

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22 Responses to ALR: Talking points or a plan?

  1. Wendy says:

    Enjoyed the info on blog concerning the ALR, as I live in the East Kootenay’s and we are an area that is suppose to come out of the ALR. Of course as Billie B says we have no good farmable land here anyway, so guess this way they can mine the hell out of the Columbia Valley and we won’t even have to go through environmental process.
    About the subject of death, I’m sorry seems so not enough. I have no idea how a person is to wrap their head around this sort of news; and where to find peace I have no clue. I have lost two very close people to me in the last year, of this dreadful disease. One of them just knew it was time, stopped all forms of treatment and said he was ready to go. My brother’s last thoughts were and I quote “I am going to dance with the lady, and her name is death.” His last words to me were “I will meet you up around the corner.” He thought like this for months before he passed. Know that you will be in my thoughts and prayers as you travel this difficult journey. Bless you for all you have contributed to the people through your blog and I know I speak for many who will be here again tomorrow, next week, next month and into 2014 to enlighten us with your news and views.

  2. North Vans Grumps says:

    Father-in-law passed away two months ago. He achieved his goal. ONE day past his ninety-second birthday. When’s your birthday Ian? …. or an anniversary that you cherish?

  3. simo says:

    I can’t think of a thing, that any gov’t anywhere has done that took as much foresight and courage as passing the alc legislation. I will always vote ndp, forever because of that. They could run for leader a hypocritical crack smoking bigot and I’d still vote for them…
    Long may you run.

  4. Nonconfidencevote says:

    It seems as if EVERYTHING this rotten-to-the-core govt does has an ulterior motive wrapped in a business venture.
    Well done BC voters, well done….

    I have had several friends pass on in the last 12 months. Some were expected, most were not…… It has made me realize that this life is very fleeting and I dont worry the trivial things.
    I have no idea how I would face the same situation. But I do love a good book!

  5. luigi says:

    The Liberals are but a passing cloud. It may piss for a while, but eventually it’ll get blown away.
    Be with the ones you love, and who love you.

  6. Laila says:

    Years ago, my nana was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer and given months to live.

    That pissed her off immensely, and she lived for years after, and when told she had about 2 months left to live, she told the doctor to fuck off and she would die when she felt like it… not when he told her it was expected.

    And in the end, she went on her own terms, in her own time, when she was as ready as you can be.

    As for the Libs, you can fool some of the people some of the time…. 🙂

  7. e.a.f. says:

    This group of lieberals are certainly the most greedy of the greedy. The end of the ALR will also create a great big problem in the future. Of course many a lieberal supporter/developer is going just love this. They can sell the land in Richmond for at least a million for every 1/8 of an acre. By the time the lieberals are finished with this province it will be wall to wall concrete, blacktop, buildings, dirty air and water. Who will it benefit to take land out of an ALR? just follow the money.

  8. Ian, I don’t want you to die. Do you hear me?!

    Neither does anyone who knows, loves, cares or admires you.

    We’re all here, Ian. You just can’t see us all. But please try to feel our presence, and our immense and abiding respect. May the the warmth of our collective love for you fuel your journey–and may it last and last.

    Never, ever give up. It’s just cancer. That’s what you must say. That’s how you must feel.

    Live, Ian. Live.

    Bless you.

  9. John Twigg says:

    What a loss you will be if you leave us, Ian. I pray that your days can be prolonged on the Earth. And that you can continue to enlighten your readers on the fine points of issues in B.C. politics – like on the nature and extent of various errors in the BCNDP election campaign, for which all we thank you. IMO the party’s problems go back to the dysfunctional policy process BEFORE the (dysfunctional) leadership contest which left the economy vs environment debate unresolved. The party perished for lack of vision.

  10. tf says:

    Ian –
    You have found peace, know it! By writing truth to power as you do, you are peace.
    Love to you and your friends and family.

  11. Ole Nielson says:

    Keep fighting, Ian. The doctors are not always right. May you enjoy much more time in this world. Bless you, your husband and children, and the many friends who care so deeply about you.

  12. r says:

    vitamin c iv -linus pauling ?
    sodium bicabonate iv ?
    10,000 a day vitamin d ?

  13. Gary L. says:

    My thoughts are with you Ian……………………..

    Be gentle on yourself my friend.

  14. Persey says:


    Know that your writing and your thoughts have made an impact on the way I think and live my life.

  15. raven says:

    Keep it going Ian. You are needed more than ever. You are a brother to all who long for civility.

    Those who have never experienced a people-centered government have no idea how much better life could be for everyone. The forgetting is somewhat staunched by those who have borne witness, and can express our loss.

    You strip away extraneous language and get to the point. That makes your words memorable.

    A few developers with influence, and friends, might be our only hope to save some vestige of the ALR. Many will take a hit when the market becomes flush with cheapo land…

    btw: I wish our government health care coverage included travel insurance. Esp. after some of the games private insurers have played with people with “pre-existing conditions.

  16. Lew says:

    Like most of your readers, I’ve been hopefully checking here often and was finally rewarded with this post. Clear, concise, passionate, and thought provoking; as usual.

    Your last sentence got me thinking that while the answers to the subject matter in the first section of your post might be found by turning over rocks (and you’re damned good at it), the answer you’re seeking in the last section might not. But don’t give up on rocks.

    Some rocks are difficult if not impossible to look under. They make wonderful anchors, and are great for leaning on. I suspect one of that type will be at your side in the bookstore, your favorite restaurants and oyster bars, and everywhere else on your journey. The answer won’t be under that rock, but inside and beside it.

  17. Kathi Cross says:

    *Everything Alex T said.
    We, your friends, admirers and followers, do not want you to die, either.
    And many of us are here, checking your site for wisdom and clarity and that strong/gentle voice of yours. I hope you feel that warmth and collective love in return. Live on, my friend. And when you have good days, speak truth to power.
    We are grateful for every day we have you with us.

  18. Kenn McLaren says:

    Thank you Ian, Thank you Ian.

  19. None of the Above says:

    First of all, my congratulations on receiving the BC NDP life member award.

    Your blog posts have inspired and consoled thousands of people that you will never get to meet. But your no nonsense, no bullshit approach in exactly what is needed in the blogosphere as we face this truly despicable ruling government. The fact that we will eventually lose you is especially heart breaking.

    God speed my friend, you have changed lives….including mine.

  20. michael smith says:

    Ian, thank you for all you taught me when we served on the vancouver-burrard exec together and when we we co-zone house captains on tim’s last campaign in burrard.

    Congrats as well for your well deserved honorary BCNDP life membership. my thoughts are with you!

  21. Ian – I’m sorry I missed your much-deserved lifetime NDP membership event today at the Convention – but I’m sure I speak for many others who were not there, NDP members or not, who celebrate the party acknowledging your commitment to social democracy! All the best and thanks for this post – may you enjoy the oysters in Chuckanut Drive!

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