Parksville Pursues Puck Prognosticator's Pushy Patriotism and Punts Parade Prudence

This page has determined that a restraining order needs to be issued to cable and satellite TV companies to prevent them from broadcasting Hockey Night in Canada to Parksville, BC. Just a couple of weeks after Don Cherry (who one of this page's friends in Philadelphia refers to as the love child of Harry Carey and Rush Limbaugh) was flogging his 'support the troops' merchandise on Coach's Corner, the Parksville Chamber of Commerce thought this would be an ideal fundraiser for the town's Canada Day Parade.

People who listen to Cherry's off-topic ravings develop an immunity to common sense, tolerance, and understanding the English language. If this page was a merchant in Parksville, I'd be withholding my Chamber of Commerce dues from people stupid enough to ignore what "Support our Troops" means in the polarized, Harper-Bush might makes right world of 2006. Canada's military aren't the friendly peacekeepers in blue berets anymore, they're pawn-shaped fodder for the pipeline ambitions of the Mujahadeen...er...Afghan provisional government and the Bush Administration.

This one's about oil too, stupid. And heroin. Wearing a 'Supprt our Troops' T-shirt to a Canada Day parade makes as much sense as Grand Marshall Anne Coulter waving from a NASCAR car.


White is the Colour...Sucker is the Game...

The Vancouver Whitecaps are into stoppage time as they try to score a new waterfront stadium in Gastown.

A number of community activists oppose a stadium being built on top of the existing railyards near the SeaBus terminal, but this page is concerned that despite their good intentions, (mixing metaphors in 5...4...3...) they amount to pawns being manipulated by Vancouver's real estate overlords. The arguments agaisnt the stadium aren't resonating because they're not really based in fact: How disruptive to Gastown residents can stadium events be when Gastown has almost no residents? How does the stadium deprive people of a waterfront view when the waterfront is concealed by Gastown itself? The stadium would give a waterfront view to 15,000 people at a time. How many people would get an ocean view from overpriced condominiums on the same site?

There are some practical arguments against rushing to build a wee waterway Wembley. Even if Greg Kerfoot is ponying up his own dough to bake this bread, will he still be good for it once construction costs run up against the Olympic venues, the Canada Line, and the Gateway Project, not to mention the perpetually sprouting condo crops around town? Everybody wants everything at once (at least before the five-ring reckoning of 2010), but there's only so many bricks and bricklayers around.

Also, it's not like the Whitecaps are a franchise that would evoke wailing and gnashing of teeth if they skipped town. These are not your Dad's (or your older brother's) Whitecaps. This is a team in the minor-pro, semi-amateur United Soccer Leagues who adopted the Whitecaps name to stir up memories of Vancouver's brush with soccer greatness in the 1979 NASL Soccer Bowl. Kerfoot knows his marketing, and it's not a surprise that the soccer stadium is coming to a head during the FIFA World Cup. Is there that serious an appetite for soccer in Vancouver? At the least there's a serious appetite for drunken flag waving and horn honking on Commercial Drive which looks like a serious appetite for soccer. That perception of momentum might allow the Whitecaps to set the offside trap for stadium opponents and break ground, or something above ground, relatively soon.


Testing, testing....

The bear604 show: now with the power of something to look at.


F.U. to the U.N.

The assault on Brazilian youth delegates at the World Urban Forum on Wednesday is still aggravating this page. While I used the assault as an opportunity to post the antidemocratic rap sheet of the NPA (City Hall sponsored the Forum), that outburst masks a greater outrage.

Until the assault, the public did not know that security for the World Urban Forum was the exclusive jurisdiction of the United Nations, and was administered by security officers from New York and Nairobi, Kenya. According to UN spokesman Sharad Shankardass, the Vancouver Convention Centre is technically not part of Canada for the duration of the World Urban Forum.

This abrogation of soverignty and the Charter of Rights of Freedoms without notice is outrageous, immoral, disgusting, reprehensible, evil, terrifying, stupid...and WRONG. For an organization allegedly committed to preventing war, UN staff assaulting young people for bringing T-shirts with that very message equates to Kofi Anan wiping his ass with the UN Charter. Whoever among the government organizers who felt it was O.K. for a week-long UN dictatorship to overlook Coal Harbour should apologize and resign.

With the 2010 Olympics less than four years away, Vancouverites and the people who govern us need to take a good, hard look at ourselves and our shared values of free speech and democratic tolerance. These values do not exist in abrogated multinational "security zones", and the first, best thing City Council could do would be to ban security zones. Either the United Nations, the International Olympic Committee and other international organziations either agree to conduct their business in Vancouver according to Canadian law, or they can take their business elsewhere.


So long delegates!

It appears that the World Urban Forum is subject to the same fascism masquerading as security we saw at the WTO, the G8, and any other 'global' gathering where dissenting opinions are equated to terrorism. Incidents like these give this page the impression that this is more of United States - influenced event than a United Nations - sponsored one.

This page was planning to take in some of the events at the Forum's urban festival, but I am now unloading a hearty "up yours" to the whole affair. If the U.N. is bringing this kind of fascism to Vancouver, just imagine what our friends at the International Olympic Committee have in store for us come February 2010.


Welcome delegates!

Over 6,000 delegates are attending the World Urban Forum in Vancouver this week.

To those of you who came to this city in the hope of finding examples from Vancouver of how to make your cities more sustainable, this page offers a sincere apology and certainly shares in your disappointment.

Perhaps this city could still serve to educate you with a few illustrations of how not to establish a liveable and sustainable city. I strongly encourage you to look past the speeches, workshops, and pre-packaged propaganda, and examine how the right-wing 'Non-Partisan' Association (NPA) really runs Vancouver:

-The NPA regards affordable housing as a nuisance to their real estate developer friends rather than a fundamental human right.

-The NPA looks for ways to sneak more automobile traffic into a highly congested downtown core by putting 'flex' lanes on major transit arteries like Granville Mall.

-The NPA does not stand up to senior governments in Victoria and Ottawa on issues that threaten Vancouver's quality of life, such as The Gateway Project.

-The NPA, however, is more happy to do the bidding of foreign governments to suppress democratic rights, like when local members of Falun Gong were rounded up because City Hall didn't like the aesthetics of their protest camp.

-The NPA considers Wal-Mart a good corporate citizen and has no problems with Vancouver breaking its own zoning rules to turn Marine Drive into a parking lot and run out small businesses on the city's south side to accomodate a Wal-Mart.

During the week, you may have the opportunity to raise these issues with Vancouver city officials, perhaps even City Councillors or even the Mayor. If you do get a chance to meet Mayor Sam Sullivan, do this page a favour and ask him how his friend James Green is doing these days.


An important message from the Department of Home Game Security

The bad news is, it appears Canada doesn't have enough armed forces to cover security for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

The good news is, of course, if there was ever an excuse to get the troops out of Afghanistan...


NPA gets on the bus

City Council has finally taken a look a couple of blocks northward and noticed the crawling bus service on Vancouver's busiest transit artery. This page still dreams of a fixed light rail link that would run along Broadway and plough its way through the richie-rich NIMBY mansions of Point Grey on its way to UBC, but this is a start at least.

However, for those of you scoring at home, there are already meagre parking prohibitions in place along Broadway during rush hours. Unless Council is willing to do the smart thing and ban parking altogether on Broadway, not that much will change.


The Wrath of Hahn

BC Ferries President & CEO David Hahn is one vicious little idiot. Rather than let the Transportation Safety Board do its job investigating the March 22 sinking of the Queen of the North, Ghengis Hahn is opting to conduct his own personal witch hunt, threatening to fire and suspend any crew members who don't submit to his inquisition.

For those of you scoring at home, many of the crew members have been advised by their union's lawyers not to discuss the incident with anyone outside the official investigation. Others are on medical leaves under psychiatric care: these ones would be ideal for Hahn to crack open a confession to stroke his overinflatable ego, which was severely punctured for his inability to count to 101 three months ago.

Attila the Hahn believes that BC Ferries must gather the information themselves, and quickly. The Ferry boss even claims it will take the TSB "three years" to release the results of its inquiry. Wow, Dave, where does the time go? This page doesn't believe Hahn is as worried about the time it takes to release information as he is about the information being released. He can't let the truth about the sinking of one ship get in the way of the BC Liberals' course of privatization and running the entire fleet aground.


What's my motivation?

This page returns from family business in Minnesota and is expected to be excited about a few things, which frankly, don't stir much of anything in me. Here are a few examples:

Eagleridge Bluffs - When Vancouver's 2010 Olympic bid committee first tackled bringing people to and from Whistler, their plan incorporated a mix of ferries, buses, and passenger rail. Did the NIMBYs in West Vancouver not get a noxious whiff of trouble when that plan was trashed to fuel the BC Liberals pavement addiction? At least the Bluffs had something resembling an environmental assessment before the tree huggers come lately were shooed back to their monster houses which ate up a lot of pristine North Shore woodlands themselves.

Same Sex Marriage - The Harpercons will table a free voting motion sometime this fall to re-open the debate on SSM. While on the surface such a motion may be incendiary for progressives, the real objective for the Prime Minister is to establish closure on the issue before the next election. The Stockwell Days and Myron Thompsons will get to scream and yell, the Jim Prentices will get to shrug about how the country has moved on, the motion will fail miserably, and Harper will have cleared the deck of at least one sticky piece of social policy.

The Edmonton Oilers - They're not 'Canada's Team', they're Edmonton's team. The Oilers play an entertaining brand of tough, fast hockey, but North Carolina is by no means Afghanistan. This page never ceases to be bemused by hockey fans who switch from their favourite team to a hated rival because they want the Stanley Cup to rest in Canada, no matter how many Europeans or Americans suit up for the team. Face it, you didn't see Cubs fans adopting the White Sox last fall just because they're from Chicago.