Kitchen plan makes Allan hot

I had an “unknown caller” display on my phone, as a West Indian accented man asked me if I would be interested in participating in an “industrial development round table discussion” in Kitimat on August 17. He didn’t offer information on location or time, when asked.

I had an “unknown caller” display on my phone, as a West Indian accented man asked me if I would be interested in participating in an “industrial development round table discussion” in Kitimat on August 17.  He didn’t offer information on location or time, when asked.

Yes, I’d be interested, I said.

Just a few questions, he responded.

I gave some “information” on my background, employment status and opinions about industrial developments such as mining, forestry, oil and gas pipelines, ports in the northwestern region, etc. — and the caller said he’d check with his “supervisor” as to whether I might participate.

True, he promptly phoned back and noted they were looking for more people opposed to oil and gas pipelines, they had enough supporters(!) – but would I mind being on a waiting list in case the discussion was not fully subscribed.

Looks to me that the organized active opposition to any kind of reasonable opinion-based consensual discussion of  industrial development in our region may be more stacked than free-flowing. No doubt local media will be asked to report – or carry an edited release on the opinions of the majority of Kitimat residents. Frankly, I doubt it!

But, I’ll carefully watch for the latest “free opinions” of Kitimatians on our industrial future…

Defence Minister Peter Mackay, we all would think, is a popular and savvy politician, well aware of the serious cost-cutting challenges facing the Canadian Government as it tackles long-term deficit reduction as world economies teeter, and nobody is very sure of the future.

Therefore, his blithe announcement last Friday that the government plans to spend an outrageous $77-million renovating and combining kitchen facilities at Canadian Forces base Borden. The plan combines four existing kitchen-dining facilities into two and will “promote cameraderie” according to Mackay.

It simply beggars the mind – in conjunction with a series of other Canadian Forces announcements of future spending on Canadian forces – including multi-billion navy and coast guard shipbuilding an the more controversial F35 fighter plan for the Air Force, to mention only two.

Why is Mackay so cheerfully blasting himself in the foot with a bazooka at a time when most world economies are in chaos, people are losing their retirement savings at an alarming rate and when Canada truly needs to move both “slowly and prudently” on ANY spending projects, as recession-fears linger around the country and hard, hard choices have to be made to achieve goals barely visible on the horizon?

I certainly don’t know … but the nature of the “show must go on” sense of demonstrated government complacency is quite bewildering to me.

Peter, for heaven’s sake, you don’t have to be out daily making announcements to make people believe you’re doing your job.  Skip the “make the politician work” photo-video ops crawling around on the testing range for the CBC to show you’re one of the boys. You are NOT – you’re the Minister…!

Take some of the time you seem to have available, get the Canadian Forces’ lengthy budget list out, sit down at your desk, with a bright red marker and cross out some of the sillier and more unnecessary ‘projects. Money has to be spent wisely.

This helps bring to mind a scene in an old Indiana Jones movie, The Last Crusade, where an ancient former-crusader knight-in-rusting armour counsels Indiana to “choose wisely” in selecting a vessel to drink the “holy water of life.”

The choice of a simple carpenter’s wooden drinking cup turns out to be correct and  sounds to me like the kind of allegory one would suggest for Mackay. “Choose wisely” when you spend the taxpayers’ money in these testing days, please! Because, if you’re really looking for heat, you could find it in the Camp Borden kitchens!

One of my daily favourite news sites is Pierre Bourque’s daily “News watch.” One reason is that the editors there – I’m sure Pierre Bourque himself  has handed over the duties as he pursues sales of his art, his car racing career and his name-brand coffee promotions and his casual “overhearing” of table gossip at Hy’s Steak house in Toronto – demonstrate a great sense of humour in drawing attention to some featured stories. The Canadian government’s announcement of programs to get weight off chubby Canadians, was accompanied by a photo of a hefty Stephen Harper shaking hands with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, with the comment, let’s put this beefy galoot on a diet.” Leaves the reader wondering which beefy galoot it was about.

 

ahewitson@telus.net

 

 

Just Posted

Map of the road work that will be completed this summer. The streets highlighted in red are what the district planned on completing before additional funding, and the streets highlighted in orange is the road works that will be done with the additional funding. (District of Kitimat photo)
$1.1 million allocated for road work this year in Kitimat

Kitimat council has added $470,000 for more work by deferring four other projects.

Hirsch Creek Golf Course Volunteer, Augie Penner, talking about how he continues the tradition, set by Joe Atamchuck, to catch and release fry that keep spawning at the course. (Jacob Lubberts photo)
VIDEO: Kitimat golf course volunteers making moves for the fishlings

During the highwater season, salmon are known to lay their eggs in the ponds at the golf course

Ocean Wise’s cetacean photogrammetry research program uses aerial images collected by boat-launched drones to measure the body condition of whales. (Ocean Wise Marine Mammal License MML-18 photo)
LNG Canada commits $750K to whale research, conservation initiative

Ocean Wise education team will work alongside educational and Indigenous leaders in the area

The Sam Lindsay Aquatic Centre will be closed from June 28 until September 13 for annual facility maintenance as well as teach pool and decking repairs. (Black Press photo)
Sam Lindsay Aquatic Centre closed: June 28 – September 13

The aquatic centre will be closed for annual facility maintenance

Shoes are being left at the viewpoint on Haisla Blvd in response to the 215 bodies discovered at the Kamloops Residential School. (Jacob Lubberts photo)
Haisla Nation responds to 215 Indigenous children found buried at the site of Kamloops Indian Residential School

“Many Haisla children were sent far away, to places such as Port Alberni, and to Coqualeetza”

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko, a Vancouver lawyer, has been suspended from practice for two months after admitting that his firm mismanaged $44,353.19 in client trust funds. (Acumen Law)
High-profile B.C. lawyer suspended over $44K in mismanaged client trust funds

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko admits to failing to supervise his staff and find, report the shortage

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., center left, reaches over to Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., joined by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they celebrate the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act that creates a new federal holiday to commemorate June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people after the Civil War, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 17, 2021. It’s the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden to sign bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday

New American stat marks the nation’s end of slavery

Athena and Venus, ready to ride. (Zoe Ducklow - Sooke News Mirror)
Goggling double-dog motorcycle sidecar brings smiles to B.C. commuters

Athena and Venus are all teeth and smiles from their Harley-Davidson sidecar

Kimberly Bussiere and other laid-off employees of Casino Nanaimo have launched a class-action lawsuit against the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
B.C. casino workers laid off during pandemic launch class-action lawsuit

Notice of civil claim filed in Supreme Court of B.C. in Nanaimo against Great Canadian Gaming

A Photo from Sept. 2020, when First Nations and wild salmon advocates took to the streets in Campbell River to protest against open-pen fish farms in B.C.’s waters. On Dec. 17, federal fisheries minister Bernadette Jordan announced her decision to phase out 19 fish farms from Discovery Islands. Cermaq’s application to extend leases and transfer smolts was denied. (Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror)
Feds deny B.C.’s Discovery Island fish farm application to restock

Transfer of 1.5 million juvenile salmon, licence extension denied as farms phased out

John Kromhoff with some of the many birthday cards he received from ‘pretty near every place in the world’ after the family of the Langley centenarian let it be known that he wasn’t expecting many cards for his 100th birthday. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Cards from all over the world flood in for B.C. man’s 100th birthday

An online invitation by his family produced a flood of cards to mark his 100th birthday

FILE – Nurse Iciar Bercian prepares a shot at a vaccine clinic for the homeless in Calgary, Alta., Wednesday, June 2, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
B.C. scientists to study effectiveness of COVID vaccines in people with HIV

People living with HIV often require higher doses of other vaccines

Most Read