The picture above is masterfully symbolic of the BC that Gordon Campbell and his Merry Band of Thieves will leave behind if they continue to be as successful as they have been in pursuing their agenda. It comes from the Flickr collection of bcrdean at:
I don't know if Dean used to work for the BCR, but after the pleasure of seeing his photographs of our old railway, it is clear that he loved the BCR. As Dean himself says in his Flickr profile:
Previous part owner/taxpayer in the third largest railway in Canada until Premier Campbell sold off our beloved Provincial railway in a shifty deal to Canadian National.
I know that describes a lot of us, especially those of us who follow the BC Rail Trial, hoping against hope that some actual "TRUTH" will be shaken out of the thugs who appear to run OUR province for the private gain of themselves and their cohorts. I also have to admit that on first reading I thought dean was describing the deal as being kind of like excrement, rather than shifty.
I hope it is okay with Dean to use his magnificent photos, and I want to thank him in advance. I wanted to e-mail him in advance, but couldn't find an address, but if Dean would like to get in touch with me, my address is in the upper right and there is always the comment board. I will be putting a permanent link to his pics over on the right as well.
If I thought Gordon Campbell and his "brain" trust actually engaged in strategic thinking/planning, I would imagine the new "Greener than Kermit" Gordo might be slapping himself alongside the head hourly for selling (against his own worthless word) the BC Railroad. After all, it isn't even debatable that when it comes to moving large amounts of material and/or people, nothing is as truly economical OR environmentally efficient as rail. As long as cities on the West Coast (L.A. to Vancouver) can tolerate having a third or more of their particulate air pollution drifting across the Pacific from Asia, tons and tons of coal will need to be moved to sea ports to supply the coal fired plants being opened in China at the pace of one every three days. Or how about moving people to Whistler for the Olympic GameUs deal for rich folks and solving parking problems in one easy stroke. Oh yeah, we don't really have that railroad anymore, so lets spend a few billion to build a road for those few that may be able to afford to drive on it in a couple years. I hear that the car dealers and road builders have a lot of suction with the BC liaRs, maybe that's why the railroad had to go.
Note to Commenter Paul
Thank you for your thoughtful comment regarding the new "homeless consultants." Of course you are correct that anything is better than nothing, and I guess you are seeing the glass 10% full rather than 90% empty. You do have to admit though, it is like putting lipstick on a pig, except the lipstick probably does more for the pig. The fact remains that they are going to give money to some one who already has a home. Of course, does that person already have a job? And if so, how will s/he find the time to help the homeless and if not. If this person doesn't have a job, where did s/he get the home? Perhaps they should HIRE a homeless person, hell, they can probably find a laid off social worker or something!
Every thing you said is true, like often the homeless need advice about dealing with welfare. Of course, let us not forget that it was policies of THIS GOVERNMENT that made trying to apply for welfare perhaps more difficult that writing a grant application to become the new homeless consultant. Also, by the way, have you noticed lately how much housing was available in Nelson lately that would fit into the shelter allowance available from welfare? But that's okay, once these people are off the street it isn't like they need any food, clothing or transportation. Too much of homeless policy is all about either making the homeless invisible, or the government look benevolent.
I remember a Canada where the only homeless were younger people "on the road" by choice, learning about their country and seeing what opportunities lie over the mountains or in the next province. There were hostels and shelters that truly were intended for TEMPORARY use as people would generally only choose to stay where they found both accomodation AND employment. I heard Rich Coleman respond to the results from the recent homeless "count." All he could do was make fun of those whose estimates had been higher as if just because they hadn't found as many homeless as some people thought, his excuse for a government deserved a big pat on the back. I'm sorry Rich, but there are a lot more homeless folks than a group of well meaning individuals can find by combing the streets ONE NIGHT. Then there are all the people staying with relatives, but not by choice, or couch surfing from place to place, or the creme de creme of the homeless, those lucky enough to have a car, truck or van to sleep in.
However I think you are losing perspective with:
It's an excellent program. Don't slag it.
The services provided by this "homeless consultant" or outreach worker are simply things that used to normally be done by social workers in offices and on the street that worked with the Ministry of Whatever they Call it This Year. Of course that was before you had to book an appointment a month or so in advance (just to prove you can stay alive without welfare, I figure) to find out about all the paperwork you would need to bring NEXT TIME, provided of course you are still alive and not incarcerated.
If you want something to really cheer about, check out the economic numbers from the recent census - most Canadians make the same as they did twenty-five years ago, except in BC, we make on average 11% less. Well, except for the top, top of course who've eaten up the 50% growth in the economy during the same period. How long will it take for food riots to spread from Egypt and Haiti to here?