Tuesday, August 19, 2008


That’s how Vision, a Municipal Political Party of Vancouver is being described, by themselves, and by the media, as left of centre. My question is: how can any political party be described as left of centre when it is seventy per cent funded by developers and corporations? But this question is never raised by our only two daily print newspapers, The Vancouver Sun and the Province. Both newspapers are owned by the Asper family of Winnipeg.

Okay, if only one family who lives in Winnipeg owns the only two daily print newspapers in Vancouver, ( the family owns CanWest, the largest media conglomerate in Canada) what are the politics of this family, that is, the way they slant the news ? Decidedly right wing. That is, the usual right wing messages advocating the privatizing of everything public, including health care. All in a reasonable tone, of course. And the Aspers have already elected Gregor Robertson of Vision as the next mayor of Vancouver. How have they done this? By getting Gregor Robinson out there, at every opportunity, front and centre. in their newspapers. And never even mentioning the fact that I, too, am running for mayor of Vancouver.

The Aspers obviously consider the fact that a little old lady environmental activist running for mayor as completely unworthy of mention. Or, the other possibility is that I present some kind of a threat. Because here’s an odd thing. In my role as an environmental activist, both papers have covered my activities. But as soon as I’m out of prison and announce that I’m running for mayor of Vancouver there is absolute silence. The Vancouver Sun and the Province have never heard of me. And furthermore, they have no intention of hearing my name or seeing my face. Wouldn’t you agree that this is odd? Wouldn’t you think that the only two local daily print newspapers would at least mention that I, too, am running for mayor of Vancouver? Especially since there is only one other declared candidate for mayor (besides myself), Peter Ladner of NPA? And they do report on Mr. Ladner? I would even feel that the Aspers were fulfilling some kind of civic responsibility to their readers if when discussing the mayoral race in an article they just tossed a throw away line at the bottom by adding : and oh yes, and Betty Krawczyk is also running for mayor. But not even this footnote.

The fact that there is not even a footnote makes me suspicious. Could the Aspers really be afraid of me? Of what I represent? Which is public resistance to their corporate agenda and value systems? If so, what right have they to pick the next mayor of Vancouver, one whom they consider to be more amenable to their right wing agendas? To do this by endorsing a nice man with a soft image and calling his seventy per cent corporate and developer funded party left of centre? And the Aspers don’t even live in British Columbia. Oh, money is a powerful thing!

If one bluntly questioned the Aspers about this they would probably reply that they have a right to say what they please and ignore what they please as they own the newspapers. But I say they have a responsibility to the public as owners of the only two local print dailies in Vancouver to report the news, what is actually happening, not ignore what displeases them. I say, just print the news, you Asper family of the Vancouver Sun and the Province. And part of the news concerning the mayoral candidate race in Vancouver is that Betty Krawczyk is also a candidate and she is running under the auspices of The Work Less Party. You don’t like that? You’re afraid of it? Better to ignore it? Beneath your notice?

Ah, but you have a public obligation, you Aspers. You have an obligation to print names of declared candidates and legal municipal parties who have declared. In fact, I think there may even be some legal obligation here to do so. Just mentioning this as a foot note. Betty Krawczyk

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The Big 80

And it was big. My birthday party was wonderful. I think the best I’ve ever had. What made it so big? And great? Well, anybody’s 80th birthday is big just because you’re still here. But the chief ingredient that made my 80th birthday party so delightful other than having the people I love the most all together in one space … friends, kids, grandkids, sons-in-laws, co-workers, my own personal heroes…was that it was a complete surprise.

Really. A complete surprise. And I’m not easy to fool. And I don’t get surprised much anymore. Because that’s one thing old age brings. Increased perception. At eighty years one’s perception is more honed and fined than it has ever been, particularly in dealing with other humans; one knows from experience what a particular kind of facial expression might mean, what that body movement is hiding or revealing, what that particular tone of voice is suggesting. One has become more delicately tuned to others. So I’m surprised that I was surprised by a surprise birthday party planned and prepared largely by my family, hosted by Monika and Byron Sharedown, and attended by my best friends and well wishers along with greetings sent by those who couldn’t attend. I think I didn’t catch on just because everybody involved is so separated by geography it was, and is, a wonder to me that it all got together.

And surprise is the spice of life. It’s also the spice of evolution. What is a mutation in nature except a surprise? And we’re all here because of mutations in our pre human ancestors, because of surprises that made us human. I believe in surprises. That’s why I left, and still leave, church dogmas, as all religious dogmas are fixed in time; they are not open to surprises. I believe we evolve by surprises. By the ability to be surprised. To stay open to surprises. To celebrate surprises when they are good surprises and to learn from the bad surprises. I celebrated my birthday party surprise for two whole days and the surprise factor will linger much longer. Thank you, flesh of my flesh, both biological and adopted flesh, for another thing happens when you’re eighty…all those you love become your children. It just happens. Betty Krawczyk