Monday, May 23, 2011


In Philip Round’s article entitled THE CHRISTY CLARK SHOW ROLLS INTO TOWN (Comox Valley Echo May 20, 2011) he reported that Christy Clark made certain statements concerning the proposed Raven underground coal mine. Premier Clark IS reported to have assured citizens of Comox Valley that the BC Environmental Assessment Office assessing the Raven Mine proposal was an “entirely independent” agency.

In a pig’s eye. I’ve been involved with, and watched, this agency long enough to know they do whatever the BC Liberals fancies. I’ve watched the EA Office give their okay for the destruction of Eagleridge Bluffs in West Vancouver in order to make way for an unneeded highway to save about three minutes getting to the Olympics in Whistler, after only a third of the area was actually assessed. But there was also another bigger reason for this unprecedented approval after assessing only a third of the area. This highway, paid for by the public, was to be privately managed, and would facilitate the development of multi- million dollar homes on top of the bluffs. More like top of the world. For them. Because we got tricked into paying for private development. But the EA Office said in effect that it was perfectly all right to make their decisions with only one third of their environmental assessment completed. Entirely independent agency?

If this were true we wouldn’t have to endure the disgraceful loss of habit for endangered species, we wouldn’t have the continued logging in watersheds, we wouldn’t have clear cutting on mountain sides that causes flooding in the valleys, we wouldn’t have the ruination of salmon streams by careless logging, we wouldn’t have lice breeding fish farms that kill wild fish, and we wouldn’t have private industry damming up our rivers which further damage fish stocks. In other words, if our EA agency were truly an independent agency we would have sane and healthy environmental policies instead of sick, political ones.

Kevin Falcon succeeded at Eagleridge Bluffs in getting the EA to okay the concept that only a third of an area was needed for assessment approval to begin a project. Either the people at the EA offices were terrified of losing their jobs or all inexplicitly became brain damaged at once. A one third assessment could not possibly have represented the entire area of bogs, marshes, birds, red listed species of flora and fauna along with the Arbutus forests of Eagle Ridge Bluffs that was there. Kevin Falcon got his wish but in the process he has contributed to the loss of any lingering respect among many British Columbian for our provincial EA office.

But never mind. It’s an inside job anyway. The only agency in BC that makes the decisions concerning our environment now is the Ministry of Natural Resource Operations; the minister is Steve Thomson. Mr. Thomson is, in my opinion, merely an unobtrusive figurehead for this most important office. By pulling together all of our natural resources under one ministry the BC Liberals can speed things up considerably. This reorganization tightens the screws on the dissolution of the very concept of public ownership. They can sell off, destroy, give away and off load to the south, or internationally, any and all of our Crown Corporations and public resources with the greatest of ease. We are quickly and systematically being divested of all of our common property.

In my opinion, the decision concerning the Coal Coal Mine has already been made. It was made by Kevin Falcon and Christy Clark with Gordon Campbell’s blessing along with the wealthy investors salivating in the background. All that is left now to stop or slow the development would be peaceful civil disobedience. Anybody up for that?
Betty Krawczyk
Box 1117
Cumberland, BC V0R 1S0
Phone: 250-400-2444

Monday, May 16, 2011


“The time has come,” the Walrus said, “To talk of many things…and why the sea is boiling hot…and whether pigs have wings.” (Lewis Carroll, The Walrus and the Carpenter).

Actually, the Walrus wasn’t speaking to the Carpenter at this point, but to “all the little Oysters who stood and waited in a row”. Alright, already, we know what happened to all the little Oysters. They got eaten by the Walrus and the Carpenter. The Walrus and Carpenter were bigger; too big to fail. And too fast talking for all the little Oysters to actually divine the intentions of the Walrus and the Carpenter, until it was too late (notice how fast Kevin Falcon and Christy Clark both speak). I think we Canadians may be somewhat akin to the poor little Oysters in Carroll’s poem who “hurried up, all eager for the treat; their coats were brushed, their faces washed, their shoes were clean and neat...And this was odd, because you know, they hadn’t any feet.”

Or brains, either. But that’s the difference. We have both brains and feet. However, right now it is Stephen Harper who speaks in deadened, measured tones to all us little Oysters standing up in a row waiting to be eaten. By what? I could say Fascism because Harper certainly shows major tendencies to concentrate power under one rule, his rule. Yet it’s not the same. Hitler, regardless of whatever else he was about, was driven by hatred of the Jews. Harper is not. In fact, he sees Israel as being pivotal in bringing on the Battle of Armageddon which in turn will bring on the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy.

Harper, in my opinion, is more driven by hated of people he sees as sinners, that is; gays, women who want / need abortions, addicts, poor people (if they weren’t sinners they wouldn’t be poor) children of poor people, environmentalists, artistic people, learned people (evolutionists-godless) petty criminals, (big time, well connection criminals can be forgiven) poor old people; the list is endless. Harper puts his money (our money) where his religious beliefs are. And what is really scary about this scenario is that Harper actually has much in common with the Muslims in his utter literal belief in written religious scriptures that breed the same type of fanaticism. And, I might add, disdain for women. Harper knows his religious beliefs are not shared by most Canadians which is why he never talks about his religious beliefs.
But we are not little Oysters after all. We know Harper will appoint judges within the next four years who will give him and his fundamentalist religious values a majority on our Supreme Court of Canada bench. The time has come for women to organize. A women’s union, or an outright women’s party. Not one necessarily to run against the NDP or the Greens, but one composed of women who are angry at what is happening to our children, our parents, our country, to our land itself and who are not afraid to show our anger. With a Harper majority and the BC Liberals still holding sway in BC there is no political centre any longer.
They themselves have polarized us.

We need a women’s party to protest the industrial use of hormones to maximize profits for corporations. Artificial hormones interfere with human reproduction and causes cancer. We need a women’s party to raise hell over genetically modified foods not being labeled. We need a women’s party with the clout to force our governments to give us reliable data on how much nuclear radiation from Japan is here, now, in BC, and to plan for the shutdown of all nuclear plants in Canada. We need a women’s party that will shame the governments of Canada mercilessly over the cost of college education, child poverty, and deforestation, subsides to oil companies, the privatization of health care, prison systems, and transportation

systems. Yes, the time has come. Any woman interested in coming together and contemplating such a group for discussion and action can email me:

Sunday, May 08, 2011


I’m wondering how many mothers must have voted for Stephen Harper in order to give him a majority rule. On the face of it, it’s enough to bring motherhood itself into disrepute.

But things may not be as bad as all that. Harper got roughly 39.6 per cent of the vote (Toronto Star). That comes to approximately 5,829,350 people who voted Conservative. If we say that women would reasonably comprise half of these votes (as women are half the population of all voters) then only 2,914, 675 of the people who voted for Stephen Harper would be female. However, as more men than women traditionally vote Conservative then I think we might knock off another thousand along with the 675 at which point the number of women who voted for Harper would be approximately two million nine hundred and thirteen. Wow. From a population of almost 24 million people eligible to vote, less than three million women voted for Stephen Harper.

But how many of these less than three million females who voted Conservative would be mothers? An accurate percentage would be hard to come by. But what is there in the conservative program that would influence any mothers to vote for them?

Let’s see. Guns, as in Conservative opposition to the gun registry? But women don’t like guns. Except for Sarah Palin who belongs to another country (maybe another planet) and can’t vote in Canada. Military bombers and hardware? Mothers as groups aren’t terribly keen on war, at least less so than men. Wars, like guns, kill children. Fundamentalist religion? Ah, obviously some mothers do like this and raise their children so. But more prisons? Do mothers really feel safer with more prisons when violence is actually declining? When mothers know, as all women know, that violence is more likely to come within or around the edges of the family unit?

I think most of the mothers who voted for Harper came from two camps: one, well off mothers who are financially secure and just want their own children to be secure and can’t think beyond that. The other group belongs to the religious right, be it Christian or Muslim or Hindu or Sikh, most harbor loathing for gays and for women’s reproductive rights. And this group of mothers did not necessarily vote only their pocketbooks, but also for their religious ideologies. In my opinion mothers must move beyond these male constructs of money and religion which offer dissention and division, poverty and pain, class hatred and violence, and take their men and children with them, kicking and screaming, if necessary. Or none of us may survive. Our earth holds us, we stand or fall together. Happy Mother’s Day everybody!