Bill C-51 not up to snuff!

The following just sent off to my Conservative Member of Parliament, James Lunney <ottawa@jameslunneymp.ca>. Today is LeadNow.ca‘s National Day of Action to Stand Against the Secret Police Bill C-51. (That’s a mouthful, but C-51 by comparison will really stick in your craw if you learn about it.)

Dear Dr. Lunney,

As your constituent, it’s important that you know i (and nearly everybody i know) am opposed to Bill C-51, as currently worded. It is vaguely worded, it definitely needs a robust oversight component, it is arguably unconstitutional, and it looks suspiciously like it is intended to sweep up legitimate protesters in the same net as terrorists. Continue reading

C-51– a hamfisted mess

Ah, our lovely federal government and its typically clumsy legislation, drafted perhaps with the good of the nation in mind, but invariably filled with enough ideological ballast and constitutional holes that it floats like the Titanic.

This month’s example is Bill C-51: Anti-terrorism Act, 2015An Act to enact the Security of Canada Information Sharing Act and the Secure Air Travel Act, to amend the Criminal Code, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts. (Whew!) Continue reading

Council at the movies

Thanks to a volunteer initiative by Citizen V (for “Video” — anonymity requested for now), we’re exploring the subject of presenting council meetings via YouTube. It’s an experiment, V says, “to help improve community engagement.”

The timing of council meetings — 10 a.m., 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month — is not the best for working folks. (We tried evenings in the past, and attendance was even lower.) So now anybody can dial in after the fact, to see and hear the discussions.

Three council meetings are up so far. Here are the links, with their hot issues: Continue reading

Parsing the 2014 Tofino election

Here’s a look at Tofino’s municipal election results, based on the official figures.

One necessary distinction to make is between “ballots” (the physical piece of paper), and “votes” (the X’s made on the ballot, of which each voter could make up to six). Here’s how it washed out:

2014 Tofino election results

The first interesting factoid is that, on the 519 ballots filled out, exactly 2,350 votes were cast. This means that each voter, on average, cast 4.5 votes (made 4.5 X’s on their ballot). Clearly most people voted strategically, making fewer that six X’s so the votes they did cast would carry more weight.

Of all ballots cast, Cathy got a vote on 66% of them — a pretty resounding endorsement in any democratic process. The numbers fall accordingly, down to me, who received a vote on just 51% of ballots cast — enough, but hardly a ringing endorsement. I hope i can up that public confidence in the coming four years.

As you see, i snuck into the basement by just 8 votes. And it was a span of just 18 votes between the three lowest candidates — the results could very easily have been different. So after the election, every time somebody said “I voted for you,” my response was, “You’re the one who put me over the top.”

In the big picture, our voter turnout was a meagre 37% (in 2011 it was 56% and in 2008 it was 48%). This is based on the 1,417 “eligible voters” reckoned to be in the district on two weeks before election day, 15 Nov. But i’m not sure how much confidence i have in that number. Nobody actually went around and counted; it’s an extrapolation from the voters list, the census figures and i’m not sure what else.

But we’re a highly mobile town: how many of those 1,417 were simply not here? And property owners are entitled to a vote too, if they register — and we have a huge number of out-of-town property owners. How were they counted?

So maybe our actual voter turnout was not as low as we think. But we’ll likely never know for sure.

[Posted 20-Jan-2015, but back-dated to just after the election.]

Assault on Clayoquot salmon continues

Another approval, this one bravely issued the Wednesday before the Thanksgiving long weekend, brings closer the expansion of open net-cage salmon farming in Clayoquot Sound. Read the one-page “Reasons for Decision” — what a non-document! There’s so much wrong with this that i won’t go into it here (refer to Don Staniford’s blog and Alex Morton’s blog to get an earful of how insidious this corporate/government conspiracy really is). Continue reading