B.C. Politics, My Favorite Teacher, and the ministry of doublespeak.

Bill Meikle  (bcmeikle@shaw.ca)


      I always feel a little tainted when I write about B.C. Politics, because Mrs.
Campbell -the premieres wife-  was my grade 7 teacher, and one of my favorites. That was 1974,
 at Maple Grove Elementary and she was know for wearing a mini skirt well too...

       The good news is that she woke me up, let me keep a journal where I tried to think...
Of all the teachers I met through high school and university, she seemed interested in
original thought perhaps the most. Good wit and good insight scored high. Creativity was rewarded
rather than punished.  I remember her showing us a slide show of herself and the premier in Africa,
  and I wonder if that had any impact on my extensive travels through that continent over the years...
  I remember her reading my jokes or poems to the class, and I wonder if that fueled future paths...

       The bad news is that reality strikes, and as you age you harden up. In their journey from
left to right, from African Aid workers, to provincial Leaders, I fear that some of that idealism that
 Mrs. C. instilled in me,  might have left the Campbells.

       At the larger level, I see no profit in cutting regulations in logging, for example.
Leadership would involve a moratorium on old growth logging, and the creation and development of an
Ikea-like value added industry for second growth wood, unrivalled in the world. Design being the key.
I don't get much feeling for nature from this government at all. While you travelled some, I don't see
 you looking through a European or Japanese tourist's eyes to find the real value in this land.

      And as to 'An old growth forest is any forest over 250 years' this is ministry of
doublespeak rubbish. Although clear cutting hasn't been going on in B.C. for 250 years, I could
travel to the east and find a clearcut that has regrown for 250 years. Would that be old growth?
No. Old growth is a precious and delicate thing that B.C. is rich in and most of the world
is poor in. Old growth can probably earn more in the ground than in one generation's greedy
plunder.
      Old Growth is untouched wilderness. Period.
      
      Can not be replaced and is almost solely your responsibility.
      
      Your decisions will last forever.

      But there is something else. The olympics have been won!
      Now here is an opportunity!
      I see it as an opportunity for the B.C. government to help the poor and middle class of
the province. How? By ruthlessly subdiving land up the sea to sky. The goal? Change the supply and
demand equation that pushes real estate prices up and out of reach of so many. Justify the highway
costs.  While in the squamish area land is already fairly cheap, make it cheaper! Make so much land
available between furry creek and whistler, that the price falls a lot. Use guards and incentives to
 make sure that these new lots get into the hands of the poor,and middle class,  and not speculators.
 
   Do it in an ecologically sensitive way. For Vancouver
to sprawl north, is better than up the fraser valley. A house bolted onto a rock overlooking the sea
or a beautiful mountain, has less impact than building on B.C.'s best farmland, or adding to it's
pollution...

***
       
     The other problem with getting older is the world gets so vivid and imminent. Life is not
 something that can occur in some utopian future. It's people running from fires, and what can be
 done today.
      Its not even about making the right decisions, as much as just making decisions.
      I see that and accept it but still hand critical thoughts and ideas your way...not unlike that
journal I passed into my grade 7 teacher 30 years ago...