Friday, June 30, 2006

BREAKING NEWS - BCTF Settle Contract Before Deadline

Amazing! I mean, just hours before the settlement was announced, BCTF President Jinny "Vader" Sims gleefully told reporters that she did not believe a compromise could be reached. So what happened? Well, we will have more on that story but the long and short of it is other folks on the bargaining team gave Jinny's big ol' basketball of a head a shake and away they went.
The teachers will receive a 16% increase over the next five years along with a signing bonus of $4,000 - up 8.1% or $300 from the original $3,700. This is great news for parents, students and teachers throughout the province and bad news for Jinny as she has fulfilled her "usefulness" for the next five years.

With this agreement in place it means the BC Government was able to sign 100% of the public service contracts before the deadlines meaning NO STRIKES! Premier Gordon "Threepeat" Campbell and Carole "For the love of God not James" Taylor are to be congratulated. Or ridiculed?...nah, I'll be good to them.
What do I think of the deal? I was hoping the BCTF would be as stupid as always and reject the deal. This makes my writing much, MUCH easier. Alas, this was not to be. What steams me most is that just this morning the head honcho of this intrepid Poly Blog, Edward "the Suck Up" Itorial wrote:
My opinion is that the offer which should be offered and accepted is 13% over four years or 17% over five years. This shows a give and take on both slides and guarantees labour peace and stability for our teachers, parents and students.
So what will happen? Hopefully both Sid (the Government) and Nancy (BCTF) can get this done before the deadline with a minimal amount of conflict and bloodshed. Unlike the real Sid and Nancy...and the past with the Government and BCTF.
This means Itorial was almost dead on with his analysis. @#$%.
The teachers will ratify this agreement faster than Jinny rushing to the front of a buffet line. For more views on this story, click the links below:

CKNW News - BCTF and Employers reach a deal
News 1130 - Teachers strike a deal - Lengthy negotiations result in teachers' settlement - Teachers achieve significant gains
BCPSEA website - Public School Employers and BC Teachers' Federation reach tentative deal
Province of BC - Five Year Agreement Reached For Teachers
Note from Carole Taylor - B.C.'s Neogotiating Framework - A Milestone In Labour Relations
Vancouver Sun - Teachers settle at last minute for 16% over 5 years
Vancouver Province - B.C. teachers reach deal, win bonus
Vancouver Province - B.C. teachers reach tentative agreement just under the wire
CBC - B.C. teachers reach deal as deadline looms

From the Desk of Edward Itorial - Never Mind the Posturing...Here's the Signing Deadline

So here we are. Less than 18 hours remain in the negotiations between the BC Government and the BCTF. Only hours until we know if the teachers receive their signing bonus (around $3,700 each), a new contract with a minimum 10% raise over four years or if the BCTF have taken students, parents and teachers hostage for a second straight year.
Two parties who have never gotten along - the BCTF and ANY BC Government - are now down to the last hours to hammer out an agreement which will determine whether or not the children of BC will be in the classrooms come September. This co-dependant "Sid and Nancy" type of relationship on the whole is destructive but they keep coming back to each other. Why is this happening?
The BCTF started out talking about "class size and composition" the Government introduced and passed Bill 33 on May 12th which even the BCTF acknowledged was as positive "...step towards this goal" of improving class size and composition. The Government post their offer of 8% over four years. However, on April 21st it was leaked to the media that Jinny and her group were looking for a 24% increase over three years. A contract which far exceed any other public service contract signed by the Government with every single public service union before the deadlines.
Around April 24th, the BCTF announce that the Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA) tests have a negative impact on students and teachers and even go so far as to produce a brochure to encourage parents to keep their children home during the eleven days of tests. Well, the tests went ahead without a single mortality.
On May 19th the BCTF announced they would be holding a strike vote on June 7th and 8th. What?! During negotiations this union who profess that "every kid counts" decide to hold a strike vote. This tells BC's parents and students that for the next three weeks the union is at the table negotiating in bad faith.
Over the next 10 days, this intrepid Poly is flooded with emails and faxes from teachers sharing stories of intimidation (union reps calling them on the cell phones and late at night at home reminding them of the upcoming vote) and the fact that they do not feel properly represented by the mob tactics of the BCTF.
May 31st sees the BCTF release a memo to the teachers (page 1 and page 2) which makes absolutely no mention of "class size and composition" and focuses exclusively on the demand of a 24% pay hike as is seen in the line "...salary increase is a high priority for BCTF members."
On June 1st, we publish a secret document from the BCTF outlining their strike plan. So to review, the BCTF are in negotiations for a better contract based on "class size and composition"; they ask for a 24% increase; and then while at the table, they take a strike vote after they have drawn up plans to go on strike in September.
In the days leading up to the strike vote, our airwaves and newspapers have ads from the BCTF asking for a "fair settlement". What does a fair settlement mean? Well, publicly the BCTF still talk about "class size and composition" however at the negotiating table they demand 24%. Ironically, the BCTF file a complaint with the Labour Relations Board (LRB) on June 5th to complain that the employeer was not bargaining in good faith. Of course on June 15th, the LRB dismisses the BCTF complaint.
The strike vote comes back at 85.2% (with just over half the teachers actually voting) - after the BCTF call teachers at home on their cells and email them to remind them of their "obligation to support the goals of the BCTF" and the need to "look the employer in the eye and vote to strike" if the 24% pay raise is not granted. Teachers are told, "we have come too far down this path so in order to save face we have to strike if we do not get our 24% raise."
June 19th sees the BCTF revise their demand down to 19% over three years. Two days later the Government counters with 10% over four years - up two percentage points.
The Government, tired of the misinformation put out by the BCTF, take out full page newspaper ads and radio spots on June 28th to update the public on the negotiations and use some examples of salary increases (admittedly, some fuzzy math is used). The BCTF are livid for the Government putting out ads during the negotiations. Of course the BCTF putting out ads, holding a strike vote and formulating a strike plan are OK. Ads from the Government with facts - are not.
So where are we now with only hours to go before the deadline and the teachers lose their signing bonus?
A new offer was sent to the BCTF late last night. In fact, both sides met through the night. This is a good sign. I hope the BCTF understands that there is no teacher shortage in BC as there is in other provinces, so the idea of "supply and demand" will influence pay. This holds true when the BCTF compares their bargaining to the nurses and HEU. This is not a fair comparison since the BCTF's friends at the NDP created the nurse shortage by eliminating almost 1,600 full-time nursing positions and not providing any school spots for nurses in the 1990's. Again, there is no teacher shortage so the comparison is wrong.
My opinion is that the offer which should be offered and accepted is 13% over four years or 17% over five years. This shows a give and take on both slides and guarantees labour peace and stability for our teachers, parents and students.
So what will happen? Hopefully both Sid (the Government) and Nancy (BCTF) can get this done before the deadline with a minimal amount of conflict and bloodshed. Unlike the real Sid and Nancy...and the past with the Government and BCTF.
We will have the results from the negotiations as soon as there is something to report - even if it occurs after midnight. Keep checking back here or sign up for our email notifications by clicking here.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

BREAKING NEWS - NDP Shadow Cabinet Shuffle

This morning the NDP shuffled their sagging Shadow Cabinet. Here are the new responsibilities for the MLAs:

Leader, Official Opposition – Carole James, MLA Victoria – Beacon Hill
Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation – Scott Fraser, MLA Alberni – Qualicum
* Advanced Education – Rob Fleming, MLA Victoria – Hillside
* Agriculture and Lands – Corky Evans, MLA Nelson – Creston
* Apprenticeship and Training – Doug Routley, MLA Cowichan - Ladysmith
Attorney General – Leonard Krog, MLA Nanaimo
* Children and Family Development – Maurine Karagianis, MLA Esquimalt – Metchosin
* Childcare, Early Childhood Development and Women’s Issues – Claire Trevena, MLA North Island
Citizens’ Services – Harry Lali, MLA Yale – Lillooet
* BC Lotteries, Gaming Policy, and ICBC – Guy Gentner, MLA Delta North
* Economic Development – Jenny Kwan, MLA Vancouver – Mount Pleasant
* Education – David Cubberley, MLA Saanich South
* Employment and Income Assistance – Jagrup Brar, MLA Surrey – Panorama Ridge
* Energy and Mines – John Horgan, MLA Malahat – Juan de Fuca
Environment – Shane Simpson, MLA Vancouver – Hastings
Ferries and Ports – Gary Coons, MLA North Coast
* Finance – Bruce Ralston, MLA Surrey – Whalley
Fisheries – Robin Austin, MLA Skeena
Forests and Range – Bob Simpson, MLA Cariboo North
* Health – Adrian Dix, MLA Vancouver – Kingsway
* Housing – Diane Thorne, MLA Coquitlam – Maillardville
* Human Rights, Multiculturalism and Immigration – Nicholas Simons, MLA Powell River – Sunshine Coast
Intergovernmental Relations – Michael Sather, MLA Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows
Labour – Chuck Puchmayr, MLA New Westminster
* Mental Health – Raj Chouhan, MLA Burnaby – Edmonds
* Municipal Affairs – Charlie Wyse, MLA Cariboo South
Olympics – Harry Bains, MLA Surrey – Newton
* Public Safety and Solicitor General – Mike Farnworth, MLA Port Coquitlam – Burke Mountain
Seniors’ Health – Katrine Conroy, MLA West Kootenay – Boundary
* Small Business, Revenue and Deregulation – Gregor Robertson, MLA Vancouver – Fairview
* Tourism, Sport and the Arts – Norm Macdonald, MLA Columbia River – Revelstoke
Transportation – David Chudnovsky, MLA Vancouver – Kensington
Assistant Deputy Speaker – Sue Hammell, MLA Surrey – Green Timbers

Link to NDP news release.

CBC Story - NDP leader shakes up B.C. shadow cabinet

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane!'s just Jinny whining.

The BCTF office and local union funded "teachers' associations" were in panic mode over the last twenty-four hours. It seems the ads the BC Government took out to inform the public of the progress and details of the negotiations with the teachers' union have hit a nerve.
"How dare the Government try to take on "Super" Jinny Sims, our most beloved BCTF President?" BCTF spokesperson N. Joy Spankalotti exclaimed. "As I have said before, Jinny and ONLY Jinny controls the flow of information to our cogs in the machine, er, teachers and the public at large."
Yesterday, teachers from around the province were called into "emergency meetings" or conference calls administered by the BCTF, their local office reps such as Ralph Poynting, BCTF President for Nicola Valley (remember he wanted to remove four teachers from the union for obeying the law); Terry Green, BCTF President for Okanagan Skaha; Ritchie Kendrick, BCTF President for South Okanagan Similkameen (union boss to Mr. Foster) or organizations such as the Coquitlam Teachers Association (CTA). Teachers and support staff were told that the newspaper and radio ads were distorting the truth and were "irresponsible" since they were coming out during negotiations. In response, the teachers were told to "flood your local newspapers and BC Liberal MLA offices with copies or variations of our news release expressing your outrage".
Teachers who were not present at these meetings were then contacted during lunch at school, on their cell phones or received calls at home last evening reminding them "of [their] duty to support the BCTF" and that "the signing bonus is yours whether an agreement is reached by June 30th or not".
"Silence!", Spankalotti shrieked. "Those meetings were merely a private social gathering so that Jinny could share our truth about the negotiations. In short, because we are not getting everything we want so Jinny can improve the class size of her Mercedes and the composition of her bank account, then everything the Government is telling you is wrong. See? Simple."
So what part of the ads were not true? The $3,700 signing bonus if an agreement is signed by Friday? The increases of 10%, represented in the ad as hard dollar value examples of "...$7,453 more now for a first-year teacher in Surrey", and $11,855 by 2010"? Or how about...
"Shut it!", wide eyed Spankalotti shouted as she shook like a rage filled Polaroid picture. "Using true, accurate numbers by the Government to poke holes in our fanciful BCTF news releases is a clever ploy, but teachers and parents - especially the redneck ones - will not fall for it! We really want our 24% but we will take 19% so we can say to the other unions, 'see losers, we can screw over the Province and families better than your 5% to 14% increases so there!' Yep, that's what we want."
Interesting...even more interesting is the comment from the BCTF that the Government placing ads at this time to debunk the BCTF's spin may "...derail the progress we've been able to make", however the BCTF holding a strike vote during this same process just three weeks ago after this intrepid Poly leaked their strike agenda is fine?!
"Correct!", came the reply from the Spankster. "Look, we have no intention of settling and were hoping that our propaganda would be the only information out there. When the Government uses true facts and figures it muddies the water."
Also muddying the water are the streams of emails being sent to MLA and news offices around the Province. Several sources have shared the emails with us and most interesting is that 86.078% of those emails are sent from the same IP address of - an IP registered in a "block" to the BCTF. Therefore, emails from "Bob Derkson from Burnaby; Richard Daca from Nanaimo; Crystal Pointon from Kamloops" are all from - yep, say it with me - the BCTF.
"Shut your pie hole!!!!", N. Joy shouted with the fiery of a thousand white hot suns. "All we are doing is recycling. Recycling our message in the form of 'cut and paste' from our news releases and then just having one of our Viagra filled BCTF staffers - who make a paltry starting salary of $80,000 - send out bulk emails to our lists of politicians and news outlets using the names of our union members as the author. We see nothing wrong with that."
With public support very high for teachers and at an all time low for the mob known as the BCTF, what can we expect?
"Well," Spankalotti began cautiously, "We want our 19% over three years and will not settle for anything less. So all your parents and students don't waste your time calling Jinny at the toll free number of (800) 663-9163 or emailing her or her thugs, er, associates listed here or here to express your support of the Government ads. We don't care!"
Yes...yes, we know.

Monday, June 26, 2006

From the Desk of Edward Itorial - Review of the Past Few Weeks

Activity on the BC Poly Blog site has really picked up. It seems folks from both the left and right of the political spectrum have discovered the Poly and are taking an active role with leaving comments at the end of each piece. For me, this is a great way to gauge the interest, effectiveness and knowledge level of Poly's writings. Keep it up!
I want to use this post to review a few of the pieces Poly has published over the last few weeks. Poly's unique mix of fact, exaggeration and provocative humour have garnered us both wanted and un-wanted attention.
When Poly first presented the "Jesus To Gregor: 'You Do Not Have A Hope In Hell of Being Re-Elected!'" story some alarm bells went off. Whenever one tries to mix humour, politics and religion the result is often a muddy mess. In my estimation, the Lord Jesus Christ is more than able to withstand some gentle ribbing from this "intrepid Poly". The piece hammered home the over all belief that Gregor is ineffective in his role as MLA; so ineffective that even Jesus does not support him. Add to this his poorly updated website and a notice to a "Town Hall Meeting with Gregor Robertson" which very generally promised " talk about the most important issues of our time." and he made a perfect target for satire. I did have Poly make one addition to the piece and I'm not saying there is a link, but that evening the driver's door of my car had the word "WUSS" scratched into the paint. Can you guess what the addition was? Interesting to note that within an hour of the piece being published the broken links and missing information on Gregor's website were "corrected". What's next? In the coming weeks we will have updates on the sex discrimination complaint filed by his former controller at Happy Planet and I'm sure Poly will continue his Moby Dick like chase of the elusive Gregor.
The Claire Trevena article, "Would You Pay $580 For This?! Claire Did" was meant to highlight the rude and boorish behavior of this newbie MLA during a fundraising event while taking some digs at the NDP as a whole for their mismanagement of the fast ferry fiasco. However, the comments from you the readers discussed the ins and outs of budgets and surpluses of the various BC Governments over the last 20 years. Great stuff! Our insiders on the North Island let us know that Claire was not happy (note from Poly, the term used was "royally pissed") with the article but when the facts are correct, there is little one can do. What's next? To Claire, send us a photo of you in the jacket holding a sign that says "BC Poly Blog" and we will make a donation to Ducks Unlimited in your name for $100.
Carole James' leadership style has been called into question by the press, the public and politicos on the right and left. That's why stories like "The Mean Girls Force Out Maurine" and "Mayor Corrigan To Begin NDP Leadership Bid" hit home. When a leader is weak, others in the Party will make efforts to have that leader removed or at very least, make a move for change. What is surprising is just how vocal (at least behind the scenes in NDP circles) Burnaby Mayor Corrigan and current NDP House Opposition Leader Mike Farnworth are being with their efforts. What is scary is that Farnworth is far more union friendly than James and Corrigan makes Farnworth look like a Conservative. Furthermore, names from the past including Moe Sihota and Glen Clark are being tossed around as advisors to the "non-James NDP" or even as candidates. The NDP are determined to take us back to the 1990's. Scary. What's next? Well, with the latest Ipsos-Reid poll from this past week ("BREAKING NEWS - Ipsos-Reid Poll Shows BC Liberals Popularity Rising") we will hopefully not have to worry about an "old regime" NDP Government for many, many years.
Our most talked about piece over the last few weeks is hands down, "When An Osoyoos Teacher Attacks / What the BCTF Does NOT Want You To Do" - the forty plus comments from readers plus the over 2,000 emails forwarding articles from the Poly to (in theory) the BCTF proves that point. I actually do not have a problem with Mr. Foster sharing his opinion with the class, however, his insulting the students and their families by calling them "rednecks" is out of line. What points Foster may have had which made sense were diluted with his comments. It seems BCTF local President for District 53 (South Okanagan Similkameen), Richard Kendrick may have also felt that way when he traveled from Oliver, BC to speak with Foster in the Biology room before lunch on June 21st. Our sources tell us that Foster was none too pleased with the meeting (note from Poly, the term used was "royally pissed").
What's next? Well, this week promises to be quite interesting with Friday being the deadline for the BCTF to sign their contract. Should the BCTF sign, this means the BC Liberal Government signed 100% of the public service contracts before they expired. If not, we will all be disappointed (note from Poly, the term is "royally pissed"). Stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

BREAKING NEWS - Ipsos-Reid Poll Shows BC Liberals Popularity Rising


Shawn Manhole, Senior Political Analyst for this intrepid Poly exclaimed, "Trust me, I know a good poll and this one is even BETTER than the one I enjoyed last month!"

From Ipsos-Reid: Labour Peace Pays Dividends For BC Liberals [and] Gordon Campbell's Approval (52%, up 8 points) at Highest Point Since 2001; Approval of Carole James (53%, down 4 points Continues to Slip

Both Vaughn "Carole, Please Stop Calling Me" Palmer and Michael "Dancin' Machine" Smyth comment on the poll, however, because they are capitalist bastards, you have to pay or hack into the section (which would be wrong...) to read their musings online. Or just read the freebe Victoria Times Colonist.
Now add to this that Premier Gordon “I So Totally Rule” Campbell and Health Minister George “The Ladies Man” Abbott have announced today (Thursday) the construction of a new outpatient hospital in Surrey, and the lovefest should continue! More details to follow…

BCTF STRIKE II: $$$ Before Education

This summer's must see blockbuster will be the ongoing BCTF contract dispute which looks to open on July 1st and take us all on a dramatic roller-coaster ride of adventure into the early Fall season.
"That's right, this one is gonna be huge...HUGE!", Morty Monyfurst, BCTF business consultant exclaimed. "Jinny is so in the zone on this one...IN THE ZONE!"
And how. This week Jinny "Vader" Sims, President of the BCTF arrived for contract negotiations (as pictured above with her "team") prepared for battle. This time, she is determined to not have any leaks like she had before exposing her strike plans.
However, her plan does not seem to be working In the words of one of the greatest philosophers of our time: "Doh!".
This intrepid Poly has learned that the BCTF will pay the teachers their "signing bonus" should the BCTF force a strike since the Government kas stated the signing bonus will be off the table if the contract is not signed by June 30th...however, this will only really be a loan as the BCTF will be raising their union dues by three percentage points starting October 1st. This way, the BCTF will be "taking back" those "signing bonus" from the teachers in roughly three years time. This has led some people to suggest that the BCTF is bargaining in bad faith.
"Well of course that's that case my feathered friend," Morty exclaimed. "In this business it is called an advance...AN ADVANCE! It's gots to be paid back to Jinny...TO JINNY!"
On Monday, the BCTF moved from their outrageous demand of a 24% increase to their out-of-line hold-up of 19% over three years (7% - 6% - 6%)...Oh! And once you add in all the extras the BCTF is asking for such as more prep time, days off, additional benefits and enough money to finance the BCTF executive Viagra fund, their proposal is closer to the 42% range. In contrast, yesterday the Government countered with a 10% raise over four years (2.5% per year) which is in line with the other public service contracts settled with over 280,000 union members. The BCTF's wage plan will cost the taxpayers an additional $2 billion while the Government's plan is pegged at $600 million.
"Those are terrific projections....TERRIFIC!", Morty declared. "It's all about the money...THE MONEY! Add to this the number of people we will be screwing over and it will be huge...HUGE!"
That's true. Last year's illegal two week strike by the BCTF saw 4.5 million student days lost.
Morty squealed, "Sequels always do better...ALWAYS! So for this strike we are looking to top 10 million student days lost...10 MILLION! This will be huge...HUGE!"
To us here at the Poly, this does not make sense. Instead, if the BCTF go on another illegal "blockbuster" strike, perhaps the Province should consider fining this mob a base of $1 million plus $1 per student per strike day. This would certainly get their attention.
"That's not fair...NOT FAIR AT ALL!", Morty retorted like a victim from Kicked in the Nuts. "Some of those folks will not vote for the NDP...THE NDP! When we invest in students, all we ask for is blind, unquestioning loyalty...UNQUESTIONING LOYALTY!"
For another perspective, we turned to NDP Leader Carole James to see what she had to say about the ongoing BCTF salary neogotiations. "......................................."
Now THAT's a kick to the nuts.

Monday, June 19, 2006

When An Osoyoos Teacher Attacks / What the BCTF Does NOT Want You To Do

What happens when an overzealous teacher argues with his students about the BCTF negotiating a 24% raise and wanting to go on strike? Well, of course you get a new article in this intrepid Poly!
Last week students of Mr. Dave "Nutty Professor" Foster's Grade 10 Science class at Osoyoos Secondary School were treated to a rant on how great the BCTF is by their teacher instead of doing sciencey things.
"He just kinda went crazy," one of the students shared with us. "I mean, I don't know why he had to make fun of students' parents who did not have seven years of university education like him or brag about how much support the BCTF has. When we students suggested the BCTF does not have as much support as he may think he replied, 'perhaps not from you rednecks'. What's up with that?"
Students are not sure why this teacher with twelve years experience including a stint at Gleneagle Secondary School in Coquitlam, would use the classroom to progress his political beliefs. Mr. Foster's connections to CUPE may be to blame. Or perhaps he was not happy with the negative ratings he had received on which allegedly, he ordered removed from both the Osoyoss Secondary School and Gleneagle sections. Or perhaps there is another reason?
"Look, if you are trying to say that Foster is a pawn or a stooge of Jinny and the BCTF then you are out of line," BCTF representative Ms. N. Joy Spankalotti exclaimed. "In fact, we here at the BCTF are tired of all the negative stories on the BC Poly Blog."
This is odd as we have been overwhelmed with the positive feedback from teachers all over the province on our articles exposing the boorish and mob like behaviour of their Union.
"Let me warn you," Spankalotti sneered, "I do NOT want to see students at high schools throughout BC printing out this article, or this article, or this one, certainly not this one and especially this article on people like me at the BCTF earning $80,000 a year for answering phones and of course, the free Viagra and then leaving these printed articles on teacher's desk, on bulletin boards, on lockers or placed on windshields or giving them to their parents. Our teachers should ONLY get information from Jinny and Jinny alone."
But what about...
"Silence!", Spankalotti shrieked. "I also do not want students or teachers using either this list or even this list to email the articles to the BCTF representatives. You see, people could use the anonymous mailing feature in this Blog, plug in a fake email address and send the article and comments to our offices using the automatic message feature in Blogger by clicking on the envelope graphic at the end of each post. A message like the one below:
...with your own added comment of something like, "Why is money more important to you than my education?" would be received by us without anyone knowing who sent it. But know, that THAT would be wrong!"
Ok, but why...
"Shut it! And before anyone gets any bright ideas, do NOT phone the BCTF at their toll free number of (800) 663-9163 to record your displeasure with us. We don't listen anyways! But most of all, the students had better NOT take photos of where they placed the printed out articles or make MP3 recordings of phone calls and then forward to this Poly Blog using email address where they may feel inclined to anonymously post them for all to see. I tell you now...that WOULD BE WRONG!"
Well, I guess we know what we have to do.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Mean Girls Force Out Maurine

It appears Carole James' "leadership style" is pushing one of her MLAs to seek opportunities outside of the opposition NDP.
This intrepid Poly has learned that current NDP MLA for Esquimalt-Metchosin who serves as Opposition Critic for Small Business, Provincial Revenue and Deregulation, Maurine Karagianis, will be running for the Federal NDP in the next election.
"This has been brewing for quite some time," our super duper secret Legislative contact confided. "Maurine is just fed up with Carole's cliquey nature and poor fashion sense."
Carole along with union darling Jenny "Party of Two" Kwan and Claire "Check Out My Jacket" Trevena form the female power base of the elected BC NDP. In a tip of the hat to the movie Mean Girls, the group has called themselves "The Plastics".
"Well, it's not really a tip of the hat," our source confessed, "Since the NDP do not have an original idea and look to others for help, they just took on the Plastics name without really giving it any thought. Kinda like if they were putting a budget together."
Maurine has always been on the outside of this group and instead of struggling without purpose with the BC NDP she has decided to struggle without purpose with the Federal NDP during an election which is rumoured to take place in 2007. That election will be interesting as this Poly has also learned that current Liberal MP, Dr. "Of Love" Keith Martin will not be seeking re-election to a sixth term.
But why would Maurine leave now?
"The final straw came last evening when Carole was hosting her annual caucus retreat slumber party in Penticton and like, so totally did not invite Maurine.", super duper source squealed. "Maurine was like, 'Hey maybe we could stop being so ineffective as an opposition and get our poll numbers up' and Carole was all like, 'Don't go all Tommy Douglas on us - work is something our union friends sometimes do, not us!' Maurine was not invited to the girl's room and was forced to spend the evening with Gregor "Please Like Me" Robertson. The combination of these two events pushed her into the arms of Jack "The Love Machine" Layton and the Federal NDP."
So who could be filling Maurine's sensible shoes in a by-election? Well, none other than Moe Shihota, who served as the MLA in Maurine's riding for fifteen years is remoured to be returning. But by by-election time, will the voters have forgotten about this failed television host's 1995 incident where the BC Law Society suspended him for "unethical conduct"? Or his taking trust money from his clients to lend to his father - who then lost it? Or that he received loan guarantees from his friend, Herb Dhaliwal, then gave him a directorship position with BC Hydro? Or that he phoned the Taxi Commission while he was a Cabinet Minister to demand action on a license application for his pal Dhaliwal? Or that he sent one of his children to a private school while he was Education Minster but told folks she received a scholarship or bursary when in actual fact, the school was paid for by his in-laws? Time will tell.
As we reported in April, Moe's return would be a blow to James as Moe has been working with Harry "Friend of the Unions" Lali and Mike "Leader in Waiting" Farnworth to garner support to have Mikey take over as leader of the Party. With Farny, James and Burnaby's Mr. Potato Head now privately getting their battle plans together, this will make for an interesting race.
So where does this leave our frustrated Maurine, Carole James and the BC NDP?
"Well, if we look at the end of the movie Mean Girls, the leader gets hit by a bus and some believe it may have been a suicide attempt," our movie expert began. "With everything Carole and the Dippers have been doing - and not doing - it appears political suicide is imminent."

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Mayor Corrigan To Begin NDP Leadership Bid

This intrepid Poly reported earlier of the power struggles within the BC NDP for control on the leadership. The waters may become rougher now that Burnaby Mayor Derek "Mr. Potato Head" Corrigan is jumping into the fray.
"Corrigan's Burnaby Citizens Association has always just been a front for the NDP," our Senior Political Analyst and British Cultural expert Shawn Manhole confirmed. "That's why you have to be an NDP member in order to join the BCA. Something Derek wants because he has plans beyond being Mayor. Giddy up!"
A story in the Burnaby Now suggests there are rumours of the BCA planning " divest itself of its formal affiliation with the New Democratic Party", a rumour which Mayor Potato denies. However, in the same piece Burnaby Councillor and BCA Member Sav Dhaliwal believes "...there could be a large upside to the change".
We contacted Dhaliwal to learn more and was told by his "home care medical practitioner" that "Mr. Dhaliwal is nursing a broken knee after accidentally running into the Mayor's baseball bat four or five times. He would like to state for the record that Mayor Corrigan is great and that everyone should join the NDP."
But does the Mayor really have plans to leave municipal politics and jump to the provincial Dippers?
"Absolutely!', Manhole exclaimed. "In fact, he has been asked to speak at the NDP caucus gathering this week in Penticton which is the first step in his bid for leadership."
Manhole's sources deep inside the NDP confirm that Mayor Corrigan will be at the Lakeside Resort, Convention Centre and Casino on June 14th and/or June 15th to give a status report on his progress as an openly Dipper Mayor and to give the keynote address to the caucus: "Devolution: Returning BC to the 1990s". Should this speech go well, he may be able to unify and give focus to the NDP while bringing in even more union involvement.
Manhole continued, "You have to remember that the last caucus meeting just a few weeks ago ended in a brawl - Corgy can get down and dirty with the best of 'em so he will be fine. As well, he may have some info he can share."
Such as...?
"Well, a week ago Mayor Corrigan was spotted snooping outside a Team Burnaby fundraising lunch at the Metrotown Hilton."
What was he doing?
"He was expertly sucking on a fag", Manhole exclaimed, "That cancer stick or cigarette is such a nasty habit. He pressed his head up against the door and was getting madder and madder until he let out a few curse words and stormed off."
What could he have heard that made him so upset?
"Well, no Dipper likes to hear about how well individuals or businesses are doing now that the NDP is not in power, so that probably cheesed off the Mayor. Thankfully he was able to go home to his wife, the CUPE researcher and School Board Trustee, Kathy, who was able to calm him down."
His wife is Kathy Corrigan? The School Board Trustee? The CUPE worker? Wow! But...then...why does she not mention she is married to the Mayor and possible future leader of the NDP on either her BCA or School Board websites?
"Well, if she states she is the Mayor's wife," Manhole began, "she could be labeled guilty, a braggart or a liar - traits commonly connected with the NDP."
Which will make Derek Corrigan a natural leader for the party.

Friday, June 09, 2006

BREAKING NEWS - BCTF Votes to Strike

Jesus To Gregor: "You Do Not Have A Hope In Hell Of Being Re-Elected!"

Poor NDP MLA Gregor Robertson, the under achieving over achiever. He seems to be the butt of many jokes (including those found here on this intrepid Poly) and this week while walking in his riding, not even Jesus Christ would give him support.
"It was the best thing I saw or heard ever...while sober", our man on the street reported. "Like, Jesus - or at least someone who looked like the Saviour - wanted nothing to do with Gregor. See! Look, I took a photo!"
The photo from our contact's cell phone shows Gregor talking up a storm while Jesus tries walking away, even looking to the heaven's for strength.
"Gregor was all like, 'Jesus you just have to come to my Town Hall Meeting on Monday' and Jesus is all like, 'What will you be discussing?' and Gregor goes, "Dude, I don't know, the unions have not given me the agenda yet.'"
Well, a look at the NDP website as to what Gregor is talking about at the meeting shows that, well, they will be discussing "...the most important issues of our time." Nothing specific, 'cause Gregor does not like to get bogged down in details.
"As Jesus starts picking up the pace," our informer continued, "Gregor says, 'I'd love for you to visit my website. Can you do that for me Jesus? Please?' But Jesus pretended not to hear him, kinda like if Gregor was in a caucus meeting."
Since we here at the Poly enjoy a good website - we were of course disappointed by Gregor's site which has not been updated in about seven months. Since Gregor has not done anything of note in that time, perhaps the site IS up-to-date. Most telling is when you click on "Gregor in the House" it takes you to a page with the bold heading of Not Found. A prophecy of the 2009 Election?

Another on looker reported that Gregor then proudly said, 'Hey Jesus, I think I know one of your prophets. My buddy Adrian Dix did some writing for you. Now THERE'S a man with integrity!"
Our street source continues: "Jesus now is doing like a jog with Gregor in pursuit going all, 'Hey Jesus, I'm kinda thirsty. Maybe you'd like a nice drink from the company I founded? You know, Happy Planet?' then Jesus says, 'You're a Dipper right? So, is Happy Planet unionized?' and Gregor is all like, 'No way Dude, I'm happy to take the union's money and election services but having them work in my company would have totally ruined me!"
Well, if the unions working in his non-union company did not ruin him, the 2004 sex discrimination complaint filed by his former controller against Gregor, Happy Planet and the company President could (may still?) have. This document on the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal website is fairly self explanatory. While ol' GR tried to have the application dismissed he was as successful as he was asking poignant, original questions in the House this past session.
"Then the most amazing thing happened," our source exclaimed, wide eyed. "Gregor started sobbing and Jesus stopped in his tracks, sighed, and made his way back to our sad MLA. JC says, 'My son, it feels like you have been slapped in the face, does it not?', and Gregor makes this kind of whimpering 'Yes' sound. Jesus then says, you need to remember Matthew 5:38-42 'If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.'"
From all accounts, Gregor was renewed with a sense of overwhelming confidence and true to the Lord's scripture he turned his head away in an exaggerated manner to show JC that he was taking His words to heart.
"Then Jesus sucker punched him", our source concluded. "Like I said, best thing I ever saw or heard."

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Would You Pay $580 For This?! Claire Did.

Claire "The Diva" Trevena, NDP MLA for North Island and Opposition Critic for Employment and Income Assistance woke up on May 20th with presumably a big hang over, a bank account which was a little lighter and a jacket which she will never wear in public.
"She was just doing what she was trained to do! She was just following NDP protocol!", an NDP insider exclaimed.
Let this intrepid Poly explain.
On May 19th, Ducks Unlimited held their annual fundraising dinner in Campbell River. It seems our darling Claire showed up a wee bit late and plunked herself down - uninvited - at a reserved table. As she helped herself to the free wine she became more and more boisterous - and susceptible to suggestion.
"Again not her fault", the spokesperson continued. "All the booze and no one talking about policy had Claire thinking this was the NDP Caucus retreat scheduled for a week later. An honest mistake."
As the drinks took hold, Claire's table guests decided to "fast ferry" her - that is, convince her that it would be in her best interest to purchase an item of no real use or value - a camouflage dinner jacket - at four to five times the retail cost. In fact, they told her it was tradition since the year before former North Island MLA Rod "The Bod" Visser bid on the same item at auction.
"Sigh...perhaps she should have run away as she did with Carole James when confronted with protesters during the last election, but she did not." our frustrated insider confessed. "Her public relations training from the company she owns with her husband really let her down."
The table guests soon shared their plan with others in the room and the bidding for the $100 jacket was driven up.
"Claire is used to seeing the NDP have bad finanical management and was just following the lead of her Party from the 1990's," Dipper insider continued. "Claire was trying to win the jacket so she and Carole could have matching outfits. This was the plan to help drive up the sagging NDP support in the polls. Sure it is not a good plan, but without Vaughn giving us anything new we are stuck."
By the time the bidding ended the folks in the room drove the price up to $580 and Claire won the jacket without knowing she was part of this gag - in spite of the fact people were openly pointing and laughing. In fact, Claire provided so much entertainment, the other guests wrote several additional cheques to Ducks Unlimited. These are folks who know the value of good entertainment.
So as Claire awoke the morning after the fundraiser, all she had left was a tacky jacket, a tax receipt for almost six times the value of the jacket and some foggy memories of a good evening - which is more than BC has after the fast ferry fiasco.

Monday, June 05, 2006

From the Desk of Edward Itorial - My First Post

This has been quite the week here at the BC Poly Blog. The list of news outlets to the left? Those are some of the outlets which either reported on our breaking story from Thursday, "BCTF Memos Show $$$ More Important Than Students" or requested interviews with this intrepid Poly. Due to the thousands of "hits" we had on this story and the hundreds of emails we received, we here at the Poly decided to make some clarifications on the operation of this Blog.
As a quick note - be sure to subscribe at the top of this page for our email notifications. This way you will always know when BC Poly Blog has been updated.
There are several people who work tirelessly to collect the information for the two or three posts made here each week. The sarcastic, yet informative, voice heard thus far has been of Poly. Poly finds - or creates - the absurd in the news piece. This creates a mix of humour, awareness and discussion. But make no mistake, at the core of each article is a real issue in play in British Columbia.
In an effort to clarify our position on an issue or to answer questions of readers, the press or lawyers, from time-to-time I will make posts on the BC Poly Blog. This way Poly's humour does not get in the way of the message and you - our loyal reader - can ask questions and get pointed answers. But don't worry - Poly will continue to post a majority of the time!
Let me get to main point of my first post - clarify our Poly's stance on teachers and the BCTF.
Teachers are some of the hardest working and most under appreciated folks in our society. We entrust our children to these educators for about seven hours a day, five days a week, nine months a year for roughly thirteen years. Quite frankly, teachers can spend more time with the kids than some parents. This Poly supports our teachers' call for improvements in the education system and for fair pay and benefits.
The British Columbia Teachers' Federation (BCTF) on the other hand is an organization in the business of collecting fees from hard working teachers in order to provide pay to their executive and staff. Over 165 people work for the BCTF according to the list on their website. Assuming an average wage and benefit package of $80,000 for each BCTF employee / executive, this is a wage load of more than $13.2 million each year that is out of the pockets of teachers. Oh...this does not include money needed for day-to-day costs of running the BCTF which has to go into the millions of dollars each year. Remember that our taxes pay for teachers and as such, our money goes to finance the BCTF.
For the life of me, I cannot see the benefit the BCTF has for teachers. The BCTF certainly does not properly nor ethically provide representation of our province's fine teachers. Jinny Sims' main goal is to raise more money for her union in a demented version of a perpetual motion machine. If the teachers need a union they need to figure out the BCTF is not the correct choice.
So - to simplify for our critics: teachers = good...BCTF = bad evil empire who should be greased up with meat juice and forced to run naked while wearing leg irons through a pen of wild, rabid dogs. Ok...Poly helped with that last line.