Tag Archives: Canada

No such thing as ‘Revenue Neutral’

I often spend the early hours of the morning answering transatlantic queries that I could have sworn I answered six months ago. Like this morning, and the one before that. To confirm my suspicions I went into my saved emails, ran a simple text string search and, yup. Already told ’em that. In the same words no less. Sometimes I feel like I’m dealing with Goldfish level attention spans because I have the annoying (To my opponents) ability to recall what was said on a given topic for some time afterwards. And if I’m not sure of a critical detail I bloody well go and check. I make no claims to more than a slightly better than average intelligence, however, some so-called ‘qualified’ people make me despair.

Like with this stupid ‘Carbon tax’ we’re going to get foisted on us by the idiot fop Canadians made Prime Minister. Like with the carbon tax the NDP have just dumped on the Albertans. And these dumb fuck politicians say their new tax will be ‘revenue neutral’.

Well there isn’t such a thing as revenue neutrality. If tax is applied then it has to be collected. New taxes always have a collection cost. Administrative staff need to be recruited and paid, new (often very expensive) offices built or leased and furnished, electricity, sewerage and water for all those workers so they don’t have to work with their legs permanently crossed. Computer systems and support staff. Money to pay for the phone bills and software licences. Then there’s the kind of Ouroboros-like effect of taxing government employees to pay for their own wages, offices, phone and electricity etcetera, etcetera. With every new tax, the tax collection system has to be enlarged. Web sites have to be built with FAQ’s and phone lines to keep frustrated taxpayers on while they stare disbelievingly at the way taxation has just taken yet another bite out of their stagnated income.

In short, you can’t get more out than you put in. Which is a fundamental law of economics. ‘Revenue neutral’ is one of those ghastly hollow little soundbites used by virtue signalling left of centre politicians who don’t have to keep a vice like grip on the family budget. The politico’s and their hangers on (By contrast to ordinary people, for a given value of ‘ordinary’) have privileged little lives insulated from the effects of their actions. What they can’t see is the simple fact that any new tax, like, let me see, the insane ‘Carbon tax’ that Albertans have just been saddled with cannot ever be ‘revenue neutral’. No matter how many cheques are sent out to the people they’ve just sent careering down the slope to energy poverty. Someone has to pay for all the people to administer such a scheme. Ergo any tax take is not going to be anything like ‘revenue neutral’. But anyone with two brain cells to rub together knows this anyway.

Don’t even get me started on the David Suzuki bullshit about ‘saving the planet’ as justification for the new Carbon tax. What does he know? He’s an Entomologist for Christs sake, not an atmospheric physicist. His field, before he found there was more money to be made in advocacy and media whoring, was the study of insects. Ergo, anything he has to say on a climate science can reasonably be assumed to be no more well informed than some random bloke down the pub. Atmospheric Physics requires some serious Mathematical skill, which very few people have, even then climate modelling has failed dismally to reflect reality. Although I do admire Suzuki’s ability for making millions out of scare story advocacy. He’s made a mint from speaking fees and public appearances. The fact that all his prognostications of climate doom have repeatedly been shown to be complete and utter bollocks make me that much more in awe of his talent for turning dross into cold hard cash. That and his much-cited demand to be escorted by a ‘bodyguard’ of the hottest girls on campus. You have to take your hat off to the sheer, bare faced chutzpah of the old con merchant.

Mind you, I don’t think Suzuki had much sway over Harper, but his resurgence as influence over a half wit drama teacher who looks like Mick Jagger was his real father has to be admired. As for when Trump takes office at the end of this week and the pseudo-environmentalists like Suzuki lose their influence within the US, I will be listening to the outraged wails with a grim smile on my face.

Delays and general shizzle

I’m an early riser, and tend to do most of my business between 6 and 11am Pacific Standard Time. Simply because I’m currently dealing with issues over in the UK and have to talk to people in real time rather than wait 24 hours for them to bother answering an email. So this morning I got a shock when I got an urgent message from Youngest saying that she wasn’t going to be allowed to board her flight to Canada in a couple of days.

The problem is her expired Canadian Permanent Residency. Apparently she still shows up as a Permanent Resident of Canada when applying for one of the new shiny e-visa’s or Electronic Travel Authorisations. Which I find rather strange. If your permanent residency is expired, then the whole ETA thing should be much easier, no? If you’ve ever been a Permanent Resident Canada Immigration already has your details on file, so any identity concerns can be easily dealt with. It’s a simple yes / no algorithm. Is Permanent residency still valid? If yes, no ETA required. If no, fee please and fill in the online form. Any security ‘red flags’? No? Cool. Again, fee and fill in the form please. Got immediate family in Canada? Hey, good to see you back. Fill in the ETA form like everyone else. Append ETA visa to passport records which are already online via Canada Immigrations secure internal services, job done. But no, that would be too smegging simple. She has to formally ‘renounce’ her permanent residency which can’t be processed at least until Monday morning, possibly Tuesday, then she has to apply for another ETA, and without one the airlines won’t let her board her flight to Canada.

Okay, this makes me think there’s some mooks promoted way above their pay grade deciding on these regulations because these new ETA rules are so bloody counter-intuitive. I know there’s security concerns over immigration, but does this help? No. In fact these new rules actively discriminate against people. Yes that’s right, discrimination. Which is supposed to be illegal or some shizzle like that here in Canada. I’ve lost track. Just mentioning discrimination might be breaking the law nowadays. I now neither know nor care. I’m a citizen and will fight for my rights as such.

Fortunately Youngest isn’t going to be stuck in airports for the next few days, but is quite upset about having to stay home when she should be winging her way to us for Christmas and New Year. Fortunately she has a lot of friends in London and a nice cosy flat to wait around in. Better that than hanging around the industrial bleakness of most big airports. Especially Heathrow. The family has rallied round with money for ticket changes, so we’re all good there. She has wine, pizza and friends. It could be a hell of a lot worse.

Hey, it’s an unnecessary delay, but I console myself that everyone is safe. We’ll see Youngest on Wednesday or Thursday at the latest. There’s nothing unfixable.

One other thing; CBC have gotten hold of my email address and are spamming me with fake news about Barack Obama telling everyone how the Russians stole the US presidential election. For which there is no real evidence. Check out Stephan Molyneux’s video of his findings at 3:00. Stuff it. I’ll try and unsubscribe from these unwanted CBC messages, and if there’s a little box plaintively asking why, I will simply tell them not to spam as I didn’t subscribe to their fucking service in the first place. How the hell they got my email is beyond me, because I never visit their web site or any of its affiliates. Don’t even get me started on ‘Fakebook‘ trying to tell everyone what is real news or not. When it comes to fake news, they are one of the worst offenders. May their share price plumb new depths. It’s just a paper stock based on nothing anyway. I wouldn’t put money into Social Media even if you had me at gunpoint. Because I think Facebook and the rest are crap investment prospects which don’t actually produce anything and sell your information to the highest bidder. My twice-killed-but-won’t-lie-down-account doesn’t get posted to, hasn’t been since 2011, so as far as advertising it concerned, it’s a dead loss. No-one reads it. It’s a zombie that won’t die until Fakebook does. Both stepdaughters and most of their real friends have stopped using Facebook too, and they were supposed to be part of the ‘Generation’.

Likewise I won’t trust Snopes any more, nor Politifact or any of the other so-called ‘impartial’ sites. Their brands are now polluted beyond usefulness by a demonstrated pro-globalist stance. Likewise Wikipedia isn’t to be trusted on anything mildly contentious. Hell, like with all the other big ‘news’ networks, if any of them tried to tell me the sky was blue I’d go to the front door and check for myself. The truth may be out there, but everyone has their own version of it.

Right, back to work then yet more bloody packing.

Update:  Joy unbridled.  Paperwork processed, ETA visa obtained.  Flight to be rebooked.  Anticipating having to zip over to Vancouver on Monday to pick Youngest up from airport.  Yay!

Oh yes, and a big THANK YOU to the front line troops at the Canadian High Commission for processing Youngest’s ETA request on a Saturday.  I’ll say this for the counter staff of Canadian Immigration, so long as they think you’re legal decent honest and truthful, they can move minor mountains quite quickly.    Even if the rules they have to implement are sometimes goofy.

Apologies

It’s a wet wintry Saturday, and I’m fed up with the usual seasonal shopping. I make no apology for this. Two weeks to go before Christmas and I’m dreading it. Having outlined outlined my reasons several times before. It’s not that I’m a complete anti seasons greeting curmudgeon, just that I can’t really get behind the whole Secret Santa-Office party-you-vill-be-jolly-or-ve-vill-heff-you-disciplined-boi-cracky. If you didn’t quite understand that last phrase, just read it out aloud in a Herr Flick accent with the last two words in a yokelish drawl. Trust me, it will make perfect sense. Again, no apology should be implied or construed in any way shape or form. I’m not sorry and here’s the kicker; you can’t make me.

The only time I’ll apologise is if I’m proven wrong. In addition I won’t apologise if someone is ‘offended’ by the way I walk or talk, or mind my own damn business. Nor for being born into the skin I’m in, being an ‘unreconstructed male’, nor the years I’ve survived on this planet. I also won’t apologise for thinking Brexit, Trump’s election as US President and the impending implosion of the European Union are good things. For a given value of ‘good’. Nor do I apologise for my scepticism over man made climate change, or thinking Jimmy Savile might have actually been innocent, or that the lamestream media just makes shit up a lot of the time. Nor do I apologise for thinking that Justin Trudeau is promoted way above his pay grade or that bill C-16 outlawing ‘hate speech’ against transgenders is a truly, epically bad idea. It won’t stop them offing themselves. Nor do I think that the current increase of drug abuser deaths is a bad thing either. Think of it as evolution in action. I’m not unsympathetic, I just think we shouldn’t enable the worst excesses of being homeless, that’s all. There are better ways to help homeless people than simply chasing down the drug dealers. For this, I also make no apology.

Seriously, I’m rather overcome with apology fatigue. Fed up of having to apologise when the fault is not mine, or words are twisted by the unprincipled into something that was never intended. In short there’s far too much apologising, and not enough cheerful “Go fuck yourself.” Especially when the demands for apologies are almost invariably insincere and used as weapons to cow the strong into submission by noisy cry-bullies. Fuck them all, or rather not, the bastards would only breed, and there are far too many as it is.

Sod it. Time for pancakes and honey.

A climate of hope?

Back in 2008, when Obama was selected as US Presidential Candidate in the 2008 Democratic primaries, he made a speech containing remarks about the planet healing and halting sea level rise now he was the candidate anointed by whatever. Which was patent bollocks and can be justifiably ranked as one of the top hundred political lies of the 21st Century. And that’s up against some pretty stiff competition, like the Bush and Blair excuses for the 2nd Iraq war, and just about everything said by Hilary Clinton.

Now US President-elect Trump is laying out his environmental agenda, news is filtering out of COP22 that some delegates are worried about their man made climate change gravy train grinding to a well-deserved halt. If as Trump has said, that the USA will withdraw from all the UN climate agreements because they were imposed by several notorious Congress-bypassing Executive Orders, defunding their 3 Billion USD contribution pledge.

Which may have a knock on effect north of the 49th Parallel and elsewhere. Trudeau has pledged CAD$2,650,000,000, which at current exchange rates comes out at USD$1,954,565,614.50. On top of our CAD$5,800,000,000 (USD$4,277,917,194.00) spend for 2015. Which is a big slice of a shrinking economy. The UK? Let me try to put all that on a level playing field from the published figures of contributions to the main climate funds.
USA: USD$3 Bn GBP2.4 Bn CAD$4 Bn
UK: UDS$4.8 Bn GBP3.9 Bn CAD$6.56Bn
Canada: USD$1.96 GBP 1.57 CAD$ 2,65Bn

Worldwide contributions to the International Climate Fund currently stand at USD$30 Bn out of a pledge of USD$40 Bn (Source Here) with ‘approved’ funds equalling USD$17.5 Bn. That’s a heck of a big cake for the troughers to feast off, travel First and Business Class, stay in five star hotels, get paid massive speaking fees, publish endless garbage ‘science’ articles based on statistical models and upwards adjusted data. No wonder they’re worried. It does not take an Everest scale intellect to see that if only one of these three contributors gives the UN climate change scamsters the finger, say if as seems likely the USA decides to pull out, the Climate troughers will have to take a sizeable pay cut, and horror of horrors, travel Economy on their own dollar and maybe stay in a lower cost accommodation. No more motorcades, and delegates poncing around their conferences in top of the line SUV’s like armoured Range Rover Sentinels (Like the Ranger spotted 52 Seconds into the video below).


All to ‘prevent’ a probably inevitable (And natural) uptick in average global temperatures. Or downslide, because new facts and figures are coming in which point to a cooling global climate driven by a ‘double heartbeat‘ of the sun.

The CO2 based models may say one thing, but if the climate steadfastly refuses to be driven by CO2s, why are we in the west spending money on something we manifestly can’t control? Especially on data derived from models that Airfix could do better?

The climate will change. That much is certain. However, throwing tax money at endless international conferences won’t change a thing. The best thing Trump can do is cut all the subsidies and aid packages. Which won’t please the Carbon Traders or the builders of wind turbine blight. But then those people will have to find honest ways of making a living. Like investing in clean nuclear power (Fusion would be nice, but Thorium would do), ‘clean’ coal (Fluidised bed technology and stack scrubbers) and better hydro-electric schemes.

This is going to be fun. Have just decided to buy my popcorn wholesale.

Kill Bill

kill-bill-c16Panic not dear reader. I have not been receiving death threats or any other similar abuse. Not that I care much about such things, I’m ‘too old for that shit’ as they say, and tend to respond with “Yeah, right. Just don’t expect it to be easy.” I’ve survived too much for too long to have any other attitude. Been there, done that, called CCTV. Now when random people call out abuse or other strangeness, I tend to be unimpressed.

Take for example Saturday evening where I was meandering amiably up Government Street following a pleasant evening in the Bard and Banker with Mrs S and Eldest. I was walking along ahead of wife and stepdaughter, noting that the fudge and maple syrup shop was still open when a young woman approached me, right hand stuck out saying “Hi!” Very loudly and cheerfully. A little nonplussed, I gave her my best perplexed look, but did not take my own hand out of my pocket. At which she walked straight past me and made some shouted remark about her thinking that I was a very nice person but…, or some such nonsense. She’d obviously failed to understand that not everyone wants to shake hands with random strangers, no matter how ‘friendly’ they seem. At which I turned, smiled sadly at her, tipped my hat and carried on walking toward our bus stop. My wife and stepdaughter glanced at me with “What was all that about?” expressions, to which I gave a shrug. I had no idea. Drunk kids are all part of the bell curve of human existence and nothing I haven’t come across before. I’d had a few glasses of red and was in a placid state of mind, so I took no offence. It was just a little strange, that’s all.

No, today’s thoughts are focused on the iniquity of ‘speech codes’, and why it is plainest folly to codify what people may or may not say in their own private lives, into law. The Harper Government did a number of good things, and one of those was to remove the ‘Hate Speech’ provisions from the Canadian Human Rights Act with Bill C-304. Now those cuddly kittens in the Liberal party want it back so nanny can tell us all how to think about a tiny minority of freakish people (I’ve met a number of pre and post-op TV’s and TG’s, and yes, ‘freakish is the right word) who most are not likely to meet or interact with, nor even care about.

Apparently the motivation for such idiotic legislation is to stop Transgenders and Transexuals offing themselves because someone said something horrible to them, or failed to call them by their ‘correct’ gender pronoun. Sorry folks, but the bad news is that TG’s and TV’s have the highest suicide rate of any section of the population outside of Kamikaze pilots on a Sake drinking binge. Self loathing and self destructive urges are hard wired into the physiology of the condition. Between 42-46% of Transgenders will actually self destruct. End of. These figures do not of course include suicide attempts as in ‘cries for help’, just those who succeed. There seems to be an endemic self loathing built into transgenderism, a lack of connection with tribe and family, connections which are essential to general psychic well-being in well-balanced individuals.

The above being the case, why is it so essential to shackle the mouths of the rest of the population to spare the feelings of a few who are rabidly poised on the razors edge of self destruction? Will we save them, those who are incapable of saving themselves? Probably not, no matter how much we try to spare their feelings. The sad reality is that no matter what you do, you will trigger these people simply by looking away from them or any other behaviour other than treating them like you’re their newest best friend. Like with Saturday’s random young lady, even inaction is seen as somehow offensive. It’s a no-win scenario.

It’s all academic really, if the politically correct do get their way and Islam becomes the dominant culture, as seems the intent, all the TG’s, TV’s, gays and hard line feminists will be first on their knees for emergency height reduction surgery or a free flying lesson from the very people they sought to empower.

However, I take heart that this is not a certain outcome. Bill C-16 may die. The political pendulum may swing back to point sanity and the bills PC idiocy will fade into the realm of deranged lefty student politics from whence it came. I may die before it does, the University system that nurtures such beliefs may fail even if the bill should become law, and who knows, the horse sense of sanity may even learn to sing?

There goes….

In the days when I used to try and do stand up comedy there was a saying. In order to get some audience reaction, which any comic needs, an appeal is made for any member of an identifiable group or faction. Depending upon the response, the comics stock reaction was “There goes my act..” or “Oh good, I can tell that one…” and proceeded to deliver a particularly risque joke.

Now we hear about a fairly obscure (well I’ve never heard of him – but that means nothing) comedian being fined CAD$42,000 for making a gag that ‘offended’ a disfigured boy sent to sing badly in front of the Pope. Sorry, but I’m having a really bad case of WTF! right at this minute. Forty two thousand dollars? Almost a years salary for a dumb gag that didn’t get much of a laugh and would therefore be dropped from the act anyway? Over a five year old claim that the singer was supposedly ‘dying’ and hadn’t yet? Okay, the gag was tasteless and obtuse, but seeing as it highlighted a false claim for sympathy, it was apt, and therefore fair comment. On that basis the claim for damages should be thrown out.

This is where so-called ‘Human Rights Tribunals’ are in fundamental conflict with the rest of the society. Such bodies are currently being abused to enforce an egregious middle class morality that George Bernard Shaw was railing at in plays like ‘Pygmalion’ as far back as the 1920’s. Shaw himself I have no love for because he was an outspoken proponent of the evil philosophy of Eugenics, but he did write exceedingly good satires. If Shaw were alive today he’d be writing stuff about how ridiculous ‘hate speech’ laws are.

Grumpiness

At present I have much to be annoyed about, and I’m letting my inner grump have free reign. Why? From people in the UK trying to screw me over for tens of thousands (Good luck with that one – I know what they’re up to and so do my lawyers) and ill relatives, to the happy clappy attitude of some of the locals, who, it turns out, are far more likely to die younger than I. Which is a relief. A man can only take so much ‘nice’ before he considers committing an uncharacteristic act of malice and mayhem. Which tends to upset local law enforcement, and that would never do.

However, there is hope, because a new study has found that being a curmudgeon makes you likely to live longer, be more creative, effective, and generally be more prepared against life’s little vicissitudes. Of which there are a plethora.

The reason for my grumpiness? Hunting for a new apartment. Bills. ‘Hate crime’ laws going back on the books, people you’ve never met acting like you’re their best friend, usual shit. Now Mrs S has just announced she’s had a belly full of ‘nice’ because she’s just asked me what country I’d like to move to because she’s pissed off with the stinking tide of Political Correctness over here in BC. And going back to the UK isn’t going to happen because we like our personal space too much. After a few moments reflection I said “New Zealand. South Island.” For six months, certainly. Okay, I’ll give it a try. This is one of those ‘can hack’ situations where I have to do the hacking. Hey, I got us through the hoops of immigrating to Canada. Five or six months in NZ during 2017-8 by comparison should be a snip.

Just got to work out how to store the car, as the Bike will definitely be coming with us.

Waiting…

Mrs S; “Lovely day.” (She turns, advances to front door.) “Inspiring prospects. Time to go out” (She turns to William.) “Let’s go.”
Bill Sticker: “We can’t.”
Mrs S: “Why ever not?”
Bill Sticker: “We’re waiting for Canada Post.”

Excuse me channelling Samuel Beckett, but I’m still waiting for my book order to arrive when the official delivery date was 25th July. Now the gaping void on my bookshelves sings a siren lament every time I pass, achingly begging for fulfilment. It pulls at me like a gravitational singularity, pulling my gaze first to the gap, thence to the void on our front doorstep. A promised space stares at me accusingly. I feel its hunger like a gape in my belly. So potent it’s almost sexual. An unfilled bookshelf is a terrible thing. It haunts, accuses, points and says; “Fill me!” with the urgency of a lover in heat. Thwart it at your peril.

Another victim of Canada Post Will the postman eventually leave my package on the doorstep while we’re out, or one of those faux-cheery accusatory little cards saying; “We tried to deliver your package, but you were out. Pick it up at your local postal depot next week.” Next week! No, no! I wasn’t out, I was here, waiting. I’ve been good. Honestly. Eagerly anticipating my orders arrival with an acid sense of anticipation, ears pricked. Listening for the faintest thump on the doorstep which will announce my books arrival. Afraid to go out less I miss the slightest clue. Hoping against hope that my package has not been delivered to another household, where my precious purchases will be treated with contempt by someone else who is not capable of appreciating their contents, or horror beyond measure, callously left out in the rain, wrapping soaked and wood pulp pages beginning to rot, for my package to be picked up by the delivery person next time they pass for redelivery. If they ever do.

I’m driving my wife nuts.

Update 5th August 2016 12:48pm: All ten books have arrived.  My bookshelf is now whole.

Trump card

Now that Donald J Trump is officially the Republican Presidential nominee I expect to keep hearing even more stories about people from south of the border (and I don’t mean Mexicans) threatening to move to Canada should he become President of the USA. Trust me chaps, it’s a bad idea. Honestly, as this cartoon by the irrepressible XKCD points out. Our Winters can get a bit brutal, especially in the Rockies and Eastbound. Which is why most of us prefer to snuggle up close to the 49th Parallel or thereabouts. Even here in the comparatively mild Maritime climate of the Pacific Northwest it can get decidedly chilly. Especially Campbell River and north.

Dont move to canada To begin with, north of the 49th parallel we do not enjoy the same diversity of goods as in the US of A. Grocery stores do not stock wine or even lite beer. Did I also mention it’s more expensive to live up here as well? Food and rent prices are generally higher, and property costs more to buy, even with the current exchange rate. A lot of places close on public holidays as well as Sundays and Mondays and Wal-Mart is no longer taking VISA payments in some of its stores. And if you want to shop at Target instead… oh, wait. You can’t. They’re all shut. Permanently. Then there’s the bears. Who aren’t to be messed with, even in the suburbs of Vancouver. They’re are also known to break into cars (To be fair, it was a Lexus). On the plus side, the wildlife does tend to keep the human varmints indoors, when they’re not indulging in the odd gang shooting (The gang bangers, not the Bears or Cougars). Which keeps our local Police busy. Yes, and Marijuana isn’t fully legal just yet. So before you sell up and fill up the U-Haul, take a deep breath.

Then there’s the Governance. It’s a bit more, well, intrusive if you know what I mean. Especially at the local scale. We might currently have a progressive prime minister, but no, Canada is not the progressive paradise you might think it is. Trudeau or no.

Don’t even mention the First Nations land claims or the endless prevaricating over relatively simple decisions like building a new sewage treatment facility for BC’s provincial capital. Or that our Provincial Prime Minister avoids coming to Victoria as much as possible because there’s “No real people” here (Which I find a bit insulting). Dear me no. A can of worms? More like truckloads. It’s why things move at a slower pace up here in the not so frozen north. Especially immigration.

However, we like it, but for Americans some of our more, ahem, eccentric practices might be too much of an an acquired taste. So are you damn Yankees absolutely sure you’re going to head north if, or more likely when, Donald Trump becomes the next US President?

Downtown again

Afternoon, downtown Victoria having recently returned from the USA. The population of ‘street people’ a.k.a. beggars appears to have more than doubled since I last meandered around Fort, Douglas and Government Streets. Might be just a seasonal thing, might be to do with the increase from the homeless encampment back of the court buildings. I’ve got to the stage where I just tune all the begging out and carry on with where I’m going. Same for those raising petitions for ‘Transgender rights’ and suchlike. Frankly you couldn’t pay me to care. I’d probably raise an eyebrow if a person in a dress stood next to me in a public toilet to use the boys urinals, but so long as they keep themselves to themselves I’m not bothered. I’ve spent too much time in Paris and elsewhere to be fazed by such weirdness. Although if I still had small children, my reaction might be a leetle bit more defensive.

However, closer to the camp, Victoria’s usually moribund crime rate has rocketed 46% with all sorts off bad manners. For example; while having coffee yesterday, I observed more than the usual number of uniformed officers on foot. Not in a hurry, just walking purposefully as if they were on the lookout for somebody or something. Which piqued my curiosity. My reasoning is thus; if the local coppers are, then some kind of game is afoot.

I’ve also noted new security measures going up all around downtown in a subdued, very Victorian manner. New railings and barriers in car parks etcetera. I mean the crusties are not a real problem for those who used to people being less than well behaved, but for others who have a fit of the vapours and call 911 on the silliest of pretexts…. Well, perhaps that’s another story.

As for the camp itself, the hearing over its existence has been put back to September, something which a lot of people are not terribly enchanted about. Me, I think the whole issue is borderline out of control since well-meaning, but totally witless, people authorised the provision of plumbing and flush toilets instead of simply kicking out the less desirable elements and providing homeless shelter spaces for those in real need. Which act has made it more comfortable for the less than law-abiding and left local residents with an escalating crime problem. See the comment from ‘Wafflesdemonslayer’ on this thread. I’ll lay odds that’s not the only story of this nature.

At present Mrs S and I are contemplating a move away from Victoria itself. Working online as we do, we don’t need to be this close to downtown as the rents are too high and there’s not enough quality entertainment there to keep us coming back. On the other hand, if increasing crime sends over inflated property and rental prices spiralling downwards, I might be willing to buy in and campaign hard for the nuisance to be removed. On the other hand, knowing how wringing wet some vociferous people are around here, I’d probably be backing a losing horse.

Just as a fantasy exercise; I wonder what would happen if someone with real money wanted the crusties gone? Say they hired four dozen private security guys from off island to wash the camp off the map in the small hours of the night with fire hoses. The local hipsters get plausible deniability and the opportunity to virtue signal frantically about how horrible someone must be to be so mean to all these poor people. The less desirables get a serious eviction message and the crime rate takes a nosedive. But I don’t think anyone round here is really that ruthless. Not that I’m advocating anything of that nature, but it’s a thought.

A more palatable alternative might be to get the local cops to strictly enforce existing bylaws forbidding booze and other intoxicants from being consumed in BC’s public parks and confiscating any containers found. Back it up by threatening the liquor licences of stores who knowingly supply the camp. As it is in a public space, a tent there is not covered by legal restrictions on searches, so, no need for warrants. Sure it’s harassment, but the camp itself is already a source of harassment for local residents. Not that some seem to be interested. They’re more interested in painting the crosswalks.

Heavy sigh. We’ll see what this years tourist season brings.