Canwest’s avoidance of sea lice and river privatization


Perhaps I’m a bit optimistic but I see the Canwest writers coming out, just a teeny bit.

If you had just arrived from Mars and looked at old issues of the Vancouver Province and the Vancouver Sun going back a decade you would never, for a moment, know that there have been any environmental issues in BC let alone the disastrous Rivers and Fish Farms catastrophe. In fact you would assume that Premier Gordon (Pinocchio) Campbell is a very popular politician. No doubt you would shake your head when you read the results of published polls and see the depths to which Mr. Campbell’s popularity has fallen.

You would see the odd article in the Sun by Scott Simpson on these two issues but they’re like letters servicemen send from war zones – enough to show concern but nothing specific about what’s really going on.

Mike Smyth in the July 25th edition of The Province goes much further in criticism of the Campbell government than at any time over the past decade. He talks of the cover-up of the BC Lotteries scandal, the screw-up of the HST, the muzzling of the Child Advocate, the privacy scandal, the Freedom of Information mess and the MLA expenses debacle.

Nothing about the government cover-up of sea lice stats, which should, but won’t, bring down the government!

Here we have an ongoing plan to desecrate our rivers so that BC Hydro can pay double what it’s worth to give BC Energy that it can’t use. From Palmer and Smyth, nothing. Zilch.

Here is an issue that presently has run to $40 BILLION! BC Hydro must pay for energy it doesn’t need, something that dwarfs the Glen Clark fast ferries fiasco without a comment from the intrepid Canwest political writers.

Here we have the fish farm issue, international in scope, with Alexandra Morton probably BC’s most tenacious fighter, on an issue she has taken up with the likes of the King of Norway, and it’s as if she weren’t there!

I sense this may have something to do with the fact that I’ve been on these issues – Smyth is mad at me big time. He has reason to be but that doesn’t excuse him avoiding issues because I’m on them.

Mike might answer that that’s not the reason, which puts me in mind of the lawyer in a southern courtroom (where things are a bit laid back) who, to the obvious displeasure of the judge, smoked a big cigar throughout the trial.

After the case was lost, the lawyer said to the judge “I think it’s terrible that you should decide against my client just because I smoked a cigar during the hearing”.

“That wasn’t the reason I found against you”, replied the judge.

“Well”, said the lawyer, “it’s a better reason than any you gave in your judgment”.

C’mon Mike, grow up!


About Rafe Mair

Rafe Mair, LL.B, LL.D (Hon) a B.C. MLA 1975 to 1981, was Minister of Environment from late 1978 through 1979. In 1981 he left politics for Talk Radio becoming recognized as one of B.C.'s pre-eminent journalists. An avid fly fisherman, he took a special interest in Atlantic salmon farms and private power projects as environmental calamities and became a powerful voice in opposition to them. Rafe is the co-founder of The Common Sense Canadian and writes a regular blog at