Category Archives: Media

Mike Smyth is at it again!

Before the last election, I had rather naïvely hoped that Mike Smyth, Postmedia’s King of Snide, might become that rarest of commodities in BC politics: a balanced pundit. He criticism of Christy Clark’s BC Liberals were strong, focused and on-point, if not a little obsessed with personality and salacious scandal. Alas, with the ascension to […]

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Some comments on the Supreme Court education decision

On Thursday, November 10, the Supreme Court of Canada issued a decision from the bench only 20 minutes after final arguments in the long standing dispute between the BC government and the BCTF. Here is my contribution to Vaughn Palmer’s first article on the teachers’ victory: ______________ Can you imagine if a new BC government […]

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Finding Alternative Media

What exactly is the “mainstream media” (aka MSM)? According to that paragon of media sensibility, Keith Baldrey, the MSM is the mass information apparatus that upholds standards and supports democracy. It apparently does not include bloggers and “citizen journalists”, who are part of an emerging trend called “alternative media”: Without so/called “mainstream media” Democracy would be […]

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The Phoniness of BC’s Teacher “Surplus” [Updated]

By 2008, an anticipated shortage of teachers in BC had disappeared. In a National Post article, the change seemed almost inexplicable: “My sense is that there are more teachers than we need in a couple of subject areas,” said Marie Crowther, registrar for the B.C. College of Teachers. “Overall the anticipated shortage hasn’t materialized and from my […]

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When is debt not debt? When it belongs to your friends.

Though Vaughn Palmer is not as obnoxious or snide as others in BC’s Senate-track press corp, his refusal to be honest about our debt is maddening. The central problem is that the BC Liberals have gone on a spending binge since 2005, but most of it is not counted as debt. The Liberals have been […]

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The False Argument of Equivalence

Mike Smyth’s Sunday editorial [Ed. The link is no longer available.] is a classic example of BC’s mainstream corporate media once again spinning the narrative of equivalence with regard to BC’s education system. We’ve seen it for years from mainstream commentators like Keith Baldrey, Jon Ferry and Tom Fletcher. [Les Leyne of the Times-Colonist is a recent […]

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Union support for the BC NDP is not the same as corporate support for the BC Liberals

A sore point for supporters of the right-wing BC Liberals is that their party seems so financially beholden to corporations. An immediate retort is that the NDP is equally beholden to unions. The NDP, in other words, is just as bad, so let’s move on.  The problem with this response is that, in British Columbia, […]

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The Rip Van Winkle Effect: Back in the Classroom after Eight Years

Last September I knew I had to make a change, and so I took the plunge and moved back into the classroom after eight years in distance learning. I decided to leave DL because I really missed the classroom. I wanted to work face-to-face with students again, and embrace the challenges and rewards that come […]

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Pollution, Productivity and Pundits: Giving Up On Competitiveness?

After years of decrying the productivity gap, Canada’s corporate elite and their media partners are starting to show cracks in their united front. In a remarkable guest editorial by Eric Lascelles, a senior economist from RBC Global Asset Management, we see a sharp reversal of a narrative that’s been spun for well over a decade. […]

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Equality of Opportunity?

a The following is a quick letter I contributed to the online forum of the Globe and Mail: ____________ One of the great challenges to North America’s dominant political narrative is that it doesn’t actually believe in “equality of opportunity“. If one doubts my contention, simply review the attempts here in Canada to introduce a […]

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