Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Why the B.C. Missing Women's Commission of Inquiry fails |

Why the B.C. Missing Women's Commission of Inquiry fails |

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Remembering Jack

Feels appropriate to re-post this.

Jack Layton will be remembered as a fighter. From his first political steps as a young man to the amazing surge of the federal NDP in this year’s spring election to his fight with cancer he always embraced the struggle.

It was this tenacity that endeared him to people all over Canada. To many he was simply known as Jack and in Vancouver on Monday night some five hundred people gathered at the Art Gallery in a vigil for him.

It was a beautiful event with NDP activists and supporters holding candles. I held a CUPE flag which drifted gently in the evening breeze. It was fitting that after the day’s heavy rains the clouds cleared. As candles glowed people talked of Jack and grieved. I chatted with an old friend - we knew each from our activism with the BC Health Coalition. Our interaction, just one of many such conversations taking place.

I got home at about 10pm and went online to Youtube where I found a video of Jack singing at the 2005 Parliamentary Press Gallery Dinner. The event typically has a satirical edge to it and that year was no exception with Jack singing his own lyrics to the tunes of three popular songs.

‘King of the Road’ became ‘Party For Sale or Rent’ with Jack making fun of himself, his party and the general state of federal politics at that time. The medley continued with ‘Nobody knows you when you’re down and out’ again with different and comical lyrics. He ended with a variant of the Barenaked Ladies ‘If I had a million dollars’ becoming ‘If I Had Another $48.6 billion dollars’.

As Jack left the stage that night - the musician accompanying him sang Hit The Road Jack. That night Jack left the stage of the press gallery dinner but yesterday he departed this life. He will be greatly missed, but what a legacy!

Jack Layton’s letter to Canadians

obituary from The Toronto Star

Statement from Barry O’Neill, President CUPE BC

Statement from Paul Moist, National President CUPE

Red Bull prepares to cross Rocky Mountaineer picket lines

Red Bull's Mini Drome tour, a lapped bicycle ride comes to Vancouver and controversially the site of a Lock Out at the Rocky Mountaineer terminus, Cottrell Street on October 23.

The soft drink maker boasts that Mini Drome "brings skill, speed, balance, and bravado together on a steep and shrunken version, far from the traditional velodrome, to give competitors the most challenging and treacherous ride of their lives." At the same time competitors are having the time of their lives they will have to think on the fact that in taking part in this event they have crossed a picket line.

Rocky Mountaineer locked out its on-board attendants in June of this year and refuses to negotiate with the union Teamsters Local 31.

In addition spectators are also invited to cross the picket line. There is no admission charge.

The Super Champion Bike Shop at the foot of Main Street near Cordova is acting in partnership with Red Bull to organize the event. The store is taking registrants information.

The Vancouver International Film Festival also held an event at the Cottrell Street site. A large picket and mobilization by the B.C Federation of Labour persuaded film lovers to boycott the event.

Rocky Mountaineer Lock Out continues | Radio is Radio

The Lock Out at Rocky Mountaineer is far from over.

Here's an interview I did with Heather Donily, one of the on-board attendants for the Rocky Mountaineer. I spoke with her on The Rational on Vancouver Cooperative Radio, Monday 3 Oct.

The latest on Rocky Mountaineer is that Red Bull plan to hold a bicycle event at RM's train terminus Oct 23.

Rocky Mountaineer Lock Out continues | Radio is Radio