Wednesday, March THE LAKE COWICHAN GAZETTE www.lakecowichangazette.com Wednesday March 12, 12, 20142014 THE LAKE COWICHAN GAZETTE www.lakecowichangazette.com
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Forget issues, pass the muffins
Proceedings here at the B.C. Vancouver mayor Sam Sullivan legislature were briefly thrust into now elected to serve using their the spotlight last week, firing up wheelchairs. the radio talk shows and twitter A costly new outside access feeds. ramp assisted Kenny Michell, No, it wasn’t the B.C. Liberal who visited last week to tell his government forcing through leg- harrowing story of the Burns Lake islation to allow industrial “re- sawmill explosion that nearly search” for things like pipeline burned him to death in 2012 and routes in provincial left him in a wheelchair. parks, or the debate on The NDP brought a sanctioned wolf and delegation of survivors grizzly kills. It wasn’t and family members of the teacher strike vote, the dead from sawdust as the scripted motions explosions in Burns of that ritual combat are BC Bureau Lake and Prince George. well known to weary By Tom Fletcher They supported the opparents. position’s demand for an It was muffins. More independent inquiry, alspecifically, “free” muffins in a though their own demands ranged newly relocated and equipped from counselling for long-sufferMLA lounge, and a rack installed ing wives to seeing someone punto hold the said muffins at a cost ished for alleged negligence. of $733. The scandal pushed in this tragThis was portrayed as part of a ic story is that some evidence was spending spree by Richmond East not protected by WorkSafeBC and MLA Linda Reid, elected Speaker wouldn’t have been admissible in last summer. In fact it’s just the lat- court. Prosecutors also said they est phase of a strikingly expensive had enough evidence for charges, refit to provide wheelchair access, but the companies or executives which Reid has championed. would be able to show “due diliThe new MLA lounge replac- gence” that would likely result in es a seldom-used one at the top acquittal. of steep stairs high in the 1898 What that means in English is stone structure. The new lounge is that the explosion risk of extra-dry served by a ramp near the chamber dust and air wasn’t fully grasped exit to another under-used room in by either mill operators or Workthe library, and equipped with big- SafeBC. All B.C. mills are now screen TVs to follow proceedings, subject to more scrutiny, and a similar to those installed in the leg- coroner’s inquest will be calling islature chamber last year. witnesses this fall to see what lesEverything done here is expen- sons can be learned. sive, from matching ornate woodBack to pipelines through parks. work to upgrading ancient plumb- This may seem like a scandal to ing and wiring. But the public, urban B.C. residents who already conditioned by media to expect fret about the possibility of the corruption and scandal, would 60-year-old Trans Mountain piperather be outraged about free muf- line, or one of several proposed fins. gas pipelines, intruding on a park. Prior to this, MLAs had to It’s not as well known that Trans troop down to the basement din- Mountain completed a major ing room to put muffins and cof- twinning and upgrading project on fee on their expense accounts, or the Alberta side in 2008. It crosses have an assistant fetch them. The Mount Robson Provincial Park outraged talk shows didn’t men- and Jasper National Park, without tion that. There are access issues incident or scandal to date. in the dining room too, a fact more But back to muffingate, as it’s difficult to ignore with Children become known around here. I and Family Development Minis- don’t know why people are so ter Stephanie Cadieux, Paralym- cynical and uninterested in serious pian Michelle Stilwell and former issues. I wish I did.
Caycuse • Honeymoon Bay • Lake Cowichan • Mesachie Lake • Youbou
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Dog park a social event for dogs and owners Dear Editor
Re: Street Beat, Opinion, March 5
I was reading the question about a dog park and if we need one. One lady replied, “no,” as dogs ﬁght at them. I have been to numerous dog parks and have never encountered any problem with dogs ﬁghting. One that I was at in Nanaimo had at least 30 dogs while I was there with my Rottie. There was every breed of dog there including Pit Bulls, Labs and, Spaniels. Not one dog ﬁght. She suggested an on-leash park but my experience is that causes more problems than off-leash. Every dog park I have been to requires off-leash at the gate. Dog parks are a great place for dogs to socialize and burn off some energy and their humans meet some really neat people. Val Sangster, Lake Cowichan
Perhaps many teachers are happy the way things are Dear Editor:
B.C. Teachers Federation says there are over 41,000 school teachers in the federation. Strike vote results from March 6, show that only 29,301 teachers voted with 26,051 voting yes for strike action. This leaves 14,949 teachers or 36.46%, that seem to be happy with the way things are. The way things are is that the average teacher wage in B.C. is $89,000 per year ($70,624 in wages, $18,000 in beneﬁts), two weeks off at Christmas, two week spring break, lieu days, a pension plan that the B.C. taxpayers pay 16.13% of salary into plan, having the months of July and August off, and a taxpayer funded beneﬁts plan. With the Alberta Teachers Federation recent four-year contract of 0% increase in the ﬁrst three years, and a 2% pay raise in the fourth year with a cash bonus, and with the announcement March 7, 2014 that Staples will be closing 225 stores, these 14,949 are saying, “Things are great the way they are. We are lucky to be working.” Joe Sawchuk, Duncan
OFFICE/CIRCULATION Karen Brouwer DENNIS SKALICKY Publisher The Lake Cowichan Gazette is a member of the British Columbia Press Council, a self-regulatory body governing the province’s newspaper industry. The council considers complaints from the public about the conduct of member newspapers. Directors oversee the mediation of complaints, with input from both the newspaper and the complaint holder. If talking with the editor or publisher does not resolve your complaint about coverage or story treatment, you may contact the BC Press Council. Your written concern, with documentation, should be sent to BC Press Council, 201 Selby St., Nanaimo, BC V9R 2R2. For information, phone 888-687-2213 or go to www.bcpresscouncil.org
COLUMNIST Rolli Gunderson
CANADIAN COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER AWARD 2012
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March 12, 2014 edition of the Lake Cowichan Gazette