Author: Brian Charlton

The NDP Leadership Decision

At the April 2016 NDP convention delegates decided the party needed a new leader. Thomas Mulcair was out; sometime in early October we will know who is in. There are four candidates: Charlie Angus, MP for Timmins-James Bay; Niki Ashton, MP for Churchill-Keewatinak Aski; Guy Caron MP for Rimouski-Neigette-Temiscouata-Les Basques; and Jagmeet Singh, Ontario MPP for Bramela-Gore-Malton. Interestingly all but Singh are from rural ridings: Angus from northern Ontario, Ashton from northern Manitoba and Caron from the Gaspe area of Quebec. There have been eight debates so far, with the last one to occur in Vancouver Sept. 10 before voting gets underway on the 18th. There is no convention. Voting will be done via the Internet or by mail. In order to vote you had to be a member as of Aug 18, 2017. Since the candidate has to receive over 50% of the vote there could be runoffs but there will be a result by Oct 15th at the latest. So why should Canadians, other than NDP members, follow this race? Because whoever leads the NDP now, could be the Prime Minister following the 2019 federal election. That may seem overly ambitious as the NDP sits with only 44 seats in the House of Commons. However, consider the fact that the Conservatives have a new leader who is not all that different from their former leader Stephen Harper,...

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The NDP Leadership Decision

The NDP Leadership Decision   At the April 2016 NDP convention delegates decided the party needed a new leader. Thomas Mulcair was out; sometime in early October we will know who is in. There are four candidates: Charlie Angus, MP for Timmins-James Bay; Niki Ashton, MP for Churchill-Keewatinak Aski; Guy Caron MP for Rimouski-Neigette-Temiscouata-Les Basques; and Jagmeet Singh, Ontario MPP for Bramela-Gore-Malton. Interestingly all but Singh are from rural ridings: Angus from northern Ontario, Ashton from northern Manitoba and Caron from the Gaspe area of Quebec. There have been eight debates so far, with the last one to occur in Vancouver Sept. 10 before voting gets underway on the 18th. There is no convention. Voting will be done via the Internet or by mail. In order to vote you had to be a member as of Aug 18, 2017. Since the candidate has to receive over 50% of the vote there could be runoffs but there will be a result by Oct 15th at the latest. So why should Canadians, other than NDP members, follow this race? Because whoever leads the NDP now, could be the Prime Minister following the 2019 federal election. That may seem overly ambitious as the NDP sits with only 44 seats in the House of Commons. However, consider the fact that the Conservatives have a new leader who is not all that different from...

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Rewritten and Redrawn

British historian Christopher Hill once wrote, “History has to be rewritten in every generation, because although the past does not change the present does.” We not only use our own experiences and knowledge to interpret anew that history but also use new modes of storytelling to communicate that history. In the last thirty years there has been an explosion of graphic novels. These were not comics like Spiderman or The Green Lantern but book length stories, often with more sophisticated content. Graphic novels had in one form or another been around for a hundred years but when Art Spiegelman’s ‘Maus’ was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1992 the format became more socially acceptable. That book, and others like Will Eisner’s ‘A Contract with God’ and Alan Moore’s ‘The Watchmen’ were aimed at a generation that was ready to move on from the simplistic artwork and juvenile storylines of so many mainstream comics. ‘Sandman’ by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean and other artists, took the form to a whole new level. Others like Joe Sacco used it brilliantly as a new form of journalism, reporting on stories from Palestine and Bosnia and even collaborating with well-known journalist Chris Hedges on’ Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt’. The graphic novels I want to deal with in this column are three that deal with Canadian history. ‘Escape to Gold Mountain’ by David...

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Heroes of Mine

I noticed an insert in the local paper titled ‘Local Heroes’ It was an impressive list. People like Mary Everson, Meaghan Cursons, Kymme Patrick and Lori Mazey, all who have made the Comox Valley a truly great place to live. They have made real differences in people’s lives and given so much of themselves for all of us. It made me think of some of the heroes in my life and times. Not just world figures that I have read about or seen on the television screen but people I have met and in some cases, worked with. These are people who have inspired me to get involved or to look at the world in a new way and have challenged me to do my bit to help make a better world. They are unlikely to have tomes written about them or have their life story filmed for posterity. That is important as I don’t put much stock in the ‘Great Man’ theory of history. I am more the ’atomic theory’ type who believes change happens like an atomic reaction with particles striking other bodies and setting off chain reactions till transformation occurs or a damn big explosion happens. The other caveat is that these are heroes, not saints. They were human with faults and some were friendly and outgoing with brilliant minds, and others were cantankerous and held...

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Ginger Goodwin’s Legends and Reality

A few years ago at a Pacific Northwest Labour History Association Conference in New Westminster I listened to a fascinating debate between Mark Lieir, a SFU professor, and Roger Stonebanks, a historian and author of ‘ Fighting for Dignity-The Ginger Goodwin Story’. They were debating about what is most important; the historical facts of events or people’s perception of those events. Stonebanks’s position was that the facts were important because we needed to know the truth, as best we can, about a person or event because that would inform us on how we should act. Leier’s position was that the facts are essentially irrelevant as we could never really know the truth. It was what people perceived as the truth and how they acted in that perception that was important. The example they were discussing was the death of Ginger Goodwin at the hands of Dan Campbell at the Cruikshank River on July27th, 1918. Ginger Goodwin was a labour organizer and war resister, who, along with a few other young men, was hiding out near Cumberland. The Federal Gov’t in June hired Dan Campbell as a special deputy of the Dominion police to go round up these ‘draft dodgers’. Campbell came upon Ginger in the woods and shot him. Campbell claims he shot him in self -defense. The miners and their families in Cumberland believed he had shot him...

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Upcoming Events

Oct
18
Wed
6:30 pm LIFT BizOnDeck workshop series (...
LIFT BizOnDeck workshop series (...
Oct 18 @ 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
#WeAreYQQ Meetup: Comox Valley Entrepreneurs & Creatives Wednesday, September 20 at 6:30 PM 2x monthly collaborative workshop for entrepreneurs working on growing or developing businesses, business ideas, or projects. Part of the LIFT Comox Valley[...]
Oct
19
Thu
9:00 am Refresh Your MVP (Minimum Viable... @ North Island College
Refresh Your MVP (Minimum Viable... @ North Island College
Oct 19 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Level-up Your Business Model and Tweak Your Positioning Statement. Positioning is the most discussed and least understood component of high-tech marketing; it is easier said than done! When done right it manifests the heart and[...]
Oct
21
Sat
9:00 am Comox Valley Farmers’ Market
Comox Valley Farmers’ Market
Oct 21 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Each Saturday features a delicious recipe from the North Island Chefs Association – and of course all of the wonderful local producers of vegetables, meats, baking, preserves, fish and more! See you at the Native[...]

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