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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Today I am the Scout Troop leader, and every Scout night, I measure my actions by the way my scout leader taught me



It seems to me that BC Conservative Party leadership candidate Dan Brooks, really has a way of connecting with people.  I have seem it through my own interactions with him ... and in observing him speaking with, and listening to, others.

The other day I had a recent letter passed to me by an old acquaintance of Dan's.  I think it speaks to the character of who Dan is ... how, if elected, he will lead the BC Conservative Party ... and from there show the leadership needed to govern our province, when elected to the legislature, with our team of BC Conservative MLA's.

Have a read, and see what you think:

As a young man in the Scouts Canada program I experienced first hand the great out doors of Beautiful British Columbia. From the seat of a canoe and under the shoulder straps of my first back pack I learned to enjoy nature and recognize the testimony it presents of the beauty of life.

But Scouts, believe it or nor,  wasn’t always so pleasant.

Putting several teenage boys together in a classroom or out in the wild can be quite hectic, and even dangerous. Dan Brooks knew how to take those – so called – difficult years of a boys life and mold them into the “bar” of his life.

On more than one occasion in my adult life I have found myself asking; “If this were scouts, would I be giving up?”

Three lessons – in particular – have always stuck with me and pushed me to stretch myself to greater heights.

The first; Respect, and we never forgot it. Second; Chap stick, thank goodness we had it. And third; “Your going to do it, your going to like it, and your going to be happy.”

On Dan’s first scout night as our newly called leader, he taught us to respect ourselves, girls and women, your parents and leaders, and the out doors. The second scout meeting he taught the same principal. The third meeting, once again; we learned respect. Every meeting and scout camp there after we learned to respect.

I still find myself naturally opening doors for women, looking some one in the eye when they are speaking to me, listening when being spoken to or taught, having something of value to add, and reporting back. A habit developed as a boy.

Second; chap stick. It’s a long, involved story of which I urge you to ask Dan about yourself, but for me the memory and life lesson was behind the funny experience. It happened on a cold winter night in the shoulder deep snow between home and Kennedy lakes.  The younger scouts stayed at home lake while Dan and the rest of us broke our own trail and headed for Kennedy – a distance of approximately 8 km’s. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I have enough Drama in my life right now, and I don't really need to add any fuel to the fire



Greetings friends ... I have been a little on the busy side lately, and not able to write as often as I'd like to on the Conservative Thoughts blog.  I just recently had a conversation the other day however, and thought that it would be worthwhile sharing it with you.



I sent out an email blast last week, about stops that BC Conservative Party leadership candidate Dan Brooks would be making.  This is that conversation, which may strike a cord with you -- I know it will with some.



This is an exciting time for our party, as we move forward to a new and brighter future.



Part of that of course is the current campaign now underway to elect the next leader of OUR party.



I am pleased to let you know that BC Conservative Party leadership candidate Dan Brooks will be making stops in ___ xyz city ___ on ___ November 123 ___.



I am contacting you today to see if you will be able to get together and meet with Dan ... and ask any questions you may have about him and the future of the BC Conservative Party.



Thank you for your time and consideration, and I looking forward to hearing from you  ... alan



Here is an edited version of the response I received back:



Alan,



I don't think I will be attending. I have enough Drama in my life right now, and I don't really need to add any fuel to the fire.  



Thank-you for the invite, and please keep me updated with Party news.



I wish you and Dan all the best in rebuilding the Party.



Regards,

Scott __ abc ___



Well I let that discourage me for a bit, but then I said to myself, 'He hasn't said he's given up on the party ... only that he's had enough of all the turmoil'.  So, I decided to take a chance (maybe a risk), and send a reply back:





Thanks Scott ... I appreciate your follow-up, and the sincerity of your comments about the party.

I do not say this with any disrespect ... it is just an observation that I think 'may' be close to hitting the mark.  I think perhaps you are likely like some others in the party; demoralized and discouraged, and wondering, "Do I really want to do this again?"

I feel comfortable in making this observation because it is a place I too have been.



Until this years AGM, I was a Regional Director with the Party for three years.  I got to experience first hand the cancer that was creating a storm of dissent within the party; it was not a place, or a time, that I would wish on anyone. Despite that I (and others) hung in because we believed there must be a true conservative voice in BC -- not a watered down version represented by Christy Clark and the BC Liberals.

I also volunteered as the campaign manager for our Kamloops South Thompson candidate in the May general election.  There were too few of us on our team, but those we had, put in a huge effort to do the work of many -- again because we believed there had to be a true conservative option for people to vote for. Sadly the damage done by the dissidents in our party, had eroded the support we had been gaining, and as you know, we elected no members to the legislature in May.

At that point my discouragement was pretty much complete, and I was close to throwing in the towel.  Then Dan Brooks stepped forward and said he was seeking to lead the BC Conservatives. I thought to myself, "Why would anyone want to do that?"

I had the opportunity to meet and speak with him on several occasions, and every time I did, I heard him speak with power and passion about conservatism ... I heard him speak bout empowering the grassroots ... and making sure that BC Conservatives never again go through the kind of infighting that took place last year.

Personally, I would like to do more than keep you
'updated with Party news' ... and while I appreciate that you wish Dan 'all the best in rebuilding the Party' ... we need all hands on deck for that to happen.

I ask for you to give one hour of your time, and see if Dan makes you a believer that we can indeed create a party that the people of BC can support, starting first of all by governing ourselves in a way that can give others the confidence they'll need to come on board with us.

Its one hour of your time ... but I can't think of a better way to spend it.  You'll see and hear first hand from Dan -- get your own impression of him -- and see for yourself the passion that he has to make our province a better place for all British Columbians.

Thank you for letting me share a few of my thoughts with you ... and I hope you'll join Dan in ___ xyz city
... alan



Okay, so maybe I took a little risk in sending that, but again, I thought it was worth it, and apparently it was because Scott did send an email back to me:


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

B.C. Conservatives lauded by leadership candidate - Dan Brooks relays resource platform in South Cariboo


The following is an article written by Carole Rooney, which appeared in todays (November 6, 2013) edition of the 100 Mile Free Press.  
 
British Columbia Conservative leadership candidate Dan Brooks recently visited 100 Mile House to meet with potential party supporters.  Brooks is based in Vanderhoof, where he runs a hunting and fishing lodge.
 
"I've been in tourism pretty much all of my life. In my background, I did an awful lot of land and resource management planning." 
 
While his party did not put forward a Cariboo-Chilcotin candidate in the last provincial election, Brooks said he is actively seeking new members in order to begin "building the party" and find a candidate in the constituency. 
 
"Even though we didn't elect anybody, the [B.C.] Conservative Party played a very, very crucial role in this last election, and we took the entire political spectrum to the right, toward free enterprise and personal freedoms. The [B.C.] Liberals tacked to counter us. In previous elections, we weren't a force, and so they could ignore us, but in this election, we were a significant force, and so they had to tack that way." 
 
In this manner, his party did a "great service" for the province and its democracy, he said, so despite having no members sitting in the legislature, those election efforts were not made in vain.
 
"This province will be better by our presence alone. Imagine how much better it will be when we are in government," he added, chuckling. 
 
Brooks explained he realizes people feel discouraged about the lack of strength in his party, but without his right-wing party views, they will only have an "NDP and NDP-like" perspective in the legislature. 
 
"We need a party that represents the ideals of [B.C.] Conservatives across the province. That's what we are trying to build." 
 
Most small rural communities in B.C. are either "outright suffering or stagnant," Brooks said, with little economic growth and dwindling population. 
 
"Across rural B.C. in the last 15 years, we have lost 58,000 people. That's an awful lot of people."
 
Last year, 10,000 residents left the province, he noted, while others have gone to larger urban centres. 
 
"As a potential leader of the [B.C.] Conservative party, that is a worrying trend that I propose to change. So, we have got to put the focus on rebuilding the rural resource economy." 
 
Brooks explained agriculture, forestry and tourism issues in the South Cariboo are likely much the same as in Vanderhoof, as they all require dedicated land. 
 
"So, you have to find ways to utilize land to maximize your revenue base off of that land base. And, there are some deterrents that currently exist." 
 
He noted the first example of this that came to his mind. 
 
"Aboriginal land claims ... have become an economic deterrent, and have made economic growth in our rural resource areas extremely difficult.  I agree entirely with the idea of consultation and accommodation, but you can't perpetuate this indefinitely. At some point in time, someone is going to have to stand up and say, 'we are going to force this issue'." 
 
Brooks added the "biggest problem" on First Nations reserves is abject poverty, and the way to eliminate that is to provide jobs. 
 
"How do you get jobs? You build a rural resource economy. So, by building economic growth in your rural communities, that benefits First Nations." 
 
The current MLAs have become "rubber stamp machines" who follow the party lines, he said, while the B.C. Conservatives will empower constituents by empowering their MLA to represent them as they see fit. 
 
Brooks noted he plans to visit the South Cariboo again before the party leadership elections take place April 11-12. 
 
"I'm going to be down here in 100 Mile the first week of December. This time I'll be holding an event ... we'll have a meet-and-greet."

Friday, October 18, 2013

Peterson Outlines Ten "Power Smart Tips" for Premier Christy Clark

Yesterday, BC Conservative Party leadership candidate Rick Peterson came out with some ideas regarding BC Hydro.  Here is the text of the plan he presented:

BC Conservative Leadership candidate Rick Peterson today proposed ten “Power Smart Tips”  for Premier Christy Clark that will help “turn down the heat” for BC ratepayers who are tired of backdoor BC Hydro rate increases to pay for BC Liberal claims of a balanced budget.

In celebration of BC Hydro’s “October is Power Smart Month” campaign, Rick Peterson spoke to media and supporters in front of the crown corporation’s offices on Dunsmuir Street in downtown Vancouver this morning.

“I think it’s great that BC Hydro has an ‘October is Power Smart Month’ campaign,” said Peterson, “but let’s be honest and recognize that there’s really not much that’s “smart” about the way that Hydro is being run."

“And what’s worse, all this is happening under the watch of BC Liberal appointees who are sitting on the Hydro board, raking in lavish salaries, while everyone else in BC – especially seniors, fixed-income and low-income earners and those below the poverty line - are acutely feeling the pain of these user-fee increases.”

Peterson says that BC Hydro rate increases, reported to be 26% or higher for residential ratepayers,  are needed to pay for a long-standing BC Liberal government practice of taking dividends from the public power company, at the expense of electrical infrastructure upgrades, to pay for BC Liberal spending.

“Crown corporations in BC under the Christy Clark government are out of control,” he said, “and BC Hydro is probably the worst of them. There is no business in the world that could pass on a 26% rate hike without heads rolling and yet the Christy Clark government rewards these decisions with lavish executive bonuses – it’s simply wrong,” stated Peterson

Peterson contrasted the federal Conservative government’s concern, as outlined in Wednesday’s Throne Speech, about helping individual consumers, with the approach taken by the BC Liberals under Christy Clark, who are downloading the cost of growing deficits on the backs of Hydro ratepayers.

“This is sloppy management, poor planning and lack of accountability at its worst. We need Christy Clark’s Liberals to take their hands out of the BC Hydro till. Turning BC Hydro around will be the first priority of a BC Conservative government under my leadership.”

Here are the “Ten Power-Smart Tips” that Peterson says are needed at BC Hydro:
  1. Immediately begin to reduce by 5% the total BC Hydro dividends demanded by the Christy Clark Government.
  2. Apply half of the dividend savings to stabilize residential and business Hydro rates negating the need for unsustainable rate hike increases.
  3. Apply the other half of dividend savings to much needed BC Hydro infrastructure upgrades and debt retirement. 
  4. Fully adopt International accounting standards (IFRS) and put an immediate end to deferring to future years certain expenses that would normally be recorded in the current year’s financial statements.
  5. Freeze management staffing at current levels immediately for a 2-year period.
  6. Freeze total management salaries, pensions, benefits and bonuses immediately for a 2-year period.
  7. Implement an independent core services review with an attention focus on high ratio of management-to-front-line staff.
  8. Implement firm limits on executive bonuses and severance payouts.
  9. Reinstate  the BC Utilities Commission overview of ALL BC Hydro operations and rate applications.
  10. Stop BC Hydro funding of opposing statements at the BC Utilities Commission.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A message from BC Conservative Party 'member' Alan Forseth

First let me start off by stating, "YES" I am the Campaign Manager for Dan Brooks leadership campaign, but my writing this post today is not about that, it is about something far more important. 

Some who are reading this message are BC Conservative Party  members, some former members, and some are supporters ... some are still active and working hard on behalf of the party -- others have become discouraged.

I am not discouraged, and let me tell you why. 

BC Conservatives, while not winning any seats in the May general election, played an important role; and that role must be built on.  We presented a message that needed to be heard; one of a caring and compassionate society ... of fiscal responsibility ... of environmentally sound resource management ... and of government accountability. 

Those are things which are vitally important to our province, which is why we now MUST build on the initial foundation which has been built.

In the current leadership race for the BC Conservatives, two individuals have stepped forward who believe in our party --- and it's future. I want to encourage you to follow their campaigns, and to take the opportunity to meet with both Dan Brooks, and Rick Peterson, when they are in your community.  Ask them the questions you want answers too.

There is a future for the BC Conservative Party --- an important one -- and we WILL be challenging the BC Liberals and the NDP in the next election in 2017.  I hope that future includes you playing a role in bringing our platform of common sense ideas to the people of BC ... and ensuring that we do indeed make history by electing BC Conservatives to the legislature.

Right now, I would like to encourage you to follow the campaigns of Rick and Dan, and keep up to date with where they are and what they have to say:


Dan Brook -- BC Conservative
leadership candidate
Dan Brooks:
 
Campaign website: http://danbrooksbc.ca/

 
 





Rick Peterson -- BC Conservative
leadership candidate


Rick Peterson:
 
Campaign website: http://rickpeterson.net/
 



Thank you for your time ... and thank you for your consideration of this message. 

I'm Alan Forseth in Kamloops, and I'm a BC Conservative.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Forseth endorses Brooks for Leader, joins team as Campaign Manager

It's official ... and I am announcing the following today:
 
 
KAMLOOPS:  Dan Brooks, candidate for the leadership of the BC Conservatives, today announced that Al Forseth, a long-time party member, regional director and former constituency-association president, has endorsed him as the best choice for Leader.

Brooks also announced that Forseth has accepted an appointment as Campaign Manager of his leadership team.

“I am absolutely thrilled to have Al Forseth endorse my candidacy and join my campaign team as manager,” said Brooks.

“Al’s passion and dedication are legendary throughout our party and across the province, and his decision to manage my leadership campaign sends a strong signal of our unwavering commitment to building the BC Conservative Party into a vital force that will be reckoned with well into the future.”

Forseth said that Brooks shares his belief that British Columbians deserve a better political option than they have faced in recent years – a choice between the lesser of two evils: the New Democrats or the BC Liberals.

“The BC Conservatives – indeed, British Columbians across our great province – desperately need a Leader with a vision of how to create prosperity through well-paying jobs, a place where businesses can thrive and where we have a solid foundation for health-care, education and more,” said Forseth.

“I am inspired that Dan Brooks has a vision and a plan for our party – one where party members will be fully engaged and asked for their full input.

“I believe that Dan has the drive, passion and openness to listen, which will get us back on a path to gain the support of British Columbians and to governing British Columbia.”

Brooks concluded by saying that he will make additional, important announcements in the days leading up to the BC Conservatives annual general meeting, to be held in Vernon on October 19.


With this announcement, I will no longer be be considered neutral in commenting on the BC Conservative Party leadership campaign.  That said, I WILL however continue to make comment on social media, and on this blog, on things I beleive are important to our party -- and that includes information on Rick Peterson's campaign, and the vision and direction he also has for the party.

I fact, in conversation with Dan regarding my endorsement, and taking on the role of Campaign Manager, I indicated that it would be a deal-breaker if this was not acceptable.

To quote Dan ... "I wouldn't have it any other way."

I'm Alan Forseth in Kamloops, with the thoughts of one conservative.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

She is the Premier of British Columbia, and as such, she leads a 'team'



I read BC Premier Christy Clark's column yesterday in the Kelowna Daily Courier (Bringing Canada To Kelowna), and one thing immediately struck me in the just the first few sentences:

"I" did this ... "My" this ... "My" that ...

 


In the last few weeks, all eyes have been on Kelowna. I brought cabinet to meet here, and later addressed the B.C. and Canadian Chambers of Commerce here.


My focus was on small business and skills training.


Small businesses don't always make headlines, but they're  crucial for the economy. They drive almost 55 per cent of B.C. exports and represent 98 per cent of all our business.


My government believes in freeing small business from regulatory burdens that can make it difficult to grow, and supporting them where we can. Our record on cutting red tape speaks for itself, as we were awarded the Canadian Federation of Independent Business' only A grade.


She doesn't begin to acknowledge the work of others, or that this government belongs to the 'people', until the 5th paragraph when she finally begins a sentence with, "We're ..."



We're also supporting small business is the Small Business Accord ...


BC Premier on Christy Clark
Right after that, however, BC Liberal Premier Christy Clark is right back to ...
I announced ... I also spoke ...




At least on the positive side, she concluded with:
"
Ultimately, we all want the same thing - more opportunities for Canadians.



This column was written from the MLA's perspective of course, but that said, she is the Premier of British Columbia, and as such, she leads a 'team'.



It could have been written to be much more inclusive, but instead it seems the focus and spotlight continues to be on her -- guess that's why I have never been able to feel comfortable with her way of doing the governments business.



One things for certain, at least in my opinion, when (not if) things start to go wrong, we know who has claimed all responsibility for the direction and policies of government.



I'm Alan Forseth in Kamloops, with the thoughts of one conservative.  The floors now opinion to you; your thoughts?