Public Sector Salaries in BC

This database contains salary information for more than 75,000 of the highest paid public servants in B.C. To see a list of the highest paid staff at a particular workplace, choose a sector first, then an agency, then press “Submit”. To search for a specific person’s salary, type their last name in the search box. With some exceptions, this database only includes those who earn at least $75,000 a year.

By default, individuals are listed from highest paid to lowest. However, you can sort by agency, name or title by clicking the section header. Remuneration includes the total amount paid to each individual, including things like bonuses, vacation time payouts and severance pay. Some agencies include taxable benefits — such as a car allowance — in the total amount for each employee. Click on “Details” for more information about a particular employee.

To view the database click this link.

 

Camping for free in British Columbia, Canada

people camping

Why pay scalper prices for a campsite when you can camp for free in thousands of locations in British Columbia?

Recently, news reports of individuals and companies buying a full season at a campsite or buying blocks of campsites during long weekends has raised the ire of some campers.

Why pay when you can camp for free? For years I went camping for free with the family all around BC. In those days most of the free sites didn’t have cut firewood, but that may have changed now. In my day the sites were simply referred to as Forestry Campsites because the BC Forest Service maintained them. Yes, they weren’t deluxe sites. Heck, I was camping. But most campsites I visited were in beautiful locations, quiet, and somewhat remote.

Check to see if a similar service is available where you want to go camping.

The BC government has a website titled Recreation Sites and Trails operated by the Ministry of Forests. I’ll provide the link in a minute. Some BC forsestry campsites may charge a fee nowadays. Check their web site for details on the campsite of your choice.

PLANNING YOUR TRIP

CHECK THE RECREATION SITES & TRAILS listed on their website for current conditions or possible closures due to fires or other events.

For the latest info on CAMPFIRE RESTRICTIONS and FIRE PROHIBITIONS in your desired camping region check the BC WILDFIRE SERVICE WEBSITE

During times of high fire risk, be prepared and bring a portable stove for cooking.

Here is the link to the BC Ministry of Forests Recreation Sites & Trails.

A number of studies on people who kill animals

The Vancouver Sun newspaper published an article today titled Convicted animal killer Kayla Bourque granted unescorted day passes, which got me thinking about what type of person deliberately kills an animal.

A Michigan University study in 2008 (a) titled Cruelty to Animals and Violence Towards People found: “Cruelty to animals and violence towards people have something in common: both types of victims are living beings, feel pain, experience distress, and may die from their injuries. [1] Until recently, however, violence towards animals had been considered to be unrelated to violence towards children and the elderly, and other forms of domestic violence. [2] A correlation has now been established between animal abuse, family violence, and other forms of community violence. [3] A growing body of research indicates that people who commit acts of cruelty towards animals rarely stop there. [4] Murderers and people who abuse their spouse or children had frequently harmed animals in the past. [5] People who abuse animals may also be dangerous to people. [6]  “

A Pyschology Today article in September, 2013, titled Animal Cruelty and the Sadism of Everyday Life (b) found “… that a statistical analysis revealed that sadism was a bigger factor in predicting animal cruelty.”

A 2010 article on PETA (c) titled Only Sociopaths Intentionally Hurt Animals: A Professional View stated “An individual who is able to engage in cruelty to animals appears to have no conscience and thus no remorse for his or her behavior. The act of cruelty to animals results from an apparent need for power and control, and this need is accompanied by a lack of empathy. Animals are targeted, especially helpless and defenseless ones, because the perpetrator does not recognize or care that they have feelings and can experience not just physical pain but also emotional pain.”

An article (d) in HG law web site titled Animal Abuse is a Predictor of other Crimes, Including Domestic Abuse, Murder, Rape & More had this to say; “Animal abuse is like a crystal ball into the future of the abusers. Many people realize that animal abusers are likely to commit a host of other offenses, including murder, rape, and robbery, and a plethora of studies backs this up. Still, animal laws in most states, including New York, treat animals as chattel and animal abuse and neglect as mostly misdemeanor charges at most.

As readers of my blog know, my now ex-wife Liz Summerfield killed my dog during the divorce she initiated. She killed my young rottweiler-german shepard cross during the weeks and weeks she repeatedly refused to comply with multiple court orders to turn over her bank statements showing what she had done with the not so trivial amount of money she removed from our joint account before filing for divorce.

I’m not suggesting Liz is going to go out and murder anyone or do anything like that mentioned in the articles listed to anyone or any child or dog she comes across while teaching or instructing children in the lower mainland of BC or wherever, for I’m not qualified to formulate such a consideration, but I believe I’m beginning to get a glimpse as to the type of people who kill animals.

(a) https://www.animallaw.info/article/link-cruelty-animals-and-violence-towards-people

(b) https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/animals-and-us/201309/animal-cruelty-and-the-sadism-everyday-life

(c) http://prime.peta.org/2010/04/only-sociopaths-intentionally-hurt-animals-a-professional-view

(d) http://www.hg.org/article.asp?id=8011

(e) Final Decree, Dead Dog Divorce is my ebook based in parts upon my divorce. You can find it at most online ebook retailers.

Novel Map Targets Hidden Opportunities for Affordable Housing in BC

According to some knowledgeable observers, Vancouver’s “crisis” in affordable housing is setting off a “gold rush” in innovative thinking, as people fed up with waiting for government action create their own new options on scales large and small.

That creative thinking, it turns out, isn’t limited to finding alternative paths to affordable home ownership. With several British Columbia cities ranked among Canada’s most severely unaffordable places to rent as well as buy, what’s a squeezed tenant to do?

This is the first time demographic, geographic, income and housing costs have been mapped for rental households — an estimated 55 per cent majority in Vancouver, for instance. And unlike that celebrated provincial initiative, this came fully from the non-profit sector, one more example of how civil society is stepping into the void left by the reduced role of various levels of government in providing housing.

HOW THE INDEX WORKS

The B.C. Non-Profit Housing Association’s new index is the product of five indicators compiled from Statistics Canada data. On each indicator, each community is scored from 0 to 10, with 0 being considered the best. Those are then added up to reach an overall community score out of 50.

The variables behind the index are:

Affordability: For a housing unit to be considered affordable, it must cost the household no more than 30 per cent of its pre-tax income.

Overspending: Overspending measures renter households that spend more than half of their before-tax income on their housing plus utilities.

Income Gap: This indicator measures the extra income a household would need to earn, in order to reach the level at which its housing is deemed affordable.

Overcrowding: Based on the federal National Occupancy Standard, this measures how densely residents must pack in together. At most two adults can share one bedroom for housing to be considered “suitable.”

Bedroom Shortfall: A related indicator counts the minimum number of additional bedrooms a community would need to house all renters “suitably.”

The map allows viewers to enlarge and move map in order to see a particular area of BC, and select a particular district or municipality shown on the map – two tabs are display, one for regional districts and one for municipalities, then click on that regional district or municipality for more information.

The map is available here.

You may read the whole Tyee article here.

 

Woman murders dog during divorce

a lantern affair hat by liz

A British Columbia woman who teaches arts and crafts, puppetry, heritage hat making and other classes to children in Burnaby, Maple Ridge, Langley, Surrey, Vancouver, Whistler and other areas took an innocent family pet to a local vet and had it killed during a lengthy divorce.

The Rottweiler/German Shepard cross was killed during the time of the divorce proceedings when the woman refused to comply with multiple court orders to turn over financial records of the large amount of money she had removed from their joint account prior to filing for divorce..

The dog was just a few years old, hardly more than a youngster, and was adopted from a local dog pound by the now ex-husband. The woman, Liz Summerfield, had removed his dog from the family home and refused to disclose where she had taken the animal.

The actions of a woman who takes an innocent animal and hides it from its owner then lies and has it killed say something about the person.

As does the fact during the weeks of extensive questioning about the money she had removed prior to filing for divorce, Liz Summerfield refused to comply with multiple court orders to disclose what she had done with the vast amount of money missing.

Lying, refusing to comply with court orders, psychological abuse of not disclosing whereabouts of dog she stole,  these all help paint a picture of the dog killer.

Liz Summerfield took the family dog from where she had hidden it to the South Burnaby Veterinary Hospital and lied to the staff about the dog biting a post office person, saying she had been ordered by the post office to have the dog put down.

The post office never filed a complaint against the family pet, the South Burnaby Veterinary Hospital never checked with the post office to see if there was such an order, and the Hospital never checked with the registered owner of the family pet, the husband, who had been taking his dog to that Hospital since adopting him.

Liz Summerfield simply lied in order to have a family pet killed.

Liz teaches children in the lower mainland of BC. Parents should be aware of who is teaching their children.

Special place in hell for those who harm children and animals

Is $19 million house for sale because of rail disasters?

wrhome

Photograph by: screengrab, http://gregfraser.com

A $18.9 million dollar house in White Rock, BC, has recently been listed for sale shortly after multiple rail disasters reported in other cities.

The six-bedroom, eight-bathroom home on Marine Drive is the most expensive in White Rock history and boasts an elevator, an indoor pool, a spa, a theatre and stage, an entertainment area, and a gym. A perfect home for a family.

The house has a stunning, southern view of the ocean, and is located just above the Burlington Northern rail line which runs through White Rock.

On mid-October of this year, 13 cars of a CN train carrying petroleum products from Alberta’s oil sands derailed and exploded about 80 kilometres west of Edmonton, forcing 100 people from the town of Gainford to evacuate their homes.

The Alberta derailment follows the catastrophic explosion that ripped through Lac Mégantic, Que. on July 6, destroying the rural town and killing 47 people, and comes amidst growing debate over the merits of transporting oil by rail to B.C.’s coast.

Very little oil is shipped by rail in BC right now, but that could change if the proposed pipelines through BC are postponed.

White Rock Fire Chief Phil Lemire says that in response to these recent events, his department is reviewing its emergency response plans.

Lemire admits that there is potential in White Rock, a city through which two and a half kilometres of railway runs, for a “high impact incident,” and he’s not sure if his department could manage the fallout.

“Well you plan for what your typical daily events are. We have limited capacity so far as resources,” he told CBC News.

“We do have mutual aid with other departments in the Lower Mainland, and in an event of a large scale, you’d be looking to call on those resources as well.”

Burlington Northern Sante Fe Railway Company, the operator responsible for that stretch of track in White Rock, decides what information about cargo is shared with the fire department.

According to Lemire, BNSF often does not disclose what their trains are carrying or when they will be carrying it, citing national and operational security as the reason for non-disclosure.

Exploding oil tankers isn’t the only worry residents of White Rock have, the Fraser Surrey Docks coal port proposal will, if approved, expand coal train shipments through White Rock.

There are already six coals trains passing through White Rock every day on average, and Surrey Fraser docks wants to increase that to 7.5 trains initially and then increase it again to 9.5 trains per day passing through White Rock. In case you have forgotten how much coal dust that will create: That works out to 400 tons of coal dust deposited in White Rock or the equivalent of 4 coal cars worth of Coal Dust dropped on White Rock beaches, homes, and in residents lungs every year.

And with the George Massey Tunnel replacement, large coal transport ships will be able to travel up the Fraser and pave the way for much more expansion in the years to come.

Thermal coal shipment by rail from the US to BC is planned to increase dramatically.

Burlington Northern reports that each coal car only loses about 500 pounds of coal in the form of coal dust over its 1100 mile journey from Wyoming’s Powder River Basin to the West Coast for shipping. Coal dust contains lead, mercury, cadmium, and uranium, but the Coal Industry and even Transport Canada say that there is nothing to worry about.

US thermal coal is one of the cheapest and dirtiest coals there is.

On average, a coal car loses only about half a pound of coal dust each mile along its trip from Wyoming to the West Coast. Near the end of its journey as the trains pass through White Rock, most of the stabilizer that keeps 85% of the dust down has nearly worn off.

Being conservative, let’s use the average and see how much coal dust lands on White Rock each day. Each coal car loses about half a pound of coal as coal dust per mile.  But with 120 cars per train and 10 trains per day, the trains travelling the 4 miles along White Rock’s Semiahmoo Peninsula spew a total of 2200 pounds of coal dust into the air each and every day. That is just in White Rock and works out to 400 tons of coal dust deposited in White Rock or the equivalent of 4 coal cars worth of Coal Dust dropped on White Rock beaches, homes, and in residents lungs every year.

Coal Dust and the associated Diesel Particulate Matter from the coal trains affects everyone on the Semiahmoo Peninsula. The dust and locomotive exhaust are blown by the wind and travels up to 5kms. It is one km from the Pier to North Bluff at 16th avenue and Surrey.

The $19 million dollar home is just steps above the rail line.

That means that this dust is spread by the wind and covers all of White Rock from the beach to Surrey and beyond. In fact since the tracks run right around the Peninsula and no one is located more than 5kms from the tracks, it does not matter where you are in Semiahmoo, there will be coal dust coming your way from one direction or another.

With coal dust problems and potential disaster from oil tank car derailment, if I owned a $19 million dollar home just above the railroad tracks in White Rock I’d be selling too.

Nestle gets water for free and sells it for millions

Nestlé Waters Canada takes 265 million litres a year of fresh water from a Fraser Valley well in Hope and doesn’t pay a cent or is required by provincial law to file any reports on water it takes from BC.

Because of B.C.’s lack of groundwater regulation, Nestlé Waters Canada — a division of the multi-billion-dollar Switzerland-based Nestlé Group, the world’s largest food company — is not required to measure, report, or pay a penny for the millions of litres of water it draws from Hope and then sells across Western Canada.

According to the provincial Ministry of Environment, “B.C. is the only jurisdiction in Canada that doesn’t regulate groundwater use.”

While Nestlé is the largest bottled water seller in B.C., others, including Whistler Water and Mountain Spring Water, also draw groundwater from B.C. None are required by law to file any report.

“What we do in Hope exceeds what is proposed by the province of British Columbia,” said John Challinor, Nestlé Waters Canada’s director of corporate affairs. Nestle keeps records of water quality and the company’s mapping of the underground water resources in the area exceeds what government scientists have done, Challinor said.

But the fact that Nestlé’s reports are internal and voluntary is the very issue of concern, said Ben Parfitt, a resource policy analyst with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

“There’s a big, big difference between voluntary reporting and mandatory,” said Parfitt. “If it’s voluntary, there’s nothing to stop a company or major water user from choosing not to report … That is absolutely critical. You can’t run a system like this on a voluntary basis.”

Since groundwater remains unregulated in B.C., Nestle does not require a permit for the water they withdraw.

If you walk into Cooper’s Foods in downtown Hope — less than 5 km away from Nestlé’s bottling plant — and buy a 1.5 litre bottle of Nestlé Pure Life water, it will set you back $1.19.

That’s $1.19 more than Nestle paid to the government last year for withdrawing more than 265 million litres of fresh water from the well.

Nestlé’s other water bottling plant in Canada is in Wellington County, Ont., where the province requires them to buy a license and pay for the water they extract. Some critics feel that Ontario’s charge of $3.71 per million litres is still too paltry. But still, it’s more fair than B.C. charging nothing.

Read the complete article in The Province.

Vancouver’s Stanley Park named world’s best park

Vancouver’s Stanley Park was named the best park in the world this week, according to TripAdvisor’s first ever Travellers’ Choice Awards. New York City’s 840-acre Central Park took second place, while Colorado’s Garden of the Gods was third place.

Stanley Park

Stanley Park

stanley-park2

Stanley Park

Link to official Stanley Park web site.

Who taught children at Lynn Valley – Sea to Sky Heritage Fair? Parents should know.

Special place in hell for those who harm children and animals

Parents with young children should know who is teaching their children at local festivals, art classes, or other public events. But does a parent really know who their children are meeting?

For that matter, how much research on instructors do festival organizers, art class organizers, or other public bodies do before entrusting children to the people they’ve hired?

I believe parents have the right to know who is teaching their child or children, and believe parents should be clearly told by organizers who the instructors are. Far too many times I’ve seen events listed without the name of the instructor.

It would be best for all concerned if public event organizers advertised the names of instructors or participants at public events so parents know with whom their children are coming into contact.

For example, on May 10, 2013, the Lynn Valley Main Library and Village the Sea-to-Sky Heritage Fair was held. One of the events was Heritage Hat making. No name was given.

The person conducting the Heritage Hat making may be good at what he/she does, but what does a parent know about that person?  How does a parent find out who is teaching their child or children if no names are given?

Would a parent feel any different about their child/children being taught Heritage Hat making if the person doing the instruction was a known dog-killer and liar?

Would a parent feel any different about the person teaching their child/children if a parent knew a letter to the BCSCPA warned them of a dog-killer who lied to veterinarian in order to have a family pet put down?

Perhaps such knowledge wouldn’t make a difference to a parent. Perhaps such knowledge wouldn’t make a difference to an event organized by a public body for something like the Sea-to-Sky Heritage Fair.

Maybe this year the Sea-to-Sky Heritage Fair organizers didn’t hire a known dog-killer and liar named Liz Summerfield, who also teaches puppetry, puppet making, papier mache, and other arts related crafts around BC, for this Heritage Hat making session. But how would a parent know if an organization doesn’t advertise who the instructors are?

The Sea-to-Sky Heritage Fair hired Liz in 2012, so perhaps they hired her again. Who knows?

I urge all parents to contact event organizers and ask them who is teaching their children if the instructors name is not known. I also urge parents to google an instructors name before allowing your children to attend public events.

It is only with full disclosure, of instructors or participants, by the organizers of an event that a parent can make a decision as to who to entrust their child or children.

Rate my hospital – Provincial health departments hiding data from reporters.

nurse-files-stock

CBC’s the fifth estate awarded 10 hospitals across the country top grades as part of a Canadian national hospital performance report card.

However, provincial and territorial health department officials held cross-country meetings and agreed to a “national decision” to deny a CBC request for information about individual hospitals, CBC News has learned.

A range of facilities in small towns and urban centres from across the country achieved an overall grade of A+ necessary to make the top hospital list, which is part of Rate My Hospital, a sweeping investigation into Canada’s hospitals by CBC-TV’s the fifth estate.

Hospitals in Alberta, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan are represented in the top 10 in the CBC’s rating of acute-care facilities based on patient outcome data.

CBC based its assessment on data collected from hospitals by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), a publicly funded, non-profit organization that gathers and analyzes data on Canadian hospital performance. A five-member expert panel advised CBC on the selection and use of the data.

Data used by the CBC included rates of patients who died after major surgeries, who were readmitted after treatment and who experienced unexpected complications, known as adverse events, tied to nursing care during a hospital stay.

CBC article “These Canadian hospitals earned top grade in CBC report card.

CBC article “Provinces co-ordinated responses to deny CBC’s hospital data requests

CBC new “Rate My Hospital” online page.

Photo from CBC News website and listed as ‘stock’.

 

2012 political jackass of the year award

The 2012 Political Jackass of the year award goes to….

jackass-red

Rich Coleman, British Columbia’s Minister of Energy and Mines, minister responsible for Housing…

rich-coleman

for this quote:

“I know the socialist-communist thinking is that everything should be nationalized and controlled,” Coleman taunted the New Democrats during question period.

“That’s what they are. They’re socialists. They’re communists. People should start to think about that.”

Actually, Rich, people should think about getting you a brain. Heaven help us and keep us safe from politicians like Rich.
And…
my sincerest apologies to male donkeys of the 4-hooved variety. It was not my intention to insult your breed by linking it with Coleman.

Police contact BC, Canada, blogger about dog killer articles

Several weeks ago local police contacted me regarding the articles I had written on my blog about my ex-wife who had my dog killed during the time the courts were hounding her for financial records concerning the large amount of money she removed from our joint account just prior to our divorce.

The police contacted me by email containing one sentence; “Could you please contact me, I need to speak with you regarding the postings that you have made that are directed towards Elizabeth SUMMERFIELD.”

I replied immediately asking what I could do for them. But after I sent the reply I thought, “This is likely a legal matter so the police should contact my lawyer.” (It never dawned on me right away that the police contacting me might be of some legal matter, so how bright am I?)

I then sent a second email stating, “Upon further consideration of your email please direct all further communication through my lawyer XXXXX regarding any legal matter and he will advise me.”

The police sent me a couple of more emails during the following days containing the exact same sentence as the first email.

I sent the officer an email stating, “On XXX, 2012, I replied to your email and requested you direct your communication on this matter to my lawyer, XXXXX.

On that same date I contacted XXXX  regarding your email and its contents. Please direct your communications on this matter to XXXX.”

That stopped the emails from the police.

But what I find disconcerting for bloggers, particularly bloggers living in Canada, is that the police wasted time contacting someone who had broken no law, for the police would have surely done more than just want to talk to me if I had broken a law.

The articles I wrote were honest, truthful, and were done with the public’s interest at heart, for I strongly believe that parents should know who is teaching their children at art classes or at a workshop or a festival event.

Liz teaches children classes or workshops about papier mache, lantern making, puppetry, puppet making, and various arts and crafts related instructions in Port Moody, Coquitlam, Vancouver, Surrey, Whistler, New Westminster, and many other areas in the lower mainland of BC.

Some art groups, like Place des Arts in Coquitlam which is holding “Light up the Square: A Lantern Affair” this Christmas season, don’t always list who is instructing children, and so it is up to parents to verify who is teaching their child.

Particularly if the person teaching their child or children had deliberately lied to a vet in order to have an innocent animal killed during a period in the divorce proceedings in which that person had repeatedly refused to comply with multiple court requests to provide financial information on what she had done with all the money she removed from a joint account, just prior to her husband receiving the divorce papers.

Here is a link to the letter my divorce lawyer wrote to the BCSPCA after verifying the facts of the death of my dog.

Here is a link to the articles the police wanted to talk to me about.

Special place in hell for those who harm children and animals

Lying, dog killing woman named Liz Summerfield teaching children

Liz Summerfield, who lied to the South Burnaby Vet hospital in order to have my dog killed during the time the divorce judge was hounding her for bank records, is teaching children arts and crafts.

Liz sometimes works at the Place d’es Arts or other community arts locations, and is an instructor at “ARTrageous ART for Kids””

*New* ARTrageous ART for Kids
Age: 6 – 11yrs
ARTrageous Spring camp fun for kids. In this art camp you will spend your morning with artist Lisa Lake exploring art in different mediums and set the stage and actually make a backdrop for the afternoon fun where you will join artist Liz Summerfield with her ARTrageous puppets and create your own outrageous character’s.  Please bring a snack and lunch.
Instructor: Lisa Lake & Liz Summerfield
Location: Craft Studio; The ACT
Fee: $175/5
M-F      Mar 21-25                   9:30 am-3:00 pm       #152548

Liz may be welcomed by various community centers, festivals and art camps to teach children, and parents may well want her to teach their children, moreover, even readers of this post may see nothing wrong with a woman who lies and kills an innocent animal teaching their children. I just feel that, as a public service to parents, they have the right to know something about the people who are teaching their children and I suggest parents Google the names of those teaching or instructing their children as a precaution.

Here is the link to the letter my lawyer wrote after she checked the facts about Liz Summerfield killing my dog and Liz’s lying.

Place Des Arts info:

Papier Mâché Puppets
Create your very own zany puppet characters. You’ll make the head of these rod puppets using papier mâché and form the body and hands from fabrics and felt.
Instructor: Liz Summerfield

Monday March 21 – Friday March 25

cover2013

“Final Decree. A Dead Dog Divorce.” is based in part upon my divorce and is a story of a thieving wife whose lies were exposed by a cunning female lawyer. Available at all online retailers including Barnes & Noble, Kobo/Chapters Indigo, Apple, Sony, select libraries, Flipkart in India, and other retailers.