An example of the 'less government' interpretation by our far-Right leaning Provincial gov't. They only got involved when the co was investigated for illegal burning.

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    Aug 11, 2010 5:38 AM GMT
    B.C. tree planters allege squalid conditions

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    33 minutes ago

    By Tamsyn Burgmann, The Canadian Press

    VANCOUVER - A British Columbia tree planter's contract has been terminated by the provincial government while authorities investigate allegations workers had no toilets, only creek water to drink and were paid with bounced cheques.

    Upwards of 30 workers were removed from the Khaira Enterprises work camp, 40 kilometres west of Golden in southeastern B.C., after forestry ministry staff discovered what the province's labour minister describes as "substandard conditions" on July 21.

    They had been responding to complaints of illegal burning.

    The Surrey-based company has been barred from government work for at least one year and the ministry is withholding its security deposit and other funds on the grounds it contravened its contract with BC Timber Sales.

    "I am very concerned about the alleged substandard conditions and mistreatment of employees at this forestry work camp," Labour Minister Murray Coell said Tuesday in a statement about terminating the contract.

    "The conditions described are completely unacceptable for employees."

    According to the B.C. Federation of Labour, whose staff and president have spoken to about a dozen workers in recent days, most members of the group were landed immigrants from Burundi and the Republic of Congo. President Jim Sinclair said they travelled from Winnipeg, Ottawa and Montreal to earn money to pay rent and go back to school.

    They are also owed tens of thousands of dollars, he alleged, and said they initially tried striking and reaching out to authorities for help, but were only rescued when Forestry got the complaint for burning rubbish.

    Sinclair said the workers were treated like "virtual slaves," and he put the blame on the province for lack of oversight.

    "I've seen lots of lousy working conditions, but this is probably the grossest example that I've seen," he said in an interview. "It just shows you how far we've come as a society away from the idea that government is going to stop people from being abused."

    Sinclair said the workers told him they received breakfast only consisting of bread, jam and peanut butter, no lunch and unrefrigerated chicken for dinner. They further complained they were subject to racism and death threats and were refused adequate medical treatment when someone was hurt, he said.

    "They were hungry, cold, they were sleeping in containers on old foamies. The whole thing is a nightmare," Sinclair said.

    "Ninety per cent of them are new immigrants, they're being taken advantage of partly because of who they are."

    Upon finding the camp, RCMP, provincial staff and local first responders worked to immediately address the workers' health and safety concerns and find accommodation and transportation for them, Coell said.

    WorkSafe BC and the Employment Standards Branch have launched investigations, including immediately interviewing the workers. A report could take several months.

    "What's unique is this logging camp was actually within a worksite, my understanding is it was in the cut block or wherever they were planting," said WorkSafe BC spokeswoman Donna Freeman.

    "I've never heard of anything like this from a Worksafe BC perspective. ... Certainly this is shocking to us and new to us."

    Reached by phone, Khaira Enterprises director K.M. Bajwa refused to comment. A cached version of his company's website, which has only recently been taken down, says employees can expect "a safe work environment for work, rest and play" and "excellent earning potential."

    "Yes, the food is awesome, and the people are awesome, but the work is challenging," the website said.

    Sinclair fears there could be other hidden situations like this and called for the government to make and follow through on recommendations.

    "If we hadn't found these workers and they hadn't come forward, British Columbians wouldn't know what's going on in the woods of this province," he said. "Now that we know it, shame on us if we don't fix it."

  • roadbikeRob

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    Aug 11, 2010 11:33 PM GMT
    This is just more compelling evidence that the people of British Columbia need to get control over their too conservative provincial government or British Columbia will lose all its scenic beauty just for a small, wealthy minority to make obscene profits.
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    Aug 11, 2010 11:58 PM GMT


    Ugh, how to do it is the question.
    So far there has been an enormous petition against the HST (harmonized sales tax) that is now before Elections BC and the courts. If that fails, then it's an attempt at recall of a few people.
    On the last election they promised not to bring in the 12 percent harmonized sales tax, which raises the sales tax on many things from 5% to 7% more. A month or so after getting in they announced.....yep, the HST was coming.

    Now we like leaning to the right here in BC, (lol, not all of us) but this has been leaning right over and falling on our collective elbows. Interestingly, I think the US conservatives on RJ would flip if they had to endure the endless added taxes this gov't has enacted in the most, er, dictatorial fashion.

    At the same time they removed at least 150 of what they called 'needless regulations' on businesses.

    Oops.

    -Doug
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    Aug 11, 2010 11:59 PM GMT
    Oh puh-leeez. This has nothing to do with big government vs small government. Less government bureacracy does not mean less efficiency in dealing with abuses. There still has to be justice you know, not anarchy.

    Also, nobody is forced to work for anybody unless there is some kind of unlawful force being exerted. If you don't like the working conditions get a different job!
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    Aug 12, 2010 12:10 AM GMT
    mocktwinkie saidOh puh-leeez. This has nothing to do with big government vs small government. Less government bureacracy does not mean less efficiency in dealing with abuses. There still has to be justice you know, not anarchy.

    Also, nobody is forced to work for anybody unless there is some kind of unlawful force being exerted. If you don't like the working conditions get a different job!


    It is obvious when people who are disempowered as these workers are, that life is not as easy as Mocktwinkie appears to believe.

    Our government comes down hard on people being exploited in such circumstances - and to an extent Mocktwinkie is right - it is not about big government vs small government - its about government doing the right thing morally and ethically - and not just a giving such companies a small slap on the wrist...
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    Aug 12, 2010 12:11 AM GMT
    mocktwinkle, you need to read up on this event.

    And it is, in fact, about removing regulations that had required more staff to monitor.

    I hate to use analogy here, but Vancouver used to have a few building inspectors. To monitor and inspect all the stuff going on those numbers had to increase. Then the next local gov't pared back and..Remember the leaky condo thing that went on up here?
    ...well, maybe not.

    http://www.globaltvbc.com/world/investigate+complaints+abuse+work+camp/3385598/story.html

    Please watch all of the vid.

    -Doug


  • BeingThePhoen...

    Posts: 1157

    Aug 12, 2010 12:49 AM GMT
    I often hear about the "need" for small government from people on the right, but what exactly do they really want? I agree that there is a lot of needless bureaucracy, but Republican Presidents never really seem to do anything about it. Is it just a talking point by politicians trying to appease their constituents, which they never really have any intention of changing?
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    Aug 12, 2010 1:14 AM GMT

    I think smaller government can be great, but only after stream-lining, acheiving synergy and boosting efficiencies. (And there are some things you can't cut when your population is rapidly growing.) It tends to be done the other way around though; cut first, scramble later.

    -Doug
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    Aug 12, 2010 1:29 AM GMT
    Besides anarchists, not even libertarians support the idea that government should be so insignificant that it is unable to ensure that everyone’s personal liberty is preserved and not being infringed on by others with regard to the law and justice of the land – that is exactly what the government is for and that’s what they are being paid to do. There’s a difference between working in harmony with the private sector and taking over large sections of the economy.

    Having a clothing shop is not the same as working in forestry. The forests are not owned by foresting companies but rather they are owned by the public and as such it is the responsibility of the government to have a lot of regulation in those areas – not all business deal exclusively with their own private property, and even some times defining what is hurting someone else by actions on your own property comes down to the judicial system. It’s like drilling for oil out in water territory.

    That being said, I have yet to see any evidence supporting the unspoken notion that these workers were unable to decide whether or not they wanted to work in these “unacceptable” conditions. What is tolerable is up to the individuals who are encountering the circumstances.
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    Aug 12, 2010 1:33 AM GMT
    "That being said, I have yet to see any evidence supporting the unspoken notion that these workers were unable to decide whether or not they wanted to work in these “unacceptable” conditions. What is tolerable is up to the individuals who are encountering the circumstances. "


    Here you go, Mocktwinkle.

    "The workers had no money, no transportation and were unable to leave the remote site.

    The RCMP was also called in to investigate. "

    from http://www.bclocalnews.com/kootenay_rockies/thegoldenstar/news/Shocking_conditions_at_forestry_camp_near_Golden.html
  • solak

    Posts: 493

    Aug 12, 2010 1:33 AM GMT
    BeingThePhoenix said I agree that there is a lot of needless bureaucracy..


    it's becoming harder to believe that government needs our taxes [and more of it] for "education, safety, regulations, etc, etc" when you have part-time local officials making well over 6 figures in small towns and this guy pimping taxpayers for his $26 million pension..

    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/1048968

    we have billion$$$ going to union officials and superintendents of continually failing schools, while students barely get anything..

    scary part is this isn't a Bell case, but happening through hundreds of thousands of jurisdictions across the country..

    the scheme seems to be, turn it into a social issue/debate ("kids, safety, sexual orientation, race") when in reality it's a salary/pension issue for public employees (ie superintendents making over $250k for bottom 2% ranked schools and policemen earning nearly $450k annually for a lifetime pension, administrators of small towns making $800k/yr)
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    Aug 12, 2010 1:39 AM GMT
    mocktwinkie said...If you don't like the working conditions get a different job!
    icon_exclaim.gificon_exclaim.gificon_exclaim.gificon_exclaim.gificon_exclaim.gif
    Would you say that again, please? You are a US Republican, aren't you?

    Would you say that again, please?
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    Aug 12, 2010 2:06 AM GMT
    meninlove said"That being said, I have yet to see any evidence supporting the unspoken notion that these workers were unable to decide whether or not they wanted to work in these “unacceptable” conditions. What is tolerable is up to the individuals who are encountering the circumstances. "


    Here you go, Mocktwinkle.

    "The workers had no money, no transportation and were unable to leave the remote site.

    The RCMP was also called in to investigate. "

    from http://www.bclocalnews.com/kootenay_rockies/thegoldenstar/news/Shocking_conditions_at_forestry_camp_near_Golden.html


    Then that's a matter of injustice and not big or small government. But like I said, forestry requires regulation anyway because it involves publically owned property.

    Did you know that having a law doesn't mean everyone is going to abide by it? Just an FYI
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Aug 12, 2010 2:35 AM GMT
    mocktwinkie saidOh puh-leeez. This has nothing to do with big government vs small government. Less government bureacracy does not mean less efficiency in dealing with abuses. There still has to be justice you know, not anarchy.

    Also, nobody is forced to work for anybody unless there is some kind of unlawful force being exerted. If you don't like the working conditions get a different job!




    Oh, Grasshopper, you have much to learn.

    Extremely poor people, with no skills, who want to work, who probably have a family to feed, are at the mercy of greedy bastards who take advantage of these peoples' situation.

    These are people who are very poorly educated and have no knowledge that there is anyone to whom they can turn for help.

    For a LOT of people, any job is better than no job. And, if the choice is between remaining on a job with inhumane working conditions and watching your family starve and become homeless while you look for a better job, well, that's no choice.

    People should be required to get a government permit to operate a work camp, and agree to follow all the rules that are set up by the government to ensure that the workers are properly treated.

    Then, the government should have a team of people whose only job is to make surprise visits to these work camps to determine whether they are being legally and humanely operated.

    Grasshopper, your assignment is to read up on slavery in the American South.
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Aug 12, 2010 2:41 AM GMT
    BeingThePhoenix saidI often hear about the "need" for small government from people on the right, but what exactly do they really want? I agree that there is a lot of needless bureaucracy, but Republican Presidents never really seem to do anything about it. Is it just a talking point by politicians trying to appease their constituents, which they never really have any intention of changing?




    You are exactly 100% correct.
    It's all a bunch of pure unadulterated bull shit, in order to get votes.

    If the Republicans really wanted less government, why didn't they cut it in half when they were in charge of all 3 branches of government, and could do absolutely anything they wanted to do ? Why didn't they fire half of all government employees ? Why didn't they cut taxes in half ? Why didn't they abolish Social Security, Welfare, and Medicare ?
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    Aug 12, 2010 2:41 AM GMT
    Webster said, "Then, the government should have a team of people whose only job is to make surprise visits to these work camps to determine whether they are being legally and humanely operated. "

    ...unfortunately, the perils of over-downsizing gov't can have a deleterious effect in cases like this.

  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Aug 12, 2010 2:46 AM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    mocktwinkie said
    Did you know that having a law doesn't mean everyone is going to abide by it? Just an FYI

    Seems that most liberals haven't realized that particular tidbit of truth.




    We liberals are well aware that Republicans think that they can simply opt out of laws with which they don't agree.
    The state of Missouri and universal healthcare comes immediately to mind.
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    Aug 12, 2010 1:16 PM GMT
    Webster666 said
    BeingThePhoenix saidI often hear about the "need" for small government from people on the right, but what exactly do they really want? I agree that there is a lot of needless bureaucracy, but Republican Presidents never really seem to do anything about it. Is it just a talking point by politicians trying to appease their constituents, which they never really have any intention of changing?




    You are exactly 100% correct.
    It's all a bunch of pure unadulterated bull shit, in order to get votes.

    If the Republicans really wanted less government, why didn't they cut it in half when they were in charge of all 3 branches of government, and could do absolutely anything they wanted to do ? Why didn't they fire half of all government employees ? Why didn't they cut taxes in half ? Why didn't they abolish Social Security, Welfare, and Medicare ?


    And that's why the tea party was born and that's why perceived RINOs like Mccain are having to jump to save their seats.
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    Aug 12, 2010 1:43 PM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    mocktwinkie said
    Did you know that having a law doesn't mean everyone is going to abide by it? Just an FYI

    Seems that most liberals haven't realized that particular tidbit of truth.

    Now there's an interesting comment coming from a Law-and-Order Republican (and please, no fakery about being an Independent, I think we're past that with you now). I thought it was right-wingers who take a harsh & Conservative view of laws, that everyone must obey, whereas as it's the Liberals who have the bleeding hearts and are willing to be flexible, reasonable and compassionate.

    Now which is it? One moment Liberals are wimpy bleeding-hearts, who bend the law, and the next they're inflexible with the law. What I think we're really seeing is another example of attack from every angle, and to Hell with logic and the facts. The message is criticism, not truth or consistency.
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    Aug 12, 2010 3:39 PM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    mocktwinkie said
    Did you know that having a law doesn't mean everyone is going to abide by it? Just an FYI

    Seems that most liberals haven't realized that particular tidbit of truth.


    Seems that once again, snidebitch is off the mark.