The Vancouver Scrum

On the move!

Agh! You’re still here? My new site and weblog, is now up and running; new posts are building up over there, never to be mirrored here. Go! What are you waiting for? All the stuff worth keeping has been migrated over to the new server, and I don’t anticipate making any more posts here.

Bloggers and webmasters: Update your links! Simply replace with in your blogrolls or bookmarks to point to the new site. Old posts will remain on this server for as long as the people at Blogger/Google allow them to remain; unfortunately, I’m not going to bother to come up with any way of converting permalinks on this blog to their corresponding posts on the new site. Yes, I plead laziness. I also realize the irony of switching away from Blogger just it starts to add features that the demanding blog nerds insist upon.

Thanks for reading and linking, and see you over at!

—Ian King, December 13, 2004

Tuesday, September 30, 2003


Later today...

Fraser Institute "policy briefing." I kid you not -- your humble scribe will be entering the belly of the beast, sucking on the tit of evil, and mixing and mangling metaphors this afternoon. Actually, I'll be at a presentation by U of Calgary poli-sci prof Barry Cooper on how journalists (a bunch of drunken liberals, apparently) manipulate the news to fit their agenda. One more variant on the "liberal media" argument that has become an article of faith among right-wingers. Might be interesting to hear how journos manage to slip their hidden agenda past the decidedly conservative-minded businesses who own the major media in Canada, not to mention the owners' hand-picked editors...

Then, this evening, the British Columbia NDP holds its final leadership debate out in New Westminster. If you haven't been paying attention, I can't blame you -- few outside of the hack-and-flack set have paid it any mind. Still, the prize is the leadership of the organization most likely to present a real alternative to the ruling BC Liberals in 2005. This is the last formal square-off for the leadership contenders (otherwise known as the Seven Dwarves) before the party holds its delegate selection meetings over the next few weeks. We'll see how many people actually show up to the debate. Wonder if I'll hear any talk about how the news agenda is controlled by a bunch of hyper-conservative editors appointed by press barons that are suspicious of any politician to the left of Attila the Hun...

Monday, September 29, 2003


Where it went wrong for Oilcan

Toronto Star provincial affairs writer Ian Urquhart pinpoints the first error in Ernie Eves' campaign for premier. For Urquhart, it all went wrong when Eves didn't call a snap election immediately after winning the leadership of the Ontario PC Party last year.

Makes a certain amount of sense. Eves ran for the Tory leadership on a platform of being less confrontational and less revolutionary than predecessor Mike Harris. The hardcore ideologues (affectionately known as the Little Shits) didn't back Eves then, and have served him poorly since. Oilcan was basking in the afterglow of his win and every pundit, Linda McQuaig excepted, swearing that this was the end of the Common Sense Revolution, for good or bad. You could have seen a repeat of the 1996 BC election -- a worn-out provincial government swimming in scandals of various sorts wins an election that it had no business winning thanks to a new leader and a supposed new way of doing things.

Oh well, 20/20 hindsight and all that. As it stands, Oilcan's going down, and Ontarians might actually get a little peace out of their government instead of the pattern of the last eight years where the government targetted certain groups (welfare recipients, immigrants, teachers, organized labour) and declared war on them in the name of the Common Man.

Monday, September 15, 2003


Another couple of articles

For your reading enjoyment, here's some more recent articles by yours truly: one's a quick piece for Vancouver Magazine on the city's move to a ward system to elect city council (scroll down to the second item), the other another media comment for Terminal City on CanWest Global ensuring that both their editorial comment and content is nothing but self-serving crap.

Now don't say that I haven't been typing anything lately!

Freudian slip?

Found poking around the Fraser Institute's web site: a profile of one of the Institute's fellows (aka someone who jumps to conclusions and then lacquers some stats to back 'em up). This one's a bio of one Claudia Hepburn, who handles the education file:

Claudia Hepburn is the Managing Director of the Ontario Office and Director of Education Policy at the Fraser Institute... She is a frequent media conmmentator on education issues.

A "con-mmentator?" Well, some (including me) would say that the FraserFolk have been doing a con-job on the public since the place was founded nearly 30 years ago as a direct response to British Columbia electing its first sorta-kinda socialist government.

Con-m-men-tator. Damn, that's funny.

Friday, September 05, 2003


Boonie Radio

In last week’s Terminal City, I took a look at local radio in a couple of Northern B.C. towns. Fort Nelson’s only radio station had become a repeater with local advertising thrown in—a situation that the CRTC (Canada’s broadcast regulator) finds acceptable, but one that’s useless in an emergency, as the town’s mayor and fire chief discovered earlier this year when they tried to get the word out on emergency preparedness. The story of the pillars of the community breaking into a radio station and taking it over sounds too weird to be true—and outside of radio fans, nobody in Vancouver knew or cared. about what had happened in Fort Nelson. Well, at least a few more people in Vancouver know what the country’s broadcast industry does to debase itself. Maybe some of them will do something about it.

Over in MacKenzie, a couple hours north of Prince George, CHMM-FM is getting ready to go on air this fall. That might sound unremarkable, but CHMM’s story is anything but. After the Jim Pattison Group shut down local full-service station CKMK 1240 in 2001, the townsfolk set up a society to bring local radio back to MacKenzie. The new MacKenzie community station will have more original programming than CKMK had, and with just as much professionally produced radio. In fact, they’ll get more fresh radio from their community station than they were getting from the old CKMK!

Here’s the kicker: CHMM’s presence means that the Jim Pattson Group, which operates repeaters of its Prince George stations in MacKenzie, will no longer be able to sell ads to MacKenzie on their repeaters. The rule ius that if there’s a local station that produces at least 42 hours a week of original radio, no repeaters in that same market can sell local advertising. Ostensibly, this gives an incentive for broadcasters to actually operate real stations in small markets. Usually it doersn’t work as intended, but in this case, it does. At least a few CRTC rules don’t favour greedhead owners who use their stations as money factories while giving nothing back to the community.

If you haven’t yet checked last week’s column out, here’s a link:

Boonie Radio: Don’t mourn, organize!

Thursday, September 04, 2003


Off Hiatus!

Yeah, yeah. I went on another multiple-week hiatus. It’s a bad habit of mine, but blogging is a side-issue for me. Truth be told, I’ll use any reason to leave the overly hot house and away from this infernal (and heat-emitting) machine. It’s still summer, y’know.

So here’s a list of lame excuses for my absence

  • In case you haven’'t noticed, Vancouver has been hot and dry for the last month. In response, I sought out places that were relatively cool and near wet stuff

  • No, I have no mobile computer or Internet. For now.

  • I had two weeks of vacation. You think that I’m gonna waste that time blogging? Get real!

  • Norwalk Virus. Seriously. At least it’s now behind me... pun intended.

  • Other people blog. You can read them instead. Martin Ertl actually got back to his spiffy blog after an extended break. Terminal City colleague Brian Salmi has set up his online campaign to become Vancouver’s Official Sultan of Fun.

  • Then again, a whole bunch of fellow blogger-types also went on hiatus. Dean Allen’'s been hiding from the heat in France; perhaps he’s been slaving away on that eagerly-awaited CMS. Ikram Saeed's been away for nearly as long as I—then again, I haven’t been dissecting hotshot historian Niall Ferguson’s treatise on empire. That sort of tome is too much heavy lifting for August if you ask me. Dawn’'s been wisely away from the cyber-umbilicus. See? I'm not the only lazy SOB in Blogtopia.

But now I’ve posted. With that out of the way, more updates should be easy.

Reports, opinions, columns, and anything else on this site, are © 2002-2003 Ian King unless otherwise noted. Permission granted to use material on this site for non-commercial purposes provided that the work is attributed to the original author. All other uses require specific permission of the original author. Contact weblog owner with any inquiries.

Feel free to link to this web log. The management likes getting lots of traffic.