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A routine doctor visit

5:19 PM Thursday
I looked around like a hunter protecting his kill, in case whoever lost it came back. But there was no one around. I stuffed the bag into my jacket trying to hide it, and carried on to the doctor’s office for my appointment.

The late autumn sun hung low in the purple orange sky at a blinding angle. If it was wasn’t for a puddle, I might’ve missed seeing the bag at all.

“Hi, Tim. Late again. Boy, you’re in for it this time”, greeted Jennifer, the senior assistant.

“You know how it is. Traffic was especially heavy today.”

“We know how how it is, alright”, her co-worker flashed a knowing grin before returning to her stack of files.

“Take a seat, Tim. He’s double booked, but should be able to see you before he goes home.”

I sat in my favourite spot by the coat rack, but after a couple of minutes realized how strange I must look, sitting there with a bulging jacket. It would have to come off.

After a moment, I got up and took a chair on the same side of the room as the other two people. Usually people don’t watch those sitting next to them. As carefully as I could, I slipped off my jacket & hid the bag in it.

The silence was broken by the voice of my doctor, who sounded very agitated, not like himself at all.

“Not this one, the file for Mrs. Johnson, I said. She’s got to get a blood test soon. Where’s that fax. number, I’ll send it.”

“Yes, Doctor, I’ll get on it right away. The number’s right there”, the younger assistant replied.
“Just going to the bathroom, be right back”, I told Barb, noticing she seemed more intent on her work than usual. “Say, what’s up with the Doctor today? Normally we can hear him kidding around and telling jokes while we wait. . .”

“Oh, don’t ask. He’s been like this all afternoon.” She glanced towards one of the rooms, then lowered her voice even further. “Apparently he lost something. He’s quite upset”, she confided.

“Oh, that’s too bad. Nice pictures”, I said, motioning to the wall behind her. “Where were those taken?”
“”Yes, aren’t they? He just got back from Africa two weeks ago. Took the whole family. Said he had to get away from all the repairs on his house. He could’ve torn it down and been better off.” She laughed.

“Yeah, construction costs have climbed steadily the last few years.”

“Well, he’s very meticulous, as you know. So it’ll all be sorted out soon enough. He’s very determined.”

By the time I got out of the doctor’s office and had the prescription filled, it was dark and raining. All I wanted to do was get home and count the money I’d found. I made my way back to the car as quickly as I could and tossed the paper bag onto the floor. About 20 minutes later it became obvious I was being followed. A large black SUV was still behind me ever since I could remember, despite a number of turns. Sometimes he would drop back a car length or two, but the more I drove, the more apparent it became that I would have to do something, and fast.

I buckled my seat belt and dialled 911 on my cell phone and kept driving east, past my last turn-off home. The line was busy. Just as well, I thought. What would I tell the police? That I’d found a few hundred grand, and now someone was following me? How long would it take them to intercept, and what would happen to the money? I tossed the phone onto the seat, and realized I had to lose the SUV.
7:42 PM Thursday
The heat from the hot chocolate and fireplace behind me had finally begun to warm me up. And enough time had elapsed that I could think. I stared at the phone and finally dialled my friend. She answered just as the image flashed through my mind. The terror of slamming the pedal to the floor at the red light, and closing my eyes. It seemed like a stupid thing to do now, but at the time, it came out of pure instinct. Either do this, and do it now, or this could be it.

“Hey Tim, what’s up?”

“Everything. I’m kind of in trouble, big trouble. I found this paper bag today, with a whole lot of money in it.”

“What?! How much? Where?”

“I. . . I don’t know, exactly, it’s in the hundreds of thousands. It was just sitting there in the grass, on the way to my doctor’s office.”

“Oh Lord. Are you okay? Why are you in trouble?”

“As okay as I can be, I guess. But some guy in a truck chased me, on the way home, so I lost him.”

“Why? Are you sure they were chasing you?”

“Yes they were after me. All I know is, I got the fuck out of there.”

“Yeah, right. Well Tim, I hate to say this, but I’m getting a little afraid here. It sounds like somebody knows you have the money. Do you get where I’m going with this?”

For a moment I didn’t know what to say, and there was a long silence over the phone. I turned to watch the flames, but found myself listening for any unusual sounds around the house.

“Tim?” Her voice was calm and neutral.

“Yeah?”

“Look, why don’t we take this one step at a time. Count the money first, find out how much you’ve got there.”

“Okay, but maybe this isn’t the right time for this.”

“Well, see if there’s anything else, something which might help shed some light on this.”

“Oh shit. That’s a good idea. Hadn’t even occurred to me.”

“Well, that’s not too surprising; sounds like you haven’t had any time.”

“Yeah, okay, hang on. I’m gonna check the bag right now.”

I put the phone down, and dragged the bag across the floor. For a moment, it was fascinating to hold the bundles of cash in my hands, then I turned the bag upside down. At least a dozen bundles of thousand dollar bills tumbled out, then a scrap of paper with some writing on it.

I picked it up and could tell in the dimly lit room that it was a note. I huddled as close to the fire as I could get, and read the note into the phone.

“Mr. Wong, here is the 400 thousand dollars as agreed. Please accept this as partial payment on my loan. The remainder will follow shortly..”

“Wow, does it say anything else.?”

“No, that’s it.”

“Are you sure, Tim? Nothing else? Turn it over.”

“Yeah, there is. Hang on. It says. . it’s an address. Holy shit. Guess what?”

“What, Tim? What is it?”

“Its my doctor’s address. Apparently this is his medical stationery. Holy shit, this is his money.”

“Or else this Wong guy.”

“Yeah, that’s true. Could be. What am I gonna do?”

“Breathe, just calm down. Okay?”

I knew she’d say that, but it didn’t make me feel any better.

“Tim? Hello? Are you breathing?”

“No, I’m. .. listening. Thought I heard something. What am I gonna do?”

“Tim, does your doctor make house calls?”

“What?”

“Nothing, just kidding. But I think you might need a doctor soon.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“A new one, that’s all.”

“Right, let’s figure this out, what am I gonna do?”

“I think. . I think you’ve got to get out of there. Just hang up, get your shit, and go.”

“Yeah I guess so, but I don’t feel so good. I feel sick.”

I listened for her answer, but there was only silence. The line was dead.

Cheerful light

The house stares back
from across the street
Looking at me through panes
Staring at my feet
With windows of ninety year old glass
it squats on earth
made to last

Its gardens once grew food
For families of young and old
Though long since passed
They must be rued

Their long held traditions
and passed on memories
leaves us more
than a little teary
lost in the jive and shuffle
of the urban bustle
always, always there is that hurry
sorry, but forever
you can’t hold your breath
Because  the new year’s frost
is still a worry

Outside I shuffle down a path
cleaned just barely
revealing  bricks and sand
Will the  grip of winter
loosen its grasp?
then the sight of those out strolling
Picks up my pace
They aren’t morose or lonely
Can we just be surrounded
in a merry space?

Let loose these scarves and mittens
For now I am  nearly skipping
I’d like to join in
and silently listen
perchance take a walk in newborn grass
Hop over the branches
of the dead and snapped
Even have a laugh
Worry no longer!
Over remains of  half eaten
maybe a decaying leaf
or cores of apple and plum
Don’t wallow!
Don’t stay so glum
it’s just a setting sun

Just when I feel a curse
Could this day be any worse?
Along comes a need
I do have a garden
I really must  weed!
But first I must linger
at the nearest lane
Not to ponder the usual litter
of unwanted belongings
and  assorted blame
but to hear a pitter patter
just hang out and consider
A never before seen beauty
that really matters

The road is covered by an icy glaze
reflecting a simple and cheerful light
I think I hear music
bouncy and bright
behold the ice cream tones
I think I’ve got to roam
over those mountain peaks
strangely pink and orange
listen to the birds
twitter and tweet
These colours of sunset
are oh so earthy
the perfect companion
that such a long time ago
I should  have met

Time to hurry on home
Please, the quickest way
I can and must go
Something’s started a long lost fire
Enough to warm any darkened heart
An irresistible desire
The bottles and Christmas wrap
I ‘m about to toss
Aren’t really a loss
For someone will show up soon
By light of sun
or yellow crescent moon
somebody grateful
to have this chance
Blessed with one more day
to have  more season available
to frolic?  to play?
behold the sight, rows of trays
here they be
our precious seeds
the tasty breakfast lunch and dinners
They will someday bring
They’re in the window
enough of being thinner!
They’ve waited for their cue
It’s time to sing
Time for  a fork and knife
In the cheerful light of spring

Metro Vancouver is rife with chaos. My dad was right when he said last night that “land assemblies’ are accelerating , not slowing down. The Railway Club is closing forever and going to be bulldozed. Another place for live music and people to get together…gone. A big blow to the local music industry, specifically, and for entertainment generally.

Combine this with so many other things going on around Metro Vancouver, it is hard to maintain one’s cool…because it’s a sweeping transformation on several fronts.

Income inequality is worsening. And our attitudes towards the vulnerable & disadvantaged have collapsed. We are okay with walking by people sleeping on the cold hard concrete sidewalk… without even a piece of cardboard. We are okay with seniors getting little or no discounts anymore. We need to rush to the beach by 11 am in the summer, because after that, there’s no parking, and no more spots on the beach. Going out to a favoured restaurant, nightspot, or movie theatre? If you’re not stuck in a long queue, you are very lucky. It does happen, sure, but it’s not the norm.

When I’m in “town” every couple weeks, I see the changes. THAT’S HOW FAST THE CITY IS CHANGING.

The via-ducts will be torn out and filled up with towers. Crazy redevelopment all along the major streets.  Oakridge Mall awaits a total makeover with towers rivalling those of Metrotown in Burnaby.  The entire block within 57th to 59th, Cambie to Heather, will be bulldozed. BC Place is going to be surrounded by more towers, finishing off what was started after Expo 86 ended. Towers going up right beside my old  dentist in South Van.

Close to home the madness continues.  Two blocks away from home, 2 heritage houses will be replaced by 7 shoeboxes. A house 2 blocks the other way, once owned by nuns, is coming down, who knows what’s going in there. Across the street from that, another newer house is coming down. One block south of us, a 49.5 foot wide lot is going to be bulldozed and almost certainly see 3 dwellings go up, unless an adjacent lot is acquired, which might see another massive thing going in there.

One of our neighbours is selling next year, moving to other BC locations. She’s had it. Their lot is super wide, and developers continue to pester her. They can’t wait to use that lot in a land assembly for more condos etc.

Traffic? I am continualy dumbfounded at the volumes. Since I’m here every 2 weeks, I see the increase in traffic, how heavy it is virtually all day long, in places you once could count on to be light traffic.

Say anything critical of what the City is doing, and of course, since you’re dealing with a well-oiled, well-established well-funded bureaucracy beholden to the real estate industry and developers…what do you think happens? Why, they trot out any number of standard, predictable slick responses designed to brush you off, shut you up, discredit you, distract you, minimize you, and ensure they look good, and are right on top of it, and hey, only their ideas are the right ones.

But the proof is in the pudding. Just take the last 15 years. Probably double the number of housing units ( condos, townhouses, suites, etc ), and yet, enormous, exponential growth in prices. So are they honestly interested in affordability? Availability? No, obviously not. Why would they?
This is the same group of people who cajoled us to spend billions to bury the Canada Line Sky Train Line beneath Cambie St, ostensibly “to preserve the character of the area”…and scant years later approve of the wholesale slaughter of said area, replacing everything visible to the naked eye with a mixture of towers and 4 to 8 storey condo buildings.

The City has even just coined a new term, “view corridors”, …saying they’re working hard to safeguard what they call “view corridors”, you know, those thin slices of city and mountain views, those brief seconds you see the sky, in between the towers going up today, and the ones about to break ground around you.

In conclusion, well, my own conclusions are not fit for publication. For the city I once loved, is quickly being supplanted by monsters, something just as creepy and slimy and offensive as what emerged out of those pods in the film ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers”.

Inserting the conclusion of another piece I wrote, fits well here and deserves mentioning.

“….made more frustrating by the fact it seems like the city has been robbed from the people and the environment it is a part of…leaving its inhabitants disenfranchised, stressed, impoverished, hopeless, anxious, fearful, disconnected…and so even more, people seek to find any redeeming quality, any morsel to devour, any little piece they can grab onto and maybe, if they tell themselves enough times, how great it is there, how nowhere else could possibly be better…that maybe then it’ll magically somehow erase everything and it ‘ll be alright.

Pretty simple and pretty weak defence mechanism, eh? If I convince myself everywhere else is worse than the frying pan I’m in, then I will somehow deal with the heat. The thing is, you’re stuck in a frying pan, getting hotter and smaller all the time, and you have no control over it, because you aren’t the cook. You’re the olive oil.

….made more frustrating by the fact it seems like the city has been robbed from the people and the environment it is a part of…leaving its inhabitants disenfranchised, stressed, impoverished, hopeless, anxious, fearful, disconnected…and so even more, people seek to find any redeeming quality, any morsel to devour, any little piece they can grab onto and maybe, if they tell themselves enough times, how great it is there, how nowhere else could possibly be better…that maybe then it’ll magically somehow erase everything and it ‘ll be alright.

Pretty simple and pretty weak defence mechanism, eh? If I convince myself everywhere else is worse than the frying pan I’m in, then I will somehow deal with the heat. The thing is, you’re stuck in a frying pan, getting hotter and smaller all the time, and you have no control over it, because you aren’t the cook. You’re the olive oil.”

It is a powerful truth that “you are what you do, always”. In other words, one may talk & preach all manner of rhetoric and try to pass themselves off as something, they can do all the dancing they want….but in fact, it is what they do, that identifies who they really are and what they honestly believe in.

It’s so hilarious then, watching people post photos of a few trees or bushes in Vancouver & proceeding to crow about it & attempt to portray what’s shown as somehow representative of what may be found all over the city. It makes one wince, having grown up there and had the good fortune to do some travelling to places both near and far, to provide a great deal of comparison and distance in order to accurately recognize truths, & fairly reflect upon how variables are characterized.

In the final, raw analysis, we don’t mind bulldozers on every block, heritage houses being terminated every single day. We really don’t care about losing trees, bushes, vegetation, and spaces to grow food, suntan, play frisbee, listen to music, sleep, talk, have a cappuccino, roll in a pile of leaves or cultivate a rose garden. When you get right down to it, we frankly don’t give a shit about any of those things, for if we did, we’d vote differently. We’d storm City Hall. We’d march in the streets by the hundreds of thousands like we once did from the 60’s to the early 80’s.

What do we really feel? Where are our allegiances? It’s demonstrated by what we do. We support condos. We like seeing construction cranes everywhere and we love to chatter about traffic and weather and housing. Relatively trivial and juvenile subjects compared to what you hear in Victoria, or Montreal, or Haida Gwaii, or St. John’s Newfoundland, or Sayulita, Mexico. We’d rather salivate over the idea, the inviting prospect of possible cash in our Lululemon stretch pants…all the while, grind our teeth fretting about affordability and all the other annoyances of life in a big metropolis……

So, people who think any particular scene, such as cherry trees near the former Bentall Towers, is beautiful and fetching….( and of course it is ) are perhaps arguably at risk of carrying on a delusion & propagating a myth that Vancouver is “all that and a bag of chips”, that the scene depicted and commented about… is somehow typical of the city’s streetscapes ( which was the case some 30 or 40 years ago ) when clearly, it is anything but typical.

…. The reality is …it is more similar to a movie set, make believe…. than a representation of anything larger, and to find that… one needs to look beyond Vancouver, as so many people are doing.

Ironically, people don’t need to look very far, which makes it interesting to observe in a clinical sense, how readily so many people like to buy into a long since extinguished fantasy, when the real thing is but a relative spit away. ….( Not sure how this comes off, because again I grew up there and really like (d) it there when I’m not hating it……but it’s frustrating to witness what was once a truly great town and small city, metamorphose into a hideous mutation ( I need to restrain myself from launching into an assault here )…

….made more frustrating by the fact it seems like the city has been robbed from the people and the environment it is a part of…leaving its inhabitants disenfranchised, stressed, impoverished, hopeless, anxious, fearful, disconnected…and so even more, people seek to find any redeeming quality, any morsel to devour, any little piece they can grab onto and maybe, if they tell themselves enough times, how great it is there, how nowhere else could possibly be better…that maybe then it’ll magically somehow erase everything and it ‘ll be alright.

Pretty simple and pretty weak defence mechanism, eh? If I convince myself everywhere else is worse than the frying pan I’m in, then I will somehow deal with the heat. The thing is, you’re stuck in a frying pan, getting hotter and smaller all the time, and you have no control over it, because you aren’t the cook. You’re the olive oil.

On October 19 th

On October 19th

I spy
Little Stuffin Heartless
the wannabee prime minister
overcooked and oh so sinister
things keep going
From bad to worse
It’s not in his nature
To admit the truth
But thanks to him
we’re all out of work

The discourse of the country
Dictated by takers
What happened to room
for farmers, butchers & bakers
So yeah
we’ve grown tired of the lies
How could Mrs. Harper
stand by his side

His is not the correct ideology
And pretty soon
we’re gonna get that apology
It’s a rotting system
Where only a witch
Could stand to live
it doesn’t create
or know how to give

Let’s get up and get out
from under their thumb
It’s just been too long
Step back, have a look
At what society’s become
Governed by cadre of crooks
When, in order to eat
You need a cook

How could it be cool
To live in herr Harper’s rule
Have people learned their lesson?
As the line-ups get longer
We need a homelessness roster
I’m afraid to admit it
But I’m seeing flying saucers
I actually have to wonder
Isn’t the name of the game
To rob pillage and plunder
When the engine backfires
Which scares all the sheeple
Who gets all the blame?
The working people

This isn’t an alternate dimension
But thanks to Heartless
the corporations got too much
of our money to mention
It’s a spooky paradigm
If it’s wrong to reach out your hand or just ask:
“brother can you spare a dime”.

What happened to reason
Or even letting in letting in light
But hey!
The hour is up, for the Right
Tis is the season
of changing winds
It really is an occasion
A time to even sing hymns
We got so much to be thankful for
we get to heave Steve Stuffin
once it’s done
When we fire Mr. Heartless
We can quit roughing it
And get back to loving
surely it’s time
the end of their ride
isn’t there a closet
where he can hide

There’s not a moment to rest

Enough of being oppressed!

Been going on 9 years
Canada could sure use a shower
We’ve seen too much muck and mud
But it’s good for growing
Some of that old flower power

I’m not fascist, just the King
the only verse
you’re allowed to sing
is the Party’s script
Follow it closely, you have to fit
In this once respected nation
Otherwise you’ll be visited
By doctor C-51
Cuz if there’s an allegation
Of a “barbaric cultural practice”
He’ll prescribe a laxative

The faith in government
You’re supposed to trust
was allowed to fester
And got coated with rust
They kept trying for that elusive Hat Trick
They rigged the match
In goes the fix
Stuffin Heartless, with Ford & a schmuck
If they had their way
They’d get the whole sandbox
They could have gone green
For we on the left of the center
can envision the sheen
but if you don’t tow their line
it’ll be forever
you’ll exist as a renter

And yet there is reason for Hope
To stop the slide
On the slippery slope
On October 19 th
Avoid sailing
Towards the reef
For it’s Halloween
And Thanksgiving
It’s time to rejoin
the land of the living.
Together we can
build a new modern economy
it’s not astronomy
It’s time to cross the divide
To do what the heart knows
Feels so right.
So cross the moat
and storm the drawbridge
It just takes our vote
Say “buh-bye”
To Stuffin Heartless
We demand our turkey
and all our harvested local greens
We’re taking back our country
For you and me
On October 19th

I spy
Little Stuffin Harper
the wannabee prime minister overcooked and oh so sinister
things keep going
From bad to worse
It’s not in his nature
To admit the truth
But thanks to him
we’re all out of work

The discourse of the country
Dictated by takers
What happened to room
for farmers, butchers & bakers
So yeah
we’ve grown tired of the lies
How could Mrs. Harper
stand by his side

His is not the correct ideology
And pretty soon
we’re gonna get that apology
It’s a rotting system
Where only a witch
Could stand to live
it doesn’t create
or know how to give

Let’s get up and get out
from under their thumb
It’s just been too long
Step back, have a look
At what society’s become
Governed by cadre of crooks
When, in order to eat
You need a cook

How could it be cool
To live under herr Harper’s rule
Have people learned their lesson?
As the line-ups get longer
We need a homelessness roster
I’m afraid to admit it
But I’m seeing flying saucers
I actually have to wonder
Isn’t the name of the game
To rob pillage and plunder
When the engine backfires
Which scares all the sheeple
Who gets all the blame?
The working people

This isn’t an alternate dimension
But thanks to Heartless
the corporations got too much
of our money to mention
It’s a spooky paradigm
If it’s wrong to reach out your hand or just ask:
“brother can you spare a dime”.

What happened to reason
Or even letting in letting in light
But hey!
The hour is up, for the Right
Tis is the season
of changing winds
It really is an occasion
A time to even sing hymns
We got so much to be thankful for
we get to heave Steve Stuffin
once it’s done
When we fire Mr. Heartless
We can quit roughing it
And get back to loving
surely it’s time
the end of their ride
isn’t there a closet
where he can hide

Been going on 9 years
Canada could sure use a shower
We’ve seen too much muck and mud
But it’s good for growing
Some of that old flower power

I’m not fascist, just the King
the only verse
you’re allowed to sing
is the Party’s script
Follow it closely, you have to fit
In this once respected nation
Otherwise you’ll be visited
By doctor C-51
Cuz if there’s an allegation
Of a “barbaric cultural practice”
He’ll prescribe a laxative

The faith in government
You’re supposed to trust
was allowed to fester
And got coated with rust
They kept trying for that elusive Hat Trick
They rigged the match
In goes the fix
Stuffin Heartless, with Ford & a schmuck
If they had their way
They’d get the whole sandbox
They could have gone green
For we on the left of the center
can envision the sheen
but if you don’t tow their line
it’ll be forever
you’ll exist as a renter

And yet there is reason for Hope
To stop the slide
On the slippery slope
On October 19 th
Avoid sailing
Towards the reef
For it’s Halloween
And Thanksgiving
It’s time to rejoin
the land of the living.
Together we can
build a new modern economy
it’s not astronomy
It’s time to cross the divide
To do what the heart knows
Feels so right.
So cross the moat
and storm the drawbridge
It just takes our vote
Say “buh-bye”
To Stuffin Heartless
We demand our turkey
and all our harvested local greens
We’re taking back our country
For you and me

Taken from recent files: “Speaking from many years of observation: the routes continue to get longer ( as a general rule with some exceptions hardly worth mentioning statistically ) mainly because the entity sees postal workers will eagerly “make it work” by ramping up their “time-saving” shortcuts, etc, & no one enforces the basic work rules & patterns – like start time, etc.

Whereas the union once put a stop to this , (some 13 years ago before agreeing to drop the campaign), & whereas 20 years ago workers would cut corners to save themselves time…nowadays they do it for a blizzard of reasons that boil down to personal convenience & comfort, knowing ( or not) that all these behaviours they’re doing benefit the entity big-time financially, & demonstrate to the entity they should begin planning the next restructure & the next round of cuts.

IMHO, the only way out, & now I’m talking literally about whether we will survive, is to (obviously this is but 1 item on the tick list among many items) immediately make it mandatory to follow basic work rules such as start time ( with a few exceptions in extenuating circumstances ), just like we did 13 years ago. This would be even easier today, what with technological advancements like swipe cards.

Now, we will have to start all over again… fighting to get paid to eat lunch at the station ( and have the travel time restored too )… like a dignified human being. I understand sometimes we want to “just get ‘er done” when we have urgent matters to attend to, special situations, etc,….but we have surrendered our basic dignity and the negotiated right to be paid to have a lunch break at the depot where we could warm up, get changed, make phone calls, eat real food, actually converse with each other, actually use a bathroom without being “in a hurry”, etc, just like prisoners do in Canada’s correctional system.

And the work culture has disintegrated so far that many posties actually avoid having anything at all to do with their customers….the very same people that put the food on your table & pay for the diapers you need for your kids. The same people that once needed us…but now the relationship has come full circle. It is US, who needs them. And that’s what many of us understand, the ones participating in the many efforts across Canada to engage customers on our personal time, and win over allies to fight the entity…& fight Ottawa, that’s now coming after OUR pensions, saying our pensions, and “the business” “need” to be “fixed”.

One more thing about the avoidance of customers that’s become so routine for some employees.  We would have a much stronger argument against CMB’s and for keeping ( and yes, expanding ) door to door delivery service, if customers interacted with their postal worker.  If we spoke to our customers more, they’d be less likely to view us as just mobile CMBs.  So spend a few moments to develop a relationship with your customer; rekindle the emotional attachment with the postie, and customer service right to your door.  Remember –  we need their support, big-time.

So many workers have been running for so long they’ve forgotten how to walk, and trained the newbies and junior workers to do the same…..to be the obedient robotic “delivery agents” the entity covets. Part of fighting the entity & the government is fixing ourselves. The culture must be addressed. We need heightened awareness of our role in the Union, what a Union really is, and finally, just how high the stakes are.

The Union is going into Convention very soon. New leaders will be named. We’re gonna exercise our democratic processes and use our power. At least the ones who are involved. We need more drivers, and fewer passengers. We have to wake up the work floor and get more bodies doing something, anything, to get more informed, & join the many postal workers who ARE fighting back against what is happening. There is no choice. The stakes are just too high now.

We will be without a contract in less than a year. Negotiations will soon be underway. And there’s a federal election in just over 6 months. Six months, people, that’s all. We already know where we stand with the present Conservative government. The prospects of another 4 years of Harper & his gang with all the power they want to implement more of their agenda, is unthinkable. Don’t just stand there & watch it happen. Don’t be a victim. Join us – and fight back. Don’t know how, don’t know where to begin? Ask. Make a contribution, regardless of how small. The stakes are just too high not to.

My position on the Transportation & Transit Plebiscite currently before Metro Vancouver voters, ( the one seeking to raise the PST another .5% ) ….is clear enough and easy enough to understand.  And it is based on decades of observation and careful clinical analysis.

I can’t stand the character assassination against anyone who dares to espouse their support for the “no” camp….

I can’t tolerate hearing this doomsday scenario that if the “no” side wins, the sky will surely fall.

The authorities have already decided that we will encourage as many people as possible to live here, which serves the real estate industry very well ( realtors, lawyers, builders, developers, planners, and all the support staff and ancillary services that go with it )….

and we certainly didn’t need a plebiscite to approve a new Massey Bridge to replace the tunnel, or the sea to sky highway, or the Highway 1 project, or the Port Mann bridge, or the Canada Line, or the new Pitt River crossing, or the Golden Ears bridge, or the highways and bridges connecting the Delta Superport with Surrey etc, or anything else….

So this plebiscite is strictly about taking yet more money from the middle class and lower income groups, ( a very regressive tax, just ask any high school student ), to maintain a sick status quo that benefits from the status quo, …..and also keeps the BC government at an “apparent” arm’s length from having to be accountable for transportation and transit here. …..

And it is utterly despicable that the “yes” camp is using taxpayer money to fund its campaign…millions and millions of OUR dollars being used to brainwash us, the voters and people whose hard work makes this metropolis happen…..

and I haven’t gone into any depth at all about how reviled Translink is, and how virtually everybody complains about how poorly it is run and how unaccountable it is….most people intuitively know that any money given to Translink is just throwing good money after bad…it’s a sinkhole, folks…. look at any aspect of it. Spending a 100 million on “fare gates” to apprehend those evil non-payers who cost the system 1 or 2 million…..the Compass card system which now may never actually come to be, yet continues to suck us dry for millions and millions more.

You know what? The vast majority of people are evidently voting “no”, and once the votes are counted and it’s done with, it will force the politicians, like Premier Christy Clark and the brain trust that is people like Suzanne Anton, to make changes and create a metropolis that’s more economically sustainable, which is what a customer confided in me today. Beginning with scrapping Translink and the EIGHT bureaucracies involved in our transportation and transit planning and operations.

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