Stories by Rafe Mair
Canada's list of wrongs against minorities is long.
Young and old are fed up with mounting betrayals from their 'betters.'
Harper's niqab stand seems 'deliciously timed' for a fall election.
Is Harper pushing us towards a new McCarthyism?
Tankers safe! Protests rude! National Energy Board fair! Save Albertans' asses!
Coming election a chance to register protest by voting in maverick MPs.
Fix our democracy's mess, ignore boo birds' silly myths.
Betting on mirage jobs, NDP leader downplays huge risks to citizens and nature.
Your New Dems backed Clark's Libs for all the wrong reasons.
Where is the democracy our brave soldiers fought and died for?
Radical as it sounds, government intervention is key to our survival.
We need a stronger option for hospital imprisonment.
As BC's promised gas boom goes pffft, Premier Clark must come clean.
But then you decided to run for the Tories. Big mistake.
And ruminations on the federal election we must soon endure.
Mount Polley panel picked to be expert in engineering, not legal, technicalities.
Tradition decrees he take 'ministerial responsibility' for Mount Polley mess on his watch.
Rafe Mair's cost free way to fix our democracy deficit.
Why I am a British Columbian first, a Canadian second. How about you?
Gone are childish notions dismissive of native land claims.
Gateway approved, now 'British Columbians will learn the stuff they're made of.'
The system is fixed against the public and nature. How do we fix that?
We need a real political debate about oil, gas and water. Who will step up?
Where is the profit in transporting other people's petroleum products?
And more ruminations from Rafe Mair while preparing to leave the hospital.
Take a lesson, politicians who would pander.
I helped BC pubs expand, but I'm against booze in grocery marts.
Either abolish it or create one that better suits less populous provinces.
Premier Clark, help us break four bad habits of political laziness.
Premiers Clark, Redford and feds are telling us the fix is in.
Finding truth takes work. Don't settle for usual media sources.
And why British Columbia should shift to proportional representation.
Two predictions: She can't pass it. Creating a fail for BC.
How BC Liberals are shutting off our province's energy options.
How much dissent can be aired by Canada's public broadcaster?
Their shared nightmare unfolds: four more years of Liberal reign.
What ails Rafe Mair? The illogic of what MSP does and doesn't pay for.
'Flight of the Eagle' is an entertaining showcase of the Lord's biases, but not without merit.
Private profit and a few jobs aren't worth undoing Howe Sound's miraculous recovery.
Six issues the press must cover to hold power in this province accountable.
Is their approach to campaigning and politics in general. Here's why.
Rafe Mair reviews Nikiforuk's 'theories be damned' look at our fossil fuel servitude.
The future of our province was at stake; the results disastrous.
They've proven to be no friends to BC's finances, nature or the truth.
Don't let Clark get away with her brazenly false 'Debt Free BC' claim.
Savvy tactics dictate avoiding the 'gotcha' trap set by one-on-one format.
Surveying the BC Liberal wreckage brings to mind Cromwell's famous exhortation.
At long last, muzzled DFO scientist Miller gets mandate to deepen risks study.
Realistically no. Only the NDP can make the NDP lose now.
Premier is betting the election on LNG. Where's the opposition?
Keep coasting and your New Democrats could lose the May 14 election.
Will politicians vying to lead BC forthrightly address two key fears?
Journalists wishing to be relevant this provincial election must zero in on environment.
Is a May election that puts in power true defenders of BC's natural bounty.
I'll show you my Christmas, you show me your Ramadan. Why are we afraid of holidays born of history?
Both parties seem oblivious to the coming natural gas glut and its economic impact.
How to give power back to the people and their members of parliament.
Why are we scared to say it? Are we afraid of a truly democratic government?
His exodus gives BC Cons no reason to mourn, nor for BC Libs to cheer.
That's when they surrendered BC's best chance to stop Enbridge's risky pipeline.
Rules of the game in BC prevent the new approach to politics he advises.
The pipeline company's promo video lowers peaks, vanishes islands in selling its project to the public.
Why her five requirements for accepting Enbridge's Northern Gateway project don't add up.
Faced with Northern Gateway pipeline, no siren can be sounded too loudly.
And other arguments against letting the 'economy' trump nature in BC.
BC's crucial environmental battles pit citizens against politicians' love of corporate money.
Why we can't depend on our provincial leaders to protect our interests.
Are we a society that cares for one another? Taxes are a key measure.
Pundits celebrating BC Lib defector's Railgate statements should dredge up his fish farm file.
There was a time when BC's politicians had the nerve to say no.
By bringing back the Mental Health Advocate her party yanked.
Why Premier Clark has her hands full keeping her own party in line.
Under a premier's iron fist, our representatives quiver. Here's the fix.
Driven by one irrational fear, business leaders ignore host of financial pratfalls by Campbell/Clark.
As opposition mounts to Northern Gateway, backers will promise big bucks for BC.
Eight old dents in believability Clark's polish hasn't fixed.
Keystone is no victory if dangerous bitumen instead pumps through Kitimat or Vancouver.
On decisions that matter most, how much say do you and I really have?
Why the Tory factor gives Clark's party reason to fear for its life.
We're on a collision course to violent conflict, with little to gain for BC.
If citizens of our age need a scathing anthem, here's one from 1927.
Enbridge and Kinder Morgan each aim to pump more tar sands gunk to our coast.
World Series was one more reminder that patriotism trumped reason after attacks.
The movement is inevitable, unstoppable and unpredictable.
Remember, the goal is to protect society and deal with a dangerous sickness.
Ten things to know about the inner workings of your columnist's operating system.
That can happen when government shuts citizens out of critical decisions.
Here's why I am hoping the premier calls an election as soon as possible.
As discipline waned and jobs fled, the rich flaunted mindless greed as their natural right.
How to make Parliament healthy, so MPs actually work for you and me.
Good question. In asking it, a number of points to consider.
And other consequences for daring to speak the plain truth as I see it.
Public keeps letting governments with slimy records stay in office. Why?
Paper runs SFU prof's damning critique of BC Liberals' misnamed 'green' energy policies.
BC Conservatives overrated as vote splitter for potential Lib supporters.
The pleasures of roaming a small bookshop, the joy of holding a bound tome. Fading fast?
Thanks for the advice, Vancouver Sun and Globe & Mail. Here's why I won't be taking it.
Minority governments are good things. Unchecked Conservatives? Not good at all.
They're tucked in so tightly together it's a blatant, ongoing conflict of interest.
Does Christy Clark know the difference between a caucus and a cactus? To survive, she'd better.
Incoming premier faces a raft of challenges. Hardest might be building a loyal cabinet.
The more I age, the more I strive to care about the world my grandson will inhabit.
When will we face the contradictory, dishonest way we nurture and kill animals?
Lib leadership candidates already signaling they endorse Campbell's record.
And province's New Dems are wise to troll federal ranks for a new leader.
I owe my allegiance to certain principles rather than any political party.
Rafe's reckless wagers on a wide open field of Lib and NDP candidates.
His non-partisan commitment to service was an example to all. Including our prime minister.
Hang on tight, British Columbians, this is going to be quite a ride!
Further thoughts on why BC could use a new party, and who might put it together.
NDP leader should consider resigning and declaring a leadership convention this spring.
New Dems wise to keep their distance from Bill Vander Zalm, despite his HST-fighting success.
It may not, if Premier Campbell can't learn from previous political meltdowns.
Cameron's 'On The Farm' makes us see the lethal double standards we allow to persist.
When our MPs debate, there's nothing really at stake. Why even pay attention?
Five 'vectors' spell doom for once-solid Crown corporation. Blame Campbell's energy policies.
They never say why they need so much info. I just don't trust them.
They're sick. Which means longer jail sentences won't protect kids.
Polls show BC's Liberals are wounded. Carole James had better not assume they are dead.
Reform-averse world leaders will suffer the wrath of ignored citizens. In BC, too.
Why are we risking all to promote addiction to tar sands oil?
I was a paper boy for The Province, and to this day, can't wait to read certain pages.
'The Death of American Virtue' is a cautionary tale of justice and libidos out of control.
Farmed salmon fighting rally, historic in size, rendered puny by BC's big Canwest papers.
Voters are mad as hell, but that's a long way from building a serious 'third party.'
BC's river giveaway to private producers was never about self-sufficiency, we now see.
Vander Zalm and colleagues should be proud of taking the fight against the HST into the public sphere.
If NDP can't win voters in middle, maybe someone else should try.
Notes from a quick, guided visit to Saigon, er, Ho Chi Minh City.
Susan Inman's memoir is a must read for any family faced with schizophrenia, and for our health system, too.
Each new wave of digital device takes an extreme disliking to me.
Why demand MPs go back to work if they can't do real work once there?
My critics are wrong to say I 'support' nuclear power. Plus: Steve Fonyo's fall.
Some notes on 2009 and prognostications for the year underway.
Given what's now known about concussions, there's no excuse for approving extreme fighting.
Well, he at least invites a hard look at nuclear energy as an option.
I was your biggest fan. Now I say to your wife Elin, 'Sue the bastard!'
Carole James is no autocrat -- and her party, for better or worse, lacks discipline.
And here it is: campaign hard, with Carole James, on saving our natural environment.
I was raised conservative, but look where I've ended up!
Hobbling BC Hydro so private firms can profit big is bad public policy.
Far be it from me to ruin the happy tune, but here are three key questions.
The catastrophe doesn't seem to concern Tories, Grits. In fact, they don't want to know.
My apologies to the early 2010 critic, now stalked by cops. He tried to tell me the Olympics were a bad bet.
Because the BC government and its media friends don't want one.
Like Socred Bill Bennett, he's made himself too disliked to win another election.
They court your love, then seek to please unelected power brokers.
Those who complain I'm not even-handed don't get my purpose.
As BC's sockeye disaster unfolded, she flogged fish farms in Norway.
He belonged to a fierce group of BC news lions. Who roars now?
Our rivers and fish face premeditated murder. To stand by is immoral.
The premier is piling up political liabilities. His party will have to pay for them.
Memo to media: time to expose Campbell's fallacy.
Utilities commission nixed Libs' river power push. Now what?
Dubious bluster from BC Libs on e-mails, river power.
Olympics security overkill: Why so afraid of protest?
Who inspired our premier to privatize nature? Michael Walker, maybe?
More than 1,000 turn out to oppose Kootenay project.
I sought a holiday from BC's fights, but it's just the same here.
We should strive to play broker to China, Russia and the US.
Ignatieff's road to victory leads through BC. Here's a map.
In this nation of second chances, he's earned one.
Notes on Huntington's win, James's loss, Campbell's heir.
Now is the critical time to rise to the defence of salmon habitat.
I tried to raise key election issues. Some big enviro groups, and most reporters, looked away.
Fish farms won. Private river power won. STV is dead.
Campbell set the bar so low, no wonder his team stoops.
Libs' top cop has license yanked, stays in race. Too typical.
Three issues gaining traction as the campaigns unfold.
For Premier Campbell, unsavoury questions pile up.
Its war on nature speaks of a spiritual void.
Good riddance to Campbell's clamp down on free speech.
He's star struck by big biz beyond BC's borders.
Harper and Campbell want to gut a good old law. Here's why.
First we lost muckrakers. Now we're losing newspapers.
Wasn't his party supposed to have business brains?
Take the profit out of their murderous business. Make drugs legal.
Premier strains belief on river power, sea lice.
Eight issues pecking away at Campbell's re-election chances.
Life is short. We want answers.
His message of hope is hard won, and vital.
Who has preserved the Socred premier's province-building legacy? Not Gordon Campbell.
Offer to buy power line homes is cynical, bad business.
Why we're in this mess despite so many warning signs.
Why I went from Olympics booster to boo bird.
Can he fix entire economies? The world?
In crisis times, what childish games all parties are playing.
Issues I fight for never seem to be 'news.' Wonder why?
Communism and capitalism, two sides of a coin.
Energy minister would rather cry conspiracy than address issues.
I recall FDR's radio chats, an inept peanut farmer and an overrated Reagan.
Last week's speech, pure politics, set table for early run.
Provincial contest will be night and day different.
Where will Campbell point the finger this time?
Big real estate projects threaten Mission habitat.
But then, I trusted my gut, not a broker.
And not just because McCain's 71.
The fun action happens at democracy's local level.
Why Harper's smart, McCain's not and James needs to be.
Indulge me a last fling before the political season in BC.
My victory in Canada’s Supreme Court should free up speech.
Must electronic gadgets toy with me so cruelly?
Even after its upgrade, the road to Whistler won't be safe.
BC's stakes are so huge and lasting, change is a must.
Summer reading voyages with Captain Vancouver and Gandhi.
A tale of two cities. And why Budapest beats Paris.
Five guys running Canaccord make $35 million.
Ban the NFL here? Prevent men from running for office? No, and no!
Notes to Premier Campbell and Tiger Woods.
Despite premier's emissions progress, BC nature is under attack.
Let's hope voters are ready for a black president.
Why risk our rivers to satisfy US energy hunger?
Peter and Autumn will do just fine.
Campbell provides issues to attack this year.
That's where the Liberals are taking Hydro.
The great global game has some BC roots.
In search of happiness again, I knew where to look.
Lots of new faces at eco-protests these days.
Why the private power battle is so critical.
How our Balkan decision may haunt us.
Will stopped power project start a citizens' revolt?
Give rural voters more service, not more MLAs.
High flying governments can get too cocky.
As US stumbles in risky world, she's our best hope.
No mere puppet, Zhou-Enlai was China's 'last perfect revolutionary.'
This Anglican says get lost to anti-gay wing.
500 BC streams risked for private profit.
Pundit takes holiday, sends postcard.
Thumbing their noses at Harper and the rest of Canada.
Maybe Clinton, Obama should run united.
I refuse to tell students political fairy tales.
How New Zealand's Labour party turned right.
Dec. 24 column contained errors.
Our premier acts like Louis the Sun King.
Bhutto's murder magnifies the Middle East mess.
Metro Vancouver remains hobbled by provincial tendency to strong-arm municipalities.
How Gordon Campbell stole your vote on region's fate.
Why she'd win Vancouver's civic crown.
If the former PM lied, he owes us $2.1 million.
Some vital questions that need answering.
The gap, to our shame, is widening.
Citizens in war-torn places are also heroes.
Separatism never dies, and will rear its ugly head.
Focus: Catholic hierarchy.
Harper's party too sure God is on its side.
Campbell shuns facts, gets away with it.
Scared islanders mad at no-show politicians.
Punish him? How?
Fish farms threaten wild smolts: 18 scientists.
And we'd better take them damn seriously.
Why the job of lieutenant-governor is obsolete.
The privilege should go to 19 and up.
Step one: forget jails.
Tsawwassen treaty another missed chance.
How the Campbell government is engineering a disaster.
How to detect fish farm swill.
Let us make a list of our history’s giants.
What gets funded?
Why I don't see James getting it done.
And why the NDP should make it their issue.
What gave existence its first shove?
Monster road in Delta runs over local rights.
With pay raise should come responsibilities.
Lice harm is real. But Campbell won't act.
Don't think it bodes well for a unified Canada.
But here's how they could earn a raise.
But at least we never paid to fake support.
Could Ontario's elite be trusted to remake Canada?
NDP leader must hammer a theme. Here's one.
His 'process' angers even conservative people.
How most of the media got it wrong.
Egads! Grit MP put good of his riding first!
Bad politics, weird decisions: a system in need of reform.
Residential school victims endure shameful legal process.
Let's learn from Eagleridge Bluffs protest.
Should anti-Semitic rants be made criminal?
Why he can get away with court stacking, and how BC does it better.
E-mail flaming MP was a damn fool. So what. Tell us more.
Shame on enemies of action on global warming.
While questions linger over 'Airbus affair.'
We're stealing their food.
Nation's claim to moral high ground attacked by Israeli authors.
Eco-priorities will lag until our system of government changes.
Dion might be able to keep Canada alive and in the game.
Where's the harm in celebrating peace and good will?
Campbell can show he really cares about the mentally ill.
Country keeps drifting towards the big break-up.
Tories come off nasty and rich. Liberals get along to win.
Where are Lib candidates on fishery? Nowhere.
His dumb comment could cause a mistrial.
And other PR half-truths.
But it's not too late for us to spring into action.
What does it take to end industry's denial?
Eroded by 9-11 fears and anal retentive pussyfooters.
I’d like to, given who’s left.
New research bolsters Morton's claims of sea lice devastation.
And a few other things about being on radio.
Ignatieff's term bodes ill for a united Canada.
In which I dare to disagree with Will McMartin.
And why I don't have one anymore...
How the Church made Jesus a mean guy.
Politicians, not too long ago, feared the press.
If he's in power, and would change what got him there.
I accuse our officials of failing to protect our future.
And why the late Dugald Christie was deemed eccentric for trying to redeem his profession's reputation.
Those who rule on removing farmland unduly susceptible to community pressure.
Don't let them out unless and until they are cured.
Deal could open, or close, doors of learning.
And why it won't be Michael Ignatieff.
Carole James doesn’t understand the legislature’s limited purpose.
Nation could split over Alberta's resources.
God's not the issue. He's not even in the game.
Western, Israeli or Muslim leaders: no one is innocent.
AG Oppal could overhaul BC's civil system if he wanted.
Because some are more 'equalized' than others.
RCMP independence and jury-trial reform should be federal priorities.
My quarrel with the Roman Catholic Church.
Catering to vengeance isn't cost effective.
Oil companies have a recipe for the Arctic. Enjoy!
And other assaults on natural common sense.
To gain a Muslim perspective, listen to Ali.
My father 'legally' stole assets from interned Japanese-Canadians.
Create a parliament for grown-ups who represent us.
Notes on privilege, luck and how nations pull apart.
Libs, New Dems take shaky aim at the centre.
Humane care? Government doesn't want to know.
The war on fish, and a motive, perhaps, to kill off BC salmon runs.
Governments don't download out of generosity.
Guru? Enabler? Just don't call it lobbying!
Who's responsible for the most breathtaking broken promises?
Even old political hands Mair and Schreck are queasy.
Rift could hand Conservatives a long reign.
But Harper has a huge opportunity.
I'm buying influence on the environment.
How Martin's fumbling spooked the troops.
Harper surfing strong wave of voter anger.
It grows with opposition to other options.
Suddenly it's the Conservatives who look soft on sovereignty.
Friday's was more like a picnic sack race.
The big parties are puny on the biggest issues.
Sometimes it's enough that people are just fed up.
The route he pushed may have saved MP Owen's seat.
Political pressure bubbles and flows.
Why the election cycle is our worst enemy.
Wimpy media enables corrupt officials.
A political war without end?
NDP leader shrewdly ducked while everyone else got spattered.
What it says about free, fierce speech.
Change a losing game. Try compulsory arbitration.
How long can officials ignore sea lice connection?
In defense of the mother of all 'talk shops'.
The failed PM's worst BS.
Threats loom. Politicians cross their fingers rather than lead.
A visit to London's new Churchill Museum confirms the answer.
Today's big news outlets are losing their teeth. Witness CKNW.
Don't get me wrong – I'm not upset about separatism or lack of qualifications.
Thanks to BC Libs, Texans control our gas profits, and supply.
Did US have to use the Bomb? And wipe out Nagasaki?
Are a BC ministry and the DFO in cahoots to explain away wild salmon toll?
But does going for the middle just muddle their politics?
Offered here, a handful of dots that may, or may not, connect.
Sure, religions are entitled to their opinions -- but these have no bearing on civil law.
I say take money from Medicare to pay for more important services.
We must rethink Canada. And raise stakes high for a seceded Quebec.
Add up the bumbling by Trudeau, Mulroney and Chretien.
The problem with pre-programmed politicians.
Sorry BC. It's all about Ontario appeasing Quebec.
Politicians who ignore the majority will get stomped.
It's vital. But don’t expect the 'level of debate' to improve.
Most victims of his policies never would have voted Liberal anyway.
The Premier sounded fishy when farmed salmon came up in the TV debate.
If the NDP gets a bit lucky there’s still room for an upset.
Vote reform would give reps spine – instead of the Liberals’ appalling enviro record.
But the NDP and its ‘nice gal’ leader have yet to hit them.
I’ll gladly take on opponents, because the way we vote now produces bizarre results.
Given dire findings, I asked Premier Campbell if he’d close fish farms. His emphatic answer: No!
Fear, and self-censorship, muffles the muckraking in Canadian journalism.