• All Politics Is Local

    Problem Solving by Challenging Assumptions

    Salt Spring Island, B.C. Canada

    Town Hall meeting, September 28, 2021

    Hi everybody, my name is Elizabeth Nickson and I have lived on SS for 21 years. I bought my land 30 years ago while working in London. All my friends were buying starter flats or little houses, I bought 30 acres of scrub forest and meadow consumed by invasive weed.

    I am going to go into some detail on my CV, so you can have some confidence in the assertions I am going to make.

    I came here in the middle of my career because my mother was psychologically fragile after my father’s death. Our family has been on the coast for 130 years. My great grandfather brought in the first piped water to Victoria and then Vancouver, building that city’s water and waste systems. The water meter for Vancouver used to be in their front hall. My other great grandparents co-founded the Vancouver General. Speaking to the current hysteria, my family were longtime allies of the Indians, marrying into the Blackfoot and Mohawk. Mohawk poet Pauline Johnson was my great grandmother’s cousin through her Indian family and she, Harriet, took care of Pauline in her last illness, burying her and funding the statue in Stanley Park along with her friends. My partner Jamie has two Indian bands in his family, his great-grandmother full-blood Assiniboine and one of his sons, Metis. The reality of early settler life has been wildly politicized.

    I was trained at Time Magazine and I reported for the corporation for seven years out of London, into Europe and Africa, ending my time there as European bureau chief of LIFE Magazine. The training was rigorous, two mistakes and you were fired. The best journalists and editors in the world worked for Time then, it sold 10 million copies a week. If you were a fact-checker and let three errors through, you were fired. If you were a reporter, same. Everyone wanted these jobs, so it was very very competitive. I make this point because nothing is fact-checked now, virtually nothing in any broadsheet is true, and the quality of most journalism is tragic.

    I moved here with an assignment from Harper’s Magazine to tell the story of the devising of the Salt Spring Official Community Plan. It was called Where The Bee Sucks. I talked to everybody – high and low – in order to familiarize myself with the people of the island, I read the Trust’s documents, and analyzed its science and process.

    I grew up in a small country village, and at the time I was in favor of the Trust. I still want the islands to stay small, humble, unique. I would fight to keep it that way. I don’t want it commodified in any way, I don’t want condo developments and I don’t want our build-out changed, with one caveat, which has to do with housing our less advantaged.

    I have a NAPTEP covenant on my property, “saving” two creeks, forest and ravine, including three dozen 200 year old Doug Fir, and I built a carbon-neutral rammed earth house, heated by geothermal, which could also be certified as a healthy house. 

    I wrote about the Trust on and off as a columnist for the Globe and then the National Post, and in 2005, I did a subdivision and density transfer, dividing my 30 acre forest in half.

    This led to a book, written for Harper Collins New York, edited by Adam Bellow, Saul Bellow’s son. It used the thread of my subdivision to analyze the results of environmental stewardship – not the hopes and dreams, not the propaganda, the results of what has already been done. I looked at the big picture throughout the US and Canada. It missed the NYTimes bestseller list by a hair. I was on radio shows in the US and Canada reaching over 50,000,000 people. To research it, I drove 20,000 miles throughout the US and Canada and talked to 2500 people, from town councilors to foresters, ranchers, conservationists, lawyers, you name the profession or role, I talked to them. I read hundreds of policy papers, hundreds of documents about endangered species, and I talked to the people who fact-checked, analyzed and litigated those documents. I analyzed how much of the US and Canada has been set aside and saved. The book received a rigorous fact-check, which I requested and paid for. Upon hearing that, the vice-president of legal counsel at Harper Collins put the book through another fact and legal check.

    I studied statistics, economics and law.at the graduate level.

    My cousins were my chief mentors, he a celebrated biophysicist who decided who got the Order of Canada in Science for a decade. He was the Canadian participant in the team deconstructing the DNA molecule. He ended his career as head of the Royal Society of Canada. His wife, Jane, was head of the political science department at York, and taught classes at Osgood Hall, because she had a law degree too. She received her doctorate from the London School of Economics and to research her thesis traveled by bus to the Congo in 1961. I measured my intellect against theirs for decades, they correcting, moderating and advising me. Our relationship was pure pleasure. Finally, I worked with Bob and NASA on the Mars Project at LIFE Magazine, working out how to showcase their project. I have a thank you letter from NASA.

    I say all this because in the region, I have been characterized as a fringe person, “right wing”, which is preposterous, and Trust supporters have attacked me relentlessly every time I published. I have been repeatedly threatened with harm, Trust supporters have tried over and over to get me fired. No one ever engages with the truth of what I say, they attack me in personal terms, and are cruel and bullying in the extreme. I fully expect by-law officer visits and government harassment after this is published.

    I am anything but fringe, I am highly educated and trained and I have consistently worked with the smartest people in my field for thirty years.

    Here is what I learned over 20 years about the Trust.

    1. the regime that the Trust created is repeated in countless rural areas all over the world. It is anything but local, it is top down, and all the legislation is written by people who have never been here. It is dropped here through planners’ associations in league and directed by the UN. I could find the same phrasing used in the 2050 Policy changes in hundreds of places all over the world in every country, all of it originating at the UN’s 2030 Project, or whatever they are calling it this year.  The Trust is not a local organization. It cares nothing about the people in the trust area. It has another agenda.

    2. Wherever these regimes are put in place, civic peace is done. Anger rises, largely because the regulation is NOT local and does not serve locals. At the same time because the regime is hated, the supporters of the regime become cruel. That is why we have 70 year old women sleeping in their cars and nothing is done. That is why people hate the trust. I talk to everybody, and not just people like me, in fact I am not interested in what people like me, think. I am interested in the less advantaged from every walk of life, and believe me, they hate the trust.

    3. Almost all the science, the papers that are meant to scare you to death are faked. Writers for NGOs like Raincoast, in general seize a problem and exaggerate it until it can panic people. In the US, when this science is litigated, it is 100% found to be fudged. 100%. Every single court case.

    The Douglas Fir is one of the most common trees in the world and the range of the Coastal Douglas fir starts in northern California and runs up the coast to the northern tip of Vancouver Island. This new rule is based on splitting the species into ever smaller categorizations. Sometimes, these people will identify a salamander as endangered, where one ravine over, they exist in abundance. You will notice that Raincoast dropped out of this town hall. It is because they know I know they are fudging it. We need a detailed, granular map of conversation areas, because there are hundreds of them in our islands. Not to mention national and regional and local parks, untouched upland forest zones, crown lands, ecological study zones, The Nature Conservancy of Canada set-asides. As I said hundreds representing thousands of acres which are left to degrade by their “owners”.

    4. The biggest danger to Doug Fir in the Gulf Islands is fire. Real foresters, those not muzzled by government, have been warning about catastrophic canopy fire for 20 years. These reports are all through the Forest Service libraries in the US. What they predicted has come true – these fires are CAUSED by the green movement. Green management of the forests has led to tinder buildup, fire ladders they are called. The lack of clear cutting means there are no fire breaks. Because there is no thinning, the forests are clogged and no trees are reaching a healthy maturity. They are malnourished, they suck up all the groundwater, and they stand there, perfect kindling. 

    The Trust has no detailed plan for the management of the forests and conservation areas they supposedly oversee. Nor do any of the dozen other conservation outfits and parks established here.

    5. Nothing is more illustrative of the Trust’s incompetence than the housing crisis. I sat in a meeting in 2005, where Elizabeth White presented a study on affordable housing. We pay for study after study, hundreds of thousands of dollars gone, and nothing ever gets fixed. The trust does not want affordable housing because it is one of the ways they can de-develop the island. These policies and pr nonsense are written to confuse and obfuscate. The language used is preposterous, any of them would have fired at Time Magazine within an hour. It is that bad. It is that much of a cheat. De-development and de-population of rural areas are the twin goals of the 2050 Plan.

    6. More than anything we need a vital local economy with local food production, and jobs to keep the young here, and the old enveloped in kindness. The Trust’s over-regulation crabs the activity on homeowners property. Most of us have worked our entire lives to be able to live here.  Our houses and lands are our principal wealth and it is from them, that we live and have our well-being. Fire and over-regulation are the threats. Not climate change or species extirpation.

    7. Water. There is water. It is not looked for. The long-time water finder on the island says there is enough water up on Beddis Ridge for the entire Gulf Islands. The reason this water has not been found is because the trust and the Victoria bureaucrats do not want it to be found. 

    I have talked to senior senior hydrologists, the kind sent into Chernobyl to clean up nuclear waste, to clean the water system after a catastrophe like a volcano or earthquake. They say 100% there is enough water here. 100% certainty.

    Around the time of the Club of Rome in 1971, and later in alignment with the World Economic Forum and the UN, very powerful people, neo-Malthusians, decided to draw down the population. By the late 70s, all the land and water agencies began to shift from assisting development to slowing or stopping development. I have heard the shock from Forest Service engineers and scientists describing that turn. The Trust’s only goal, and it works through many lenses, including shamefully inserting our local natives into the planning process, is de-development and de-population. I’m not going to argue this point, I’m just going to say what it does to us as a community.

    We are becoming scared, crabbed, little, people. Our problem-solving abilities, our creativity has been taken from us, and in its place we are being given rules to follow and fake science for “proof”.  If we have environmental problems, the human can solve it. If we have problems with native inclusion, humans can create solutions. We can create water solutions. We can create housing solutions. 

    When my great-grandparents pioneered out here, none of them had anything but a high school education. But with that my Nickson great-grandfather built Kicking Horse Pass, the highest longest railroad pass in the world. If he could do that, if the Banfields could start a world-class hospital IN TENTS, we can solve all our problems very quickly and move out of the hate-filled, contentious, repressive environment caused by the trust and its malignant parents.

    The trust destroys our humanity. It must have root reform or be decommissioned.

    And the 2050 Policy is brutal fascism engineered by the World Economic Forum and the United Nations, placing us all into a police state.

  • Am I fat-phobic? Are You?

    We probably both are. As women (and men) of the late 20th century and early 21st our eyes are trained to see the sylphs sold to us by the cadaver Anna Wintour on down, she, by the way, a woman more responsible for eating disorders than anyone else on the planet. Not to mention our crippled feet.

    But recently body image is changing – and a bit of flesh, enough, a handful is now seen as perfectly ok, if not preferable.

    Most “science” now says slightly overweight is healthier than underweight or even what is now classed as normal, vis the Body Mass Index. The Kardashians have trained us to see outsize curves as desirable, which means that we have widened our definition of beauty to include body types of races, other than northern Europeans. Which is a good thing.

    But fat, obesity, the way out of range? This is still seen as toxic, if not dangerous. And of course, in real terms, it is. Obesity shaves 9 years off your lifespan, multiple studies affirm. One hardly needs to enumerate the risks, but knees, hips, heart, stroke, cancer, all risks are increased. The obese are universally seen as weak, as figures of mockery, dangerous to themselves, inevitably to depend on others to live out their lives.

    Never mind all that, said Roxane Gay, whose memoir of being 534 pounds, Hunger, A Memoir of (My) Body, broke the spell. Gay, from a disciplined, accomplished black family was gang-raped at 12, the gang led by the boy she thought was her friend. At which point she started eating and did not stop.

    Gay points out that for her, and for generations of black women, and doubtless, white, overeating suppressed pain. Poverty, abandonment, single motherhood, struggle all resulted in over-eating anything that would change your emotional state, and that preferably cheap. Therefore sugar and saturated fat. And of course the food industry’s shameful use of toxic addictive oils and sugars increases the likelihood of illness.

    Leaving aside the culture of addiction, Gay and painter Jenny Saville (see above), want to view what we call obesity as acceptable, normal and even beautiful. They charge it is our prejudiced eye that sees the tryptyich above as ugly. Gay sees “society” as contradictory.

    “As a woman, as a fat woman, I am not supposed to take up space. And yet, as a feminist, I am encouraged to believe I can take up space.”

    If I run into someone who is 400 pounds, that’s pretty much all I am going to think about. In fact, my insurance agent weighs up around those numbers, and I delay leaving her desk because I am so interested. It may be trauma, weird hormones, an accident which led her to her fate, but I wonder at her, her stamina, her insistence on being present, her cheerfulness. I find myself admiring her. I suspect she might be spiritually advanced. She is literally wearing her cross. And I do find her beautiful.

    Here’s my point. Most over-eating is about state change. Excess flesh is a protection against emotions you don’t want to feel. Food delivers satiation. You don’t need as much from people. In fact, you can even protect them, because you aren’t as vulnerable as they are. And, importantly, with the extra calories, you can push yourself to acquire at least some of the prizes the world values.

    But mostly, it’s cultural.

    Look at our recreation. It’s all vicious and violent. Current women’s fiction ramps up terror for vulnerable women to the max. Adrenalin or limbic level capture is massively addictive, therefore successful, so there is almost nothing gentle left to watch or read. Come home from work, exhausted from the competitive fury the marketplace now demands, binge violence and fear. Drug yourself to sleep with Diet Coke, popcorn and chips. Get up and do it all over again.

    The sexual landscape is equally vile. Sex has turned entirely extractive and sexual abuse of even the smallest of children is hardly worth a shrug. Trafficked women live miserable enslaved lives in every city and town. And the news cycle reliably delivers fresh outrages perpetrated by members of our extra-special-people class. This week we discovered the FBI refused to investigate Larry Nassar who abused hundreds of members of the US Olympic gymnastics team. We learned that the 15 year old Alanis Morrisette was repeatedly abused by her music producers.

    No one wants to have sex with someone obese.

    The old culture told women and men to toughen up, to conquer their demons, work towards a unified goal. The world they created was relatively crime free, solvent, riot-free, sexually ordered, family-focused and was moving to extend those benefits to marginal groups. The new culture is immoral by those standards. People are shot in the street while eating dinner at an outside cafe. Business and government are staffed by criminals, actually working against us. People are told to indulge, celebrate their weakness, especially if they can use it to stick it to the man.

    The results? Women (and men) who are obese are telling us their story before they open their mouths or laptop. The culture we have created is a sewer, and they need all the protection they can get.

  • Great Poisoning or Glorious Revolution?

    Some of the brightest people alive think we are undergoing a deliberate cull of the weak. If Covid bioengineered with a bit of HIV didn’t get you, the ultra-toxic vaccines might. But why? I ask myself whenever I hear this, why kill off 15% of the world’s population?[1]

    A surface reason is global warming. The World Economic Forum and our self-absorbed plutocrats actually believe that the carrying capacity of the world has been surpassed. This is not surprising, the propaganda regarding species extinction and unprecedented warming has been relentless for two decades and counting. Of course, it is nonsense and an actual ruse. The real real reason is money.

    The unfunded liabilities of the western democracies, as long-lived boomers age, sicken and die are massive beyond any ability to count. Economist Niall Ferguson put it at $200 Trillion in 2012, I would guess it is more like $300 Trillion.

    What happened to the balance sheet of the democracies?  Well, they were looted. Every time the left “creates jobs”, they create public sector jobs which are lushly funded and replete with benefits. Today these people – and they take up a full 40% of the economy – are the dominant protected class, and out of their offices come reams of propaganda about problems only they can fix, encylopedias of legislation, regulations and rules, accompanied by pleas for more money and police power too.

    But what they have done is suppress economic activity. Over-regulation suppresses about 15% of what would be a fully activated economy. As well, according to Catherine Austin Fitts, in 1996, despairing that fiscal sobriety would ever manifest, the US central bank took $22 Trillion out of the US economy, which was the size of the US debt before Biden took control. Today, in the US, people go into government with the goal of leaving with a $100 Million fortune, the even number being something of a target.  Inspired by the Clintons, there are scores of such men and women. Example? The man who caused the housing bubble, Jeh Johnson, who amped the market through deliberately weak regs while he ran Fannie and Freddie Mae, walked away from a government job with $100 Million.[1]

    Here is their problem. Their propaganda outfits have fallen. An obscure doctor in California read off the register for unpopular opinions gets more views of one of his videos than four weeks of 60 Minutes broadcasts. Broadsheets have lost two-thirds of their readers who have fled to so called right-wing-fly-by-night outfits that get more views by several orders of magnitude than the New York Times or Washington Post or Globe and Mail or The Guardian.

    Plain spoken citizen journalists, all over the world, using crude story-telling have opened the world of politics for tens and then hundreds of millions of people, who have become better informed than the average tenured professor, marinated in his own self-importance.    

    They know, for instance, that Covid has a .03% death rate, even for the healthy old, less than the flu. They know about the hundreds of thousands hospitalized after taking the vaccine. They know vaccine passports lead to digital money to CO2 allowances. They see the police state testing boundaries in every country. Can they whip a Parisienne in a shopping mall who refused to mask? Can they thrash formerly independent Australians? When forced back, the cabal merely goes silent and bide their time – they know that too.

    They know about “you’ll own nothing and you’ll be happy”, they know that the political class has been looting hand over fist for the past 25 years, making the robber barons of the Belle Epoque look cheap. They know war means money to these people. They know the pandemic was a money grab. They know too, more than anything, that for the past 20 years, everyone has got rich but them. They know decanting prisons and allowing in young men of military age without vetting is meant as a deliberate destabilizing of their hometowns and counties. They, and I mean 60% of the adults in every country, know that last year’s passion play of people of color was invented to distract them from the fact that they, that 40% of thieving public servants, broke everything.

    No censor can stop this storm, because as soon as someone is deplatformed, other platforms proliferate, which, like a nasty invasive weed, when pulled out, scatters its seeds for 100 feet, leading to ever more tough, unkillable brush.

    That brush, that plain-spoken fury has infected the whole sector, spewing out data and videos and calls to action that increase with every single day. The many-too-many have never been more well informed. And they are pissed.

    This time, right now, and for the next fascinating few years, will be our Glorious Revolution. And it will lead to massive increases in public wealth and prosperity for all. Or prison camps – I understand the one beside Heathrow has a crematorium.

    [1] Bill Gate’s stated goal

    2. Gretchen Morgenson, Reckless Endangerment,How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon. Times Books, 2011

  • Canadian Culture on the Ropes

    How much longer will we fund our grifting clerisy?

    From a distance, it is beginning to look as if Canada does not have a specific culture. No one is buying books, no one is watching television, no one is watching or listening to the CBC. People trail through galleries sometimes, and at the top of the investment tree, people buy art. But not because they love it, they buy it because it lends them status.

    CanCon is a heavy lift at the best of times, being close neighbors to that hulking great monster south of us which is the most creative culture on earth. That is why we spend billions every year to prop up our creators, our artists, who we love.

    Except we don’t.

    Film salaries are funded up to 50%, books, 30%, news media 60%, and yet….no one is watching, reading, or listening. It is like a giant vanity project which various foreign appointees can brandish in foreign capitals.

    Last month I traced the sales of this year’s Canadian literary award winners and I suppose “best-sellers”.  Their sales on Amazon, hardcover, soft cover and digital ranged from 4 books to 33 books per month, incomes hovering in the three figures. (Amazon accounts for roughly 70% of sales.)  This during summer reading months where Canadians are at their lake shacks from coast to coast reading one would hope about themselves, the world they live in, and well….just curiosity.

    Equally looking at the viewer and listener stats for the CBC, our national behemoth, which eats up $1.5 billion annually, and which amounts to 50% of the media dollars spent, is equally disheartening. The state spends another $600 million supporting once-successful media because “internet”.

    CBC television is watched by 3.9% of Canadians and only .8% watch CBC News. Again, half of all media dollars, half. Half is spent engaging less than 4% of Canadians.

    CBC radio is considered reasonably good, and is listened to despite the almost vindictive calling out of anyone who disagrees with their hard socialist stance. Despite every conceivable advantage, advertising on the CBC dropped 20% during the pandemic.

    In fact, they are so disliked that CBC is hiring “close protection security” for the next two years. They are so disliked, they have turned off commenting on their various programs. They are so disliked that there is a brand of coffee called “Defund the CBC’. This isn’t passive ignoring, this is active dislike to the point of needing bodyguards.


    Because our media show us Canadians as racist, stupid, sexist, stupid, stupid and more stupid. And while they are at it, shallow and violent.

    That is the real reason, and the only reason CanCon is dying. They hate us. Why?

    The only people who have thrived during the past twenty years in Canada when private and public wealth doubled then doubled again, are the ones who live off the government, whether through mandated consulting in the enviro and other business, or direct granting or though quasi-private-sector jobs that are heavily subsidized. Or straight up public sector jobs which are among the most lushly funded and unionized in the known universe.

    And do they hate us, in fact correcting us is how they get the grants, the jobs, the subsidy. Everything they do is meant to fix us deplorable Canadians.

    Sit at a downtown Toronto dinner party with say, the head of CBC drama, and listen to just how much they hate the rest of Canada. Why? They hate the rest of Canada because they feel guilty. They know they are cheating and they know they are stealing.

    The rest of the country who fund these very plush lives, earns a full 30% less than an individual or family in the US, right across the border. Unless you are a member of the protected class in the big cities, your health care is second or third rate, if and only if you can find a GP.

    This imbalance is clear to everyone but those who are essentially, on the take. Our knowledge workers, our heroes, our artists, our grifting heavily funded, extra-extra special clerisy.