View from Labour, March 13, 2009

It took a long time, but finally Peter Pocklington is facing charges for his financial dealings. He is another wheeler and dealer who left Canada for an easier climate in the US. Remember Peter? He used to own the Edmonton Oilers, but his claim to fame was breaking the union in his Gainers Meat plant. He faced many allegations of wrong doing, but nothing stuck until now. The charges he faces are trying to hide assets from a bankruptcy hearing and thereby avoiding paying his debts. This is not his first bankruptcy—the first was when he was 26 years of age. If you were an Edmonton fan, you know all about Peter Puck’s shenanigans with the team he used as a marketing tool for his real interest—making money and avoiding responsibility.
The Labour Council Delegates heard from Gary Young of VOITH International about the new technology that was almost ours. Mr. Young was working with the European Conglomerate to experiment with a new technology in paper making to reduce costs and clean up the environment. For it to start in B.C. two things had to happen. The first was assistance from Government to get started. In this regard he gave full credit to our local NDP MLA Scott Fraser and the Liberal Provincial Government for working together to get the Province on side. The assistance from the federal Government did not come and they were totally ignored by our MP James Lunney. The Provincial Government then filled the gap and promised to double their contribution to make it happen. The second was that Catalyst had to re tool to use it. Although Catalyst says it was a good thing, for one reason or another they didn’t go ahead with the investment and now other countries are getting the technology and B.C. and Canada will now be a follower instead of a leader. While we had a rare co operation between the NDP and Liberals to get something happening, we were stymied by the Federal Government. Once again Stephen Harper has snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and we will all pay.
This week the PADLC held their AGM and the following were elected to the executive.—President – Kelly Drybrough USW; 1st Vice - Mike Kuruliak BC Forum; 2nd Vice -Dave Warrender CEP; secretary – Nancy Czigany HEU; Treasurer – Leslie Walarius CUPE; Sergeant at Arms – Wendy Kerr HEU; Trustees – Janet Pombert HEU, Laura Johnston CUPE, Deb Wood CEP; Past President – John Young.