Category: Uncategorized

End ICBC – The First Of Many Protests

We know that ICBC is broken. Everyone knows that now! But the time has come for some political action! Leading up to the 2021 election we will be hosting and attending many ICBC protests and we encourage all of our members to show up in BCLP t-shirts and gear, ready to represent our cause and protest hard!

Only the BC Libertarians have promised to unequivocally END ICBC and liberate our automotive insurance industry. Only the BC Libertarians have promised to liberate ride-sharing and provide real choice to British Columbians.

Join us this Friday ALL DAY at ICBC Headquarters in
North Vancouver!

https://www.facebook.com/events/501436423774842/

Freedom of Expression and Shifting Identities

On April 15th, the BC Supreme Court issued a judgement in a case involving a transgender child and the child’s father. I’ll start with the judgement, then fill in some background of the case, and lastly discuss the larger social and political context.

First, the judgement, which may be considered a landmark, for good or ill. The names of the parties have been anonymized, and the child is referred to as “AB”, and the father “CD”. This is the key part of the judgement I’ll discuss in the blog post:

It is declared under the Family Law Act that: […] attempting to persuade AB to abandon treatment for gender dysphoria; addressing AB by his birth name; referring to AB as a girl or with female pronouns whether to him directly or to third parties; shall be considered to be family violence under s. 38 of the Family Law Act. [emphasis mine]

There are other parts of the judgement that are important, such as AB being allowed to consent to medical treatment (hormone therapy), and legally change his/her name without parental consent, even though AB is only 14 years old.

The essence of the case is that AB, who was born female but had started identifying as a boy a couple years earlier, asked the court to prevent his/her father from publishing, speaking or giving interviews about this case. In opposition to AB’s mother and medical professionals, the father disagreed that hormone therapy was in the best interests of AB, and had been telling the story of this struggle to certain media outlets. The judge agreed that having this story in the news exposed AB to potential harm, and issued a public ban, in addition to the judgment quoted above. The father opposed this judgement on grounds that it violates his freedom of expression, and will appeal the decision. The court also issued a protection order stating that the father can be arrested if he violates the terms of the judgement.

The judgement rests on the idea that individuals have a right to their identity, and if others refuse to recognize that identity, this can cause the individual genuine harm, hence the state can punish those who refuse to recognize the identity. If people always identified as what they are, in an objective sense, this idea would have some basis. So, if a child identifies as a human (because she is human), but her classmates continually referred to her as a chimpanzee, that could rightly be regarded as harmful.

Let’s imagine another scenario, this one of a 16 year old boy named John Smith. He’s 5 feet, 8 inches tall, and believes he’s “a tall guy,” even though he’s only of average height for his age. He’s even given himself the non-ironic nickname John “Tall-man” Smith, and insists that everyone refer to him as such. Though his measurable height isn’t in question, there terms “tall” and “short” are not strictly defined, and John believes he should be counted in the “tall” camp. John’s friends, parents, and neighbours, not wishing to harm his self-esteem, agree and begin referring to him as “Tall-man.” But the problem is that the other kids his age at school, particularly the boys, disagree and see him as average height. Instead of “Tall-man,” they start calling him John “50P” (for 50th percentile) Smith, much to John’s chagrin. One day, the situation comes to a head with a shouting match in the hallway between John and another boy. The Principal then sits the two boys down in his office and the following conversation ensues:

Principal: This name-calling has got to stop. You’re really hurting John’s feelings.

Boy: Really? All we did was call him 50P because he’s of average height, but insists we call him “Tall-man.” It’s ridiculous.

Principal: Well, it’s not nice to judge people on their height. And John has asked that we all call him “Tall-man,” and I think we should respect that.

Boy: Fine, I’ll stop calling him 50P. But there’s no way I’m calling him “Tall-man.”

Principal: For the sake of keeping the peace at this school, I must insist that you do. And if you will not, you’ll be suspended.

Boy: You’re nuts.

So, how do you think things will play out the next time this boy encounters John? I’d say the most likely scenario is that this boy will refer to John as “Tall-man”, but in a completely sarcastic tone that makes it clear to everyone that he doesn’t think John is tall.

The principal’s order is likely to be ineffective. Some students may go along with it to avoid punishment, others may not. But unless the cultural understanding of the categories “tall,” “short’ and “average” begins to shift, all the principal’s rule serves to do at best is make the students speak, but not think, differently.

When John graduates from high school and goes to university, he’ll be crushed when the students there see him as average height. The only way for such a policing of speech to work in the face of deep cultural resistance, is for the authorities to double down on enforcement, à la 1984. With enough coercive threats, the authorities may get the population to actually change their thinking.

Thankfully, on the topic of gender, we aren’t there yet, but the BC Supreme Court’s decision on the case of AB takes a decisive step in that direction. The judgement states that even if the father refers to AB using female pronouns while speaking privately to a third party, this would be considered “family violence.” Now, the legal definition of “family violence” under the act is broader than what the lay-person would consider to be violence, and includes the highly debatable definition: “unreasonable restrictions on […] a family member’s […] personal autonomy.” These legal subtleties are usually lost in the public discourse on such issues, and trans-rights advocates may be quick to say that those who don’t agree with their proposed reforms are also perpetrators of violence. So, just as a shared cultural understanding of what constitutes “male” and “female” has come into question, so has the meaning of what constitutes “violence.”

The problem is that the semantic subtleties will be lost on most members of the public, and the public debate then becomes about whether it’s ok or not to use state violence (imprisonment) to stop this kind of “family violence.” It’s a false choice based on a faulty understanding of the problem, and injects rocket fuel into an already heated debate about people changing genders, and how many genders there are. Instead of focusing exclusively on making arguments against a binary concept of gender, or in favour of acceptance of trans-genderism, their proponents will focus more energy on using the power the state to achieve their aims, if the state appears receptive. This judgement by the BC Supreme Court sends a clear message that it is receptive, and that compelled speech (e.g. requiring the father to use the gender pronouns his child prefers) is one of the remedies it is willing to apply, even though this may violate constitutionally protected freedoms of expression.

Historically, courts were not activist institutions looking to change society by mandate or decree. The English common-law tradition practiced in Canada was always been conservative in nature, seeking to spell out the principles of law on which the vast majority could agree. Today, courts are increasingly used to impose the will of the progressive minority on to the rest of society.

The trend is most clearly seen in Canada’s Human Rights Tribunals, which are not staffed by trained legal professionals and are often instead staffed by people who have made a career of fighting for progressive social justice causes. The modus operandi of these institutions is to accelerate cultural change, rather than to act as impartial arbiters, and it seems that courts of law are being enlisted in this effort.

This presents a serious problem as we move further into the 21st century. The reason why we’re having fierce debates about gender in 2019 (as opposed to 1969), is that the technology is now available to modify a person’s sex in profound in ways that were not available 50 years ago. We can’t yet change DNA (a woman who undergoes a sex change to become a man still can’t trade half her X chromosomes for Y’s), but the possibility is not too far off. And it’s coincidence that the interest by many young people in switching genders has occurred in the age of social media, where individuals have great latitude in how they craft their online identities.

Genetic manipulation and other new technologies will open up other avenues for individuals to become something they were not born as. The technology to change one’s appearance so as to look like a different race (by reconstructive facial surgery, hair replacement, and skin colour changes) already exists, and will continue to improve (if there’s a demand for it).

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. What happens when humans are able to incorporate animal DNA into their bodies, or use other means to add non-human features to their appearance? A guy with a rhino horn sticking out of his forehead who insists he’s a rhino may seem laughable to us today, but if you told people 50 years ago that in 2019, people would be undergoing mastectomies and reconstructive surgery on their genitals to change their sex, they would have been just as incredulous.

It doesn’t stop there. What if 50 years from now, people spend the vast majority of their time in virtual environments where there are no physical limitations on their appearance? If all the meaningful parts of one’s life are conducted via his virtual avatar, then it could be argued that one’s adopted virtual identity is as real, if not more real, than one’s biological identity.

It won’t be long until the courts and society at large will have to grapple with such complicated issues of identity. If the approach of progressive activists and their allies in the courts is going to be to use the coercive power the state to make individuals recognize the adopted identity of other individuals, we’re heading for a very strange and nasty world.

BC’s courts, as they exist today, don’t even have the capacity to handle the current volume of civil and criminal cases that are put before them. If the scope is expanded to acting as identity enforcers, I don’t see how they could cope. So possibly some new branch of government could be created to police how people interact with one another and ensure that everyone’s unique identities are respected. Such a scheme would either be unworkable, or highly repressive.

In order to streamline things, the government would surely create a list of approved identities, for which individuals would have to apply for a license. Soon we’d have a new monopolistic ICBC (Identity Certification of British Columbia) taking fees and handing out ID badges with pictures of dragons, Vulcans and giraffes on them.

Bureaucracies try to standardize things as much as possible, which is the exact opposite of what people are trying to achieve by adopting all sorts of different ideas, so the ICBC model isn’t going to work. The only realistic alternatives are voluntary ones, where people find ways of coming to terms with the identities of others without it coming to blows.

Over most of human history, cultural changes, including the appearance and acceptance of new identities, have happened quite slowly. During the past 100 years, western liberal societies have demonstrated that they are pretty good at adapting to cultural changes without coming apart at the seams, but the next 100 years will really put our tolerance to the test. We are going to face some serious challenges to what it means to be human, and who counts a person, entitled to the rights we believe all humans deserve.

Our rulers are not wise enough to figure this out on their own. It’s going to require many conversations between people at all levels of society if we’re to have a chance of achieving something close to a common cultural understanding. And those conversations will need to be frank but respectful if they’re to achieve anything. Using the heavy hand of government to limit what can be said or force those conversations in a certain direction will ultimately fail, but has the potential to do a lot of harm along the way.

Clayton Welwood is the  BC Libertarian candidate for North Vancouver-Seymour, and leads the Party’s  Outreach Committee. If you would like to help us preserve freedom of expression in BC, join the Party today for just $5 a year.

Leader’s Report, January 2019

by Don Wilson, Party Leader

Wow, I can’t believe January is already over! It feels like just yesterday that we were all overstuffing ourselves and cramming in endless Christmas parties!

It’s been quite the January, both for me and for the Party!

First up, and most importantly to me (sorry guys) I became a father for the first time on January 18, 2019. Little Natalia is a total delight. She and Julia are doing marvelously together. I get to hold Natalia from time to time, but she definitely prefers mom.

Ok, back to the gritty world of politics!

Bill Walker for MLA in Nanaimo!

On January 2nd Premier Horgan (finally) announced the Nanaimo by-election to be held January 30, 2019 (that’s this Wednesday, Nanaimo members!). Because of the incredibly short election period (thanks John) candidates only had less than 7 days, until 1pm on January 9 to get their nomination papers in.

Enter our excellent candidate, Bill Walker!

For those of you who haven’t gone through the process before, this requires the candidate to obtain 75 signatures from riding residents, pay a registration fee by bank draft, submit signed documents from the party leader and treasurer, as well as the completed nomination package.

Needless to say this is an insane thing to accomplish in a week. Thankfully – we didn’t have to!

Thanks largely to the foresight and perseverance of our Candidate Readiness Officer, Kyle Geronazzo, who keenly anticipated the timing of the election, Bill’s potential candidacy was brought before the executive and approved well in advance, which got Bill a healthy head start to work on his signatures and get the necessary documents together.

Damn, I love seeing everybody work together so well!

Bill Walker deserves a huge amount of credit here. He is giving so much of his time for no monetary reward, and putting his name and face out there in his own community to speak up and stand for individual freedom and smaller government. We all know how much flak we can get in a world of statists when we are trying to defend free market principles and explain how the state operates by coercion. But Bill isn’t just standing up tall – he’s also kind of killing it.

In the short 2 weeks since being confirmed by Elections BC, Bill has had a yellow-vest rally, campaign kick-off event, not less than 4 media interviews, including with Nanaimo News Bulletin, Times Colonist, and Politicoast. Through his professionalism Bill earned invitations to the all-candidates debate as well, where he performed exceptionally well.

I am so honoured to the leader of this party knowing men like Bill stand with me and are working so well to push the ball down the field.

Of course, it isn’t only Bill. When I was going up to help run Bill’s campaign kick-off rally, I was joined by no less than 7 other volunteers! In fact, we had so many people step forward we had to rent a car big enough for us all!

Special thanks to Paul Matthews, Bill Morrison, Kyle McCormack, Paul Geddes, Liam McCoy, Katherine Wilson, and our former Instagram Coordinator (who wishes to remain private!) for joining me on what was a terrific event for the party!

Election day is January 30, 2019, so you better get out to vote if you are in Nanaimo!

Constituency Associations

This month the executive approved our first 2 constituency associations! Congratulations to the members of the “Okanagan” CA and “Kelowna/North Interior” CA! And a special thanks to the members who volunteered to stand as executives!

We also had the founding of two more CA’s: “Surrey-Delta-Langley”, and Vancouver’s “YVR”! The executive will be looking to approve the by-laws at next month’s meeting! Members in those regions please contact RCC@libertarian.bc.ca to be put in touch with your local CA executive!

Support your local CAs!

Changes on the Executive Council

We had two volunteers step down in January, Vice President Lee Smith and Regional Caucus Chair Kenneth Van Dewark. We are all so thankful for their significant contributions to this party in time, money and ideas. We will work hard to honour what you they done.

Our President, Paul Matthews, will be sending a communication out to you all in the coming weeks on the process we need to follow to replace the outgoing executives.

Easy ways you can help bigly

It’s been a great start to 2019, a year that stands to bring the BC Libertarian Party to a whole new level of prominence and relevance. I can tell you people are starting to talk and think about us on a whole new level.

But all of that is only possible by the support that you all give to the party on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. I just want to take a few quick minutes to point out some simple things you can do to help us keep pushing these ideas higher and higher:

#1) Start a monthly subscription-style donation

So now that Patreon is an enemy of free speech, why don’t you transfer your monthly donations over to us! We have our website set up now so we can accept amounts as low as $1 or $2 per month. Honestly anything you can afford really adds up and really helps us take care of business.

#2) Follow us on Social Media

We now have pretty cool accounts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, please follow us!

https://www.facebook.com/BC.Libertarian.Party/
Instagram: BCLibertarians
Twitter: @BC_Libertarians

And if you want to keep up with me a bit more often, please follow me on Facebook or Subscribe to my channel on YouTube!

FB: https://www.facebook.com/dnswilsonLBN/
Youtube: MrDNSWilson

Until Next time!

Don (N.S.) Wilson, Sunday, January 27, 2019

Happy New Year BC!

Dear British Columbian,

As 2018 draws to a close, I would like to wish you an early happy New Year on behalf of the BC Libertarian Party. I would also like to take a moment to update you on the year that was and what we have planned for 2019.

In the last year, we have made many great strides towards building the BC Libertarian Party as a viable governing alternative. We aim to bring change to the endless encroachments on freedom and the fiscal irresponsibility of the BC NDP and BC Liberals. 

Some highlights of our Party’s successes of 2018 are:

  • Two successful ICBC protests which were widely attended by many supporters.

 

 

 

 

  • An exciting Member’s Workshop this past spring which was attended by a record number of guests and speakers.

 

  • The largest AGM in the history of the Party was hosted this past autumn. It was a packed and lively meeting. During this event, a new Party Executive Council and constitution was resoundingly approved by the members. This constitution definitively sets the Party on a solid path towards scaling upwards and winning seats in Victoria.

 

 

 

  • Record-breaking growth in Party membership

 

Friends, this list of successes is only a sample of the work our Party has accomplished in the past 365 days. However, our job is not done! British Columbia requires a fresh start and a viable alternative more than ever! To put it simply, our beautiful province cannot afford more years of mismanagement and contempt for the taxpayer. We must put the interests of the people back into focus in Victoria!

The present NDP-Green coalition has failed BC:

  • Broken promises on ride sharing

 

  • Unaffordability in housing and ever-rising costs of essentials
    NDP broken promises on not creating new taxation – Over $6 billion further in tax burden has been placed upon the shoulders of taxpayers – over $600 for every adult and child in BC! That is only the new taxes!

 

  • A failed self-serving and confusing referendum costing taxpayers over an estimated $14.5 million.

 

  • Over ~35% of British Columbians without a family doctorEndless self-serving fiascos over the management of BC’s resources.

 

  • Failed environmental policies that do not protect our beautiful natural bounty but do increase the costs of living and remove you and your family from the equation.

 

  • An average gasoline price that is over 36 cents/L higher than on the east coast and often over 40 cents/L higher than in Alberta.

Let’s make 2019 a year of action! 

Let’s lay the groundwork for a fiscally responsible future in BC. In the months ahead we shall be investing further in founding local Party associations to cover every riding in BC. We will be releasing more critical policies. Our team shall focus on recruiting and training candidates that will represent you and the interests of a more free province that embraces greater choice and individual responsibility. We have our sights firmly set on representing you in the legislature.

However, we cannot do this alone! Tomorrow’s fresh start for BC begins with action today! Fighting back against the BC NDP and BC Liberals requires funds and volunteers. In 2019, we must build upon our growing momentum. To create a future which is affordable and includes you and your family requires a renewed and concentrated effort. 

Please donate or volunteer today!

HOW YOU CAN HELP BUILD 
A NEW ALTERNATIVE FOR BC

VOLUNTEER
DONATE
HELP BUILD A CONSTITUENCY ASSOCIATION

From my family to your’s, I wish you a very happy and safe New Year!

Sincerely,

Dr. Ken Van Dewark
Regional Caucus Chair
BC Libertarian Party

Political Scandals: Nothing New In BC

The Libertarian movement as a whole has always cared deeply about government accountability. The BC Libertarian Party in particular is well aware that British Columbia is no stranger to scandal and controversy. Many remember the Raids that took place during Railgate and the FastCat Fiasco “Ferrygate”.

Oh, we’re used to hearing that the BC Premier has been arrested in Hawaii for a DUI or that the Opposition Leader is fooling around with his House Whip. We’re also used to hearing that public spending has gotten out of hand again, the debt is going to end up being bigger than expected, and that projects will finish over-budget and later than expected.

Then there’s Casinogate, the “Brick” BCRIC Social Credit bungle, the Liberal Quick Wins scandal…

None of that even comes close to the unexplainable scene playing out right now in the Legislature; this is a truly bizarre series of allegations and suspensions unprecedented in BC history.

Speaker of the Legislature Darryl Plecas is the target of allegations that he asked a personal friend (Alan Mullen) to conduct a secret investigation into two senior officials, raise suspension around the men and then try to install his friend into one of their vacant positions. According to Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, Alan Mullen had been conducting a clandestine investigation for over seven months into current sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz, as well as legislature clerk Craig James. (Essentially, the chief-of-security and secretary of the BC Legislature.)

Lenz and James were placed on administrative leave Tuesday and marched out of the building by Victoria peace officers. Mullen, a former corrections manager at the Kent Institution, said he’d provided his investigative findings to the RCMP, which confirmed they are investigating under the direction of two special prosecutors.

Here’s the strange thing. It’s still not known what James or Lenz are actually accused of doing. No charges have been laid and neither James nor Lenz has been arrested.

Alan Mullen told media this past week that he was hired by Plecas in January to investigate Lenz and James (The Abbotsford News reported that Mullen worked on Plecas’s election campaigns). But the elected MLAs were unaware of this covert operation. Mullen said he has conducted federal corrections investigations but admitted he has no legal training.

It’s incredibly important for British Columbians to be paying attention to what is happening in the BC Legislature at this time. The government must be completely accountable to the people and there are laws on the books to make sure that public servants can’t get away with criminal activities. But the lack of clarity around this scene is just as confusing; as it unfolds, British Columbians are told next to nothing about the investigations being conducted. Perhaps this means that we as citizens have to be more vocal towards the BC NDP and the RCMP about what we expect as Canadians.

If the public isn’t properly informed about these kinds of scandals as soon as possible, how can we be expected to make informed decisions as voters and as taxpayers?