July 9th, 2007

Social efforts gone south
Capital Ideas
It wouldn’t be fair to say Victoria’s efforts to deal with the unholy trinity of homelessness, drug addiction and street-level crime have been all talk and no action. But I think most seasoned observers would agree the amount of talk has far outstripped the amount of action on these issues. I’m thinking specifically of Rev. Al Tysick, who has a gift for cutting through the rhetoric and reminding all would-be do-gooders that strategic planning, research reports, feasibility studies and task forces are no substitute for real solutions. Tysick delivered a rather pointed reminder a couple of weeks ago at the Burnside-Gorge Community Centre, where all manner of social agencies, well-meaning NDPers, idealistic professors and beaming, highly paid administrators gathered for a community-based research announcement courtesy of the University of Victoria.

Africa finding its way; Solid leaders now beginning to generate solutions for continent's problems
In the mid-1970s I spent nearly five weeks in Kenya, my first (and long anticipated) visit to Africa. In the previous decade Britain had, with reluctance in some cases and after unspeakable violence in others, granted independence to its remaining African colonies. It was a time of political muscle-flexing in some of those former colonies, but a relatively peaceful time of transformation in others. Kenya was led by President Jomo Kenyatta, who had been wrongly accused of heading the machete-wielding Mau Mau terrorists. He ushered in a stable economic period and retained many of the country's British-trained public servants and educators to build a strong administrative foundation for the future. Sadly, corruption gradually began to flourish, particularly in the administration of land "reform," as Kenyatta and his family accumulated massive tracts of arable territory, securing his Kikuyu people a dominant role in Kenya's economic future.

Strait area to seek funding for transportation project Post a comment  print this article
A community transit system in the Strait area is closer to reality now that four municipalities are on side and an agreement is in place to seek federal funding for the one-year pilot project. The Strait Area Transit Co-operative Ltd. is a venture spearheaded by the Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency. Project co-ordinator Malcolm Beaton said with Inverness and Richmond counties on side, along with the towns of Port Hawkesbury and Mulgrave, a community transit system for the region looks promising and could start up next year. “As of last Monday all the municipalities came together and they passed a motion at their committee meeting that was held (in Port Hawkesbury) that yes indeed they would support a municipal-provincial-federal infrastructure application to go in on our behalf,” Beaton said Thursday.