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#26 A story not from the Bible

January 24th, 2015

Most people have heard or read about Paul Bunyan but it seems as if only Salmonbellies know about Big Gertrude Hanson.

(Salmonbellies, in case you haven’t being paying attention, are the people who have always preferred to live on Vancouver Island—a place that was once called Vancouver’s and Quadra’s Island long ago, but that’s another story.)

So, since Big Gert is busy cleaning house right now, and the TV news is jammed with pictures of flooded streets, of streams over their banks and of people sandbagging to keep their basements from flooding, and what with the blame being put on “Hawaiian Punch” and “Hawaiian Express”, it seems a good time to let some of the Salmonbelly tradition spread out to help educate the mainlanders, flatlanders and drylanders.

Nobody knows where Big Gert was born.  Nobody seems to know when or why she came to the Island.  But once here she got very busy.  Big Gert grabbed the west coast in her capable hands and gave this floating rock pile a good shake, much as you might shake a rug or a carpet.  That, of course, gave rise to this ridiculous notion of moving tectonic plates and The Big Shake they’ve been trying to scare us with for generations.

When the dust settled, Big Gert started planting her garden.  Fir trees here, pine trees there, hemlock somewhere else and along the shore lots of arbutus and a fair number of dogwood.

Big Gert danced when she was in a good mood and stomped when she was cranky.  This is how we got so many valleys and fjords, and it explains why our coastline is all too often described as “ragged”.

When her son, Tiny Hanson, got bored Big Gert scooped up rocks, soil, and whot-not and piled up mountains so he could slide down. You can understand how dirty the little guy got, so Big Gert used her peavey pole to scour out some rivers, in which to wash the little guy.  He enjoyed the water so much, she made streams and creeks for him to play in and to keep him from getting bored, she put in fish of several kinds, for him to chase.

When Big Gert thinks things are getting a bit dusty she calls up the wind to blow away the mess and to make things clean again, she brings down the rain.  If she thinks things need a really good cleaning, well, that’s when we experience hurricane force winds and torrential downpour.  Big Gert is a very particular and house proud person so she is always quick to go on a cleaning binge.

Right now she’s having a right rare “go to” about things.  But not to worry, because she’s so busy even her body temperature is elevated and the temperature is quite warm because of that.

A friend sent me a link to an article about the Canada Pension Plan.  I clicked on the link and got to see a headline and a sub heading but I would have had to subscribe to the journal to get the full article and I didn’t much feel like doing that because it seems as if every time I subscribe to something I’m flooded with crap about stuff I didn’t want, didnt’ expect and would rather not have cluttering up my in-box.

But the headline said that Laricina Energy Ltd., has defaulted on financing which was extended to it by Canada’s largest pension fund, the CPP Investment Board.

Laricina Energy Limited is not one of the major oil companies, it’s what (I’m told) is called a junior equity company.

Junior equity companies are what might be considered more than a bit risky.  CPP Investment Board might have done better if they’d spent those millions on lottery tickets.  Or bet on the outcome of the Nanaimo Bathtub race.

I’m concerned because that isn’t really their money.  It’s ours.  A very substantial per centage of Canadians are against further tar sand development. So many of us are against it that Joe Oliver had to go on a silly rant about radicals and foreigners and First Nations , to the point he seemed to suggest we were in league with the pedophiles.  (Joe, Joe, calm down, maybe take your medication on time…)

So from where I sit it almost looks as if, without being asked if we wanted to get on the hook for this huge amount of money (which the company now can’t pay back), the Canadian public took taxpayers money, invested it in a junior equity private company, and then the government spent even more tens of millions to try to convince us all that it was a great idea and we’d be an energy super power.

And this is the same brain trust who keep telling us that so many Boomers are reaching retirement age that our Pension fund might not be adequate and we’ll have to….what? Buy lottery tickets?

Of course the pension fund won’t be adequate if they keep shovelling money into companies which then can’t pay back the loan.

Perhaps someone can now look at the board of directors of Laricina and see if there are people on that board who donate and contribute handsomely to the Conservative Party. Do we have any major media in this country that can still do that for us?

Anne Cameron grows pussywillows on the western edge of Vancouver Island. She received the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award for an outstanding literary career in British Columbia in 2010. Her 23 books include Daughters of Copper Woman, the bestselling work of fiction ever written about B.C. and published from within B.C. She has banished herself to Tahsis, a small town not far from Friendly Cove where the shenanigans called British Columbia all began.



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