By: David Charbonneau

David will be posting his columns every week on Thursday. He has eclectic interests ranging from social and political issues to science. He is a retired Electronics Instructor from Thompson Rivers University, former president of the Faculty Association, and curriculum writer. He now paints acrylic on canvas for Thompson Studio.

Facebook tests honest ads in Canada

November 9, 2017 - 5:45am

KAMLOOPS — Facebook hasn’t been completely honest. They haven’t made it clear how we pay for the service.

Facebook is the world’s largest social network with 2 billion active users –I’m one of them. What I get from Facebook is the opportunity to connect with friends and family. What Facebook gets is $52 billion a year in advertising, an average of $80 per North American user annually. I get a valuable service and Facebook gets $80. But what’s troubling me is: just who is trying to influence me? Who have I sold myself to?

B.C. government offers help to opposition in drafting bills

November 2, 2017 - 5:00am

KAMLOOPS — There’s more than practicality and clever politics behind the government’s offer to help the opposition to draft winning bills.

As a practical matter, it’s inevitable that opposition parties will get together and propose legislation that the government disagrees with. Since the Green and BC Liberal members outnumber the NDP, the proposed legislation would pass.

If they’re going to pass, the bills should be well-written. Attorney-General David Eby says:

How to reduce drug overdose deaths

October 26, 2017 - 5:00am

KAMLOOPS — There is no easy way to reduce drug overdose deaths but a simple first step is to provide users with safe opioids. The hard part will take time.

The grim toll of deaths — of community leaders and ordinary citizens — marches on relentlessly. In just eight months of 2017, more British Columbians died of drug overdoses than the whole year before.

Lots of things don’t work. Still, politicians persist in the tried and unproven. B.C. Solicitor-General Mike Farnworth echoed concerns that rose in meetings with federal and provincial public safety ministers:

Tax Netflix but no Netflix tax

October 19, 2017 - 5:29am

KAMLOOPS — Netflix should be taxed but not as earlier proposed with a so-called “Netflix tax.” That proposal would have seen increased costs to access the internet. A more properly named “internet tax” would have targeted more than just Netflix. It would have increased costs to access banking, education, commerce, health, social media, and email, and a myriad of services becoming ever more essential to daily life.

Let's talk about doctor's pay

October 5, 2017 - 5:00am

KAMLOOPS — Doctors have been given benefits under incorporation in lieu of receiving wage hikes and that’s not right. Doctors are on both sides of the issue. The Canadian Medical Association has come out against any changes to these benefits while 450 doctors signed an open letter to Finance Minister Morneau in favour of tax reform.

The legacy of Occupy Kamloops

September 28, 2017 - 6:32am

KAMLOOPS — No one knew what would happen next. We gathered in anticipation in front of the Kamloops Library on October 15, 2011. The Occupy movement was sweeping the globe and its reach extended to Kamloops.

These giddy times reminded me of the Hippy Movement of the 1960’s but these participants were more focused and clear-headed: no drugs, psychedelic music and free love.

More than 950 demonstrations were planned for that day in 82 countries on every continent, in every Canadian province, eight in British Columbia.

Bring drug overdose plan to B.C. interior

September 21, 2017 - 5:00am Updated: September 21, 2017 - 7:03am

KAMLOOPS — To reduce drug overdose deaths, Vancouver Coastal Health authority plans to track patients to make sure they are taking their prescribed opioids.

I may seem odd that lives can be saved by making sure that patients take one opioid (Methadone) so that they don’t die from another (fentanyl). But that’s what statistics show. If patients stay on Methadone they’re more likely to be alive a year later.

Dieppe's secret mission

September 14, 2017 - 5:00am

KAMLOOPS — Recently declassified documents reveal the true mission of the raid on the beaches of Dieppe on August 19, 1942.

The publicly stated reasons varied: to test Hitler’s defences in France; to placate Stalin in his calls for a second front to divert Germany’s attention away from Russia; to learn lessons in preparation for D-day (Canada’s History Magazine, Aug/Sept, 2017.)