Friday, 9 November 2012

Is it safe to travel to Surrey?

Now how often do you see headlines like this in your hometown?

Homicide team investigating woman's death in Surrey

Yes, I live in Surrey, there are headlines relating to shootings and homicides all the time.  Yet, when someone dies or is beaten up in our city, there is never a warning put out by the media to avoid traveling to Surrey.

When we were in Mexico last January, we saw news of 3 people killed in our home town while we were away, so we joked that we must have been safer in Mexico!

Yes, I am kidding.....I know not to hang out with drug dealers or people who carry guns, in Surrey and in Mexico (or anywhere for that matter).  Every city has an area you should not hang out or even walk alone at night, so you avoid those at home, and you should use even more caution when you are traveling.  Common sense right?

I just get annoyed with people and the media for always asking "Is it safe to travel to Mexico?" before they have all the facts about a crime or a death.

Yes, you should investigate the places you travel to before you go, another common sense thing to do, but don't let news headlines stop you from traveling to Surrey, it really is a nice place to live or visit!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Do you have Earthquake Insurance?

Living in beautiful British Columbia we are always complaining about the rain, but we do know we are lucky because we don't have weather that can kill us. (Like tornados, hurricanes etc.)  I don't think earthquakes count as weather, but it is the one thing that might get us here on the west coast.

There have been 2 rather large earthquakes on the west coast in the past 2 weeks, luckily these were not centered near major population centers, and no damage or injuries occurred.   On October 27th, a saturday night we were sitting on the couch watching TV, enjoying a glass of wine, when I noticed the chandeliers above us were swaying.....I am pretty sure it was only one glass of wine....but I pointed up so my spouse would confirm what I was seeing.....and sure enough the lights were swaying even more now.  We got up, could not feel the ground moving, but looked outside to the pool, turned those lights on and watched the waves form in the pool.  The motion lasted for 3 or 4 mins, with the lights swaying so much that the metal was clanging on the glass.  I wasn't scared because the ground was not moving, but it was amazing to see.
these are the chandeliers I am talking about
Too bad I didn't think to film the moving chandeliers, but I'm sure you get the idea.

Of course the next thing I did was look for some news of an earthquake, nothing on TV, and nothing on the internet for quite sometime.  I did find the earthquake Canada website, but it was almost 20 mins before they confirmed the 7.7 quake near Haida Qwaii.  I was glad to know we were not imaging things.  Also amazed at the size of the quake.  I took the time to fill in their questionnaire, titled "Did you feel it?"

Now, last night it happened again, the lights only swayed slightly this time, and only for 30 seconds or so, but I knew what was happening right away.  Again I checked the earthquake Canada website, and the site was already updated showing the 6.3 quake just off the west side of Vancouver Island.

I am glad to see that the experts at earthquake Canada were able to improve their notification times, they had said on the news after the Oct 27th quake that there were things they could improve on, and obviously they took that seriously.

Now what about us, are we ready when those lights start to sway again?  Well, we do have a large earthquake kit, it is on a shelf in the garage, I am thinking it is over 6 years old so I should probably check the contents and replace the old water bottles, and whatever food is in there.  (maybe today even)

We did not buy earthquake insurance this year, first year in a long time....(yes, probably why we are having these quakes now, the superstitious would say).  I admit to buying earthquake insurance for many years without really reading what it covers.  So this year I did read it, and calculated the deductible to be aprox $65,000.00.   Yes, read your policy, deductibles are usually 10% of the value of your home.  
The cost of earthquake insurance for us was aprox $800 more on our premium, you can reduce this a bit if you take the personal content insurance off or lower the amount on the earthquake portion.   We chose not to buy the earthquake coverage at all, because we built this house, we know the quality of construction, and believe the risk is low that our damage would be over $65,000.00.

Now that is our personal, informed decision we made after talking to our insurance agent about what is actually covered by earthquake insurance.  I recommend you have this discussion with your insurance agent.  I have heard you can even buy another policy that will cover the deductible amount, but that is another yearly cost to you.  Get all the information and make your own informed decision about earthquake insurance.  (NOW before our lights start to sway again!)

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Best Wishes to Diane Sawyer

If you know me at all, or even read my blogs you will know I read and watch the news quite a lot.

I don't often watch American News, but last night I think everyone was watching for a while at least, just to see who would be the next President.  I am very happy they chose Barack Obama, he is a great man, and if the republicans will just cut him some slack, he will accomplish great things!

I love the new TV series The Newsroom, it is a very intelligent, fast paced, real life drama.  Much like the old series, The West Wing. (I loved that one too!)
If you didn't see the first season, (there were only 10 episodes), I think they are replaying them on HBO.

The sad thing I saw in the news this morning is about Diane Sawyer, the news anchor on ABC.  If you saw her live, or watched the clips online, you have to wonder if she was drunk or just really tired or what?  If the public was wondering this, why didn't the network take her off the air?

I do hope all is well with Diane Sawyer, but I have to admit that she does not look well, and at the age of 66, maybe she should be retired already!   There are many young americans that need a job!  Even without this alleged drinking incident, her age is really showing, (OK that sounds mean but how do I put it nicely?) If she had retired at 65 none of this would have happened, she would have left as a respected News Anchor, and provided a younger person with a much needed job. American's need jobs!

 I also know in this day and age we cannot discriminate against age, sex, race etc, but honestly I prefer watching younger News Anchors.  I also like it if they are intelligent, and can speak clearly, just like Diane Sawyer in her prime.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Great muffin recipe, Wheat free or not

I hate to brag about my baking abilities as I am sure I will never be the master like my Grandma was, or yours, but I did once have the nickname of "muffin", so it must of come from somewhere.(No I don't look like a muffin,....I Hope!)

Here is the best muffin recipe I have found recently, it is from the Looney Spoons cookbook, and not only healthy, moist and Delicious!

The Looneyspoons Collection: Bananaberry Bombs

Moist banana-blueberry muffins with oats and flaxseed


  • 1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats (not instant)
  • ½ cup each all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup ground flaxseed or wheat germ
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1½ cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 large or 4 small)
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries


Combine oats, both flours, sugar, ground flaxseed, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Mix well and set aside.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together bananas, butter and egg. Add banana mixture to dry ingredients and stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Gently fold in blueberries.
Divide batter among 12 muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
Makes 12 muffins
Per muffin: 183 calories, 5.7 g total fat (3 g saturated fat), 3.7 g protein, 30 g carbohydrate, 3.1 g fiber, 26 mg cholesterol, 209 mg sodium

Now you all know I cannot eat wheat , or bananas anymore, so I made some changes to the recipe above and it still turns out great!

For a wheat free version, substitute 

all wheat  for 1 Cup Spelt flour
bananas  for  1 1/2 cups unsweetened peach/apple sauce

go ahead and add nuts, chopped raspberries, or other fruit of your choice.
take note that spelt is a more delicate flour, so do not over mix, just fold until all dry ingredients are mixed in. (which is the way you should make all muffins anyway)

I make 10 muffins instead of 12, as I find if they are too small you will just have 2, so this works out to less calories than 2 muffins. (
Now compare these calories with a starbucks muffin, you won't find one under 390 calories.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 97 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 
Saturated Fat 
Total Carbohydrates 
Dietary Fiber 
Vitamin A 4%Vitamin C 3%
Calcium 6%Iron 7%
Nutrition Grade B+
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

What to do about bullies?

First of all, my condolences to go out to the family of Amanda Todd, I find it so sad that she had to commit suicide to get some serious attention given to her problems with bullies.

I have had many conversations about Bullies in the past week, as I am sure you have, it is the top story on every news show and newspaper around here, hard not to have an opinion.  But I admit I have trouble writing about it because there is just no clear solution to this problem!

My Dad talks about bullies from when he was kid, my spouse talks about halling off and punching anyone who tried to pick on him, (both he and my dad agreed that always worked).  I remember a movie I watched recently where a girl vomited on a bully's shoes, that worked too!

I know as a parent I did my best to teach my kids to stand up for themselves, but I have always been against hitting or violence of any kind.  Schools taught us to communicate with our kids, make sure they know to tell an adult that they trust about bullies or anyone or thing that makes them uncomfortable etc, etc.

My problem was, what do I do when they tell me someone is bullying them, (I am not going to hall off and hit someone) there was no manual for me as a parent to follow.  I tried the approach of talking to the other parent, who of course denied that little Johnny would ever do such a thing, so then there is a talk with a Teacher and the Principle, but the are also limited in what they can do.  Luckily for my kids bullying was never a serious problem, but they did have a really large Dad so if it ever came to be a problem, my best recourse would be to defer to him. (maybe that is what they meant when they said tell an adult you trust...pick a really big one?)

Now my kids did grow up with internet, and cell phones, but Facebook didn't hit until they were in their teens, I am sure a lot of stupid stuff was emailed around but cyber bullying has gotten a lot more common place in the last 5 years.  I know for a fact that grade 8 girls are the worst bullies that one can ever meet, they work in packs, picking on the girl who just does not meet their standards for whatever reason.  In person this can be awful, online where you do not have to be face to face, it gets so much worse.  Personally I think all grade 8 girls should be banned from social media until they mature a bit more. (of course just one opinion)   We all know that banning your kids from using something only makes them use it more behind your back, so never mind that suggestion.

I love Shelley Fralic's column on this topic, it is time to out the bullies, post their photos online like the stanley cup rioters, shame them publicly.
I think it would be great if Newspapers published more stories about people who were/are bullies, with full apologies to their victims, like this one:

I see no need to wait for the government to do something, although there does need to be some new laws dealing with cyber crimes, Kids and parents know who the bullies are, we need to step in and help  any kid who is being bullied.  I am not saying you need to be cruel, violent or even mean to a bully, just tell them to stop, and if they don't there will be a consequence.  (this is the part we are missing now "the consequence")  I agree with Shelley Fralic, the consequence needs to be a public one, photo posted online, or on TV, and make them change schools if needed, not the victim!

Just my 2cents!

Monday, 15 October 2012

"Gluten Free" is not a weight loss diet

I have now been wheat free for 11 months now, I was only going to try it for 30 days, but now I cannot go back, I wish I could, but every time I try to eat wheat I get the runs (probably more than you wanted to know sorry!)
Recently, I have found more restaurants that offer Gluten free meals, more bakeries that make good bread (spelt bread is my favorite see my June 26/12 post) as well as more news about people going Gluten free.

Honestly, I don't see the attraction to this diet, eating rice bread instead of a good whole wheat or multigrain bread is a big compromise in taste, and fiber, and it costs more!  There is NO Fiber in rice bread, and it is crumbly and so disappointing that you probably won't eat it, so Yes if you give up bread entirely you will lose weight, (unless you replace it with something equally high in carbs of course).  Potatoes are gluten free, but french are not always gluten free(usually because of the oil they are cooked in), so giving up french fries will also lead to weight loss, unless you continue to eat a lot of potatoes.

Bottom line, as with any diet, you will only lose weight if you limit the calories you put in your mouth.
I found this article online, about a reporter that tried to go gluten free for a week, not a well informed experiment, but the writer does admit to losing 3 pounds only because she ate less.

Yesterday my Dad, (who eats too much bread, big round belly to prove it, but he is 81 and you should be able to eat whatever you want when reach that age if you ask me), but I digress.......mentions that his brother (also in his 80's) has lost 15 lbs by giving up wheat.  Hmmmm I ask "did he give up wheat or stop eating bread?"  He is not sure, but I am not surprised that he lost weight, I am really surprised that this "no wheat idea" is so mainstream that my 80 year old relatives are not only talking about it but giving it a try.

Last week the Vancouver Sun had this article about how Gluten Free has become the latest fad, so much so that things like Gluten free shampoo are now on the market.  Really are we that stupid?  When has your shampoo every effected your diet?

I am glad that there are more options on the market now for those of us who need to be wheat free, or gluten free or whatever ails us, but there are many times when it is just dam inconvenient!  Like a road trip to Kelowna, most of you would stop at a subway or a burger place on the side of road for lunch or a snack on the 4 hour trip, but there is nothing there that is wheat free.....on a plane or a vacation, or just a shopping trip into town with friends, you need to plan what you can eat!  Take something with you or order the sandwich or burger without the bun.  (again you will be limiting what you eat, no carbs so you will lose some weight, but you may also be hungry and grumpy!)

To anyone who wants to go Gluten Free to lose weight, you need to know how inconvenient and expensive it is, a loaf of bread is $7, and ordering a gluten free burger with or without the bun is more expensive because the cooks have to handle your food differently.  All diets take will power, but counting calories, cutting down on carbs, costs much less and is a much more "real" way to live and manage your weight.

Personally, I have lost a few pounds and gained them back just like I have before I was wheat free, I have found really good wheat free bread, cookies and muffins.  None of the good stuff is low in calories, so if I eat too much I gain weight!  

Friday, 12 October 2012

Everlasting Friends

I saw this posted on facebook the other day and I totally agree..........

 It's been said that everlasting friends go long periods of time without speaking and never question their friendship.  These friends pick up phones like they just spoke yesterday, regardless how long it has been or how far away they live, and they don't hold grudges.  They understand that life is busy and you will always love them.

I believe I have many friends that fit this description.  I had lunch with a couple of them this week, it had been months since we had seen each others faces, chatted on the phone or even texted, but seeing them just made me so happy.  Not just the hugs, and catching up with each others lives, but the wonderful feeling that we can be such good friends even if we do not see each other every week.

I often worry that if I have not seen someone for months or years, that maybe I have lost that friend, but I now believe that true friends are forever.

I have 3 friends that I grew up with, graduated high school together (apparently 35 years ago), we have done our best to stay in touch.  At first it was 4 times a year on each others Birthdays, then it went down to twice a year, and now it is one weekend a year that all 4 of us get together all at once.  ( I do see and talk to them individually throughout the year as well) We recently did our girls weekend combined with our High School Reunion, we talked so much I had a scratchy throat for a week!  It was a fabulous and memorable weekend as always. (sorry can't share all the memorable part)

The High School reunion always gets me as well, we have been to 4 or 5 of them now, and all those old friends, some I have known since Elementary school, some I met in High school.....they are still my good friends. Well, as good of friends as you can be when you only see each other every 5 years, but that feeling of everlasting friendship is there.(for me anyway, I am not going to worry about what they think) It is always great to catch up with people you liked when you were younger and still like now!  There must be some great lesson in there about picking good friends, they last forever!

Anyway friends old and new, you all make me very happy!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Buying our retirement home

If you have been reading my blogs you know that at the start of the summer this year we made a plan to search for the place in BC we would like to retire to.  We decided quite quickly that the Okanagan was the place for us.  It has more sunny days, more hot days, beautiful lake views, and reasonable housing prices.  We ruled out Osoyoos, Oliver, Penticton, and all small towns in between, as we just could not see ourselves downsizing that much.  Kelowna is the only city with a Winners store, so that made my decision easy (kidding......, but seriously there has to be good shopping, I am retiring not dead!)

Kelowna has all the things we are looking for, starting with the lake view, restaurants, golf courses, wineries, crossfit gyms, International Airport (so we can fly away in the winter) shopping, and lake activities.  I read about a new development called West Harbour Estates, in the Vancouver Sun and put that on our original list of places to see.  You can check it out here

We met a fabulous realtor who showed us many areas of Kelowna before we saw West Harbour Estates, so we were quite confident this was the location we wanted the first day we saw it.  After we came home we investigated a bit more, before going back to buy a lot.

Things that I have learned:

  1. Talk to an expert, this development is on Indian Land, 99 year prepaid lease.  I know nothing about this, so our Realtor gave us a phone number for a Lawyer who would answer our questions for free.  He put us at ease, and he became the lawyer we used for the conveyancing.
  2. Use a Realtor who knows the area to represent you.  New developments have realtors in their show homes that will do it all for you, but they have the developers interest to deal with, it costs you nothing to have your own realtor who only cares about you.
  3. Although new homes come with warranty's, it is very handy to have an expert to check out the construction and look for flaws.  (lucky me, I live with an expert just like that)  The construction of these homes was done very well, but the finishings are where they are obviously trying to save money.   Light fixtures, kitchen cabinets are things you can upgrade if you choose.   We liked the price of the house the way it is, so we chose not to spend more money on higher quality finishes, these are things we can upgrade later if we want to stay in this neighbourhood.  The worst thing we found was cracks in the driveway, a new driveway should not be sinking if put on a proper base.  So when we wrote our offer to purchase we had our realtor include that we wanted the driveway redone properly.  We ended up getting a very good deal, and held back the funds to redo the driveway properly.
  4. Read your home owner's warranty: get a copy before you make an offer, see what it covers (driveways are not covered for cracks), if you don't understand what the warranty covers, call the provider of the warranty.  I did, and they were very happy to help me, and gave me kudos for asking before I spent my money.
  5. I have trust issues.....although that salesman in the show room is a really nice guy....he's a salesman....I have been married to a couple of salesman, you really cannot trust everything they say.... in this case I think my issues made me more cautious and therefore wiser!  
  6. Don't be afraid to ask questions, and if you don't like the answers say so, put any changes you would like to see in writing with your offer.
  7. We are very happy with the builder in this new development, they have made it very clear that they will do whatever they can to make us happy, as they would like us to spread the word about our new home, and bring in more buyers.  So talk to the neighbours before you buy.

We did intend on buying a lot and house package to be built to our liking, but actually ended up with a house that was already complete, as someone had walked away from their deposit.  We love the view from this house, and got a good deal, did I mention it comes with a boat slip, and a park with a pool and hot tub right out our front door!  Now we are really looking forward to retirement!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Ever heard of Empire Vehicles?

I have been trying to sell my Fabulous convertible on my own for about 6 weeks now.  I wish I didn't have to sell this car, but it is only a summer car and there will no room for it in our new house next year.  So I thought I try to sell it in August/September when the weather is still sunny.

I  started by talking to my VW dealer to see what they would buy my car for and their opinion of the current value of my car.  Neither number was to my liking.  I really was hoping they would just buy it cause, trying to sell a car on your own is a pain in the butt!

So I did my own research of what similar cars were listed for online, and picked my price (still way lower than what I was hoping for) and posted ads on Craigslist, Kijii, Auto trader & Auto 123.

I have had a few responses but no one serious enough to come look at it.  A couple days ago I got a call from a girl named Ellen, she was just making general inquiries into the condition of my car, I assume she got my phone number by emailing me but I did not get an email from an Ellen?  The call display on my phone showed Empire Vehicles, but she didn't get to that part until I asked, "what is Empire Vehicles"?

Then the speel began.... for $41 a week we will do the advertising for you, we offer financing to the buyers, and have high demand for your vehicle right now.  It is not unusual for vehicles to sell within 2 weeks using our service, when your car sells we will reimburse the total cost of your advertising fee, because we make our money from financing end.

Now you know the old saying, if something seems too good to be true..... I asked where they advertise, and was told, the Vancouver Sun,, auto trader, all places I could just advertise myself, but they do it for me......hmmm I told her I would think about it and she immediately lowered the price to $33 per week, "we really have a high demand for your car right now!"........Ya right (I wanted to believe her, cause I really would like to sell my car) I told her I would call her back.

Then I googled Empire Vehicles......this site pretty much sums up what I found.

Yes it is too good to be true!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Why does gay pride have to be naked?

I love reading Shelley Fralic's column in the Vancouver sun newspaper.  Yesterday she wrote a great article called "Hey Vancouver keep your pants on".  Here is a quote:

"There's nothing wrong with a parade to celebrate diversity, or men marching on behalf of their intact manhood, or cyclists asserting their right to the road, but why can't you keep your twigs and berries to yourself? Why can't you lock and load those boobs? And for the love of God, is it too much to ask that you cover that bobbling butt spilling over the sides of your bicycle seat like twin sacks of cottage cheese?"
Read more:

Apparently, there were aprox 600,000 spectators, for Saturday's Gay Pride parade in Vancouver, including families with small children.  All there to support diversity.  But I always wonder why there has to be so much nudity that goes along with Gay pride?  The news mentioned one completely naked man, and many, many other scantily clad individuals.  All in good fun right?   I can just picture the questions from the small children....."Mommy, why don't gay people where clothes?"  For years down the road, there will be more comments from the child whenever they see someone dressed flamboyantly.(you know the out loud, in the grocery store, embarrassing moments all parents have at one time or another)

Ms. Fralic, and many of the comments added to her article, all question what would happen in a heterosexual Parade with nude participants.  Most often, public nudists get arrested in Vancouver.

I have to agree with Ms. Fralic's final comments:

"Would you prance naked in front of your grandmother in her living room? Exactly. So why are you doing it on the street corner?
Nudity is not the new normal.
Put your pants on."

Monday, 30 July 2012

Kelowna is our top choice for retirement

We did have good intentions of visiting more cities in BC to find the right place to retire, but after researching the weather and the cost of houses, and cost of living, we are liking Kelowna the best.

There are some fabulous ocean views on Vancouver Island and apparently Victoria gets many more hours of sun than we do in Vancouver, but it still is no warmer, or dryer.  I also know from years of owning a waterfront cabin on Gabriola Island that being on the ocean is windy MOST of the time.

So living on a lake inland, is more to our liking.  Kelowna has shopping, an International Airport, lots of golf, restaurants, water sports, even crossfit gyms, and the sun with some heat to keep warm when and if, we decide to age.

Several of my good friends said they would be more likely to visit us in the Okanagan, as most of them are put off by the cost and time involved in ferry travel.  Although I think the cost of gas, driving up to Kelowna may be just as much as a ferry ride, I do understand not wanting to take a ferry.  I have a good friend and cousins that live on the Island, and I rarely think to go visit them (I do feel bad about that, as they are some of my favorite people).  I also know people who live on the Island dislike coming to the mainland, it's a different way of life.  We are just not sure we want to be Island people.

We are going back up to Kelowna to take another look at West Harbour Estates, a new community being built in West Kelowna.

We like it because:

  • It is lake front, on a hill so all homes have a water view.  
  • It will be strata, a community of homes, with a pool, rec center, private beach and boat slips.
  • the price looks good from $599,000 to 730,000  ( advertised prices)  No HST or Property transfer tax.
  • houses all look like ranchers from the front, but have full walk out basements that can be customized for guests.
  • close to the Hwy, and the Okanagan connector to drive to Vancouver.
It is lease land, but apparently a 99 year prepaid lease with the West Bank First Nations band is a good thing.  We have done as much research as we can, and found no negatives about this lease or this development at all.  So off we go to take another look.............

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Christy vs Allison

I listened to Christy Clark on the news this morning, she was talking about her stance on the proposed pipeline from Alberta's oil sands to our coast.  I think it is great she is taking a stand.  It does seem a brave move, as Alberta's Premier, Allison Redford, seems a whole lot tougher than our Christy Clark.  If Christy can pull this off to BC's benefit, then she will have earned some respect, Finally!
I am not against the pipeline, but I am against an oil spill.   I want gas for my car, I am not willing to walk everywhere, (I do walk a lot but let's be realistic).  I want progress without the risk, but we all know how unrealistic that is!

Christy's demand to negotiate with Alberta & the Federal Government is not out of line.  The list of demands are a good start, but I think they need to go further than "developing policies"

B.C. wants Ottawa to establish a working group to develop policies around increased tanker traffic and handling hazardous materials, to eliminate federal red tape that, at present, blocks cooperation between the Coast Guard and province during spill cleanup efforts. B.C. is also calling for better maps of the B.C. coastline and an examination of why Canada's rules for oil tanker travel are more lax than those of the U.S.
"Those are questions outside of the environmental assessment process that are in play at the moment but they are still important questions that need to be answered before we would consider support," Lake said.
"It is impossible to eliminate all risk entirely. So we need to know that, even after we have absolutely minimized the chances, if there was spill, [we would] have the systems and capacity in place to ensure an effective response and remediation."

Read more:

  • I would like to see BC residents offered jobs as a highly trained clean up team.  
  • Alberta's profits should pay for the training of the clean up team, and for all costs to maintain and deploy the team when needed.  (Not like the search and rescue teams we have that are well trained but can't get the money to actually travel to disasters and help out)                                                                        

Alberta should pay for this team because it is their Oil, and if they want to put the Oil Spill Risk on our coastline, they should assume the costs of any disaster along with the oil companies.  Yes, the companies like Enbridge should have good insurance and be liable for costs of their pipeline spills, but should BC rely on Enbridge to have the trained team?  BC needs funding for more coast guards, and our own highly trained, clean up team for disasters.  (Disasters that we hope will never happen of course!)