Gregory Hartnell pulls back Oak Bay’s Tweed Curtain to announce Ron Paul’s Revolution is here: Why is self-described ‘Rockland Outsider’ auditioning for role of Oak Bay Council Insider in Nov. 19 election?

I was conceived somewhere in Mexico when my Canadian mother and father were down there in 1952 for their honeymoon.

Born in Saint Joseph’s Hospital, run by the Sisters of Sainte Anne since the 19th century in downtown Victoria, I was the first of nine Hartnell children born to Naden stenographer Sheila Mary Margaret Hartnell (nee Turnbull), a stunningly beautiful raven-haired Scots-Lancastrian member of the Catholic Women’s League from Valleyfield Quebec, and a long-time soprano in the Saint Andrew’s Cathedral choir; and Victoria-born carpenter – building contractor – importer Peter George Hartnell, a Victoria High School alumnus of Lancastrian-Wallon ancestry with a history of notable anti-communist activism.

All of my eight brothers and sisters (Jerome, Adrian, Maria, Cecilia, Roxanna, John, Anthony and Justin) were also born at Saint Joe’s, as we called it.

Our parents were Roman Catholic working class heroes who worked very hard to raise our growing family, first building the three storey Thunderbird Motel in 1952 at the corner of 600 Douglas and Superior Streets, and later, the Michelangelo Apartments (three storeys) at 1158 Yates Street and the Queen Victoria Inn (nine storeys)  at 655 Douglas, northeast across the street from the Thunderbird, both in 1965-66.

Later, they also built the Hartnell House (four storeys) at 1204 Yates Street, just up the hill, and on the same side of Yates as the Michelangelo, next to the Victoria Fire Department’s main station.

Our last major project was to build the Victoria Princess on Quebec Street near Oswego in James Bay, an unusual seven storey ceramic tile-clad concrete high rise.

I worked on all of these projects for my parents’ Modernage Builders Ltd., except for the Thunderbird, learning the rudiments of hard labouring, carpentry and ceramic and marble setting from that Jack of all trades, ‘Pete’ Hartnell, as our father was known on the construction job sites.

On such construction jobs, a young man learns to talk tough, and drink beer with the other workers on late Friday afternoons.

I also learned to develop very decided opinions about building design in those days, and almost went into architecture, but must have realized at the time that I didn’t really have the right temperament for it.

The architectural talk at our kitchen table could sometimes get quite intense, as Anthony, John, Adrian and Dad were all really very opinionated about architectural design, and town planning matters also.

Travelling to Mexico and Europe a few times, as we all had done thanks to our generous parents who instilled a love in us for foreign cities, made such heated conversations about aesthetics, heights, size, synergy with existing buildings, and a myriad of architectural details a typical excercise at most of our meals together, especially if there were foreign visitors at our table.

That made many of these conversations truly memorable and lent an air of continentalism to our family heritage.

But nothing could quite get my Dad going like a heated discussion about the shenanigans of the professional career politicians in Downtown Victoria.

One of the few that he actually understood, admired and voted for was Peter Pollen, a highly sophisticated Uplands car salesman, with a big car lot at Cook and Yates.

Peter Pollen is the father of Jane Pollen, one of my dearly departed brother Adrian’s first girlfriends.

They made for a very good-looking pair, both with very long hair as was the style in the late sixties.

Those were the days, my friends…


The symbolism of the Thunderbird’s Mexican tile mural

A Mexican polychromatic tile mural is still visible just to the left of the front door of the Thunderbird, which credits Peter Hartnell for its commission, and its production by Mexican artists.

They produced an unusual vision of Victoria from postcards that my father sent them.

It is an artistic vision of Victoria as an enchanted semi-tropical pre-colonial proto-Garden City, created with imaginative attention to detail by foreign artists who never came here, but nevertheless, it is an image that haunts me to this day, because it is an image of a beautiful culture living in harmony with the glorious Nature that the Creator has provided for us here, our own little bit of an imaginary Southwestern Canadian Pacifican Mexican Eden on the southern-most tip of Vancouver Island, with natives in cedar bark hats, totem poles, long houses, complete with beautiful ocean vistas, the staggering Olympic Mountains to the south, and Mount Baker to the east, as the backdrop.


The many blessings of living in such a beautiful city as Victoria

We are truly blessed here, living in one of the most beautiful cities in Canada, if not the most beautiful.

Being spoiled with such a surfeit of natural wonders, many of us Victorians don’t seem to realize just how blessed we really are.

In Victoria, sold-out Globalist corporatist, socialist and ‘green’ partisan politicians are spoiling our nest with hard-hearted policies which punish the poor, keeping hard core addicts addicted to illegal drugs by misguided so-called ‘harm reduction’ programmes that are of dubious efficacy.

These NDP, Liberal and Green politicians have neglected to maintain our Joseph Strauss heritage bridge for at least the last six years, reducing it to a shocking state of apparent disrepair which alarmed some of their easily duped supporters.

But, in numerous articles found in Focus magazine, evidence is available to any reader of common sense that the City’s corrupted engineers seem to have cooked the books to steer the sheepish Council toward demolishing that heritage bridge, and replacing it with an expensive new futuristic bridge designed in England.

In a mad dash to take advantage of federal socialist ‘stimulus’ funding, the Victoria City Council has thus committed itself to a seriously flawed plan to destroy our unusual Johnson Street Bridge, and replace it with a completely unnecessary new steel bridge that is changing in its scope, costing more each month, and is already being reduced in terms of its life expectancy (from 100 years down to 75).

In the 2008 election campaign all the Victoria City Council candidates expressed apparently sincere interest in having homelessness tackled and they all said it was their first priority.

The new 2008 Victoria City Council was elected on promises to solve the seemingly unsolvable problem of homelessness in the Downtown, and the best they could do is to produce a sluggish bureaucracy which plans to live with the problems for about a decade.

Many homeless advocates, including Council candidate Rose Henry who speaks for them, allege that homelessness is worse now than it was in 2008.

The Victoria City Council under NDP Mayor Dean Fortin has consistently and irrationally raised residential and commerical property taxes every year during the recessionary period of 2008 to the present, notwithstanding the fact that most people are being hit by rising food and shelter costs, unexpected unemployment in their families and a generally gloomy global economic prognosis.

In the meantime, the Victoria City Council has allowed reasonable height restrictions on high rises, first brought in by Peter Pollen, one of the best mayors we ever had, to be left in the dust bin of history, and consequently Downtown Victoria is quickly starting to look like Vancouver’s West End, with concrete high rises approaching 20 storeys, and that is not a good thing at all.

I live in the beautiful Rockland district, a leafy surburban neighbourhood layed out in the Garden City philosophy of town planning, that runs from Quadra Street on the west end, from Christ Church Cathedral and Pioneer Square, and meanders east over to Oak Bay Avenue.

Signs along Rockland Avenue encourage drivers to slow down to 30 and sometimes even to 20 kilometres an hour, and these low speeds, indicated for safety on the serpentine Avenue, contribute to the safe civilized atmosphere in the neighbourhood, which is similar, if not superior to many leafy neighbourhoods in Oak Bay, the District to the east, behind the mythical ‘Tweed Curtain.’

Across Rockland Avenue from Christ Church, there is a so-called ‘safe needle box’ on the southwest corner of the park.

Sick addicts use Pioneer Square as their own public hard drug injection locale, with very little if any police presence, and all this unsavoury daily activity, including heavy alcoholic drinking parties in the evenings, frightens the long-suffering peaceful law-abiding neighbours.

Why is the ‘Rockland Outsider’ auditioning to play the role of an Oak Bay Councillor?

I am truly appalled and frankly horrified by the decadent direction that my home town of  the City of Victoria is heading, and I simply do not want neighbouring Oak Bay to follow suit.

Therefor, I am standing as an independent non-partisan fiscal-social conservative Oak Bay Council Candidate for election on November 19.

I have been greatly influenced of late by the eminent Texan Congressman Dr. Ron Paul, whose common sense Second Revolution is an unusual admixture of fiscal-social conservative pro-life and pro-liberty values.

No more raises for Oak Bay Council, management or union workers, including police and firemen, in first fiscal year…

I have already promised not to give myself a shameful salary hike, like the  Esquimalt Mayor and Council just did (41% for her, 25% for them).

Instead of acting like most career politicians, in the event of my election to Oak Bay Council, I promise to donate the entirety of my Councillor’s salary every year of the three year term, to Victoria Hospice, a good pro-life palliative private service that has helped our own Hartnell family with the deaths of my dearly departed father Peter, brother Adrian and mother Sheila.

I will not vote to raise residential or commericial property taxes in Oak Bay in my three year term.

Nor will I vote to change the ratio between the two groups of property taxpayers, unless it be to favour the residential sector, which is the majority sector of property-owning investors that I best represent.

I promise to honour existing union contracts with the District, but I expect new negociations to properly reflect the difficult economy that we are now facing, which is frankly very likely on the verge of a Great Depression, in my humble layman’s opinion.

I will not vote for raising union workers’ wages nor management salaries in Oak Bay in the first fiscal year, and in the subsequent two years my voting will be informed by a very close analysis of the real economic problems facing residential and commercial property taxpayers in Oak Bay, who deserve to see their taxes go down considerably .

Cost-cutting efficiencies in management, the overall budget and material costs will be my top priority, in order to create a tax regime that is more in line with the hard economic realities facing all of us, to leave more money in the pockets of Oak Bay citizens to spend or invest as they wisely see fit.

Raising taxes anywhere in such a gloomy economic atmosphere is the height of fiscal irresponsibility, and voters in Oak Bay have now been warned.

No more ‘harm reduction’ cop-outs

I do not believe in the so-called ‘war on drugs’, nor the so-called ‘war on terror’, which are effectively the same thing.

I lost one dear brother, Jerome Henry Hartnell, at the age of 18, to an overdose of morphine and alcohol, and ever since that happened, I have not believed the official rationale for the interdiction of some drugs and not others.

However, I am very skeptical of attempts by anti-drug prohibitionists to promote a type of creepy Globalist incrementalism in the delivery of experimental so-called ‘harm reduction’ programmes of dubious merit, particularly when those programmes interfere with the ability of the police to enforce existing laws designed to discourage the possession and trafficking of certain prescribed drugs.

As long as there is a disconnect between the spirit and actual words of the Criminal Code of Canada and the application of the extraordinary discretionary power of the local, provincial or federal police forces to enforce the laws, we have a huge problem area of corruption, or a perception of corruption, among the police right across the country.

Pending the drug laws changing in Canada as a result of a continental trend toward decriminalization, and legalization in the event of a Ron Paul Presidential victory south of the border, I believe that it is actually counterproductive to encourage half-measures like ‘harm reduction.’

If and when the laws change, I may very well change my mind about these matters radically, but in the meantime, civilized social order maintained through reasonable police discretion is more important than higher police arrest quotas of a failed hysterical Conservative Party of Canada punitive policy which panders to ignorance and perpetuates criminal activity forever.

I don’t think a person should be arrested for smoking tobacco or marijuana in a public park (in fact, I would defend those liberties, particularly in cases of patients with Canada Health licences for the ‘mota’, ‘mari’, ‘ganja’, ‘pot’ or ‘weed’), but I do think people should be arrested, charged and have currently illegal heroin or cocaine confiscated if they try to inject in a public place.

Similarly, if a person wants to have a beer or some wine with his or her lunch or dinner in a public park, or on a sidewalk bench, I would not want to see them arrested for such an innocent pleasure, but if they were already intoxicated, obnoxious and unruly, I would expect the existing laws against public drunkenness to be enforced.

Therefor, I will certainly not vote to endorse any so-called ‘harm reduction’ programmes in Oak Bay as long as the current Code is in place, as I truly believe that they are counter-productive to the still suffering addicts’ best interest, which is recovery from active addiction, and a cessation of a life of petty crime, collusion, harrassment, theft and bribery by some of the more corrupted of the police and their accomplices.

Their best hope for a life of real recovery from active addiction is to follow free 12 step programmes that counsel complete daily abstinence, and not with so-called ‘crack kits,’ ‘safe consumption or injection sites,’ ‘needle exchanges’ or ‘wet houses’.

In some hard cases, deeper holistic integration treatment is medically and psychiatrically recommended by disinterested experts (fellow recovering addicts) and a new spiritual life of prayer and medication is also encouraged.

In those hard cases, the best programmes are also all based on complete abstinence and not on government-subsidized Methodone or opiate maintenance programmes paid for and administered by unwitting well-intentioned but ill-informed enablers, so-called ‘harm reduction’ programmes which just replace one addiction with another.

No more Oak Bay Beach Hotel fiascos…

Seven years after first vetting the idea, the Oak Bay Beach Hotel is still unfinished, and a sign in front of the construction site says that the project is only 50% sold.

The project is an instance of the flawed development approval process in Oak Bay, and should never have been approved without the density, height and financing being reduced to a more manageable level.

Greed infected the Council, and the whole District of Oak Bay has had panoramic views of Mount Baker lost forever along that stretch of Beach Drive.

Therefor, I  will not vote to approve any development proposal over four storeys, and will work to protect the District of Oak Bay from improperly financed development proposals.

CRD ‘land-based waste management’ fiasco 

Nor will I vote for any grandiose schemes by the CRD to provide land-based sewage treatment, which is not needed.

Rather, I support eminent scientists in the Responsible Sewage Treatment Victoria group who advocate other less costly science-based solutions.

No more discredited ‘carbon taxes’, LRT and ‘climate change’ initiatives…

Nor will I vote for any phoney ‘climate change’ initiatives as the junk science supporting these eugenicist Globalist schemes is frankly also completely suspect.

Nor will I vote for cost-prohibitive LRT, but will vote to give free bus passes to the disabled, poor and unemployed.

Oak Bay should ban ‘chem trail’ geo-engineering aerial dumps on our organic gardens.

Oak Bay should then work toward a total chem trail ban over the skies of the whole CRD.

I support a complete cessation of the so called ‘smart meter’ installation programme.

Already illegally installed ‘smart meters’ that are wireless should be removed, and if a smart grid is really needed at all, it should be wired, and non-radiation emitting.

I do not support any supposedly ‘mandatory’ vaccination programmes, nor will I authorize their expansion in Oak Bay, nor do I think fluoride is good for our public water system.

Let’s not make the same mistakes in lovely Oak Bay that have plagued Downtown Victoria.



NOVEMBER 19, 2011










TELEPHONE:  250 382 97 67











Gregory Paul Michael Hartnell



One Response to Gregory Hartnell pulls back Oak Bay’s Tweed Curtain to announce Ron Paul’s Revolution is here: Why is self-described ‘Rockland Outsider’ auditioning for role of Oak Bay Council Insider in Nov. 19 election?

  1. Pingback: Bernard von Schulmann on Gregory Hartnell: I encourage you to read his platform for Oak Bay – really take a look, few candidates have expressed as much detail in what they would do in office. « GREGORY PAUL MICHAEL HARTNELL

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