Now, I don’t have a degree in political science, but I like to think that I know a thing or two. In my opinion, you can tell a lot about the relevance a governing party places on the quality of life experienced by the people under their leadership, by the way the ruling party manages hardships during their tenure . For example, let’s look at the hardships being created for most of British Columbians by the current budget shortfall facing the BC Liberals.
Let’s try and get past the fact that it was well known by everyone ( except Gordon Campbell and Colin Hansen, they claim) that worldwide markets were tanking during the election and that the economic forecast for 2009/2010 was bleak. Many of us knew with all certainty that Gordon Campbell would have no way of sticking to his campaign promised small deficit, and if you were one of the few who were surprised, may I extend my deepest sympathies to you at having been hoodwinked by one of the best.
However, what we did not know was the extent and direction the resulting budget cuts would take. So far this year, we’ve seen cuts to student aid programs, to mental health care, seniors homes, health care… the list seems to grow with every passing day. And then , as if to kick us when we are down, on top of all those announcements they socked us with the HST.
Nice, really nice.
Then I came across Miro’s column in the Sun that tells the tale of lending civil servants to VANOC so they could get the job done for the rest of the world. Talk about the icing on the cake.
As a parent, and member of the community, I believe in the value of sports for youth and adults, and I believe in Canadian spirit to go for the gold just as much as the next person. However, the story the NDP released today with some leaked documents ,tells me that the BC liberals have gone askew with their priorities as leaders of this province and are no longer thinking about the average person in B.C. at all
In fact, I suspect they really aren’t thinking about anything but the two weeks surrounding the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Anyone that tells me this isn’t all about showing the world our happy smiling Premier pretending everything is hunky dory in Lotusland during 2010, simply hasn’t got their head screwed on right.
According to those leaked documents, the Liberals are planning even more cutbacks to surgeries in BC, above and beyond the ones already planned during the Olympics. Remember the more than 4,000 elective surgeries that are being halted during 2010 so that medical staff might be freed up to volunteer for the games? Better stock up on pain medication – before that HST comes in, remember? You’ll be paying more just to get rid of a headache.
What effect will all of these cutbacks have on the quality of life for B.C. residents, young and old? How can any party justify cutting healthcare and education while continuing to make un-necessary expenditures for a two week sporting event?
We know that we will be paying more for everything we buy, build, eat or ride.
We also know that it is now going to be harder for post secondary students to get the degrees they need to have a successful future as an adult. That is, if they can wade their way through the bare minimum grade school system that passes for primary/secondary education in B.C. A college degree is becoming something only the wealthy can afford to pursue, which does nothing to move our culture forward as a whole.
We know that even more seniors will be relegated to substandard housing and care and we also know that more people than ever will be on welfare and EI in the year to come. Food banks are hurting because people who are working can no longer afford to donate. We know that in a province where the premier claims it is the best place to live in Canada, more children live in poverty than anywhere else in our country!!
Sadly, with these cutbacks and this new tax,we know that even more children will begin to experience what being poor and hungry feels like this year, but will the world hear about that during the all the pomp and circumstance of the Olympics? I sincerely hope the international journalists take a harder look at the state of our province in their time here, and look beyond the glamour of the games to the real stories that have been shuffled into the dark corners.
I believe that every leaked document, every quietly concealed plan that is subsequently revealed, and every single PR strategy designed to make you feel warm and fuzzy about these cuts to vital services and infrastructure ( While during all of it the 201o expenditures keep rolling out) confirms the worst about Gordon Campbell and his Liberal team. Many of whom, I might add, were voted in by the very same people who they are hurting most with their cuts. People who trusted that he was the best bet to guide our province through these difficult times.
How is that for a thank you to his supporters ?
I’ll tell you what I think.
I think that Mr. Campbell places very little value on the quality of life, or the true spirit of what makes this province work. You. All of you, your kids, your friends, your neighbours and your parents. Our elderly. Our weak and ill and infirm. We are the backbone of this province, we are the ones who do the work the wealthy will not. We work and buy and live and keep this province going. And if we rally as a whole, we have power to change all of this. Stay silent and you may as well agree to all of it.
I’m afraid the only thing Gordon Campbell places value on is the rather grand appearance he’ll be displaying as BC’s premier during the 2010 winter Olympics – something I think he will be remembered for down the road,although not for the reasons he would like. You might be able to shut up some of the people some of the time, but eventually, someone talks.
And what about our spirit ? What about the way British Columbians are feeling inside ?
All these cuts tell me he really couldn’t care less, and I think people will remember that for far longer than they will those colourful Olympic rings.