Grave words, to be sure, but exceedingly important ones that should and must be read by all British Columbians before the leadership vote of the BC Liberal Party.
First, please let me thank you for your incredible patience this week. As most of you know, the flu season is upon us a bit late this year on the west coast, however, it is packing a hell of a punch. Both my younger children had it during last week,and both seemed to have recovered within a few days- a short but intense bout. However,my youngest became ill again within a day, and spent the last part of the week and this last weekend quite fevered.Other than being cranky and tired, he seems to be ok today -knock on wood! Without further adieu, down to business.
It is always an educated guess on prioritizing stories that come my direction. Each is important to all British Columbians, for very different reasons. I consider myself lucky to have reached so many people through this blog, and the tips keep coming. That being said, there is only one me, and at time that means that really good and really important stories have to sit while a more time sensitive one is brought forth.
Right now, that means as much fact needs to brought forth on a variety of fronts with regards to the many promise making Liberal leadership candidates out there. To be certain, Kevin Falcon is the one candidate who comprises the greatest threat to all British Columbians by those who see the bigger picture, and know the backroom connections. He has made no secret of his love for privatization under the guise of ” what is best for B.C.” or ” making sure British Columbians get the best value for their dollars”. His big push for support in the north is nothing less than opportunistic capitalization on the backs of good people going through hard times, which are about to get harder with the new mortgage rules and sure to come higher interest rates.
Not going to happen on my watch.
I know all about Kevin Falcon, inside and out. And that is why I asked Gorden if I could repost his latest bit of stunning insight as I work on the stories that Kevin Falcons team will have a hard time swallowing,spinning or otherwise neutralizing. I bring you this post by Gordon F.D Wilson, who so graciously allowed me to repost it here in its entirety. I would encourage you to visit his blog at http://gordonfdwilson.com/ , for the unique and valuable insight he brings to current political events. And read the comments, for I often find the comment sections to be equally insightful as to what British Columbians are thinking.
Enjoy. I did!
There have been too many examples of Kevin Falcon’s cavalier use of the truth in his approach to public policy for me to now believe that he will deliver a government that will not be exactly the same as that of Gordon Campbell. Indeed, if one tries to honestly define the Liberal leadership candidates, Falcon is the closes to being a clone of Campbell.
My first memory of Falcon dates back to the late 1990s when he was the spokesperson for Concerned Citizens of B.C. You might remember him from the “Total Recall” campaign which tried unsuccessfully to launch recall against the NDP MLAs. He swore at the time that he was an independent British Columbian who had no connection to Campbell or the Liberal party and no interest in politics, just truth from the government. That proved to be untrue.
As Minister of Health Falcon repeatedly told British Columbians that he did not favour the privatization of the provincial health care system, and yet during his tenure in that portfolio British Columbians have seen a consistent and determined direction toward the delivery of private health care.
More recently Falcon has been touring the province, arguing that Campbell had no choice but to sell off BC Rail. The sale, Falcon claims, was necessitated by Campbell inheriting a Railway that was “virtually bankrupt” from the NDP governments of the 1990s. The problem is that this statement, like so many others from Falcon, is also untrue.
Remarkably, Falcon didn’t even blush when he recently told the Prince George crowds that if he was elected Premier he would establish Prince George as a transportation hub for the province.
Here is an individual who sat in Cabinet and advocated the debacle that was the sale of BC Rail, when at the time BC Rail stimulated and diversified the Prince George economy.
Now, he promises that if premier he will invest public money in transportation in Prince George. But what do his actions say while he has served as a senior member of Campbell’s government? As Minister of transportation, Falcon all but ignored the central and northern communities while overseeing the spending of billions of dollars on the Sea to Sky highway to facilitate the Olympic games, and he pushed through the private public partnerships that will benefit from billions more public dollars for two very controversial projects, the Delta ring road and the twinning of the Port Mann bridge. All his actions have been urban-focused and private profit driven.
Falcon is a devout believer in his version of “private enterprise”. Let’s revisit what he said in Prince George about BC Rail.
“Government is not particularly adept at running businesses. We tend to get our clocks cleaned by the private sector who spend every waking moment on how to run things more efficiently,” Falcon told a Prince George radio audience in defence of his decision to support the sale of their railway. BC Rail was “virtually bankrupt” and required annual operating subsidies from the province, he told another audience.
That is untrue.
The facts on BC Rail are quite different than Falcon presents. The railway, a self-supporting Crown Corporation, recorded 23 consecutive years of operating profits. Far from being bankrupt, the rail company actually sent $137.7 million in dividends to the provincial treasury while supporting the regional economy of BC’s interior and north!
Falcon continues to serve up the ongoing lie about the financial state of BC Rail to try to justify the government’s decision to dump it. When one considers the underhanded and “illegal” activity that surrounded the sale/lease of this public asset, one would think that a candidate for premier of an “open and honest” government would call for a public enquiry into the matter, not continue the misrepresentations, deceit and stonewalling that we have witnessed for years.
What is particularly concerning about the prospect of Kevin Falcon as our premier is contemplating the fate of another multi-million dollar Crown Corporation, B.C. Hydro. BC Hydro the jewel in the crown is critical to control over both production and price of electricity and should be a legacy for our great grandchildren.
Kevin Falcon, who was unequivocal in his view on the sale of BC Rail, seemed less sure about his position on B.C. Hydro when asked in a radio interview.
“B.C. Hydro is an important asset, there’s no question about it, and I think we’ve made a decision that we think it is the public interest that we maintain B.C. Hydro as a publicly owned utility.”
Falcon is absolutely sure that the sale of BC Rail was the right thing to do, but as far as keeping B.C. Hydro public, he only thinks “they” have made a decision to keep B.C. Hydro publicly owned. He claims this decision will result in Hydro “not going to be the height of efficiency”.
If there is one truth about Kevin Falcon, it is his unwavering commitment to the disposal of public assets into the hands of “private” buyers. I await with interest the disclosure of his list of political donors if indeed one is ever released.
Like his teacher and mentor Gordon Campbell, this apprentice has mastered the use of the selective presentation of “facts”, which he repeats convincingly enough to have his audience accept them as true even though they are not. As we have painfully discovered by electing the master from whom Falcon learned his political craft, it would be a serious mistake to allow Kevin Falcon any leadership position over the public trust.