I received this from a dear man and reader, Ray Eagle, who so kindly shares with all of us this letter he recently sent to Christy Clark. Dare I say… it is hard to soar like an Eagle when governed by turkeys ?
Many thanks to Mr. Eagle for sending this to me.
Dear Premier Clark:
It was a shock to learn that despite your expressed intentions to make your Government different to that of Gordon Campbell’s you have selected Gwynn Morgan of SNC Lavalin as your transition advisor. Selecting him, of all people, hardly bodes well for change!.
Nevertheless, there are a number of issues that should be addressed though I can see already that convincing you of their importance will not be an easy task. The following are the ones that I consider to be important:
As a regular user of the Horseshoe Bay-Langdale ferry route I think the privatization of B.C. Ferries is a failed experiment and it should be returned directly to government control. This so-called privatization is, in any case, purely semantic and has not resulted in any meaningful efficiencies.
One of the first items on Mr. Campbell’ agenda was the mean-spirited act of removing the reduction on the first ten visits to chiropractors and physiotherapists, which took away the ability of many people to afford the cost of repeat visits in the first vital days of injury. To bring back the reduction would be a meaningful step towards your promise.
Mr. Campbell also cancelled a benefit to B.C. seniors, which was to pay only the dispensing fee on all prescribed medications. He immediately made them pay the full cost to a certain level under the so-called ‘Fair Pharmacare’ legislation. As an eighty year old senior (as of April 4) I think it was a reprehensible act and again I think that if you mean what you say this should be addressed. I take four medications for certain medical problems, none of which are lifestyle related. I wrote to the Government suggesting that in the case of people on permanent medication the previous rule of paying only the dispensing fee should be restored, as opposed to those who are prescribed a single course of medication for a temporary problem after which the need ceases. Despite taking the suggestion to my MLA, Ralph Sultan, nothing came of it. Fortunately my prescription costs are not prohibitive compared to some seniors, but a restoration to the original subsidy would be helpful, instead
of the pure ‘fluff ‘ handed out to seniors in lieu of real help.
Lastly, there is a great anomaly which needs addressing. When you were a talk-show host you strongly defended the Cambie Street merchants in their quest for compensation, especially Susan Heyes in her valiant fight against the construction companies and several levels of government. During that time I had several letter exchanges with the Hon. Kevin Falcon, who is now your Deputy Premier. He was vehemently opposed to any compensation for the merchants and I am sure he remains of that opinion. He must be absolutely gleeful that Ms. Heyes has been hung out to dry by the companies who built the Canada Line, abetted by the three cold, uncaring Appeal Judges who found in their favour. Now you have compounded this anomaly by bringing Gwynn Morgan onto your team, a man who represents a company that is responsible for Susan Heyes’ present predicament.
The arguments of the Appeal Judges make absolutely no sense, especially their assertion that a bored tunnel would cause as much disruption as cut and cover. In a letter addressed to them I pointed out that that they had obviously made up their minds to uphold the appeal and built their ‘shoddy’ arguments to fit that end.
If you have the conviction that you demonstrated before gaining the Premiership you should seek some means to help Susan Heyes stave off bankruptcy. You should also bear in mind the lasting consequences if the appeal decision goes unchallenged. The result will be that no small business owner or individual is safe from ruin or interference by any level of government or large corporation that wishes to construct a mega project, regardless of whether its impact is temporary or permanent.
I hope that you will give due consideration to these suggestions because their implementation will go a long way in proving that you mean it when you promise to do things differently, though with the appointment of Gwynn Morgan a large part of that promise has already been negated!