BC government pulls $40 million worth of promises out of provincial budget- yet no money to hire new staff for Jimmy Pattison Outpatient /Christy Clark photo op.

Here is a conundrum, and tell me what you think, and how you feel about this.

I am all for job creation in BC, I really am, in particular in trades, but today the BC government pulled $40 million of promises out of their arses to bolster the Seaspan shipbuilding bid.  That’s a great thing right? It’s about time BC got some good federal contracts rather than farming that work out overseas, right?

But here are my questions. And perhaps some of you won’t like this line of questioning, but oh well, the questions must be asked.

 How is it that they so easily found $40 million in this tight budget to bolster a ship contract, when they can’t afford to even hire new staff for the Jimmy Pattison outpatient centre, they simply moved over some existing staff from Surrey Memorial, creating closures and longer wait times there?  I just had a test there and the facility was creepy in it’s desolate, upscale, EMPTY nature. Very few staff to be seen, very few patients( I saw three) empty halls, empty rooms, nothing going on… but lots of high end amenities and machinery… I spoke with a worker I did find, and she said it was like this all the time. Always empty, and worse yet, the mess left behind at Surrey Memorial all for the sake of making this financial white elephant look slightly useful.

Or what happened to the money Falcon promised was coming to build new, and badly needed schools in Surrey, the only district with a phenomenal rate on increasing enrollment yearly? At the rate Watts allows the endorses the cities expansion, we’ll have more kids learning in school gyms and extra curricular rooms with no windows than we did last year. And yes, that did happen in several schools while waiting for more portables.

Add those two little bizarro scenarios to the fact that Kyle Washington, chairman of Seaspan International, was a member and supporter of Falcon 20/20 during the BC Liberal leadership race,  as well, a financial contributor to his leadership campaign. The Election BC link to the scanned campaign documents for Kevin Falcon went dead shortly after I posted it, as reported by several readers. It still gives people a ” Bad Gateway” message as stated in the comments below. Thanks to a wonderful friend and reader, I now have the scanned Falcon leadership contributers, in this PDF document. falconscontributors

Hmm, I would hate to think his support and friendship with Finance minister Kevin Falcon would lead the government to fork out so much to make this bid better – in particular since Kyle Washington and family are hardly lacking funds.   No, no,I couldn’t imagine Falcon would reward a supporter by helping to sweeten the pot.

Nor could I imagine an even stranger twist to all of this, and one that makes me shake my head in irony – the fact that Seaspan  is part of the Washington Marine Group, the same group that hired current Premier Christy Clarks brother, Bruce Clark, as a lobbyist to try and get the Roberts Bank Line for said company during the BC rail scandal time period… 

Now, you tell me how  this “new” , families first government  really works… and who  exactly is pulling the strings?

( by the way, RossK and friends were thinking about  whether or not this would happen back in June)

27 thoughts on “BC government pulls $40 million worth of promises out of provincial budget- yet no money to hire new staff for Jimmy Pattison Outpatient /Christy Clark photo op.

  1. This makes me SO angry! Add to that the need for additional sheriff’s in our courts and the lack of funding for stakeholders to participate in the Missing Women Inquiry, but there was $6 million dollars to pay for convicted Basi/Virk!

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  2. Everyone has a grain of good in them. Whether we can reach that goodness in our elected officals depends on their strength of principle. I don’t think MsClark is the total problem – it’s corporations that presume to run our planet for the benefit of stockholders. We have been co-opted to believe that life depends on ever increasing corporate profit.

    There must be at least one grain of goodness in one Liberal MP. If one person could stand up and show a grain of principle – my oh my – what a difference it could make.

    So, here’s to hoping some Liberal goodness will shine out and break away from the old standard Liberal sell it off for corporate interest agenda. We are waiting to embrace principled leadership. Anybody out there?

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  3. New schools for Surrey? Sorry but the BC Liberal priority is wealthcare for people like the U.S. based billionaire Washington Family. Perhaps the Libs still owe favours to that group for their help in selling the “Fast Ferry Fiasco”. One would hope the millions earned by the Washington Marine Group for storing then selling the three FastCats to Abu Dhabi would be enough reward. However, I suppose blackmailers are never paid in full as long as secrets remain.

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  4. Fred Regan

    I was listening to this announcement this morning and it completely disgusted to think how keen Christy, Falcon and the other crooks are so up on this file now. If they had not put us in debt up to our ears with the Germans and the buckets they brought back with all the fanfare and allowed out shipbuilding industry to build then (oops, that would mean jobs for BC unions, we can’t have that??). If we built the ferries, we would have had a ready industry to take on new projects, probably many skilled workers now trained and a proper bid that would have been seriously considered like Halifax. But no, Christy gets her MOM face in the news and how hard she is working on this file. If these lying bastards had not been so busy destroying the province for their own benefit they might have known there were contracts being let by the Feds that the Province would be a viable option. Good and the Sun/Prov. should soon be lauding this wonderful gesture to make the bid a logical one. Probably Mike Campbell will promote this as well as his HST repeats are getting monotonous. Does this Clown even have a degree. He now needs to bail out his good buddy Ossie J another scam artist??

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  5. Lynn

    A facility built with public funds.
    Perhaps it is going private?
    Yes, the individuals sitting on the throne are told what to do by those lurking behind the throne.
    The power behind the throne.

    On a separate note, I hope Jack Layton pulls through his newest round of cancer.

    It is obvious to me that a life in politics is not easy on the body. How quickly the stress of the job makes their hair turn gray in short order.
    Did the stress of running an election campaign weaken Jack’s body?
    I hope the rest will give him the energy to beat back the disease.

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  6. workforfun

    Let us not forget a couple of important points re Sea Span.

    It is owned by a US company wishing to bid on a Canadian government defence contract – would the opposite be allowed in the US ?? If not, then it should not be allowed in Canada.

    Sea Span had new coastal barges built in China some ten or more years ago – because it was cheaper than building them in Vancouver/Victoria. End result, the Washington Group saved millions of dollars that could and should have been spent in British Columbia and British Columbian shipyard workers were done out of a job !

    Now there are big contracts pending in Canada – tens of billion of dollars. Guess what, our greedy corporate Washington Group want’s part of it – but has “screwed BC” in the past .

    Does that sound like a good deal for British columbia and Canada – of course not. The Washington Group should not be awarded any contracts m- they have made too much money off of the back of the people of this province, already.

    Thanks

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  7. ron wilton

    Not to forget that Kyle’s daddy ‘bought’ the Pacificats from Gordo for less than the $24 million scrap value (including a choice piece of waterfront real estate), and quickly flipped the cats into service in Abu Dhabi for a rumoured $500 million profit.

    This $40 million gift must all be part of CC’s Families First agenda.

    McLean Family —free campaign jet plane rides,
    Aquilini Family—free cup final hockey tickets.
    Washington Family—-??????

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    1. Laila

      Oddly enough.. the link to the Election BC scanned documents of Falcons contributors showing Kyle Washinton giving thousands, ( among other interesting names that show up) is no longer working as reported by reader. Can anyone bring this link up for me, and if so, save it to file or screen shot it. This is what the link in the story brings up now:

      Bad Gateway
      The proxy server received an invalid response from an upstream server.

      http://contributions.electionsbc.gov.bc.ca/pcs/Published/100116997.pdf

      Love your comment Ron.. hilarious! Families first is right… just not our families.

      workforfun, thank you for seeing my point and for adding such great details for others to think about. And where was all the government concern when it came to other contracts ? As Fred pointed out, the German superferries…. hello.

      I want to know why that link is not working. I took screen shots, so I am fine and nothing can be altered because it will be shown otherwise, but there is no reason a perfectly good link is suddenly not working and the system doesnt seem to go through.

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  8. North Van's Grumps

    Probably, if Gordon Campbell hadn’t tampered with the Apprenticeship program in 2005, cutting 44% of the completions then, Premier Christy Clark wouldn’t have to find $40 million.

    Five Million Dollars would have been sufficient today.

    http://www.bcndp.ca/node/1114

    Campbell’s apprenticeship scheme cuts completions 44%
    April 26, 2005

    Campbell River, BC – According to the Industry Training Authority report released earlier this month, apprenticeship completions have dropped 44% since Gordon Campbell put his stamp on BC’s apprenticeship program, NDP Leader Carole James said today.
    “Gordon Campbell has torn apart BC’s apprenticeship program, leaving it in chaos. He offers no long-term plan for meeting the growing needs of BC industries,” said James.

    Snip…..

    From the Straight.com
    http://www.straight.com/article-201725/bc-premier-gordon-campbells-2009-speech-throne

    B.C. premier Gordon Campbell’s 2009 speech from the throne

    Snip
    Billions have been invested in new research, skills development, and expanded trades and apprenticeship training.
    Snip

    Do you think the word “Billions” was a slip of the tongue by El Gordo? Billions, like in plural.

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  9. Gloria

    But, they said, they didn’t have the equipment to build the ferry’s in Vancouver. So, they were built in Germany. Does BC suddenly have the sophisticated equipment now? If BC gets the contract, it will be interesting to see what company’s bid on it. Knowing the BC Liberals, this will probably stink to high heaven, as Campbell’s theft and corrupt sale of the BCR did. I won’t be the least surprised if the Washington Group, gets over half of the contract.

    Another thing. The recession is only for the BC citizens, not the politicians nor, any of the BC Liberals. Christy and gang, spent, $3.6 million on travel. Ida Chong ate $6,000 worth of food. The BC Liberals, have plenty of money, when it comes to themselves. Health care and education for Christy’s “family’s first”, don’t matter a jot to her. That farce I am sure, has to be milked right dry, by now. Christy’s utmost priority is, forcing the HST, on her “family’s first”, seniors and low income people. And, don’t forget, provincial government workers, get charged no tax on meals, and who knows, what all else. The HST really is, just for the everyday citizens. We are the only ones, that do pay through the nose, for our useless Liberal politicians gravy train.

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  10. ron wilton

    Gloria. FYI government employees, (including the msp collection agency) and mla’s, do not pay any msp premiums. That should help them pay for a few non taxed meals.

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  11. North Van's Grumps

    Women in Trades in British Columbia And Yukon
    http://www.sfu.ca/gsws/documents/WIT-report-final.pdf

    Page 6
    data from Canadian Census 1971, 1981, 1991, 2001; Labour Force Survey 2006.
    SNIP……

    The number of females working in the construction trades has
    increased, in BC , from a total of 510 women in 1971, to 2100
    in 2006 (see Figure 2). But because of the increase in total
    numbers of construction workers in the province, and despite
    more programs aimed at recruiting women, the actual percentage
    of women has increased only slightly, from 0.7% in 1971
    to 3.1% in 2006 (see Figure 3). Since 2001 it has been lower
    than the national average (3.2% in 2001 and 3.4% in 2006).
    The increase in women’s participation in Alberta (from 0.9% to
    5.3%) is consistently greater.

    Snip……

    “Families First” eh Christy

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  12. Lynn

    Ron,
    The msp premiums is merely a distraction to the billions that your government has quietly picked from your pockets.
    Forgive me, but I thought revenue generated was to go to British Columbians so as to make their life enjoyable-not put them in the poor house or work 3 part time jobs so as to put food on the table just so corporations can pig out on taxpayer dollars. So drop the premium thing. It means nothing compared to the big picture.

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    1. Laila

      This really pissed me off, about BC Ferries portion, in particular since we are hearing a cry of poverty every time they have to raise ferry fares, because there is no money to operate.. no choice but to raise fares….

      …and then the man with the Golden parachute, David Hahn, reaches back and pulls $20 million out of a financially strained company – and welcomes yet another Liberal toadie to the fold.

      Has this government no shame? How in good conscience can BC Ferries, or anyone else for that matter, justify using their subsidized budget to subsidize this bid? Shame, Shame, Shame…. Looks like taxpayers get twice on this. However, I hear from a source in Ottawa, that we won’t get the bid anyways… so it may be all for naught.

      But, thank goodness we know now that BC Ferries had $20million just sitting around doing nothing. Maybe they can reduce fares on some routes now!!!!

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  13. cherylb

    Amazing how they can come up with $25 million here, $40 there, $20 million here for the shit they want, but not the stuff we NEED. I don’t even want to talk about these lying, thieving, criminals anymore. It just makes me sick to my stomach. Call the election, fer crying out loud Christy! We really need to be rid of the whole lot of you NOW!!

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  14. workforfun

    Have to do a bit more checking, but I am sure that Sea Span also had at least one large tug built overseas in Turkey IIRC, why – because it was cheaperthan building it in Vancouver/Victoria shipyards.

    Again, another example of how the province is getting literally screwed, by the people fighting to get a portion of the new defence shipbuilding contracts.

    If I can find any links I will post them as well.

    Thx.

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  15. workforfun

    Ok – a quick check provided me with some very interesting facts.
    Two links below should show, without any doubt, who Seaspan works for in earnest. Note that the company (Seaspan Containers Ships) is registered in the Marshall Island – another tax break for a huge company.

    So, if Seaspan doesn’t get part of the contract – I won’t be sorry. The people currently working in the shipyards will be no worse off and the pubic gets to know that the vessels will be built by CANADIAN COMPANIES INSIDE CANADA – with the bulk of the money spent, staying inside Canada.

    Anyway, here are just one of two links of interest:

    http://www.seaspancorp.com/annual-reports-pdf/SSW_2009_Annual_Report_20-F.pdf

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    1. Laila

      Its ok, and thank you Paul for looking! The original link to the PDF file direct from elections bc was inaccessible/gone for hours right after I posted the story, no explanation. It came back online in the early evening, so perhaps too many people accessing one file at a time crashed that part of the system> Unknown and again, no answers as to why.

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  16. North Van's Grumps

    Just before the 2009 provincial election
    ECONOMIC PLAN

    LIBERALS:

    In the 2009 budget, the Liberal government increased spending by $2.8 billion over three years, with most of the new money going to health care and education. At the same time, the government cut and reallocated $1.9 billion from various areas to keep the deficit at $740 million over two years.

    The government promised in its budget to invest $14 billion in infrastructure, which it said will create 88,000 jobs over three years.

    In its budget, the government increased the low-income climate-action tax credit by 10 per cent effective July 1, 2011. It also provided a northern and rural homeowner benefit of up to $200, as well as other related tax cuts.

    This week, Campbell announced he would double the training tax credit for businesses — which encourages employers to take on apprentices — starting in July.

    More measures are expected on the economy when the Liberal party unveils its platform for the coming campaign.
    Source: http://www.canada.com/story_print.html?id=afc5360a-66e3-412a-8091-da33be77fdc3&sponsor=
    ==========================================

    Campbell promised before the election to DOUBLE the training tax credit for businesses, like the Washington Group. Was it ever done by El Gordo after the election, and if not, then is this credit money that Christy has promised to provide if the shipyard wins the Federal Naval contract the same money that was never given by Campbell?

    Like

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