Your amuse-bouche for the day. A prime example of why you should never,ever pay any attention to campaign promises.


This is the pre-election campaign sign used by Surrey First and Hepner during the municipal election campaign in November 2014. Note, it states LRT will be complete in 2018,not started by 2018. This promise shocked many Surrey residents familiar with the reality of major transportation projects,because the planning stage alone can take years. But the promise persisted even after the election that at minimum, the first ten kilometres would be running by 2018. 

Fast forward 10 months and yet another campaign promise for the upcoming federal election, and this is the new reality:

Hepner, who promised to build the first leg of the light rail line by 2018, now says that’s unreasonable, blaming the failed plebiscite. The city hopes to have the first leg under construction by then instead.

She said her city continues to investigate funding options, which could include partnerships similar to those used to build the Canada Line or private financing.

Read more:

Ahhhh yes. It’s the plebiscites fault that the mayor concocted a completely unrealistic campaign promise.

The business plan is still not complete,and the city still has no method of paying for their portion of this highly questionable legacy project. Keep in mind that the current council faced significant outrage when shortly after being elected, they raised property taxes and a variety of fees and levies significantly -it worked out to be the equivalent of a 10% tax increase- yet there had been no mention of this during their campaign. In fact, finance chair Tom Gill claimed it was because there were cost pressures that came as a’surprise’to them…

It’s a lesson voters should heed with the promises flying left,right and centre during the campaign leading up to the federal election next month – often,it’s what they don’t tell you that matters most once the election is over.

“Campaign promises are like helium balloons. They’re big, full of gas and once the party is over, absolutely useless.” ~ Susan Gale

19 Comments on “Your amuse-bouche for the day. A prime example of why you should never,ever pay any attention to campaign promises.

  1. Susan Gale’s quote and your article are just, oh so true. Will be glad when it is all over.

    • No kidding. Harpers early call for an election has served its purpose well of making voters weary of the games and platitudes. However, that anger may serve voters well if they exercise it at the polls.

      Keep in mind too, please that anyone can vote RIGHT NOW at any elections Canada office and you can vote on special advance voting days. You don’t need to wait until election day.

    • Does anyone really still pay attention to those anymore? I don’t and it’s foolhardy if someone actually does. 😉

      • How does one vote strategically if you don’t look at the polls?

        I know they are not too reliable or accurate but what else can I use if I want to vote ABC?

        I look at and in my riding it says the Liberal has a slight lead over the Conservative. Normally I would vote NDP but will vote Liberal this election if the numbers remain the same come voting day.

        • True enough but if you are engaged and know your riding you will likely have an idea of who is most likely to win. This is what has brought a fair amount of debate on board with the NDP and Libs telling Greens to pull their candidates to avoid a vote split.

          By that rationale, NDP and Libs should both be considering pull a candidate they know has no chance of winning, but that’s not going to happen. Which really is leaving many voters feeling torn or confused on how to vote.

        • So true Laila but I don’t blame candidates for not pulling out as I am sure they have put a lot of time, energy and money into running.

          I think it is going to come down to the voters to make that decision.

          My riding is quite different from last year (Delta – it was Newton/North Delta last election) so I am relying on polls to help make a decision.

          Two polls that I look at tell to vote the same way in Delta. I know polls can be iffy but better than nothing to base my decision on.

        • Long ago, I was involved in a campaign for a long-shot provincial LIberal candidate. We had asked him to run “to show the flag” because the provincial party brass wouldn’t allow no candidate. (Leader Pat McGeer told me that if we didn’t field a candidate, he would appoint his mother to run.) Wasn’t far into the campaign when Mr. Longshot began to believe he really had a chance. Our counts still had him a little over 10% but he became convinced he was a frontrunner. On election night, hopes were dashed with certainty and he couldn’t believe the result.

          The story speaks to human nature. Few people are willing to admit defeat in advance, even against the odds. Candidates tend to speak to friendly people and many who are not friends are at least polite. Therefore, the feedback is nearly always positive and encouraging.

          BTW, I’ve been troubled by 308’s weighting of polls at times and inconsistencies within some poll reports that have changed 1/3 of the sample yet had dramatic changes in results overall. Makes little sense. In addition, sample sizes which may be realistic in reporting national trends are problematic when used to suggest local opinions.

          Strategic voting makes some sense but caution must be exercised to avoid being misled by any party’s partisans.

  2. Simi Sara asked Hepner on air if the promise of 2018 operations was realistic, given the potential impact of the plebiscite result, then unknown. Hepner said the vote didn’t matter, the line would be in operation and she’d had that confirmed by senior officials.

    That she’s now headed in a different direction matters nothing to her. Any delay is the fault of voters who voted against the new sales tax. The original lie served its purpose by helping Hepner get elected.

    Unfortunately, some politicians have learned there is no need for truthfulness when campaigning. BC Liberals used the big lie technique by promising a debt free province with a $100 billion “Prosperity Fund” created from $260 billion in new gas revenues over 30 years. Instead, drilling and other subsidies to gas producers went from $572,000,000 in 2013 to $1,012,000,000 in fiscal year 2015.

    They promised one thing even though they knew it to be false. Hepner was just conducting politics as it succeeds in British Columbia.

    Does the fault lie with her, or with us?

    • Excellent point. And one worth reflecting on. Excuses are a dime a dozen but voters keep believing promises… and the excuses.

      That voters either not vote, or put very little effort into determining what or who to vote for, is a huge issue and one that politicians count on in order to get re-elected. And it works. Over and over again.

  3. Reblogged this on scott4whiterock and commented:
    An excellent post from Laila Yuile about Elections and Candidates making empty promises that they never plan to keep. In White Rock, we know this all too well as Mayor Baldwin has broken the majority of this election promises with this first year. He promised to preserve single family areas yet 5 towers are now planned for just such an area at Thrift and Oxford. Wayne promised more open local government and show more respect for the public, yet at last nights Council Meeting he called in the RCMP to remove a speaker who, during her comments at the Public Hearing on a proposed 12000 sq-ft monster home, stated her opinion about the project which the Mayor did not like. So much for respecting the public and our single family areas and maintaining White Rock’s unique character.

  4. Outstanding. Politicians ARE the canaries in the coal mine. The more they go off script the more we are all doomed…

  5. Pingback: Mayor Linda Hepner breaks LRT election promise | Better Surrey Rapid Transit

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