The day started innocently enough: hot coffee, a scroll through the news and then I saw this:
In an interview with the Alaska Highway News last week, Clark said governments are facing increased pressure when it comes to massive industrial projects such as Site C, one of the most expensive public projects in modern history.
“I think it will be the country’s last major dam,” Clark said.
“It’s getting harder and harder to build dams in the country. The folks who would say ‘no’ to everything are getting more and more active all the time. It’s just getting harder and harder for governments to say yes to very difficult projects like this.
“And there were a lot of people who told me that we should not approve Site C, for all the typical reasons. We went ahead with it despite the fact it was hard. But I think it’s getting harder and harder for politicians to get the courage to confront the forces of no,” she said
But there is more. The full transcript of that interview can be read here: http://www.alaskahighwaynews.ca/regional-news/q-a-premier-christy-clark-1.2242019 ,but here are the two questions that caught my attention and I’ll tell you why in a moment.
I’m really pleased to see someone ask her about Muskrat Falls, a dam project back east that’s become a financial fiasco I’ve written about several times.
Seriously, it’s such a disaster that the ceo of Newfoundlands energy company stepped down recently and the new CEO hasn’t tossed the idea of stopping the project altogether.
Why? It’s so far over budget and deadline that you can’t even see the light from the original estimates. It’s so bad that in December, premier Dwight Ball called a comprehensive, independent review that would open the books “to assess the project’s cost, schedule and risk factors.”
A similar kind of independent review that all BC Hydro projects have to go through here in BC before starting, to avoid this kind of financial disaster before it gets started. If you’ve followed my posts covering the ongoing BC Utilities Commission hearings on the WAC Bennett Dam repairs, you’ll see the kind of thorough examination the commission gives these projects.They cover finances,estimates,contracts,rationale etc. They are the only check and balance the taxpayers have when it comes to these project. And they have turned down past governments efforts to build Site C not once, but twice.
So when I see interviews like this – and I have seen many in the last year in particular- where Premier Clark, or Energy Minister Bill Bennett, or Hydro CEO Jessica Mcdonald talk about about how much planning,studying and reviews have been done without anyone questioning those statements, it bothers me.
It bothers me because the public is left with the impression that all the risk is gone,that the government has done their work when in fact, they have completely evaded the single most important part of the process they set in place themselves to protect taxpayers! And they did because they knew that the BC Utilities Commission would never, in a million years, approve Site C on the third try.
Yet these statements are allowed to stand.
Their bafflegab and bluster is allowed to remain part of the public record. And that is wrong. They should be counter questioned on this every single time.
This same government has allowed the ministry of mines and energy to become a political tool. Mt.Polley is a good example. Site C is another. The damning report of the auditor general should give everyone living downstream from a mining operation concern because it confirmed what many have known for a long time. Not enough funding,not enough staff,not enough enforcement and compliance. Not enough funds collected to fix things when something goes wrong. And Bennett? No honour. Not his problem. He’s not resigning nor is Clark showing leadership and taking him off this file.
Linda Reid, Speaker of the house warns the savior of vulnerable children in this province, Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond of contempt for releasing a report, then suddenly someone tips off the Ministry of Children and Families? Bullying tactics against the woman and office that has worked tirelessly to hold this government to account for ongoing failures involving children in care.
So of course today, in the heat of these two galling stories that clearly show a leadership vacuum like no other in government, in the depth of shock over the terrible fires in Fort McMurray, the premier holds a press conference and announces that because BC is doing so well, you should be too and tosses some money at minimum wage.
But here’s another question or two for the premier, in case they haven’t been asked: If BC is doing so well, why is mining enforcement and compliance in such crappy underfunded condition?
But while the public at large may be fooled some of the time by the smiles and glib,down home remarks about getting to yes, the forces of’ know’, know better.
And we’ll do everything we can to ensure you pay attention, because you can be sure that Premier Clark is counting on you not to.
**Post blog last night, the ruling came came down that Clarks massive pay ‘stipend’ from Liberal party donors, was not a conflict. Not a surprise to anyone, really because our rules are so lax and this government clearly has no regard for doing the right thing.
But the conflict of the ethics commissioner himself in this ruling, was clear to many, particularly when the ruling was leaked to the Libs beforehand….
All I am going to say is this: Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should. And clearly,a large majority of British Columbians agree. If Clark won’t ban corporate and union donations and limit the amount individuals can give, perhaps she could at least approve a new law requiring politicians to wear the logos of their sponsors so we know who we’re actually voting for….
32 thoughts on ““The road to power is paved with hypocrisy and casualties…” Frank Underwood,House of Cards.”
Thanks for this Laila—keep up the good work—we can stop Site C yet !! Garry Worth Kamloops
On Wed, May 4, 2016 at 8:58 PM, Laila Yuile on people, politics and life
Why is it any more wrong to say “NO” to a Government of incompetents with its hand in my pocket to steal money for its friends than it is to say “NO” to a kid stealing candy from the corner store for his?
Indiscriminate use of “YES” has caused a hell of a lot more trouble than “NO” – just look ar the divorce statistics!! Mine included!
Lol.. Rafe, I love your analogies 🙂 But I do agree. It’s not hard to get to YES when things are done right. Sadly as we can see with even the mining report,the public can’t even trust what government policy we do have. Shawnigan Lake anyone? WAC Bennett Dam repairs left for nearly a decade?
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A recent quote from Warren Buffet:
“If you’re looking for a manager, find somebody that’s intelligent, energetic and has integrity…if they don’t have the last, be sure they don’t have the first two. If you have somebody who lacks integrity, you want them to be dumb and lazy.”
I’d say our Premier is anything but lazy… unfortunately.
The BC Members’ Conflict of Interest Act provides in part:
“19 (1) A member who has reasonable and probable grounds to believe that another member is in contravention of this Act or of section 25 of the Constitution Act may, by application in writing setting out the grounds for the belief and the nature of the contravention alleged, request that the commissioner give an opinion respecting the compliance of the other member with the provisions of this Act.”
“21 (3) If the request for an opinion is made under section 19 (1), the commissioner must report his or her opinion to the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly who must cause the report to be laid before the Legislative Assembly if it is in session or, if not in session, to the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly who must send a copy of it to all members of the Legislative Assembly.”
The Conflict Commissioner apparently gave his report on MLA Eby’s request to the BC Liberals, and released it publicly at about 7PM on May 04, 2016.
On May 02, 2016 the Speaker of the House Linda Reid issued a letter of rebuke to the BC Representative for Children and Youth including this statement:
“As an Officer of the Legislature, your decision to proceed with a premature disclosure of this report prior to a formal tabling in the Legislative Assembly was an egregious action, disrespectful and inconsistent with your position’s statutory reporting relationship with the Legislature and a contempt of Parliament.”
Where is Linda Reid’s letter of rebuke to the Conflict Commissioner?
David Eby has written to Speaker Linda Reid informing him that the Commissioner told him last night he found the suggestion he had leaked the report offensive, and that he had forwarded it to the Speaker and no one else. Mr. Eby is asking for an investigation of how then the Premier’s professional head of issues management appeared to know when the report would be tabled, and have details of the report before he did.
Also, Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has written Linda Reid demanding a retraction of her statements describing her conduct as egregious, disrespectful and contempt of Parliament.
Ms. Reid will be busy for a couple of days.
Actually, I think she’s very lazy. Too lazy to represent her constituents in West Kelowna. The only time she shows up there is when there’s a good photo-op, and then she’s too lazy to drive up there, or take the time to board a commercial flight. She hires a private jet, at taxpayers expense.
She’s also very dumb, as the above interview clearly shows. If that doesn’t prove how dumb she is, it at least proves what a big liar she is. If being a good liar requires intelligence, then perhaps I’m wrong, but I don’t think so.
Hi Laila, only my 2nd post here. I am getting so disgusted, and alarmed, over this Liberal Government. I am not a fan of the NDP, nor the Greens. I made the mistake of watching the live feed from the Legislature about the time Clarky won the election. I am not sticking up for the NDP, but it seems the Opposition has the odds against them in respect to getting their messages out. I mean coverage by the MSM. No matter what party is the official Opposition, at this present time, the Liberals seem to own pretty much everything in BC. Christy’s family ties to the conflict commissioner, the RCMP seem to side with the Liberals ( BC Rail, the upcoming Ethnogate trial, the Health Dept firings).
In all honesty, the Liberals are not far off from then way Putin runs Russia, in my humble opinion. The media here reports what the Liberals want them to say. Given the deaths in the Children’s Ministry, and the poor soul who took his own life in the health firings scandal, I say the MSM in BC have blood on their hands. If ONE person took their life under the NDP’s watch, it would be headlines for the next 4 years.
I have been replying to posters (Digital Influencers) on the Sun, Province, CBC. It is so easy to nail them by pointing out BC has the highest debt ever, also the highest child poverty, 2nd lowest funding per student for education, in all of Canada. But it does not do anything.
Alone, I can’t get rid of the Liberals. I don’t know what to expect from the NDP. Even if they had the money to run huge TV ads, games would be played. I have written to every single Liberal MLA, voicing concerns on issues. All politely written. I have contacted Carol James, David Eby,
John Horgan. They have all responded with some valid points.
But I’m getting very worried that Clarky will get in again. And the media will help. The only thing the Libs can not control, is the feed from the Legislature, and blogs on the internet. But getting the people of BC to watch, or record the action from the Legislature is almost impossible.
I was sort of hoping the news that some School boards are refusing to pass balanced budgets might be a trend, and that enough of them did that, people might start to rise against the Libs.
That appears to have died down, or the media has been told to bury it. I am praying against all odds here, but I would love it if someone came forward, with some massive dirt on Clark, and gave it to the NDP. Big enough that she would be doomed as leader, and big enough that a full on police investigation would have to be done.
I honestly feel the reason that Coleman, Dejong, Lake and others won’t do anything, is because Clark has something on every one in that Liberal Caucus. I am SO SORRY for the length of this post. I just needed to vent. The public in BC owe you a debt of gratitude Laila, for what you do for us.
My one last question. What do you think it will take for Clark’s house of cards to fall down?
With warmest regards, and respect,
Rather than being sorry for the length of your comment, you should be sorry for not being aware of her incompetence from the beginning and for voting her in – it is because of others like you that we’re heading for the financial toilet. However there is a silver lining in that you have now learned a lesson, hopefully not to repeat the same mistake expecting different results from these LibCons.
Where the HELL did you get the idea I voted for the Liberals? People LIKE ME that let her IN?
I was aware of her incompetence, and Gordo’s failures. I’m to blame that the province is heading for the financial toilet/ You MORON. HOW DARE you speak to me this way. We lost a newborn in the hospital because a pediatric surgeon could not get there fast enough. He was covering 5 hospitals at the time. Cut backs because of ripped funding from the Liberals.
I’ve learned a lesson all right, to treat people like you like the complete low life you are.
I came on here with respect for all the posters, especially Laila. You have opened a wound in my family that NEVER healed, and if you were a decent person, you would apologize.
I pray we never meet in the real world friend, I really do.
Kerry,first and foremost, I am so,so sorry for your families loss. My heart goes out to you, and if there is anything remotely good to come from what you’ve gone through and now shared here, let it be that people know there are massive,irreversible consequences to decisions made in an office somewhere by a person who likely has little other experience other than being a manager.
I appreciate your opinions and they matter to me. It’s ridiculous for anyone to assume who someone voted for based on a post as heartfelt and honest as your original comment, and this. Do not let this one person stop you from sharing your concerns, fears or anything else.
Jpierre33 is in the wrong here. Remember what they say about what happens when you ‘assume’ something jpierre. You make an ass out of U and me.
Kerry I hope you post again. I really appreciated what you have to say.
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Bless you Laila, thank you for the wonderful words you have written. People, family and fiends like you have made a big difference, and helped a gigantic obstacle be smaller in reality.
I will most surely post again, and look forward to your fantastic posts, particularly when it pertains to the most vile and heartless politician this province has ever had.
Again, than you for your warm words, they meant more than you can know.
Kerry, it’s good to see people such as yourself joining the growing wave of pushback against this corrupt government.
Please keep it going — and finds ways of sharing with others who may not know about BC’s political blogosphere. (I sometimes leave little print-outs at coffee bars and on community bulletin boards — and I certainly reference the blogsites when I post in the Province, Sun and Globe & Mail.) Each of the bloggers have a list of their favourites that they visit; sort of cross-pollination. Laila’s “Blogroll” is on the lower-right of her page. My faves are Laila’s, Harvey Oberfeld’s at http://harveyoberfeld.ca/blog/ and Norm Farrell’s at https://in-sights.ca.
We’ll see you in the blogosphere!
Aha! But the difference between Muskrat Falls and site C as Chrispy points out: Site C is “on time and on budget”, just like every other project the Lieberals have been involved in. (Convention Centre, Stadium roof, Northwest transmission line, etc, etc) Not that its difficult to attain when the budgets and schedules are floating targets.
And as to her Liberal pay stipend, Unfortunately, many single mothers have to work two jobs in this day and age to make ends meet.
Speaking of “Christy” and “ethics” .
How about this latest article in the Tyee……..
Yes it’s rather sad that so many people aren’t aware of who rules that roost. Rennie has far too much influence in political process in this province
CC says: “BC Hydro’s debt is ratepayer supported. It’s not classed the same as taxpayer-supported debt.”
This from the same person who rode the coattails of ‘there is only one taxpayer’ Campbell into office in 2001.
Full marks to CC4BC for the sleight-of-hand effort though.
That she isn’t aware of the issues surrounding Muskrat Falls, as the premier who has vowed to get Site C past the point of no return, is alarming beyond words. Considering they are issuing more RFPS for the spillways now? Insane.There are still court cases before the courts and more federal permits are required.
BTW, more bad news on LNG http://business.financialpost.com/news/energy/royal-dutch-shell-plc-casts-fresh-doubt-on-b-c-lng-project-due-to-funding
According to Moody’s, “the AAA credit assessment largely reflects the province’s full ownership of BC Hydro and virtually all its debt,” which the credit rater “views as linking the credit quality of BC Hydro closely to that of the government shareholder.”
Want to run that by us again Christy?
Every time I write a post about Photo-op, my bile rises and I get an attack of acid reflux.
Gone, now are the plain brown manila envelopes stuffed with cash slipped under a door, now it is an annual $50K stipend, paid by laundered money through the BC Liberal party.
When corruption becomes a blatant perk, the gangsters have taken over government.
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At least the Site C dam is good debt, not pissing money away on the homeless.
Your comment shows your ignorance of both issues.
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..and is it a “good debt” specifically because it prevents you personally from being homeless?
And therein lies the problem Ladies and Gentlemen.
When people( and govts) consider debt “good”
Incompetant financial fools and their opinions shouldnt even be heard let alone seen.
In that vein of thought……..Let me guess cornbroom, you just “financed” a new house at the peak of the market and at historically low interest rates…..what could possibly go wrong with that “good” debt?
I’m interested in your assessment of Site C “good debt”. Could you help us out with the figures you must have that explain exactly how and when this debt will be repaid? What is the business plan, and can you provide a link to it please?
BTW, homelessness is not a discretionary line item. A societal obligation exists to deal with it; unlike an unneeded megaproject.
Let us allow cornbroom to continue with his terrific one liners. Sooner or later he will lead us to his slightly brighter brethren who hacked this house a few weeks ago.
That I would like to see very much…..
B.C. is going to go bankrupt if the spending on useless things like Site C go ahead. it ought to be fun watching that at some level. business brought to you by the ones who know how to do business…….right.
The decision by the conflict commissioner is just so much ash and pollution. His son works for Christy. Who believes his decision anyhow. Skimming from the take of a political fund raising event just stinks on ice.
while Christy is going ahead building Site C this evenings news told the story of two senior women who are homeless because their rental was being sold for development. (they were financially stable and both had incomes) They’re now living in a homeless shelter. How many more people will go homeless because of the unrestrained buy and selling and driven by foreign buyers. Christy does nothing and there is no housing for those who are being expelled from their rentals. How long will this go on for.
The next news item we ought to be concerned about is the line up of ambulances at hospitals. A health authority mouthpiece saying, we have line ups. Yes, now what is the government going to do about it. These health authorities cost a fortune but do very little beyond explain away issues the B.C. Lieberal cabinet minister ought to be held responsible for.
The B.C. LIeberals have not been forthcoming about B.C.’s real financial condition and the MSM hasn’t been doing its job. If they are short of reporters or too lazy to do the work, they could just buy the posts from some of the bloggers and have all the information they will ever need. The real issue here is keeping a lid on information until the next election, when Christy will most likely have another majority and the majority of us will have nothing.
I heard yesterday on CBC TV news that the Fort McMurray devastation may reach the $9 Billion mark. That’s a rough match for Site C… before unforeseen overages (perhaps in both cases.)
Certainly, the rebuilding of Fort Mac will be more pressing. A LOT of construction workers, machines and materials will be needed there.
This would be a perfect time for Christy to say, “Ya know… we’re going to take a break on Site C for a bit, so we can concentrate on helping our neighbours rebuild. This would make her look like a great, magnanimous politician.
Many of her builder-friends wouldn’t be hurting, as they could switch back to their home province. Site C protestors could relax, the NDP could take the powder out of their cannons… and Christy could skate to another victory.
I don’t think she’ll do it — but it could be a wise and devious move. If Site C goes ahead full-steam, you can bet there will be a push for temporary foreign workers to fill the void.
Aw G, Barry, take it easy on the girl. She already pledged 300k to the Red Cross for Fort McMurray. That’s the equivalent to a fundraiser and two jet trips, ya know.
On the other hand, I wonder if this will be another pledge unfulfilled.
May the fores of NO lying ,contempt,deceit deflect,delete,deny, be with you.!
Dont trust a politician who bypasses BCUC.Or bypasses a new tunnel for a bridge.
Dont live a lie BC.
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