BC Election 2017: Promises, lies & integrity.Which will matter to BC Voters?

After a gorgeous weekend gardening with the Snowbirds and the CF-18 practicing overhead, the rain has returned and politics is once again on the agenda for both politicians and die-hard poli-watchers alike. While the official writ drop announcing the election just happened last week, the BC Liberals had already been campaigning for a month, courtesy of the non-stop ‘BC government’ funding announcements  that had even seasoned reporters shaking their heads.

On one day alone, 30 press releases were sent out, all announcing funding or grants of some kind. March saw double the announcements over February as the governing BC Liberals used government resources to unofficially campaign prior to the election.

Legal? Yes. Ethical? No. In fact the use of government resources and funding launched a legal action in an effort to recoup some of the $16 million dollars estimated to have been spent on partisan government ads that benefitted the BC Liberals right before an election. Even the provincial Auditor General agreed the ads were too political and partisan, but since we live in the Wild West where anything goes in politics, any action now is too little, too late.

Welcome to BC Election 2017, the magical land of promises, lies and feigned indignation. A land where the property transfer tax courtesy of last years insane real estate market quietly replaced the trillion dollar LNG prosperity fund  promised in 2013…that never happened. 

A land where governing BC Liberals carefully calculated how much and how long they could cut services or underfund programs before graciously announcing how happy they are to give what was taken back now… when they need your vote.

The land where once every 4 years your government suddenly cares about what your issues are… not because it’s the right thing to do,or good policy… but simply because they need your vote again. In fact, I recently tweeted that very sentiment, encouraging parties to up their game and try to actually EARN those votes instead of buying them or bullying them.

https://storify.com/lailayuile/once-every-4-years-your-government-suddenly-cares-

It’s all a bit much and very much a factor in the voter malaise that seems to be increasing instead of decreasing. Voters are bombarded with ads… even my children are complaining about the ads on video’s they watch on Youtube! Promises promises, jobs, economy, promise. To the average person, it can all seem very chaotic and with all parties making claims left right and centre, it’s hard for anyone to get to the heart of what the truth  really is without sitting down to do the research. And the Liberals know full well most people are too occupied with life to do that. So over the next few weeks I’ll be taking a look at all parties promises to see if they add up…or what they are leaving out.

Here is an example. BC Liberal candidates often make the claim the Clark government are excellent fiscal managers that have a balanced budget.

What they won’t talk about? That the reason the budgets have balanced is a combination of cuts to funding and services, combined with things like forcing BC Hydro to borrow millions of dollars in order to pay the government dividends from profits they don’t have. 

That’s correct. They have been taking from Peter to pay Paul, at taxpayers expense…and BC Hydro’s.

While the BC Liberals continue to make claims of being excellent economic stewards, no fiscal conservative can justify or defend how the action above has contributed to crippling BC Hydro debt that threatens the provinces credit rating. Nor can they explain why it was done for so long. They are still doing it!

As recently as January, Rob Shaw covered this in the Times Colonist: 

But projects like Site C are pushing up B.C. Hydro’s debt levels, and adding to concerns about the province’s overall “high debt burden” compared to its peers, Moody’s also wrote in its credit opinion.

B.C. Hydro’s debt has increased from $8.1 billion in 2008 to a projected $18.1 billion last year, and there is a further $20 billion expected in the future for infrastructure projects, a $2-billion annual upgrade program and the Site C dam.

“The anticipated increase in debt continues to pressure the province’s rating since it raises the contingent liability of British Columbia,” wrote Moody’s, which has expressed similar concerns the past three years. Hydro’s debt is ultimately backstopped by taxpayers if the situation worsens, noted Moody’s.

I’ve also seen BC Liberals state that the NDP and Greens aren’t standing up for the people working at Site C by promising to stop it, or put it before the BCUC for review… but when questioned,those same critics refuse to discuss why the Liberals aren’t standing up for the interests of 1.9 million BC Hydro customers who were denied the assurance of the BC Utilities Commissions review… and will ultimately pay for Clarks reckless endeavor via even higher rates.

Even groups like Resource Works are putting out cherry picked information on twitter that the Joint Review Panel said there were benefits to Site C, yet refuse to acknowledge that the Joint Review also recommended the project be sent to the BC Utilities Commission because they had no ability or mandate to review the numbers, nor could they see the need on BC Hydros timeline .

All these issues matter. They matter to me and should matter to you because it’s what isn’t commonly known or talked about that will ultimately break the bank.

This kind of financial recklessness of taking from ICBC while ICBC raises rates and forcing BC Hydro to borrow millions to give them even more, has got to stop. And when it stops, that revenue needs to come from somewhere…but no one wants to talk about that either. Nor is the premier or her team being questioned on this.

I have noticed that in the press, the NDP’s John Horgan and Andrew Weavers Greens are immediately asked how they will pay for their latest promises, and rightly so.

But I don’t see , nor have I seen in the past,those same questions given to the premier or any of her cabinet on any number of promises or announcements that have been made over the last month. In some instances the money was in fact new funding, in others the government simply re-announced old funding,trying to make it look new. They were making so many announcements that in one case in Maple Ridge, they announced a million dollars in funding to a youth shelter that had closed two years earlier!

This is why I tell readers to question everything. You really have to. These election games are used every election for one good reason and that is because they still work.. voters need to pay attention.

Both the NDP and the Greens have some excellent points in their platforms. In fact where one party is weak, the other party is strong and vice versa, which really makes things interesting. I don’t believe the Greens can form government, but I do think they are a force to be reckoned with and while some say I’m crazy, I think there is a good chance to see a minority government forming. And while the Liberals need to go, that doesn’t mean you should stop questioning their opponents!

This is where I need to make myself perfectly clear. I cannot condone or support in any manner a Liberal government with Christy Clark as premier. They have refused repeatedly to ban big money, the largest and most insidious influence on any and every government. They have rewarded donors with large contracts, in some cases direct award, which has been reported on several times in the last few months. They have gone to incredibly long and bizarre lengths to drag out the health firings travesty in which one man committed suicide. Destroyed information. Gone to extraordinary lengths to keep information hidden from public view. And at one point, removed the penalties for document destruction just days before a staffer was charged…

screenshot-2017-02-27-at-12-19-30-pm

It’s all documented. Reported on. And verifiable. Read the embedded links referred to in this post.

But Premier Clark and her well staffed and monied war room know full well how to campaign around all of it, despite the cracks that are showing when rich and powerful men whine on twitter about the NDP resorting to class warfare… The current government has shown many times in the past 4 years that they have lost all moral authority to govern.

One can almost smell the fear in the air…moreso from those who stand to benefit the most from another Liberal win, and I can tell you this much… it’s not you or I who benefits if that happens.

Promises, lies or integrity – which one will matter to voters on May 9th?

“Another promise, another scene,
Another package lie to keep us trapped in greed
With all the green belts wrapped around our minds
And endless red tape to keep the truth confined
(So come on)

Rise up and take the power back, it’s time that
The fat cats had a heart attack, you know that
Their time is coming to an end
We have to unify and watch our flag ascend..”

19 thoughts on “BC Election 2017: Promises, lies & integrity.Which will matter to BC Voters?

  1. Fred Flores

    Good summary, Laila, I would only add, as to how will Horgan pay for his projects, it seems simple enough to me to use funds not spent any further on the Site C damn project.

    I pray voters everywhere in BC realize the Peace must be saved. As stated on the TAKE ACTION page, “Folks such as Ken and Arlene Boon are third-generation grain and hay farmers in the Peace River Valley, growing everything from cantaloupes and grapes to tomatoes and corn. It’s Class 1 farmland, the best there is in B.C.

    “My grandpa chased the BC Hydro people away when they asked him to sell the farm decades ago to make way for Site C,” says Arlene. “I look out every day and see the same view that my grandpa saw when he was here. That sort of thing is priceless.”

    Bottom line: No need for the dam – forget a petion, it’s TIME TO VOTE.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I am afraid. I am very afraid. Why?

    Because the voting public seems to swing on single and simple issues. Christy’s message is simple. “I am offering bribes.” We, the great unwashed, understand that.

    If not money, did someone have sex? Was a tax levied? Are we building a wall or dropping a bomb? It has to be sound-bite size.

    More subtle and nuanced matters like broken promises, neglect of duties and bad decisions that benefit cronies seems to float over Joe Public’s interest or comprehension.

    The majority of the voting public swings on a slogan (make America great again) or a symbol (fast ferries) or some Weiner taking naked photos of himself.

    HST, for gawds sake! If the issue has big words or more than two acronyms (BCH, ICBC, BCUC) involved, Joe tunes out. If the issue requires thinking, judgment or reflection, Joe doesn’t vote.

    The opposition needs to keep their message simple and catchy: “Throw the crooks out!”. “Make BC honest again!” “No tolls, No lies, No phony smiles”
    “Flush them!” Or, at the very least, both the Greens and the orange should be singing the same song and working together. And that ain’t gonna happen in time.

    So, I am afraid. I am very afraid.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. e.a.f.

    the B.C.lieberals have mired this province in debt which will take decades to eliminate. they talk about a balanced budget, however ,when crown corporations are in debt to the tune of billions we do not have a balanced budget. Its like saying I’m debt free because my line of credit and credit cards have been paid off but don’t pay any attention to the huge mortgage I’m carrying. That mortgage will come due and payments have to be made. If interest rates go up we might not be able to make the mortgage payment and once again services will be cut.

    some may want the jobs at site C, but what are we paying for those jobs. It might be similar to simply award all these workers their salary and be done. At least we won’t have to pay for the material and destruction of the environment. The b.. c. lieberals talk about the jobs at Site C but at what expense to society and the financial well being of the province.

    the b.c. lieberals have built 2 tolls bridges which people can not afford to use. they are running up such huge debts, the b.c. government is going to have to bail them out. How will that improve the economy, health care system, etc. Now Christy clark wants to build 10 lanes to nowhere to benefit communist Chinese corporations, so they can get their ships further up the fraser river. the communist Chinese corporations benefit and commuters who live in Canada have to pay for it. If people don’t take the new bridge the government will have to bail out a third bridge. It would simply be cheaper to take the tolls off the bridges and tax payers who have to go to work can save some money. of course some natural resource corporations might have to pay an extra % on their profits, but hey its time they paid their fair share. the b.c. lieberals give GordonWilson hundreds of thousands of dollars in no bid contracts, the last time to his numbered company. none of this is good business. so its only insiders who benefit and the rest are living pay cheque to pay cheque, frequently having to commute long distances. this may be working for the b.c. lieberal donors but for the rest of us, not so much.

    what will people vote. well its will be interesting to watch where there have been major cut backs in education and closure of schools. if your kids isn’t getting a decent education, some may simply vote for a party which promised to fund public education adequately.

    Like

  4. Len

    1/3 of the fraser river sockeye swim through quesnel lake….as bad as fishfarms,or worse ,didn’t i hear someone say they are goig to protect fraser sockeye….GOOD JOB GUYS….LIES AND BULLSHIT

    Like

  5. Hawgwash

    This is another great piece Laila; one that I can share without having people rolling their eyes at me. “Here he goes again.”

    Two things have had me scratching my head for a while

    One…what has Martyn Brown so fired up? This is not a criticism. In fact, I am enjoying his anti-Clark aggression but I still wonder why. What’s his motive?

    Having been Gordon Campbell’s right hand man, his number one cheerleader and a huge part of the Liberal machine, what happened? His praise of Campbell and declaration that Gordo was an honest man, whilst nuking Clark, is hard to swallow. Is there some personal crap between him and Clark? Does he fear future negative personal exposure should an all-out enquiry take place? What gives?

    Two…a while back, when it was announced that Bryce Casavant would run for the NDP against the Green Weaver in Oak Bay, I expressed surprise. My take at that time was that Mr. Casavant didn’t stand a chance against the Greens in that riding and he would surely have stood a better chance running closer to home in the Comox Valley. I also believed then, and still do, that the NDP were giving up on both Comox and Bryce.

    My puzzlement grew this weekend when I spent some time in the Oak Bay, Gordon Head riding and noted Green yard signs by the bucket load and only one NDP.

    My conclusion is that the NDP don’t want Mr. Casavant to win.
    He has name recognition, little “h” hero status and a sympathy following that the NDP could gain attention with but I’m guessing they might fear Bryce could be a Young Turk that needs time to learn the ropes before a straight jump into party politics.

    Otherwise, I see no rational explanation for the choices made by the NDP on this one

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laila Yuile

      Good observations and questions.

      Lets start here with the amount of severance paid to Martyn Brown and other senior staff let go after Clark became premier. https://thetyee.ca/Blogs/TheHook/BC-Politics/2011/04/28/ClarkSever/

      And then move onto this…http://www.strategicthoughts.com/record2012/ReadBrown.html

      Sour grapes? Axe to grind some say. Either way I have not hopped on the Brown train of thought for the same concerns you echo. I see several Gordon Campbell supporters openly supporting the NDP and calling for Clarks head. My interpretation particularly with the above back history is that they are willing to lose this election to the NDP to have a 4 year rebuild of their party which would include a leadership race and ousting of Clark by the fiscal conservatives in the party.

      I’ll never forget the vehemence of which Brown displayed in our segment with McComb in which he defended Campbell, site c and the exemption of it…calling it a good project.

      As for Casavant? You may be right. Bryce would have done very well here, much more so over the current candidate. I was told by a local she was favoured over him because she had run before and put her time in.

      She is a very nice person. Was not at all impressed in the one debate I saw. Too soft. A lot of odd facial expressions while other candidates spoke. Beninger was rude to an audience member and had to apologize. A stronger candidate could have wiped him up easily.

      Like

  6. Hawgwash

    You say;
    “My interpretation particularly with the above back history is that they are willing to lose this election to the NDP to have a 4 year rebuild of their party which would include a leadership race and ousting of Clark by the fiscal conservatives in the party.”

    I say;
    Absolutely and I said the same a few blogs back when another “dipper” was full of angst and naïve about the scruples of the powerful.

    4 years is a short time.
    The Libs have a huge bankroll, as pointed out by the famous Bob Mackin.
    They can light the NDP implosion fuse on April 10, campaign for 4 years and never run out of loot.

    How often have we read of other robbers cleaning out a bank and willingly do time with the money stashed.

    4 years is a very short time.

    Like

    1. If the NDP wins a majority, or a minority, and follow through with their promise to not allow donations from the big spenders, unions and non-residents of BC, what would happen to the BC Liberals war chest that have been accumulating over many years? Would the law be written to divest themselves of the funds with refunds? Or make a donation to charity / non-profit designations?

      Like

      1. Hawgwash

        IF the NDP forms a majority and IF they follow through with the promise, the key will be the effective date. IF they are smart on top of the other two IFs, they will make it retroactive. Otherwise the NDP stays broke while the Libs spend the millions already in reserve.

        Or the Liberals would get it into the court system and stall it for 4 years while they hammered the NDP with the war chest. Then, the next Liberal government would just play the same game all over.

        Right now, I’m not so sure we will see the first IF being a reality.
        They need a rout to get the necessary seats.
        Tough slogging.

        Like

  7. I’ve been wondering about the wisdom of the NDP brass ever since………well, let me just say, for a long, long time. It’s my opinion that the NDP signed their own death warrant when they decided to go with that ‘equity’ method of choosing their candidates. I’ve met a few of their candidates, and aside from Shelley Cook, who’s running against Christy Clark in Kelowna West, I’m not impressed. We have an all candidates forum in my town Thursday night, and wild horses will not keep me from attending. I have not yet made up my mind who I’ll be voting for, but I do know it won’t be the BC Liberal candidate.

    I like John Horgan. I’ve met him on a couple of occasions. I like Andrew Weaver too, though I’ve never spoken to him in person. Either one would make a good Premier, IMO. But the wisdom of the people in NDP headquarters makes me wonder who will really be pulling the strings if Horgan wins. Whose decision was it for Casavant to run against Weaver? I think that is going to be a terrible waste of a promising young politician. Who chose that guy over in the Columbia-Kootenay riding? His bi-sexual claim seemed like such a contrived plan, to me.

    I honestly believe that the decision to nominate candidates who must be in some minority group in order to replace a retiring candidate is going to be their downfall. I don’t think I’m the only one who got turned off when I saw who they were running in False Creek. If that makes me a bigot, so be it.

    Like

  8. Pardon my stupidity but how did Bryce Casavant get the NDP nomination? He (gasp!) is a white male! They are not allowed anymore. White males bad. Or did the No one Dumber Party finally conclude that you can’t fight sexism with sexism? Secondly, I like Casavant for his personal integrity re the bear cubs but anyone who would do that has a major Green streak. Where’s the green integrity when you choose to try and displace Weaver? Makes no sense. Since Casavant is parachuting in, why not parachute to a weak Liberal riding? God knows they all deserve the exit.

    Like

  9. Mike Cleven

    The NDP and their troll-blogsters are currently circulating the BIG FAT LIE that Weaver said he would support the Clark Liberals in a minority in exchange for a cabinet post……and blocking me from groups where I’ve pointed out that is the lie that it is.

    Weaver never said any such thing ; watch the interview:

    http://www.cknw.com/2017/05/04/watch-bc-green-leader-andrew-weaver-joins-steele-drex-live-in-studio/

    what he did say in that interview was a challenge to be asked of Horgan, who was up next, as to whether he would be willing/able to work with the Greens if it’s a minority equation.

    Horgan’s answer has apparently been to get this troops to step up the lie about Weaver allegedly supporting Clark over the NDP

    Trumpism from the left is not a pretty sight.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s