Common Sense Canadian
 

Rafe: Christy’s oily legacy is the stain that can’t be cleaned, as climate plan revelation reminds us

Posted September 20, 2017 by Rafe Mair in Politics
Share

Photo: Province of BC/Flickr CC Licence

In 1988,  a year before the Iron Curtain fell, I was in Budapest and after a stroll I went back to my group in the hotel and said this: “Folks, this regime is in trouble…when I was in the main square, the money changers were doing their deals bold as brass right under the nostrils of the police. When moneylenders in a communist country lose fear, respect, call it what you will, authority is in trouble.”

I really had no premonition that 10 moths later, that ironclad border which passed through to Austria would be as open as the Ambleside Seawall on a Sunday afternoon.

People are that way. Where they will hide their actions at one point, the more time that passes, the more caution is fluttering off in the breeze. I thought of that when I read the National Observer yesterday and was horrified to find myself about to upchuck my Cheerios at a sight I thought was out of my life – the admittedly pretty face of the last premier, her full toothed, ear-to-ear grin of self satisfaction at something agreeably trivial.

What now, for the sake of sanity, was she back for? And what was the Observer, which had the guts to tell her to get stuffed when she was in office, doing with that god damned – forgive me, I lost my head – picture, hard hat and all?

It was a good story. The first line says it:  

Environmentalists expressed shock and outrage on Monday over revelations from internal documents that suggested that British Columbia’s plan to tackle climate pollution was written in the boardrooms of big oil and gas companies in Alberta.

The story was broken by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – sort of. In fact, the Vancouver Observer tentatively broke the story in February, 2014 when they did a feature on the Tar Sands and told how Postmedia was holding hands with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. I got in the act, penning a series of editorials on the relationship between big media and big oil, including a similar deal between the Postmedia-owned Vancouver Province and Resource Works, the shills for the Woodfibre LNG project.

Now, patience dear readers, none of this is what I’m on about. The media, the oil companies and governments, federal and provincial, are thicker than thieves – in fact, they are thieves. It’s rather got down to this: it’s hard to set a thief to catch a thief when the whole bloody lot are thieves. No, my sights are where they’ve been for some years – on a provincial government that from the moment they took office were corrupt.

Now, I was scarcely the first journalist to notice this or to chronicle it. From the time Damien Gillis and I became colleagues in The Common Sense Canadian we had an outlet and were able to provide it to others. It’s a pretty narrow band, to be sure, but the alternatives are narrow too, and not many.

What we must all wake up to is that before our very eyes the provincial treasury and the treasuries of the two main Crown Corporations, the jewels in the Crown, BC Hydro and ICBC are in disrepair unto ruin.

A number of people have chronicled the several tales which have resulted in the complex fraud perpetrated on the public. I have no desire to pick jockeys and steeds for special attention and there have been many facets to the debacle. Few would disagree that Norm Farrell has been the main master chronicler, with other specialists in different areas. When you consider that BC Hydro includes Site C, political pay-offs, draining public assets into private pockets, environmental carnage and international trade shenanigans, there’s been more than enough chronicling to share, with the provincial debt and ICBC left over, not to mention countless associated shell games.

What is not missing are victims all the way from Hydro being cheated in its hugely overpriced energy purchases in sweetheart deals for independent power projects.

What surely is not missing is the miscreants who plotted and profited.

No, it was the hard hat, the cheerful visage, the Pepsodent smile about to burst into happy songs for all the happy kiddies to join in that did it. Something snapped. Doesn’t anyone have to pay for the party? Even a little bit?

Is this all a 16-year victimless serial crime? Is it just that the Campbell/Clark – not government, for God’s sake, perhaps frolic is the word – brought our youth back, eternal laughing youth, where Santa Claus was really in charge? Nothing cost anything because a guy in a 3 piece suit always methodically intoned yet another balanced budget; where the cash piled up in the corner was real stuff but the bills just took Monopoly money?

Were there no laws because there weren’t any bad people meaning no policemen and empty jails?

And it came to me, this was the punishment. Of course, the victims paid, and the crooks got to laugh endlessly in our faces at our stupidity.

So that was it – we all have to look at that fucking hard hat and the mocking smile for eternity.

And since our stupidity was unbelievable, it just goes on…and on…and on.

And there it is, the perfect crime.

When may we do it again, huh? Christy?

Share

About the Author

Rafe Mair

Rafe Mair, LL.B, LL.D (Hon) a B.C. MLA 1975 to 1981, was Minister of Environment from late 1978 through 1979. In 1981 he left politics for Talk Radio becoming recognized as one of B.C.'s pre-eminent journalists. An avid fly fisherman, he took a special interest in Atlantic salmon farms and private power projects as environmental calamities and became a powerful voice in opposition to them. Rafe is the co-founder of The Common Sense Canadian and writes a regular blog at rafeonline.com.

13 Comments


  1.  
    nonconfidencevote

    Yep. I’m just waiting for the Duchess of Dunbar to raise her smirking visage toward the camera….any camera and spin spin spin.
    She cant help it plus her extravagent lifestyle demands it.
    The Real Estate industry, a chinese billionaire, who will it be?
    It Glen Clark can become Jimmie Pattisons right hand man……..anything is possible.
    Except, unfortunately….. jail.




  2.  
    Al

    Thank you for another great piece of reading, it is just so depressing I hope someone would write how we can change these regime and make politician accountable and finally how to make them pay for their corruption.
    🙁




  3.  
    Evil Eye

    The BC Liberal Party is not and never was a political party; it was a massive confidence tricksters game, where well groomed con men and women fleeced the taxpayer.

    Political friends were rewarded with railways, rapid transit lines, highways, bridges stadium roofs and more.

    The BC Liberal party made a science out of the fine art of graft.

    When Campbell overstayed his grift, a new, more sinister patron of corruption was elected premier to continue the the well tuned “graft” machine.

    It was all too much, “pay to play” scandal after scandal blatant corruption and much more, caused the voter to vote “other”. Even so, a large portion of the electorate have been bamboozled by the BC Liberals.

    “One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”

    (Carl Sagan)

    And now the con-artist class of BC has a new matron of the grift lined up, a former mayor of Surrey who is well versed in the fine art of graft and corruption.

    The charlatans of the BC Liberal party will bamboozle the public once again.




  4.  
    Hal

    Nothing surprises me anymore. They have demonstrated the worst in politics south of the 49th and I’m beginning to believe that BC does not hold politicians to a higher ethical standard. At least the have not for the past 16 years. The jury is still out for the current regime.




  5.  
    Bruce mitchell

    Hopefully this is not the denouement, surely there must be an upshot




  6.  
    Keith Wiley

    Hey, Rafe… why don’t you tell us how you REALLY feel. It is just a shocking story… worthy of Texas. or Louisiana, or Honduras or something. I agree… just outrageous corrupt behaviour… and how many people even know. Good column!




  7.  
    Lew

    And in answer to when we may do it again, Sunday at 1:00PM at the Guildford Sheraton Dianne Watts will say, “Hold my beer.”





Leave a Response


(required)