Campbell/Clark Libs Have No Credibility – HST Promises Meaningless


I commented here last week upon Premier Clark’s silence on all the great issues she faces and questioned what her policies will be. I expect no answer because she wants to put all Gordon Campbell did into the darkest corner of the cupboard. The strategy is “that was then and now is now”; I am Premier Clark and my responsibility started last March 14 when I was sworn in.

This, as I will show, is not so. It started the day she became a Campbell cabinet minister in May 2001.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane but start with a current issue – what does the HST have in common with the environment? The answer to this will weave an unbroken and unbreakable thread back to 2001.

Both the HST end the environment ask public acceptance based upon the credibility of the Campbell/Clark government – a government that has lied through its teeth for the seemingly endless decade-plus they have been in power.

Surely no one, not even the Fraser Institute, believes that the Liberal government will drop the HST to 10% in 2014!

First of all, God’s mercy will see that they’re no longer in power so they won’t be around to keep a pledge they never intended to keep on the first place. If God is just and not merciful, there isn’t a chance that a future Liberal government will keep that promise. In short, Ms. Clark has made a pledge she will never redeem and may never be required to.
All government policy depends upon credibility. Unfortunately, the public has learned to expect some government deceit but usually it’s deceit by way of exaggeration – rather like the gilding of the lily practiced in most societies in order to stay at peace with one another. We learn how to discount the statements made – political statements are expected to have a measure of barnyard droppings mixed in. As former New York governor Mario Cuomo said, “You campaign in poetry and govern in prose.”
But this is different. Big time. We’re talking about major league falsehoods.
I call this government the “Campbell/Clark” government for that’s what it is. Premier Clark participated in the deceit when she was in government, accepted it uncritically when she was a talk show host, and perpetuates it in office by not dealing with it.
It started when Campbell, after holding the NDP to the highest standards of probity, somehow forgot that idealism when he was thrown into jail for drunk driving. Christy Clark, Education Minister, offered not a whisper of criticism. Like all good Liberal toadies, she went along.
He lied about BC Rail, Fish Farms and private power.
With BC Rail, he pledged in two elections including the one that made him premier that he would not privatize BC Rail (as did Ms. Clark, as co-author of the Liberals’ 2001 campaign platform). Of course, he did and Clark went along with him at the time, during her radio career and to this date.
Not a peep out of Clark, on air or in office, as Campbell settled the Basi-Virk case just before he, former Finance Minister Gary Collins, and Sir Hiss, Patrick Kinsella, were to give evidence.
Premier Campbell let fish farms expand exponentially saying that he was following the best science available. The public now knows what opponents of fish farms have always known – the scientist he was listening to was a disgrace to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and a fish farm industry suck. He was out of synch with every fish biologist in the world that deals with this issue. Christy Clark has been silent since the beginning and is silent now.
With private power companies (IPPS) the Campbell/Clark government has uttered nothing but falsehoods. I hate to dwell on poor old former Finance Minister Colin Hansen because he seems to be such a nice guy, but in a video blog the Liberals have now erased, he made half a dozen statements about so-called “run of river” policy that were plainly and simply falsehoods. These falsehoods were not minor little errors – they went to the root of the matter. Ms. Clark has not uttered a word of criticism – or strangely support – of this disastrous policy which even the Vancouver Province called “folly” and which a recent op-ed in the Vancouver Sun, published under the aegis of former Fraser Institute “fellow”, Fazil Milhar, roundly criticized.
This policy forces BC Hydro to buy from IPPs power they don’t need and must thus export at a 50%+ loss or use it at double or more what they can make it for themselves. This cost Hydro $600,000,000 last year and this is just the beginning of the reckoning. Not a word from our premier.
We have seen this policy drive BC Hydro to where they would be, if in the private sector, in bankruptcy protection with much worse to come. Not a squeak of criticism or concern from Ms. Clark.

We’ve seen this policy destroy one river, and its ecology, after another yet not a word from the premier at the time the policy was made when she was a cabinet member, later as a talk show host, or now as premier. Premier Clark, a supporter of the Prosperity Mine proposal at Fish Lake, now in charge of energy and the demise of BC Hydro, acts as if nothing was happening. And now she has pipelines and tankers to deal with.
It is critical to understand that pipeline leaks and tanker accidents are not risks but certainties. The Liberal government told the Federal government, in writing, some years ago that it did not oppose super tankers on the coast. In the recent Premiers Conference Ms. Clark hedged on the pipeline issue; she refused to take a stand.
This issue, like the private power issue, has no middle ground as in “you can’t be a little bit pregnant.” All the evidence she ever needs is there in logic – an unfettered risk is a calamity in waiting – and evidence of the colossal negligence of pipeline operators generally and Enbridge specifically. The decision is “yes” or “no” and there will never be more information needed than the premier presently possesses.

Silence implies consent. One of the penalties of consenting to the Liberal record is that no credibility remains.
As it is with the HST, as it is with the disgraceful deceit by this government from the outset, so it must be predicted for the future – an utter lack of credibility.
It is a millstone around Premier Clark’s neck she consented to.

It’s a millstone she can never be rid of.


About 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

6 thoughts on “Campbell/Clark Libs Have No Credibility – HST Promises Meaningless

  1. Yes, Rafe, but her silence doesn’t end with the Keystone X, Enbridge and potential environmental disaster on agricultural land reserves or the Pacific Ocean, but stretches to her 2% rise in fossil fuel prices,despite the need for clean alternative fuel sources, preferably electric or solar. Her total disregard of social housing protests on the D.T.E.S. based on opposition to gentrification by her liberal friends, and the funding denied 12 womens’ groups , which is crucial if Wally Oppal is to unmask the truth about police corruption, targeting Kim Rossmo, in Vancouver during the nineties right up to 2002, are two more examples of Campbell complicity.
    Then there’s her dismal record as an education minister who decimated teachers’ bargaining rights,in the process tacitly approving Campbell’s cuts to 100’s of schools and extra-curricular or special needs programs. The libs. considerable boosts to privatize and deregulate the school and health care systems are probably well documented by the Fraser Institute and the C.C.P.A.both. We all know better when it comes to legitimizing herself in front of the cameras with her cat-like smile: teachers’ strike will expose her.

  2. When the HST papers were pulled from the FOI, they were blank. No information what-so-ever. Firms with Liberal ties awarded to, two secret contracts, in pro HST campaigns. Hmmm, wonder what the BC Liberals are trying to hide? Falcon as usual was on TV, trying to lie his way out of it.

    Christy has said, she may help Sea Span, to win the ship building contract, perhaps by a course on ship building. Rumor has it. Christy has ties with, The Washington Marine Group.

    How much worse is this, evil BC Liberal outfit going to get? They have been, deceitful, corrupt, thieves, and they cheat to win.

    They don’t give a damn about our eco systems. Campbell and Harper have been working together, to force the Enbridge pipeline onto our province. They are going to, force the dirty tankers from, China, the U.S. and England, onto our province and the people. Harper rewarded the criminal Campbell, with a cushy job as High Commissioner to England. He is to promote the dirty tar sands. Europe is furious with England, as Europe had a ban on the dirty crude. England has broken their word.

    We will have to rethink. How many dirty oil tankers, will we actually have, in our beautiful coast?

  3. I could almost agree with the first comment about HST and public credibility thus allowing it to fail. However the voters do not count at all with this govt. It is all business. In fact Falcon was in New York assuring business leaders the sky would not fall if the HST did not pass. I believe they will scrap to their last fingernail to keep the HST, unfortunately.
    I also detest the fact that it takes excellent work such as your coverage to highlight the broken BC Hydro and IPP’s. By the time mainstream media gets on it, it is too late, the damage done. They are fairly useless.
    Thank You all, at Common Sense Canadian

  4. Modern governments do not care much what their constituents think and haven’t for a long time. Modern governments only care if you are “for them” or “against them”.

    This present provincial government is looking for some credibility with voters; of this there can be no doubt.
    How to gain credibility with the voters in BC? I have been asking myself this question lately because the HST could be the answer. There are so many on all sides of the political spectrum unhappy with either the implementation or the result of that implementation the HST will surely fail.

    I am convinced that this government will allow the HST to fail by a narrow margin. This way they can make the press release something like this;

    “It is un-fortunate that the present British Columbian voter decided to return to the old taxation system as this will make the province uncompetitive. But by allowing the people to have a choice this clearly shows that the government is willing to listen to the people.”

    It might go something like that… I can just hear them now, shoveling it off the back of the truck….need a shower yet?

  5. I fondly recall when then NDP Leader Mike Harcourt stepped down over Bingogate prior to the Liberals rise….funny well now its Ms. Clark with some orchestrated help was elected in a safe riding and refused to a public debate. Wow just cant wait for the election…as far as the HST its a no brainer….its a start of the Lie berals decline into history!

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