Special for the Common Sense Canadian
The Campbell Liberals’ decision to proceed with Site C is almost as bad as their Harmonized Sales Tax scam because it’s obvious from the content of the Site C announcement that it’s premature – before the proper studies have been done – and so is mainly a PR ploy to try to distract public attention away from the popular revolt against the HST.
Furthermore, the way Premier Gordon Campbell was obviously trying to use the Site C issue to position himself into a province-building legacy akin to W.A.C. Bennett’s is further offensive, especially since he has been deconstructing so much of the legacies like B.C. Hydro and BCRail left by previous governments but also because his spending and taxing choices in general have been so regressive.
Those Vancouver school kids demonstrating against underfunding of education were right on: the Campbell crowd can find hundreds of millions of dollars to retrofit a roof for a soccer stadium (and many other dubious spending choices like that) but they won’t find money for school districts to properly fund education, for health boards to properly fund hospitals or for other pressing needs such as welfare and Medicare as well as useful programs such as arts and culture grants.
More recently we have seen a wave of layoffs in the provincial government and it’s no surprise that some of the steepest cuts have come in Ministries such as Environment and Forests that are charged with protecting the public interests while political agencies such as Public Affairs Bureau have generally been spared from such cuts.
It’s clear that the main reason Campbell is doing what he’s doing – bringing in the HST in order to get the $1.6-billion bribe from Ottawa – is to try to minimize his embarrassment over the huge deficit, and especially to try to hide the fact that he lied about the size of that deficit in the previous election campaign, which is unconscionable.
The Site C issue itself is a prime example of Campbell’s deceits: the Campbell Liberals have knowingly misrepresented the state of the province’s energy supplies, claiming we are net importers when really we have an abundance of reliable supplies which we choose to enhance by being clever traders – we import power from Alberta when it’s cheap and we export power to the U.S. when it’s highly profitable.
I am not opposed to economic growth and expansion of power supplies, and I’d even support Site C provided it can be fairly proven to be safe from the engineering perspective and viable from environmental and community perspectives, but I am very opposed to Campbell pushing it ahead prematurely for primarily partisan reasons.
So what we have is Campbell trashing the public interest in many ways and many areas in order to vainly try to rescue his own political reputation. It is disgusting. He must go.
If you haven’t signed the HST petition yet you should ensure you do so well before the July 5 deadline regardless of how you feel about the petition proponent Bill Vander Zalm, whose own record is checkered. That’s because the issues are bigger than the personalities involved, and a vote against the Campbell Liberals’ mismanagement of the HST can also be – and should be – a vote against his mismanagement of many other issues too.