Tag Archives: Gordon Campbell

Order of BC Awards “Reprehensible”


I find it reprehensible that two of the names on the list for the Order of B.C. are people who actively worked to tear apart the environmental and democratic fabric of British Columbia. Gordon Campbell skulked out of his role as premier and one of the most disliked and mistrusted premiers in the history of the province. He lied to the people of British Columbia and set laws in place that stripped away communities’ rights to protect their own environment and will likely bankrupt BC Hydro.

Jim O’Rourke is a miner, and the chairman and director of Compliance Energy Corporation. This company has an eye on the Comox Valley as the next Appalachia of the North to begin coal mining, both underground and open pit. Their mines would be located in the heart of the Comox Valley’s watershed, about three miles uphill of Baynes Sound and one of the most productive oyster growing areas in the world. The coal mines will poison the watershed and contribute over 60 million tonnes of greenhouse gases to an already overstressed atmosphere. The Order of BC recipients are chosen by the Chief Justice, the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, a President of one of BC`s Universities, the President of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities, amongst others. These two choices tell me which direction our government is looking to. They will sell our children’s future in a blind rush to keep themselves in power.

This is a sad day for British Columbia when these two names get put on the same list as great British Columbians like David Suzuki and Rick Hansen.

Tom Wheeler
Fanny Bay, BC

Pinocchio Campbell - detail of Common Sense Canadian cartoon by Gerry Hummel

BC Liberals’ Four Big Lies & Why the Media Ignore Them


From my present vantage point a very long way from home the news briefs and emails I receive are very disturbing. It seems pretty clear that the next premier will bear no scars from his/her involvement with the Campbell administration. Indeed, it almost seems as if the media are already looking back at the Campbell times with a melancholy longing for those great days.

One expects that sort of rubbish from the Liberal Party itself, but from the media?

In due course, before the new leader is nominated, there will be a big banquet for Campbell as if he deserved honour instead of contempt. He will be the man that brought the economy back from those bad old days of socialism and marshaled our resources, blah, blah, blah…

As has been well said, one is entitled to one’s own opinion but not to one’s own set of facts.

Let me try using the truth, leaving the benefits of policy open to everyone’s own opinion. I say to you, however, that on four material issues – issues that go, as the lawyers say, to the root of the matter – the government, either through ministers or the Premier himself, lied. I know that’s a harsh word but how else can one describe falsehoods in the face of clear evidence to the contrary?

Let’s start with BC Rail. The lies are firmly on the record. Campbell, in the 1996 election, to try and save his electoral bacon, promised not to privatize BC Rail. He made the same solemn vow when he was elected in 2000. Not only did he lie, the deal does not, to say the very least, pass the smell test.

Now let’s look at the Campbell lies during the 2009 election about the financial affairs of the province. By almost every reckoning the figure is much higher, but out of caution, the difference in the state of affairs between the 2009 budget and the reality was at least $1 billion and both his toady Finance Minister, Colin Hansen, and the Premier stated that they didn’t have any idea that such was the real state of the province’s finances during the election when they were telling the voters that they were superb trustees of the public purse. This is as impossible to believe as any little boy who’s stolen a candy bar and, with chocolate all over his face, denies it. If the Deputy Finance Minister and his crew of able economists did not know by the time of the 2009 budget that the province was in trouble big time they should all have been sacked. Never mind the subtleties, a look at tax figures, which are readily available on a current basis, would have set alarm bells ringing. I know that from personal experience when my colleague, Finance Minister Hugh Curtis, correctly predicted a year or more in advance the recession of the early 1980s and demonstrated to Cabinet the evidence, which was not rocket science.

The lies by toady Hansen and Pinocchio Campbell on the HST scarcely need repeating. The evidence that they had decided to implement the HST long before they were denying it on the hustings is blatant.

Campbell and Hansen have also lied through their teeth on the broad issues of energy and the environment. I think one reason these bastards are getting away with it is because the series of falsehoods is so egregiously corrupt that normal people have trouble believing it.

Many environmentalists, closer to issues than I, have spoken out on the assault on the Agricultural Land Reserve, the desecration of wilderness, and consequent massive assaults on the atmosphere. Donna Passmore has been tireless and we can only thank providence that she and others like her have their health and dedication.

Rex Weyler, one of the most respected environmentalists on earth is leading a fight against Tar Sands Oil being piped to our South Coast into supertankers. A punctured pipeline or wrecked tankers are not acceptable “risks” – they’re not “risks” at all, in fact, but mathematical certainties. Rex has the full support of The Common Sense Canadian on this front. Our allies on the North and Central Coast, such as the tireless Ian McAllister, are waging a similar battle against the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline from the Tar Sands to Kitimat.

I have no idea how Alexandra Morton keeps going as she fights huge international corporations, both senior governments and an industry that spends millions on sugar-coated lies as she carries on her fight to save our precious salmon from destruction from the impacts of lice and disease infected fish farms. We at The Common Sense Canadian have fought shoulder to shoulder with Alex and the fight goes on.

How to begin the defence of our rivers and the saving of BC Hydro?

Colin Hansen is a good place to start. A particularly telling interview of his is still online.

This is the senior cabinet minister we’re dealing with and every statement he makes in this 1:51 interview is false – I would accuse him of lying but I don’t want to deprive him of the defence of being a damned, easily led fool.

He tells us BC is a net importer of power – we aren’t. Sometimes BC Hydro imports power from its neighbours in Alberta and Washington State, only to sell it back to them at a profit soon thereafter. The fact is that BC is as a rule a net exporter of power. Hansen claims private power plants are little operations that don’t impede the flow the river – it’s “run of the river”. I’m tempted to call this one as it is, a goddamned lie!

These are small sort of Mom and Pop undertakings! Right, Colin, like General Electric, Ledcor and the Dupont family!

This private power will help BC be energy self-sufficient. Honestly, folks, it’s getting very hard to keep my pledge! The short answer to this is that private power is for the most part generated during the Spring run-off when there is sufficient water for them to produce. This is precisely the time BC Hydro doesn’t need power yet they must take it anyway under the agreements they’ve been forced to sign.

Here’s the skinny. BC Hydro must take private power on a “take or pay” basis, meaning it must pay for power it doesn’t need. Now here comes the neat part – the price BC Hydro must pay is 2-3 times what it can export it for! Or about 12 times what it costs them to make it themselves!

I must move on but here’s a little cherry for your martini. Traditionally BC Hydro has paid a dividend to our government to build hospitals, schools and so on. Now they will have no profit so no dividend because all the profits are going to large corporations. Now, even of you still believe the Campbell/Hansen bullshit – try this. BC Hydro has applied for a rate increase, out of your hides so they can give some of it back to you by way of that dividend!

Why has all this happened? God knows – so does Wendy! – how often I’ve asked myself that question. It’s sheer madness! No man or government would do this to their province, would they?

Only one answer makes sense – political philosophy can account for this. This is Milton Friedman stuff. It’s Fraser Institute holy writ! (Fazil Milhar, former senior fellow of The Fraser Institute is the Editor of the editorial page of the Vancouver Sun, which may help us understand the media’s role in this).

It’s Bilderberger, Davos stuff. It’s the New Order, Corporate World. It has nothing whatever to do with the good of the people. The same people bundling sub-prime mortgages, going broke, taking government handouts then paying themselves million dollar bonuses are running things all over the world.

Re-read or read for the first time Thomas Friedman’s The Lexus and the Olive Tree which explains what has happened and did it before it happened.

We have only one chance left – we must throw this government out at the earliest opportunity! No ifs, ands, or buts – this rotten bunch has to go.

It will be tough because they have a strategy – don’t answer any questions by The Common Sense Canadian, Donna Passmore, Rex Weyler, Alex Morton, The Wilderness Committee. Ignore them as if they didn’t exist! Fight the next election on other issues and remember that the folks in the media who used to ask tough questions aren’t asking them any more. Read Vaughn Palmer, Mike Smyth, listen to Bill Good or Christy Clark and tell me when over the past decade any of them covering BC affairs as an editorialist have truly held the government’s feet to the fire on the issues I’ve raised here.

There are only two answers – either all the fighters I’ve mentioned are full of crap, or the fix is in.

The next British Columbia electorate will decide, and for a very long time, whether the province is to be run by corrupt corporate boards with a bought-and-paid-for government or by us.





Dec. 14, 2010

From alexgtsakumis.com

Some time in early November, after the obvious deal cutting between
the B.C. government and co-defendants David Basi and Bob Virk, I
received a phone call from someone close to the prosecution and very
familiar with the BC Liberal government, who was appalled by what had
just transpired.

A long-time retired lawyer with a storied reputation when he
practiced, this wasn’t a man who was going to suffer the spin zone, and
for reasons which, in part, are entrusted with him and his client, they
provided me with several bankers boxes of information related to the
sale of BC Rail.

We met several times over the course of a week. He explained his position and that of his client as I listened.

After several more meetings, I traveled to Nanaimo, where he
introduced me to the man who delivered what I refer to as ‘The Basi

Over the next week or so I will release one ‘Memo-to-File’ per day.
They are authored by Dave Basi alone, in his own words, and after he
wrote each installment they were witnessed by Victoria lawyer George Jones, Q.C. whose unimpeachable integrity is without question and whose signature I have verified.

The memos are dated from October 6th., 2003 and extend almost two
months to November 25th., 2003 (the day after the sale of BC Rail to CN
was formalized).

What you will read is the clearest record we have thus far of how to
two key government operatives, Dave Basi and Bobby Virk, it could not
have been more clear: The BC Liberal government were running a heavily
skewed process whereby BC Rail, an asset that we were promised by Gordon
Campbell would never be disposed of, was being sold (990 year lease) to
a company run by a very close friend and bagman of the Premier of
British Columbia, David McLean. Additionally, during the course of the
disposal of this asset, as it becomes clear as day in subsequent
installments that you will read over the next week to ten days, that
breathtaking risks were taken by Basi and Virk, all to satisfy direct
orders CLEARLY coming from the Office of the Premier through former
Finance Minister Gary Collins. From Basi’s own words, it is evident that
not only was the Premier of the Province of British Columbia, Gordon
Campbell, clearly involved in directing the sale (the unseemly pressure
applied by the Premier in conversations with Bob Virk are documented by
Basi), but that other Ministers, including Gary Collins and Christy
Clark participated in various aspects through a process designed to
favour one bidder, CN, over all others.

Read full article here


Calls to Kybosh Campbell’s “Super-Ministry”


Last bad decision by premier should also be rescinded

‘Re-org’ of resource, land ministries should go the way of tax cut

has been called Gordon Campbell’s last bad decision — the massive
reorganization of the Crown resource and land use ministries, launched
just 10 days before he announced that he would be stepping down as

The “re-org,” as it is known in bureaucratic parlance,
should be sharing the last/worst legacy status with the reckless cut to
income taxes that Campbell announced just one week before throwing in
the towel.

Except he and the B.C. Liberals pulled back on that
last desperate attempt to curry favour with taxpayers, conceding that
it would be unwise to restrict the fiscal options of the next premier
to the tune of $2 billion over the next three years.

declined to extend that logic to the reorganization, never mind that it
will fetter the next premier no less than the tax cut.

that’s something we’ve been working on for some time,” said Campbell,
when my Sun colleague Jonathan Fowlie asked recently why the re-org
wasn’t being put on hold. “We had a long discussion about how we were
going to implement that and I think it’s going to be very effective,
both in terms of the economy and better service for the public.”

In spite of what the premier says, the “we” in that sentence is very much in dispute.

Read full Vaughn Palmer Vancouver Sun article here


Poor Pinocchio: Campbell’s Sob Story Hard to Swallow


I have no intention of being Mr. “Nice Guy” to Gordon Campbell because he’s leaving office to wait for his massive pension to kick in and for lush directorships from the Energy companies to be offered.
I’m an environmental activist trying to save our salmon, our rivers, and our farm land. Why should I get warm and mushy all over because Campbell has been pushed out of his office?
Under Campbell’s government the moratorium on Atlantic Salmon fish farms was lifted resulting in the loss of 100s of thousands of our wild salmon being lost to sea lice from the fish farms. Far from doing anything about it, Campbell has encouraged more of them.
Citizens of Tsawwassen are fighting encroachment on farmland with nary a word of justification from Campbell whose job it is to support the principles of the ALR and stop encroachment.
Campbell has actively supported the destruction of our rivers and the ecologies dependent upon them, approving of large companies receiving permits to provide power that BC Hydro must buy, need it or not. Hydro must pay at least twice what it’s worth on the open market and since they don’t need the private power, have two options: sell it at a 50% loss or use it themselves at a cost of 12 times what Hydro can make it for themselves. Is it any wonder that folks who hate this desecration of our rivers, farmland and wild salmon bad mouth the premier and the minister responsible?
I raise this last question because Gordon Campbell is whining about how his family was upset by the things he was called – Pinocchio, I presume being one of them.
Families of politicians, great and small, always bear the brunt of abuse and if that cannot be borne, one shouldn’t get involved in the first place. I do feel for the Campbell family – my wife and four kids suffered this as well, for while I was not premier, I was a Councilor for and MLA of a smaller centre (Kamloops) and there was scarcely a day when one or more of them didn’t hear their father/husband abused. Prospective politicians should consult carefully with their entire family before taking the plunge. However, Campbell must take the majority of the blame himself.

The premier I worked for, a gillion years ago, unlike Campbell, let ministers do their job unhindered by hassling and “hands on” habits. This way we ministers quite rightly took responsibility for our portfolios.
Forgive me if I retell a story.
After a speech I made in Tsawwassen on the overhead power lines issue, I was approached a lady, clearly a Liberal, who chastised me for constantly asking where then-MLA Val Roddick was and said “I bet you that you never went to these sorts of rallies.”
I told her of a rally in Quesnel where ranchers angry at my stopping the killing of wolves were rallying for only one reason, to dare the minister to attend, and, if he did, hassle the hell out of them. I did and it was a hall full of 500 very angry men and women.
I said to her “I suppose you think I was a brave man.”
She nodded her head.
I said, “bravery had nothing to do with it; had I not gone I would have had my ass kicked out of cabinet.”
Bill Bennett expected his ministers to deal with their portfolios, especially the dodgy bits, and I daresay most of my colleagues could tell of the shit they had to stare down.
In the premier’s case the normal nastiness is much aggravated because on several occasions he – and there is no other word for it – lied through his teeth. Voters expect and tolerate “spin” but will not accept lies as opposed to polished political prose.
Let’s go back to the facing the public bit.
I’m involved in the movement to save our environment, especially, though not exclusively, fish and energy matters. I and my colleague Damien Gillis have spoken at public meetings all over the province and never, not once, did a Liberal MLA or candidate show up. In the May 2009 election we specifically asked the Cabinet Minister to attend meetings but nary a one did. I have challenged the premier and/or the energy minister to attend our meetings or simply have a debate with them but no takers.
Is it any wonder then that the public call the premier and his shy ministers “cowards” or worse?
I say this to Gordon Campbell: Sir, it’s not the media or environmentalists that have caused anguish for your family. For that you have no one to blame but yourself.

Bon voyage, Pinocchio. It's been swell!

Campbell in Full Flight


I can only say this about Gordon Campbell’s resignation: if Damien and I did anything to assist this happening I’m only sorry that we didn’t do more and quicker. He was not only a bad leader – he disgraced himself and us. As an environmentalist I must also say that no matter who takes over as Liberal leader, they will need to do a massive 180 degree turn to even begin the recapturing of our province from the forces of greed and, yes, evil not just encouraged but paid off out of taxpayers’ money.

The only puzzle left about Campbell is what well paying job is waiting for him in the private energy world and what cushy directorships will he garner.

My guess as to who will take over at a later time simply hasn’t reached my brain yet, but even knowing what the Liberals think of my opinions, here’s another one for them.
Do not make the mistake the Socreds made when, in 1991, Vander Zalm resigned and Rita Johnston became premier.
Many in the cabinet thought that Ms. Johnston ought to turn the reins over to someone who would pledge not to seek the leadership, taking away the unfairness of Johnston running while she was premier. In fact a senior minister, Russ Fraser offered to do just that.
Johnston stayed and won the leadership in a fight with Grace McCarthy who, regrettably, took too much time to enter the race.
Most commentators who watch these sorts of things opined that had Grace won, she would probably have been defeated in the 1991 election but would have kept the party intact and there would have been no amazing rise of Gordon Wilson and the Liberals. This, it can be surmised, would have meant that the NDP would have been a one term government.
My point is not to speculate but to state that the Liberals would be wise to select a caretaker pending the outcome of their nominating convention. This might be a good time to drag perennial backbencher Ralph Sultan out of his hiding place in the corner.
Your guess is as good as mine as to who the new leader might be. The name most mentioned is Kevin Falcon which ought to bring joy to those who want the Liberals to go right into the ashcan. From my perspective as an environmentalist, he would be a terrible choice though he would present, with his appalling record, a fabulous target to shoot at.
So would Colin Hansen. His 1:51 blog (google Colin Hansen-private power) encapsulated the fact-free Campbell energy policy. It might seem unwise for me to recommend people watch this blog but every single point he makes is a falsehood and demonstrates that the Campbell energy policy is a collection of bare-faced lies.

Here are two consequences I see.

First, this opens the door for a centre party. Such a party with a recognized competent at the helm, with a mission statement like that of the old Socreds (minus all mention of God and Christianity) should recapture the majority of British Columbians who range from centre-right to centre-left; in other words, the people who supported the Socreds for 39 years.
Second, this is a huge wake-up call for the NDP. They cannot drift along with their leader speaking to service clubs and chambers of commerce. This is not the time to watch events but to take charge of them. Without a strong leader of the NDP, on the centre-left of the spectrum and the Liberals losing the centre-right, the opportunity for a new Socred-type party  is there – but not for long.

We at the Common Sense Canadian take this as the time we must press forward to ensure that whoever takes over, will do so with an aroused public, in full flight, on their case demanding that our province, with all its beauty, be rehabilitated and sound environmental initiatives put in place.
Please support us – and if you’re wondering how, this little story.

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