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Our Opportunity Is Here To Oust The B.C. Liberals

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I have an idea for what we can do while we wait for lawyer Paul Doroshenko's GoFundMe campaign to raise enough money to sue the B.C. Liberal government for abandoning their fiduciary duty when they spent public funds on partisan ads.

We can consider the ads a public service!

The ads are a perfect reminder to voters about what the 9 May election is really about: an opportunity for everyone who cannot afford $10 000 for one plate of food to vote for change.

bc legislature

Let's look at the Our Opportunity is Here ads as public service announcements that regularly remind citizens about their power and their opportunity.

Whose opportunity is here?

Everyone working two or three jobs at minimum wage because one is not enough to keep up with the rising cost of living.

Everyone on social assistance trying to survive on $610 per month.

All first responders burnt out from dealing with the health-care crisis in the streets.

Everyone who has spent five hours in a hospital emergency waiting room.

Everyone angry about the hidden taxes in BC Hydro increases, MSP fees, ICBC rates.

Everyone distraught by the environmental destruction from Mount Polley, anxious about the threat of burst pipelines, disgusted by the obscenity of the grizzly bear hunt.

What opportunity?

We have the opportunity to elect a new government led by politicians who spend more than 36 days a year in the Legislature. Politicians who behave like public servants, not sycophants for foreign corporations.

We have the opportunity to end our mourning of the loss of opportunities over the past 16 years.

We have the opportunity to have a government that puts people before profiteering, a government that enacts a Poverty Reduction Plan like all other provinces have done.

We have the opportunity to move the minimum wage closer to a living wage and the opportunity to have $10/day daycare so that parents can afford to go to work.

And we have the opportunity to have public education funded to the Canadian average.

Our opportunity to have all this and more is available to us from 29 April.

We have the opportunity to end our mourning of the loss of opportunities over the past 16 years.

Some of these lost opportunities have dollar figures attached to them: the $3.02 billion that we lose by shipping raw logs out of the province; the billions we lose in revenue each year because the royalty we collect for our natural gas resource is almost negligible.

But some of the discarded opportunities cannot be calculated in dollars: these are the lost opportunities to have made a difference to an entire generation of students with learning disabilities, and students with mental health needs, while they struggled to keep up in overcrowded, under-resourced schools.

Some discarded opportunities are simply heartbreaking as when the Ministry of Children and Families prioritizes the balancing of their budget above saving the lives of the 120 children who died in government care last year alone.

The B.C. Liberals launched the "Our Opportunity is Here" ad campaign on 24 November 2016, just weeks after the Supreme Court of Canada rebuked them for cheating a generation of students out of critically important services and programs they needed for their education.

christy clark
British Columbia Premier Christy Clark is seen during a news conference in Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday Nov. 30, 2016.(Photo: Darryl Dyck/CP)

It takes a significant depth of cynicism to launch a $15,000,000 advertising campaign a fortnight after your government has been censured for actions that resulted in the removal of $4,000,000,000 in funding for education programs and services.

But what is particularly galling is Premier Clark's professed "excitement" at having the opportunity to invest in education that the ruling supposedly gave her, the opportunity she discarded when, as Minister of Education, she introduced the legislation that the Supreme Court found in violation of the constitutional rights of teachers.

Well, perhaps the premier is right.

It is quite exciting to have an opportunity to invest in the children of this province.

Our opportunity is indeed here.

Voting begins on 29 April 2017.

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