If last year's provincial budget could be described as "petty" after Finance Minister Mike de Jong doled out an increase in assistance rates for those living with disabilities -- only to claw most of it back by ending the subsidized bus pass program -- this year's budget could best be described as "petulant."
We're now three months from the provincial election. The government doesn't seem to want to talk in-depth about BC Hydro, so it will be up to the voters to press it as an issue. What are the parties' plans to get BC Hydro out of debt? How much will they increase our rates? How will they bring costs under control?
Premier Christy Clark has already taken off the table the one thing that leaves Canada's three other public auto insurers in decent financial shape: no-fault insurance. Makes one wonder who is so strongly opposed to the idea? Likely, a group that does well with the current regime. Lawyers spring to mind.
Left out of its December release -- announcing the awarding of the $1.75 billion contract -- was any mention of collusion and bid-rigging by Korean-based Samsung C&T; the ongoing investigation by a Spanish magistrate and anti-corruption prosecutors into "allegations of misappropriation of public funds, falsifying documents and money laundering" at Acciona; and liquidity issues at Petrowest.
Just thumb through the party's 2009 donor list for a sense of how widespread the practice of awarding contracts to friends has become. Back then, someone must have woke up on New Year's Day with one hell of a hangover -- not from the night before -- but from the bank balance in the B.C. Liberal party's account.
In Paris Canada agreed to drop our greenhouse gas emissions to 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. To achieve this goal Canada will need to cut fossil fuels out of our transportation and home heating energy budgets by the middle of this century. Fossil fuels represent 60 per cent of B.C.'s current energy needs.