Last September, while swimming against a tidal wave of negative public opinion, I predicted the BC Liberal Party led by Premier Christy Clark would win the May 2013 election. Understandably, most readers scoffed. I can assure you that I am no Nostradamus. Don't bother asking me which stock to pick or what the 649 Lottery numbers will be. Rather, I relish being a contrarian. It is my nature to question the prevailing view on a range of topics - politics in particular - and to hopefully stir intelligent debate.
Instead of hammering Clark and the Liberals with attack ads, reminding the voters why they were sick and tired of the Clark Liberals, due to their myriad of scandals, blunders, HST tax, costly government programs and arrogance, Dix tried to be Mr. Nice Guy.
Obviously, the face of B.C., quite literally, is changing. Immigrants account for 45 per cent of the population in Vancouver, 52 per cent in Surrey, 59 per cent in Burnaby and 70 per cent in Richmond. Immigrant populations are rising everywhere, even in the whitest regions of the province. And they aren't buying what the NDP is selling. Big government. Vast social programs. Union allegiance.
I think both the NDP and the Greens owe it to the public to make a peace treaty and find a way to show everyone that we can work together for solutions that are good for people and the planet. This is an important lesson for us to learn before the upcoming federal election, while we still have time to find ways to work together. Big Oil won a battle this week but they haven't won the war.
The BC Liberals and particularly Premier Christy Clark deserve the praise they're receiving for their surprise electoral victory. After all, the Liberals reversed a double-digit deficit in the polls and ended up securing a majority government. This moment of jubilation for the Liberals and their supporters will be short-lived however, as the reality of governing in difficult times takes hold. The litmus test for the success of this government, which they themselves established, is the success of the economy and in particular, jobs.
Natural gas, being sold as a huge job creator is actually an employment deadbeat. While natural gas contributes fully 3.2% of our total GDP, its work force is tiny, just 3,500 souls, or .15% of provincial employment. Electrical equipment manufacturers employ more people in B.C. than oil and gas. Natural gas is shipped east through pipelines, so there are no trucking or ports benefits. And most of the $6 billion in natural gas earnings don't stay in B.C., but take a direct flight across the Rockies to Calgary. Which might explain why some B.C. politicians organize fundraisers there.
It's been exasperating to see the BC Liberals try to court the Filipino vote through superficial events designed to be nothing but photo-ops and not engage the community by talking about specific issues. They don't seem to be concerned with providing anything substantive because they don't seem to have anything in their platform they can point to as evidence of being engaged with the community.
On May 14, British Columbians vote in their provincial election. If the NDP wins power in such a strategically important and rich jurisdiction such as this one -- a keystone within the Canadian resource economy -- B.C. voters will have chosen economic decline.
Marijuana has become an important issue in this provincial election. Questions about marijuana policy have been raised by the public over and over again, at all-candidates meetings across the province, and even during the televised debate.Together with the replies we received from candidates, and other comments about marijuana made in the media, we have compiled this Sensible BC Voters Guide, to help you better understand where B.C. parties and candidates stand on the question of marijuana policy and decriminalization in our province.
In the past the BC NDP condemned the Liberal carbon tax policy without doing the hard work to address how an NDP government would address these challenges. Under the leadership of Adrian Dix it is now clear that an NDP government would take these issues very seriously and they have taken the time to carefully consider how the carbon tax needs to cover more greenhouse gas emissions to ensure that we not only reduce pollution but also build a stronger and more equitable economy for B.C. I'm impressed.
I must confess to being entirely unsure what Gordon Wilson's endorsement of the Liberals actually does for leader Christy Clark or her party, who have been having the campaign of their dreams to this point. Seriously, with endorsements like Wilson's, who needs Dave Babych? There have been musings Wilson can help shore up centre-left votes. But that will be very hard to do while the party runs endless TV spots of Clark sounding like a fiscal hawk. Note to Clark and the BC Liberals: You don't need Gordon Wilson. You're doing just fine.
Over the past three decades, the percentage of British Columbians who actually vote has steadily fallen, from more than 70 per cent to a little over half last time out, when nearly one out of every two voters seemingly slept the day away and never bothered to cast a ballot. In fact, B.C. has the dubious distinction of having some of the lowest voter turnouts in the country, which says a lot when you consider that some of those other provinces don't have much to boast about either.
The B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association, sent all four parties a questionnaire pushing them for clear positions on how they would stop the erosion of our privacy rights and defend our access to government records through Freedom of Information. On April 30th, we received responses from the NDP, the Liberals, and the Greens (we've yet to hear back from the Conservatives). They all had interesting, if decidedly different things to say.
At a party convention three years ago -- British Columbia's Conservative Party leader -- Jim Cummins -- remarked how the "BC Conservatives are going t...
As part of her attempts to win the womens' vote for this election, Christy Clark and her various women and mom-focused ministers have been inviting moms and working women to small round table discussions to raise awareness about what the Liberal government can do to help mothers and working mothers in particular. The biggest issue that was brought up over and over was childcare. Due to love of career or by pure financial necessity, more women are working AND raising families and AFFORDABLE childcare has to be part of this juggling act. However what was emphasized also was FLEXIBLE childcare. Why? Because working mothers are not settling back into traditional 9-to-5 positions or even the few remaining shift work employment available out there. What are working mothers doing now? We are creating our OWN work.
According to Tourism Vancouver, in 2011 visitors to our city spent an estimated $92 million, and "cruise passengers increased by 15 per cent over 2010. Between May and October 2011, Port Metro Vancouver welcomed 663,425 passengers on 27 different vessels over 199 cruise ship calls." While Vancouver has many amazing attractions, restaurants and cultural centers, it is the ocean and all the nature around that bring people from all over the world to visit our city. Quite frankly, if it wasn't for the amazing oceanscapes and natural beauty, Vancouver would be nothing more than a small version of... wait for it... Toronto.