Less than a year before the provincial elections, education has been identified as a key election issue -- and just like that, Christy Clark begins a slew of million-dollar announcements, many aimed at ridings she knows the Liberals will struggle to get elected in.
In the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, the government of Oceania has an entire Ministry that uses all forms of media to create a false reality. In British Columbia today, the Government Communications and Public Engagement office has a budget of $37,900,000 to ensure that you have the correct view of what the B.C. Liberals do for you with your money.
The B.C. Liberals have been cutting funding and supports for public schools. This year alone the government asked school board to find $25 million in "administrative cuts," last year it was $29 million. So this one-time funding announcement is not what I consider to be an addition to funding, but rather a reduction in this year's cuts.
The headlines were emphatic: "Quick wins amounted to little for NDP"; "Quick wins report lands with a dull thud." But behind the headlines something unsettling: a window into a culture of seeming impunity, where players are told anything goes, do whatever it takes to win.
Don't forget, way back in January 2014 Trudeau said about Kinder Morgan, "I certainly hope that we're going to be able to get that pipeline approved." Unless we make things uncomfortable for him politically, the prime minister will force this pipeline through our communities against our will -- the public's will.
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.
Clark said the power from the Site C dam could potentially provide electricity to Alberta -- where the government has recently committed to closing all of its coal-powered energy plants. Clark's suggestion that Site C may power the oilsands shines a spotlight on the B.C. government's ever-changing rationale for building the project.
I have seen far too many supporters jump ship lately and the party that we know and love is fading into this mishmash of right and left policies, glazed over by a negative opposition tunnel vision that is getting us nowhere, fast. So please... listen to the people, build a strong platform and be the leaders this province so desperately needs.
The 2015 political donations were out this week and they contained some numbers that should cause a bit of unease. It's not just the 2015 amounts that are of interest, it's the running totals as well. Since 2005, the B.C. Liberal party has raised more than $107.8 million -- $70.2 million of that from businesses and corporations.
Here in B.C. our students (if they even qualify) will get $1,200. This might get you one year of textbooks, hardly a progressive move by any means. But our government is using this grant to try and gain support, and they are spending public tax money to push these ads on TV, radio, Internet, newspapers and other media.
Whenever Premier Christy Clark is asked about her climate change plans, she touts the success of the policies put in place by her predecessor Gordon Campbell in 2008. However, Clark won't be able to ride on Campbell's "climate leader" coattails for much longer.
When I first met Christy Clark, I remember thinking we had a lot in common. Journalism has changed a lot, but at the time, female reporters and anchors were unusual -- in fact, when I was the first female reporter at CKNW, some listeners complained: how could this woman report the news? Likewise, Christy was also a woman in an untraditional place: cabinet.
Petty. One word that springs to mind after last week's B.C. budget. At best, it's a lip service budget. Tweak here, tweak there, but devoid of any ...
Former prime minister Stephen Harper's government issued 14 permits for work on the $9-billion Site C dam during the writ period of the last election -- a move that was offside according to people familiar with the project and the workings of the federal government.
Finance Minister Michael de Jong pulled out some bright red lipstick and smeared it all over the Medical Services Premium (MSP) tax pig in the 2016-17...
Now that the Trans Pacific Partnership has been signed, maybe we can have the honest, open and transparent debate that Canadians were denied during the federal election -- and which the new Liberal government in Ottawa has promised. So, let's have that debate. There's certainly a lot to talk about.