As people celebrate the victories of the Lower Mainland byelections, it's a good reminder that we aren't too far away from the next provincial elections.
When I say victories, it isn't just because I have been a long-time NDP supporter or because one of the winning candidates happens to be the first female aboriginal person to hold such a position.
Mostly I see this as a victory because it symbolizes a shift away from the B.C. Liberals and their path of destruction that has plagued this province for far too long.
I imagine B.C. Premier Christy Clark and the Liberals are not taking these recent wins lightly, perhaps even more so because lately every time you open a newspaper or go onto a news site you can't make it very far before coming across an article critiquing the Liberals in some way.
The people of B.C. are waking up, big time. I'm sure this scares the hell out of Clark, who might finally be coming to the realization that every scandal, misstep or moronic statement can't be fixed with a smiling photo-op in a hard hat.
You can only break so many promises before your promises become as valuable as a chunk of dirt.
Perhaps Clark is unfamiliar with the story of the boy who cried wolf and the overall concept that you can only lie so many times before people no longer believe you. You can only break so many promises before your promises become as valuable as a chunk of dirt.
Clark's version of a wolf call is her "Families First" campaign motto, which she used many, many times. Some would argue that the catchphrase won her the last election.
People bought into the idea of this province finally putting families before corporations and businesses. And, really, who can blame them, because the families in this province have been struggling for some time and it feels like an eternity since any of us got a break.
People became so infatuated with the "Families First" idea they lost sight of the fact that the Liberals would be the party least likely to actually follow through on this plan.
Here we are three years later, and I can't find one example of Clark putting families first, nor can I think of any ways she has made things easier or better for families in general unless, of course, we are talking about those at the highest income level.
Think about some of the issues that face most B.C. families:
- lack of availability and affordability of daycare
- rising costs of living
- rising hydro costs
- sky-rocketing housing costs
- rising costs of food
- lack of access to a family doctor
- overcrowded hospitals and long wait lists
- rising ferry costs
- extra money parents are using to cover the funding gaps in their children's public education.
Clark and the B.C. Liberals continue to stay mute on all of these issues and are often a contributing cause to these increased costs.
And don't even get me started on the steadily increasing homelessness and poverty rates in B.C. How Christy can even sleep at night knowing that we have one of the highest poverty rates in Canada -- and we are the ONLY province without a poverty reduction plan -- is beyond my comprehension.
We are talking about a government that spent $514 million on a stadium roof, gave $1 million to Clark's church, sold publicly owned land for far less than appraisers said it was worth (costing taxpayers the loss of $43 million, according to the NDP), offers some of the best tax breaks for corporations in Canada and just sold a ferry that recently had $15 million of upgrades for a reported $1.8 million (to a former B.C. Ferries manager, no less).
Yet at the same time we are supposed to believe that we can't afford to increase funding to public education, health care or any other public service, nor can we afford to try to combat the rising poverty rates in B.C.
Although I'm sure as Clark gears up for the next election there will be a lot of empty promises thrown about, maybe even a new catchphrase along the lines of "Families Matter." If she's really brave she might even stick with "Families First" and hope that no one has been paying attention since the last election.
No more years
She will probably start talking about all the issues that she has spent the last three years ignoring. In fact, it's already started with the recent promise to reduce MSP fees for single parents, starting in 2017 (an election year, of course).
I'd be willing to bet that if we do get stuck with her after the next election that promise will either disappear or there will be so much paperwork and hoops to jump through that it wont end up helping many people.
Don't be fooled by Clark's smiling face and empty election promises, we know she will never put the families of this province first. She does not deserve anther chance at being premier of this province and quite frankly B.C. can't take another four years of her or the Liberals.
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