It's easy for Lower Mainlanders, blessed with multiple transit lines and mild weather, to suggest ratcheting up the carbon tax. But the tax is receiving a rough ride elsewhere. It seems the further you get away from Vancouver, the more hated the carbon tax becomes.
It's impossible to keep a good idea down for long -- and a looming NDP landslide may put electoral reform back on British Columbia's political radar. Many casual observers would say such disconnect between the number of votes and seats is unfair. But this is becoming a recurring phenomenon in B.C. The way British Columbians elect MLAs was a hot topic of debate after the 2001 B.C. Liberal landslide, which saw a 58 per cent vote count turn into 97 per cent of the seats in the legislature.
If the business across the street from yours, with fewer resources and higher prices, had increased its share of customers every year for 35 years, wouldn't you be curious why? Wouldn't that interest intensify if your own customer base had shrunk in 24 of those 35 years? This is the situation B.C.'s schools find themselves in.
They say dead men tell no lies. That may never be truer than in the cutthroat blood-sport of B.C. politics. Consider Martyn Brown, the former chief of staff for Gordon Campbell and chief architect of the B.C. Liberals' decade in power. He's no longer in politics and suddenly feels very free to tell the truth about the B.C. government.
Former B.C. Premier W.A.C. Bennett once had a cabinet minister tell him he would treat taxpayers' money as if it were his own. "Oh, no, you won't," Bennett said, "not as long as I'm premier. That money is tax money, it's trust money, and I want 110 cents worth of value out of every dollar." That's a philosophy the overpaid executives at the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) have clearly failed to embrace. That shouldn't be a surprise -- government monopolies are notoriously inefficient and expensive.
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation says it’s time to dump B.C.’s carbon tax because it hasn’t reached its environmental goals
The B.C. government's Pacific Carbon Trust has become frighteningly adept at taking taxpayers' money--$14 million last year--and transferring it to big businesses. It's time for the provincial government to scrap the Trust, and end corporate welfare disguised as environmentalism. The numbers prove that transferring tax dollars to companies through the illusion of carbon neutrality is a massive failure.
Why aren't our MLAs comfortable releasing their expense reports? Why not follow the example set by Toronto City Hall where councillors publish every receipt online? Are B.C.'s MPs and MLAs hiding something from the taxpayer? MPs and senators and Ottawa have been violating their own documentation and contracting rules, is the same thing happening here in Victoria?
Golf revenues are slowly on the decline across Canada. Some B.C. leaders have missed the simplest way of fixing this problem: getting taxpayers out of the golf game all together. It's one thing for taxes to go to essentials like water, sewer or public safety, it's another thing to know you're subsidizing luxuries like municipal golf courses. If you can find a service listed on YellowPages.ca, government shouldn't be providing it.
What was once a simple sewer, water and garbage disposal utility has become a bureaucratic, democratically-unaccountable spending machine. It's time to move the Metro Vancouver Regional District back to basics.