Minister Bill Bennett
According to Martyn Brown, "No corporation, no industry, no union gives the level of money that they give to politicians without expecting special consideration in return, and they do get it." Here's a sampling of what "special considerations" might mean.
Canadians have come to expect that politicians will take a few liberties with facts as they spin issues to suit their purpose. A master practitioner of the art form is the B.C. government, with spin that can be light in the accuracy department.
News that Premier Christy Clark has spent $500,000 on private jets since assuming office has -- not surprisingly -- raised a few eyebrows. It's a story that has as much to do with the symbolism as it does with the dollars. A political condition that the government seems increasingly tone deaf to as of late.
Make no mistake, there's a price to pay when B.C. Hydro becomes a political arm of government. The intertwining of self-interests gets complicated, while the interests of ratepayers can take a backseat to political interests.
Bill Bennett made his remarks to reporters at a provincial mineral-exploration conference in Vancouver.
Alaskans emphasize they are not against resource extraction, provided there are adequate environmental and financial safeguards, but believe Canada's record -- most recently illustrated by the Mount Polley mine tailings dam collapse -- shows that B.C.'s regulations are not strong enough to protect downstream communities.
The industry needs productive, safe, and enabling parameters to work within, and British Columbians deserve to rest assured that our business leaders and elected representatives are engineering those limits properly -- with a foundation much stronger than that of the Mount Polley tailings pond.