Vancouver developer Robert J. Macdonald called NDP leader Carole James a “smiling, shiny puppet of left-wing ideologues” and warned that New Democrats pose a greater threat to British Columbia’s economic well-being than the global economic meltdown.
Macdonald’s pithy speech was presented by the Urban Development Institute as part of its annual industry forecast luncheon.
“Those of us who remember the early 1980s remember that a serious recession is where interest rates are 20 per cent, there is no available credit, junior Canadian banks go bust left and right, billions are lost, government practices restraint instead of fiscal stimulus, a hundred thousand people protest in the streets, unemployment soars to 15 per cent, property values fall in half, and land values fall by 90 per cent,” Macdonald said.
By comparison, he continued, "The current economic slowdown in B.C. is really just a recession for sissies."
The Vancouver native, whose Macdonald Development Corp. claims more than $100 million worth of development activity in British Columbia, said B.C. is booming.
“The province of B.C. is in a truly envious position relative to all other regions in North America. B.C. has a very low level of provincial debt to GDP (at 14 per cent), a balanced budget, a AAA credit rating, and the lowest levels of corporate and personal income tax in North America,” Macdonald said.
Sporting his trademark Daddy Warbucks haircut and demeanor, Macdonald did include two actual predictions in his UDI speech:
Macdonald acknowledged that the region is going through “a minor residential property correction,” which he predicted “will be in the range of 17.5 percent from what were momentary peak prices.”
And he predicted that as a result of pent-up demand, “Our market is going to experience a solid turnaround in sales volume and price stability. I think this point will occur around October 2009.”
However, Macdonald predicated those predictions on the May reelection of Premier Gordon Campbell’s BC Liberal government.
“So the question I offer is this: What matters more to us in forecasting our industry’s future in B.C.? Is it the shallow, short-lived recession facing us? Or is the greater danger the possible four-year election of a provincial political party, controlled in part by people who have drunk the Kool Aid laced with the cyanide of socialism?”
Macdonald said the New Democrats are a party beholden to “big public sector unions” that have been “taken over by a mixed bag of Marxist, Leninists, Trotskyites, Maoists and Castroites.”
The Urban Development Institute audience of more than a thousand Metro Vancouver real estate professionals responded with loud applause.
“It’s true,” Macdonald replied.
“These people take millions of dollars of their union members money without approval and then run a political campaign based on fudge-it budgets, phony jobs and timber accords and other lies – and with all of that they try to take over the government,” he continued.
Macdonald accused past NDP governments of “destroying the economic welfare of our province as a whole, and destroying the lives of decent, hard-working union and non-union people in the private sectors of this province.”
He said former Premier Mike Harcourt had committed “confiscatory thievery” in the form of a corporate capital tax, and said former Premier Glen Clark “and his fellow travelers set about to make B.C. their very own socialist utopia, just like Cuba.”
“These people destroyed our industry,” Macdonald told the UDI luncheon on Friday. “And they would destroy us again in a heartbeat.”
“This history is worth remembering, because now we have a lovely Carole James leading the NDP, who is the new smiling, shiny puppet of the left-wing ideologues,” he said. “And so my friends, we are fast approaching a fork in the road on May 12th. Where either a continued bright future, or a return to the dark times is a possibility.”
The UDI’s forecast panel also included presentations by Polygon Homes chairman Michael Audain and Colliers International VP Avtar Bains. Both expressed confidence in the Lower Mainland real estate market.
“This is the sixth housing market correction that I’ve experienced,” Audain said. “In all of it, I wish I’d taken more advantage of the buying opportunities that were available at those times.”
“There will be no collapse of the real estate market in Vancouver,” Bains said. “I will give you the Avtar guarantee.”
Both Audain and Bains expressed strong support for a multi-billion-dollar housing stimulus package in next week’s federal budget; neither used the word "Marxist" in their remarks.
Monte Paulsen reports on housing and politics for The Tyee.ca.