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Opinion

Do You Want the NDP Back in?

Good question. In asking it, a number of points to consider.

By Rafe Mair 25 Jul 2011 | TheTyee.ca

Rafe Mair writes a column for The Tyee every second Monday. Read his previous columns here. He also is a founding contributor to The Common Sense Canadian.

The Campbell/Clark Liberal government makes Peter Sellers as Chief Inspector Clouseau look brilliant -- both were bumbling and stupid, but at least Clouseau meant well. The answer to the ongoing mess seems to be, "Do you want the NDP back in?"

Premier Campbell, a zealot for ministers' probity when he was in opposition, got nailed for drunk driving and spent the night in jail. He didn't, strange to say, impose even a minor penalty on himself. Is it enough just to ask, "Do you want the NDP back in?"

Regarding the fish farm issue. Ten years of denial costing us millions of wild salmon. Is it enough just to ask, "Do you want the NDP back in?"

Note that some years ago, the Campbell government informed Ottawa that it had no objection to tanker traffic down our coast, despite strenuous objections from First Nations -- and please bear in mind that a spill is a certainty. Is it enough just to ask, "Do you want the NDP back in?"

Premier Clark's support of destroying Fish Lake and her voluminous silence on the ravaging of our rivers by independent power producers (IPPs) and many other environmental issues indicate that B.C.'s environment is trumped by development -- without profit to British Columbia. Is it enough just to ask, "Do you want the NDP back in?"

Pipelines to disaster

When you see a total lack of concern for pipelines bringing tar sands sludge through the wilds of northern B.C. and massively increasing the amount delivered through the Kinder Morgan line to Vancouver... and this, again, in spite of strenuous objections of First Nations. And this, again, knowing that leaks are a certainty. And, again, recognizing that all the profit from these projects goes elsewhere. Is it enough just to ask, "Do you want the NDP back in?"

When you see BC Hydro being forced to buy private power on a "take or pay" basis when it doesn't need it, and learn that means Hydro must either export it at a huge loss or use it at double the cost of making it themselves, with all the enormous profits going elsewhere. Is it enough just to ask, "Do you want the NDP back in?"

When you see the jewel of our crown, BC Hydro, owing IPPs $55 billion, the figure rising with each private project, this year spending $600,000,000 for power they couldn't use. When you understand that this places BC Hydro in a position that, were it in the private sector, would make it bankrupt, and knowing that it's only a matter of time before BC Hydro is indeed bankrupt. Is it enough just to ask, "Do you want the NDP back in?"

When you see the government lie through its teeth about the environmental and economic risks posed by IPPs. Is it enough just to ask, "Do you want the NDP back in?"

Highways to hell

When you see the government building super highways instead of public transit, thus increasing the demand for more highways. Is it enough just to ask, "Do you want the NDP back in?"

When you see this government building highways in utter disregard of wildlife preserves and sensitive environmental areas like Burns Bog and Eagleridge to name but two. Is it enough just to ask, "Do you want the NDP back in?"

When you see the government encroaching, again and again upon agricultural land. Is it enough just to ask, "Do you want the NDP back in?"

When you see a government lie through its teeth in the 2009 election as it supported a hugely fudged budget, which they must have known flew in the face of the spreading recession. Is it enough just to ask, "Do you want the NDP back in?"

When you see a government caught again lying through its teeth during the 2009 election, saying that the HST "wasn't even on the radar." Is it enough just to ask, "Do you want the NDP back in?"

When you remember that Gordon Campbell not once but twice during election campaigns promised not to privatize BC Rail, and then did it. Is it enough just to ask, "Do you want the NDP back in?"

When you see a government paying $6 million in legal bills for two criminals, with the result that then premier Campbell and former finance minister Gary Collins avoid having to testify at the trial. Is it enough just to ask, "Do you want the NDP back in?"

Clark affirms Campbell

When you see that Premier Christy Clark makes no apologies for any of the egregious flouting of evil policies of the Campbell government, in which she served as deputy premier. Is it enough just to ask, "Do you want the NDP back in?"

When you see the most corrupt (in the dictionary, not legal, sense) government since the 1940s. When you see a government which claims financial probity yet is worse than any NDP government ever was. When you look at their complete lack of interest in values like agricultural land, fish, and the environment. When you see them privatize BC Rail, then bankrupt BC Hydro. When you look at their disastrous decade as a whole, and see a government for whom the truth is a complete stranger. When you examine this government piece by piece, or as a whole, ask yourself then...

"Do you want the NDP back in?"  [Tyee]

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