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BC Election 2013

Five Reasons to Turf Christy Clark's Liberal Crew

They've proven to be no friends to BC's finances, nature or the truth.

Rafe Mair 13 May 2013TheTyee.ca

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

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Cartoon by Ingrid Rice

The polls are "tightening"? Have we taken leave of our senses? Surely the people of B.C. can't endure another four years of corruption and mismanagement!

Here are my top five reasons why Christy Clark and her party must be refused a new mandate:

1. The BC Liberals have been lousy fiscal managers.

This gang, Jesse James in drag, in 2008 presented an election budget that later turned out to be $1.2 billion out of whack. Now they expect another chance?

Since 2001, the Liberals have increased the individual debt of every man, woman and child in this province from about $8,000 to $40,000. That's nearly five times more, and in a non-inflationary era. The province on the Campbell/Clark watch is in hock for over $170 billion. (To see how I come by these numbers, read this earlier column by me.)

British Columbians are accustomed to ignoring these sorts of numbers as being just accountants' jargon they need never be concerned about.

Well, friends, that same sentiment not too long ago prevailed in Iceland, Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Italy and Spain. They learned as we will that size does matter.

2. The BC Libs destroying three public jewels created by WAC Bennett.

WAC Bennett brought us BC Ferries to extend the highway service to remote places. He gave us BC Rail to help "outer" BC develop. And BC Hydro was developed to bring us cheap power in our homes and our industries.

Let's look at BC Ferries. The Libs managed to give it away to a private corporation but still has to pay the bills and straighten up the never ending screw-ups.

BC Rail was a fraud steeped in financial stink -- surely this alone should consign this bunch to the political dust bin!

We once had one of the best power companies in the world. Now, thanks to Liberal giveaways to private pals, Hydro is forced to buy power it doesn't need from environmental rapists in corporate boardrooms at more than double the market cost. BC Hydro owes these government pals more than $60 billion over the next 20-30 years with plenty more to come. If BC Hydro, once the jewel in our crown, were in the private sector it would be bankrupt. It is only kept afloat because it can pass all these political pay-offs to us the users. The dots are easy to connect -- Campbell/Clark forces Hydro to pay outrageous slush money to private pals for power it can't use then has Hydro raise its rates to get the bribe money!

3. The BC Libs have lied about their fiscal plans.

This is the same bunch that wants our trust after they promised in the 2009 election that a Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) wasn't even on the radar screen. Then, seeing how badly they had bungled the budget, brought in the HST; then after a huge public outcry had to hold a referendum, cancel the tax leaving untold -- as yet -- the vast amount we owe to the federal government.

4. The BC Libs deny the facts about oil risks.

Premier Photo-op will give us pipelines because she will enforce severe, world class safety rules. She can enforce any laws she pleases but there will still be terrible spills. Enbridge, with its appalling record, demonstrated in Kalamazoo, Michigan that even when the spill is close to home it cannot be cleaned up. What then of our spills which will happen in the Rocky Mountains, the Rocky Mountain Trench, the Coast Range and the Great Bear Rain Forest as certain as God made little green apples? Even if they could be cleaned up -- which they can't -- how the hell do you get crews and machines to these places?

Ocean spills are too terrifying to contemplate. A tanker spilling bitumen would likely create a mess making Exxon Valdez seem like a dog peeing on a carpet.

In spite of Clark's assurances we will not have spills on land and sea, we will, and spill by spill, destroy our pristine province. Instead of being rewarded, the lot of them ought to be tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail.

5. The BC Liberal pitch is a dangerous get rich scheme built on dubious dreams.

Fracking is a process that drills deep into the shale fields to find and extract trapped oil and gas, using huge quantities of chemical-laced water to force the gas and oil vertically to the surface.

Where does this water come from?

What's done with the polluted and poisoned water afterwards?

As it stands, Premier Clark is building Site "C" to provide subsidized power to the fracking process, we're told. Industry is unable to make capitalism work in this case.

By 2017, says Ms. Clark, why this fracking will pay off our provincial debt and put $100 billion in a prosperity fund to keep us and our kids rich forever more.

The scheme raises some awkward questions, including: Where's the market? China claims to have enough shale gas and oil to last them 500 years! Russia has the two largest deposits in the world. North America is awash in the stuff.

The furthest ahead in getting into the fracking game is Australia which has dumped billions of taxpayer dollars into the fracking market which, to date, has not materialized.

The polls are "tightening" you say? Could that really be because we are so sadly susceptible when Christy Clark tells us this fairy tale:

"Remember Mr. Dix's falsified memo while forgetting our multitudinous scams and dirty deals and look ahead to seeing us retiring our debt and putting our province on easy street just after the election of 2017!

"And oh yes, cameras at the ready! Where's my next baby to kiss?"  [Tyee]

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