Tag Archives: BC politics

Apathy Wins 52-48

“The accomplice to the crime of corruption is frequently our own indifference.”

– Bess Myerson

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It’s official, apathy has won a stunning victory in British Columbia.

52% of registered voters decided not to cast a vote in this election. More than half of the people simply do not care how this province is governed, or by whom.

This translates into a government being elected by getting just over 21% of BC voters to vote for them. That’s not a victory anyone in a democracy should be proud of.

It is simply appalling.

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Vote the Bums Out

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Vancouver Election’s Biggest Winner: The Condo King

Well, this mock political ad pretty much says it all. As I’ve been ranting for years now, Vision Vancouver, for all their “progressive” branding, have turned out to be exactly the same as any right-of-centre free market party in the one policy area that matters most to urban sustainability: development.

Vision may differ from the right-leaning NPA party in some benign environmental policies such as allowing backyard chickens or building separated bike lanes, but when it comes to land use policy — the one area which most directly relates to the United Nation’s overarching goal of SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT — they are just as beholden to developers as the NPA, and in fact have been actively pushing unsustainable development policies such as the Historic Area Height Review (HAHR) and Short Term Incentives for Rental Housing (STIR).

Both of these Vision-endorsed development policies amount to little more than paving the airspace above the city. They are not “green”, “progressive” or “sustainable development” policies. They do not provide provide affordable housing or rental stock, or in fact achieve any of the policy aims that are used to justify them. All they do is pave the way for developers to build new condo towers.

Furthermore, in an effort to stimulate the development industry and market housing growth in Vancouver, these Vision policies specifically reduce the Community Amenity Contributions (CAC) developers normally make to the City when building condo towers. CACs help pay for daycares, community centres, heritage preservation, new green spaces, public art, social housing. All things that make cities “livable”.

I don’t know how much money was spent developing and consulting on Vision’s Greenest City Action Plan. But what I do know is that none of its 10 core recommendations is focused specifically on the issue of land-use planning.

That’s not just an oversight, it’s an environmental travesty.

Why I’m Voting for “Good Guy Gregor”

I have to admit, amidst all the violent crackdowns in #occupied cities, Mayor Gregor Robertson – despite taking a lot of flack from conservative pundits (and the opposition NPA’s mayoral candidate, Suzanne Anton) for not quashing Vancouver’s tent city – is starting to look like one of the more civilized mayors in North America.

While New York City’s Mayor Bloomburg called in bulldozers, pepper spray, water cannons and riot police in the dead of night to address “fire and safety concerns”, our own city officials went in and had a chat, negotiated the removal of a few obvious problem structures, and got the VAG grounds cleaned up nicely. No trampling of Charter Rights, no barring the Free Press, no mayhem or arrests.

So yeah, I back the Juiceman.

The Mainstream Blah-gosphere Circa 2012

Campbell’s Legacy: Dishonest, Abusive, Disrespectful

Well, it had to happen eventually. The truth had to leak out about Gordon Campbell. And finally one shoe has dropped. Apparently sick of dissident Liberal Cabinet member from Kootenay East, Bill Bennett, telling everyone that the Premier had to leave NOW, not sometime next year, the lame-duck Premier decided to boot him out of cabinet.

But, good old boy that he is, Bill Bennett wasn’t going to go away quietly. He called a press conference a few hours after getting ousted and, within minutes, started ripping Gordon Campbell personally and telling anecdotes of the abusive, dishonest, bullying ways of the Premier. It is a fascinating, horrifying and disturbing tale Bennett tells. Campbell is portrayed as a man who clearly shares the traits of a classic psychopath. Not too surprising when you look at the way Campbell has lied and cheated and bullied his way through 3 election victories.

Gordon Campbell is, quite simply, a total disgrace. Bad policies are one thing, but the portrait Bennett paints is of a man who is really sick, and likely needs some serious help. Especially frightening is the reference to the “battered wife syndrome” that pervades the Liberal caucus, and the women MLAs that Campbell reduced to tears on many occasions, and especially the three women who quit because of his disrespectful and abusive nature.

Meanwhile, The Vancouver Sun’s Vaughn Palmer, who is considered by some (on the right) to be the best political columnist in BC, still has his nose way up Campbell’s backside, and only two days ago wrote a column called “History Will Show Campbell in a More Favourable Light”. Earth to Palmer. Wake up already! You might want to rethink your fawning. Bennett’s tirade is only the tip of the iceberg. Just think of all the sordid secrets surrounding the sale of BC Rail that could still come out….

There’s a link below to Bennett’s lengthy press conference (which is going viral), but I’ve pulled some of his choice quotes and copied them out below.

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“I’m tired of the bullshit that goes on in politics and I’m really tired of the way Gordon Campbell thinks he can just run on people. He can run on me. I’m a tough guy, I can take it. But I’ve seen him do it to other people in our caucus. You have almost a battered wife syndrome inside our caucus today, inside our cabinet. It’s really sad, and all the man has to do to give the B.C. Liberal party a chance to renew itself is to leave. That’s all he has to do.”

“He’s got a history of intimidating people over the years… many, many, many, people have been intimidated by him…. I’ve seen him angry on many, many, many occasions…”

Reporter: “Have you seen people in tears after one of his tirades?” Bennett: “Absolutely. Absolutely.”

“I think you’re all aware that he is a very intimidating human being. He does have a temper. He does talk to people disrespectfully in caucus. I’ve seen him do it dozens and dozens of times. He’s done it to me.”

“The first time he got angry at me… he got so angry at me, that he got in my face, he got so angry at me, he actually spit in my face. He’s not a nice man. He’s not a nice man.”

“He took me behind the barn, and he was outraged… he started to shout at me… he caught me by such surprise, I was just amazed. Here he is, the Premier of the province, and he’s spitting on me!”

“Look… when they decided to kick me out they would sit down and talk about how they were going to spin this… So they had a little plan all set for me, I mean they took my phone away, they shut it down so I couldn’t call anyone, they shut down my credit card… they knew exactly what they were doing. They couldn’t trust me not to tell the truth.”

“Everything he does is staged. I’m surprised they didn’t have someone from PAB there organizing the event.”

“I not only got shot down, I mean, he was abusive in his response…. He did his usual bully thing, and that was the end of that.”

“There’s Christy Clark, there’s Carole Taylor, there’s Olga Ilich: three outstanding, intelligent women who should be here right now, they should be here serving British Columbians. Ask yourselves why they’re not here? They’re not here because of Premier Campbell, that’s why they’re not here.”

“I had had enough of the way that Premier Campbell runs his shop. It is disrespectful to the people inside, it is disrespectful to the people of the province. It is time that he goes… he’s lost the public entirely. Now, I just don’t think that the public has any respect left for the Premier of BC and he should just leave.”

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Liberal Prudence

Wherein the Liberal definition of prudence is:

1 + 1 = 100% over budget

…because being more than 100% wrong is redundant.

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“Better get a bucket, I’m going to throw up!” Monty Python’s Mr. Creosote gorges himself  until he finally explodes after eating a “wafer thin” mint. The BC Liberal’s implosion is no less disgusting.

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I was reading BC Legislative reporter Keith Baldry’s article about the unfathomable miscalculations the Liberals have made on budgets during their time in office, and the serious lack of credibility it points to for both Colin Hansen and Gordon Campbell. So I did a cursory study of a five different BC Liberal budgets, which quickly revealed an almost pathological level of financial incompetence that has cost taxpayers over 5 billion dollars (and I have not included the Olympics, Gateway, Abby Hospital, or privatization schemes like BC Rail, BC Hydro, BC Gas, or shifting tax ploys like the carbon tax, MSP premiums, corporate tax cuts, oil and gas drilling rate cuts — the list of Liberal boondoggles costing BC taxpayers goes on and on).

Mmmmmn, smells like pork!

Despite the BC Liberals freakishly cunning ability to maintain a reputation as tough and prudent financial managers who know how to do business (thanks MSM, including reporters like Baldry, for never questioning the lie all these years), as the numbers below clearly show, Colin Hansen and Gordon Campbell are by far the most bungling, inept and costly government British Columbian taxpayers have ever seen. Gee, no wonder they had to raid BC Gaming and take the hatchet to the Arts sector.

The numbers don’t lie, unlike the BC Liberals.

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B.C. Liberal Budgets Studied: 5 (see below for a breakdown of each)

Total Original Amount of the Budgets: 4.20 billion

Actual Cost to Taxpayers: 9.41 billion

Total Over Budget Cost to Taxpayers: 5.21 billion

Average Percent Over Budget: 124%

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1. BC Place Retractable Roof

Original Budget Announcement: 365 million

Actual Cost to Taxpayers: 577 million

Total Over Budget Cost to Taxpayers: 212 million

Percent Over Budget: 58%

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2. Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre

Original Budget Announcement: 495 million

Actual Cost to Taxpayers: 883 million

Total Over Budget Cost to Taxpayers: 388 million

Percent Over Budget: 78%

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3. RAV/Canada Line

Original Budget Announcement: 1.35 billion

Actual Cost to Taxpayers: 2.80 billion

Total Over Budget Cost to Taxpayers: 1.45 billion

Percent Over budget: 107%

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4. BC Liberals’ Pre-Election Budget, Feb. 2009

Original Budget Announcement: 495 million

Actual Cost to Taxpayers: 1.78 billion (last I heard–it keeps changing)

Total Over Budget Cost to Taxpayers: 1.29 billion

Percent Over budget: 260%

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5. Port Mann Bridge Twinning

Original Budget Announcement: 1.5 billion

Actual Cost to Taxpayers: 3.3 billion

Total Over Budget Cost to Taxpayers: 1.8 billion

Percent Over budget: 120%

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