“Drift, paralysis, inertia” It’s on display in the BC Pundit Gallery these days..
That’s the Press Gallery which for 36 hours has maintained a nearly uniform cone of silence on this story, with an allegation the Premier made a very out of the way trip to give funding in an area of Federal responsibility at the precise time her brother may have needed a little help with a band election and a business project…. I’m not arguing for a moment that anything can be immediately or ever, proven, but hard questions should be asked and I hope the FOI officers in Education, First Nations relations, and the Premier’s office have a busy week coming. It’s unacceptable to me that the Premier can do interviews the very day this is published in the Globe and Mail and not have to answer some hard questions:
Read Les Leyne for an illustration of Drift, Paralysis, and Inertia, or don’t bother. It’s not really a column worth reading:
Leyne is right that not much was achieved in the Fall Session by the government. (Red Tape reduction day? Really? )
But Leyne is wrong to suggest there is nothing that is more worthwhile to talk about than the lacklustre program of the current government. It’s been a couple of weeks since that column, and the cumulative impacts keep piling up… What am I on about?
One of the complaints of First Nations and environmental groups about the various gas projects in the Northeast and pipelines elsewhere, is that there is no effective regime for studying the impact of all the criss-crossing projects proceeding in their disorganized way , all or many at once.
I would argue the same is true when it comes to the many scandals attaching day by day to the current government. Each one arrives, whether it’s triple deleting of records that should be public property, or BCHydro apparently lying to the regulator about IT systems procurement, or the Ministry of Children and Families ignoring court orders, thereby putting a child in the way of sexual predation by her father, or children in care in Prince George living effectively in drug dens…. Each one is talked about , a little or a lot. And then forgotten.
But once in a while a face is put to the damage caused by a government that says to the child in line at the food bank…. “We might make welfare rates humane or provide the real means to live to the disabled, after the economy improves and we’ve given a few more billions in subsidies to our party donors. ”
There are two such faces at the end of this post.
The Vancouver Sun is doing a series this week on multi-million, 20% plus, IT procurement overruns in a variety of BC Governnment Ministries…It will be worth reading. It will be shared piece by piece among the politically obsessed such as myself, and then forgotten by May 2017. In the run up to May 2017, perhaps some third party group with a connection to Phil Hochstein will put ads on the air reminding us of a botched ferry project from before some voters were born.
Perhaps Adrian Dix backdated memo will be brought up, while we forget about the current government that Deletes All the Fucking Memos.
Perhaps it’s the Shawnigan Lake toxic waste dump we have a passing interest in.. For a moment it looked like the permit might be pulled, as water that was supposed to be contained on site gushes past the containment pond and into the lake with every rain. But the permit hasn’t been pulled…Maybe that was a tease to relieve public pressure a bit. The engineering firm that presented evidence to the Environmental Assessment had a profit sharing deal drafted with the proponent, but don’t worry, that was never acted on, and besides it’s before the courts so we couldn’t possibly comment.
The issue, whatever it was, is sent for a review by someone the Press Gallery Pundits find eminently credible.. Advice is given to the government which the government promises to accept. (Watch this space on Tuesday) In each case it is difficult for keen observers to understand how the issue was mishandled in the first place.
Most of the electorate are not keen observers.. And Global’s Legislative Bureau Chief can accurately muse aloud about the ongoing Special Prosecutor’s investigation into the Quickwins scandal.. “Does anyone remember what that was about?”
I remember… it was about diverting lists of names of people in various multicultural groups from the BC government to the BCLiberal party to help the party with the 2013 election. We are still waiting to truly discover how far it went, or not, but the reason most of the public doesn’t remember what it was about? That’s because some of the Press Gallery Pundits thought it was a “problem” for the governing party, rather than a monstrous fraud.
And you know “problems” are like dirty laundry.. wash em out, with an election as detergent, and it’s like no quasi-criminal wrongdoing ever occurred.
But hell.. Even Rich Coleman looked ashamed of it when the story broke. That’s how bad it was.
Now and then, some member of the public says, no…enough. And a face is put to the incompetence, graft, and miserliness in public services… Perhaps it’s Tim Duncan , who blew the whistle on Deleting All the Fucking Memos….
Or perhaps it’s the parents of a child who committed suicide. No matter that the Ministry sends them threats warning them that there is much about their case they can’t dicuss….. No matter that MCFD workers hand out business cards without even their government email address. No matter that case workers hold meetings with parents of children in care without notes (to protect privacy…whose privacy??).
These parents of Nick Lang , are the face behind the cumulative impacts……Watch their dignified discussion with Drex at CKNW… I admire their courage. I’m sure you do too..
(I don’t blog to make the Press Gallery look bad..Without the Press Gallery I would know nothing about the issues I discuss on this blog. I don’t blog because the economic arguments of the right wing have no merit… they do have merit, but not a monopoly on merit. I don’t blog to attack reputations needlessly. )
Please, can we not admit the current BCGovernment is pretty much in chaos…that they are incompetent and dishonest. What is the critical mass of people needed to make Clark’s crew either tangibly reform or get out of the way?
Oh, and about the “egomaniacal nobody”? That’s me.. It’s a term of affection given me by a well respected BC Pundit for encouraging free and determined inquiry in the press.