Premier Clark (via the Vancouver Sun), graced us with “her opinion” of John Horgan’s opposition leadership and Premier potential on the front page this morning. It may be an entertaining read, but it contributes little to actual understanding of our electoral choice May 9th.
What I think is that the Premier has a record of running from accountability at every turn. This now includes closing the legislature two weeks early without passing bills which got quite a bit of press. Those include the Green Private Members Bill to stop employers requiring female workers to wear high heels. The Liberals also ran away before passing Clark’s “real time disclosure bill”.. (A failed attempt to change the conversation on banning big money from distorting the power of donors to warp policy decisions by government.) Hell, they didn’t even pass their own budget, opting for an “interim supply bill”.
What’s just as bad, the government failed to produce documents to disprove allegations that Minister Coleman and/or BC Housing loaned $40 million of our dollars directly to one of Bob Rennie’s big dollar condo projects with no affordable housing included in that same project….”Land swaps”, “the mortgage was in lieu of security on another project which did include low income homes” …..Prove it Mr. Coleman. Your Ministry didn’t release the details of the loan via FOI. You haven’t released them now. Running from accountability.
Back to the VanSun front page…..
Spoiler #1, she characterized her opponent negatively. Yes, I know it’s a shock. Full article here, and yes, it does include quotes from Horgan as well. Fair is fair. http://vancouversun.com/news/politics/premier-clark-dismisses-horgan-as-leader-who-lacks-a-spine
Spoiler #2…. What follows is my opinion. Where it differs from Clark’s is that I’ll offer facts to back it up. Clark should be challenged to do the same at every turn.
We all understand the political art of war enough to know that defining your opponent is a well-worn strategy. It’s up to us to decide if the “definition” has merit. I don’t believe it does have merit and I’m going to do two things here…1) Ask if there’s evidence… 2) If there is evidence, show what it is, pro or con.
Quotes from Rob Shaw’s article in italics, then my comments:
“John, he is not as strong a leader as I thought he would be,” said Clark. “He hasn’t been able to corral his caucus, there’s so much disunity in the group, they are always fighting with each other.”
This is pure negative campaign politics. First it was “John who?”. Then it was “Say anything Horgan” in an ad campaign fully funded by an industry front group. Now it’s “John Horgan is weak”.
The facts are there has been no visible and quoted division in the NDP caucus. Nothing to back this up at all except an admission I saw Horgan make himself along the lines that internal debates happen and can be vigorous.
Personally I think it would be a damned shame if there were no debates within the BCLiberal caucus on important issues, like ‘getting to yes’ on answering the mystery of who fired the health researchers and consequently cost us who knows how many dollars in legal action and multiple investigations. Why did that happen 4 years ago? What is it that caused a PhD candidate , Rod MacIsaac, to commit suicide?
I think it would be a damned shame if nobody in the BCLiberal caucus advocated for welfare recipients to get a tiny raise from ten years at $610 a month. It’s terrible policy like this that grows petty crime, desperation and homelessness by government’s ideological intransigence.
I think it would be a shame if nobody on the Liberal benches wanted to stop funding Jumbo several 100K a year. That’s the town with no buildings and no citizens, perpetually awaiting being built, for a ski resort that’s been on hold for twenty odd years.
He can’t seem to take a position on any of the important policies, things it’s obvious we are all going to have to take a position on.
Let’s see… I’ve followed John Horgan’s statements pretty closely. Here are some very consistent ones. They almost certainly don’t please everyone but they are consistent.
Horgan on SiteC…. “Send it to BCUC and have somebody who isn’t a BCLiberal tell me it’s a good idea. “ I can trace this back to well before the last election. He’s not held a different position.
But what about the 1000 jobs?… According to Horgan, the plan is to create more jobs saving and producing more energy at a lower cost…. Read the Power BC plan and judge for yourself here:
It’s an approach that needs vigorous discussion during the campaign, and fleshing out so people understand. And that must happen before we spend any more of $10+ billion on a dam which hasn’t had independent oversight.
Horgan on Kinder Morgan… Consistently Against. JH made one error, in which he said famously “I could be convinced”. It was a mistake because it could be repeated out of context. What is not widely shared is that the paragraph that contained that quote ended with….”I can’t see how Kinder Morgan is in BC’s best interests”. Every statement JH has made since he took over as leader has included…”I can’t see how Kinder Morgan is in BC’s best interests (in its current form and with the hopelessly twisted review process that studied it). Horgan’s position on Kinder Morgan has always been “No”.
Prove me wrong. Send me an unedited link.
LNG- Horgan: Pro building the industry but minus the fantasy trillion. Supports Woodfibre’s project…wants Petronas moved from Lelu Island to Ridley or a less ecologically sensitive salmon salmon rearing area (that’s a no-brainer).
Horgan on Education: Pro. Often talks of how a pubic school teacher straightened him up in his teen years and helped him become what he is today. Spoke consistently against the violation of teachers bargaining rights that Christy Clark championed until she was laughed out of the Supreme Court of Canada in less than twenty minutes but more than a few million dollars wasted.
Clark on the other hand, has gone from that position to being delighted by the opportunity the SCC graciously handed her to hire more specialist and other teachers and make kids lives better, when otherwise she was kinda hamstrung.
Getting Big Money out of politics… Pro. Horgan has said this will be the first act of an NDP government. Consistency? It has been NDP policy since the 2005 election with multiple opposition bills introduced in the house over 10 years…Flip. Flop. Flip. Flop.
Clark may promise to study the issue after the election, but clings to the idea that we aren’t pained by giving contracts at a higher rate to construction firms who donate to the BCLiberals, and at higher dollar values, than to firms which don’t donate to the party. Don’t believe me? Read this Carl Meyer piece : http://www.nationalobserver.com/2017/03/07/news/new-revelations-about-christy-clarks-donors
(Ok let’s move on, because I don’t think there’s an issue that shapes the integrity of our governance and therefore every other issue than that last one.)
Clark again.. “I know how hard this is to do, but I think in John there is kind of a profound, maybe it is fear or weakness I don’t know, but he really hasn’t turned out to have the spine that Adrian Dix had.”
Be serious. Nobody who has actually heard Horgan in the house, or interviewed, or make a speech could agree with the characterization that he is spineless. It’s complete bullshit.
“I’ve got a good record to run on,”
We’ll be the judge of that, Ms. Clark, but let’s review
LNG dollars generated 0
15 years of conflict instead of honest negotiation in education.
Federal investigation into lobbying scandal in progress
Home prices allowed to skyrocket out of our “affordability zone”. Leading Canada for one year at least in economic growth, but near the bottom of the heap in full-time secure job creation. All about families..
$170 billion in combined debt, deferrals, and contractual obligations.. all of which have grown faster under the Clark regime than any other.
After Mt Polley, complete failure to rein in the practice of tailing pond lakes, when the Mt. Polley investigation recommended dry stack tailings in mining. Speaking of mining….Is it $5billion in unfunded liabilities for environmental reclamation and cleanup? Because donors.
Health care researcher firings. The single biggest act of bullying in the history of the BC Public Service, and still running from accountability.
Accusing NDP falsely of a criminal act (hacking) then after days running from it, finally admitting error and leaving an apology by voicemail.. Trumpish I have to say. Even more so while announcing it will be a dirty election campaign because NDP. Really.
Being there when it matters… When the diesel spill happened in Heiltsuk territory, it was the NDP MLA Jennifer Rice, who spent a week there. John Horgan went too… Christy did not.
Relations with First Nations… Christy, you’ve been asked not to appear at Haida Gwaii during the Royal visit. You had Rich Coleman and his LNG booster team drummed out of a meeting with local First Nations in Ft. St. John after attempting to completely exempt LNG projects from any environmental review whatsoever… You had to back off.. See this article and video.. http://commonsensecanadian.ca/first-nations-collision-course-lng/
Okay… This rant is way too long.. It had to be, but I could go all night on the actual record….I’m done and thanks for reading and sharing. It’s clear from comments received on twitter regarding this piece there needs to be a Part II…. Watch for it over the weekend- Merv. (March 17, 17)