So welcome to 2007 Mr. Premier!!
I was wondering whether or not you intended to hold any Legislative sittings this year. I realize that you felt that there was really nothing to talk about or meet about last fall, but I was hoping that you might think that there are a few issues worth discussing this year. But, maybe I’m just dreaming. I know your sights are firmly fixed on 2010. Too bad about the BC Stadium roof, but I guess that’s what happens when too much hot air just isn’t strong enough to hold up anything of substance – I wonder if there’s a metaphor here?
There are a few things that I’d like to bring to your attention if you figure there’s not much to meet about. There’s the small matter of increasing homelessness throughout the province, but especially in Vancouver and Victoria. Then there’s the annoying and odiferous matter of Victoria continuing to flush all their poop into the ocean without any serious consideration of the health of the fish, the whales, the humans or the planet. Small matters to be sure, but compelling nonetheless. I understand that there’s also a fair amount of heart medication and other geriatric prescription fallout that end up in the ocean off Victoria due to the direct flushing of untreated urine into the ocean too. (Glad it’s urine and not mine, eh!)
And, Mr. Premier, if this doesn’t grab your attention, there’s always the statement that you made in China late last year when, on your taxpayer funded trip, you assuaged the fears of some Asian businessmen, assuring them that there would be some real movement on the oil front in the waters off Haida Gwaii. Let’s hope that movement isn’t an earthquake, eh Gord! That could be messy and just somewhat annoying for the ocean dwellers – and we land dwellers too come to think of it. Have you put any thought into that whole idea of alternate fuels and energy sources lately? It seems as if it might have some merit. (Europe seems to think so.) That’s nearly as exciting as pondering the possibility of a waste treatment plant for Victoria!! (I get all flushed just thinking about it!)
Now, the whole debate about “clean coal” being mined and used for BC Hydro. Hmm, that seems to remind me of George Orwell’s famous “newspeak.” You recall Gord, where the government of the day creates versions of language that combine opposites into new phraseology or ideology – like “negative growth” or “friendly fire” or “collateral damage.” Gord, coal just isn’t clean. You just can’t use the two words in the same sentence. Just ask David Suzuki or others who have some sense of how the environment works. (Just don’t ask Rona Ambrose.) Ultimately it’s kind of like an ecological “weapon of mass destruction” – although in this case, the danger is real.
Gord, there’s also this TILMA agreement with Alberta that just doesn’t seem to be going away. Maybe it’s time to have a discussion about this, seeing as how the end result will be a virtual erasure of the borders between Alberta and British Columbia. I have to wonder if this is the result of some unfulfilled urge of yours to become a cowboy, or whether you just happily gave BC to Steady Eddy, the Prince of Wales during King Ralph’s reign, thinking that bigger is better. Gord, size really doesn’t matter, so you could just cancel or postpone this whole thing and maybe even have a debate about it in the Legislature sometime this year. The BCGEU and other groups -“special interest groups” as you like to call them – although I’ve never yet encountered a group that wasn’t formed by an interest in something special - would love to chat with you and your government about this little bit of over the counter legislation.
Then Gord, there’s the whole debate going on (even though the Legislature is closed) about health care and your government’s seeming urge to privatize as much as possible while claiming that nothing is really being privatized. I understand the whole False Creek thing has gone down the toilet (good thing Vancouver has a water treatment planet), but I figure your government’s urge to redefine “private” as “still sort of public” hasn’t disappeared. Gord, if you really believe that private is better than public, how about we contract out the management of BC to the public sector - not just the collection of delinquent MSP payments like we have now, but the whole province. And if the trend continues, the management of the province would likely be handed out to an American or an Albertan firm. Just think of the savings.
Then, lest I forget, there’s the whole question about that nasty “training wage” piece of work you inserted into the fabric of our society. Gord, that just has to go – along with the current minimum wage. We need to move steadfastly into the 21st century, assisting our citizens to take their place in our society without having to rely on food banks and other indicators of moral ineptitude. And Gord, while we’re discussing moral ineptitude, have you had a chat with your ideological buddy Stephen Harper about that safe injection site issue? You might help him read the studies that have been done that demonstrate the efficacy of these programs. Maybe you could suggest that his government takes a position on it based on science and research rather than ideology – a novel idea for neo-cons I know, but worth pursuing perhaps.
Gord, I really do hope you’ll consider having a sitting of the Legislature this year. There seems to be a significant number of interesting things to chat about and ponder. I know we can count on you to “stay the course” and “go forward”, or whatever euphemism works for you.
Til next time Mr. Premier.
Happy New Year.
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