It would appear that your plan to completely privatize BC Ferries and to ensure that only the wealthy will be able to afford to live on the Gulf Islands is close to success. I congratulate you.
You have not only supported BC Ferries being managed by an American (apparently there was no Canadian living in BC capable of taking on the task of ensuring that this previous Crown Corporation be recreated as a private, profit-making corporation) but by enshrining Mr. Hahn as the CEO you have ensured that someone with no respect for the Canadian-British Columbian culture of publicly owned Crown Corporations is at the helm of this undertaking. We wouldn’t want anyone to be burdened with our unique, rather quaint, Canadian sensitivities.
Gord, your capacity to distance yourself and your government from the BC Ferries situation reminds one of many of the decisions you and your government have taken in similarly selling off BC Gas (renaming it Terasan Gas didn’t really fool too many people) and BC Rail and other publically owned corporations. It also tends to bring to mind the way in which you and your government distance yourself from the delivery of Health Care in this province by insisting that Health Care is now the responsibility of the Health Authorities, or the way in which your government continues the unethical practice of charging citizens of BC for access to public health via the MSP, which we are all aware is deposited directly into general revenues. I also find it intriguing that an American company continues to be tasked with the collection of this odious tax – which you and your government increased by 50% a few years ago. Once again, apparently no BC or even Canadian company was capable of collecting this questionable fee. It’s amazing that we are able to walk and chew gum at the same time given that we Canadians apparently seem incapable of even collecting our own money. I am so appreciative that you’ve been able to burden an American company with this distasteful task!
And now Gord, you and your government are looking at ways to create public-private partnerships in BC’s Health Care system. I must congratulate you in rather efficiently moving towards achieving your ideological goals. I have also recently learned that you and your government are now even considering expanding your ideological sensitivities into our provincial parks by encouraging commercial development in these precious areas. It is interesting to see that there really are no sacred cows for you and your government. I wonder whether your have considered privatizing the Ministry of Children and Families? It would appear that the current set-up is not working too well. I also understand that BC’s water may also be for sale. What’s next? When everything that belonged to the people of BC has been sold, when the capital that has taken so long to accumulate has been spent, then what shall you and the MLA pawn shop use for collateral I wonder.
Perhaps I can offer you and your government some further options. I understand that you and your government have decided to tackle the “problems” at Cathedral Grove. Rather than cutting down just a few old growth trees there for a larger parking lot, why not cut them all down? It would ultimately be much safer as people would no longer stop to gawk at these last few magnificent old growth giants, thus reducing the “safety concerns” you and your government are so concerned about. And this could give you the parking lot that your minister seems so focused on getting into place. Perhaps McDonald’s could put a new outlet there. After all, there really is no way of accessing any fast food between Qualicum and Port Alberni. They could do an environmentally sensitive outlet, reminiscent of that promised by Wal-Mart in Vancouver!! Perhaps they could use some of the cedar left over from the removal of the dangerous old growth to give the new McDonald’s a feel of belonging there.
I’ve also heard that you and your government are actively promoting drilling for oil off the Coast of our province. I wonder, has anyone mentioned to you that this is not only an exquisitely sensitive and unique ecological area, but there are also regular and sometimes serious earthquakes in the area? A few scientists like David Suzuki and others with some formal education seem to think this could be a bit of a problem, what with potential oil spills and all that messy stuff – not to mention the whales and other non-tax paying mammals.
Perhaps the ultimate achievement here may well be the final contracting out of the governmental process to some other American company. After all, if the privatization of everything is so popular with you and your government, and if you all truly believe that private, for profit approaches are indeed the salvation for BC, perhaps Wal-Mart or some other American giant (maybe HBC??) should be contracted to run our fair province. According to your ideological bent, they should be able to do it better, more efficiently and with greater profits than you and your government. I understand that there may be a few positions as Greeters for out-of-work politicians. I wonder how you’d feel about working part-time with no benefits and at minimum wage? Oh well, there are social safety nets in case you can’t make ends meet. Well, actually, most of those safety nets have been dismantled. There are always the food banks. They are also private, seeing as how they get no support from the public purse. I thought you would appreciate that! (We call this a private-private partnership.)
And Gord, I need to state that my comments are in no way to be perceived as anti-American. I suspect that Americans would have reactions similar to my own should their state governments decide to hire Canadians and Canadian companies to handle some of their most sensitive and essential services. Your obvious affection for the American way of doing business will likely eventually entice you to live in the States. If so, we will just have to deal with our loss and learn how to move on. Perhaps if you want some company on the trip south, you may wish to take Mr. Hahn with you. I’m sure that you and he will have no problem finding topics of conversation on the trip home. Perhaps both of you could offer some version of consulting services to the Governor of California, the other Terminator!
Til next time…
Dear Gord is a satirical attempt to promote a serious and in-depth re-consideration of how we, our societies and our governments make decisions in light of the increasingly enormous influence that corporate lobbying, power, influence and seduction are having on our way of life. It is also a request to ask for thoughtful and serious reflection on what the role of government is and how it is becoming increasingly invasive in our lives and dependent on corporations. I hold that changing the world begins with changing our attitudes and becoming involved first in our own communities.
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