Well Mr. Premier, you did it. You parlayed 46% of 50% of the eligible voters into another majority government for your incongruously named Liberals.
So that means that out of all the prospective voters in BC, 23% voted for you and your Liberal party and you guys once again grabbed victory from the jaws of mediocrity. Nothing like getting a 23% majority!
Oh well, putting a sweater on Stephen Harper paid off and I guess putting the fear of an economic crisis into the souls of BC voters paid off for you too! Interesting that Harper got elected with the lowest voter turnout in Canadian history, and you got elected with the lowest voter turnout in BC history. It’s apparent that inspiration wasn’t much of a factor in either exercise of democracy!
So Gord, one of the things that left me thunderstruck was that David Suzuki and a few other environmentalists actually seemed to forget that you support lifting the moratorium on oil and gas exploration off the coast of BC. Somehow these purveyors of green overlooked your support of fish farms and the consequent deterioration of the salmon runs in BC. They also seem to have forgotten about the Run of River projects and your interest in developing two coal-fired hydro plants in northern BC. These environmentalists apparently went gaga because your government dumped a 2.4 cent tax on fuel, and that was hailed as the answer to BC’s planet warming woes. Strange bedfellows indeed!
Now I’m not saying the NDP ran a great campaign. Their negative approach towards your honourable self was juvenile and ultimately self-destructive, but their hearts are in the right place. They springboard from a place of social justice, whereas you and your pack seem to come from a place of economic righteousness based on cultivating a fear of change.
And then there was your condescending attitude towards Carole James in the televised debate that should really have had every female voter in the province out to make sure your future was in hogs, not politics. But for some unknown reason, perhaps your regular reference to yourself as a grandfather, you seem to have won over even those whose political acumen should have directed them elsewhere.
So Gord, it looks like we’re in for another four years of Liberal domination. And I do mean domination! From your past record, it’s about domination of the land, of our resources, of the financial system and of the political process.
You know Mr. Premier, I used to envision British Columbia as influential in our country. We saw ourselves as leaders in social thought and practice; leaders in developing healthy and sustainable environmental policies and projects; leaders in finding ways to divest ourselves of old, tired and unworkable approaches to everything from addictions to higher education. Now when I look at these issues, I see a range of realities and characteristics that perturbs me. We have the highest rate of child poverty in the country. We share the lowest minimum wage in the country with PEI and New Brunswick, but with one of the highest costs of living.
Nearly 300,000 people in BC work for less than $10.00 per hour and almost half are 25 years of age or older, which means they are likely trying to support themselves and their families on a wage that is below the poverty line. Every other province but BC increased its minimum wage this spring. (Apparently it hasn’t yet destroyed their economies as you said it would ours.) Instead of implementing a fair minimum wage, we increased the wages of our senior bureaucrats and politicians by between 20 to 43 percent! Our students carry a huge level of student debt due to the double-digit increases in tuition under your government. We remain one of only two provinces to impose a health tax like the MSP (Ontario’s OHP tops out at $900 per year if you make over $200,600 and it’s collected via the income tax form. In BC if you make $28,000/ year you pay the entire MSP. In Ontario at $28,000 you pay $300).
Our forestry industry has been decimated and we continue to export raw logs.
Our fishing industry is seriously distressed by your government’s support of fish farms.
Our coastline and oceans may soon be threatened if you and Mr. Harper both proceed with your stated interest in lifting the moratorium on oil and gas exploration along the BC coast.
We are bleeding jobs (23,000 lost in March) when we could become leaders in developing sustainable and eco-supportive industries and new energy initiatives like solar, wind and tidal.
Mr. Premier, I suggest you may want to seriously consider why 77% of the possible voters in BC did not vote for you and your policies.
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