Congratulations on your retirement. That will teach me to write my column a few days early! I had an entire 800 word article devoted to your latest $240,000 television address regarding the state of the province and a few other of your more recent questionable expenditures like the new $500,000 plus retractable roof on BC Place that won’t retract in the rain. (Rain in BC you say? Can you hear me smiling from here?)
There was also the $18,000,000 Basi-Virk extravaganza that I wanted to discuss with you, but now that those two gentlemen have unexpectedly pled guilty, we are spared having you and other Ministers called as witnesses. That is indeed unfortunate as so many of us were looking forward to your words and explanations on this matter.
That’s also a lot of taxpayer money to be handing out while the province continues to address a huge financial deficit. Just think what $18,000,000 could buy. Hmm…
I was also looking at your commitment to have children who are graduating from grade four be able to read at a grade four level. (What a thought, reading at a grade four level when a child graduates from grade four!)
Then you upstaged the whole thing and came up with this decision to resign and I had to re-write the entire column. Thanks!
It has been most interesting to follow the many comments and the analysis following your unexpected announcement. It’s amazing how quickly a political figure can go from sinner to saint when they resign, quit, or die. However, in your case the whole “saint” thing may be a bit of an overstatement.
I have no problem recognising that it takes a certain amount of commitment and audacity to enter the arena of public life. I will even admit a grudging respect for those who do so – having had a taste of the experience myself, I can appreciate the work involved. However, this grudging respect in no way takes away from my disapproval and dissatisfaction for what you and your political allies have inflicted on this province over the past nine and one half years.
You touted the economic boom that you have fostered in BC, yet the minimum wage remains the lowest in Canada, so I have to ask “boom for whom?” (Sorry about the unfortunate assonance.) In the likely-to-be-seriously-dragged-out political soap opera of your departure, I don’t anticipate you claiming responsibility for the embarrassingly high level of child poverty, or the state of long term care, or the mess with BC Rail and BC Ferries, or the morally dubious entrance of your government into the money-grabbing world of online gambling, or the closure of 24 out of 68 courthouses resulting in many cases being thrown out of court for lengthy delays, or the two increases in the MSP, or leaving students with the highest tuition fees ever on record for BC universities and colleges, or the massive cuts to the arts and community social service programs. I also suspect that you won’t be touting your Health Minister’s new pay-as-you-go hospital costs he so righteously wants to implement.
Speaking of your Health Minister, his is one of the names being tossed around as a possible successor to your honourable self. I’m assuming that in the sunset of your leadership of this neo-conservative group of duly elected disciples, you will be trying to influence the outcome of any pretenders to the throne – despite all disclaimers that will most likely be issued forth from your disappearing self. If you really wanted to do the province that you purport to have only the best interests for a real favour, how about taking your entire party with you? If not, I hopefully envision an instant replay of the resignation of that other fine politician of your ilk, Brian Mulroney. Remember, when he retired, he basically left his party with a nasty legacy and left Kim Campbell with a blistering defeat at the subsequent polls.
You know Mr. Premier, it’s not nice to raise everybody’s hopes by announcing your resignation, and then dash them to the ground by adding “eventually”. Quite frankly, if you say you’re going to leave, well then, leave dammit!
If you continue to hang in there, we might begin to remember other things that you said you were going to do (or not do) and did (or didn’t do.) Perhaps you’ll recall one of your better lines about not even considering the HST. Then there’s the promise to never sell BC Rail.
Regardless, I was hoping for a quick exit so I could start to write about other things. Now, thanks to your extended leave-taking, I sense you may still be in a position that will impact my literary aspirations for a while to come.
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