Friday, September 2, 2011

BC Politics This Week

The end of the week is approaching, and as I mentioned in an earlier post … I am back again after being lazy and taking the summer off (hey there has to be some time available so I can ride my motorcycle and have that family vacation time.

It has been an interesting week in BC politics as another high profile former Reform / Conservative MP has indicated he plans to seek a nomination for the BC Conservative Party … Christy Clark has finally indicated that she is not going to call an early election … there was news on the global warming front … and BC Ferries under the leadership of highly paid and highly pensioned David Hahn continue to bleed red ink.

Speaking of the highly paid executive at BC Hydro, you may wish to take a few minutes to look at the two following charts.  The first chart is from BC Stats and shows salaries for workers in BC across the main economic sectors … the second shows what is being earned by Public Sector CEO’s and top management people at BC Hydro, BC Ferries, ICBC, Powerex, etc).  Like me, I doubt if you will be pleased by what you see

Meantime … here are some of the stories that made political news in BC this week:

… the halfway completion of a government project is rarely going to make headlines … still there was Premier Christy Clark on Saturday, surrounded by bridge builders and a politician or three, proclaiming herself "absolutely delighted" at the news that construction of "this magnificent structure" had passed the 50-per-cent mark.

… believes the B.C. Liberals under Premier Christy Clark, a longtime federal Liberal, are losing their ability to unite federal Conservative and Liberal supporters against the New Democrats.  "The B.C. Liberal coalition is kind of coming to its shelf-life end," said Forseth, who voted for B.C. Liberals in the past but was not a party member.
2013 election no surprise to BC Conservatives
The leader of the BC Conservative Party says he's not surprised the premier has decided not to call a fall election … after dodging questions on a possible fall election as recently as a week ago, Premier Christy Clark ruled out an early trip to the polls on Wednesday…

… science is now all-but-settled on global warming but Al Gore, the IPCC and other global warming doomsayers won’t be celebrating.  The new findings point to cosmic rays and the sun — not human activities — as the dominant controller of climate on Earth … comes from one of the world’s largest centres for scientific research involving 60 countries and 8,000 scientists at more than 600 universities and national laboratories.

Clark makes right choice to hold off on election
… though Clark, as premier, continued to voice a preference for unfixing the date - "waiting until 2013 is too long" - she was eventually brought round to the opposite point of view … the HST will be phased out, even on the worst-case timetable sketched out by the Ministry of Finance. By then, too, the public should have a thorough opportunity to assess Clark as premier, Adrian Dix as leader of the Opposition and Conservative John Cummins as a challenger to both.

The party’s position on this matter is laid out in a draft policy paper that will be presented to BC Conservatives when they hold their convention in Nanaimo on September 24 … also devotes a whole section to private property rights … clarification of property rights and land titles, and reform measures on strata property laws.

Not so long ago, we were the “Best place on Earth.” … urged to embrace a “New era.” … embraced the “Heartlands” back when rural British Columbia was in the BC Liberal sightlines … the “Five great goals for a golden decade”? … now, government is all about “Families first.”   But separating the slogans from the action, the Clark government has made changes only on the margins for most BC families…

How much worse are things going to get, and what is the government going to do to ensure this region's economy isn't further damaged by the fallout?  … quarterly report Wednesday … bleak news … revenues fell 1.8 per cent, despite - or in part because of - fare increases. Vehicle traffic was down 3.3 per cent … passenger traffic down 2.9 per cent … expenses were up 1.5 per cent.  As a result, the ferry service lost $5.5 million for the quarter, compared with a $900,000 profit in 2010.

It’s a Labour Day long weekend which means Fall will un-officially kick off next week as the kids go back to school.  I’m headed to Barriere for the annual North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo.  I hope you have a great weekend … and I’ll be back next week.

In Kamloops I’m Alan Forseth … with the thoughts of one conservative.
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