Friday, September 03, 2010

One by One: BC Liberals Will Resign or Fall, It's Their Choice

"The fact of the matter is it wasn’t on our radar. We didn’t engage in any discussions. I wasn’t thinking about it until after the election.”

- Premier Gordon Campbell (The World Today, CKNW), Aug. 7, 2009

Lies Always Lead to More Lies

Remember back when we were young and many of us experimented with telling little lies, most of the time, when caught, we pled "I don't know why" when asked to fess up to our lies. Invariably, someone either pointed it out to us, or we learned for ourselves that our desperation not to be caught for our original lie led to the next lie, which led on to the next one and so on. The HST is like that for the BC Liberals and most particularly, Colin Hansen, doomed Minister of Finance and Premier Gordon Campbell of the rapidly sinking BC Liberal party.

"The harmonized sales tax was not on our radar. We said it was not part of our election platform and it wasn't."

- Finance Minister Colin Hansen (Times Colonist), July 28, 2009

On March 12, 2009 a briefing note was prepared by senior staffers of the Finance Ministry for the Minister, Colin Hansen on the potential impacts of the HST. This was immediately preceding the election.

It's impossible to recap the media storm swirling around about the disclosures of government documents, such as briefing notes to Hanson and Campbell which are incontrovertible proof, smoking guns even, that heading into the last election the BC Liberals not only knew HST was looming on the horizon, but they also had clear opinions that the HST had the significant potential to harm BC's economy and citizens. Senior bureaucrats, the guys paid to research and think (yes that does happen in government) also informed these elected officials it would likely be at least five years before any improvements would be seen to BC's economy if the HST were to be brought in.

Directly quoted, the briefing note stated:

“There are also studies showing potential short-term economic costs. Given current economic conditions, this could be a concern.”

“The [C.D. Howe] study suggests that it may take five or more years before the impact on [gross domestic product] is positive and even longer for real wages and job numbers to recover.”

Carole James, Opposition leader of the BC NDP, having her say in a guest column in the Province, stated:

"Incredibly, the finance minister claims he never read the HST briefing note. How is it possible that the finance minister failed to read a briefing note prepared for him on what is arguably the single-biggest policy decision of the B.C. Liberal administration?

Either he's not being straight with the public or he's incompetent. And as the finance minister points fingers at anyone but his own government, the B.C. Liberals have left British Columbians adrift. And that's the worst part of this whole mess."

Hanson & Campbell Must Resign

Unlike Jordan (pulled-back-in-line) Bateman, Coleman's Langley Liberal lackey, I won't apologize, or retract this - Colin Hanson must resign. There is no other course of action. He has so profoundly compromised his own integrity as an elected official, a politician and as a human being that he cannot continue to sit in Victoria, or anywhere else.

How must the voters of Vancouver-Quilchena feel? They put this man into office in May 2009. Now they know he lied directly to them during the last election? The evidence continues to mount that Hanson has told more and more lies, to cover up the original lie. He simply is no longer fit and cannot be allowed to continue to represent the people of that riding or the people of BC.

If Hanson does not resign, once November comes, the people of Vancouver-Quilchena must remove him from office by recall. Start sharpening your pencils people. You met the bar for the HST petition, the egregious actions of your sitting MLA cannot go unpunished because he has made a mockery of your trust in him as your elected political representative and the more he spreads his own "misinformation" the more he mocks every single one of you who voted for him. He also seriously continues to damage the very electoral process and political system.

It's people like Colin Hanson and Gordon Campbell who have led to mass cynicism, mistrust (putting it mildly) and a vast disconnect of legions of voters from the electoral system and democracy in BC. We would condemn these kinds of actions of political elites in other countries, this continuing offense to democracy cannot be tolerated or allowed in our own waning civil society.

In January 2009 Premier Gordon Campbell received a briefing note on the HST before he went to the Council of the Federation (of Canadian premiers) meeting.

When you lay down with dogs, you get up with fleas

I've said it before and I will say it again, how low will BC Liberal MLA's allow themselves to go as they cling to this fetid and bloated carcass of the BC Liberal party? How much of their own personal integrity and ethics of what is right and wrong are they willing to degrade and sacrifice for this party and it's corrupt and incompetent ways? What cost are these BC Liberals willing to tolerate to their own families? If there is anyone I feel bad for in all of this it is the families of these people, b
ecause the cost of the shameful and disgraceful behaviour of these public officials is also born by their families too. Aren't politicians capable of thinking about that anymore?

Open Message to the BC Liberal MLA's

Take a moment to learn from Blair Lekstrom, who now sits as an Independent in the BC Legislature. He saw the writing on the wall over the HST. It might not be classy and pure self-interest and survival, but he knew that if more people signed the
anti-HST petition than voted for him, it was only a matter of time before he'd be thrown out of office in disgrace.

All you Liberal MLA's better start crunching the numbers, because come November, all of those people who signed the anti-HST petition and I bet a lot more people will be lining up to sign for your recall as the fall out from the HST costs us.

The anti-HST petition machine have got the numbers and they're going to pick you off, one, by one. They know the weakest links in the chain. As many of you MLA backbenchers know, or those stuck with bad portfolios (such as Mary Polak) know, you're just grist for the mill. You helped bring money into the party coffers, maybe a few other things, but other than that, you sit and do nothing, or worse, you've sat by silently while life became a whole lot more expensive and difficult for your constituents.

It isn't a stretch to say that over the last decade in BC, the quality of life for many has been degraded by the BC Liberals governance and administration. Selling off our assets and resources to multi-nationals who take the profits out of the province. And there hasn't been a damn thing citizens, or voters could do about any of it.

But the HST is the tipping point. People are angry and scared, because their paycheques, or pensions, or incomes are not going nearly as far as they did before all of these increased taxes. Life has gotten a whole lot harder for too many for some of you Liberals to survive your own government and party.

So, it's time for the line to be divided in the sand. Liberals MLA's who've sat there quietly while this was all going down better make some big decisions. Will you go down with the party, or will you pull a Lekstrom and fight for your own survival?

You have little to lose by backing away from a dying party and much, much to lose continuing on. You be the judge, but know this - citizens and voters in your ridings will be watching your every move and many more who voted for you in 2009 will be ready to kick you out in disgrace in November 2010.What do you think life will be like for you after that?

Citizen Power

If anything, one of the biggest lessons being learned across Canada by the anti-HST petition is that citizens have power in the face of an arrogant, incompetent and uncaring government. Naysayers said it couldn't be done. They were proved wrong with resounding support to scrap the HST.

For the first time in Canadian history, citizens launched a successful anti-government petition, which was upheld by the courts. The power of citizens can no longer be underestimated. It is what will bring this BC Liberal government down. I look forward to that day, because the BC Liberals have Sucked from day one and they have cheapened and worsened the lives of many for the benefit of a few. That isn't our BC and it's time to reclaim it back from the scoundrels, scalawags and ne'er-do-wells.

Rafe Mair, The Common Sense Canadian, Sept. 2, 2010

Colin Hansen, our Finance Minister, not only isn't telling the truth about the HST situation, he is a sniveling, cringing coward to boot. Be a Man, Hansen! Own up, level with people! You look like the kid with chocolate all over his face denying to his Mom that he pinched the chocolate bar as the store keeper alleged.

If you cannot be honest, at least stand up and admit it!

Michael Smyth, The Province, September 3, 2010


There's a lot of misinformation out there
Sean Leslie | Email news tips to Sean

Finance Minister Colin Hansen says he's not surprised that a new poll shows two thirds of British Columbians feel the HST has cost them money.

Hansen says the survey by Angus Reid Public Opinion confirms many people have some bad information about the tax, "63 per-cent think that their cell phone bills went up, which they didn't. 61 per-cent think that adult clothing got more expensive because of the HST. That's not true. And what was really surprising is that 76 per-cent thought that basic groceries would be subject to the HST, and of course they're exempt."

Hansen complains the Government wanted to correct that misinformation in a mail-out to British Columbians that Elections BC rejected during the Bill Vander Zalm ANTI-HST petition campaign.

1 comment:

Snafu said...

Thanks for all of this... Great blog, nice to get some straight talk for a change.

Just came back to BC from AB for the past year, and sorry to say it was the biggest mistake we ever made. We should have stayed away ~ as things really are worse than when we left 6 years ago.
We have to leave again, as we have lost everything in one misfortune after another, and must go to greener pastures simply in order to survive.
Beautiful here? Yes. But hardly worth the price-tag and daily raping... I would see & enjoy more of BC if we visited with money made from another province ~ but I don't think we'll be back, ever.
I hope y'all sort out this mess. Good luck.