Friday, December 28, 2012

Words of Wisdom from Premier Clark

This story still has legs, as they say, hahaha. But then, it's a really slow news week.

Thousands and thousands of taxpayer funds are going into special media handlers for our illustrious leader & BC government media spies (yes, I see you) and this is the best we get. Really? 

Women who make the decision to go into politics are a tough bunch. And yes, women face double standards in virtually every setting still. It's what makes women the stronger sex by a long shot, because they have to fight harder to achieve anything.

What is missing in the critiques are a Premier who simply comes across in a really stupid, self-serving way much of the time she's in front of a microphone, or camera. As the audio clip demonstrated, her vanity got the better of her, but she did display a sense of humour. And if people don't think male politicians get ambushed sometimes, they haven't listened to other radio shows, like 99.3 CFOX's Jeff O'Neill show, which routinely takes the piss with people from all walks of life. Check out audio clip of her stint on O'Neill & gang's show here.

I'll actually give Premier Clark a thumbs up on this one. She rolled with the joke and moved on and didn't get all self-righteous about it. Let's face it - she was right. It is better to be a MILF than a cougar! Am I right, ladies? hahahaha
by Miranda Nelson on Dec 28, 2012, Georgia Straight. 

In an interview with  98.9 JetFM in Courtenay, B.C., morning host Drex asked the premier "what it’s like being a MILF?", ostensibly on behalf of a caller.

However, instead of getting offended at the incredibly sexist question, Ms. Clark just laughed. And then answered the question.

"You know, I take that as a compliment … you know, it’s one of those things. Better a MILF than a cougar … so tell [the caller] I said thank you."

Really, Premier Clark? I know you're not a great advocate for families or children or, well, anything else, but can't you at least advocate for yourself? The only acceptable answer to a question like that is, "That's inappropriate" or "You got the premier of the province on your radio show and all you can do is reduce her to a sexual object?"


MILF or cougar: A premier shouldn’t have to choose, so why did she do so publicly on the radio?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A MILF for a Premier? At least she ain't no Cougar!


OMFG as the kids say, this is our PREMIER! 

Andrew in Comox asked what its' like being a MILF (Mother I'd Like to F#$K in case you're not sure what it means)?

And I quote from our illustrious leader:

"I take that as a compliment... It's better a MILF than a cougar, I think.... tell him thank you very much I appreciate it."

Listen & weep at the 2:00 mark:

Is Christy Clark a MILF?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Leading Us into the Red: BC Liberals Fiscal Management

With only a few short months to go until the May 2013 election there is more well deserved bad news for the BC Liberals fiscal management.

So, while they keep ramming their "BC Jobs Plan" taxpayer-funded ads down our throat to the tune of $15 million we know that they are a lie and BC is not growing and stable for a growing majority of us. 

A government that has no ability to forecast the obvious - falling revenue streams and less funds in the coffers, is a government that is over.

Moody's reduces outlook on BC debt from "stable" to "negative"


Moody's Investor Service is lowering its outlook on BC's 39 billion dollars worth of debt, from "stable" to "negative".

Moody's says BC is taking a hit because of low natural gas prices.

It goes on to say despite the challenging financial situation, BC has the needed flexibility to recover.

B.C.'s debt rating downgraded by Moody's
CBC News, Dec. 12, 2012.

The prominent credit rating agency Moody's Investors Service has downgraded B.C.'s financial outlook, lowering the province's debt rating from stable to negative.

Moody's says the downgrade reflects B.C.’s worsening financial situation.

Recent drops in royalties from resources like coal and natural gas have lead to a spike in the deficit, and investors worry about the government's ability to avoid increasing the overall debt even further.

The province's second quarterly financial report last month indicated the province's annual deficit was projected to reach $1.47 billion, up from an earlier forecast of $1.1 billion.

Given the change in Moody’s rating, the B.C. NDP’s Bruce Ralston said he wonders how Finance Minister Mike de Jong can still claim to be on track to balancing the books.

"This kind of view of the budget-making process, I think, means it will be increasingly difficult for Mr. de Jong to be taken seriously in his boasts that he's going to balance the budget."

The forecast comes as a separate RBC Economics Provincial Outlook suggests B.C.'s economy will be tugged in opposite directions in 2013 — but growth should stay at about the same level as this year.

RBC projects provincial growth at about 2.3 per cent in 2013, only slightly above the 2.1 per cent forecast for this year, and close to the national average of 2.4 per cent. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

3rd Party Election Advertising & Martyn Brown Becomes a Cheerleader for Adrian Dix

Expect 3rd party advertising ahead of BC Election
Sean Leslie | Email news tips to Sean

Premier Christy Clark has no plans to take big money out of BC politics, in part because of a recent court ruling.

While the Federal Government and several Provinces have banned union and corporate donations to political parties, the issue is clearly not a priority for the BC Liberals.

Clark says a recent Court ruling that struck down strict limits on third party advertising makes the issue moot, "They're allowed to spend as much as they want without limit. It really renders the whole debate about whether or not there are union or corporate donations to political parties irrelevant, doesn't it?" 

Of course, such a ban would blow a huge whole in Liberal finances. Corporations donated 5.5 million dollars in 2011, while unions gave just 865 grand to the NDP.


Martyn Brown: Dix will probably win in part because he’s listening to everyone

The Province, December 10, 2012. 

Some in the mainstream media feasted on The Province’s shocking revelation Friday that the B.C. Federation of Labour openly supports the NDP and is contributing ideas to their election platform. Scoop! Front-page news, supported by an 11-page summary that divulged Big Labour’s secret strategy developed by thousands of union “insiders” who met behind closed doors.

Seems the unions still want to elect an NDP government. Who knew? There you have it: irrefutable proof that Adrian Dix is in Jim Sinclair’s pocket. Or as the B.C. Liberal campaign director Mike McDonald, put it, “[Dix] tried to fool people that he was a moderate with a modest agenda . . . he just got busted.”

Stupid me. I still tend to believe Mr. Dix when he says that he will raise corporate taxes a hair, possibly increase personal income taxes on those earning upwards of $150,000 to $200,000 a year, and tinker with the Labour Code and employment and workplace safety standards in ways that will cause little widespread consternation.

What is more fascinating and most unnerving to the governing party is Dix’s cleverly unhidden agenda. The real scoop is this: Dix and the NDP are not just winning over the wallets of many so-called “free enterprisers,” they are also winning over their respect, their qualified trust and their good will to help as appropriate in developing better public policies, come what may. Which is to say, it is not just the B.C. Fed and all of the other “usual suspects” that are shaping the NDP’s platform; voices for positive change also hail from the most unlikely quarters. In boardrooms, ballrooms and backrooms across B.C., many people who never previously supported the NDP are now speaking directly to Dix and company to be heard as they prepare their platform.

What really worries the NDP’s frustrated critics is that Dix is actually listening in ways that are melting down the partisan suppositions, dispositions and misconceptions that fuel partisan fear and activism by preventing any potential for constructive engagement and discourse. Although he makes no bones about his ideological leanings, Dix is showing his smarts by taking the exact opposite course that Premier Christy Clark has chosen. He is learning to lead by listening openly to business and other community leaders who have much to say, teach and share when they are invited to meet. If it’s a schtick, it’s working, particularly for women voters, nearly 75 per cent of whom are now smiling back at Clark and saying, “no thanks” to her party.

Many British Columbians are tired of the polarized, partisan politics that has defined our “winner take all” approach to government. They want to believe that this time, just maybe, there is hope for new dialogue and a new meeting of the minds with whomever forms the next government. Currently, the odds are 10 to 1 that will be the NDP.

Forget about the pictures juxtaposing Dix’s image with Sinclair’s angry mug. Focus instead on the more surprising images of all those business leaders walking boldly by the cameras, or clapping politely in unison, as they come to listen and speak with the likely premier-in-waiting and his senior team at each major speech and unprecedented NDP fundraiser.

Most of them are not attending those luncheons and soirees to simply ingratiate themselves with the man who stands to form the next government. Some are, no doubt. For the most part, they are daring to show their interest in Dix, if not their support, for one overarching reason: they just want to build a better B.C. Many of those new NDP donors are also just tired of the eternal pendulum swings every time the government changes and the mindless militancy that creates more problems than it solves.

In today’s global economy, the structural challenges we face are so much greater than our capacity to answer them in isolation. The opportunities for social progress and sustainable economic growth similarly demand our collective input, effort and attention.

Those business types who are talking behind closed doors with the NDP are trying to open new doors that governments past and present locked shut. They are willing to lay down their guard, reach out for new relationships and work co-operatively and constructively with their ideological opposites in ways that are long overdue, no thanks to the likes of me or Dix, when we each served as senior advisers to our former bosses.

Though it may pain some in the NDP who want no truck or trade with those who typically support other parties, my guess is, Dix will be different if he forms the next government. Indeed, he seems prepared to accept help from across the spectrum, wherever he can get it, within limits that are no less applicable to his party faithful. Or maybe I’m just eternally naive and hopelessly idealistic in my increasingly ambivalent ideological mindset that is the product of learning the hard way how far from ideal our past approaches to government really are in best serving the public interest.

Martyn Brown, former premier Gordon Campbell’s chief of staff and a former B.C. deputy minister of tourism, trade and investment, is the author of the ebook, Towards A New Government In British Columbia.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Spinning the Job Numbers: Creating Something out of Nothing

No other way to say it: The BC Government is fudging its job creation record 
- December 8th, 2012.
  • While Clark campaigns to be number one on job creation, BC is actually the worst in the West and 4th worst in Canada
  • BC government is making false claims about the performance of the BC Jobs Plan
The headline news from Statistics Canada Friday morning was not good for the government of Premier Christy Clark. In it’s monthly jobs report, Statscan reported an unexpected and surprising jobs boom in Ontario and Quebec but the worst performing province in November compared to October was B.C. Statscan reported 4,700 jobs were lost in B.C. in the month and the unemployment rate rose to 6.8% from 6.7%.

Clark’s government, having staked a good chunk of her political fortunes on the BC Jobs Plan she announced on Sept. 22, 2011, now gets cheered or jeered once a month when Statscan publishes the scorecard on how Clark’s Jobs Plan is doing.

Perhaps in anticipation of a few jeers, the BC government was out early with a press release trying to spin some silver linings into what was otherwise a rather dark cloud. The press release announced that “B.C.’s investment in job creation provides stability” and seemed to rather hope that you wouldn’t look under the hood or examine any of the facts too closely.

The press release notes, for example, that if you look at the year-over-year job numbers for B.C., things don’t look that bad. B.C. job creation record is fourth overall! Just one problem with settling for fourth: The premier quite loudly promised to be number one. That’s what I heard when Clark spoke to the B.C. Liberal convention at the end of October and it’s what The Vancouver Sun’s Jonathan Fowlie (and many other B.C. reporters there) zeroed in on as the key takeaway from the speech:
“We have set out these bold goals and we are reaching our targets,” she continued, adding that while she will to announce additions to the plan in the weeks to come, it will form the bedrock of her party’s campaign.
“I’m going to run in the next election on the strong economy. I’m going to run on (being) number one in job creation,” she said.
And yet, the press release issued by Clark’s government concedes:

With 29,400 job gains since November 2011, B.C. ranks fourth compared to other province.

If you measure the year-over-year performance on a relative basis — the percentage change in the number of employed people — B.C. is doing much worse than fourth. It’s actually sixth or, to put it another way, fourth worst. B.C. has year-over-year employment improvement of 1.29 per cent, just ahead of Ontario’s 1.27 per cent improvement but behind Newfoundland (+3.79%), Saskatchewan (3.07%), Quebec (+2.78%), Alberta (1.82%) and Manitoba (1.36%). In fact, as the astute reader will have already noticed, B.C.’s employment growth over the last year is the worst among the Western provinces. Now fourth best in absolute terms versus sixth best in relative terms is the kind of spin you’d expect in a press released.

What you don’t expect, down there at the bottom of the press release, is a line which can only be described as a falsehood:

Since the release of ‘Canada Starts Here: the BC Jobs Plan’, B.C. has added 41,800 net new jobs …

In November, 2012, Statistics Canada reports there are 2.3127 million British Columbians who had a job.  Subtract the number of jobs in September 2011 from the number recorded in November 2012 and you have 13,900 more net new jobs no 41,800 net new jobs.

In fact, since the Premier announced her “BC Jobs Plan” 14 months ago and announced she was going run on being number one in job creation just over a month ago, the record on job creation is rather pedestrian. Comparing September 2011 to November 2012:
  • While B.C.’s population has grown by 1.1 per cent over the last 14 months,  net new job growth is about half that or 0.6 per cent.
  • Though B.C. workforce is now bigger in absolute terms (+14,500) , it is smaller in the arguably more important relative way, namely the ratio of those British Columbians in the work force (you add up the number of employed, partly employed and those who say they’re unemployed) to those not in the work force (Students, retirees, the independently wealthy and so on).  This is the labour force participation rate and it sits now at 64.8 per cent. It was 65.1 per cent when the Jobs Plan was announced.
  • The unemployment rate when the Jobs Plan was announced was 6.8 per cent. The unemployment rate 14 months later is 6.8 per cent.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Fiscal Cliff This: Clark Endorsed by Fraser Institute for bringing in $1.5 Billion Deficit

Proving yet again that the Fraser Institute has zero credibility and even less understanding of the real financial picture of the BC government. Did they miss Minister of Finance Mike De Jong telling the taxpayers of BC that the BC Liberal government is predicting they will bring in a deficit of $1.5 billion?

Clark above average at fiscal management: Fraser Institute

, Dec 6, 2012, Business in Vancouver

Premier Christy Clark has a better-than-average fiscal policy when compared with those of Canada’s other premiers, according to the results of a Fraser Institute study released this morning.

Measuring the Fiscal Performance of Canada’s Premiers 2012 ranks 10 premiers – eight current and two former – on three components of fiscal policy: government spending, taxes and debt and deficits.

Clark’s ratings were above average in all categories.

“Our report shows which premiers have put their provinces on track for economic growth and which have not,” said Charles Lammam, associate director of the Fraser Institute Centre for Tax and Budget Policy and co-author of the report.

Premier Clark had a rating of 60.8 out of 100 for fiscal management policies overall, compared with an average of 45.9.

The premiers who had the highest rankings overall were:
  • Kathy Dunderdale (Newfoundland and Labrador): 71.4;
  • David Alward (New Brunswick): 70.4; and
  • Brad Wall (Saskatchewan): 61.6.
The lowest ranked premier overall was Manitoba’s Greg Selinger, with a score of 19.2 out of 100.

The B.C. premier’s rankings in each of the three individual categories are:
  • government spending: Clark – 54.5; average – 35.73;
  • taxes: Clark – 62.8; average – 50.48; and
  • debts and deficits: Clark – 65.0; average – 51.42.
“Sound fiscal policy means premiers have to manage government spending prudently, balance budgets and avoid imposing a tax burden so heavy that it becomes a disincentive for people to work hard, save, invest and be entrepreneurial,” said Lammam.

The complete study can be found at the Fraser Institute’s website.


Tuesday, December 04, 2012

The Price of Silence: BC Taxpayers on the Hook for Government Employees Legal Expenses

Some people just won't let sleeping dogs lie, eh? Thank the Gawds for people like BC's Auditor General who is like a dog who knows a juicy bone is buried in the backyard somewhere. He keeps digging and digging on behalf of taxpayers. 

As it mentions below, this isn't just about Basi-Virk, BC taxpayers have been on the hook for about 100 payments to BC government employees over the last 15 years, or so.
The government has not taken a position in the case, but a lawyer known as an amicus curiae was been appointed for unrepresented interests. Michael Frey opposed access to the files.

Independent MLA John van Dongen was also granted intervenor status in the case. Van Dongen is pushing for the files to be released because he believes a complete audit is in the public interest.

Basi and Virk admitted in the fall of 2010 to leaking confidential BC Rail documents, only months into a criminal trial that took six years to commence. The documents were handed to a lobbyist for a U.S. company that was bidding on a section of BC Rail after the Liberal government decided to privatize the railway.

Auditor General back in court over BC Rail documents
Laura Baziuk | Email news tips to

A judge has reserved his decision in the BC Auditor-General's case to try and get access to more documents related to the BC Rail scandal.

In John Doyle's sights are documents from a lawyer and two government aides who pleaded guilty to wrongdoing in the sale of BC Rail.

Those records from Dave Basi and Bobby Virk are protected under solicitor client privilege.

A lawyer appointed by the court to examine the matter argues Doyle's authority does not trump client privilege.

Lawyer Louis Zivot says Doyle's limited access wouldn't breach that privilege.

"If an auditor does not have access to solicitor-client information to do his audits, they may be impaired."

Doyle claims those files will shed more light into why taxpayers had to pick up the massive legal tab.

Lawyers had made final submissions in chambers, picking apart the Auditor-General's role, and arguing whether the public interest overrides that client privileg before the judge reserved his decision.

Monday, December 03, 2012

File Under "Even Bad Media is Good Media" in an Election Cycle

Are they out of their fool minds??? Where are all of those overpaid taxpayer-funded Communications people while she is out doing stupid stuff like this? Examining their inclusion criteria, I'm wondering how she got included.

The Worthy 30: Vixens of Vancouver

Shinan Govani | Dec 1, 2012, National Post.

Welcome to the Worthy 30, our regular report on the highest echelons of the eligible. We’re in the 604 for this edition, and we begin with the ladies. Based on my own social gallops ’round the scenic town and some pithy recommendations, here they are! How did we come up with these names? Let’s review: To be eligible, one needed a modicum of attractiveness, some discernment, a dollop of accomplishment and that un-pin-downable thing we call ‘It.’ Some of these choice chicks are more famous than others. Others are more available than some (to qualify, they needed to be unmarried, unengaged or unterminally shacked-up!). Oh, and, P.S.: next week we do it all over again — with the lads! Tune in then!

Christy Clark

Postmedia News Service 

Age: 46
Occupation: Premier of British Colombia [Ed. tick tick tick goes the Countdown]

The buck stops with the leader of Canada’s most westward province, who reached the political pinnacle with seat-of-the-pants gusto, silver-tongued populism and single-mom pluck.

Dream dinner guests Leonard Cohen, Rick Mercer, Louise Arbour, Margaret Thatcher, Michelle Obama. [I'm sure Maggie would have some valuable advice for destroying a government.]

Words to live by “Get out there, do good, but be great.” [Who said it?]

Favourite movie It’s a Wonderful Life. [Call B.S. on this]

The trait you most value in others Kindness.  [Ed. ???]

The quality you most value in yourself Warmth. [Ed. ???]

A person living or dead you most admire Nelson Mandela, who brought his country together with the spirit of forgiveness. [Ok, her media people were in on this.]


Like What You've Done with Those Deck Chairs

BC premier's office announces more staffing changes

By Andrew MacLeod December 3, 2012, The Tyee

There has been another round of changes in British Columbia Premier Christy Clark's office.

Clark's Chief of Staff Dan Doyle announced this morning that Ben Chin will join the office as the director of communications. He is a former television journalist and was a senior media advisor to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty who resigned in October.

Chin is also reportedly a core member of the team working on Justin Trudeau's bid to lead the federal Liberal Party.

Ken Dawson moves from being a ministerial assistant in the education ministry to be the director of policy in the premier's office. Jennifer Chalmers gets a promotion to manager of operations from having been communications co-ordinator and executive assistant to the chief of staff.

And Maclean Kay moves into the communications co-ordinator position from being a communications officer for the government caucus.

Doyle's announcement does not mention any departures, but spokesperson Shane Mills said in an email that there had been three vacancies in the premier's office and today's changes do not affect the total staff numbers or budget.

Six weeks ago Sara MacIntyre was moved from a communications director job in Clark's office into a strategic issues management position in the main communications shop in the Citizens' Services ministry. 

MacIntyre had joined Clark's office earlier this year, a high profile recruit from Prime Minister Stephen Harper's staff.

Also vacant were the issues management and communications co-ordinator positions previously held by Spencer Sproule and Trevor Halford.

In June Clark's office hired Mike Morton as press secretary, a position he had formerly held when Gordon Campbell was premier.

Another federal Conservative who served a short time in Clark's office, Ken Boessenkool, left as chief of staff in September following an 'incident of concern' involving a female government staff person at a downtown Victoria bar.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Find him on Twitter or reach him here.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Our Taxpayer Dollars at Work: Advertising the BC Liberals

Ads should be first items on B.C. Liberal government's chopping block

The red ink is rising so high and so fast at the B.C. legislature that I wonder if it's already completely swamped the brains of the people in charge.

How else to explain the government's insistence on running a campaign of saturation feel-good advertising — at the same time they plead poverty and warn about looming spending cuts and tax hikes?

Don't they realize these TV commercials — self-praising the government for doing such a great job on the economy — are driving people crazy?

I pointed that out to Finance Minister Mike de Jong on Wednesday, and got a dismissive response in return.

"Yeah, I've heard some of those observations," he said, before turning away.

Pressed on the point, de Jong conceded the $15-million ad blitz is unpopular with many, especially since the ads seemed designed to help the Liberals before the May election.
"I've heard them described as partisan," he said. "I understand the controversy."

But he also said the ads are "appropriate" because they're "communicating with British Columbians about the state of their province."

So the multimillion-dollar ad buy will continue — at the same time the deficit is ballooning and the government considers tough measures to deal with it.

De Jong announced Wednesday that this year's deficit has just shot up another $328 million, and now stands at nearly $1.5 billion.

Despite that, de Jong and Premier Christy Clark all but guaranteed the Liberals will balance the books early in the new year.

In fact, de Jong said his Feb. 19 budget will likely boast a surplus of around $200 million, because the Liberals want a big enough cushion to convince everyone the books are truly balanced going into the May election.

So just how will the Liberals go from a $1.5-billion deficit to a $200-million surplus in just over two months?

"We're not in a position to rule anything in or out," de Jong replied, adding spending cuts and tax increases are all being considered to eliminate the red ink.

And as for breaking the piggy bank to suck up to voters?

"There is virtually no room for any kind of big-time, pre-election spending extravaganza," he said.

But there is room to run brazenly partisan ads on your TV set every night. If the government was serious about getting its deficit under control, the ad campaign would be the first thing on the chopping block.