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He’s star struck by big biz beyond BC’s borders.

Cambie Street merchants Susan Heyes (left) and Abby Palmer. Photo: Evalu8.org.

Cambie Street merchants Susan Heyes (left) and Abby Palmer. Photo: Evalu8.org.

I’ve finally figured it out. The Campbell government consists of incompetent, blundering fools with frozen smiles and expensive suits.

It’s worse, really, because that incompetence is combined with thoughtlessness, arrogance and hubris — a fatal mix.

Let’s start with the latest. The merchants of Cambie Street, led by Susan Heyes, are suing the government for loss of business during the time when Cambie Street was inaccessible because of construction of the Canada Line.

Campbell’s transportation minister, Kevin Falcon, has hidden (no doubt on orders from above) behind legislative immunity, a medieval concept designed to keep the King from getting at MPs. In this case it’s to protect the minister from giving evidence about the Canada Line’s horrible impact on so many businesses. He would be sworn to tell the truth.

You can be sure that Premier Campbell made this decision out of fear: fear that Heyes might get justice, thus compensation, because of the government’s heartless blunder. If it’s a fact (as former MLA and finance minister Carole Taylor said in her testimony) that the government had no power over the RAV (Canada Line) construction, there’s no reason for Falcon to be afraid of testifying. One is entitled to infer, then, that Falcon and Campbell might have something to hide.

Piling up blunders

Falcon is also the man who refused to build a tunnel at Horseshoe Bay instead of ruining a sensitive environmental area.

The Campbell government built transmission lines, after refusing to adequately bury them, over a neighborhood and a school in Tsawwassen then refused to listen to the residents who felt that electricity from the wires would put their children at risk. Having built the lines, Campbell looked at the polls in a safe riding and didn’t like what he saw. He offered to buy out the houses involved, thus implying that these transmission lines are indeed potentially dangerous. Then the premier offers these potentially dangerous houses to other people.

The Campbell government blundered into public/private partnerships (P3s) failing to understand that rather than spreading the risk, it doubled it since the private company could go broke while the government couldn’t. Thus the Campbell government, in one case, lent the private contractor enough money to pay back the money they owed the government on the P3 deal!

The government — as usual without any public input — pledges to spend a billion dollars upgrading the Deltaport facility just as the Panama Canal is doubling its capacity and the Northwest Passage is opening to cargo ships.

The Campbell government is building the South Fraser Perimeter Road, thus substantially increasing pollution while creating serious environmental damage, loss of farmland and interference with the abundant wildlife.

Gagging their opponents

The Campbell government has, since 2001, deliberately refused to understand the fish farms issue and the resultant devastation afflicted by sea lice on migrating Pacific salmon smolts. Even though it had all the independent scientific evidence of this massacre of hundreds of thousands of Pacific salmon in hand, the Campbell government ignored this evidence rather than lose the monetary support of fish farmers who almost exclusively come from out of province. Campbell even ignored the commission of his own choosing, chaired by former House of Commons speaker John Fraser, which confirmed this danger. Campbell’s reaction was to expand this destructive industry!

Then Campbell passed the “Gag Law,” which restricts the right to free speech during this election in order to stop people like me from taking a full part in the election campaign.

Beggaring BC Hydro

Scott Simpson, in an article on March 18 in the Vancouver Sun, tells us that under Gordon Campbell’s energy policy, BC Hydro will be forced to buy energy from private producers, under sweetheart contracts, at $120 megawatts per hour for which they will receive $60 in the market! This is something Dr. John Calvert stated in his book Liquid Gold published 15 months ago and previewed in The Tyee even earlier. Logically this will bankrupt BC Hydro so that Campbell, if we re-elect him, urged on by the neo-cons like the Fraser Institute, can get rid of it as he did with BC Rail.

That’s not all of course. And perhaps this is the most damaging and puzzling:

The private power companies can only produce energy during the spring run-off at a time BC Hydro has full to overflowing reservoirs and doesn’t need power. When the reservoirs are lowest, the private powers can’t deliver a single watt!

This means that the private power created will go primarily to the United States and bring NAFTA into play. The program also means that profits on power will no longer be paid to our government for schools and hospitals but to shareholders in large corporations!

Voiding local control

When the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District voted eight to one against the Ashlu River private power zoning request, the autocratic Campbell government passed Bill 30, thus retroactively voiding the district decision while at the same time taking away the rights of all regional districts, villages, towns and cities to zone for similar enterprises.

Moreover, B.C. doesn’t need the power. The National Energy Board, which deals with energy export, tells us that we’ve been net exporters of energy for 8 of the last 11 years.)

This is all madness, you may well be thinking. No leader can be so stupid! Yes, one can be.

Taken in

Ah yes, I believe that now I have the correct image. There’s our Gord, shaking hands with and in awe of the captains of large American industry (those not in jail or about to be), listening enraptured to the heroes of the far right, gazing, with the glazed eyes of Little Orphan Annie in the presence of Daddy Warbucks, overwhelmed when he meets Arnold Schwarzenegger, unable to believe his luck at having all these icons actually talking to and flattering little old him.

It would seem that his heroes of the right give our premier the vapors. I’ll be damned if he isn’t star struck.

Gentle readers, let me introduce to you (flourish of trumpets, please): British Columbia’s own Gullible Gord!

http://thetyee.ca/

3 Responses to “Spare us from Gullible Gord”

  1. Allen Seager says:

    An NDP candidate has publicly stated that Rafe is endorsing the election of Carol James. I’ve no problem with that, but I am wondering it it is true.

  2. D.M. Johnston says:

    Lost in Susan’s court case is that RAV was built on a foundation of falsehoods, fabricated facts and gross exaggerations of the truth.

    First estimated to cost a laughable$1.2 billion, Gordo & Co., soon found the cost escalating faster than a Titan rocket. To reduce costs RAVCo. pretended it was P-3, so the peons (taxpayer) could not vet the project. The costs for the subway then exceeded $2 billion, grand economies had to be made:

    1) The project switched to a generic metro instead of SkyTrain, which saved over $50 million.

    2) Cut-and-cover subway construction was substituted instead of much more expensive bored tunnel construction. C & C is only cheaper if compensation isn’t paid.

    3) Single track operation in Richmond, which drastically reduced capacity and precludes any extensions.

    4) Subway stations under Cambie St. were built to accommodate 3 car trains, which again dramatically reduces capacity. Capacity on the now (depending who you talk to) $2.4 to $2.8 billion subway, is much less (as much as 10,000 pphpd less) than if simple and much cheaper LRT were to have been built. Cost to increase station size, over $1 billion and then the C & C thing all over again.
    As built, RAV will have much less ‘capacity’ than if LRT were to have been built on any route!

    I told you so!

  3. Capitalist Pig says:

    When a capitalist Govt. stabs small business owners in the back and bankrupts them … you know your Govt. is no longer free-enterprise friendly… the Campbell Govt. has truly lost its way.

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