Premier Christy Clark has her former personal policy adviser Jim Shepard orchestrate a $1 million series of NDP attack ads from the Concerned Citizens for BC.
The BC Liberals pretend that these are third-party, free-speech ads, but CC4BC is actually comprised of corporate crony donor friends, which makes Ms. Clark look like a vengeful pit-bully, and will probably backfire.
What's worse, NDP socialism or Liberal free enterprise corruption?
It's in my genes to be skeptical of the NDP's socialist ideology. But now I'm really angry at the BC Liberals' crony enterprise corruption, which has proven to be worse, and it's making the NDP's record look incidental.
In considering the attack ads and reflecting back on the NDP's track record:
The Vancouver Island Highway was a $1.3-billion project. In the late 90s, the NDP required it be built with union labour contractors. Not my choice, and yes it cost more, but it was good value for money. The workers got decent wages, and the money re-circulated within our B.C. economy. No big deal.
The Fast Ferries - in the late 90s, the NDP built three aluminum-hull fast ferries costing approximately $450 million. The Liberals sold them for $20 million, so let's say it was a $430 million loss.
I believe the NDP had the right idea to build the ferries one at a time in B.C. shipyards, but they got too adventurous and selected the wrong designs. Had the NDP built modern, conventional steel-hulled ferries, they would have been seen as responsible managers of our tax dollars.
Anyway, what we got for our money was lots of B.C. "skills training" (especially aluminum welding), lots of jobs plus all the spin-off work to local contractors, material suppliers, etc., and the money circulated within B.C.
But we didn't get viable ferries, so the NDP were vilified for their mistakes, and largely on this issue, lost the 2001 election to the Liberals.
Now compare this to the BC Liberals:
BC Ferries in 2000 had a book value of half a billion dollars. In 2003, the Liberals quasi-privatized it, and after some dubious bookkeeping trickery, BC Ferries now has a massive $1.6-billion debt and owes the government $6 million in interest annually for the privilege of being used as an ATM. BC Ferries is now a basket case, like BC Hydro.
Where did the money go?
Our jobs were exported: $542 million to Germany to build three ferries; $25 million to Holland to build a SeaBus when the last three were built in B.C. shipyards; cheap, temporary foreign labour was imported for our resource industry jobs. All that amounts to lost spin-offs within B.C.'s economy.
The BC Convention Centre was $388 million over budget and BC Place cost $514 million - some say four times the estimated cost. And these few examples are only their minor screw-ups.
When the BC Liberals took office in 2001, the total provincial debt was $33.8 billion.
Now our debt is $55 billion.
Where did $22 billion tax dollars go?
The attack ads are a diversionary smokescreen to distract you.
Roland Seguin, Langley