One of the crime scenes

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Calm Before
the Election!

The NDP Did It!

This morning on the CBC radio, the issue of privatized "run of the river" power surfaced. According to Rafe Mair, who was on a panel there this morning, this was a first, as he suggested that the Mother Corp had been ignoring this issue up to now. The energy minister for the Gordon Campbell Party was quoted as saying that the NDP couldn't criticize the wholesale giveaway of watersheds across the province as they had started private, ROR projects during their attempt to destroy the province before the CEO named Gordo rescued us all.

What the minister fails to point out is that there is a vast difference between allowing private developers to develop hydro potential and the situation we face today. Today the Campbell government has mandated that BC Hydro CANNOT develop these resources, but even more tellingly (and wrong), it has forced BC Hydro to sign long term agreements to buy power from these private, usually corporate, suppliers at prices double, triple and more both what BC Hydro can produce power for itself, or sell it for to even export customers. It is difficult to see the tactics as anything other than an attempt to force BC Hydro to lose money, and thus make it another acceptable candidate for privatization (or further privatization see BC Hydro connected to Accenture.... at BC Mary's this morning.

For more on so called "green" run of the river projects and links to other material see WaterWalk.

Is Vaughn Confused?

In Friday's Vancouver "not so stunning" Sun, Vaughn Palmer (the Dean of the Victoria Press Corp?) loosens himself up for the writ which drops tomorrow in Powering up the platitudes. The column deals mainly with the occasion of Carole James releasing the economic platform for her party. He gives her full marks:
..for releasing a fully costed election platform that allows voters to see where her spending priorities match her rhetoric -- and where they don't

But then he seems to stray right off of the reservation, and perhaps invoke the wrath of the dreaded Public Affairs Bureau when he later says:

The decision to go after the oil-and-gas sector represents a bit of a reversal from the previous NDP government. Under the leadership of then energy minister, later premier, Dan Miller, the New Democrats launched a major push to develop the industry with incentives for exploration and production.

It paid off in a surge of activity and an enhanced revenue stream that helped the party balance its last two provincial budgets before leaving office.
(emphasis -kc

I read that last line both in the hard-copy, dead tree Sun AND online, because I have to admit I was shocked, shocked I say. What about the fudget-budget, the economic mess that poor Gordo, CEO for All, inherited? I thought that was what I've been hearing for eight LONG years. Is Vaughn suggesting that indeed the NDP handed over not only a balanced budget, but had two at the end of the dark age nineties they created? - and that perhaps it was Gordo's first order of business upon taking office to cut taxes on the rich and corporations that caused BC to become a have not province and collect transfer payments from Ottawa?

What is Vaughn going to come up with next? Maybe that the Fast Ferries weren't so bad after all and should have been used on routes where their wake didn't disturb (rich) Campbell supporters by eroding their beaches. That if they were used on routes where they could utilize their speed they may have been at least as good as our imported German tubs that seem to need so much upgrading and repairs. He wouldn't mention that at least the folks that made the fast ferries paid taxes, shopped and supported the healthcare system in BC rather than Germany, would he? Though we know even Willy WoodenShoes Vander Zalm has mentioned that as he marched with the displaced shipbuilders of our province to protest the placing of the orders for new vessels with German shipyards.

Take Me Out to Dinner!

Perhaps if Gordon Campbell (or he could send his executive assistant to escort me) took me out for a fine meal I could consider voting for the liaR Party. Perhaps they could take me out to Al Porto Ristorante on Water Street for a dinner like that described in the Straight by Andrew McLeod. Dinner can get pretty fancy, especially with the tax-payers footing the bill, including tips - for example at the aforementioned Al Ristorante:

A group of 17 had the set dinner for $52.95 each, and between them they drained five bottles of Wild Goose Pinot Gris, three of the Columbia Crest Merlot, two of Penfolds Chardonnay, and three of the d'Arenberg The Stump Jump. That's 13 bottles of wine for 17 people.

They also ordered a martini, a cosmopolitan, a rum, three bottles of beer, and a glass of the premium Scotch whisky Lagavulin. And they went through 13 bottles of San Pellegrino mineral water for $103.35. All told, taxpayers paid $1,567.11, including taxes and a $235 tip.

That works out to about $92 per person. If the government was going to treat each of B.C.'s four million residents to such a meal, it would cost about $368 million. Luckily for the taxpayer, such extravagances aren't for just anyone. No, the guests at the feast were all Partnerships British Columbia board members, staff, and other movers and shakers in the public-private partnership world.

Ahhhh....public-private partnerships, the infamous PPP's - where the movers and shakers (staunch capitalists all) get to privatize profits and socialize the risk AND get a wonderful meal, courtesy of the generous tax payers of British Columbia.

So, I am proud to say - that as of yet, I don't even know who Gordo's candidate is in my riding - but I would consider (just consider) voting for him/her if I could take about 50 of my bestest friends to dinner at say the Wedgewood Manor at tax payer/BC liaR Party expense - we could at least discuss it over dinner. Corky used to be our guy, but he is retiring from politics and our area got moved into Katrine Conroy's riding.


Blogger Gary E said...

Did you also know that another factor to bankrupt Hydro has been put in place? Hydro is required to pay these ROR Liberal supporters Land and water taxes. They don't pay it directly, they reimburse the companies.
So Campbell isn't giving away our rivers, he's paying people to take them.

Friday, April 17, 2009 at 7:05:00 AM PDT  

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