Speaking with his disingenuousness dial set to maximum, Education Minister George Abbott talks as if the provincial government is merely an interested observer to the teachers’ labour negotiations,
“We do hope the parties eventually reach agreement but it may be some time before they do.”
Abbot quickly drops that pretense and lays out the overriding government position,
“We have a deficit in British Columbia; we have a lot of economic storm clouds still circling… We are not in a position to offer the teachers something… British Columbia is not immune from all of those economic pressures.”
That same determination to protect the public purse seemed lacking though when the Campbell Government dealt with its own insiders. From Sean Holman’s Public Eye Online:
The biggest severance payment – $549,776 – went to Allan Seckel who was replaced by John Dyble as the premier’s deputy minister. But tourism, trade and investment deputy minister Martyn Brown also received a large payout – $416,191. Those amounts include Messrs. Dyble and Brown’s performance pay. Meanwhile, children and family development deputy minister Lesley du Toit and public affairs bureau head Ron Norman received $337,413 and $323,917 in severance respectively. That amount that doesn’t include their performance pay, which has yet to be determined. The following is a complete list of the aforementioned severance payments.
According to CBC’s report on B.C.’s top paid public sector executives , political appointee Allan Seckel’s total earnings amounted to $861,152.
Apparently economic storms that threaten British Columbia are intermittent. After all, little more than a year ago, British Columbia was in wonderful financial shape:
By: Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press
Date: Wednesday May. 19, 2010 7:42 PM PT
“Finance Minister Colin Hansen says B.C.’s recession is over and he has a top 10 list of things to prove it.
“Hansen said Wednesday the provincial economy is rebounding after huge drops in revenues and a record budget deficit of $2.8 billion last year.
“He produced a list of 10 economic indicators that include positive forecasts from the Conference Board of Canada and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., as well as rising employment numbers, building permits and tourist visits.
“What we have seen is steady economic growth and what the economists will tell us is that meets the definition of the end of a recession,” said Hansen. “So, I think we’re going to see steady economic growth from here forward.”
“Hansen said the Conference Board of Canada forecasts B.C. economic growth of 3.8 per cent this year.
“And Canada Housing and Mortgage Corp., says B.C. will lead Canada in housing starts — up by 37 per cent in 2010 — and sawmills are reopening after extended shut downs…”