Paraphrasing Benjamin Disraeli’s words to the British Parliament in 1845:
The BC Liberal government is an organized hypocrisy.
I visited the BC Liberal website today and found this homepage. The frame from the lower right corner is extracted.
“Our Ship Building Contract” they said, although they were celebrating the federal government buying BC built ships. The Liberal provincial government was not so enthused about shipbuilding in 2005 after David Hahn placed his order for new ships in Germany.
From Hansard in 2005, NDP member Gary Coons speaking:
…our valued B.C. shipbuilders took a real hit when the contract for the three new ferries worth $325 million and providing 4,500 person-years of employment was cast over to a highly subsidized foreign corporation.
Not only that, but during the election campaign it was revealed that B.C. Ferries awarded a contract to an overseas company with no public tendering process whatsoever. The $800,000 lifeboat contract went to an Australian company, beating out the traditional supplier from Richmond who had been supplying these for over 20 years.
From Hansard in 2007, when Liberal Kevin Falcon talked about the Liberal decision to purchase new ferries in Germany:
“…The members opposite fought viciously against that, were appalled by that decision and said that this was a travesty, that we must politically interfere and insisted that they be built in the local shipyards…”
So not long ago, Liberals, led by now Deputy Premier Falcon, had rather little regard for our shipbuilding capabilities.
Michael Smyth wrote about Liberal hypocrisy recently in The Province:
It’s amazing — and somewhat galling — listening to Premier Christy Clark’s Liberals going ga-ga over the federal shipbuilding contract when this is the same bunch that gave away our own shipbuilding work to Germany.
…But the majority of Liberals patting themselves on the back for the federal contract today kicked B.C. shipbuilders in the keester back then.
That includes Christy Clark, who supported building our ferries in Germany. It was right to reject Vancouver Shipyards for the work, she argued, because parent company Seaspan wanted an open-ended “cost-plus” contract where they could run up the price tag at will.
That was denied at the time by Seaspan chairman Kyle Washington.
“We’re absolutely willing to bid a bonded, fixed-price cost, so there would be no financial risk to the government,” Washington said. “All we’re asking for is a chance to submit a bid.”
But Seaspan was not allowed to bid on the ferry contract, something Clark supported. So did cabinet ministers Blair Lekstrom and Pat Bell, both now so giddy about Seaspan winning the federal contract.
…The hypocrisy is quite sickening.