Independent Power Producers (IPP)

"Some cultures would call us elders, think we’re cool and listen to us"

In a comment at an earlier article, Alison Creekside – a fine blogger you should read regularly – linked to this 2009 video of MLA Corky Evans. He talked about BC Liberals turning loose a private power gold rush but then, it was one that sluiced only half a billion a year. This year it will be closer to $1.5 billion and the contracts BC Hydro has already signed total almost $60 billion. The numbers continue growing.

The following piece was published here in 2010 and I’m afraid the political conversation is less enjoyable with Corky gone.

Corky Evans did not run for reelection in 2009 and his Victoria departure was notable, not necessarily because it was subject of a very early entry at In-Sights. One news writer said at the time, “The legislature will be significantly poorer for the absence of Corky Evans.”

The modestly self-titled “elder” spoke to a meeting organized by The Common Sense Canadian. Looking happy and fit, Evans is like a favorite uncle, welcome always because he entertains and enlightens. Born in California with the formal name Conrad St. George Evans, Corky moved to Canada about 40 years ago and settled into the Kootenay region. After experience as an NDP member of the provincial legislature, Evans finished second to Ujjal Dosanjh in the party’s leadership race a decade ago.  British Columbia might have been a different place today had those results been reversed.

Slow talker Evans provides wisdom that may not be appreciated by modern high flyers until they gain the sagacity that comes with age. There is hope that the rest of us are paying attention. Here are some excerpts from the speech:

We got laws now made by men we never met, in rooms we have never seen, in countries we’ve never been to, guarded by soldiers we pay for. That’s called globalism.

As soon as they [the wealthy] could move money at the speed of light, we said, “Oh, man, we better fix it so the rich people don’t take the money away. So, we better lower their taxes so they like to stay here.”

Then, when they got the transnationals, we said, “Let’s not tax profits or they won’t come here.”

We now make less money on corporate income taxes than we do on our children paying post-secondary education fees.

Remember the guy who said, “I don’t mind paying taxes because with taxes, I buy civilization.”

Previous generations decided sometimes to be poor — rather than to sell the farm. Our generation, on both sides of the legislature, have decided, for a long time, that you would rather be comfortable than have them defend the farm… They will sell the farm, to keep us comfortable.

I want to beg you to engage on a different level, on a political level. The kind where you actually join the party you vote for, the kind where you write a letter and you sign your name about what you think… If you don’t participate at the level where the decisions will be made, no matter who wins, they’ll think all you care about is lower taxes and comfort.

7 replies »

  1. Corky did not own a suit to wear for his very first visit to the Ledge as a new MLA. My brother-in-law gave him one which he wore that day.

    Corky is genuine!


  2. Corky is afirst class brain but much more importantly a first class man. The NDP have a lot to answer for – who doesn’t? – but depriving us of Premier Evans is damned near unforgiveable.

    I have been fortunare enough to campaign with Corky against Gordon Campbell’s disastrous Energy Plan and he impressed me as a character (we need a lot more), funny as hell when being funny, dead serious when serious, wise, and a man with great depth of knowledge and character.

    Come back, Corky, your province needs you – badly


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