BC Liberals

More honour’d in the breach than the observance

HAMLET Ay, marry, is’t:
But to my mind, though I am native here
And to the manner born, it is a custom
More honour’d in the breach than the observance.

As a youth, I played at Liberal Party politics. From teenage tyro stuffing envelopes, answering phones and posting signs, I evolved into an activist. I studied economics and political science at university and mixed with people who shared similar interests. We were mostly idealists, proud of the democratic principles our families had fought to establish and protect.

Gradually though, idealism faded. The Liberal Party revealed itself to be less about implementing policy developed by consensus than about facilitating deal makers, influence pedlars and backroom operators. I learned that puppet masters were more powerful than puppets, and no one got to vote for the string pullers.


Teach a man to fish and you can feed yourself for a lifetime.

With the dissolution of the Fourth Estate, things have grown worse in recent decades. Once, politicians, while in power, worried about public opinion; now they manufacture it, using public assets to pay the costs of contrivance.

During most of Gordon Campbell’s premiership and the entire period of Christy Clark’s administration, BC Liberals’ fiduciary duty has been to the interests of friends and financial supporters, not to the public. This has been true for so long in British Columbia, it is now seen as normal.

Even old-timer media pundits buy into the new order. Preserving personal security and keeping exit roads paved require a cooperative spirit and wilful blindness. The concept of public servants owing a duty to all citizens is viewed as naive. Shakespeare might agree.

Fiduciary Duty, Lindsay Aargaard, Canadian Parliamentary Review:

…In its origins, the word “fiduciary” means “trust-like.” “Fiduciary duty” is the duty of loyalty that is owed by the powerful party to the vulnerable party when the two are in a fiduciary relationship. The fiduciary relationship can also be characterized as a vehicle used to impose duties on individuals who hold power over the interests of others.

As Leonard Rotman writes, “beneficiaries are vulnerable to the misuse or non use of power, and fiduciaries [ought to] act with honesty, selflessness, integrity, fidelity and in the utmost good faith (uberrima fides) in the interest of the beneficiary.”

Fiduciary obligation has been described as a “blunt tool for the control” of discretion and is viewed by many scholars as the way in which social norms or mores are captured within the law, and the way by which “law transmits its ethical resolve to the spectrum of human interaction.”

While boasting of wise management and “balanced” budgets, Liberals run public debts and obligations up to nearly $200 billion, giveaway natural resources and pay exporters for the removals, subsidize corrupt foreign operators, sell public lands to supporters for a fraction of value, gift tens of billions to private power operators, enable more than $120 billion of pension funds to be invested without public oversight and spend tens of millions of tax dollars telling us that all is well.

Just remember, for Liberals and their well-rewarded pals, all is indeed well.


Categories: BC Liberals, Ethics, Journalism

14 replies »

  1. 200 billion in debit and obligations and appoint their friend to oversee the raiding of pensions to give away to friends of the lieberals.

    Thanks to Breaker News:

    Peter Milburn, whose report led to the Vancouver School Board’s firing, named chair of $122B public pension fund.

    Absolutely appalling and shameful.


  2. Just a note as to when these appointments were made. All are busy with the Christmas season/New Years.

    Well, at least it’s not Friday of a long weekend I guess. (Oh, it’s Saturday.)


  3. Hello Norm, you held back nothing. Thank you. We could sure use your integrity in BC and or Ottawa politics. Liberals have forgotten who their employers are…..or they prefer employers that can participate in “cash for favors.” Personally I’d like the next Premier of BC to be of the non top-up variety.


  4. The 2016 BC Budget shows Total BC Provincial debt now at about $67 billion, up from $41 billion in 2009 (Total BC Provincial Debt includes BC Hydro).

    Growth of this debt is at an average of 6.2% per year (which means doubling in 72/6.2 = 11.6 years).

    See p. 132:

    Click to access 2016_budget_and_fiscal_plan.pdf

    So how can they claim they have balanced the budget, when overall debt is growing rapidly? Can someone explain?


  5. The 2016 BC Budget (p. 132) shows current BC Hydro debt at about $19.5 billion, which is included in the current BC Total Provincial Debt of $67.6 billion.

    In addition to the $19.5 billion BC Hydro debt is the over $56 billion that BC Hydro owes to IPPs for power purchases.

    To see that, see p; 5:

    Click to access Contractual_Obligations.pdf


  6. Very pleased to see your work appearing again Norm; first because it signals your health is much improved, and second because of how valuable that work is to the public interest.

    In concert with your comments regarding friends and financial supporters of the BC Liberals, Mike Smyth interviewed non other than David Black this afternoon on CKNW. Your readers might recall that before the 2013 provincial election Mr. Black was trolling through BC with the idea of building an oil refinery near Kitimat to process Alberta bitumen. It was, of course, an idea embraced by the BC Liberals, both as a way to make Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline potentially more palatable, and as a way to knock the NDP as job-killers during the election campaign. In fact Mr. Black’s dream and the associated NDP-trashing took up the entire page 15 of the BC Liberal election platform publication.

    Click to access bc2013lib_plt.pdf

    It appears from today’s interview that after four years, Mr. Black’s dream is no closer to realization than it was when he floated it before the last election. In fact, it seems to have lost what little ground it had back then.

    So the question becomes how and why the interview today took place. Mr. Black had nothing new to report, so what provided the impetus for the appearance? It is hard to imagine Mike Smyth and/or his producers just happened out of the blue to think opening the crypt would reveal big news. So who asked for the interview, and why?

    Could it be that the refinery idea has been dusted off by the BC Liberals as a sweetener for the Alberta bitumen that will now arrive via the Kinder Morgan pipeline, and to install another tried and true target on the NDP just in time for this election? And could it be that the local media enablers will once again dutifully give it the attention it doesn’t deserve?

    I wonder what page Mr. Black will appear on in the BC Liberal 2017 platform?


  7. The BC Liberal motto has been changed to: Friends Helping Friends.
    Christy Clark has been an ongoing campaign cheerleader but an inept leader who accomplished very little.
    The BC Liberals will receive their report card with a failing grade on May 9th. She was the daughter of a teacher but shows she didn’t do her homework.
    I feel sad for all the children she has failed over the last 12 years of her reign.


    • Not just children are damaged. I know one young mother forced to pay over $22 thousand a year to get special private education for an 11 year old son affected by autism spectrum disorder.

      It is a crushing financial burden for her but the public schools had no resources to deal with the child because he is not among the most severe youngsters in need of help.

      Our failure to deal with children in need is appalling. It also make one recall the old car repair advertising slogan, “Pay me now, or pay me later.”

      Society will pay a price for its failures when unhappy, frustrated children turn into anti-social adults.


      • Hello Norm: I enjoyed your discussions with Ian Jessop on CFAX. Is there a chance that you might get a segment with Adam Sterling on his morning show?
        Christy Clark should be charged with Crimes Against the Environment … for her legacy of damage and mortgages that will bankrupt our grandchildren.
        Thank you, Art.


  8. We are now living in an era of “Trumpism”, where the truth is nothing more than today’s soundbite.

    Gordon Campbell and his hijacked Liberal party were the precursor to “Truimpism”, with lies and deceit being common place.

    The mainstream media, today’s Pollyanna’s, are an embarrassment to what the fourth estate used to be. The government’s friendly control of the MSM repeat the governments lies ad nauseum, just like the Nazi lies extolled by the Nazi controlled press.

    It is 1933 all over again.

    We are almost $200 billion in debt, but don’t forget about those fast ferries though and it doesn’t matter that the Canada Line was over budget by $1 billion.

    “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”
    ― Adolf Hitler

    This today’s Trumpism as exposed by the BC Liberals, in a mere 84 years we have come full circle.

    “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”
    ― George Orwell, 1984


    • Hello Norm:
      It is always frightening when we can see the repeat of Hitler’s History. Did you know that Hitler was a prescription drug addict? I have to wonder what medication Christy Clark takes to create her state of BC bliss. Perhaps she should enter a lab sample before she speaks to the media .. or does she think that voters suffer from the “Ignorance is Bliss” syndrome?

      She has developed a cheerleader’s formula as not be accused of repeating history. Just triple delete it and all traces will disappear.
      I think it will be the firings at the Health Ministry that will bring down the Liberals. Why can’t we know the factual truth before the election? Smells like a conflict of interest in the petri dish.

      Another item: The slow release of Naloxone for addicts. Are they competitive manufacturers and are not Liberal donors, or is it that the Liberals know that addicts don’t vote?

      I expect the final February legislative assembly will be known as: “Christy’s Christmas” where there will be gifts for all … wrapped in higher Crown Corporation taxation.

      The voters who show up for the May 9th election should be angry. They should be packing pitchforks, tar and feathers. Pitchforks from the Peace River, bitumen tar from Alberta oil spills and feathers from First Nations.

      Thanks or keeping British Columbians informed.


  9. In itself this is a massive issue. The Liberals always attempt to brand themselves as masters of fiscal conservatism. This is a direct response to that and is useful as an argument to sway the undecided voters. This can and should be posted far and wide.


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