Christy Clark

Empress’ new clothes

Clark 2Before BC’s last provincial election, the governing party was trailing in the polls, still suffering from the HST fiasco, their failed effort to shift sales tax burdens from businesses to individuals. Premier Clark’s handlers decided to weave her a new set of clothes.

When first shown to the public, oblivious cheerleaders in corporate media rose in unison to applaud. Like the child in Hans Christian Andersen’s story, alternative media revealed the truth.

February 13, 2013, three months before her first general election as Premier, Christy Clark announced:

…the new British Columbia Prosperity Fund to ensure communities, First Nations and all British Columbians benefit from the development of a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry…

LNG development is poised to trigger approximately $1 trillion in cumulative GDP within British Columbia over the next 30 years and that means more than $100 billion will flow directly to the Prosperity Fund.

Province wide, LNG is expected to create on average 39,000 annual direct, indirect and induced full-time jobs during a nine-year construction period. As well, there could be as many as 75,000 full-time jobs required once all LNG plants are in full operation…

Government Factsheet:

…Projected total revenues to government are estimated between $130 billion and $260 billion over the next 30 years. In order to maximize the benefits of these developments to future generations of British Columbians, the provincial government is establishing a new British Columbia Prosperity Fund…

During the election campaign, Liberals promised that LNG revenues would not only ensure a debt free British Columbia but gas production would also fund essential spending for health care, education and social services. 

So, now, more than four year on, what have we gained? In fact, nothing.

Actually less than nothing since large sums have been wasted on feasibility studies and promotions (Hello, Gordon Wilson) while the likelihood of significant LNG development remains stuck at “not bloody likely.”

Which is a good thing because any LNG exercise in BC would be wholly dependent on taxpayer subsidies and royalty-free natural gas. One example of subsidy is by provision of deeply discounted electricity. In November 2016, Liberals announced the price to LNG operators would be 5.4¢ a KWh. At that time, BC Hydro was buying private power at an average of 9.6¢ a KWh.  That would be worse than a 44% loss because of distribution and delivery costs would drive BC Hydro’s cost price even higher.

cost

Clearly, the whole LNG scheme was a fantasy orchestrated for political purpose. Because Liberals fooled a number of low-information voters, on that level, it succeeded. However, when the engine of government is focused on driving a single set of projects, there are unintended opportunity costs from ignoring other sectors. The consequences are illustrated here:

2001 to 2016 jobs

The chart above is made from British Columbia Employment by Detailed Industry, Annual Averages by BC Stats.

clothes

Categories: Christy Clark, Labour, LNG

11 replies »

  1. So its okay for British Columbians to use Natural Gas to heat our homes but not okay to generate electricity. To provide electricity the BC Liberal Government is spending billions of dollars to build a dam that isn’t required. Why are British Columbians freezing in their homes for three quarters of the year when there is so much Natural gas? Why do we have to pay anything for the Natural Gas when its ours in the first place? Is it because when the BC Liberals came to power they started down the dismantling process of BC Hydro which was handling the natural gas file in the first place????

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    • I asked an oil-patch lawyer what it would take to drill for gas in my back yard. I figured it’d take about a million bucks to hit the stuff (about a kilometre below the Georgia Depression)—and he said: if you say it’s a water well, nobody can stop you. Wow, I said, but I was thinking more of a community gas well that’d provide free fuel for home heating and short-haul driving. A thousand-dollar investment from the 1,000 or so people in my community would about cover the drilling cost, and in about a year or so the investment would pay for itself, all “free” gas thereafter.

      I’m only part dreamer. I appreciate the K’omox First Nation will be requiring their share of royalties along with the Crown’s half—but still, pretty good deal. And I am slightly cynical, so I figure the concept of a community-owned gas well would be to socialistic to ever be acceptable to authorities in BC. Until a new neighbour just moved from Albetar told me their are many community oil and gas wells in that province, mostly municipally-owned.

      Why not? It’s ours, isn’t it?

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    • There is a push on for BC taxpayers/natural gas users to get off of the non renewable resource….all the while there is another push on to sell our natural gas to anyone around the world who comes knocking…. for give away prices. Apparently BC residents must be chaste. Not so those who Christy sees as making sure her ship comes in. We do live in very strange and unpredictable times.

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  2. Hello Norm:

    The voters will see through translucent vale of Ms Bo Peep, who has lost her sheep.
    It has not been a pretty picture – no matter how often she posed for her photo ops.

    The lies have caught up with her. She’s sold her Liberal soul to the highest foreign donor.
    She’ll never get another chance at being Premier. No longer suitable to be the self-designated First Lady.

    Thankfully British Columbians have a Date to look forward to: May 9th.

    Ms Snow White (Ms.No Accountability) will experience a wardrobe malfunction … the empress, will not impress … she will not be able to hide behind the smile. She spent a fortune on window dressing but the wardrobe closet is empty … that ‘s the naked truth.

    Christy Clark’s farewell speech should read: “I mislead the electorate and now I must wear it.”

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    • I’m hearing rumours that if Photo-op gets re-elected, she intends to implement a VAT on purchases. VAT – Value Added Tax same as HST but probably with an expanded base of taxable items. Does she never learn? and how do we have a true inter-provincial trade deal when she do not have equity in taxation between provinces? And lastly, if we have an inter-provincial trade coming down the pike and we all are covered under the Canada Health Act, why do we have to purchase extra insurance when we leave our own province and travel to other provinces? I’m sure there is more that others can add to the reality of a true inter-provincial trade deal, including minimum wages and levels of payment to the disabled…..

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      • There truly is more. What about an “interprovincial”… (…sounds funny in a federation—kinda like your hands and feet are negotiating an “inter-appendage” relationship)—an interprovincial deal on environment? It’s truly overtaxed—getting disabled, too. Why limit dealings to “minimum” wages? Why not a deal on just “wages?” They’ve been way too low, too.

        “Does she never learn?” The question is really about how much is learned: one may learn to tell a joke well, but learning that it can’t be laughed at twice on the same stage is a separate lesson, a fact that might also need to be learned.

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  3. if any one believed the b.s. Christy Clark and the B.C. Lieberals put out in the last election regarding all the rewards coming to us from LNG they got what they deserved: NOTHING.

    What is unfortunate is that some many children in this province have died as the result of Christy Clark and her B.C. Lieberals, you know the 8 children in care and then the child from “death by hospital”.

    Scotty on Deman, many of us would be happy to pay the K’omoks. they could even get their gas for free if they drilled on their land. However, as you say, it would be shut down. As to Alberta, for all them being tagged “red necks” they usually figure out what saves money and go with it and hence the community gas wells. Its like there is a shorter wait time to get into hospitals in Alberta. they have better child care in Alberta. when friends of mine moved from B.C. to Alberta instead of going to two different types of day care centres and making all sorts of arrangements and paying a ton of money, they just drove down the hill to a government licensed day care centre that took a 17 week old baby to a 6 year old in elementary school all for less than 500 a month. (that was back in the mid to late 1980s).

    alas there is price to be paid for living in B.C. and even a bigger price for living on Islands. it is glorious though.

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  4. Hello Norm: I don’t think Christy Clark will listen but she might recall the tune –

    Message for Christy Clark inspired by the lyrics of Johnny Mercer: Button Up Your Overcoat

    Listen Liberal Christy
    Now that you’ve had your day
    Thank goodness, you are afraid
    Somethin’s gonna happen to your charade

    Listen Liberal Christy
    You’ve cooked-the-books, like a chef with a greasy spoon
    You’ll face the music, dancing your last tune

    Button up your cover ups
    Photo ops while blowin’ with the breeze
    Topped-up nameless friends
    With cash from overseas

    Tell a lie every day
    Remove your emails, with triple delete
    You’ve taken good care of yourself
    Do you pay your own MSP?

    We will enjoy your defeat, ooh, ooh
    Forgotten your tweets, ooh, ooh
    Legislature never meets, ooh, ooh
    You’ve been a pain, and ruined your name

    Wear your Yoga underwear
    When you pitch on TV
    You’ve taken good care of yourself
    Blame yourself and LNG

    Button up your cover ups
    Hidden your spending legacy
    Oh, your generous stipends
    Yet never accepted responsibility
    Boop-boop-a-doop

    When you cheat a traffic cop
    Running a red light, you see
    Lie with a smile
    That comes so easily

    Beware of Mount Polley tailing ponds, ooh, ooh
    frackin’ earthquakes and Site C, ooh, ooh
    Laughable World Class response, ooh, ooh
    Avoiding the blame has ruined your re-election game

    Keep the truth from your speech
    When your campaignin’ on TV
    Never displayed ethical morality
    Only taken credit, so Liberally

    Don”t discuss Corruption or BC Rail, ooh, ooh
    Or Social Welfare fails, ooh, ooh
    Or Health Care Firing tales, ooh, ooh
    Your party will feel the pain of your refrain

    Keep away bootleg Liberal loot
    While promoting your candidacy
    You promoted “families first” idiotically
    Remember the phrase: “The Blames On Me”

    By a non-Liberal provincial voter that knows the Liberals will be defeated … Art.

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