Failures and reversals of John Horgan’s government mount.

The NDP promise to apply UNDRIP is proving as hollow as acknowledgments NDP members make when meeting upon unceded indigenous territory in British Columbia.

While a police invasion, complete with snipers and choppers, arrested or detained journalists and forcibly removed indigenous people who might interfere with commercial activities by and for foreign owned corporations, section 10 of UNDRIP was quickly discarded. It reads:

Indigenous peoples shall not be forcibly removed from their lands or territories. No relocation shall take place without the free, prior and informed consent of the indigenous peoples concerned and after agreement on just and fair compensation and, where possible, with the option of return.

This is not the only example of the NDP promising one agenda and following another.

Opposition NDP promised major initiatives for energy efficiency, clean renewables and reform at BC Hydro. Instead BC Liberal policies continue.

Opposition NDP promised to be guided by science in managing fossil fuel production. Instead tax incentives and subsidies to the gas industry were accelerated. Former Green leader Andrew Weaver rightly called it “a generational sellout“. In other words, BC Liberal policies continue.

Opposition NDP promised to increase transparency, strengthen conflict of interest regulations, ensure government’s duty to document and reform freedom of information rules. Instead, BC Liberal policies continue.

Opposition NDP promised a more respectful style in dealing with school teachers and said they would resolve the years of inadequate support for public education. Instead, BC Liberal negotiating tactics and policies continue.

Opposition NDP promised annual grants to needy renters. Instead, they decided that millions of dollars accrued from special real estate taxes looked better in general revenue for distribution elsewhere.

Numerous new policies have been successfully initiated but government by BC Liberals had grown so bad that improvements were uncomplicated and easily achieved.

Modest progress in secondary areas is insufficient to counter failures in the essential subjects. One of my disappointments is the failure of NDP party members to demand more of their leadership.

This may be a one term government that achieves little of lasting distinction.

Categories: NDP BC

17 replies »

  1. Where do we park our vote in this dystopia? Certainly not with the Socred/Liberal/Cons and now not with the caving NDP. The Greens are not reliable either.


    • I hold some hope for the Greens if one of their sitting MLAs assumes leadership. But, the real chance of change would occur if we elected a handful of independents. But that would require a major change in attitude by electors.


      • You are absolutely right Norm!

        Electing Independent Candidates is THE ONLY HOPE FOR BC.

        Independents only have one Master to answer to: THEIR CONSTITUENTS.

        Political Party Candidates do as their Party Leader says or they are gone.

        The Party Leaders do as the shadow bosses, who control them, say

        Electing Independent Candidates is the ONLY HOPE
        for the failed and corrupt political system in Canada.


  2. This came up as the sig file in a communication with a friendly lawyer:

    The last election just laid the foundation of the next 500 years of Dark Ages.

    — Frank Zappa, in 1981

    Increasingly, it appears to apply to all choices, with the caveat that the 500 years is a generous view of the longevity of human civilization.


  3. Finally, we now approach a critical mass if not consensus that the entire range of official mainstream political persuasion in BC has been podded and manipulated by ideologically neoliberal globalists representing a financial growth and resourcist exploitation mandate utterly in contempt of citizen aspirations in BC.

    All of our legislative political parties were self-pimping and available for highjacking in return for tips and superficial offers of apparent “corporate led” progress. As political actors, the BC electorate has been suckered into irrelevance by PR firms and mainstream media who know well that conversion of BC into a deep resource well only for globally financed exploitation is the new political reality.

    Every opportunity to resist a path to doubling the rate and intensity of exploitation every 15 to 20 years exclusively on behalf of neoliberal priorities has been anaesthetized by our financial institutions, our political parties and globalized interests who have already bought their exclusive privileges in Canada from the city of London and Wall Street.

    For 30 years the stupified BC public has consented and been placated with false participation and promises and is no longer capable of useful political thought or action. We are being harvested now and we have no power other than to sheepishly pretend that we are entitled to dreams of compensation. You can plant those dreams and imagine a beanstalk ladder to a share of riches in the clouds if it makes political irrelevance more comfortable. m\\


  4. A very out spoken American mentioned that once the transition from fossil fuels to renewables got traction it would happen very fast. To illustrate his point he used historical examples.

    If you remember it was Hubbard in the 50s who told his employer Shell and the industry of the idea of peak-oil. It has not followed his projections quite because human ingenuity has served to extend discovery of oil deposits in inhospitable places. This record emboldens industry folks and that is no surprise.

    I think that now the perceived connection between burning fossil fuels and the scary business of global warming has been taken up so completely the transition to green energy will be unstoppable and fast. When the financial heavy-hitters make the switch over ( as they have and are doing ) then trying to talk against the green energy juggernaut is a waste of breath.

    The survivor strategy is not to swim against the current but go the other way.. I don’t think Horgan and Trudeau understand these metrics and are “stranded costs” investors with our money.

    That illustrates their measure of ignorance in the middle of a fast changing world..


  5. Also the elimination of the Rural Dividend program that helped small communities in the hinterland – hard hit by the Campbell era cuts – balance their budgets. And the persisting SLAPP-like suits by BC Hydro against the Rocky Mountain Fort Land Defenders. Who in NDP circles thought there was a gain from replacing their pre-election “PowerBC” plan that was inherently anti-Site C with “CleanBC” which relies on Site C?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The same is true for the Rail for the Valley folks.

    Just prior to the last election, Horgan was promising to do something about providing a rail link for the Valley, but once elected and under the influence of Geoff Meggs, former Vision Vancouver Councillor, any thought for “rail for the Valley” evaporated.

    Geoffrey boy and his Vision cohort made agreements with land speculators and land developers to build a SkyTrain subway under Broadway as a driver to build high rise condos and towers. Even though there is not the ridership to support a subway on Broadway, Meggs, as Horgans chief fixer, made damn sure that no cheaper “rail” options were to be built anywhere in BC.

    Adios Surrey’s LRT!

    The claim that Broadway was the busiest bus route in Canada, no North America (continually repeated by Meggs) was exposed as a lie when Translink, threatened by possible legal action folded like a cheap deck chair and admitted that Broadway was their most congested bus route.

    Meggs Vision Vancouver types also had TransLink fire their two top planners because they opined the obvious, that there wasn’t the ridership to justify a subway on Broadway.

    It is Horgan’s government that has OK’ed TransLink’s $4.6 billion expenditure to build a mere 12.8 km of SkyTrain and it is Horgan and Co. chasing money to build the subway to UBC, still on a route with a fraction of the ridership needed to sustain it.

    As for the Valley, Horgan and Meggs play a game of political footsy with Abbotsford Mayor Braun for a “rapid transit ” link sometime in the future, which will cost $8 billion+. Meggs is going to have discussion. What a joke, he should be discussing valley rail with those who actually know what the are talking about and not the CPR’s useful idiot, the Abbotsford mayor.

    Our Leewood Study (done by Leewood projects UK), showed that a Vancouver to chilliwack passenger rail line could be built for as little as $800,000 or &1.5 billion for a deluxe 130+ km passenger rail line using modern DMU’s. In fact, we have discovered a legal right to operate such a service, which the CPR do not want to admit too (see Abbotsford’s mayor).

    Like that’s going to any time happen soon,

    Horgan’s NDP are doomed to repeating the same mistakes that kept them in the wilderness for over 18 years only this time, the party might splinter altogether, leaving the utterly corrupt Liberals to rule for the next 30 years.

    The NDP have learned nothing and have remembered nothing, as they lurch from one fiasco to another. They have lost the election this week; they have shown themselves political cowards, tied to corporate dollars. Charlatans, the lot of them.


  7. Many comments, from Norm and others, are well-deserved. A bold NDP would have stopped the momentum on LNG and Site C. Norm has clearly shown both to be money pits.

    The NDP prides itself on prudent use of tax dollars: thus its more modest plans for the new Pattulo and Deas Island crossings, compared to the BC Liberals’ plans. There’s no such prudence in the ridiculous plans for a Broadway subway, however. Scrap it!

    As a formerly retired — now semi-retired teacher — I disagree with Norm’s assertion that “BC Liberal negotiating tactics and policies continue.” While the end result (little progress) is the same, the tone is nothing like the bargaining under Clark and Campbell. You don’t see much in the press — and you certainly don’t hear Horgan disparaging teachers. Clark and Fassbender were especially nasty in the 2014 negotiations.

    Not sure if it counts as a primary or secondary area — but the planned changes at ICBC should bring major improvements for most British Columbians. I imagine it wasn’t a simple tweak and will need some time to get through the legal challenges.

    I’ve been impressed by the work of David Eby and Adrian Dix.

    Many disappointments, for sure: but rewind the tape to 2017 and give the BC Liberals the win. Would there be a difference? I think so.


    • Well argued.

      I am particularly impressed by the work of Health Minister Dix. He’s not only highly qualified and thoroughly informed but his objectives are admirable. Given Eby’s background, I expected bolder action to improve access to justice. The legal aid system remains severely underfunded. Perhaps Eby spends too much time on ICBC’s problems to address fully the AG’s responsibilities.

      When the NDP kept in place a number of the Ministry officials that ran the Liberal campaigns against public education, that was a sign that things were not going to change much. True, there is not the nasty statements by elected members of government but what’s changed at BCPSEA from when Liberals ran the show?

      Agreed that the current government is an improvement on those of Campbell and Clark but, IMO, it’s so much less than was promised.


    • The Broadway Subway, Geoff Meggs, great pet project.

      Besides the overt politics about the Broadway subway, the main opposition to the subway is that Broadway has nowhere near the ridership to justify a subway, period.

      The 50 year costs for the subway will amount to $1 billion per km (in 2020 dollars), when one includes operation, maintenance and mid life rehab costs.

      With lack of revenue income (the subway is on a heavily used U-Pass route), means the costs to operate it will come from both higher fares, increased taxes and a cannibalization of transit operations elsewhere.

      Now, in light of the past weeks blockades, there is now talk of Broadway types, blocking Broadway in protest.


  8. The NDP won neither a majority nor a plurality of votes in the 2017 election. It achieved a tenuous hold of government through negotiations and events that are unlikely to repeat next time.

    So the question going into the next campaign is whether the party used its term in power to positively change any minds. Did it act to retain its 2017 supporters while attracting enough of those who went BC Liberal to achieve a majority? There have been success stories in health and finance, and earnest attempts to rein in ICBC and money laundering activity. But where will the disaffected environmentalists, teachers, and their supporters go? Unlikely large numbers would vote BC Liberal, but any loss would be a big loss, and even if a small number just stayed home it would hurt.

    There is one advantage that Mr. Horgan enjoyed last election that he will have to fight without next time. The benefit of the doubt.

    He has surrendered it, and it may cost him and his party dearly.


    • Lew Edwardson has hit the nail on the head. Horgan will lose the next election to the BC Liberals unless a new BC Reform or People’s Party can gain the confidence of BC voters who are tired of broken promises, endlessly increasing property taxes and fees, and insane mega projects like LNG fiasco and other lies.
      Hopefully someone will create a new BC People’s Party (Reform) that is not tilted towards Business or Unions. A Party that will lower taxes, cut government spending and end the BCIMC reign of terror and corruption and return all these BCIMC billions and the Timber West Lands back to the Province to become BC’s own Heritage Fund.
      No more million dollar salaries and no more money laundering and corruption by BC Crown Corporations. It’s time the truth was told and the people of BC are put first.


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