Despite indulgent remuneration provided the BC Legislature’s senior executives — including sums paid secretly — financial problems at the institution have continued for more than a decade.
Freelance reporter Bob Mackin wrote that BC’s Legislature was a scandal waiting to happen and he quoted journalism professor and former Legislative reporter Sean Holman about the significant potential for abuse. Mackin blames excessive secrecy and lack of transparency…
Pal explained that I had wasted time reading platforms and promises. He said the only method of judging real intentions is to scrutinize a politician’s finances. Give me a list of contributors and full details of a candidate’s financial records. I’ll know exactly what to expect without reading platforms or listening to promises. Tell me who a politician is beholden to and I can figure out what they are going to do.
When a big financial donor to Liberals wanted to acquire publicly owned BC Rail, Liberals pretended the railway was a money loser with little value and sold it, despite an election promise not to do so. Then, they quietly distributed the railway’s extensive land assets in sweetheart deals with friendly developers. After that, government spent millions of taxpayer dollars to induce guilty pleas and end the infamous BC Rail scapegoat trial.
BC residents who read comments here and like places in social media will be familiar with the very articulate Lew Edwardson (@valtamtech on Twitter). Lew has had a particular interest in general matters of public integrity and in particular, the mouldering case of BC Rail. Lew has tried to interest corporate media members in examining facts he’s assembled but they’ve ignored this scandal for years and are determined to continue in states of purposeful ignorance. I invited Lew to make a contribution here. It follows
Before July 18, 2017, if British Columbia was not ruled by criminals, it was ruled by people who turned blind eyes to criminality. Attorney General David Eby issued a statement that ought to be national news in Canada…
Feeling heat from the Opposition and worried about angry voters, BC Liberals dissolved the Legislature two weeks earlier than planned. They didn’t even pass the budget, so the MSP cut is only a campaign promise.
With various accusations of BC Liberal corruption being discussed in 2017, it is worth repeating how the first major scandal came to a highly unsatisfactory conclusion for taxpayers and anyone interested in honest administration of justice. This item about BC Rail was first published in 2014.
After days of claiming Official Opposition supporters were hackers engaged in dirty politics, Premier Clark finally made the walk back. Turns out there was no computer hacking involved; there was simply an error […]
Increasing IPP purchases and flat demand for power obviously means that BC Hydro creates less power to meet demand by its users in BC. However, massive spending means the utility employs more than triple the assets to produce one gigawatt hour of electricity than it did a dozen years ago. This is bad policy not explained by mere incompetence of management. We must conclude that the Liberal Government is directing the public utility, either to cripple it or to deliver billions of dollars to friends and supporters.
Swag is what British Columbia’s Liberal Party is about. Whether it’s cash-for-access, pay-to-play, quango patronage or tried and true scratch-my-back contracting, Liberals are practiced at converting public wealth to private. BC Hydro is an example. The utility paid private power producers over $9 billion between 2003 and 2016. But, that’s only the start.
First published in February 2011. I still agree with the thoughts expressed and continue to believe that corporate media serves us poorly in political reporting. The genesis of a preceding article, Drive-by […]
While boasting of wise management and “balanced” budgets, Liberals run up almost $200 billion in public debts and obligations, give away natural resources and help pay for the removals, subsidize corrupt foreign operators, sell public lands 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 pals, all is indeed well.
BC Liberal government insisted they not be allowed to entertain other more environmentally sound and less expensive systems. Seems Ms. Clark has a list of eligible corporate sponsors for contract dispersals…
During its years in power, BC Liberals remade British Columbia. While the provincial economy grew, the fortunes of ordinary people declined, for the first extended period ever. Beneficiaries of change had demanded redistribution of wealth to the disadvantage of all but a few. The end result was not incidental or accidental.
Ian Jessop asked me about Premier Clark giving $150,000 in public funds to assist her brother’s associate in Haida Gwaii. It’s a subject that has been well covered by fellow bloggers Laila Yuile and Merv Adey. However, with the exception of Mark Hume at the Globe and Mail, it’s been of little interest to mainstream media, particularly the “Incurious Bastards”¹ of the BC press gallery. It may be a rewarding career move for a political pundit to serve plutocrats instead of readership but that’s a conscious choice that doesn’t offend some who once thought of themselves as journalists. Shannon Rupp, writing at The Tyee recently, delivered a pointed analysis of the 21st century press in our country: I think it’s fair to say that many if not most so-called newspapers are misnamed: they deliver less and less news (as defined by journalists) while filling their pages with ”content” — a word that could mean anything from listicles to infotainment to advertising written to masquerade as a news story. In short, most newspapers have morphed into marketing platforms.
New York State officials aimed to limit the extraordinary electoral influence of extraordinary wealth. People who wanted their financial powers unrestricted began legal action and, applying higher court rulings, United States District Judge Paul A. Crotty tossed the limits. He did so with obvious regret, complaining he was forced to apply a definition for corruption “no matter how misguided . . . [the Court] may think it to be.”
The Judge’s five-page opinion is worth considering, particularly now as the British Columbia government repudiates citizens calling for rules against corporate and union political donations. Insights West calculate that 86% support a ban. In today’s neverending cycle of campaigning and lobbying; lobbying and campaigning, elected officials know where their money is coming from and that it must keep coming if they are to stay in office.
…influence bought by money is no different than a bribe, and as the Book of Exodus 23:8 counsels, “a bribe blinds the clearsighted and is the ruin of the just man’s cause.”
I invited Chris Alemany, a councillor for the City of Port Alberni, to write of his effort to gain information about a subject of broad public interest. It is unfortunate the BC […]
…a series of overseas investigations into the Malaysian money trail, including one initiated by the F.B.I., are still pending. …activists from across the Southeast Asian nation released a statement condemning the Prime Minister, whose actions, they wrote, “have jeopardized and will sacrifice the future of Malaysia.” …Most Malaysians have resigned to the fact that corruption is a systemic problem but the quantum of the 1MDB allegations has shocked everyone.
The BC Liberals are using their most trusted media tools to once again smear victims who have, according to Adrian Dix, “been repeatedly exonerated” in the health ministry scandal. The Christy Clark […]