Category: Ethics

The lady doth protest too much

Ms. Bellringer is another highly paid failure. She did not protect taxpayers by examining for fraud when warning signals had been issued. Auditors have access that citizen watchdogs do not. She had a responsibility to thoroughly investigate deceptive practices. Having failed, she complains that Darryl Plecas didn’t ask her to redo her work with more diligence.

Trust in AG is broken

If the Horgan Government and the LAMC allows Auditor General Bellringer to direct a re-examination of the Legislative Assembly’s financial records, that is a clear sign, they’ve made a choice to sweep yet more scandalous behaviour under the carpet.

Standards of behavior

Integrity and putting interests of the public and the public service above personal interest seem to have been forgotten. Yet, it was not only James, Lenz and Speakers Linda Reid and Bill Barisoff who dismissed those promises. In fiscal year 2018, Deputy Clerk Kate Ryan-Lloyd was paid $251,925 (up 121% since 2009) and Executive Finance Officer Hilary Woodward received $198,380 (up 74% since 2014). Yet neither sounded an alarm of financial mismanagement.

Still too timid to act

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…

Forget what they say, watch what they do

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.

Modus operandi

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.

Unsolved crimes, a cold case file

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

Awash in power at premium prices

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, the Liberal raison d’être

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.

More honour’d in the breach than the observance

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.

Actions inconsistent with innocence

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.