Premier Christy Clark & the BC Liberals are both toast - so what happens now? (Thread #3)

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jerrym

felixr wrote:

NorthReport wrote:

Hopefully the NDP's Nic Slater goes right up the middle here and takes the seat.

Liberals tap veteran councillor to win back Delta South from indie MLA Huntington

http://thetyee.ca/Blogs/TheHook/2013/01/25/Delta-South-Race/

6559

I still think Huntington will win.

I agree this is the most likely scenario.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Here is an interesting breakdown and seat predictions based on various possibilities. Consistent polls for so long point to the fact that the NDP is going to win. The only question is how many seats in the majority. 

Now is the time to be pushing the government in waiting on LNG and Kinder Morgan. 

Quote:

First, we assumed that with an NDP lead in the polls, the party will keep nearly all of the 35 seats it won in 2009.

The only one the party looks like it might lose is Cariboo North, where Bob Simpson won for the NDP last election and has sat as an independent since 2010. He's running again, and has said in the past he won there despite the NDP not because of it. The NDP, however, are likely to put significant resources into trying to win the constituency as well.

Erring on the conservative side, we assumed the NDP wins 34 seats they won last time. They'll also likely keep at least one of the constituencies they won from the Liberals in the 2012 by-elections. Port Moody Mayor Joe Trasolini seems likely to hold Port Moody-Coquitlam, while a repeat in Chilliwack-Hope by Gwen O'Mahony seems a riskier bet. That brings our count back up to 35.

In the 2009 election, the Liberals won the popular vote by 3.67 per cent. Assuming a shift of just five per cent, far short of what polls are showing but allowing for a tightening race, a whole bunch of seats that were narrow Liberal victories last time become likely wins for the NDP this time.

They are Boundary-Similkameen, Burnaby-Lougheed, Burnaby-North, Cariboo-Chilcotin, Comox Valley, Kamloops North, Maple Ridge-Mission, Oak Bay-Gordon Head, Saanich North and the Islands, Vancouver-Fairview and Vancouver-Fraserview.

That includes at least two where the Green Party may play a significant role. In Oak Bay-Gordon Head in particular, Andrew Weaver's entry to the race for the Greens makes for a possible three-way race, giving incumbent Liberal cabinet minister Ida Chong a chance to hold on.

That still adds at least 10 seats for the NDP, bringing the total to 45, enough for a majority with room to spare.

Close races

But if Mustel is right and the NDP is 10 per cent ahead, anywhere the Liberals won by less than 13.67 per cent in 2009 is vulnerable.

That adds premier Clark's constituency of Vancouver-Point Grey to the list, along with Vernon-Monashee, Surrey-Tynehead, Chilliwack, North Vancouver-Lonsdale, Parksville-Qualicum, Penticton and Prince George-Valemount. The NDP's seat count would then be 53.

And if Angus Reid's numbers are closer, the NDP would add Shuswap and Surrey-Panorama as well, taking it to 55.

The Liberals may also lose Peace River North, but the most likely competitor right now appears to be independent Arthur Hadland. We also assume that independent Vicki Huntington will hold Delta South, and that if she doesn't it's won by a party other than the NDP.

All in, making conservative assumptions, that puts the NDP's likely seat count at between 53 and 58, based on current trends and depending on the outcome in a few hard-to predict ridings.

Such a result would give the NDP the largest majority for a government in the legislature since the BC Liberals came to power in 2001 and would be similar to the portion of the seats the NDP held when it formed the government in 1991 under Mike Harcourt.

And the win could be even bigger than that. A poll Justason Market Intelligence released last week showed an NDP lead of 22 per cent, which would be a shift of 25 per cent from the 2009 election. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus four per cent, with 95 per cent confidence.

That result is similar to what other companies have found at times and would put at least a dozen more seats, previously considered safe for the Liberals, in play. Places like Nechako Lakes, Langley, West Kelowna and Pat Bell's Prince George-Mackenzie could all go NDP.

http://thetyee.ca/News/2013/02/11/BC-Election-NDP-Win/

NorthReport

NDP's Path to Big Win

Polls point to a majority, but how large? First of three roadmaps to BC's election day.

 

 

 

http://thetyee.ca/News/2013/02/11/BC-Election-NDP-Win/

jerrym

Sukh Dhaliwal's, the former Liberal Surrey MP, resignigation as a "star" candidate in Surrey Panorama also brings discredit on Christy Clark and the BC Liberals. John Slater, Liberal MLA for Boundary-Similkameen, had already resigned as an independent candidate because the Liberals have engaged in a "smear campaign" once he announced his independent candidacy. The Liberal party had refused to sign his nomination papers because of unspecified "personal reasons". Meanwhile, the debacle in Abbotsford South where the BC Liberals pushed aside Moe Gill and replaced him with Darryl Plecas, only to have Gill run as an independent in Abbotsford West in a bid to reduce the Liberal vote there while not hurting independent and former Liberal MLA John Van Dongen (who had to resign as Liberal Solicitor General after repeatedly receiving the maximum penalty for speeding while being featured in an anti-speeding campaign) in Abbotsford South against Plecas. Instead, Gill is hurting the Liberals in the Abbotsford West riding by his entry.  

After the 2009 election, the Liberal number one "star" candidate had to resign as Solicitor General (the third Liberal Solicitor General resignation in 25 months because of scandal) because he was found responsible for false accusations in campaign literature against his NDP opponent. Heed is not running in the May election because he is now totally discredited and his riding of Vancouver-Fraserview is an almost certain NDP gain as a result of the scandal. 

Christy Clark, herself has hardly shined in her dealing with Dhaliwal's resignation. When she was asked to comment on the media story that revealed Dhalwal's tax problems, she dodged the question, saying: 'The information you are providing me with is something I have just learned about today, and as I understand it is an issue that's before the courts.'

As Vaughn Palmer  asks rhetorically "Something she had just learned about Thursday? ... Otherwise Thursday the party went to ground, not returning calls or emails. ... Finally on Friday morning, the party announced that Dhaliwal's candidacy was under review. Then later in the day he resigned, an unavoidable outcome that he nevertheless tried to portray as an act of courage. 

So this is the star candidate that Mike McDonald, Clark's handpicked director of the Liberal re-election campaign, backed to the hilt Wednesday, never letting on how he'd only just learned about his legal difficulties. Then again, McDonald was tapped for the job of campaign director largely because he's an old friend and longtime political strategist for Clark.

In light of this and other reversals, some Liberals must be wondering whether McDonald is over his head in this campaign. Others could be asking the same thing about the boss herself."

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/What+Clarks+star+candidate/7951732/stor...

With Liberal candidates like this, the greatest contributor to a successful NDP campaign way well be the Liberal campaign and candidates.

jerrym

On Tuesday with just 13 weeks to go until the May election, Christy laid out her vision for the future of BC in the throne speech. It was visionary - as visionary as sugar plum fairies dancing in the air. Clark projects $130 to 260 billion in government revenue and $1 trillion in total revenue to BC over 30 years from liquified natural gas revenues. She was extremely precise in her numbers, stating that LNG could produce between $4.3 and $8.7 billion dollars in extra government revenue annually. Christy emphasized "We have to decide if we can forever ensure that the proceeds from natural gas, which is a product that belongs to the people of the province, are spent well and wisely. I do think it's important that government, when we build the Prosperity Fund, put some real clear markers around it so we know that no future government can be profligate and just decide to increase government spending at a fantastical rate."

Clark further promised that the bulk revenue would go to tax reduction and debt repayment (not ridiculous social programs in a province with one of the highest child poverty rates in the country like the addled NDP might do with such money).

http://www.vancouversun.com/Clark+projects+windfall+throne+speech/795738...

However, many BCers are not visionaries of the Clark type. Even columnist Vaughn Palmer, certainly no addled NDP socialist, questioned this vision. 

"Bereft of revenues, political momentum and much in the way of new ideas, the B.C. Liberals Tuesday staked the last throne speech of their current term on wild speculation about a single sector of the economy. The fund is to begin accumulating in 2017, just in time for the next election in the four-year provincial cycle. Benefits determined by calculations from two independent reports, neither of which was made public.

How do the Liberals plan to generate this astonishing windfall? By introducing an additional tax applicable to LNG in B.C., we can maximize the benefits to British Columbians while still remaining competitive (with their major competitor Australia). This at a time when industry has been lobbying Ottawa for $2 billion in relief from federal taxes to jump-start the development of LNG facilities here in B.C. Do the Liberals seriously expect Ottawa to reduce its tax room on natural gas while Victoria is publicly scheming to increase its levies on the same product? ...

By this point in the day’s overheated narrative, one needed reminding that to date the province has precisely zero LNG plants, nor have any of the major global players with an interest in B.C. (Shell, Chevron, etc.) green-lighted the construction of one. 

Plus there’s the matter of negotiations with the province and BC Hydro to provide the necessary gobs of power for LNG terminals, which terms aren’t expected to be finalized until after the election. Still, one could readily grasp the Liberal predicament as they sat down to craft their legislative agenda. The remainder of the throne speech was the thinnest gruel imaginable, recycled promises from past years, new promises so negligible as to be pathetic (such as a school of traditional Chinese medicine with not a single detail, such as cost, where it is to be located or when it is to be in operation, mentioned anywhere)." 

For Palmer this Christy might as well have said 'Listen up, voters. We’re going to build a bunch of LNG terminals, create umpteen jobs, raise a zillion dollars, eliminate the sales tax, wipe out the provincial debt and we can all live happily ever after.'

He concludes "And you thought they’d put Fantasy Gardens into mothballs after Bill Vander Zalm left office."

http://www.vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/Vaughn+Palmer+When+gruel+...

NorthReport

Oops, wrong thread, sorry bout that.

jerrym

A Dix NDP government would have more issues to deal with because of the incompetence/corruption of the current Clark government and the Kafkaesque nature of Gordo Campbell's environmental policies are coming back to haunt the Liberals. Even Liberal Environment Minister Terry Lake now "concedes it will likely be up to the 'next administration' to take action" with the mess created by Gordo's Pacific Carbon Trust, which was "set up in 2008 as part of then-premier Gordon Campbell's plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The idea is that the trust would encourage carbon trading by creating a market for what are called offsets. Offsets are created when one party does something that reduces carbon emissions by a measurable amount and then sells the credit for that reduction to someone else." The Trust is also well known for its bloated bureaucracy.

However, nearly all the sales have been by private corporations to public agencies at a $25 per tonne price fixed by the enabling legislation. These corporations include Encana, a leading Canadian energy producer of natural gas and oil, and TimberWest. As a result of Gordo's legislation public sector institions in BC such as schools and universities were forced to pay Encana and others their scarce funding dollars (thanks to the Liberals) to offset their carbon emissions. When this became public last year the reaction of the public was so fierce the government was forced to take action. However, instead of reversing the flow of money or even ending the practice of sending taxpayers dollars to private firms, the Liberal solution was "to provide extra funding to the public institutions to pay the corporation, but otherwise, Pacific Carbon Trust operated largely unchecked."

Furthermore, an Access to Information request has revealed that the amount the trust is paying, which is as little as $10 a tonne to the private firms, "is well below the set price of $25 a tonne it is charging the public-sector entities, including health authorities, colleges, universities and school boards, that are required to buy them."

As a result of this difference in the amount collected and paid out, the Trust is accumulating large surpluses. Lake now claims that both he and the Finance Minister did not have the slightest idea of this until recently because this information was 'corporate proprietary information' even though as a Crown Corporation the Trust is a provincially owned institution. However, Lake says there is nothing to worry about because "the surplus could be used to reduce the costs to the public sector, or to 'pay off debt'." On the other hand, Rob Fleming, the NDP Environment critic, sees the Trust as "nothing more than a greenwashing fund to hide (the) government's red ink."

The Kafkaesque nature of the Trust is further illustrated by the fact that some of the projects funded by it were scheduled to go ahead even before the fund existed, which violates the rules governing what is a legitimate offset. 

"Ben Parfitt, a forestry and resource analyst now affiliated with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, has also raised serious questions about the real value of millions of dollars worth of offsets sold by forestry companies. ... Pacific Carbon Trust pays less for forestry-based offsets, which are derived from an agreement to leave trees standing that might otherwise have been cut, than it does from energy efficiency or fuel-switching projects.

The rationale is that forestry projects typically cost less to set up and operate and 'the risk of reversal is high.' In other words, trees saved now could be felled later. Yet when offsets derived from forestry are sold, they are marketed as being just as valuable as offsets deemed to be more permanent."

http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Bloated+bills+prompt+review+Pacif...

The Liberals certainly know how to take care of their friends. Unfortunately they don't seem to give a damn about the mess they have created for "the next administration". Not to worry though. I'm sure many of them will be riding off into the sunset to become vice presidents of the very corporations that they have helped fund. 

jerrym

NDP energy critic John Horgan is warning BCers about another problem they will soon face because of Liberal policies - large increases in their electricity bills. "Horgan said Hydro documents released last week as part of the Crown corporation's environmental impact statement for its proposed $7.9 billion Site C hydroelectric dam in northeastern B.C. indicate years of financial losses precipitated by expensive long-term power contracts with independent power producers and low selling prices for power. He said the current surplus power supplies, coupled with the low prices and a projected four-year loss of more than $1 billion, signals higher power rates for British Columbians."

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/02/04/bc-hydro-bill-increase_n_2618552...

 

Professors Douglas McArthur and Marvin Shaffer, who are both experts in power issues, have written scathing critiques of the private sector orientation of the energy policy established by Gordo Campbell and pursued by the Chrisity Clark Liberals. 

McArthur points out that "Private hydro produces most of its power in the spring and summer when B.C. already has a surplus of power from BC Hydro's already established plants. It doesn't need more power in the spring and summer when the runoff is high. But the government is making BC Hydro buy the power from these producers at inflated prices (at up to 5 to 6 times the cost of the publicly-owned BC Hydro), even though it will have to turn around and sell it into export markets at much lower spring and summer market prices." 

Shaffer, notes that "Campbell forces BC Hydro to buy all the private power produced on a "take or pay basis" at up to twice its value at a 
time when its not needed, meaning Hydro must sell it at half price into the export market and buy it back at much, much higher prices if 
they do need power. At present it's on the hooks for $31 billion in future "take or pay" contracts which will, it's estimated, double if the Bute Inlet private development goes through. Every new license ups the ante."

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!msg/ecodesignlowimpact/YyiowItWOVI/BeH...

 

 

"If the massive Bute Inlet project goes through, the public will be on the hook to the private power guys for more than $50 billion, which is larger than the provincial debt! Ever so grateful, the private power guys have been donating to the BC Liberals like crazy."

http://www.watershedsentinel.ca/content/provincial-government-private-po...

 

 

Horgan is designated to become Minister of Energy in an NDP government. Despite his criticism of locked-in overpayments of hundreds of millions of dollars to private power producers in Gordo's Run of the River 'environmental' program Horgan has said 'we won’t rip up contracts ... ripping up contracts invites litigation' as the Liberals found out during their contract-shredding round with the public sector unions.

"Instead, says Horgan, the New Democrats would try to initiate a three-way conversation involving government, Hydro and the producers themselves, aimed at shaving rates, spreading out the risk or otherwise getting a better deal for the public.

Then would come the larger job of trying to sort out “what our long-term power needs are.” That would mean involving “the smart people at BC Hydro” and their counterparts at a revitalized and independent B.C. Utilities Commission, which was too often read out of the picture by the interfering B.C. Liberals."

http://www.vancouversun.com/business/bc2035/Vaughn+Palmer+government+mig...

The NDP needs to examine every possible way of getting out of this mess if it takes power. However, the Liberals need not worry. I'm sure these private power producers can offer some of them vice presidencies if they are out of a job after the next election. 

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Holy sh*t. There must be a way to cancel those outrageous private power contracts.

SpectateSwamp SpectateSwamp's picture

 

We need total transparency in all government. Nobody will be more transparent than this...

Independent candidate for Boundary - Similkameen

Doug Pederson
 
Platform:
=========
Total transparency
 
Everything will be recorded and available on the net and DVD
 
Citizen requested Research will be done and videoed.
 
Opponents past and current will be asked very tuff questions. Not Chamber of Commerce softies
 
(currently collecting citizen concerns) got any?
 
Transparency will be easy. I have over 2900 videos up on YouTube. All my emails since 1996 are archived and searchable
 
I'm in the promise mode on the run up to the election. How can I help you out?
 
My request from voters is: Never ever vote for the same person TWICE.
 
If you don't want honest government then don't vote for me May 14 2013.
 
Douglas (Doug) Pederson
Box 162 Osoyoos
British Columbia V0H 1V0
 
 
http://www.telusplanet.net/public/stonedan (election main site)
stonedan@telusplanet.net     email
 
Currently I have 48 of the required 75 names on my nomination papers
I should have the rest signed up in a couple days.
 
              -30-

jerrym

The following article outlines why 2013 has been an annus horribilis for the BC Liberals in the run-up to the May election. There are 14 separate entries on Liberal problems for the brief time period since January 1st.

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/2013+annus+horribilis+Liberals+leading+...

theleftyinvestor

Suzanne Anton did not win the nomination for Vancouver-Quilchena. It went to Andrew Wilkinson instead.

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Andrew+Wilkinson+beats+Suzanne+Anton+Va...

Quilchena is one of the safest Liberal ridings in the city. But keep in mind there is a sizeable tranche of the westside population that votes BC Liberal but also supported Gregor Robertson vigourously over Suzanne Anton (and for that matter, Adriane Carr over Ellen Woodsworth). I think these folks must have made a big difference in deciding the outcome, 774 to 662. This means we aren't going to see Anton angle for the opposition leadership when Christy loses her seat.

In general municipal politicians have been getting a lukewarm response from nomination meetings - not just the Vision ones. So I wonder what this will mean for Sam Sullivan in his run against Lorne Mayencourt for False Creek.

NorthReport

Mayencourt will win the nomination only to be defeated by Matthew Toner on May 14th.

theleftyinvestor

NorthReport wrote:

Mayencourt will win the nomination only to be defeated by Matthew Toner on May 14th.

If the matchup is Toner-Mayencourt, then Toner suddenly has a chance again. Mayncourt made a royal ass out of himself in the 2008 federal election, and Toner will look golden beside him.

If the matchup is Toner-Sullivan, I don't think Toner has a chance. Sullivan fumbled a few big files as mayor, notably the municipal workers' strike, but getting sacked as the mayoral candidate was actually a convenient way to avoid re-election scrutiny.

But if it were a foregone conclusion that the Liberals would win (like in Quilchena), I would opt for Sullivan over Mayencourt. I don't like Sullivan's politics, but Mayencourt is profoundly repulsive.

jerrym

The signing of expensive long-term power contracts with independent power producers to provide energy to the publicly owned BC Hydro,  a Crown Corporation (see post #208), at up to five to six times the price at which BC Hydro can generate energy, has generated contractual obligations for the province that are already greater than the entire provincial debt. The provincial debt now stands at $56.4 billion while the contractual obligations to the private sector power providers is "almost $59 billion", according to NDP Finance critic Bruce Ralston. However, this is only part of the contractual obligations of "over $96 billion", as the Liberals have used such contracts to keep a large part of what BC taxpayers must pay over time from being part of the official provincial debt. 

"Contractual obligations are agreements that the government has entered into that require payments in future years. They aren't considered to be debts, but they have the same effect on future governments by limiting the discretionary dollars they have. ... The contractual obligations have ballooned in large part because of the Liberal government's decision to enter into P3s, public-private partnerships, to provide facilities such as hospitals and roads and through the contracting out of services. Both of those initiatives have allowed the province to keep a lid on the growth of debt, but it's not clear that future taxpayers will ultimately be any better off because they are paying for contractual obligations rather than servicing debt. ... The use of deferral accounts by BC Hydro has also created an obligation that will show up in future years as increased costs, a practice that has been criticized by auditor general John Doyle."

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Contractual+obligations+resources+futur...

Thus, the so-called balanced budgets of the BC Liberals in their early years were little more than accounting magic (alias fraud) that enabled them to say they had balanced the books and reduced taxes at the same time. "Under the Liberals, contractual obligations that are listed in the public accounts that come out in the summer have risen by nearly 300 per cent in the past six years." The use of P3s and private sector energy providers instead of the BC Hydro and government debt financing has greatly increased what taxpayers must ultimately pay.

Even with these accounting slights of hand they have been unable to balance the books for the last four years and now will leave the next government, highly likely to be NDP, with a massive fiscal problem. 

Malcontent

Sadly that is what the BC NDP seem to do best...nothing....They did it in 83 did it in 2009 by doing nothing..(For the record federally Muclair is yet another dud)

You would think Dix would of seen what being 'nice'  did to Dion and Iggy.  The sad reality is one has to get dirty in this new style of politics the right (mainly Harper but BC Libs do it too) brought from the US to Canada.  The attack ads and negativity is what people seem to remember for some reason in this era of low information voters.

Hell the Liberals were opposed to expanded gambling and said they would not sell BC Rail yet they were elected twice more.  Of course they have big business and the media on their side.  No doubt Lame Stream media will be talking about Fast Ferries, Fudget budgets, sun decks instead of cost over runs of Convention centre, Canada line etc or the out right lying of the BC Libs. (BC Rail, HST, 2009 pre election budget etc)

Due to so many  uninformed low information voters if I were to bet now i would say the Liberals will win a 4th term with a smaller majority. The vote splitting with the other conservative party won't be enough to let the NDP win but will allow them to pick up 3-4 more seats. The NDP has not and can not win a two party race. There only hope is that the other conservative party picks up some more support. A 4th term is not uncommon as when the Liberals were the Social Credit they won 7 in a row before Barrett and between Barrett and Harcourt they won 4 in a row...

janfromthebruce

I don't think being "nice" and responding (but not in kind) means doing nothing. In fact,  it means going straight at them but using "dirty tricks" and personal smears, and attack ads.

I didn't see Iggy being nice at all. When Layton was leader he also did not incorporate those strategies. I don't want the NDP to "get dirty" and incorporate both Liberal and Conservative strategies that they both have used to "win".

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I suspect the BC NDP is in the middle of a planned strategy.  This story was given to the press yesterday but the memo itself ia a year old.  There is no reason to run attack adds if one has a stack of potential scandals to release week by week.

The Asian communities are justifiably incensed with a 17 page document that sets out the strategy the Liberals intended to use to play them for suckers. It has resulted in key resignations in important ridings.

Sometimes it is fun watching a train wreck.

Quote:

Yesterday the NDP released a leaked 17-page document that included detailed plans for coordinating government, caucus and BC Liberal Party resources to re-engage with ethnic voters. Clark's deputy chief of staff Kim Haakstad sent the plan by email on Jan. 25, 2012, to people in the premier's office, government caucus and BC Liberal party.

Clark said she is asking her deputy minister, John Dyble, "to conduct a review to ensure that no government resources were inappropriately used" before determining what further actions to take.

"We need a far broader investigation by someone arm's length from the premier's office," said the NDP's Horgan. "This is another quick fix for the government. This is not the time to try and push this under the rug. This is a profound breach of serious policies and statutes."

This is the third time in recent months the Liberals have been caught using government resources for partisan purposes. Previous examples included work by legislative staff on a BC Liberal website attacking NDP leader Adrian Dix and a plan to maximize political gain by rebuilding the Burnaby Hospital.

http://thetyee.ca/Blogs/TheHook/2013/02/28/SorryDocument/

 

 

Quote:

Meanwhile, Liberal constituency association presidents in three Surrey ridings were reported this afternoon to be resigning.

On CKNW.com, Shane Woodford reported that in Surrey-Fleetwood, riding association president and former MLA Brenda Locke has resigned. Peter Fassbender, the Liberal candidate for the riding, was quoted as saying the presidents in Surrey-Green Timbers and Surrey-Whalley would also resign today.

A CTV News report said the resignations were due to unhappiness about the leak of the multicultural strategy plan, and the resignation of Liberal candidate Sukh Dhaliwal.

In a related development, CBC News reported that the B.C. Chinese community is "outraged" by the multicultural strategy plan, and that Bill Chu, chair of the Canadian Reconciliation Society, called Clark's apology "unacceptable.

- See more at: http://thetyee.ca/Blogs/TheHook/2013/03/01/Clark_promises_report/#sthash...

http://thetyee.ca/Blogs/TheHook/2013/03/01/Clark_promises_report/

jerrym

In answering the question in posed in this thread, one thing a NDP government should do is kill the highly regressive MSP premiums tax and replace it with an equivalent level of tax revenues from an increase in the far more progressive income and corporate tax system. We are now the only province in the country charging a medical services tax. If provinces with right-wing governments can live without it, surely a NDP government can. 

theleftyinvestor

jerrym wrote:

In answering the question in posed in this thread, one thing a NDP government should do is kill the highly regressive MSP premiums tax and replace it with an equivalent level of tax revenues from an increase in the far more progressive income and corporate tax system. We are now the only province in the country charging a medical services tax. If provinces with right-wing governments can live without it, surely a NDP government can. 

Does Ontario's health premium not count? http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/tax/healthpremium/rates.html

Of note, the MSP premiums are most regressive for earners just above the premium assistance cap, as they pay the same as much higher earners (except in the case of prescription drugs). Lower earners pay less or nothing.

I'm OK with changing it to a tax based system, but one thing I did notice about BC MSP is that the system of premiums allows international students (who don't generally earn income) to enroll in MSP. This also eases the burden on the costs they'd end up paying for university health plans. Whereas in Ontario students cannot typically get OHIP without certain work permits. I'm not sure the optics would play out well if non-taxpayer international students were being fully subsidized by others' taxes. Perhaps if they had the cost deducted from tuition, or maybe premiums could remain the means of payment for those in certain categories.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

The MSP definitely needs to go especially given that it has become one of the largest taxes in this province.  The NDP in the 1990's did not abolish it so I'm not holding my breath on them totally eliminating it this time. $133 a month for a family of three or more is onerous.

Quote:

MSP premiums increased by 85% between 2000 and 2013. A two-earner family with an average household income of $60,000 now pays more in MSP ($1,536) than it does in personal income taxes ($1,190). The provincial government now collects more money from MSP premiums (BC’s most unfair tax) than it does from corporate income taxes.

http://www.policyalternatives.ca/sites/default/files/uploads/publication...

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

theleftyinvestor wrote:

I'm OK with changing it to a tax based system, but one thing I did notice about BC MSP is that the system of premiums allows international students (who don't generally earn income) to enroll in MSP. This also eases the burden on the costs they'd end up paying for university health plans.

Actually like every one else they are required to pay the MSP tax after they have been here six months. I believe they can apply for it sooner.

Quote:

MSP is BC’s provincial health insurance plan. Anyone living in BC for six months or longer (including international students) is required by law to enrol in MSP and pay the plan’s premiums.

http://www.students.ubc.ca/international/international-students/health-c...

theleftyinvestor

kropotkin1951 wrote:

theleftyinvestor wrote:

I'm OK with changing it to a tax based system, but one thing I did notice about BC MSP is that the system of premiums allows international students (who don't generally earn income) to enroll in MSP. This also eases the burden on the costs they'd end up paying for university health plans.

Actually like every one else they are required to pay the MSP tax after they have been here six months. I believe they can apply for it sooner.

Quote:

MSP is BC’s provincial health insurance plan. Anyone living in BC for six months or longer (including international students) is required by law to enrol in MSP and pay the plan’s premiums.

http://www.students.ubc.ca/international/international-students/health-c...

Yes that's exactly what I was saying. International students are compelled to enroll and pay into the system, which is a good thing. If it were administered solely through the income tax system, the vast majority of international students would either be getting health care without paying into the system (I don't think it's appropriate to subsidize them as such) or be barred from MSP (also not a desirable outcome).

Roystonbones

I don't like to be complacent so I will say I hope the NDP wins by a large majority. Unfortunately when they get into goverment they will have quite a mess to try and clean up.

I don't expect to see much in increased funding for anything but  I hope they can stop the bleeding. Stopping the contracting out and consolidations/transfers of public services is high on my list. Bringing services back into the public domain would be good but I think will take time as long term contracts have been signed with private companies.

Funding for community social services ( the group homes, houses and agencies which house and run programs for people with disabilities and developmental disabilities ) childcare, and health are high prioirties. A comprehensive dental plan for kids (like MSP) would be a positive as well.

Investments in alternative technology and wean ourselves off gas and oil. A few years ago they were doing tests on tidal power off the end of Quadra Island in Johnstone Strait, no sure what happened to it, and they have been doing tests at Race Rocks for some time.

Quote:

Canada hosts two test sites, one tidal barrage and one tidal current power station. With one new and one old, both a history and a newfound interest in tidal power is apparent. The Annapolis Royal tidal barrage built in Nova Scotia's Bay of Fundy in 1984, with its world-famous tides, operates as the third largest tidal power plant in the world, with 20 MW.4 The smaller Race Rocks facility in British Columbia, installed in 2006, uses tidal current technology to generate 65 kW of power.5 Studies have estimated a potential 4,000 MW of untapped energy flowing along the coasts of BC.6 Canada, and the shores of British Columbia, are home to some of the world's most attractive locations for tidal power development.

[end quote]

http://www.energybc.ca/profiles/tidal.html

Roystonbones

Malcontent wrote:

You would think Dix would of seen what being 'nice'  did to Dion and Iggy.  The sad reality is one has to get dirty in this new style of politics the right (mainly Harper but BC Libs do it too) brought from the US to Canada.  The attack ads and negativity is what people seem to remember for some reason in this era of low information voters.

I think what Dix is doing is the right way to go. The Lieberals already have thier attacks out through their "concerned citizens" pals organizations and I think they are are falling on deaf ears. Negative campaigns turn more people off  - or have more people turn them off. Someone has to take the high road and I'm glad it is Dix and the NDP.

I probably hang out in a rarified environment as the people I work with are mostly progressive.  And they are just waiting for the election to happen.

There  is also a member to member campaign currently happening in BC. Its a Union thing where Union members target a riding and and go door to door to talk to members of their own Union. Community of interest and all that. So far the feedback is very positive.

theleftyinvestor

To be sure, you can campaign as positive while still having a spine. So far the BCNDP has done a good job of maintaining their backbone while under attack.

jerrym

theleftyinvestor wrote:

 

Does Ontario's health premium not count? http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/tax/healthpremium/rates.html

 

You are right. However, BC is the only province that never abolished these premiums. Ontario's health car premiums were abolished in 1989 but reintroduced in 2004. 

"Before direct OHIP premiums were abolished in 1989, many collective agreements included language compelling employers to pick up the cost of those direct premiums. "

http://www.ufcw.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=485&cati...

 

Now "residents of the province pay a health premium (introduced in 2004) as part of their income taxes ... based on taxable income for a taxation year. As of May 2010, an Ontario resident with taxable income (i.e. income after subtracting allowable deductions) of $21,000 pays $60 per year. With taxable income of $22,000, the premium doubles to $120; with taxable income of $23,000, the premium is $180; with taxable income of $24,000, the premium is $240. The premium increases at a decreasing rate thereafter for taxable incomes up to $200,600, at which point the maximum premium of $900 is reached. Economists would classify the Ontario Health Premium as a regressive tax for those above the $20,000 taxable income threshold."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontario_Health_Insurance_Plan

 

NorthReport

Better late than never, but we knew this here at rabble.ca quite a long time ago. Laughing

Christy Clark`s Goose, Cooked, Stick A Fork In The BC Liberal Party, They Done

http://powellriverpersuader.blogspot.ca/2013/03/christy-clarks-goose-coo...

jerrym

The NDP has promised to ban both corporate and union donations if it is elected. This is becoming increasingly important not only in order to level the playing field between the corporate-funded free enterprise parties and the NDP, but also because of the large increase in corporate funding that the NDP has received in the last year.

The NDP recieved "just over half a million dollars" at a Hotel Vancouverreception and dinner on March 6th, thereby breaking "the previous record for an NDP fundraiser, set by Dix last October when he grossed $350,000 in an event at the same hotel. Both times, the majority of the proceeds were from the business and corporate sector, including industry associations and their representatives. The tally underscores a major departure for the business and corporate sector, which has not previously opened its chequebooks to the New Democrats on this scale.

It also represents a departure for a party that long refused to accept donations from the sector, other than from small, Canadian-owned businesses that "support the principles and policies of the NDP. ... For the entire 2009 election campaign, the party raised a grand total of $222,000 from all corporations. ...

The party intends to lay out the specifics of what it regards as affordable in the platform scheduled for release early next month, "then other priorities which we say we support would only go forward if resources became available." If the New Democrats do win the election, they could create some breathing room for themselves fiscally speaking, by delegating the matter to an all-party committee of the legislature, including any Greens, Conservatives or independents who win seats in May."

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/considers+changing+funding+rules/813700...

If the NDP does not live up to its promise to ban these donations, it is in danger of being seduced into becoming a party with few links to a left-wing viewpoint, if, as some argue, this has not already happened. The very limited increase in taxes for the rich and corporations suggests that corporate donations have already achieved their objective to some extent.

theleftyinvestor

jerrym wrote:

If the NDP does not live up to its promise to ban these donations, it is in danger of being seduced into becoming a party with few links to a left-wing viewpoint, if, as some argue, this has not already happened. The very limited increase in taxes for the rich and corporations suggests that corporate donations have already achieved their objective to some extent.

It's a classic bind to be in. Coercion is the only way out.

They want the playing field leveled so that political parties aren't solely competing for dollars rather than for actual votes. But as long as that field is not level, they still want to win an election and can't afford to compete with a well-funded opponent unless they take those big dollars.

Vision Vancouver is on the same page municipally except the province is the one with the power to legislate the funding rules. Vision favours banning the corporate and union donations (and has passed resolutions to that effect) but accepts them as long as their opponents still can. Since the NDP supports the same idea provincially, I would not be surprised if they manage to legislate new municipal funding rules in time for the 2014 municipal elections.

janfromthebruce

In other countries and municipal juridictions, they have a residency requirement to own land or a home eg. some areas of Mexico, to prevent absentee landlords and owners.

jerrym

The average cost of a single-family detached home in Vancouver is now $1 million, making the city the second most expensive (after Hong Kong) in the world in which to live. At the same time, median incomes have been stagnant for decades in BC, leaving only the well-off as potential home buyers in the city and suburbs such as West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Richmond, and Burnaby. Many parents tell their children, even those with relatively well-paying jobs, to leave the Lower Mainland if they ever want to own a home. In such an expensive housing market the working poor and those on government assistance are lucky if they can find any home. The following article calls for data to be collected on to what extent these 'stratospheric' prices are being driven by speculators and by those wanting a vacant alternative home in case of political or financial trouble in their home country. Hong Kong is now starting to take action on its housing prices, having realized that "half of new luxury apartments purchased are never occupied."

A NDP government needs to gather the data necessary to determine the best way to meet the demand for affordable housing for the middle class and the poor when market prices are astronomical, examine what has succeeded in other jurisdictions, and then act. 

"Local businesses, hospitals, organizations and universities can't recruit top candidates because even skilled professionals can't afford to live here. ...

"Housing affordability in B.C. remains poor and worsening," says RBC senior economist Robert Hogue. Vancouver's unaffordable housing prices, he said, "depend on a constant flow of imported money." ... Like Hogue, many say the region's stratospheric prices are being heated up by real estate investors and speculators. Many are wealthy non-Canadians simply looking for a safe place to park their money.

What to do about this affordability crisis?

It's a complex question. But one of the strongest factors working against coming up with a working solution is there is no solid data on which to base a strategy.

Unlike most countries, cities and jurisdictions around the world, neither Metro Vancouver, British Columbia nor Canadian government agencies keep public records on foreign ownership of real estate.

For some unstated reason, B.C. public officials are unwilling to learn from what has been done for decades in diverse political places - such as Florida, Switzerland, Austria, Prince Edward Island, Manitoba, Alberta, Denmark, Japan, Indonesia, Bali, Thailand, Australia, Turkey, Singapore and Beijing.

Indeed, these jurisdictions do not only collect data on foreign ownership, they have brought in various taxation methods to restrict property speculation and foreign ownership, to reduce investor demand. That's what specialists say drives up prices and squeezes out locals.

Sadly, when British Columbians are forced by politicians to operate in a vacuum about rates of foreign ownership, we are not able to fully back up our opinions in this debate - which often pits homeowners and the real estate industry against young people and renters.

One side in the dispute doesn't want to discourage foreign investment, admitting they like the out-of-country real estate profits. Some of them add that condos not filled by offshore owners can be rented out.

The other camp talks about how hard-working people deserve the chance to own a home.

And they lament that untold Metro Vancouver homes sit largely empty, without residents who would be contributing more strongly to the neighbourhood, the wider economy and the tax base.

If we are to have an authentic dialogue about these competing arguments, we need to press governments to start gathering the facts. ...

The foreign investor debate is not about immigrants to Canada buying homes for themselves. And it should make no difference to government officials collecting property data whether non-Canadian investors come from Seattle or Dubai, Paris or Singapore.

In addition, concern about foreign ownership clearly cuts across Metro's ethnic spectrum. The Vancouver Foundation survey, for instance, found residents who speak Chinese in their homes, by a margin of almost three to one, also agree "there is too much foreign ownership of property here."

http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Foreign+ownership+debate+demands+da...

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

This article goes from single family homes to town homes and condos without clearly differentiating. There are many condos sitting empty and maybe it is time for the provincial government to ban strata bylaws that disallow rentals. There are not a lot of single family homes sitting empty. Certainly not enough to be affecting the market.

In Metro Vancouver there is only so much land and there are currently more people living north of the Fraser than can be housed in single family homes so the idea of single family home ownership is a dream for most working class people in Burnaby and the other urban centres.  Town homes and condos are what working people live in here and it is not going to change.  The question for our region is not how we get single family houses for everyone because that is geographically impossible but rather how do we house everyone.

The answer is coop housing built by local hire union crews with high ratios of apprentices.  In a coop you are an equal owner of the property with all your other members but you only get the price of the share that you paid when you moved in if you decide to move out. It is home ownership without any speculation.  That is a good use of government capital and the housing charges pay off the mortgage like any other home owner.  Not social service housing where a bureaucracy is in charge but a proper coop like Jack lived in where the membership controls the coop through democracy.

NorthReport

That's a good suggestion. 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I knew we had discussed the rascist tripe about Chinese investors before.

Quote:

Facts and Anecdotes: anti-Asian racism and real estate in Vancouver

A recent BMO report blames Canada’s unsustainable household debt and world-record housing prices on an “enormous inflow of capital from non-resident Chinese nationals.” When a journalist wrote to the author of the report in search of a source for these enormous inflows, he received the following response: “It’s based on anecdotal reports; there are no reliable data on foreign-resident purchases…If you find a good source of data, please pass it on to us.”

Despite the entrenched belief that since the 1980s the Chinese have succeeded in throwing off the equilibrium of the local housing market, the reality is that the vast majority of foreign residential real-estate in Vancouver is American-owned. According to 2010 property statistics collected by BC Assessment Authority (the provincial Crown corporation that assesses all properties in B.C. for tax purposes), about 58% of foreign-owned real-estate is American. Europe and the United States together account for 70% of all foreign-owned real-estate in the city, with the whole of Asia accounting for only 22%.

In response to these numbers, commentators who hope to peg the housing crisis on Asian capital maintain that while the volume of purchases from Asia is lower, it is the nature of those purchases that matters, since Asian buyers are bidding for luxury housing at the top and dragging the rest of the market upwards with them. Again, reality disrupts the myth. In 2010, the highest recorded purchases were from the United States ($7.17m) and Europe ($7.55m), while the highest Asian purchase was a Hong Kong owner, reaching $6.84m.

Despite the facts, numbers are often not enough to compete with anecdotes. Regardless of the data, the notion of Asian capital as a dominant category for understanding the housing crisis persists, with constant statements to the effect that “despite the lack of statistical proof,” “despite the dearth of empirical data,” “despite reports that point to the contrary,” the threat is nonetheless real. These types of analysis invoke a set of signifiers – “Asian,” “foreign,” “offshore” – that in reality serve as empty signifiers: they mean nothing but can absorb whatever prejudice is found lying around. The empty signifier is a floating signifier meant to displace blame wherever necessary.

 

Same author. Empty Condos and foreign investors: Sign of the times or synonyms for racism?

Quote:

One of Yan’s most significant findings is that a majority of property assessments for Vancouver condos are sent to investors living in the Lower Mainland. Almost all landlords and property investors are local residents, a majority of them holding primary residence in West-side neighborhoods like Point Grey and Shaughnessy. Yan found that a full 96% of the assessments were sent within Canada and the rest to the United States; only 0.8% were sent to addresses in China and Hong Kong combined. The upshot of this research, according to Yan, is the need to “take out the foreign and talk about the impacts of investment.”

 

jerrym

John Doyle's auditor general's report is a damning inditement of the BC Liberals operation of the Pacific Carbon Trust, a Crown Corporation. Under this carbon trading system public institutions, such as universities and hospitals, pay private sector firms to offset their carbon emissions in order to be able to be declared "carbon neutral". The auditor general's report on 2010 says that these carbon offsets are not credible. For example, the report notes that "the Encana gas drilling project and the Darkwoods forestry project - did not meet a key offset test in order to be provided $6 million in public money to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

"Offsets can only be credible in British Columbia if, among other things, the revenue from their sale is the tipping point in moving forward on a project. It must be an incentive, not a subsidy, for the reduction of (greenhouse gases). However, neither project was able to demonstrate that the sale of offsets was needed for the project to be implemented." Doyle said in the report. ...

NDP environment critic Rob Fleming said it's time to look at changes to the PCT, including ending transfers of public money for emission-reduction projects. ...

The Sun also found that some of the projects awarded money from the trust had already reaped benefits from tax reductions, fuel savings and other government subsidies - in one case an $100-million grant from Ottawa.

http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Auditor+general+slams+carbon+cred...

The Pacific Carbon Trust's CEO MacDonald admited yesterday "that his organization hired a pair of firms — Laura Ballance Media Group and Wazuku Advisory Group — to help with its strategy on how to react to the audit. “We routinely outsource things when we need assistance,” said MacDonald, adding his is a small organization.

That revelation brought an immediate condemnation from NDP environment critic Rob Fleming. “If they are using tax dollars for government relations firms and spin doctors to attack an independent officer of the legislature that’s a huge concern. I just don’t think it’s appropriate to hire anybody to do media relations to attack an independent officer of the legislature. Somebody is going to have to be held accountable for that at the Pacific Carbon Trust, if they made a decision to spend money that way.” he said. 

http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/John+Doyle+blasts+Pacific+Carbon+...

 

The NDP needs to not only hold the CEO and other Pacific Carbon Trust executives accountable but to do away with this Gordon Campbell scheme aimed at sending public sector money from universities, hospitals and other public institutions to the private sector as subsidies to firms that, in many cases, are in the richest corporate sector, the fossil fuel industry, in the world and to the sector that is contributing most to global warming. A completely new system needs to be designed that takes in revenue from carbon emitting firms. Even more important, tax and other policies need to be used to promote the development of green energy to replace theses fossil fuel dinosaurs and to promote other industries, as well as public sector organizations, to shift towards the use of green energy.

theleftyinvestor

"Fix The Tax", not "Axe The Tax"... was what I was saying in 2009.

NorthReport

Whoever hired those spin doctors, and the others who were aware of it, and sat there and did nothing, both need to start sending out their resumes, and clearing out their desks, as they will be getting the boot hopefully on May 15th!

NorthReport

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NorthReport

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jerrym

"The B.C. Liberals have quietly transitioned to a new election logo, dropping the name “Christy Clark” in favour of a new-look label that emphasizes the Liberal “team” instead.

The old logo was introduced in 2011 and designed to take advantage of Clark’s fresh appeal and popularity after she won the Liberal Party leadership following her successful run as a popular talk-radio host."

http://www.theprovince.com/entertainment/Liberals+dropping+Christy+Clark...

 

The two go together so well that the NDP ads should tie Christy to her team in every ad. 

 

theleftyinvestor

No Liberals yet for West End, Mount Pleasant or West End? I guess nobody even wants to bother ;-)

jerrym

According to bc2013.com, the NDP now has a full slate of 85 candidates with the selection of Ana Santos in West Vancouver-Sea to Sky, Judy Fox-McGuire in Peace River North, Darwin Wren in Peace River South, and Sam Hancheroff in Boundary-Similkameen. 

The Liberals have 74 candidates so far, 11 short of a full slate. The Greens have 44 candidates and will not run a full slate, as they did last time, as they will not run candidates in the four ridings where independents are incumbents. In fact, at this late date, I don't they will come close to a full slate, thereby likely increasing the NDP vote in ridings where there is no Green candidate, as Greens usually do break two to one NDP. The BC Cons have already increased their number of candidates from 20 in 2009 to 46 so far, with more nominations coming. This means they will be taking more votes from their free enterprise henchmen, both because of their higher popularity than four years ago and especially in ridings where they now have candidates, but didn't last time, thereby helping the NDP. The chosen candidates for all parties so far can be found at:

http://bc2013.com/candidates/

With the large spread between the Liberals and the NDP, the NDP now has a chance to put on a full court press to win in ridings that they traditionally have not had a chance in the past. 

 

nicky

It will be interesting to see if the swing to the NDP is greater in those ridings with no Green candidates. 

This will shed light on the argument advanced so often on Babble that the Greens take their votes equally from all parties and not dispropportionately from the NDP.

jerrym

From BC Budget 2013 Backgrounder:

"The total provincial debt is forecast to be $62.7 billion in 2013-14, $66.5 billion in 2014-15 and $69.4 billion in 2015-16. (http://thetyee.ca/News/2013/02/20/BC-Budget-2013/)

When the BC NDP left power the provincial debt was $33.6 billion, so it has more than doubled under the BC Liberals. (http://thetyee.ca/Views/2004/08/09/BCDebt/

This actually masks the total endebtedness created by the Liberals because it does not include the contractual obligations they engendered through PPPs and government agencies such as the Crown Corporation BC Hydro signing, at the government's direction,30 year contracts with private power producers. The contracts were at prices well more than twice the price that BC Hydro could poduce energy at - nice reward for Campbell's "free" emterprise cronies. 

The total amount of outstanding contractual obligations as a result of the BC Liberals crony capitalism is a staggering $96.4 billion. (http://www.bcconservative.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Campaign-Briefin...)

Ironically, Moodys has just sanctified the BC Liberals "prudent fiscal planning" as described in an article by Vaughn Palmer in the Vancouver Sun. Or perhaps it's not so ironic.  Afterall, it came from "the latest credit opinion from Moody’s Investors Service, one of the leading agencies to advise investors on the risk of lending money to governments and other entities. The opinion, released Thursday, reaffirmed a triple-A rating for B.C. — the highest available — and a testament, so said Moody’s, of “the province’s track record of prudent fiscal planning and of managing fiscal pressures effectively.” There was also this tribute to the province’s standard-issue fiscal plans, tabled in the legislature with the annual budget. “In recent years, the province’s multi-year fiscal plans have been based on prudent assumptions and practices."

http://www.vancouversun.com/business/2035/Vaughn+Palmer+Moody+remains+pr...

Of course this is the same Moodys who told us that Wall Streets investments were AAA just before the 2008 crash. It is only natural that they would award a AAA rating to a government doling out such large sums to corporations in 30 year contracts at extremely profitable rates and engendering provincial debts to the very financial institutions that fund Moody's ratings.

Therefore, a NDP government must be prepared to encounter a sudden drop in their financial rating at the first instance that Moodys finds convenient even though the vast majority of this debt was created by the Liberals. It needs to counter this attack by Moodys and its mainstream media allies by a full examination and public discussion of the problem when it arrives in office and as the attacks appear, because they will appear just as surely as it rains in Vancouver in the winter. 

This is also part of the right-wing strategy of delivering tax cuts for everyone (but overwhelmingly for the wealthy) so that they are seen as a right-wing Santa Claus. 

Jude Wanniski, an American conservative commentator and political economist, "had been doing his homework on how to sell supply-side economics. In 1976, he rolled out to the hard-right insiders in the Republican Party his "Two Santa Clauses" theory, which would enable the Republicans to take power in America for the next thirty years.

Democrats, he said, had been able to be "Santa Clauses" by giving people things from the largesse of the federal government. Republicans could do that, too – spending could actually increase. Plus, Republicans could be double Santa Clauses by cutting people's taxes! For working people it would only be a small token – a few hundred dollars a year on average – but would be heavily marketed. And for the rich it would amount to hundreds of billions of dollars in tax cuts. The rich, in turn, would use that money to import or build more stuff to market, thus increasing supply and stimulating the economy. And that growth in the economy would mean that the people still paying taxes would pay more because they were earning more. There was no way, Wanniski said, that the Democrats could ever win again. They'd have to be anti-Santas by raising taxes, or anti-Santas by cutting spending. Either one would lose them elections."

https://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/01/26-0

 

jerrym

The proposed Site C dam on the Peace River should not be built because of the damage it would do to the environment. 

The Peace River "has been named the most endangered river in the province for 2013 by the 100,000-member Outdoor Recreation Council of B.C. ...

Mark Angelo, the council's rivers chair, said the environmental impacts of the planned Site C hydroelectric dam would include the loss of important wintering wildlife habitat, recreational values, aboriginal sites, historic sites and Class 1 agricultural land. The council also cites widespread local opposition to the dam, including from aboriginal groups, and the $7.9-billion cost to a Crown corporation already in debt and with more than enough power generating capacity to meet domestic needs.

"If you look at the whole picture, the case for a Site C dam has largely vanished," Angelo argued in an interview. "It's difficult under the current scenario for anyone to justify it."

Of the suggestion that the power is needed for proposed liquefied natural gas plants, Angelo said that "to build Site C just to support a possible future LNG plant would be a huge environmental and economic subsidy."

NDP energy critic John Horgan agreed that domestic needs do not justify the Site C project, but said one cannot rule out its necessity in decades to come. That is why he believes the environmental assessment process should continue so that the public will know the true trade-offs of proceeding with the proposal.

"I'm often pushed to just say no, but I don't believe that's responsible," Horgan said.

He said that before making any decision, it is important for BC Hydro to complete a 20-year plan for meeting future growth in demand for electricity.

BC Hydro proposes to construct an earth fill dam 1,050 metres long and 60 metres high, a 1,100-megawatt generating station, an 83-kilometrelong reservoir, realignment of four sections of Highway 29, and two 77-kilometre transmission lines connecting Site C to the provincial power grid. Site C is downstream of two dams, WAC Bennett and Peace Canyon, completed in 1967 and 1980 respectively."

http://www.vancouversun.com/travel/Peace+River+ranked+most+endangered+Re...

 

jerrym

In an Angus Reid poll of 7,091 voters on the popularity of premiers, British Columbia Premier Christy Clark tied Kathy Dunderdale (Newfoundland) for last place with an approval rating of 25 per cent. On the other hand, "Practically half of British Columbians (49%) approve of the performance of New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Adrian Dix, while the numbers are lower for Green Party leader Jane Sterk (32%) and BC Conservative leader John Cummins (20%)."

Among opposition leaders Dix tied for third place with Ontario's Andrea Horvath (also 49%) behind Lorraine Michael (NDP - Newfoundland) with 61% and Danielle Smith (Alberta -Wildrose) at 53%. 

http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/48733/saskatchewans-wall-keeps-place-as-...

Obviously, Dix should just keeping on keeping on. Overall the NDP leaders are doing very well.

jerrym

One of the only cards (some would say the only one the Liberals have) that trumps the corresponding NDP card is party funding. In the last year, the Liberals exceeded the NDP in raising money $10 million to $7 million. This is thanks to the fact that "the Liberals exceeded the NDP [in corporate sector funding] $5 million to $1 million". (http://www.vancouversun.com/business/2035/Vaughn+Palmer+Clark+take+their...)

This has enabled Christy to buy 30 minutes of ad time on TV to promote the Libs on Sunday, as well many one minute commercials, to say nothing of the "$65 million of taxpayer-financed advertising over the past two years" spent on telling us how wonderful the Liberal government is. Fortunately, the NDP will be countering this with a substantial, but certainly not equal, ad campaign. 

The corporate sector funding creates two problems for the NDP. The obvious one is that it historically and currently allows the leading free enterprise party in BC and elsewhere to always beat the NDP party in funding.

The second one is that it has lured the NDP to accept corporate funding in an effort to partially offset the free enterprise party advantage in this area. The banning of corporate funding would come none to soon as corporate funding has increased from $200,000 for the 2009 to $1 million for this election for the NDP.  One only has to look what has happened to the Democratic party in the US to see how much growth of this funding can compromise a party. In the 1980s, the Democrats, a centre-right party, decided it needed to pursue corporate funding wholesale to beat the Republicans, leading to ever growing shift to the right until Clinton and Obama, who moved further and further to the right. Obama still has not prosecuted one Wall Street bankster even though Reagan and Bush I prosecuted more than 800 during the much smaller savings and loans scandal.

Vaughn Palmer points out that "One only needs to recall the long-standing practice among New Democrats of making links between corporate donations to the Liberals and policies that benefit the major players in business and the resource industries. If the New Democrats, as expected, win the election and proceed, also as expected, to encourage the development of a liquefied natural gas industry, one can readily imagine the insinuations from their critics about the presumed effect of any campaign donations from the big oil and gas companies."

Fortunately, the NDP is promising to allow only individual party funding and to ban corporate party financing when elected, as well as union funding. The rationale for the latter is to appear fair to the public and to make it difficult for a free enterprise party to reverse this policy in the future. This will help with both of these problems in that the corporate sector will not be able to ensure the free enterprise party outspends the NDP. It wil also reduce the risk of the NDP shifting to the right to take corporate funding or of being seen as introducing policies that seem to be prompted by this funding. However, the NDP will still retain the advantage of union volunteer work. The Manitoba NDP has passed such legislation already and it has helped keep them them in power. Of course, having an independent watchdog, as proposed by Dix, with teeth to judge whether government ads are a public service or party promotion will also help. 

"All of which plays to one of Dix’s better laugh lines, that just as the New Democrats are getting good at raising money form the corporate sector, they are planning to outlaw it."

 

jerrym

A NDP government needs to deal with a host of issues that are coming to the fore as global warming continues to change our climate, environment and economy, including:

(1) flooding due to sea level rise (for example, estimated cost of $9.5 billion for flood protection by 2100 for Metro Vancouver alone - (http://www.canada.com/news/Rising+waters+could+cost+Metro+Vancouver+bill...);

(2) destruction of forests by pine beetle infestation as beetles now survive warmer winters costing more than $5 billion in last five years (http://www.learnforestry.com/lessons/grade5/student/pests/top10.shtml);

(3) drought in some regions of province as climate changes and the resulting water shortages limiting farming, industry and lifestyle;

(4) more forest fires and more intense forest fires endangering lives and property also due to warmer, longer forest fire season;

(5) invasive species, who have few or no predators in the province to control their populations, migrating to BC as climate changes;

(6) possibility of disappearance of salmon, province's largest commercial fishery, as temperature rises since they can only survive in a narrow range of cool freshwater temperatures;

(7) appearance of diseases typical of warmer climates here as climate warms.

The traditional argument against dealing with climate change has been the economic costs. The real question when it comes to the economics of climate change is how can we afford to continue the current policies (including pipelines) that are contributing to climate change. The party has to move beyond a carbon pricing or carbon trading system to an active promotion of green energy.

http://thetyee.ca/News/2006/08/31/Solutions/

NorthReport

I don't see why not as I would expect Mulcair to be in BC before May 14th. Unless of course Trudeau doesn't have the coattails here in BC that Liberals seem to suggest he has.

Stockholm wrote:

I wonder if Justin Trudeasu will do a campaign swing through BC to try to bolster his close ally Christy Clark?

 

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