Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Christy Clark, Rotten to the Core

There's a reason Christy Clark governs from the cloak room. The less British Columbians can see her, close up, the better off she is. With the scantest of "drive by" legislative sessions, Clark and her cronies don't govern B.C., they rule it like some private fiefdom.

The New York Times has called Clark's Liberals "the Wild West of Canadian Political Cash." Today the NYT followed that up with an account of a bizarre welfare scheme for out of province corporations, 140-million dollars worth of provincial handouts that were supposed to create 13,000 jobs but in fact realized, by the ministry's own figures, somewhere between 300 and possibly as few as 122. Among Christy's corporate beneficiaries were three affiliated companies tagged by American authorities for money laundering. In keeping with their obsession about iron-fist secrecy we may never know what outfits got how much in handouts, at least not until this corrupt government is sent packing.

Of course money flows many ways, especially Alberta bitumen bucks that have a habit of finding their way into Christy Clark's campaign purse. And Christy knows the importance of rewarding her friends.

British Columbia has some big, big Crown Corporations like B.C. Hydro; the provincial motor vehicle insurer, I.C.B.C.; and B.C. Ferries. But if you're looking to become CEO of one of those companies, you better be pals with the Liberal Mullahs.

Brad Bennett ..the chair of BC Hydro — $30 billion in assets, $5.7 billion in revenues — is travelling with Clark on the campaign trail as a key advisor.

Crown corporations are supposed to operate at arm’s length from government, with independent boards of directors who hire experienced managers. They exist partly to reduce political interference in the provision of basic services. Directors are to be appointed on the “basis of merit,” according to government policy.

It’s not surprising governments want to interfere. Four Crown corporations — BC Hydro, the Liquor Distribution Branch, BC Lotteries, and ICBC — are slated to generate $2.9 billion in government revenue this year. Without the $698 million “dividend” taken from BC Hydro, the Liberals’ 2017 budget wouldn’t have been balanced, a disaster for their campaign chances.
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So it was helpful to have a BC Hydro board that wouldn’t kick up a fuss when the government ordered the corporation to use questionable accounting practices to inflate revenue, producing income — on paper — to allow the corporation to send money to the government.

And a board that insisted on ICBC or BC Hydro rate increases that reflected long-term business realities — not election promises — could be awkward.

Even the less prominent Crowns can be politically sensitive. The Transportation Investment Corporation was created to operate the Port Mann toll bridge after private investors decided the project was too risky. The government says the corporation’s profits will pay for the bridge by 2050.

On and on and on. The Tyee has a list of 36 B.C. Crown Corporations, all of them managed by individuals with close, very close Liberal ties.

The British Columbia Liberals - more than a political party, more than a government, more of a very low-key family business.


John B. said...

I remember being on a job in NB in the fall and early winter of '75 when one of the guys from BC came into the trailer where we were washing up and blurted out, "Thank f**king Christ. We got rid of those f**king commie bastards."

Then I heard some other guy say something like, "So did you put the gangsters back in?"

Then there were a bunch of "FUs" and FU2s" until somebody shoved somebody else into a wall or the door on a stall and people started tripping all over each other as I beat it out of there.

I asked the guys who got out with me, "What was that all about?"

Somebody said, "I guess you'd have to be from BC to know that."

I never found out where the guy who made the "gangster" crack was from.

bcwaterboy said...

I've got to hand it to the BC Liberals (Cloaked harper level cons in reality) for pulling this monumental scam off, brilliantly executed. They've realized it takes a stooge at the helm to fool the masses, as long as they keep her smiling and repeated jobs, jobs, jobs! they can get away with anything. I truly despise clark, the very sight and sound of her makes me wretch. What goes on behind the scenes with these creatures is so different than the public sees, I really do fear that once again, they'll pull this off and Andrew Weaver is only too happy to help. What the hell is going on with the Greens?

deb said...

I feel the same way as you BCWATERBOY, its awful watching her swan around this election season. Andrew Weaver is a pawn, at best, at worst a cynical corrupt bastard. But I like to think the former as he really isn't a politician but a climate scientist.
Now-- David Suzuki has come out for the libs...I mean greens(:P) its just baffling how two climate change combat veterans are uniting and really thereby supporting Christie Clarke for another four years.
I know that at heart, im a green voter, but this election, I have to vote NDP. My riding is fairly safe, has been NDP for eons...but for the other areas, all I can say is please Vote NDP, and then HOld them to their PR promise.
AS we can get more green seats that count with PR....and the NDP are certainly more eco-friendly than Clarke. They will create the same number of jobs, and they might even get make the coast tanker-free, and stop a few pipelines.
The greens can promise as much as they want, they wont have to fulfil them as they wont form the govt.