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Telus Park-Gate

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

The province is hundreds of millions of dollars in the red. The teachers have been on strike. Hospitals are dirtier and overflowing to the point that Tim Horton’s does a better job of cleaning and accommodating patients. BC Ferries is broke. The Enbridge oil pipeline is going to be a bigger issue in BC than all the logging confrontations in the past- put together.

And the best we can do for a debate on the direction of this government in Victoria, is whether Christy Clark was responsible for sabotaging a 20 million dollar deal with Telus to rename BC Place Stadium, Telus Park?

According to Vaughn Palmer of the Vancouver Sun, the Liberals were running full-steam-ahead with the plan with Adrian Dix of the NDP claiming that the stadium should always be called BC Place as it was build and renovated with taxpayers’ money. Suddenly, the Liberals ‘change their minds’ over the deal and Telus is left out in the cold. And get this… Dix is now fiddling the other tune… how could the government scuttle such a ‘valuable’ deal?

In my mind, what’s valuable about a $20 million, ten year deal? In 10 years, a single family house in Vancouver will probably sell for $2.0 million. So in 2022, Telus will have the naming rights to a 55,000 seat stadium for the price of an average house. Doesn’t sound like a great deal for BC at all.

Now don’t get me wrong. I am no supporter of the BC Liberals. Read my past entries and remember that I ran against Christy Clark for NDP in 2001. So when I say that this was the right decision, I am definitely singing outside the choir, apparently. But then again, BC politics rarely involves discussions and positions that actually make sense.

Let me say this again: In ten years, the average house will probably be equivalent to one year’s naming rights to BC Place Stadium.

Come on. Enough with this piddling around over a few bucks.

It feels like the governance and management of the province is being run off the end of the Premier’s desk while she applies herself to more important things- like being liked. Adrian Dix is doing no better. And the media seem to be content to sell advertising by reporting how bad the traffic is.

It’s time we had a serious debate about how we are going to afford the services we need in the province, and how we are going to put people back to work.

Party Memberahip Fraud

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

When will partisans of all stripes learn that signing other people up without their consent or worse, their knowledge, is wrong? What about pets?

Membership brokering sounds perfectly fine and normal but what it really is, is pimping hapless bystanders as a commodity.  It is a perversion and corruption of the democratic process. And it is wrong.

Full stop.

But what has piqued me enough to add my two cents worth is about Craig Bonner, the WHL Kamloops Blazers junior hockey team general manager who, as a result of a ‘communication error’ signs up the team to the Liberal Party of British Columbia.

Justifying such fraud by saying that it’s an “opportunity” for people aged 14 and up to participate in electing the next premier is unacceptable. If my hockey coach had signed me up for a membership in anything, much less a political party, without my consent I’d have his derrière in court.

And to call it a “communication error”, is disingenuous to say the least. Kevin Falcon’s spin-meisters toiled long into the night to come up with that one. There was no “error”. Mr. Bonner deliberately, and knowingly, penned his players’ names to specific forms that state that they are membership forms to the BC Liberal Party. He presumably signed their signatures and appended the $10.00 in their name to have them added as members. Yup, it wasn’t an “error”. Looks like “fraud” to me.

Now, having been caught out, he’s asked that all the names be withdrawn. But what if one of the players actually wants to be a member now. Are they blacklisted?

If the Chief Electoral Officer doesn’t investigate, then the RCMP should.

Kevin Falcon was not aware of the misdeed. I am certain that Christy Clark wasn’t aware that someone’s cat had signed on to her team. But Adrian Dix and Mike De Jong actively negotiated mass memberships with “brokers” from ethnic communities. While all of it is bad politics, the latter two are guilty of completely crossing the line.

Call it “mistakes” by overzealous campaigners. It doesn’t matter. I don’t hold the candidates themselves responsible but it certainly underscores the depths to which partisans will go to put their preferred candidate to the fore. Sadly, the relative moral ground upon which these leaders operate has its foundations in the membership who, as it turns out is no better than them.