Age, Dates, and Christy Clark's Plans for B.C.

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Rafe on Being Old, Fixed Elections and Christy Clark's Mandate
I received an email recently saying I was too old and should begone – not his precise words but that was the gist of what he said. And I suppose that requires an answer.

I am old and will be 80 on New Years Eve; there it is – make of it what you will.
 
Having confessed, perhaps my correspondent would say whether his criticism goes to my antiquity or the message I bring. That will always be your issue and I accept your verdict. OK, let’s get down to business.
 
Gordon Campbell brought in a fixed term for elections to avoid election by ambush. It just wasn’t right that governments could pick the most propitious time (for them). Fairness was the test. Now Premier Clark, who was in cabinet when this decision was made, is prepared to forget all about this and will go to the people soon, probably this fall.
 

She will ask for a mandate and it’s critical that we know just what that mandate actually will be, not the one she claims.
 

Here are some of the issues she and Liberals will avoid like the plague in hopes voters will ignore them too.

  • The private Energy Policy will continue
  • Large corporations will continue to desecrate our rivers and the ecology they support
  • BC Hydro will continue to be forced to buy the private power under a “take or pay” clause meaning it must either use it at a much higher cost than they can make it for themselves or export it at a huge loss
  • BC Hydro, now technically bankrupt (their raising of rates is all that keeps them afloat), will be broken up and the most valuable parts sold off
  • New private schemes will be approved and new construction will begin
  • Site C Dam will be built to supply shale gas, coal mining and the Tar Sands - flooding 11,000 acres of vital farmland in the process
  • New fish farms will be licensed and there will be no effort to make the existing ones to go to closed-containment
  • The Prosperity Mine (Fish Lake) will go ahead
  • The two Enbridge pipelines from the Tar Sands to Kitimat will be approved.
  • The Kinder Morgan pipeline to Burnaby will be hugely expanded and the company will construct a “spur” also to go to Kitimat
  • Huge tankers will ply our waters using the most treacherous coast line in the world
  • Massive oil spills on land and sea will become a certainty
  • Desecration of the Agricultural Land Reserve will continue
The obvious plan is to push ahead on so many fronts that opposition will be badly divided.
 
The voting public ought to be forewarned and understand that no matter what Premier Clark says is the mandate she wishes, the forgoing is the mandate she will get.
 
Can she be stopped?
 
Of course she can by simple “X’ on a ballot on a piece of paper.
 
This old fart is going to help leaders like Alexandra Morton, Rex Weyler, Joe Foy, Gwen Barlee, Erik Andersen, Donna Passmore, First Nations and so many others with whatever strength he can muster to carry the fight to the people.
 
This is what we all must understand – those proud to call themselves environmentalists are not some wild eyed anarchists or loony left-wingers. This is how we’ll be portrayed because the government has no answers except ad hominem attacks. These are not issues of left or right but right or wrong.
 
Let me end on the “old man theme”.
 
The numbers speak for themselves and I can’t change them. I can only ask you to judge these issues on their merits not on birthdays.  
 
 
Rafe Mair was a B.C. MLA 1975 to 1981, Minister of Environment from late 1978 through 1979. Since 1981 he has been a radio talk show host, and is recognized as one of B.C.'s pre-eminent journalists.
 

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