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Site C: Liberals Bait the Trap for 2017 Election … NDP and Greens Bite!

December 18th, 2014 · 20 Comments

I love politics … especially as an observer who enjoys the science of politics.

This week, the Liberals launched their campaign for 2017 … although no one seemed to realize that  (especially the media, who are supposed to be “professional” observers and analysts!).

The announcement that the government will proceed with the Site C Hydro project, was largely proclaimed … not by the Minister responsible for BC Hydro Bill Bennett …  but by Premier Christy Clark herself.

She LOVES to take credit for all BIG projects that the Liberals believe MOST BC voters will approve: that should have been the hint of what’s really happening.

Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!

Thousands of jobs … not only up north (heartland!) but that the Libs believe WILL be under way, despite all the legal challenges, environmental protestors’ threats and any other obstacles that the $8.8 Billion project will face in the next year or two.

And quite predictably, the NDP has failed to come out in support … reportedly calling for ”a review by the B.C. Utilities Commission with BC Hydro submitting an alternative plan to Site C for consideration”. The Greens have opposed the dam outright, calling it “the wrong project at the wrong time”.

Ho hum!  The Liberals are probably thankful for that.

Dust off Christy’s hard hat!

Site C will be the 2017 version of the Liberals’ 2013 LNG Billions election strategy.

And remember … it worked!!!

Despite all the criticism, despite all the naysayers, despite all the cynical analysis, despite all the polls … the Liberals were returned to power with a BIGGER majority!

And left the NDP and the Greens in the dust.

Opponents  may not like the damn dam; opponents may ridicule it; opponents may be able to come up with all kinds of logical concerns, reasoning and protests against the damn dam … the Liberals clearly don’t believe that will matter.

Those who say don’t build Site C probably aren’t Liberal voters anyway.

First Nations may huff and puff, but the political reality is they don’t wield enough votes to stop the Liberals for being elected if the majority of British Columbians think it will be good for the province, for their jobs and for their communities.

And with job guarantees and financial compensation for any lost territory, the Libs probably think many First Nations members will eventually go along too.  Kind of a modern-day shakedown.

What the government is no doubt gambling is that MOST working BC voters … especially the silent majority of young families, in search of good-paying jobs  … will come on board and support the Liberals “positive”  jobs plan…. once again

Over the “negative” posturings of the NDP and Greens naysayers.

Did someone say “deja vu”?

Harv Oberfeld

→ 20 CommentsTags: British Columbia · Media

Quebec City Deserves NHL Team BEFORE Las Vegas

December 15th, 2014 · 15 Comments

The sellout of Canada’s national game … by the ridiculously-named NATIONAL Hockey League … to American billionaires may soon take another step.

The NHL has okayed a “ticket reservation drive”  by billionaire Bill Foley, who wants to establish an NHL team in Las Vegas: the desert kingdom of glitter, gaudiness and gold (alas, mostly only  for those who OWN the casinos).

There is no suitable arena for hockey there right now …but  MGM is building a new arena-type facility, 18,000 seats, that could be used for hockey.

But Hockey …in Las Vegas?  I believe it would just end up as another dilution of hockey quality … turning a first class sport even more into a manipulated American marketing mechanism … more about advertising, promotion, marketing and endorsements than a display of the BEST hockey achievement.

And seems to me much bigger problems would surround the reality that there’s no huge established NHL fan base in Las Vegas or the state of Nevada …and thinking that an NHL team could be supported largely by visiting tourists would be pure folly: ask the Florida Panthers or Tampa Bay for their audience draw and financial numbers.

For the millionaires and billionaires, it would just be a fun trinket, and tax write-off. But the game will be further diluted and weakened.

Well, there is a better idea that the NHL brass, based in the US, have too long shot down .

How about delivering more NHL to REAL hockey fans? How about stopping … okay, slowing down … the American commercialization of Canada’s national game?  (Naïve, aren’t I!)

Okay then, how about a bit  of plain, basic justice for those who LOVE hockey, LIVE hockey and have been fighting so long and so hard for a return of an NHL team: Quebec City!

La belle ville de Quebec even has a brand new, ultra-modern $400 million arena already under construction …to be completed in about a year.

It’s also 18,000 seats …. and though that may seem small by NHL standards,  at least those seats in Quebec City would have a better chance of being FULL … not like the masses of empty seats seen so often at failing US hockey arenas … despite major league rock-bottom pricing and promotions.

In fact, I’d bet that any Quebec City team owners and the NHL itself would generate a lot more revenue from a Quebec City team than most of the expansion teams in the US have managed. And in terms of television revenues, team regalia, endorsements etc. …where the REAL bucks are in professional hockey sports … Quebec City’s almost province-wide audience would be formidable  … no doubt a much better draw and investment than Las Vegas.

Every REAL sports reporter (NOT those who spend their careers fawning over the hockey players and brass they are supposed to be covering) should be demanding answers: WHY is even a Las Vegas team being considered before Quebec City gets its rightful due??? Why is the NHL being so watered down with minor-league caliber teams that many of its games are now not even worth watching???

Maybe the federal government should get involved too!

The NHL  … or even the original six … has  been so polluted by crass baseless expansion pandering to US millionaires and billionaires that the game itself is suffering.

And if the NHL does insult Canada further by awarding as new team to Las Vegas BEFORE Quebec City, then federal advertising officials should lay charges for fraud and misrepresentation  … and demand the name “National” Hockey League be dropped …. at least in Canada.

Harv Oberfeld

→ 15 CommentsTags: International · National