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Anti-Recall Strategy: Go After the Messenger, Not the Message

September 29th, 2010 · 46 Comments

The Liberal strategy for fighting recall is now very clear: go after Bill VanderZalm personally, since they apparently worry they can’t beat recall on the issues.

And their attack strategy has been picked up by their mouthpieces in the media: either deliberately,  trying to scuttle recall,  or naievely taking up the Liberals’ refrain in a drawn out, sustained fashion without thinking about their own double standard, dating back to previous elections.

Just in the week, we’ve heard over and over again all about VanderZalm’s own political past woes, dating back to 1991.  Funny thing though, we keep hearing that from the very same people who say “Get over it!” and cry “Foul” when others try to question Premier Gordon Campbell’s fitness to lead by bringing up: his conviction for impaired driving in 2003 … TWELVE YEARS more recent than VanderZalm’s resignation; his tearing up legal contracts in 2002 … ELEVEN YEARS more recent than VanderZalm’s troubles; and the Supreme Court’s ruling illegal of that action in 2007 … ONLY THREE YEARS AGO.  

Not to mention the Convention Centre HUGE cost overruns, the lies that BC Rail wouldn’t be sold off, and the SEVERE UNDERESTIMATES of Olympic costs. 

Those things are all old news that need not be rehashed …even though they go to the very crediblity of the Premier and his government that could play a LARGE part in many people’s decision on how tio vote on recall. But its fine to keep raking VanderZalm over the coals in 2010 for things that happened almost TWO DECADES ago.

Hypocrites!   Naieve?  Or Liberal puppets?

None of this, of course, is to suggest the media should not report problems that emerge about organizers or canvassers in the recall campaign.  Dirt makes great copy.  And fun to dig into, expose the truth and write about.

However, to blame the leader personally or hold him responsible for all the hundreds or thousands of  individuals who sign up or become active in the campaign anywhere in the province, I believe, is a bit ludicrous … over the top.  Especially when the whole recall campaign is a grassroots volunteer-driven effort …not funded by huge donations from political parties, business  groups, unions etc. with paid staffers to do a lot of the work and research the background of EVERY volunteer worker, canvasser or organizer.

In fact, not even political leaders have personally worn as much muck as media pundits are heaping on VanderZalm when embarrassing facts have surfaced about political riding officials or propective candidates.

In recent years … no need to go back two decades …almost  every B.C. political party has lost or dropped candidates for less than honourable reasons.  Some were linked to drug use, bribery accusations, smuggling or having “inappropriate” photos posted on the Internet.  Their leaders were embarrassed briefly ….  but there was no ongoing media campaign, by the media itself, to denigrate any party leader.

The issues got reported, the political liability was jettisoned, the leader was questionned, embarrassed …  probably pointed out how many party officials are involved and stated he/she can’t possibly know them all that personally  …. and then everyone moved on.

But with the recall campaign and VanderZalm, I sense something more: every time a campaign official or canvasser is exposed for wrongdoing … real or manufactured … the leader will not only “wear it” personally … but efforts will be made to tar him personally.  And regurgitate his past …. from TWENTY YEARS ago.

From the Liberals, I can understand: they are in a battle  for survival.  A successful recall campaign could see the fall of the government; and that seems to me to be the ultimate aim of the recallers. So attacking the leader of their opposition is to be expected.

But the media should not willingly be played for suckers … allowing themselves to be used to dredge up VanderZalm’s personal past … which is totally irrelevant to the ISSUES surrounding the recall campaign.  Just as they don’t keep repeating  Campbell’s past personal embarrassments when they talk about the HST!

Unless their motivation, like the Liberals, is to defeat the recall effort.

Harv Oberfeld

Tags: British Columbia

46 responses so far ↓

  • 1 sunshine coast girl // Sep 29, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    Kash Heed, Jane Thornwaite, John Les…….

  • 2 Wendy // Sep 29, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    Harv, I am so steamed I sent an e-mail to the Sun with a copy of your post letting them know that what you said covers my setinments to a T. Is the Sun just trying to get coverage with such asinine columns and writing? All politicians can be scrutinized but it needs to be done in a fair and balanced manner. I’m not really interested in defending Zalm but honestly how can the Sun be so egregiously unbalanced, they are begining to look like such obvious stooges for the government’s partisan verbiage.

    (Response: It’s not just The Sun. Have you listened to talk radio lately? It’s the same message, over and over again. A personal attack from those who abhor the same focus ever being directed at the current premier, who IS in power and therefore deserves even greater scrutiny. But the media sure don’t bring up Campbell’s personal past whenever discussing the HST or Recall …so why VanderZalm’s??? Looks to me like the media have signed on to the anti-recall campaign .. and are prepared to get dirty and personal to maintain the status quo. But they’re sullying themselves more than VanderZalm. h.o)

  • 3 Genuine // Sep 29, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    Classic case of do as I say,not as I do,because the laws were made for you not I.

  • 4 mariner // Sep 29, 2010 at 9:22 pm


    Of course everyone needs to be reminded of the lies to get elected and the broken politcal promises of the BC Liberal government. Even now I see many explanations saying the HST is revenue to help fund healthcare, education etc. Bullshit – mostly spread by the government PAB (propaganda and bullshit) arm – in a similar fashion to what Goebells did in Germany in the late 1930′s. It is just that history seems to be repeating itself – repeat the lies and misinformation enough and everyone believes it.

    The more the BC Liberals carry out the Gordon “the liar” Campbell way of spreading their disagreement, the more the BC Liberals are going to be alienated and ridiculed for what they are doing. Still, as the say goes – empty drums make the most noise – and Campbell’s will start to get really loud very quickly.

    Thanks – I think the MSM is going to outsmart itself if they are not careful, and show the world just how biased they really are.

  • 5 Charlie Smith // Sep 29, 2010 at 10:29 pm


    Congratulations on a great column. I had this very same discussion in the office today. The B.C. Liberals don’t like the message, so they’re going after the messenger.

    You’ve probably experienced this yourself during your reporting career. I’ve learned over the years that when a politician starts smearing someone, it’s usually a sign that he or she can’t deal with the substantive arguments.

    Charlie Smith

    (Response: Thanks, Charlie. I think it goes to the essence of reporting…. the job is to report, not manipulate public opinion by regurgitiating 20-year old stuff that is totally irrelvant to the HST or Recall. IF VanderZalm ever runs for political office again … the media can raise his past record then ..but to do so as often as I’ve heard over and over again since the HST petition campaign began and now being really ramped up as the recall campaign gets underway smacks of an attempt to sidetrack the discussion from the issues to personal attack. Maybe that’s ok for the Liberals to try (negative campaiging) but I think it’s disgraceful that the media have bought into it hook,line and stinker. h.o)

  • 6 sunshine coast girl // Sep 29, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    I think it’s really funny that both the Libs and the MSM think it will help Gordo’s cause to attack like this. I think all it will do is inflame the voters and make them even more determined to succeed with recall.

    (Response: It’s a basic principle of science … for every reaction, there is an equal and opposite reaction. h.o)

  • 7 sue // Sep 29, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    Looking at the Vancouver Sun today online and most of the smears of VDZ have gone off the front page; the Province didn’t appear to indulge in the muck quite so much.

    But what was interesting was Palmer actually blogging on the Sun website (which he hardly ever does) defending his use of a 1991 column (egged on no doubt by Norm Spector on NW on Monday morning) by saying it’s because VDZ “might” join a political party. That is the lamest excuse I’ve heard yet.

    As I wrote in comments to Palmer: when he was a rock critic no one assumed that he had their bad habits or was pallin’ around with them.

    A $32 million operation at the Public Affairs Bureau and the best they can do is go after VDZ because some blogger used profanity. On his own blog?

    Kash Heeds’ campaign ring a bell?

    NW has an interesting piece on their website about a guy who ran for City Council in Kamloops. There was a smear campaign against
    him started by the then mayor of Kamloops, (who had someone on the city payroll do some digging for him), one Terry Lake.

    Here’s the link, Harvey; I don’t know if you’ve heard it or not:

    (Response: Dredge up VanderZalm’s past IF and WHEN he runs for leadership of a political party or as a candidate. Otherwise stick to the issues …even in the case of the premier, who also has a lot of beaten up baggage in his past. h.o)

  • 8 Barry // Sep 30, 2010 at 12:09 am

    Harve: Last week the CreepTeeVee early news did a puff piece on the movie industry liking the HST. I remember during the Charlottetown referendum the CRTC sent messages to the radio stations saying they’ve have to be balanced. I would hope they would repeat history to the radio and TV stations expecting balanced coverage or else they could loose their license. And I also dream in Technicolor…

    (Response: Speaking of the film industry and its very active support of HST …seen the ticket prices come down yet? I think it would take a complaint to the CRTC about a radio or tv station here before they would even know about the issue. I believe they only have a permanent staff of two here … the CRTC Toronto really IS the centre of the universe…. with Ottawa (CRTC HQ) and Montreal the only satellites that really count. h.o)

  • 9 Fransen // Sep 30, 2010 at 1:26 am

    Of course the media is on the attack. Don’forget they are facing tough times too, and they see the HST slipping away. HST represents an instant reduction of expenses of 7%.

  • 10 kootcoot // Sep 30, 2010 at 2:40 am

    But the media sure don’t bring up Campbell’s personal past whenever discussing the HST or Recall

    Hell, the media won’t even address Campbell’s PRESENT!

    BTW appointing Stonewally as commissioner of the Pickton inquiry is akin to appointing Monty Robinson to replace Braidwood in that inquiry.

  • 11 D.G.B. // Sep 30, 2010 at 2:43 am

    Let’s count the times in the last 5 years when the only comment from the Liberals was: “it’s before the courts we can’t comment”

  • 12 BC Mary // Sep 30, 2010 at 4:38 am

    One of the regular observers at the BC Rail Political Corruption Trial is calling the scenes unfolding in Courtroom 54 “the collapse of the system”. Prof. Mathews’ report for today is on The Legislature Raids, at

    I get the same feeling, reading/hearing about the MSM employees spouting nonsense and not an editor in sight.

    A tip o’the tuque to you, Harvey, for this column today. Much appreciated.

    (Response: Just trying to keep it real …fair, and equal. h.o.)

  • 13 Leah // Sep 30, 2010 at 4:43 am

    No big surprise to see MSM acting as shills for Campbell, their mouths are now following the example of their wallets:

    CANWEST MEDIA INC. Total Contribution For This Search: $50,000.00
    GLACIER MEDIA INC. Total Contribution For This Search: $100,000.00
    BLACK PRESS GROUP LTD. Total Contribution For This Search: $2,430.00

    From the political contributions database.

  • 14 Joe2U // Sep 30, 2010 at 8:37 am

    Here are two questions which no one here is going to like:
    1. If Vander Zalm and the Leadership of the anti-HST really want to bring the goverment down (which is what most British Columbians want) why don’t they? They have 76% of the voters who would vote for recall. They could start this fall.
    2. Why didn’t the anti-HST leadership make clear to all those signatories to the petition and all those 7000 volunteers who worked their butts of to make it happen that after achieving that miracle it was going to be turned into a parody of a tv show and only enough ridings would be targeted to make sure that the RECALL DIDN’T WORK?

    Sorry everybody, I too had hopes for a little democracy in BC, but not I feel co-opted by more right wing BS. When I campaigned for Recall in the Fall, I didn’t realize that Victory was going to be stamped ‘Designed to Fail!’ by a bogus leadership which has no intention of toppling this government.
    Publish if you dare!

  • 15 Willy P // Sep 30, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    I do find Terry Lake’s (“I’m not a fan of direct democracy”) assertions and moaning to be a cross between pathetic and disgraceful. His response on the NW interview is disgusting and shallow. When his number comes up, I’ll take a week or 2 off and spend it vigorously doing anything I can to help guide him to the exit door. I don’t know if it’s arrogance or stupidity that runs the foolishness and seemingly endless supply of hot air.
    I must admit to a certain enjoyment when watching the troupe of clowns furiously rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic’s sister ship BC Liberal.Delusional is ythe term that comes to my mind.

  • 16 Wilson // Sep 30, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    As you know Oberfeld my philosophy on politicians is that they all lie. Campbell, Clark, VanderZalm every one of them brought in new taxes without so called consultation and after they promised not too.

    Maybe I misread your column but given that VanderZalm now has some new found standards that he never once held himself to back when he was in power I say damned straight the media are spot on to remind us that VanderZalm was every bit the immoral, lying scumbag that he accuses the Premier of being.

    The media is the messenger and in this case it would seem you are shooting them simply for carrying out the message from the Liberals. What next do we shoot the media when they carry Carole James message ? Or Sterk ? In some respect you are almost like VanderZalm in holding the media to a different standard that you yourself never followed back when you were in the game. I know as I watched you lots and were one of your biggest fans.

    Yes I am rambling on like an idiot, but I had to vent. Bottom line is that ALL politicians are full of crap and the media reminding us of that, even if it was 20 years ago or 2 years ago is ok in my books.

    (Response: I am not suggesting VanderZalm has some newfound standards. All I’m saying is the media should not have a double standard … going over his past time and time again when discussiing issues … HST and Recall … that have nothing to do with what happened 20 years ago: but at the same time failing to mention Campbell’s skeletons every time they discuss the same issues HST and Recall. Why the inequality? If VanderZalm re-enters politics …then his record becomes fair game … but surely there’s enough to discuss about the merits or demerits of HST and Recall wthout dredging out one man’s past…while IGNORING the other’s. h.o)

  • 17 Doesn't apply to me // Sep 30, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    No naiveté here.
    If these louts that worked for the rags were doing their job they would be doing some real investigative reporting.
    But no, . . there are only tiny whispers in the papers about the disgraceful escapades of Gordo, . . . then SILENCE.
    The question that needs to be answered is, why are they not going after these Lieberal clowns like a pack of rabid dogs.
    Why are they not dogging Gordo in the same manner as they did with Glen Clark?
    Whey are the ‘media’ vans not staking out Gordo’s place of residence?
    Why is their no questions about Lara?
    By the way who is Lara Dauphine?
    Search the internet and what you will find is NOTHING about this women who is paid in excess of $150,000/year as his chief of staff.
    Nothing, no history, no schools, no NOTHING? Very strange.

    (Mucho edited! ..h.o)

    Is it not incumbent of all respectable media to find the TRUTH?
    But no, let’s dig up and recycle the truth about Bill Vander Zalm. A man who I must add, had the wisdom to ‘step down’ when the hounds came licking at his heals.
    Who is really in control of the delusional, talking head Gordo, his lying band of thugs, and the media in this province?

    (Response: You letter, unfortunately contains a major example of what is wrong with the Internet. You wonder why there is NOTHING about the Premier’s assistant Lara Dauphine ..and then go on to cast all kinds of terrible aspersions ..which would have been untrue, hurtful and possibly libellous. I edited them out. Why? Because her name is Lara Dauphinee and if anyone Google’s that …they’ll come up with, 170,000,000 references. Now you can go read them …I haven’t the time. h.o)

  • 18 Kam Lee // Sep 30, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    Harv, as always a great read. Unlike the MSM. COVERUP! Just a little note on the HST… I have done a small information poll. I approached 7 cafes in the tri-city area. Interesting results. ALL have had a drop in their business. The range is from 17 to 32% less sales. This is huge. Three of them are, or will lay off staff, and most of the others have cut their staff’s hours. It is ugly out there sir. So, many thanks to gordo and his minions. It may not be a “scientific” poll by any means, but it a reality check on the situation gordo has put us in. By the way, I am an co-owner of one of these cafes, so it had affected me personaly. Never hear this in the mainstream media. I sent the info to the two local rags, and they havn’t even replied to me.

    Best wishes harv, keep digging sir!

    (Response: Too many media types seem to go to higher end dining spots …still busy, because rich professionals and businessmen can easily absorb the HST. BUT I have been told by mid-range eateries I go to that people are cutting back, not just on drinks/wine, but appetizers and desserts. And servers are taking the hit too. So many people in the service industries are taking in less … but being forced to pay out more, when they go out to spend what they’ve earned. h.o)

  • 19 Doesn't apply to me // Sep 30, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    Harvey, I am well aware of the 177,000,000 references about the said person. mostly NOT referencing this person at all.
    Yes, I did leave the extra ‘e’ off her name. But Havey, whoops, left out the ‘r’, Harvey, to edit my comments . . . . hum.
    You should actually read at least the first page of the 177,000,000 results on the net and you will find the same questions that I asked with no real information.
    To continue, your attack on the internet is ludicrous.
    As an example, if you want to know about, President Obama’s chief of staff, you could google that and get 7,580,000 results, with most of the first page giving details about a man called Rahm Emanuel, mostly accurate.
    Or if you googled, PM Harper chief of staff, you would get 284,000 results, with the first page giving some good information.
    Now with respect to your desire to chastise me about my comment, when you wrote;
    “You (incidentally Harvey, that should be ‘youR) letter, unfortunately contains a major example of what is wrong with the Internet. You wonder why there is NOTHING about the Premier’s assistant Lara Dauphine (there you go Harvey, you also left out the ‘e’) ..and then go on to cast all kinds of terrible aspersions ..which would have been untrue, hurtful and possibly libellous. I edited them out.”; . . . . I find the diatribe in your response very offensive.
    There was no editing out of the pondering about ‘Lara’ (in the US they call it vetting), yet you edit my latter words and choose to describe them with the likes of ‘terrible aspersions, untrue, hurtful, and possibly libellous’.
    I am incensed, as there were no aspersions about the said woman, but there appears to be a desire ON YOUR PART to read between the lines. I do not deserve your vicious insinuations.
    What I was asking THE MEDIA to do was to find the TRUTH.
    Isn’t that why they camped out on Glen Clark’s lawn?
    When has the Lieberal government told the truth?
    . . . not going to sell BC Rail,
    . . . tearing up contracts,
    . . . threatening to jail the head of the BC Teachers federation,
    . . . selling off BC Ferries,
    . . . IPP’s that will burden all of the people of BC,
    . . . bankrupting BC Hydro,
    . . . HST is not on ‘the radar’
    . . . and the list goes on and on and on. . . .

    So what part will you edit out this time Harvey?

    (Response: This comment looks fine to me. h.o)

  • 20 kootcoot // Sep 30, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    JoeU2 – you either miss the point or don’t know what you are talking about with:

    2. Why didn’t the anti-HST leadership make clear to all those signatories to the petition and all those 7000 volunteers who worked their butts of to make it happen that after achieving that miracle it was going to be turned into a parody of a tv show and only enough ridings would be targeted to make sure that the RECALL DIDN’T WORK?

    Bill VanderZalm, though he has been very effective at helping focus the public outrage over the HST and the Liberal “management” style in general is not the LEADER of the anti-HST petition or recall movement. He has taken a lot of the heat however.

    The fact is RECALL is up to the constituents of individual ridings and if Bill wants to put his political savvy to work on any three of his choice, go Bill. However it isn’t up to Bill how many useless LIEberal MLAs get fired and which ones they are.

    And Harvey, I think you are being a bit disingenous about Lara Dauphinee. If there are 170 million links to that name, then many must be about somebody else and you will find little info about the Lara in question in any of them, and pictures are extremely scarce. The most common images involving the elusive Lara are of Gordo at various official meetings in Asia, Europe, New York and elsewhere that are notable for her name being included in the list of people there BUT NOT INCLUDED IN THE PICTURE – maybe she took it. Indeed she is a star in the video clip of our Gordo begging the California House of Representatives to change their mind and buy our NON-GREEN Rape of the Rivers power this summer. She isn’t credited, but since I possess many pics of the Marie Antoinette of BC, I could tell who it was acting like she could run the California legislature like she seems to do in ours in Victoria. Apparently Lara is a bulldog when it comes to controlling access to our Dear Leader.

    However, anyone interested can find much info that apparently isn’t libelous and is based in fact and public record regarding Gordo and Lara starting with what is an old post now in the “Republic of East Vancouver” which has been online now for years and hasn’t even been threatened with a SLAPP suit. Check out (using Google) an article asking “Is Gordon Campbell a Made Man?” by a fellow named Potvin. And yes Gordo’s hypocrisy and his cardboard cutout pretend marriage to Nancy IS fair game, ever since he used the family values gambit to steal the leadership of the BC Liberal party from Gordon Wilson with the local MSM falling over themselves to assist him in his archly hypocritical mission.

    For more on Lara – who by the way makes more than $150,000 and has (or had) two titles simultaneously (though neither were official courtesan) and the largest expense account in government some years BAR NONE. It ain’t cheap to follow Gordon Campbell around the world performing whatever duties they are that she performs as he sells off BC.

    Also Harv and other readers here you can search for posts relating to Lara at BC Marys Legislature Raids or my place the House of Infamy. Or in your case as a retired journalist IN THE KNOW Harv, perhaps you could contact and ask Paul Nettleton about the letter he wrote Gordo when he was still in caucua encouraging his then leader to stop what Paul considered immoral adulterous ways. I have a copy of it and I’m not a big hotshot reporter retired or otherwise.

    There is a whole blog dealing almost solely with the Gordo and Lara situation – by a guy that calls himself Joe Sixpack,.but it is mostly reprints of stuff originally published at BC Mary’s, my place or elsewhere. I can’t remember the name of the blog at the moment, but it is on Google Blogspot and I’m sure it would be somewhere in the first few pages of a proper Google search.

    Gordon Campbell can (edited ..h.o)

    (Reponse: You raise some interesting points …but allow me to give you a little education on libel/slander I learned while working. First re details on L.D.’s personal background …I don’t know …haven’t researched those 170,000,000 hits…. and frankly couldn’t care less. EVERY political party, in power, appoints people others might question.I suspect among the 170,000,000 hits, any issues that might have been raised were raised at the time. As for libel/slander … there’s lots of it on the Internet … some of it vile, nasty, totally made up and vicious. However, the reality is that even if people say totally untrue, defamatory things, there’s no point in suing if they’re basically broke! All you end up doing is spending thousands of your own money on a lawyer, giving the slanderer LOTS more publicity, have to mount a whole case to prove the crap untrue …and even if you get a judgement, since the ranter is usually a “nobody” in terms of $$$ wealth, high profile and/or public credibility and usually has almost no great assets (the courts won’t give you their home) , you end up with an unenforceable judgement, worth nothing …unless they win the lottery. That’s why so many people, often anonymously to make things worse, get away with all kinds of libel on the Internet… and that’s a problem. But, for the reasons I’ve explained, no one should believe it just because it’s out there and no one has sued! Of course if a news organization, corporation or individual with considerable assets utters libel or slander …then there is a chance for justice and compensation ..and law suits become possible to set the record straight. But even then, the aggrieved individual has to weigh the costs versus the benefits. On my blog, apart from a desire to hang on to my meager assets and retirement :) , I have no interest in spreading personal attacks about people …even those I may disagree with on every topic. There’s enoygh to discuss without getting into the gutter. h.o)

  • 21 Kim // Sep 30, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    Subway in Sooke. Big hit in business. He looked grim when he said it, said he had signed the petition his wife was circulating. I paid over $11 for a 12 inch sub for two. It’ll be the last one for me…

  • 22 Paul // Oct 1, 2010 at 1:15 am

    - Vancouver Sun EDITORIAL (May 8, 2009)


    [1] “With a couple of minor exceptions, compared to past B.C. governments, Campbell’s Liberals have been relatively scandal-free.”

    [2] “Campbell says his priorities for the next term are reviving the economy, fighting climate change and establishing better relations with aboriginal people.”

    [3] “If re-elected for a third term, Campbell will become part of an elite group.”

    [4] “In the past century, only three other premiers have been so rewarded by British Columbians.”

    [5] “We think he has earned a chance to show he belongs.”

    The Vancouver Sun represents Gordon Campbell.

    They have been endorsing Gordon Campbell financially and editorially for years.

    The Vancouver Sun will soon be receiving a large amount of tax-payer advertising revenue for telling us all how wonderful the HST is.

    The Campbell government is a cash-cow to them.

    (Response: If you saw my blog on Loss of Trust in The Sun and Province over ads and curious-looking related stories beside them … you’ve got me wondering now if I should start looking for government ads next to their news stories as well??? And that’s exactly the problem/concern I was raising with them … apparently to no avail. h.o)

  • 23 Doesn't apply to me // Oct 1, 2010 at 1:28 am

    My only question to you Harvey is, how do you know when something is slanderous? How do you know when something is not the truth?
    My question was (the part that you censored which implied that I was saying something very different), and a very legitimate one, asking what are her credentials?
    The following seems to be a good definition of the duties of a Chief of Staff.
    “In general, a chief of staff provides a buffer between a chief executive and that executive’s direct-reporting team. The chief of staff generally works behind the scenes to solve problems, mediate disputes, and deal with issues before they bubble up to the Chief Executive. Often times Chiefs of Staff act as a confidante and advisor to the Chief Executive, acting as a sounding board for ideas. Ultimately the actual duties depend on the actual position and the people involved.”
    I keep a copy of what I write in blogs Harvey, and if asking for her credentials can ‘cast all kinds of terrible aspersions ..which would have been untrue, hurtful and possibly libellous.’ then I am bewildered.
    What was it that you were alluding to when you made such a vacuous comment?
    If I apply for a job, I must set out my credentials.
    I must present my life’s work.
    If I am in the public eye, then these credentials must be somewhere for the public to view. When someone holds such a position, that of Chief of Staff, then there should be some vetting of the candidate.
    But of course there appears to be no common sense with anything regarding the Lieberal band of lying thugs, and the media puppets that spend their time branding all of the 700,000 people that signed a petition, as right winged ding-dongs following Bill Vander Zalm.
    You would think that they would be doing some investigative reporting rather then slamming the Zalm and truly pissing all of us uneducated ding-dongs off.
    Now I suppose that my use of the so called ‘vulgarity’ will make front page news.
    Get Real. And thank you for the personal attack.

    (Response: Personal attack? Stop your paranoia; I found …in MY view on MY blog … some of your comments to be dripping in innuendo and wink,wink suggestions of impropriety without a single piece of actual EVIDENCE of any wrongoing. Easy for you to do …writing anonymously under a pen name from a nameless e-mail address. Where is the accountability on YOU part: that’s what I believe is a flaw in the Internet. Your comments didn’t pass MY stink standard for MY blog, so I took that part out …leaving ALL your other lengthy comments completely intact. You are of course free to post your comments on any other blog that will have them. As for how I know what is libel or slander ..well, I reported on politics and some pretty hard-hitting investigative stuff for 38 years … caused companies to lose contracts, governments to change their plans, helped lead to a number of resignations over improprities …. NONE of it anonymously … and won several awards, both national and regional in the process …and NEVER was sued by anyone. So I think I kind of can tell what’s acceptable and what’s not…. or at least try to. h.o)

  • 24 Ian // Oct 1, 2010 at 2:53 am

    Today the second quarter GDP numbers were released and the economy declined. According to the Stats Can report the HST in BC and Ontario played a key role in the bad economic news, counter to what Campbell has been telling us for almost two years.

    Is there a story about this anywhere in BC – not that I can find. But there is a 20 year old editorial about Zalm that’s judged to be relevant.


    I write about it on my blog today:

    (Response: If it came out today, will be interesting to see if it’s mentioned in the newspapers in the morning. h.o)

  • 25 Henri Paul // Oct 1, 2010 at 3:19 am

    Anti-Recall Strategy, Go After the Messenger, Not the Message
    When all else fails and you have no resources attack the character, the Howe st bunch has been doing this for quite a while now and getting away with it.

  • 26 Wilson // Oct 1, 2010 at 5:35 am


    I read what you wrote in response to what I wrote and I would submit that VanderZalm has indeed returned to politics. Only in true VanderZalm fashion he has found a way in through the back door using recall, but make no mistake the Zalm is playing politics.

    Did you listen to him on the air with Christy Clarke ? Christy was blowing all kinds of holes in everything he said. Remind me never to take her on, she is one sharp cookie. According to VanderZalm it was OK to bring in taxes when he was the Premier, but not OK today. In fact he even criticized his own property purchaser’s tax and said that Campbell should get rid of that one as well. Seriously I am not making this stuff up.

    I think the guy has issues and the media is right to educate the public about him. Campbell on the other hand we already do know what he is all about and need no further reminding.

    Lighten up and give the media a break.

    (Response: I have no problem with anyone attacking him, tearing him apart for anythnig he says ion ther HST and Recall. Go at him! BUT I don’t think it’s relevant, when debating THOSE issues, to bring up his political past from 20 years ago .. UNLESS you do the same for the Premier every time he talks about HST and recall… and with him, it’s even more relevant ..because he’s in power and his illustrious past record(s) are much more recent.. h.o)

  • 27 Crankypants // Oct 1, 2010 at 5:49 am

    Harvey, I think your take on the situation is right on the money.

    Today the big story was Vander Zalm’s statement that, through the rumor mill, he heard that Campbell may announce a reduction in the HST and possibly a change in the date of the referendum vote when he addresses the UBCM tomorrow.

    Well, the media and Colin Hansen have seen fit to rip the Zalm a new one. Yet Michael Smyth said pretty much the same thing in his column today in The Province newspaper. No one seems to be too concerned with that.

    I find Terry Lake’s comments totally uncalled for. Does he know the character of every person that voted for him in the last election and in whatever elections he ran for as mayor? Are all his clients that use his veterinary clinic squeaky clean? No bigots, pedophiles, gangsters etc? Gutter politics can be a two-way street in which there are no winners.

  • 28 RS // Oct 1, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    After many columns castigating Campbell and his cronies for the underhanded way in which they conduct government in the here ‘n’ now, Palmer has decided to dredge up and rewrite ancient history about Vander Zalm’s past indiscretions.

    What are Palmer’s motives?

    (Response: Heard him today on the radio again. He sure doesn’t seem to like VanderZalm. Which is fine. But I believe he’s overstepping when he attacks personally … before VanderZalm enters any new personal political pursuit of office. Until then stick to the issues at hand …or maybe they’re too indefensible? h.o)

  • 29 Lynn // Oct 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    All this in fighting on this blog must be making them all split a gut laughing.
    Fact or fiction aside impressions are what sway people.
    It was fiction that gave campbell and his cohorts another term and it is impressions that gave harper another minority government. It is deceit that woke up British Columbians.
    I am so happy that BC’ers finally woke up! Isn’t that what we should be celebrating? Shouldn’t we be exposing more of the deceit? Keeping their feet close to the fire so to speak. That objective is lost when the in fighting begins.
    Stick to the facts and let the reader come to the conclusions. Pointing out the fact that there is no discernable information or historical info about gordie’s chief of staff speaks volumes to a reader.
    A reader would be left with the question, why? What are they hiding?
    Isn’t that would old time journalism is? Presenting the facts to the reader. Let the reader decide. It is a fact based piece not a pr or advertisement piece.
    If I may, let’s redirect our focus on what is fact.

  • 30 Leah // Oct 1, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    Give the media a break?! When they start doing their job, they might deserve a break or two. Until then, they need to be tarred and feathered! WHERE in BC media have you seen this information?

    “Statistics Canada reported this morning that the Gross Domestic Product fell last month, the first time since August 2009.

    The TD bank is blaming the HST for the drop and Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of Canada, The Royal Bank, and Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty all agree – the HST carries a big part of the blame.”

    The only place I found it was on Ian Reid’s site, and the Winnipeg Free Press.

    Which newspapers, television stations, radio stations IN BC have carried that little tidbit? NONE. They don’t want truth – they want Gordon. They’ll do whatever it takes to defend the indefensible, and have proven it. There is not a whit of difference between PostMedia and CanWest that I can see. Matter of fact, I’m not sure that even CanWest would have sunk to running a 20 year old article as news today. No one with journalistic integrity would find that acceptable – what does that tell us about our BC media?

    Give the media a break? No. They deserve to be bankrupted for their arrogance and ignorance.

  • 31 david h // Oct 2, 2010 at 3:02 am

    Well I’m new to your blog, having become simultaneously increasingly interested in BC/ Vancouver politics and sceptical of the “MSM”, so here are a few observations


    Perhaps VDZ has read Clausewitz and is directing his attack at the focus of the enemy’s strength, his centre of gravity as modern American doctrine terms it.


    Sometimes poachers make excellent gamekeepers!

    And for myself, personal behaviour can often provide great insight into an individual’s character and fitness for high office. Gregor Robertson and the Translink ticket, Campbell and drunk driving in Hawaii, other matters alluded to here. I’m now trying to think of noble deeds by our leaders and sadly failing.

    (Response: Welcome. In my experience, all political leaders … like the rest of us …have failings. My only concern is when media constantly dredge out one leader’s past embarrassments…but don’t do the same with others engaged on the same issue. Smacks of bias to me. h.o.

  • 32 Crankypants // Oct 2, 2010 at 8:58 am

    I didn’t particularly want to go here, but I think that sometimes the facts must be presented. There seem to be only a select number of reporters that cover our provincial politics.

    To protect Harvey’s blog from possible litigation, I will only bring out a couple of examples. There is a reporter that appears on radio regularly that has a wife that is employed by the Public Affairs Bureau. There is another reporter that appears on television, radio and print whose wife was, and may still be, employed by the BC Liberal Party.

    My question is, how unbiased can these two reporters really be? In their collective minds they may think that they are unbiased in what they report, but are they governed by what they may face when they get home. Hot tongue and cold shoulder is not something to look forward to should either of these two people report only the facts in an unbiased fashion.

    I don’t like to be cryptic about this, but if I know about two reporters being in this situation, how many other reporters are there operating under similar circumstances.

    If Harvey responds that he wishes to have the subjects of my comment identified, then I will comply.

    (Response: And there is a Premier whose brother is a regular commentator and program host on CKNW. I appreciate your concerns … and I think the public would have the right to question the impartiality of these reporters … fair game in my view, without casting aspersions on the personal lives of anyone. But in this day and age, spouses …male or female ..are allowed to have independent lives, pursue any job or partisan activity they desire: it’s up to the media bosses to ensure there is no crossover contamination. However, my concern with the media runs much deepr than just a couple of people who fall into such categories: I just don’t beleive any reporter should cover any beat for more than seven or eight years …. in my opinion, they get too comfortable (lazy), friendly with those they cover and lose their inquisitiveness and aggressivity in pursuing/investigating stories/people … change is good; and my greatest concern is the corporate and political agenda of owners, translated into what’s covered and what is not covered by their underlings. Those can have a LOT WORSE consequences overall than whether a family member of one or two people has a job or is active in any party. h.o.

  • 33 SharingIsGood // Oct 2, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    The Most Audacious Arrogance regarding this relaunching of old anti-Zalm news was that it occurred on “Raise a Reader Day”. There, on the Global TV Morning News, we had Chris Gailus shoulder to shoulder with our very own Premier Campbell out on the street hawking these anti-Zalm papers for a donation. Also note that our province is contributing matching dollars (up to $500,000) for funds collected for BC’s 2010 Raise a Reader campaign. How could one ever find more audacious mutual back-scatching between co-conspirators?

  • 34 Henri Paul // Oct 2, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    When I heard Palmer talking of the Zalm,he came across as a whining sniveling spoiled kid, who’s older brother had just taken a lick from his ice cream cone . Palmer listen to your self for Jeez sake and grow up, you really do come across as a spoiled brat.

  • 35 sue // Oct 2, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    Shawn Leslie was interviewing the minister of “Citizen Services” last weekend and he said that his wife works for the Public Affairs Bureau.

    Not a secret. And Shawn’s a pretty good reporter, in my book.

    Question for Harvey: after the big kerfuffle about the press release from the Anti-HST folks about a “rumor” about lowering the HST rate, the press went after the Zalm but not a word about another reporter, Mike Smyth, who wrote exactly the same thing in his column on Thursday, and wrote about it again on Friday.
    Both parties said it was a “rumor”.

    The question is: if FightHST sent out the press release (which I got) at 9:40 am, and had posted it at 6:30 am on Thursday, why was the media (including Smithie) saying it went out late Wednesday night? Does the media get press releases earlier than everybody else who gets media releases? I’m not being a smarty pants here, just wondering how it works.

    Does that seem realistic/reasonable to you, in your experience as a reporter?

    (Response: Actually it is reasonable, in a convoluted kind of way. :) When people in REAL positions of any kind make statements, they can/should be held to account over them. However ,there are so many media out there, firing shots in all directions, trying to get the scoop, they normally don’t question each other for stories that are wrong. Although they will sometimes take shots at their competition ..never their own comrades .. for being wrong. When REPORTERS relate something majorly untrue … they are sometimes forced to retract or even apologize by the person they wronged, but motre often than not it just gets ignored, as bad reporting. COLUMNISTS, like bloggers in a way, can speculate about anything (legally) …. like palm readers … and their only penalty, if repeatedly wrong over time, is a loss of credibility. h.o)

  • 36 Joe2U // Oct 2, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    kootcoot, you say…
    “Bill VanderZalm, though he has been very effective at helping focus the public outrage over the HST and…”
    He is, by the fact of leading, the leader of it. And it has been:
    1. Co-opted by the right wing for their own political agenda.
    2. Controlled to the point where is won’t TOPPLE THE GOVERNMENT, which is what many of us wanted and still want.
    3. I ask again, what happened to ‘Recall in the Fall’
    Where do people go when they want to take action against the HST?
    Which site do the government friendly papers ‘advertise’ by giving it lots of publicity?You know the one.

    As I said, this is a sophisticated way to co-opt and control a legitimate rebellion against yet another greedy tax grab. Everyone who wants to say NO to this tax and this government should just say NO to the VZ idea of only targeting 3 ridings and only after waiting ’til December. I never heard of toppling a government by inventing ways to distract your own followers from the purpose at hand.
    Unless, of course, you really don’t have change in mind and think the followers are stupid enough to follow you down a garden path.

  • 37 Joe2U // Oct 2, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    And what does all this puerile posturing against Vander Zalm by the monied media accomplish?
    It establishes VZ as the de facto leader of what would otherwise have become a wholesale recall movement against a very oppressive government.

  • 38 kootcoot // Oct 3, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    Joe2U – You don’t seem to get my point re: VanderZalm. Yes he provided a great deal of leadership during the Anti-HST petition – though it was the work of the less glorified local volunteers and leaders that made it ACTUALLY WORK. Primarily VZ helped bring attention to the issue in a was even the MSM couldn’t ignore – though their first response and tactic was to resort to ridicule and insist it would be IMPOSSI BLE for the petition to succeed. Once it has succeeded in spite of having been designed to create obstacles now the Liberals and their handmaidens are resorting to attacking the messanger because Recall is even scarier (though more difficult to achieve – higher percentage of signatures (40%) with less time to gather (60 days). However there are also ADVANTAGES to the way recall is set up.

    As to:

    I ask again, what happened to ‘Recall in the Fall’

    Under law, papers can’t be taken out or recall campaigns begun (under the legislation) until mid-November. Then some people think it may be wise to not begin until the holiday season is past as there are only 60 days once a recall process is begun in a riding. But in any riding, any registered voter can be THE proponent and unleash a recall campaign against ANY sitting MLA as or mid-November. Rural Ridings will be the easiest ridings to mount an effective campaign – in Ridings like the Cariboo, the north and the Peace the anti-HST petitions alone already drew more signatures than number of votes the sitting Liberal MLA garnered – and people see each other face to face more, and know who is registered in their riding better in rural ridings than in the city.

    Where do people go when they want to take action against the HST?

    Well since you asked, you could start by going to either the Elections BC website (Craig James hasn’t shut it down yet as far as I know) and/or Hansard or the BC Legislative Library and look up and READ the pertinent legislation which spells out the whole process. Or contact the local Recall organization in your riding. AND if you are

    1. The proponents MUST be provided with a voter’s list current as of the last election (or would it include new registrants in the riding since then?)

    2. Recall can happen in one riding or all 85 – it is a riding by riding issue and it doesn’t matter what happens in any other riding once the benchmarks are achieved within the time frame. The government or lackeys like Craig James cannot manipulate the process (unless they opt to ILLEGALLY declare valid signatures invalid) and the seat is vacant and a bye-election must be called with-in a certain time frame – similar to what would occur if the member died or had to step down due to conviction of a felony (unlikely for a BC liaR thanks to the “oh so Special Prosecutor system as it functions in BC.

    3. So Bill VZ can decide to “lead” recall campaigns in any three ridiings of his choice – but Gary E and others in Cariboo can seek to send Donna Barnett to the EI line if they so choose whether they win the reality TeeVee show or not – and voters in Mudlide Slater’s OK south riding if they so choose can mount an effort there.

    Once they Liberals lose enough seats to not have a majority in the House that rarely sits – Campbell isn’t legitimately premier and whoever holds the majority can choose their current leader or anyone they choose. Heckfire, maybe they could even bring in David Emerson – or more likely he is damaged goods no matter what label he wears. Perhaps a new government could also bother with investigating various issues other than just whether or not three brown men got a free football game/trip!

    VZ was accused of taking money (key money?) or other wise indulging in questionable practices (or using his public office/title) in the sale of HIS OWN PROPERTY (or Lillian’s), Glen Clark suffered a complete character assassination by the combined forces of the RCMP, the major lower mainland media and the justice system (only to be acquitted in the end) and Gordon and Judy’s situation was hardly a matter of public interest though certainly a difficult time for two families – and the fact that they have moved on, re-married each other and ostensibly repaired the personal damage as well as possible – NOT TO MENTION ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF THE AFFAIR and eventual legitimazation /divorces and marriage – and resolving issues re: affected children)

    To me the Convention Centre over-runs, the Canada LIne, the ? of BC Rail, the bleeding of BC Hydro, the devastation of wild Salmon Stocks, the silly disposal of the fast cats and so much more is much more relevant than a deck, a bag of small change or two colleagues who, despite each being married to someone else, fall in love – with no apparent involvement of the public purse (other than the fact they were both employed by the public).

    Regarding your attempt to educate me about libel/slander – you certainly come off naive at times, or else think I am. You know as well as me that though someone or an organization with money is a more desirable target for any law suit be it libe/slander or copyright infringement – but SLAPP suits are filed REGULARLY agaiinst people with little of value to go after for the SOLE PURPOSE of shutting them up………Heck even the Inferior Health Authority (that I would have to deal with if I weren’t so healthy) locally uses my tax dollars to sic lawyers on patients and other critics of IHA policy solely to make them retract and not further mention their criticism of IHA policy rather than incur the expense of attempting to defend themselves – or in other words SHUT THEM UP.

    A defendent in a SLAPP suit under Canadian law can find the truth, even with documentary and other supporting evidence, unsustainably expensive to defend. TASER company has managed to make coroners and medical examiners re-write their findings in cases under more defendent friendly US libel law on occassions when TASER felt the findings could have a negative effect on the reputation of their cattle prods. Frankly I was surprised that they were essentially laughed out of BC Surpreme Court so promptly, when they launched an action taking issue with Braidwood’s findings that cast their product is a less than angelic light.


  • 39 Joe2U // Oct 4, 2010 at 12:57 am

    You don’t seem to get my point. I love Vander Zalm. Salt of the Earth. Champion of the poor and oppressed. Angel in disguise. I could go on but we can all see written between your very lines the words, ‘I love Bill.’ so can we agree on that one?
    Only please Mr. Vander Zalm, could you re-examine your strategy and get the ball rolling? We now know that you’re not a rich plant from the right wing so what’s the holdup? Why muddy the water? Time is of the essence because the longer we have the HST in place the more difficult our adversaries in the neocon camp can make it to rid ouselves of them and it. (the monkey’s paw and the mariner’s dead albatross respectively)
    You say that I say, “Where do people go when they want to take action against the HST?”
    It was a rhetorical question. They are directed, by and large by the monied media, to, VZ’s site where they are subjected to the Survivor Girlie Democracy Concept. Which doesn’t play well. So what would they like to hear? How about, ‘Full Scale Recall Starts Nov. 15! Sign up here to volunteer in your riding!’
    Everybody knows that the majority of BCers want to get rid of this government. Nobody cares about Campbell’s personal affairs, we are really upset because, as you elucidated above, we’ve been robbed of much of the material and spiritual substance of British Columbia – the place we love to call home. By a group of neocons who lie themselves into power and then proceed to rob us of our heritage. They demonstrated their disregard for consequences when they appointed Craig James as CEO of Elections BC and had him fire Linda Johnson for no other reason than that she followed the law and forbade the proHST mailer from going out.
    What we need now is to pull the chocks out from under the wheels of public opinion and get this train rolling.
    Don’t get me wrong: I admire VZ for taking up the fight and it’s public record that he was innocent in whatever it was all those years ago. But the idea of waiting until Jan 1 to even start campaigning for recall is synonymous with taking the kettle off the boil and waiting three months to make the tea. Even my conservative, Liberal voting neighbour has called this the HorseShitTax and would love to see the last of this government. Now is the Time.

  • 40 Joe2U // Oct 4, 2010 at 1:11 am

    This isn’t just a problem local to BC or Canada. All over the world people are trying as hard as they can to evict their dishonest governments and spit out the bit and bridle the debt slavers have saddled them with. The link below has some good ideas:

  • 41 Jimmy2U // Oct 4, 2010 at 1:17 am

    Good post Joe! You ask what would people really like to hear? How about:

    Give Yourself and Your Family an Honest Government For Christmas!

  • 42 Jimmy2U // Oct 4, 2010 at 2:55 am

    One more thing. I know it’s boring to flood someone else’s blog but I just read the Campbell is going ahead with major transit projects. Probably cost a coupla billion dollars:

    Why would he commit all that money in these hard times? Is it:
    a) He’s taking a last kick at the can and leaving a huge financial mess for the government which will come in and have to clean up after him?
    b) Spending a couple of big ones so when the referendum rolls around next fall he’ll be able to truthfully say that there is no money to give back to the Harper Gang in Ottawa?
    c) Spitefully spending us all into a state of near bankruptcy because we now see what he is and are determined to kick him out?
    d) No, my friends; it’s ALL OF THE ABOVE! And the point of this little quiz was to demonstrate that this is a dangerous man we are dealing with, and he and his government should be recalled FORTHWITH!

  • 43 sunshine coast girl // Oct 4, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    @ Lynn – “All this infighting on this blog must be making them all split a gut laughing. Fact or fiction aside impressions are what sway people.
    It was fiction that gave campbell and his cohorts another term and it is impressions that gave harper another minority government. It is deceit that woke up British Columbians.”

    I totally agree and that is why I say it doesn’t matter what reason people want to use when recalling their MLA; HST or otherwise. Lies and deceit are what got this government re-elected and in my opinion, that makes the results null and void, and a “re-do” in order. Politicians CANNOT be rewarded for outright lying and allowing them to stay until the term is up is a reward. It allows them to continue with (and even speed up) their agenda. How is that democratic?

  • 44 kootcoot // Oct 4, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    Joe2U – My point re: “But the idea of waiting until Jan 1 to even start campaigning for recall is synonymous with taking the kettle off the boil and waiting three months to make the tea.

    WE HAVE NO CHOICE but to wait until at least mid-november to initiate any recall campaigns – that is the way the law was set up (not allowed until 18 months after the election the MLA was elected during).So if I recall correctly that means November 19 at the earliest to start the process.

    I don’t know if approximately one month before Christmas is the best time to start anything, especially with a 60 day time limit on the process – If the process was started on November 19 precisely (as Webster would say) that would mean that there would be less than three weeks left to work on the campaign once New Year’s was over and done.

    I admit it is debatable whether the holiday period would be a plus or minus to a campaign – myself though – I believe too many people would be distracted with family, and holiday travel etc. I is counter productive to be trying to sign up people when they aren’t even in their riding, but in grandma’s riding and so forth.

  • 45 Jimmy2U // Oct 5, 2010 at 7:09 am

    Nov 15 according to elections BC.
    About doing it over Christmas, when people are spending thousands of dollars and paying hundreds in HST, would be a good time to sit in the mall or at the mall entrance with a sign and the recall petition:
    ‘Give Yourself and Your Family an Honest Government for Christmas.’
    or, ‘Give Yourself a Break NEXT Christmas. Repeal the HST. ‘
    I know that GST is charged on most gifts anyway, but already people are complaining on some sites and even in letters to the Sun and Province that they are struggling to make ends meet more than ever since the HST was introduced.
    Am I supposed to feel sorry for those MLAs when they are still trying to keep a tax which will hurt every consumer’s pocket book from now until the end? Don’t think so.

  • 46 Petra // Mar 29, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    Dean,I think you missed the point of the ecnmomt. None of the arguments you made were made in the op-ed, which had already been published a week earlier. The point of my post is that it’s typical of this paper to publish the same op ed that repeats old arguments already made several times by government officials twice within ten days.And just for your information Ontario and BC have implemented the HST far differently. Ontario provides large payments back to taxpayers, utilizing the federal money to pay for it, plus new income tax breaks. The CCPA study on Ontario is based on that model.BC provides few rebates and is, as former finance minister Carole Taylor puts it, a tax shift from business to consumers. As I’m sure you’ll appreciate, the tax cannot be revenue neutral to government as well as an equal benefit to business and consumers, unless you believe in magic.I checked to ensure my memory was not faulty. No new tax reductions were introduced at the same time or after the HST in BC. I believe you are thinking about the tax break that was introduced in November 2008 to argue that new reductions were introduced to offset the HST in BC. Do you have special knowledge that the HST was planned as early as November 2008 and those tax breaks were intended as offsets for the HST? Or are you spinning that it should all be mushed together and treated as an offset even though it isn’t?