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Dix/NDP Should Lay Out Their Taxation Plan NOW

February 25th, 2013 · 31 Comments

It must be wonderful to be in Opposition: you can call for all kinds of NEW spending on highways, bridges, the environment, transit, housing, hospitals, community centres, seniors programs, First Nations settlements and projects … and few people add it up.

Then comes an election …. and suddenly those who will have to pay for it all want to know HOW MUCH and WHERE WILL YOU GET THE MONEY?

The NDP and Leader Adrian Dix are now at that point.

I know the normal election campaign (of about 40 days) has not yet begun … but these are not normal times in BC.

The NDP has been promising something for everybody (except maybe big business and the very wealthy) for years now; expressing support and sympathy for virtually every community concern and activist campaign that captured a headline.  That no doubt has won them a lot of support from those quarters … but let’s face it: it will take a LOT of “quarters” to pay for it all!

Where are they going to get the money?

Now that the Liberals have laid down/costed their plans (however seemingly ludicrous) in a Throne Speech and Budget, the NDP MUST do the same.

They can no longer hide behind the defence that they didn’t want to give away their plans because the Libs would steal them and put them in their own Throne Speech/Budget.

Too late for that …so it’s time for the NDP to get specific, especially on where they intend to TAX and BOOST revenues.

After all, Dix haven’t and his MLAs/candidates have already called for: another $250 Million in health care spending … on top of the $2 Billion set aside for the next three years; increases in social services spending, programs to combat poverty, provide better child care,  eliminate homelessness, add to BC’s public lands inventory, increase reforestation, better public transportation initiatives, lower ferry fares, fund more science programs etc. etc.?

No doubt many of these would be wonderful to see … BUT how would the NDP pay for all of this?  Or is it all just pie in the sky promises … just like the Liberals … designed to win votes, not keep it real?

Aftar all, at the same time as they keep adding to their Santa Claus list, they also reject the Libs’ plans to sell off assets, raise MSP premiums, build and tax the Enbridge pipeline, allow expanded tanker traffic along the coast  …. and many of their most stalwart supporters have opposed virtually every major resource project expansion:  Enbridge; mining, fracking,  natural gas port expansions, increased coastal ship traffic, hydro dams and run of river projects.

So where is the money going to come from?

Would Dix and the NDP increase the 7% Provincial Sales Tax, hike income taxes, raise corporate taxes beyond what the Liberal budget proposes, boost taxes on home and car sales, hike fees for drivers’ licences and all other provincial permits, add more taxes on beer and tobacco, re-introduce Coquihalla or other road tolls?

Or just add BILLIONS more to our debt?

The public have a right to know.  Now.

In fact, I  predict if they wait until just a few weeks before Election Day to reveal their “plan”, that will HURT them … because the Libs/Conservatives will have a relatively short time to make hay with the shock value of any proposed NDP deficit or “temporary” debt increase. Watch for those ads … creating a huge wave of fear among voters!

If the NDP announced their platform/proposals/taxation plans/deficit/debt NOW, they would at least have more well over two months to explain it all , let any shock wear off  over  their proposals and tell us how we will pay for it all ….  maybe even gain public understanding and support with their reasoning and openness.

The NDP  can save some announcements and goodies for the campaign, of course, but they must already have …or should have…. the broad blueprint of their plans for BC voters already prepared.  What will THEY do and how will WE pay for it?

Or everything Dix and his critics are saying/promising is just phony rhetoric that takes the voters for fools.

I hope not.

And it’s now time for them to prove it.

Harv Oberfeld

Tags: British Columbia · Media

31 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Merv // Feb 25, 2013 at 9:02 am

    Two issues…timing and content. Your case on the timing is a fair one. The longer Dix waits, the more traction the Libs get with the accusation of a scary hidden plan.

    In the end, I care more about the content though. Will it be honest and upfront? Will it be modest and achievable? Will it focus more on the needs of the society and the least advantaged more than the plan tabled by the Libs?

    I think the answer to those questions is yes, and if I’m right, my voting intention will not change no matter when Dix releases the full platform.

    (Response: YOUR voting choice will not change, but the problem for the NDP overthe past DOZEN years are those on the fence who get scared off with negative ads, “costing out” headlines, strategically announced warnings about the damage their plan will do to BC. Doing it sooner rather than later would actually be better for them …give lots of time to respond to any negative reactions and calm the fears their opponents will try to whip up. h.o)

  • 2 Ed Seedhouse // Feb 25, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Harv, it’s unlike you to not check your facts, but you seem to me to have done that here.

    The NDP have already promised tax increases on business that will continue, whereas the Liberal increase are supposed to expire after a couple of years. That promise was made well before the budget came down.

    You can check this at the NDP home page if you like. I have.

    The promise for the Science project is well under the present immoral and partisan government advertising campaign that the NDP has promised to eliminate.

    I agree the NDP should clearly state the costs of any promised programs and where that money is going to come from. It’s early days yet but if you would do your research I believe you’d find that SO FAR, that is what has happened. And I believe you are fair minded enough to agree with this unless you can point out some actual facts I have missed (quite possible I admit).

    Of course we may fail on that front as we roll new promises and programs out, but to be fair you should at least admit that SO FAR we have been doing this.

    Noticed that I have used “we” above to make it clear that I am partisan on this. I am a very minor NDP “party official” and don’t wish to pretend otherwise. But I am in no position to speak on behalf of the party I belong to and whom I will be campaigning for come election time.

    (Response: Yes, the increase in corporate taxes is coming..but frankly, that’s a drop in the bucket compared ot the promises they’ve all made to so many groups and causes ….at the same time as they rejected Enbridge and their “constituency” don’t want coastal export exapnsions, pipelines through anywhere, any new major mining proposals, fracking, Hydro dams, nuclear power etc etc. We need to know more about how they are going to pay for EVERYTHING … and a small corporate tax increase won’t cover a pinch of it all. h.o)

  • 3 Hugh // Feb 25, 2013 at 9:54 am

    Dealing with the mess left by the BC Libs will be difficult no matter what they do.

    (Response: I agree …but they have to tell us now what they will do, so we can decide if we agree BEFORE they take power. No blank checks, no HST’s around the corner! h.o.)

  • 4 bob // Feb 25, 2013 at 10:08 am

    Really Harv? NOW?

    It is pretty sure the BC NDP do have the broad strokes of a budget plan, and the BC NDP have always said they will use the BC Liberal budget numbers to construct their ‘alternative’ budget.

    The reality is that the BC Liberals have been working for months on their structurally deficient deficit budget and it will take more than a few moments for the BC NDP to respond.

    The BC Liberals have used a myriad of ‘Enron’ type accounting dirty tricks (bringing next year’s deficits forward to this year’s debt, ignoring BILLIONS in deferral accounts, booking fictional asset sales etc) to cook the books.

    Unraveling that deceitful BC Liberal mess in itself will be a major challenge before putting together a credible alternative.

    I really expected better of you than to jump on this particular BC Liberal bandwagon.

    (Response: There we go. Just ask for the NDP plans and figures BEFORE we vote … and I’m ON the Lib bandwagon. What a crock! Do you really think voters have no right to know exactly what a party will do and how much they’re going to tax us before the election? If so, you must then support Gordon campbell’s handling of the HST … tell the people AFTER they vote! Or do you think there should be separate rules for the NDP! h.o)

  • 5 bob // Feb 25, 2013 at 10:22 am

    As a former Ottawa insider: what was your impression of Mike Duffy during your eight years in the wilderness?

    (Response: Insider, moi??? That’s a joke… I was such an outsider, the Press Gallery once threatened to pull my Gallery card for refusing to go along with the existing central-Canada orientated system and my questionning of Lucien Bouchard was so “non-insider”, he wrote a formal complaint to the Gallery about me and my confrontation with him made it into Lawrence Martin’s biographical book of Bouchard. I could go on and on …with stories I did there EXPOSING the sweet insider deals that went on …till I reported them. As for Duffy, I didn’t have much to do with him actually. Found him friendly to me, but I can’t recall a single tough question he asked of any politican. Guess his way paid off better than mine! h.o)

  • 6 Tony Martinson // Feb 25, 2013 at 10:39 am

    Either your calendar is broken or you’re logically inconsistent. You say that the NDP need to release their plans and figures before we vote, which no one should disagree with, yet are not satisfied with the repeated statement by Dix that their platform will come out during the writ period, which, if my calendar is working, will be before we vote.

    Which is it? Is “before we vote” the standard you’re setting or is it “three months before we vote” (which is pretty unprecedented in today’s politics).

    (Response: Maybe I wasn’t clear enough … they should cone out with their answers to our problems NOW since the Libs have already tabled their budget and can’t steal any new ideas and NOW because if they are going to propose a deficit or add to the debt, and do that only a few weeks before we vote, the Libs/Conservatives will kill them with a flurry of attack/shock ads and there may not be enough time for the NDP to calm people’s fears about their “plan”, costs, deficit and tax proposals. h.o.)

  • 7 212Degrees // Feb 25, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    The budget has been presented and it is close enough to the election now that the Liberal’s cannot hijack any more of the NDP plans so it is the time for the NDP to show they are transparent, credible and realistic on their economic assessments and plans. Voters may not appreciate the content, but they will love the honesty because it is a trait that the Liberals have not shown over the last ten years. especially in their budget presentations and their HST fiasco. By presenting their platform now, the link between the Liberals and the mess they have left will be fresh in the minds of voters, and it will provide justification for the necessary remedies. Otherwise imagination and rumors will work to the NDP’s detriment.

    (Response: Exactly! It’s about strategy. Why give the Libs several weeks in the House, on tv and travelling around the province touting their “bold, new plan” … getting 80% of the coverage … without offering any alternative. Especially when the NDO know what they offer only a few weeks before the vote will be denounced as wild, dangerous and would bancrupt BC …and then have only a few weeks to convince voters the attacks are all wrong. I believe an earlier plan, if it can be soundly defended, would not be as scary by election day. Unless what they are planning to drop on us can’t be defended or explained if there’s a lot of time to pick it apart. h.o.)

  • 8 morry // Feb 25, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    I have to agree with others here. Dix and the NDP need to come clean with their platform and their Budget plans for BC … BUT only once the Writ has been dropped. Why should they speculate at this point as they are 1) still digesting the lib’s budget and 2) trying to get some up-to-date information on the real state of the coffers. Once the Writ has been dropped I do expect them to state their plans ASAP!

  • 9 physicsguy // Feb 25, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    The problem faced by the NDP in introducing a shadow-budget is that they will have to base theirs on REAL monies, not magic bean LNGs and invisible deferred debts. The reality is that the NDP will be able to save $BILLIONS of debt by simply tearing-up IPP contracts, but none of that shows in the current Liberal’s books, so it really won’t look like much to the public (and the MSM will find a way of making that look like a bad decision by the NDP gov’t). The Liberal’s plan, I suspect, is this: run the province so in debt that when (not if) the NDP takes over, they will be able to do nothing but try to fix the mess we’re in. In 2017, the Liberals, aided by the MSM and people’s miserably short memory, will run on the platform that the NDP have ‘wasted’ fours years in doing nothing. They will then, sadly, win the 2017 election.

    (Response: As Gordo found out, ripping up legally binding contracts is not as simple as it looks. And I suspect the contracts that have been signed and are in effect have cancellation clauses that will make cancellation impossible or foolhardy. h.o)

  • 10 physicsguy // Feb 25, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    In response to your response: what is the alternative? Give-in to $60Billion in debt? Take us to court.

    (Response: Well, how about actually ENCOURAGING major projects that would bring us BILLIONS in taxes and royalties to do the things we want to improve/help so many …instead of just saying “no” to everything. We ARE a resource province … or at least we used to be …and it’s unfair for us to be such huge consumers of resources in our daily lives, but want everyone else to produce …and profit …from it. h.o)

  • 11 kootcoot // Feb 25, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    Harv, I take what Dix, Horgan or whoever on the Dipper side of the nosh pit and their “promises” more as statements about the issues they care about, in other words the ones important to BCers other than the LIEberal, elite, corporate pirate constituency.

    With the BC LIEberal habit of “cooking” the books, deferring (hiding) the immense IPP outlay, the BC Ferries fiscal fairy tales, not to mention the “farts in a bottle” fortune from LNG gas that dances like sugar plum fairies in the (not)Premier’s skull void – I wouldn’t think the NDP can meaningfully say what they can do and how until they get their hands on both sets of the LIEberals’ books. Then thanks to a dozen years of magic fiscal policy, deficits that are somehow surpluses and deferred debt that they refuse to acknowledge it might take forensic accountants quite a spell to understand where the money went (unless of course they audit all those wonderful friends of the BC liaR party and their offshore booty) .

    I imagine the next finance minister will find only broken pieces of an empty ceramic piggie bank.

    Too often instead of “being real” you seem to try to jump on the same meme as the idjits still in the employ of our failing media and just add your own personal touch to seem original and “real.”

    I guess it is really hard to wash the establishment off once one lies down with professional liars and stooges!

    Don’t you think it was funny to see her Crispyness on TeeVee having the gall to accuse Dix and the rest of the Dippers of “hiding out?”

    (Response: It’s not a question of what my colleagues in other media say: for 40 years now, I have ALWAYS called on ALL poliitcal parties, of all stripes, to tell the voters HONESTLY what they have planned for us IF they get elected and what it will cost us. The NDP is no different ….and those who think THEY should get a free pass, when other parties do not, are hypocrites… plain and simple. That’s exactly how we got the HST, wage and price controls, loss of freedom of information and other disastrous policies/taxes foisted on Canadians, contrary to previous promises. We should ALL demand every party tell us what they are going to do BEFORE they get our vote…. so when they sock it to us afterwards, saying what they found was worse than they thought (ho hum…they ALL do that),we can denounce them ….the only question being whether they are better, equal to or even worse than those they’ve replaced! h.o.)

  • 12 motorcycleguy // Feb 25, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    There are a lot of IPP projects waiting for final approval. Narrows Inlet Hydro is but one example in the last stages of EAO “scrutiny”….if I may be so bold as to say there is any scrutiny going on. The time for action by our opposition is now, before EAO approval is granted and the final contracts are indeed signed. I agree with Morry on the budget thing…..there is no election until the writ is dropped. Agreed the plan better hit the street immediately after. We have been lied to before and the Liberals may need more time to get all those rubber stamp pads inked up before calling an election. Just time for more damage to be done if there is no aggressive oppostion. This government and the bureaucrats in it do not seem to care about the bad optics of pushing a multitude of projects through quickly just in case they don’t get elected.

  • 13 Guy in Victoria // Feb 25, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    In the 2009 BC Election the NDP released its platform April 9 for May 12 . The BC Liberals followed on April 15.

  • 14 e.a.f. // Feb 25, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    if they take the shadow tolls off of the whistler highway they can save about $163M a yr. and use it elsewhere. Then those using the highway can pay the toll. re introducing the highway through hell toll is a non starter.

    outlining their plans may be fine, however, once they are elected it may all be for not, given the books may have been cooked for low these many yrs. The NDP may come to power and tell us there is no money and nothing is left to spend on anything. Then it may come to simply working with what they have and demanding accountability in depts. such as social services.

    There will be a huge cost savings if B.C. Ferries becomes a crown corp. again because the debt’s intrest could drop from 10% to 3%. Get rid of the very high salaries and there is a savings to be had.

    the constant increase in premiums on health care, gas tax, tolls is cutting into people’s budgets big time. It maybe as simple as doing away with many of these “extra taxes/non taxes” and implementing just a plan old income tax which is fair to all. If the advertising budget is scraped, there may be more money saved.

    what ever the NDP decides to do with the budget and how they plan to spend or not spend should get out there soon. even if it is, we aren’t going to say much about anything because we don’t know the state of the books. It won’t effect how I vote because every time the lieberals said one thing prior to an election, they did something else.

    After all the corruption we have gone through with the lieberals and their stupid meters, etc. I’m actually willing to take a chance on the NDP just having more integrity and doing the best they can.

    (Response: Great info! And, as far as I know, YOU are not running for office. So if you can come up with specifics, surely Dix and the NDP should too? I believe the sooner the better. And I believe it’s quite a legitimate questions to ask why they are not, when will they and to expect details … not just rheoric… when they do. h.o)

  • 15 G. Barry Stewart // Feb 25, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    I’m prepared to wait until election time. I don’t blame Adrian for holding the cards close to his chest.

    The “Yesterday’s” Liberals have no fresh ideas and the NDP don’t need to be helping them.

  • 16 DonGar // Feb 25, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Great comment. Love it when you question the conservatives or the liberals you walk on water but heaven forbid you question the left. I don’t care left, right, middle of the road I want to know what the hell you are going to do especially when it comes to my tax dollars or the debt you are foisting upon my children.

    Is there an honest truthful politician out there? Stand up and you have my vote. Tired of the games, excuses and lies.

    (Response: Exactly! And it’s quite funny: after ALL I’ve written hammering the Libs and am the ONLY one in any media who still refers to Clark as our un-elected, unmandated premier …. I’m on the “Liberal bandwagon” because I dare to ask the NDP to reveal their plan, their revenue sources and ALL the taxes/fees THEY would increease. h.o)

  • 17 13 // Feb 25, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    Harvey, as I read the posts it is obvious that the mantra will be ” due to the mess we inherited from the previous gov. our campaign promises will need to be put on hold untill 2017.” I wonder if that will be enough to get the NDP a second term. I doubt it.

    So with this built in excuse Dixie might as well promise us the moon and the stars as he will be able to blame the liberals for his inability to fulfill promises. He will however need to raise all kinds of taxes to fund the moon and the stars.

    (Response: Well, it’s kind of a BC political tradition: once lected, say everything is much worse than earlier thought; raise all kinds of taxes/fees for a couple of years to generate huge loads of cash; then say things are “turning around” and a year before the election, start handing out bribes to the voters. That’s why it is so important these days to demand they cost out their promises and tell us where the money will come from in detail well before the election: the Libs did that in their budget and were so outrageous (FIVE LNG plants!) so many people laughed and dismissed their budget. Can’t wait to see the NDP “plan”. h.o)

  • 18 BillyP // Feb 26, 2013 at 6:24 am

    1 – Raise corporate taxes .
    2- Restore the bank tax that Carole Taylor generously gave those poor non profit banks. ( just before she was asked to sit on the board)
    3- Raise the PST 1%. Nobody is going yo like that, but you do what you have to.
    4- No more “message” advertising.
    5- Trim the bureaucratic log jam, trim the salaries. The Libs mantra was to get the best, you pay. Seems to me, by the state of things, the “best and brightest” are about as dull as a butter knife.
    6- Offer tax incentives for BC companies using BC raw materials for manufacturing here. The lost revenue will be made up in the economic stimulus to come with the net job gain.
    7- Take a hard look at the IPP contracts and STRICTLY enforce environmental standards.
    8- Increase driving infraction fines to double.
    9- Take a hard look at whistle-blower legislation for waste in the system.

    (Response: A great start! And I know NDP strategists/politicians read the blog …so hopefully they’ll pay attention. h.o)

  • 19 kootcoot // Feb 26, 2013 at 9:57 am

    ” We should ALL demand every party tell us what they are going to do BEFORE they get our vote…”

    Yeah Harv, that REALLY matters. I guess Gordo didn’t really sell BC Rail (after all he promised not to) and we never had the HST (because it wasn’t on their radar). And we ain’t paying the HST anymore, because we voted it down by referendum almost two years ago now. I’m especially happy that Christy isn’t (imaginary) Premier anymore, because she called an early election to obtain a mandate and lost . I could go on and talk about how transparent (as promised) is the Harper regime, about the only thing Harper has done as advertised is the eradication of the long gun registry……………………….the Harperites even lie after the fact, as well as before, because their hands were clean in the electoral financing irregularities (in and out….sounds like some kind of sex, and we ARE getting screwed) until they were forced to come clean after lying steady for two or three or four years!

    All I expect of a new government, for starters, is that they don’t engage in a crime spree as have the Gordo/Christy gang.

    What I was trying to get across, not successfully obviously, is that the media (and I even include you in that, though you are better than many) feels obligated to impart a sense of “false equivalency” by pointing out an NDP sin to balance out every BC liaR scam. Somehow, since most media represent corporate interests, Adrian Dix getting caught without a ticket on skytrain is equal to Gordo and MacLean stealing an entire railroad and Glen Clark’s back porch more than makes up for the boondoggles of the Sea to Die Hiway, the bogus leaking roof at BC Place that cost more than many stadiums, and sorry excuse for a Port Mann bridge.

    As a union man yourself (rtd) you should realize that as “special interests” the unions are hardly as capable of hogging it down at the public trough as the corporate friends of Gordo, Christy and Slimey Steven from Calgary!

    You are better than most, especially those working today in the concentrated corporate media, but your personal bias shine brightly, even by the subjects you choose to cover, as much as what you say.

    (Response: Well, Gordo paid the price for it didn’t he! Resigned in disgrace and is so reviled by so many Briitsh Columbians, he fled to the UK, where he is no doubt pining away in his publicly paid for mansion, chauffeur driven limousine and being bored to death spending our money for his enhanced lifestyle! I’ll bet that taught Christy a lot! But if we are going to revile her too for her sins and ommissions, we should not be hypocrites by saying it’s ok for the NDP to do the same!!! Or are the left suggesting they are the same old sleaze…just “your” sleaze, not “theirs”, so it’s ok? h.o)

  • 20 kootcoot // Feb 26, 2013 at 10:06 am

    Excuse me Harvey, but you are not the” ONLY one in any media who still refers to Clark as our un-elected, unmandated premier “

    Many others, in this same media on which we are currently conversing, cannot mention her name without prefacing it with ‘non’ ‘not’ ‘pretend’ and many other synonyms for PHONY! You do read the some other blogs occasionally, don’t you?

    (Response: Really glad to see them follow my example! 🙂 h.o

  • 21 John's Aghast // Feb 26, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Run the Ferries on Natural Gas.

  • 22 GeeBee // Feb 26, 2013 at 11:36 am

    Ummm Harv…..has the writ been dropped yet?

    (Response: Politicians sure don’t wait for the writ to be dropped before making all kinds of vows and promises of support to anyone and almost everyone before the writ is dropped, so why should they ONLY provide the public with answers on how they intend to pay for it after a writ? Maybe they just don’t know or have been flapping their gums to impress … without any idea at the time of how to pay for it all? h.o.)

  • 23 RichardV // Feb 26, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Blame the current fixed election date Harv. Precious little time for any opposition party to formulate a budget in such a short period of time. Secondly, the actual state of the government won’t be known until after the election.

    All the best Harv

    (Response: Then do you think they should stop promising all kinds of support to almost every community issue/group that has some cause? Or making expensive promises to the voters? h.o)

  • 24 Kreditanstalt // Feb 26, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    Perhaps a little ‘austerity’ ought instead to be imposed on government. How about the NDP promising to CUT spending?

    Every dollar taken out of the private economy via taxation is one less dollar available to promote investment and economic growth.

    (Response: Not a chance! h.o)

  • 25 Ed Seedhouse // Feb 26, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    h.o. – ” Then do you think they should stop promising all kinds of support to almost every community issue/group that has some cause?”

    Well as someone who belongs to a couple of these very community/issue groups I have to ask which ones you’ve been talking to? Certainly the NDP MLAs who have talked to the groups I belong to are doing nothing of the sort. They are, rather, talking about the financial difficulties they expect to be dealing with.

    “Or making expensive promises to the voters? h.o”

    What expensive unfunded promises has the NDP made to the voters at this point? I know of none, but perhaps I’m wrong. Can you give specific examples?

    Speaking as a low level and minor party “functionary” (member at large on a local executive) the word we are getting is precisely not to go overboard on promises because there’s a good chance we won’t be able to fund them, at least not in the first or second years.

    (Response: Surprsing that you …. a member of a local NDP executive..have to ask a retired reporter to detail NDP promises! LOL! Did I not hear YOUR leader and critics say health spending should be increased by another $250 MILLION …on top of the record $3 Billion announced by the Libs for the next three years? Didn’t Dix announce the NDP will spend$1 MILLION/Year for a Science World kids propgram. And have not NDP MLAs/critics over the past year or more promised MORE money for child poverty programs, social programs for youth and seniors, aboriginal assistance, homeless housing? You should also read Les Leyn’es recent piece in the Colonist “Promises, Promises from the BC NDP“. Too bad the party doesn’t keep members/executives better informed of what they say in interviews/speeches etc. h.o)

  • 26 deeby // Feb 26, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    Harv, as much as I agree that it MAY hurt them to withhold their platform until the election, how can they possibly compose a detailed one without better information about the revenue side of the ledger? I don’t recall concrete commitments beyond raising the business tax to 2008 levels.

    They’ve said nothing that precludes them seeking a modest mandate to the effect that all fiscal bets are on hold until the books are audited. Wouldn’t that and a commitment to root out cronyism and increase transparency be enough?

    (Response: See my response to Ed Seedhouse. It’s actually kind of amusing …how many people who seem to be NDP supporters kid of suggest I just ignore all those news clips and various speeches or during debates in the Legislature over the past year by NDP MLAs/critics calling for more spending on a wide variety of programs/projects. I’m not even saying many are not worthwhile …but JUST TELL US BEFORE THEY Are elected HOW ARE WE GOING TO PAY for it all … or is it all just empty rhetoric? h.o.)

  • 27 deeby // Feb 26, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    I’m not suggesting you ignore anything…but rhetoric in the house doesn’t equal concrete fiscal commitments, and the voting public know that.

    I believe they should explicitly seek a limited mandate to open up the books, root out the cronyism, and hold a BC Rail inquiry. That alone would net them a lot of support. They can then repeal that silly fixed election law and seek a mandate based on a reliable budget.

  • 28 SB // Feb 26, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    The NDP cant even see how cooked the books are if they make promised that are anything less than conservative you and every MSM outlet will be at them like pit bulls , a framework and platform would be good yes but im not sure how they can give much more without knowing just how bad BCs finances are and im betting iots as bad as its ever been.

    (Response: They’ve been going over the audited provincial books for years, so I suspect unless they’re totally incompetent, they have a pretty good idea of what’s going …or should. Otherwise, why are they already making costly promises? I’d bet their pre-election platform proposals for spending and revenues are already completed ….so why won’t they show it to us now? h.o)

  • 29 kootcoot // Feb 28, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    Just shutting off the tap of money to BC LIEberal friends for things such as Convention Centers, half a billion dollar roofs that don’t work right, IPP thirty year agreements to buy intermittent power at 3-10 times actual value, Pot of Money Port Mann Bridges and continuing to pour money into defending against illegal acts of government like tearing up contracts or paying bribes to the likes of Basi and Virk should free up enough funds to underwrite such minor costs as $250 mil to health care or one measly mil to the Science Center access for kids.

    Simply diverting all the billions going to friends of the LIEberals to the rest of average BCers would enable a hell of a lot of good, useful spending. Of course that will incur the wrath of the corporate elite, Howe Street and Wall Street!

  • 30 e.a.f. // Feb 28, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    trust me, I am not running for anything. O.K. I lied, I run after the dog, but that is it.

    the NDP maybe able to deal with decreased provincial income by simply addressing some of the issues of no planning and no management, no accountability. Health care is expensive but if no one takes responsibility for any actions money is wasted. Health care dollars could be increased by simply doing away with most of the overhead/ceos at the regional health authorities”.

    How about having a few orderlies who can actually do some of the heavy lifting and moving of patients.

    When I look at Richmond General and the number of management and office people there were when it opened and what they became, its mind boggling. Care hasn’t improved but there are a whole lot more non medical staff. Its health care, not paper care.

    Many ministries need to get back to basics and deal with issues at hand. This starts with accountablity for each cabinet minister, D.M. all the way down the line. No meetings more than an hr and not more than once a week. managers need to deal with their own dept issues. they get paid to manage, not meet.

    when the discuss “cutting back” they need to look at who gets paid the most and eliminate those positions. a few less senior managers in a hospital will result in a whole lot more money for a whole lot more cleaners.

  • 31 Larry Bennett // Feb 28, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    Well it is pretty obvious now, Harve that you have a huge lefty folowing, as they see you as being typically media type, as in MSM! I will agree with BillyP on one thing. I have never seen, in my life, such non-enforcement of traffic violations. I have stood here, where Grange meets Kingsway, in Burnaby, and watched for an hour while almost no vehicle stopped at the STOP sign posted there (for very good reason) except when a transit bus comes roaring along the outside lane. I have no use for people who treat STOP signs as if they were YIELDS! Nor do I have pity for those who speed through red lights. There is millions to be made out there if we can just get the police to do their jobs. When was the last time you saw a motorcycle traffic cop?

    (Response: It certainly has been my experience that the commentators/respondents in the blogosphere lean more towards the left, while talk radio is primarily hosted/followed by those on the right. I just try to keep it real …and am satisfied when both sides accuse me of favouring the other! 🙂 h.o