Some Questions for Premier Campbell…

On Friday, Premier Gordon Campbell returns from the Beijing Olympics ..and the media will no doubt have questions for him about the salary increases recently granted to B.C.’s 100 top government servants.

But let’s hope they do not miss the really key questions Campbell deserves to be hammered on: that I believe show his government’s total disrespect for the people of B.C.

Sure, there will be the standard queries about why the the raises of 22 to 43 per cent were handed out. And Campbell will be ready for that … reciting pat answers about the need to remain competitive with the private sector, and the need to attract/keep top people etc.

And most B.C. reporters will go away happy with their clip … file a story and head off to start their weekend. Story done.

NOT!!!

Because the real stink from these raises goes beyond the fact that the top deputy minister’s salary could now top $348,000.  (By the way the Prime Minister’s salary/indemnity is only $310,800 .. . now LESS than a potential B.C. deputy minister!!!)

What Campbell really has to be pressed on is the smell emanating from the WAY this announcement was handled.

I understand the actual decision to grant these huge increases was actually made in July. They went INTO EFFECT Aug. 1.  BUT the government waited to make the salary increases public until Friday, Aug 8 … the day of the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics,  when Campbell would be out of the country ….  and almost everyone’s attention would be focussed overseas.

The Premier needs to answer for THIS!  This is almost worse than the unjustifiable salary boosts themselves.

Does he have so little respect for the people of the province to make the announcement this way and at that time?

Did he do it to deliberately try to slip under the radar? (I’d love to see him look into the cameras, right at the people of B.C.,  and deny it.)

Why didn’t he face the media and the people of the province directly when the decision was made?

What does the way it was all handled say about Campbell’s real opinion of the naievety and stupidity of B.C. voters? Especially when it’s THEIR money he is spending.

And the intrepid reporter who asks these questions should not be satisified with some sort of quick soppy clip: I believe the way this was all done shows such a disdain for the people of the province,  the Premier should be pushed on this very hard.

Harv Oberfeld

p.s. If you want more details on these increases and some really interesting comparisons, I would recommend Bill Tieleman’s piece Tuesday in 24 Hours  http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/Columnists/home.html

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4 Responses to Some Questions for Premier Campbell…

  1. Patrick Bell (NOT the MLA) says:

    Does he have so little respect for the people of the province to make the announcement this way and at that time?

    Yup. Pure arrogance.

    Hey Mr. Oberfeld. Do you think if I mentioned that I was thinking about getting into public office here in BC on your blog it may come back to haunt me in the future? Given that I am already 43 years old, formally educated without a pot to pee in, I am trying to figure out a relatively quick way to solidify a beefy pension. *wink wink*

    Response; Well, at least your being honest! LOL
    h.o.

  2. Brian Gough says:

    (Edited in part, to cover my ass legally! 🙂 h.o.
    Campbell can spin and back flips but he can`t keep any commitments,what is he going to do about the vancouver eastside and homelessness? Will he house them in those temporary incarceration tents in the interior,will he ship them out like they did at the atlanta games?
    Those sro hotels didn`t provide even 1 new housing unit,for they were already occupied.
    Assisted living and shelter beds are not answeres,I expect if Campbell gets re-elected (god forbid) that sometime in the fall of 2009 to have laws passed making homelessness or outdoor living illegal,yea the NDP weren`t perfect and there was a drug and homeless problem but the problem has flourished and doubled under Campbells watch and he has had big surpluses to use to solve or eleviate this problem but he has done nothing!
    Campbell is still 4500 short on long term seniors care beds (remember his 2001 promise)
    What about his 2005 election promise and photo-op at surrey memorial hospital with Abbott and Baldrey and all the media –A new emergency department and out patient hospital and ambulatory unit–The election promise stated construction was to start in 2007 and the projects were to be completed by 2009/2010—Well 2007 is gone,2008 is over half gone and there still isn`t a shovel in the ground and the only 2×4 used so far is to hold up his election promise billboard! The latest I have heard is construction is to start in june 2009—Funny how all the new timelines are right after the next election.

    The evergreen was SUPPOSED to start in 2008,now it isn`t to start until late 2009 or 2010
    Cap n trade for big polluters 2011

    HEU–Autistic–Disabled–Seniors–Children–Highest child poverty rate in Canada 5 straight years–WCB has been gutted, 12 biilion dollar surplur for WCB,2001 500 plus injury pensions,2003 none-2004 none–2005 none–2006 -60
    This premier is pure evil—

  3. Clayton Perrin says:

    Hey Harv, did Premier Soupy ever respect the voters? I doubt it. Stroking the voters is the way to rationalize the ends justifying the means. In other words, we the people are viewed as so ignorant we get the government that we vote for. Consequently, we get Gordon Campbell and Carol James. A medicore clown like Campbell will trot out the old Spiro Agnew line about the “Nattering Nabob’s of Negativity” or claim they’re members of the NDP disguised as journalists whenever somebody complains. As far as a reporter asking the hard questions about excessive pay raises, they’ll never get close enough to be heard.

  4. RS says:

    Hey Harv! Ever consider retiring from retirement? Surely the chicanery, opaqueness and arrogance of Campbell and his highly paid lackeys is enough to get you back into the fray ‘n’ ask the tough questions.
    Perhaps Keeping it Real… constitutes semi-retirement and we thank you for that!

    Response: thanks for the kind comments: I am amazed and somewhat saddened by the number of people i run into everywhere who wish I would get back to work. The new generation of reporters should be taking over .. but seems to me the media bosses now prefer to hire the younger, cheaper, shallower newbies to cover fires, accidents, shooting and who can be pushed around more easily. As for me ..there is a story behind what happened to me after retirement … and so many have asked, watch for it in the blog later this week (off to enjoy a midday walk right now! 🙂

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