Politically Crackin’: Oh Christy, Where Art Thou?
Living here in Alberta, we happen to have â€śBeautiful British Columbiaâ€ť next door, with its rugged untamed wilderness, hot summers, and cosmopolitan Vancouver a quick plane flight (or a dayâ€™s drive) away. But my home province also offers Albertans a perhaps far better gift: one you donâ€™t even need to go there to receive.
No, Iâ€™m not talking about a convenient shipping port for Albertan oilsands. I am talking about lessons in the proper, or perhaps more accurately, improper way to run a provincial government. And thereâ€™s close to twelve years worth of almost daily lessons of that kind under the BC Liberal Party regime.
One â€śclassicâ€ť was the revelation last month that the BC Liberal government â€śforced BC Hydro to sign lucrative contracts with private-sector power producersâ€ť — causing a springtime loss of 180 million dollars. Why? BC Hydro was apparently directed to literally ignore its own generation capacity, and spill nearly a billion cubic feet of water over its dams, and then pay over six times the market price of electricity to buy power from these private power companies.
Of course, as we know very well here in the Fort, if our government wants to build and open a hospital, they do it. Thatâ€™s not exactly what happens in BC, though. Folks in beautiful Nelson, BC have seen the grand opening of their hospitalâ€™s ER put off not once, not twice, not thrice, but four times, most recently because the flooring in the renovated ER and diagnostic imaging centre was so flawed it has to be reinstalled. Asking the Health Minister when the delays would stop, Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall was apparently told the government couldnâ€™t promise there would be no further delays.
And where is their Premier during this? Well, instead of being in Edmonton attending the Western Premiersâ€™ Conference earlier this week, BC Premier Christy Clark was apparently busily working on high-priority policy items, such as declining a naked kitesurfing trip with British billionaire Richard Branson, and heckling an Opposition MLA who dared support banning cosmetic pesticide use.
So, next time you want to know if your government is doing things right, look to BC. If itâ€™s different than their approach, itâ€™s probably the right way to go.