Tag Archives: Premier Christy Clark

Pay Increases for Premier Christy Clark’s Political Staffers

Teachers and public servants around BC are probably celebrating Premier Christy Clark’s first act upon re-election; Premier Clark has set the standard for how public servants will be compensated for the good work they do for British Columbians by handing out what can only be described as big pay raises.

John Horgan

John Horgan

However, New Democrat house leader John Horgan had a different view of the situation.

“Premier Clark has claimed that her priority is controlling spending. But already she is signing off on self-congratulatory raises for her political operatives. Combined with the appointment of a larger cabinet and 14 parliamentary secretaries, it’s clear this government’s message of fiscal restraint and spending control is a farce.”

Top pay for key political staff like ministerial assistants (newly renamed as “chiefs of staff” to ministers) will increase from $94,500 to $105,000, while the top salary for the premier’s chief of staff increases from $195,000 to $230,000.

Horgan pointed out the most egregious raise goes to Premier Clark’s new deputy chief of staff Michele Cadario. The new salary grid raises her top salary from $144,000 to $230,000. After serving as the deputy campaign director for the Liberal party in the recent election, Cadario’s starting salary in the Premier’s Office is more than $195,000.

“None of these increases for political staff were included in the Liberal platform,” said Horgan.

The escalation in pay comes at the same time that the government prepares to make cuts to vital public services with a “core review,” and seniors in residential care homes are already being asked to pay a fee to use a wheelchair.

“Will the core review continue in this direction, bringing in damaging cuts to health care, education, and supports for seniors and children, while giving generous rewards to Liberal insiders?” asked Horgan.

Premier Clark and the B.C. Liberals campaigned on balancing the budget, lowering the debt, increasing job creation, and protecting critical public services. New Democrats will fight to protect those public services and hold the government to account for misplaced priorities that put politics ahead of public service.

Premier Christy Clark to Run in Westside-Kelowna By-Election

As most of you know, Ben Stewart, the BC Liberal candidate who recently won the riding of Westside-Kelowna by several thousand votes has stepped down so that Premier Christy Clark could have a safe Liberal riding to run in a by-election.

Adrian Dix

Adrian Dix

After that news broke Adrian Dix issued the following statement;

“We are looking forward to running a strong campaign with an Okanagan candidate against the Premier in Westside-Kelowna…I will put every effort into supporting our candidate and making the case for strong, local representation in this by-election.”

Yes, the fact is Premier Christy Clark is parachuting into the riding of Westside-Kelowna and yes, it is a long way from where she lives. It is also true that Clark will not really be an effective MLA for the riding of Westside-Kelowna because she will be more focused on being the Premier of BC than she will be on representing the riding in which she is sure to get elected.

However, there is NO upside for the BC NDP to run a “strong campaign” in the by-election. What is the purpose in the BC NDP spending thousands of dollars on a by-election in which they are guaranteed to have their collective asses handed back to them? What is the win?

Long Distant [Political] Relationships

The following is from our contributor, William Perry

“Dear Editor: Letter: Long Distant [Political] Relationships

Keeping a relationship alive across the miles is no easy task. Maintaining a healthy relationship when their just not into you is almost impossible.

A few years ago, I accused my gal Carole of cheating on me. She admitted there was another guy, full of life, nice hair, very frisky. He was Dutch! I admit we had only known one position – her in front. When the Dutch guy came along she talked about her being on top. Where did that come from?!?

Then along came Adrian. He was exotic, but familiar; well connected, yet independent; serious, but flexible. And although he had been with Glen, It was love at first sight.

Less than a year later I feel somethings wrong. His attentions have turned toward another – a BEATCH named ‘Ambition’. He also seems to be in a constant state of balagan [agitation], and I know that infighting is thinly cloaked with promises. 

I am starting to think it’s me.

Now I’m considering another long-distance relationship, which may be strained by cultural gaps.

Christy, a rose among thorns, is traveled, compromising, accepting of my need of a middle position. It is her second go-round in a relationship, but I don’t care.

Some, however, worry that Christy’s obligations shackled to her work will end up depriving me of effective guidance, and her very own aura of something big and beautiful, tolerant and pristine may not manifest.

I’m getting older, and with few domestic candidates left, the tall order compels me to choose between, familiarity with Christy’s openness to work it out, or Adrian who I don’t, in honesty, really feel connected to.

“The question is trickier than you think. “

Phil Hochstein on BC Conservative-Liberal Merger

Yesterday I wrote a blog post on the B.C. Conservative’s lack of interest in a merger with the B.C. Liberals. In todays Vancouver Sun Vaughn Palmer discusses the same issue with Phil Hochstein.

Phil Hochstein

Phil Hochstein

Hochstein is more interested in seeing a right-wing merger than he is in waiting for the B.C. Liberals to completely crash and flame out.  On the other hand, John Cummins, the B.C. Conservative leader seems to be more than willingly to patiently wait to form government. It appears that he is actually willing to allow four or even eight years of an NDP government before he makes his move to form goverment.

Not the news that Phil Hochstein wants to hear.

BC Conservatives Watching, Waiting for the BC Liberal Collapse

While the chatter about a merger between the federal NDP and the Liberal Party of Canada is heating up again, it has become more than evident that the BC Conservatives are taking an entirely different approach to the “splitting the right-wing vote” in BC.

The leader of the BC Conservatives, John Cummins, seems more interested in helping the BC Liberals along their path to utter and complete destruction than he does in wooing any of the sitting B.C. Liberal MLAs.

It is appearing more and more likely that the BC Liberal “brand” is going to go the way of the old Socred brand; complete and total collapse. Once that happens, John Cummins will no longer have to worry about “splitting” the right-wing vote. The BC Conservative party will be the only viable choice for those inclined to vote against the New Democrats.

Is Harry Bloy Taking Career Advice from Charlie Sheen?

I can’t help but wonder if B.C. Liberal MLA Harry Bloy’s slow motion career train wreck is a preview of what Premier Christy Clark is going to experience.

To see the video of Harry Bloy doing his Kony 2012 meltdown imitation visit the CBC website.

Harry Bloy, the only B.C. Liberal MLA to endorse Christy Clark’s leadership bid has had a troubled relationship with his responsibilities in government. Bloy was dropped from the B.C. Liberal cabinet after a less than stellar performance in the ministry of social development (the Community Living debacle).

Bloy was then demoted to a cabinet position as minister of state for multiculturalism, a junior role with a low profile. He has since resigned from that cabinet position after it was revealed that he had leaked an email from The Province paper to a third party.

Now Premier Christy Clark is admitting that Bloy’s bizarre rant was “completely offside.” Yep.

John Van Dongen leaves the BC Liberals

The news broke about an hour ago, John Van Dongen has left the BC Liberals and is sitting as an independent member of the legislature. While he is sitting as an independent member, he has joined the John Cummins and the BC Conservative Party.

Not only has Van Dongen left the Christy Clark Liberals, he threw a couple verbal hand grenades back into her camp. He said that it is becoming increasingly difficult to explain to his constituents the government screw ups like the $6 million BC Rail write-off and the BC Place naming-rights embarrassment.

Interesting times, interesting times.

The William Perry File; BC Politics has been taken over by kooks

I have been sitting on this guest post (for no particular reason) from our frequent contributor, William Perry for more than a few days and seeing as it is a look into 2012, I thought it best to get it published sooner rather than later.

As always, I do not necessarily agree or disagree with the ideas expressed by guest posts. I simply post them for the sake of discussion.

Dear Editor: BC Politics has been taken over by kooks 

The Year of the Crazies

It’s that time of year when wags and pundits are supposed to gaze into their crystal ball and declare what the coming year holds. I don’t have a crystal ball. Never claimed to. But I don’t need one to tell you that 2012 is going to be a year of hard, mean politics in a province that is famous for bare-knuckled antics and shameful tactics.

Since the BC Liberals made themselves into a party in 1903, they have achieved much. Not a perfect record by any stretch of the imagination, still have been the power for the last ten years.

In contrast, the NDP, with that left-wing tilt has finally led the party to the logical and inevitable terminus, to the very brink of its own sanity. This year it looks like the grand old socialist party has finally stepped over that brink, and BC has led the parade all the way.

The late William F. Buckley Jr. said he had spent his life separating the kooks from the conservatives. Today, every political party has been taken over by the kooks, driven by the hype and hysteria of the ‘Me’ parties, and the psychotic intransigence of the no-tax pledge and personified by the likes of Adrian Dix and Christy Clark – who represent opposite polls of likeable.

In recent years, BC Liberals have demonstrated their true loyalties, fighting to remove environmental regulations, and those hindrances of economic prosperity. On the other side of the Leg, the NDP call themselves the party of personal freedom, and they show their love by opposing legislation to protect the right of BCers to use obsolete incandescent light bulbs, but they would not amend their own Constitution to empower the right women to take the reins of leadership.

The circus of wannabe premier candidates has been crisscrossing the province in an interminable series of town hall discussions, although they do all the talking, where we have seen the party faithful applaud Adrian Dix’s record vintage 4 o’clock.

The most recent of polls show the current premier/former talk show host leading the field of likeables. In the party preference the NDP is ahead for now. Let me say that again: For Now!

With a tooted victory bringing Federal shipbuilding to BC, Clark’s image will most certainly be deliberated in all regions of the province. Dix being on the anti-HST winning team is yet to yield it’s final approval ratings.

The possibilities are endless to whom will carrying the BC flag in next election’s victory speech, but the prospect has made the New Democrats absolutely giddy. They love the thought of victory so much that they intend to cross the straight by foot. This, of course, will lead to outraged squealing and squirting by aggrieved Liberals, demanding strict party registration in future elections.

Oh, where will it end? Where will it end?

The other political story to watch next year involves the BC Conservative Party and the BC First Party. It is hard to imagine how either can run afoul given the competition: Christy Clark’s mishandling of “fill in the blank”, and Adrian Dix’s dredging [pot kettle black] may prove to be an epic fiasco for both parties.

Will we see the Leg be better behaved and functional in 2012? I personally doubt it.

But, by all means, Stay tuned.

Premier Christy Clark’s Jobs Plan

Premier Christy Clark

Premier Christy Clark

With great fanfare and aplomb Premier Christy Clark presented her much anticipated “Jobs Plan” for the people of BC. After her week long tour of the province though it remains somewhat unclear just where, when by whom or how the jobs are going to be created.

When asked for information on her jobs plan, questions like how many jobs she anticipates this plan creating, she replied that she didn’t want to get tied up with “specifics.” When asked by reporters why she didn’t include specific targets in her plan she replied, “I’m not going to get into playing that game.”

Having a look at her plan it is quite difficult to understand just where the jobs will be created. There was nothing for the areas where there are significant numbers of unemployed people. Nothing about the Kootenays or Vancouver Island. Nothing about the forest industry.

On the first day of Premier Christy’s provincial tour I tweeted something to the effect that the job creation plan was not actually about teaching people how to dismantle and pack up the remaining sawmills in BC. However, that may as well be the case. There is nothing in the jobs plan to address the loss of jobs due to the export of raw logs.

In the old days (way back in the 1990s) we lamented the fact that there wasn’t more secondary manufacturing of the lumber leaving our province. Back then people in the forest industry would go on and on about the fact that Sweden had developed such extensive secondary manufacturing (think IKEA) and would ask why we couldn’t do things like that here. The question that was continuously being asked was why was it that we simply exported our lumber and did not make anything out of the lumber.

Now we don’t even bother cutting the logs into lumber. We export the logs in their raw form. Quite sickening.

As far as the job creation plan went, there was nothing about developing tourism in BC. There was nothing in her plan about BC agriculture. There was nothing in her plan to help people gain the new skills or how to further their education to make them more employable.

More of the same Christy Clark; all sizzle and no steak.

Premier Christy Clark and BCeSIS

Interesting how everything that has gone sour for the BC Liberals seems to be a direct result of a decision made by Christy Clark back when she was in Gordon Campbell’s government.

Premier Christy Clark

Premier Christy Clark

Take for example the consultant’s report showing that the $100 million student data collection program, BCeSIS, is inadequate, overpriced and needs to be replaced. Can you guess who was in the Ministry of Education when BCeSIS was purchased? Why of course that decision can be traced back to then-Minister of Education, Christy Clark.

The program, called BCeSIS, is supposed to collect data on all the students in British Columbia’s education system. It costs school districts at least $10 per student per year, and has been plagued by crashes during periods of peak use. The Liberal government commissioned a report into whether or not to keep the beleaguered system or scrap it altogether. The report, which emerged this week, recommends that the program be scrapped.

“This program was brought in by Christy Clark as education minister and has been draining millions of dollars a year out of an already cash-strapped school system.  It is so poorly designed that there are crashes and login queues at registration and report card time,” said Robin Austin, BC NDP education critic. “The Liberal government needs to stop hiding from this mess, and tell taxpayers the truth about whether or not they actually did due diligence before tossing almost $100 million down the drain, at a time when school districts are struggling to pay for basic services.”