The British Columbia Liberal Government throne speech for 2013 was something else indeed, not quite sure what they wanted to accomplish, the speech itself was delivered with a chop and stop style, there was no verbal fluidity to our Lieutenant General`s delivery., the entire throne speech seemed to bounce back n forth, it started with partisan warnings and scare tactics similar to language used in the Governments jobs plan advertising blitz then the script quickly jumped into the LNG focal point, time and time again I thought the "gas" industry topic would end and a new area of focus would be discussed but that didn`t happen, maybe that`s what flustered the speech reader, perhaps Judith Guichon couldn`t believe the words she was being asked to utter, picture a professional or someone esteemed or deemed honourable, imagine making that person present a speech that..
That reaches beyond reach, a speech so filled with hyperbole, imagine someone with a decent reputation having to tell his or her compatriots that we will pave the streets with gold, colonize the moon, deliver excessive monies to health, to education, to all ministries, remove all consumer taxation, pay down all accumulated debt, and more, a super-fund for tomorrow`s children, imagine being a respected scholar, a person of wisdom and out you`re sent to deliver the verbal message foretelling of the coming garden of eden, the promised land, a place where poisonous apples and bad tooth fairies don`t exist, perhaps that was the reason for the speaker`s stammered delivery..
Look, not that I`ll ever be Lieutenant General but if I was, if I was a handed that speech..I`d be partway through and stop and say to the crowd of interested listeners, "come on, you can`t be serious, $trillions?..Really, what a load of....." ..But I digress..Even Geoff Morrison of CAPP is balking at the new lucrative LNG tax mentioned in the throne speech, that tells me and all British Columbians that this throne speech was written in a rush...Perhaps written on the back of an envelope on way to the people`s house..
Maybe that is today`s society, the big splash, the numbers in $Millions and $Billions mean nothing, now they need to use numbers in the $trillions to create a buzz, so over-reaching were the financial projections that any seriousness or legitimacy to the speech vanished, a smarter strategy would have been to use tiny but boastful numbers, realistic numbers, but not a chance, the throne speech grasped at the unattainable, a speech filled with promises of streets paved in gold, stoplight free and nary a traffic jam..
The enormous financial numbers don`t add up, ...
1)20 years with no provincial sales tax($5 billion to $6 billion in Sales tax revenue per year comes to Government)..20 years worth...$120 billion dollar.
2)LNG to fund health and education and other ministries, those are big ministries, let`s add in more funding to MCFD, let`s call that extra funding into ministries..$3 billion per year....25 years worth...$75 billion dollars.
3)Debt elimination..BC Debt(not counting IPP contracts, bridge contracts, PPPs, BC Ferry debt, BC Hydro debt, contractual commitments to Pavco, convention center, Translink, etc etc etc)..Just the BC Debt, $60 billion dollars, lets add carrying costs over 20 years on our BC debt(BC pays about $2 billion dollars in interest per year on our BC debt), Let`s add $30 billion dollars more....That`s $90 billion dollars..
Now let`s pay off the Port mann..$4 billion..
BC Hydro..$8 billion..
Translink..$5 billion, but really????
Total so far..
$120 billion..Sales tax.
$75 billion..To ministries
$90 billion..Debt elimination
$17 billion...BC Hydro, BC Ferries..
Total so far...$302 Billion dollars...And guess what, we haven`t even put $1 dollar in the prosperity fund..And surely over 30 years we`ll need a new bridge or two, new hospitals, new ferries, new key infrastructure and no doubt mayors and Translink will have transit wet dreams, let`s add another $50 billion for those items..$50 billion..
$352 billion dollars and counting, we are going to need a whole bunch more LNG freezers..
Maybe cynicism is our new normal, this Liberal Government has made many throne speeches, the year of the child throne speech, those promises never once lifted British Columbia out of last place in child poverty for the nation, ..The year of the senior throne speech, we have an acute care bed crises in BC, we have systemic under funding, residential care bed shortage and a near non-existent home-care service, not even a strategy, maybe this year an actual seniors advocate will be appointed, maybe even empowered,..
We had a Liberal throne speech on science, a throne speech on climate change, on our green future and now we have a Government on the verge of tearing up what was already near unattainable green house gas reduction targets, now it`s burn burn burn, burn burn burn as the public still pays a carbon tax, how cynical can a Government be, those GHG reductions laws must now be torn up, they can join the shredded law Governing balanced budgets, the one that has been torn up 8 times in the last 12 years...LNG won`t be a green house gas, not in BC, only in other jurisdictions, Christy Clark has put molecular science on it`s ear..We have had throne speech after throne speech promise us a golden decade, promised change, promised a caring thoughtful Government, promised us a future as an electrical exporting superpower and not one of those past throne speeches came to fruition..
Last month Christy Clark was being asked about her Government`s sketchy Jobs Plan advertising blitz, she was asked about the veracity of the advertisement`s claims, she responded by saying and I quote..
"The advertising is meant to make people feel good"
Yesterday`s BC Liberal Government throne speech was the same thing, a feel good message devoid of facts, details or reality..
When the Lotto Max reaches $50 million dollars or the 6/49 reaches $30 million dollars I buy a ticket, fill out a slip and pick a few numbers, once home, relaxing, thinking about waking up to $millions, all the family`s debt will be paid, a new car, new boat, finer threads and world travel, my heads spins in anticipation of spreading a lottery windfall around, charities and good causes, maybe even a plaque on a library wall, I`ll fall asleep and dream of golden unicorns and flying pigs...
And when I awake, same clouds, same traffic jams, same monthly bills arriving in my mail box and the same digital message from the machine that checks lottery tickets..
Sorry not a winner, please try a again
BC Liberal Throne Speech, Lottery, Cha Cha Cha..Bring on the Landslide
The Straight Goods
Cheers Eyes Wide Open