Opinion

BASS: Clark’s desperation grows as provincial election approaches

Don’t get too excited about Premier Christy Clark’s promise to widen the Trans-Canada Highway from Kamloops to the Alberta border.

It will never happen.

There are so many reasons why it won’t happen.

First, the province can’t even get some roadwork done in an area just east of the city that everyone knows is a danger.

Politicians have been talking about it since we moved here in 1999, but it never happens.

The cost alone of such an ambitious project — Clark has added $509 million to the $141 million already in the budget to take the highway to four lanes all the way to the Rockies — is well beyond prohibitive.

There’s no money there.

We all know there’s no money there for health care or education or disabled folks. So, for Clark to think she can find the money to widen the highway is laughable.

It was just a desperate ploy and the fact Clark didn’t give the rest of us enough credit that we would see right through her is almost as annoying as her pronouncement.

Ditto for scrapping the privatization of the provincial liquor-distribution system. There is no way Clark did that because she listened to the union representing the workers.

More likely, she added up the headlines of stories questioning the oh-so-close relationship between Clark, the company that has been lobbying for the change to happen and Excel’s lobbyist, the guy who happened to run Clark’s campaign for the B.C. Liberal        Party leadership.

He also ran a campaign or two for Gordon Campbell, so his status as a card-carrying Liberal is pretty well established.

I don’t even need those reasons to know there’s no way I could support Clark having another term.

Just knowing she allowed her former chief of staff to continue as the boss of a female worker he allegedly harassed — and that’s a generous description — while an investigation took place is stunning.

Such lack of compassion and understanding — I know, innocent until proven guilty, but really?

Can you imagine being on either side of that situation?

Somehow, just days after others in her cabinet told us all there’s no money for anything, Clark also managed to find another $200 million to allocate for projects that, she must be thinking, voters will love.

Again, I doubt if that money is there and will be spent.

I really like the government announcing all those charging stations for electric cars — eight will be installed at Thompson Rivers University — just days before Toyota announced it isn’t going ahead with its latest planned electric car, with the company’s president saying electric cars really don’t work well in today’s society.

Even this week, after saying she doesn’t know what kind of financial impact the proposed Enbridge pipeline will have in B.C., she called it chump change while sparring again with Alberta Premier Alison Redford about the Northern Gateway project.

It’s one or the other — unknown or known and chump change.

It can’t be both.

Frankly, the next provincial election can’t come soon enough.

It’s painful watching someone who is fundamentally a lame-duck premier afraid to call the legislature to order — and not too welcome in Victoria anyway, given how she described politics there as a sick culture.

That doesn’t mean what comes next will be any better, but it will at least  — if the polls are right — be a bit different.

We’ll have a whole new cabinet to watch, question, criticize and, most likely, wish out of office in a few years.

It’s the one thing I was told by friends when we were preparing to move to B.C.

“The politics are strange there,” my friends said.

“They go from far right to far left every few years and they’re always trying to put their premiers in jail.”

At least Clark’s been spared that kind of judicial overview — although the B.C. Rail scandal is still sitting out there, with all the questions that still surround it.

dale@kamloopsthisweek.com

 

 

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