Political Scandals: Nothing New In BC

The Libertarian movement as a whole has always cared deeply about government accountability. The BC Libertarian Party in particular is well aware that British Columbia is no stranger to scandal and controversy. Many remember the Raids that took place during Railgate and the FastCat Fiasco “Ferrygate”.

Oh, we’re used to hearing that the BC Premier has been arrested in Hawaii for a DUI or that the Opposition Leader is fooling around with his House Whip. We’re also used to hearing that public spending has gotten out of hand again, the debt is going to end up being bigger than expected, and that projects will finish over-budget and later than expected.

Then there’s Casinogate, the “Brick” BCRIC Social Credit bungle, the Liberal Quick Wins scandal…

None of that even comes close to the unexplainable scene playing out right now in the Legislature; this is a truly bizarre series of allegations and suspensions unprecedented in BC history.

Speaker of the Legislature Darryl Plecas is the target of allegations that he asked a personal friend (Alan Mullen) to conduct a secret investigation into two senior officials, raise suspension around the men and then try to install his friend into one of their vacant positions. According to Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, Alan Mullen had been conducting a clandestine investigation for over seven months into current sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz, as well as legislature clerk Craig James. (Essentially, the chief-of-security and secretary of the BC Legislature.)

Lenz and James were placed on administrative leave Tuesday and marched out of the building by Victoria peace officers. Mullen, a former corrections manager at the Kent Institution, said he’d provided his investigative findings to the RCMP, which confirmed they are investigating under the direction of two special prosecutors.

Here’s the strange thing. It’s still not known what James or Lenz are actually accused of doing. No charges have been laid and neither James nor Lenz has been arrested.

Alan Mullen told media this past week that he was hired by Plecas in January to investigate Lenz and James (The Abbotsford News reported that Mullen worked on Plecas’s election campaigns). But the elected MLAs were unaware of this covert operation. Mullen said he has conducted federal corrections investigations but admitted he has no legal training.

It’s incredibly important for British Columbians to be paying attention to what is happening in the BC Legislature at this time. The government must be completely accountable to the people and there are laws on the books to make sure that public servants can’t get away with criminal activities. But the lack of clarity around this scene is just as confusing; as it unfolds, British Columbians are told next to nothing about the investigations being conducted. Perhaps this means that we as citizens have to be more vocal towards the BC NDP and the RCMP about what we expect as Canadians.

If the public isn’t properly informed about these kinds of scandals as soon as possible, how can we be expected to make informed decisions as voters and as taxpayers?

 

 

 

Regional Constituency Associations – Your Party In Your Community

Collectively the Associations make up the “Regional Caucus of the Party” representing your local interests and chaired by the Regional Caucus Chair, Dr. Kenneth Van Dewark. All Party members are automatically members within their local Association based on their primary place of residence.

The reason why constituency associations or “riding associations” are so important is that they allow you to take part in party activities and learn about exciting events from the comfort of your local community. Every member who joins the BC Libertarian party automatically becomes a member of their local BCLP Constituency Association and that is based on your place of residence and local election riding, which is part of the information provided by you when you register as a member.

The BC Libertarian party is proud to be a genuine grassroots movement party. We’re built by the wonderful citizens of British Columbia to create a government FOR the people of British Columbia. We believe in ideals such as cooperation, individual freedom & responsibility, free market capitalism, direct democracy and the rule of law. Because of these ideas and principles that we hold so dear we know that it is extremely important to have British Columbians across the province directly involved in the important decisions made about how our party is structured. This also allows us to empower local CAs with the tools they need to run fun local liberty events and building powerful election campaigns.

When it comes to having individual members of the party directly involved in giving us their feedback or in having party members freely submit policy ideas to the leader and board for consideration, We have a strong track record of listening to our members. We are excited and energized by the contributions that our members make every single day and we look forward to hearing your ideas on how to make British Columbia a freer and fairer society.

To find your local constituency associations, click here.

To view our platform and recent policy announcements click here.

To volunteer and contribute as much as you possibly can click here.

To donate and help us build a war chest for 2021 you can click here.

 

Mike Sidhu: “Corporate Welfare”

Mike Sidhu – Party member

Nov 8, 2018

I love how checking facts make everything so clear – if we are willing to pay attention to them.

THESIS – both Conservative and Liberal governments dump billions to bail out Canadian corporations that have nothing to return. This is not capitalism. It’s welfare programs for companies – cronyism – where the backdoor deals are made for the benefit of the few, and tax dollars are siphoned out of the system to prop up companies whose executives and boards made bad business decisions. My argument is we should stop corporate bailouts altogether no matter who holds political power.

Case in point? Bombardier.

Fact 1. Bombardier was in serious trouble, and was granted provincial and federal government bailout money as part of a restructuring plan that would include 14,500 layoffs worldwide.

Fact 2. Bombardier has received over $2,000,000,000 in government money in the last decade, and the government has written off undisclosed sums in the past. The last $370 Million announced in 2017 was an interest free loan, even though the Canadian government owes interest. Because the amortization period is INDEFINITE, the interest on this amount is incalculable. When the only thing propping up your balance sheet is government loans, you’re in trouble.

Fact 3. Justin Trudeau February 9 2017, “We are pleased that this loan of almost $400 Million to Bombardier is going to create thousands of good quality middle class jobs across the country”

(He also said that approving the TransMountain pipeline would create 15,000 middle class jobs) Unfortunately, the illusion of job creation allowable with these loans did nothing to create jobs in Quebec, let alone around the world. This will be something politicians may want to consider in campaigning in 2019.

Fact 4. Within weeks of the bailout announcement, Executives at Bombardier gave themselves a 50% pay raise, which was later delayed until 2020 under intense public pressure and protest.

Fact 5. Swedish courts charge Bombardier with bribery and collusion with a project in Azerbaijan less than 2 months after the loans are announced.

Fact 6. Bombardier stock price has been muddled in ups and downs since February 2017 and is worth approximately the same today. They have burned through $370 Million in cash this last quarter. According to the Financial Post today, the only way they will produce a profit is to include the $650 Million proceeds of sale on their Toronto land. Net assets are -$11,672,000 USD.

Fact 7. November 8 2018, CEO Alain Bellemare announced 5,000 job cuts and the sale of its Q400 turboprop business, and shares tumbled.

SUMMARY

The facts prove that the Federal government has no accountability in being wrong on their spending to bail out large “systemically important” companies. Their main claim to fame is that Bombardier still exists, but that’s like washing the dishes on the Titanic – the ship’s still going down bro.

What’s problematic is the decision-making process to invest in the private market, the corporate welfare system, and the siphoning off of billions of dollars of taxpayer money to this end means that the money collected could have been better used (or not collected at all) for other issues. This is a classic example of Keynesian economic miscalculation, where governments are responsible to step in and spend money.

A company that has more than $28 Billion USD in long and short term debts would take more than 65 years to pay these off if they paid $100 Million every single year. But for a company who lost more than $8 Billion in the last four years, that might take longer than Canadian taxpayers are willing to wait.

C. Welwood: “Why Socialist Countries Don’t Celebrate Halloween”

Halloween is a quintessentially modern North American holiday. With its costume parties, trick-or-treating, and extravagant decorations, Halloween traditions are a product of material abundance. Environmentalists and health nuts may bemoan it as an indulgence in throw-away culture and gluttony, but if you’ll look past the surface you’ll see that the reason traditions like trick-or-treating have become widespread is due to the high level of social trust we enjoy in this part of the world.

When you think about it, for parents to allow their children to roam the neighbourhood collecting candy from strangers’ is pretty strange. And for home-owners, the idea of giving out food, at their own expense, to random kids dressed as witches and goblins is rather odd. What if someone intentionally or unintentionally poisons the kids? What if someone abducts or abuses them? And what’s the point of spending one’s hard-earned money on candy for kids one probably doesn’t know and who eat too much sugar already?

Certainly some people don’t participate in Halloween for these reasons and others, but it’s remarkable how many people do. The stories are razor blades in Halloween candy are so rare that they make national headlines—they are the exceptions that prove the rule, and the rule seems to be Halloween is quite safe.

What do we have to thank for this milieu of general trust and safety in neighbourhoods across North America? A large part of the credit has to go to our economic system of free enterprise. It’s a system that has made us very wealthy on the whole, compared to previous generations, and with the growth in income, the incidence of crime has fallen dramatically. Societies that have economies based largely on voluntary exchange also foster higher levels of trust between strangers. Such exchanges normally leave both parties better off, and the cumulative effect of these win-win interactions builds weaves inter-personal trust into the fabric of the culture. Compare that to countries where prosperity has historically been seen as a zero-sum game, and the method to achieving it is to gain military or political power, or make oneself useful to those who wield it. So, no surprise Halloween hasn’t taken hold in Venezuela, Sierra Leone, Cuba, or the People’s Republic of China.

We also wouldn’t experience Halloween in its current form without the high levels of economic specialization and free trade we enjoy today. A huge variety of costumes are available for purchase for very reasonable prices, decorations cost very little, and candies and snacks are so cheap that giving dozens of them away makes no noticeable impact on most people’s budgets. Innovations in production, retail and transportation, plus the removal or reduction of tariffs and other trade barriers have made these goods are very affordable.

Much like the other North American autumn holiday (Thanksgiving), Halloween is a celebration of abundance. And though there are risks associated with over-indulgence (like chocolate gorging tummy-aches, or pumpkin ale hangovers), they sure beat going door to door asking for food out of hunger, or being stuck at home because it isn’t safe to go out at night.