Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bill Vander Zalm & Bill Tieleman fight the HST together - Vancouver rally Saturday 12 noon outside Canada Place

Bill Tieleman & Bill Vander Zalm - BC Shipyard Workers protest - 2004

Zalm Hates the HST, too

Why the former Socred premier and I are fighting together on Saturday

Bill Tieleman's 24 hours/The Tyee column

September 15, 2009

"We definitely mishandled the introduction of the HST, which, to me, verifies the fact that we didn't plan on this."

- B.C. Liberal MLA Ron Cantelon

I spent several years doing everything I could to defeat former B.C. Premier Bill Vander Zalm and his right-wing Social Credit government.

But this Saturday, September 19 at 12 noon outside Canada Place in downtown Vancouver, I will be honoured to share the stage with him!

So what happened? Most recently, the outrageously unfair Harmonized Sales Tax, which Premier Gordon Campbell wants to impose -- a tax that will add 7 per cent to the cost of a wide range of goods and services currently exempt from Provincial Sales Tax.

That alone explains politics making strange bedfellows. It's why I am working with Vander Zalm, B.C. Conservative Party Deputy Leader Chris Delaney, business groups and others to fight the HST.

It's why B.C. New Democratic Party Opposition Leader Carole James will be introduced by Vander Zalm, her political opposite on many issues.

But this isn't the first time I've worked with Bill Vander Zalm, B.C.'s colourful and controversial premier from 1986 to 1991.

Against selling out citizens

When the B.C. Liberal government in 2002 suddenly moved to privatize one-third of B.C. Hydro's operations, I contacted Vander Zalm -- which led me to be MC for "A Premier Event" -- a major protest in 2003 featuring Vander Zalm and former NDP Premier Dave Barrett -- together for the first time, with then-NDP House Leader Joy MacPhail, then-Unity Party Leader Delaney and then-Green Party Leader Adrian Carr.

All agreed Campbell's plan was a disastrous reversal of former Social Credit Premier W.A.C. Bennett's brilliant 1961 takeover of privately-held B.C. Electric, showing the B.C. Liberals had abandoned citizens from the political centre, left and right.

Later Bill Vander Zalm joined labour unions, community groups, the NDP and Unity to fight against the $1 billion privatization of former Crown Corporation B.C. Rail to CN Rail -- another giveaway deal that has hurt the province immensely -- and led to the longest and biggest political scandal in decades -- the B.C. Legislature Raid case, and a trial yet to begin.

And finally I was pleased to work with Vander Zalm again when my clients, the B.C. Shipyard and General Workers' Federation, and many others fought the decision by B.C. Ferries and the B.C. Liberals in 2004 to build three Super C ferries worth $542 million in Germany, refusing to even allow Vancouver Shipyards to make a bid on the project.

When Bill Vander Zalm took to the stage at a rally of 500 shipyard workers outside Vancouver Shipyards alongside B.C. Federation of Labour President Jim Sinclair, it was an amazing sight.

But it was also appropriate, as Sinclair pointed out, and as the workers fully recognized.

After all, as premier, Vander Zalm was responsible for the decision to build the highly-successful Spirit of British Columbia and Spirit of Vancouver Island super ferries in B.C. shipyards, creating thousands of jobs and keeping millions of dollars of investment in the province.

Bill Vander Zalm, unlike Campbell and the B.C. Liberals, believes in standing up for British Columbia and its citizens, not selling them out.

Rally Saturday at noon

While I do not agree with him on all things political, Vander Zalm has proven time and again to understand the enormous negative impact of decisions made by Campbell on ordinary British Columbians and to speak out despite pressure from some to remain quiet.

I look forward to working with him and all others who believe the HST is a terrible tax for our province that will hurt our economy, deepen the recession and cost us jobs. This issue is too important to not work together and overcome some political differences so we can defeat it.

So please attend the Vancouver Fight HST rally on Saturday September 19 at 12 noon outside Canada Place, or other events in your area. Find out more about it here.


Eleanor Gregory said...

Bill Vander Zalm has always tapped into a populist core of citizens whose political views otherwise may be left, centre, right or not even on the spectrum. W.A.C. Bennett tapped into that populist core as well.

Anonymous said...

gordon campbell is an anchor around the neck of BC,the sooner he's gone the better,saw him on the tube last night at the hockey game and shut it off! He looks just like the Kreiger's cartoon my God how can anyone vote for a puke like that or any of his silent back benchers and ida chong looked like a deer caught in the head lights and these are our best and brightest we pay dearly for? LOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

kootcoot said...

I agree with Eleanor re: both the Zalm and W.A.C. Of course Gordo is enough to inspire a campaign of "anybody but," or ABC, like Danny Boy in Newfoundland - one of the few real leaders inhabiting Canada these days - launched against Stevie and the PsuedoCons during the last federal stealth election.

I caught the same newscast as anon above and agree. Seeing Gordo almost ruined my appetite for dinner and Ida Chong was astoundingly stunned. So now the liaRs are going to use their incompetence somehow as proof of their honesty....say what?

You would think with all the great minds of the black arts of communication that we pay for ensconced in the Public Affairs Bureau, ministers like Ms. Chong could be given a bit of preparation or at least a simple script......her clumsy avoidance of the question was embarrassing, even to me - and it ain't like I voted for her - it's embarrassing to live in the same province. With ministers like I saw on the news last night, it is clear that the liaRs lack depth on the bench.

Anonymous said...

O for 3. That's a rather demoralizing historical record Bill. Good luck though! Really!

It's high time this tin-pot despot was outsted from power and exciled on a remote island somewhere.

Anonymous said...

So according to you Tieleman the HST is “outrageously unfair” yet the PST gives a free ride to all kinds of rich man’s pursuits such Golf & Country club dues, yacht moorage, ski resort use, fine dinning, aircraft storage, spa visits, and the list continues.

HST will put an end to the rich folk getting a free ride and means everyone pays equally for how they spend their money. To me that is fair. I am tired of the rich getting a free ride. Small wonder a millionaire like Vander Zalm does not like the HST being a cheap Dutchman it will cost him a few tulips on his extravagant lifestyle. You should not be so easily misled Bill Tieleman. Vander Zalm is using you as a pawn for his own purposes. That is what the rich do; they use the poor to save themselves moey.

Anonymous said...

"Vander Zalm was responsible for the decision to build the highly-successful Spirit of British Columbia and Spirit of Vancouver Island super ferries in B.C. shipyards, creating thousands of jobs and keeping millions of dollars of investment in the province."

One slight problem with the construction down at Vito Shipyards... the price of the second vessel was based on the price of the first. Tons of overtime were poured into the first with tradespeople doing the cleaning up at the end of their shift, at double time, when labourers should have been doing it.

When it came to the second vessel the shipyard cut the hours to the bone, thereby reaping an enormous windfall profit.


North Van's Grumps said...

At the bottom of this comment there is a link to a brochure, printed up on behalf of BC Rail Properties, and online, shows that the BC Liberals have broken another election promise by not selling the rail beds, the right of way aka R/W.

On page 2, the map clearly shows that for all intents and purposes, Canadian National Railway HAS purchased the rail bed (for a $1?????) because their name is now etched into what appears to be a BC surveyed map:

"Canadian National Railway" and closer to the Squamish port "CNR R/W".

Question is, is this particular map available at the Land Registry or is it something that BCR Properties dreamed up.

There's no indication from where the Real Estate firm of Cushman & Wakefield LePage Inc. obtained the map from.


Buyer beware, or gee whiz, is it too late to say "Seller Beware"?

kootcoot said...

It appears that the real (well closer - not a co-alition of reformers and socreds like our liaRs) Liberals in Ontario just won a by-election in Ontario, with their upcoming HST actually out in the open and out front during the campaign and discussed on the doorsteps.

That doesn't excuse our current excuse for government not having the spine to run for re-election by being honest about what they propose. If the HST is such a good idea, if selling BC Rail is such a good idea, if bankrupting BC Hydro and competing with Arizona for our own water and power someday is such a good idea, etc., then our Gordo with the help of the biggest press room in Canada, paid for by you and me, the Public Affairs Bureau, should be able to "educate" the public so we could see the wisdom of their plans (if there was any wisdom other than the enrichment of themselves and their cronies).

There is no excuse for consistently saying one thing and then doing the exact opposite - it is even more dishonest than politics as usual. At least Campbell is easy to understand, whatever he says, just reverse it and then you will know what he means!

nvg said...

The new buzz word amongst the BC Liberals is Harmonized. Take a look in the Vancouver Sun of SG, Kash Heed, commenting on his tweaking of the Police Act after its introduction into the Legislature yesterday. There are provisions for it to be reviewed, notice the word Accountable was not used, in 2013 by himself!

Seeing as how its September now, and not the Spring, isn't he being a tad presumptious with his timing?

There will be an election in May before that, which will determine if its to be a "Fore"-Peat for the BC Liberals to form another government.

Skookum1 said...

Anoymouu 6:56:
It's high time this tin-pot despot was outsted from power and exciled on a remote island somewhere.

Just not Maui, OK? Baffin Island, or South Georgia; nowhere pleasant......(preferably a dry island, also, with no liquor outlets).

Anonymous said...

Harmony is a terrific idea.
And it's catching on worldwide


Anonymous said...

anon;10:24 wtf,where is the harmony in taxation shifting,and being added to more purchases,it's reducing big corporations taxes and were being asked to pay for that and for a whole range of other items that were not previously taxed,and for extra measure they're reducing services.OK?

Anonymous said...

"Harmonizing" is about to be applied to the Sea to Sky Highway, all Bridges, and the Tunnel, not at Two dollars and fifty cents per use, but Fifty cents, for the next ten years to pay off the 2010 Winter Olympics debt.