Tuesday, February 14, 2012

"But you're the Premier!" Who knew BC Premier Christy Clark was powerless in office?

Premier Christy Clark on CKNW February 13, 2012

'But You're the Premier!'


Christy Clark returns to radio to reveal you're not very powerful when premier of BC.

Bill Tieleman's 24 hours/The Tyee column

Tuesday February 14, 2012
By Bill Tieleman
"When you make speeches you elicit expectations against which you will be held accountable." 
- former U.S. Senator Bill Bradley

To hear Christy Clark tell it Monday, being premier of British Columbia surprisingly isn't a very powerful job.

Clark appeared for 90 minutes on radio station CKNW to give a "preview" of the BC Liberal government's agenda as the B.C. legislature resumes sitting Tuesday.

That decision alone caused Clark considerable grief when her deputy press secretary issued an inaccurate media advisory stating that: "In place of a formal throne speech, the premier will be appearing on CKNW's Bill Good Show to outline the government's agenda for the spring session."

In fact, the B.C. legislature was continuing the previous fall session, not starting a new one, so no throne speech was ever planned.

But perhaps a throne speech would have been a better idea, because Clark repeatedly had to make excuses for her lack of action in response to questions from host Bill Good and callers, while dishing out a wide collection of cliches.

After Clark claimed she was opening up government, Good pointed out that a recently released freedom-of-information request by Vancouver Sun reporter Jonathan Fowlie -- on the $780,000 Harmonized Sales Tax brochure that was printed and then shredded by the government -- took 19 months to get.

"How is that open?" asked Good.

"It's not," Clark admitted. "I agree."

"But you're the premier!" an exasperated Good replied.

More of the same came when Good asked about problems at Community Living B.C., where adults with developmental disabilities and their families have complained bitterly about cuts to services and wait lists.

Good: "I mean, how is it possible that you do an internal review and you don't even know how many clients are waiting for your help?"

Clark: "Exactly!"

The premier then went on to a meandering explanation about releasing documents and having an inaccurate waiting list.

That darn HST won't go away

Clark's lack of power apparently also extends to getting rid of the HST, which continues to be charged six months after B.C. voted in a binding referendum to end it, providing hundreds of millions in additional revenue. [I helped create Fight HST to oppose the tax.]

"If I could snap my fingers and get rid of the HST tomorrow -- I'd do it," Clark said before blaming the federal government and the complexity of changing back to the Provincial Sales Tax for the delay.

Toss another cliché on the fire

When not claiming being premier doesn't come with many powers, Clark was also spinning an endless series of familiar clichés.

Ever heard these?

"There's only one taxpayer."

"You have to say no sometimes."

"You can't make promises you can't pay for."

"It's about getting government out of the way of job creation."

And this classic, complete with Clark's irritating habit of dropping the letter "g":

"You can just keep throwin' money at stuff if you don't fix the problem."

But on other issues, Clark may have actually given a more direct answer than she intended.

When Good asked Clark how B.C. could supply the massive amount of electricity necessary to run her proposed three new liquid natural gas plants near Kitimat for tanker export to Asia.

"We know that we can power the first two," Clark replied. "We've figured out how to do that with existing power sources."

"On future ones though, we are going to have to have more power in British Columbia. Site C is coming on line and so are a whole host of renewables."

Actually, the huge Site C hydroelectric dam project is not "coming on line" anytime soon.

The controversial project that would add a third dam on the Peace River is part of a federal-provincial environmental assessment process that won't be finished until 2014.

'Way ahead of Dix'

Clark also claimed that she was "way ahead of Adrian Dix" in some polls, adding that: "I think that was the Ipsos poll maybe."

Maybe not. Ipsos-Reid released a poll last week showing the BC New Democrats at 44 per cent, the BC Liberals at 32 per cent and the BC Conservatives at 16 per cent.

Clark did narrowly lead Dix on the question of who would be best premier, with 31 per cent to Dix's 25 per cent, but that margin has dropped six points since the last Ipsos poll.

Otherwise, it was old hat material. 

The B.C. Teachers' Federation is demanding too much money in contract negotiations, B.C. Hydro can lose 1,000 jobs without a problem, no B.C. Liberal caucus members will quit to join John Cummins' BC Conservatives, B.C. can't afford to go back to the 1990s, etc.

But soon enough it was back to yet more puzzlement for the premier.

When Good pointed out that the judicial system was short of judges, with more than 100 cases thrown out because of time delays, Clark was at a loss.

Her government has added new judges and money, Clark said, and there are fewer cases going to court as well as a lower crime rate in B.C., yet there are longer delays in the justice system.

"So why do you think that is?" Good asked.

"I don't know the answer to that but we're going to get to the bottom of it," Clark replied.

The powerless premier. Who knew?

.

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

She really doesn't have any power and no-one should be surprised at this. It's the unelected elite who hold all the cards. Like Jimmy Pattison for example. He's the real boss here in BC

Ron Sward said...

Not powerless Bill, hopless is more accurate. If she had a brain, she lost it long ago. What a fiasco we have for a provincial government. Can't wait for the NDP to correct the inequalities in thsi province.

Anonymous said...

"Can't wait for the NDP to correct the inequalities in thsi province."

Don't expect too much from the NDP.

They won't be any better than they were in the 1990s.

You're fooling yourselves if there's any thinking that the NDP will bring goodwill, happiness and prosperity to the degree that everyone who wants one has a well paying job. Not going to happen.

Anonymous said...

Campbell had all kinds of power. He thieved and sold our BCR. He thieved and sold our rivers, he sent our mill industry to China, along with our raw logs.

Campbell, Hansen and Harper forced the HST onto the people. That was an election lie. Campbell's other election lie, the BCR wasn't for sale either.

Campbell thieved our tax dollars, and gave his useless self a, $60,000 per year salary hike. His ministers were given 27%.

I'm not buying it, Christy has no power. What in the hell is she doing there, as Premier then? Call an election, or get the hell out.

The BC citizens are paying a, Premier's outrageous salary and gold plated pension, and she has no power.

Anonymous said...

"Campbell had all kinds of power. He thieved and sold our BCR. He thieved and sold our rivers, he sent our mill industry to China, along with our raw logs."

Raw logs were exported when the NDP was in power.


"Campbell, Hansen and Harper forced the HST onto the people. That was an election lie. Campbell's other election lie, the BCR wasn't for sale either. "

True. Sold out. Big time.

"Campbell thieved our tax dollars, and gave his useless self a, $60,000 per year salary hike. His ministers were given 27%."

The NDP MLAs accepted their pay hike plus the pension increase too.

"I'm not buying it, Christy has no power. What in the hell is she doing there, as Premier then?"

She was elected leader of the party of government. Same thing with Ujjal Dosanjh and earler, Glen Clark.

"Call an election, or get the hell out. "

Sure thing. Would you ask the same thing to Adrian Dix if he doesn't deliver what you want?

Be careful what you wish for.



The BC citizens are paying a, Premier's outrageous salary and gold plated pension, and she has no power.

Anonymous said...

Best Premier

Christy Clark continues to lead Adrian Dix as the leader who voters think would make the best Premier of British Columbia, but her lead over Dix has fallen to 6 points (from 11 points). Clark is selected by three-in-ten (31%, down 3 points) British Columbians, placing her 6 points ahead of Adrian Dix (25%, up 2 points).

Margin of error is ±3.1 percentage points, in other words: Clark and Dix are now statistically TIED for Best Premier.

Anonymous said...

" Would you ask the same thing to Adrian Dix if he doesn't deliver what you want?"
Absolutely!
"Don't expect too much from the NDP."
I fully expect increased taxes to pay for the overspending and $60 billion debt the Libs have created. I would hope they have the sense to stop all future mega projects as well.
"The NDP MLAs accepted their pay hike plus the pension increase too."
I bet you took no pay raises in the last 11 years too.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:22

I would say that to any politician and have done so. Even to Harper and his Conservatives.

I say, every damned one of them should take a roll back in salary. I also said, they damned well make enough money, to pay their, gold plated pensions out of their own pockets.

Campbell's $60,000 salary hike...I told him that's more than, many BC family's have to live on for two years. I told Ida Chong....Her $6,000 for her fine dining, is more than many BC family's have for food, for an entire year.

I am sick of the wholesale thieving of our tax dollars. Right down to the $1,300 per night, luxury hotel suites and all. AND, Harper's stupid $1 billion dollar fake lake, I told him about that too.

I don't care who mis-spends my tax dollars, they all hear about it from me.

anon@anon.ca said...

"The NDP MLAs accepted their pay hike plus the pension increase too."

Yes they did. It was forced on them . If they didn't agree they'd be red-circled. Also, for the first year or so the increase was given to charity.

DPL said...

She has enough power to hire friends to very well paying. Her one buddy make well over 100,000 a year but nobody knows just what she is doing for that pipe of money.

e.a.f. said...

Poor chrusty hasn/t any power. Gee than get out of the job and let someone with "power" do the job. Power is something you get by taking it like Campbell did. Ms. Clark is simply saying she can't manage the system she is supposed to be in charge of.

As non premier, Ms. Clark can simply call her cabinet ministers into her office and tell them what she wants done. If she hasn't done that then she is to blame. If she has told them what she wants them to do and they failed to do it then fire them and get some one else to do it. Real simple.

Ms. Clark's poor excuses simply made her look stupid and weak. If Clark wanted Community Living to function as it should she would simply pick up the phone and fire them and hire people who can do the job.

Of course if Ms. Clark is alluting to the fact she wasn't elected to be premier then she should call an election.

As to the NDP. of the 90s. Please try to remember it is Campbell who ran the biggest deficiet in B. C. history not the NDP.

People like to point to the fast ferries but really folks, they were built in Canada and not in Germany. If you want to look at over runs, try the convention centre, about $500Mil in over runs, on Campbell watch. Signing hydro run of the river contracts with corporations for more money than the hydro is worth and then selling it at a loss. Not good buiness on Campbell's watch.

Campbell was a disaster for B.C.'s economy and Christie is no different. . All either of them can do is export our natural resources as fast as foreign corporations can get it out of B.C. with no secondary industry to benefit B. C.

Anonymous said...

Yes they did. It was forced on them . If they didn't agree they'd be red-circled. Also, for the first year or so the increase was given to charity.

So what happened the years afterwards?? They kept the money for themselves. The money to charity was a bit of a ruse because they would have received a tax receipt for said donation.

Their half assed explanation was just that, half assed.

and then there's ol Jagrup. You don't think he completely stopped the cheques he received in January when he was out on the media attention expedition?

Try another spin at the wheel.

The arrow being on "Hypocritical" will win the prize.

Anonymous said...

"People like to point to the fast ferries but really folks, they were built in Canada and not in Germany."

If the NDP was smart enough to continue steel hulled ferry construction in BC after the Skeena Queen, Capliano and Cumberland vessels were finished, the C. Ferries could have been built here quite easily, but Clark wanted an industry making seaworthy Coke cans.

Face facts as Joy McPhail finally did after Dan Miller realised:

The fast ferries were a disaster waiting to happen as soon as the first line drawing of the keel was completed.

Anonymous said...

I was just wondering how many fast ferries ran aground or killed anyone?
I was just wondering how many Canadians were employed making German Ferries?

Anonymous said...

Jagrup was a moron for doing this, but there are plenty of Libs with baggage. You cannot compare Brars stunt with Basi/Virk or BC Railgate, or the countless cost over-runs of the mega projects or any other of the countless scandals of the B.C Liberal corruption machine. Don't get anyone here started with the on again, off again HST crap either.

Grant G said...

Hey Bill Tieleman, why do you continue to allow Anon 2:15 pm to cut n paste then smear..

The guy is a pathetic troll, you let him over and over contribute nothing but verbal spam...

Ya you asshole 2:15pm, go ahead, cut n paste this loser.

Grow up and try and find an original thought, here`s a hint, try switching hands when you wipe your ass, maybe the shit won`t end up on your keyboard..

With Respect Bill...Turf the shit breath troll

Grant G said...

put my comment through Bill,show some balls, and kill this comment..

The guy makes me sick, if he did it once, fine but he does it over and over again...Let my comment rattle his cage..

Grant G..The straight Goods, where we don`t fuck around with annoying trolls

Anonymous said...

"Grow up and try and find an original thought, here`s a hint, try switching hands when you wipe your ass, maybe the shit won`t end up on your keyboard.."

Sheesh, what language. Might want to heed your own advice. This is a family rated blog I hope.

Bill Tieleman said...

Grant G - show some brains - it's Valentine's Day - so I didn't post your comment for a few hours - don't go nuts and attack me! Geez - you are your own worst enemy some days. Both your comments are now posted.

I try to post everything as soon as I can but some days or times I can't get to it or glitches in blogger/email delay posting. Patience is a virtue, telling me to grow a pair is superfluous.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Bill. I was the one complaining tonight about the excessively colourful language on todays blog from Grant. I have noticed in the last 2 or 3 days he (Grant)has been really pissed about a whole lot of stuff. Progressives like myself need to keep focused on the issues with clear and intelligent dialogue and avoid gutter language. Please, Grant stay focused.
As far as anon 2:15, the person in question has attempted to reply to my postings on both blogs with childish rants all this week. All he does is continue to make a fool of himself, such as today. Either post it or delete it, but please don't take trolls like that so seriously. Some of the comments are quite true, but that changes nothing because the New Democrats are not in power, the B.C.Liberals are and we need to keep focused on the corruption and scandal, not watching us self destructing. That's for the Republicans and boy are they good at it!
Stay focused on the message, not on the trolls.
PS Grant, you have allowed this troll to cut and paste my comments on your blog. Stop worrying about him or her, some people are programmed to hate. Family upbringing I suspect.

Grant G said...

Mr. Tielemman, at least I spelled your name correctly!...

serious though, you mean didn`t receive that box of chocolates yet?...

My second comment was meant to urge you to publish my first one, it wasn`t meant for publication...Oh well..

Mr. T...You indeed have big brass ones, courage and grit and you are a proven winner..

My hats off to your many victories..HST..Adrian Dix...

Normally i`m kind caring and very gentle..You have a particular troll who is nauseating, he`s like a bad case of dandruff, you can keep washing away but he returns in the form of white flakes..

Happy Valentines day..


Give my regards to Mr.s Tieleman..

A friendly hello from your friendly neighborhood Powell River Persuader.

Anonymous said...

Grant has a point about trolls....mindless whoring for the Liberal party. Pathetic.

DPL said...

BY letting the trolls rable on it simply shows how silly their comments are. I don't have a blog so I am in no position to tell Bill how to run his. Now and again some stuff is pretty bad, but it's easy to simply , not read it.

Anonymous said...

BY letting the trolls rable on it simply shows how silly their comments are. I don't have a blog so I am in no position to tell Bill how to run his. Now and again some stuff is pretty bad, but it's easy to simply , not read it.

So why are you? At least you could be better in defending whatever it is the NDP wants to accomplish.

No sense in whining over and over again about Christy Clark. She's finished. We all know that.

Much easier to complain than it is to come up with alternative solutions.

Trouble is, most blog contributers don't do much except whine and complain.

Anonymous said...

I was just wondering how many fast ferries ran aground or killed anyone?

Simple answer is. None. They spent too much down time in the shop compared when they actually sailed on time without incident.

I was just wondering how many Canadians were employed making German Ferries?

Quite a few. There were many local BC suppliers providing design and furnishing for the interior of the German ferries. The German shipyard did the fabrication and installation.

Do some homework. Or is it just more of the same complaining and whining again?

Anonymous said...

"Much easier to complain than it is to come up with alternative solutions.

Trouble is, most blog contributers don't do much except whine and complain."

So what would you cut back on? Health care? Pensions? Transit? Taxes? MLA's and their salaries? Welfare? Ida Chongs lunch account?

Anonymous said...

Ah... elitism, privelidge, those that think they know,ask the Wall street genius's, what they new befroe 2008...it's synonymous with greed! The "if your not for us your against us" crap is a waste. Makes for a "breakdown" in intellgent debate. It's your province and your country, as an individual you can make a difference.

Collectivley, we all have to start using our intelligence to debate and ultimately, remove the influence of those who seek to undermine our democracy. Make no mistake, this stupidity, has existed for a long time, and has no place in a modern society.

The Arab Spring, was born out of far greater frustrations, due to this crap, but their solution, will provide, them with a better, hopefully more democratic world.

While our own corner of the world is not as "unbalanced", our eleitists believe they have an "enshrined" right to control and manipulate,(lobbying), "our institutions", for their own ends. This must cease in this century, if we are to move forward as a more "intelligent" society.

Anonymous said...

So what would you cut back on? Health care? Pensions? Transit? Taxes? MLA's and their salaries? Welfare? Ida Chongs lunch account?

I would cut back MLA salaries. Ida CHong can buy her own damb lunch, and so can any NDP Caucus Member.

I'd ensure that anything the NDP sends out in the mail is paid for by the NDP Party, not the government. They can pay for their own propaganda.

I'd also cut the staff in the Premier's Office by 40% the first year in office, and another 15% in the two years following.

I'd adjust taxes to pay for health care (the service not the high salaried HEU members). Same for education. I'd also cut the fat in Translink. I'd keep that fat PR guy we see on TV though. He's good at his job.

I'd also ensure that absolutely no one who is amn NDP Campaign Manager, NDP staff, NDP Riding President or member of any NDP riding association for the past 8 years gets any kind of political goodie. They can be volunteer members like the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

"I'd adjust taxes to pay for health care". Wow, the Libtroll cannot even have the balls to call it a tax increase.
"I'd also ensure that absolutely no one who is amn NDP Campaign Manager, NDP staff, NDP Riding President or member of any NDP riding association for the past 8 years gets any kind of political goodie." But not your Lieberal cronie friends.
"I'd also ensure that absolutely no one who is amn NDP Campaign Manager, NDP staff, NDP Riding President or member of any NDP riding association for the past 8 years gets any kind of political goodie. But once again. all Libs are exempt.
Sad little troll.

Anonymous said...

NDP Campaign Manager, NDP staff, NDP Riding President or member of any NDP riding association for the past 8 years gets any kind of political goodie. But once again. all Libs are exempt.
Sad little troll.

If you read the post it was in reference to the NDP not the Liberals. Since a few trolls (those who an't stand contravening opinion on an obviously left wing blog) here are so bent on ending the BC Liberals' corruption, let's get started.

Insist that an Adrian Dix government would exclude all of the previously outlined exemptions to political appointments. Plus:

One and only one Ministerial Assistant plus front desk secretary per Minister. No Executive Assistants, or Special Assistants. Two persons in the Constituenency Office.

No Special Outreach persons in the Premier's Office. One Press Secretary plus assistant. No others related to press relations.

In short, the job that Bill Tieleman here got for working for Glen Clark would not happen since he was a political activist big time previously.

The exemptions also apply to:

Those who worked in a senior role in the 2011 NDP leadership. Campaign Managers, Chairs, local organizers.

Plus those who worked in a senior role on The Zalm's HST project which included alot of NDP members.

So let's do it. Or is this just a case of ending the BC Liberal Corruption but letting the NDP award their own people with appointments to cushy jobs and appointments to Crown Corporations
like in the past? and having the hyprocisy erupt all over the place like a session of bad diarrea that couldn't make it to the pot?

and absolutely positively no Crown Corporation Secretariat of the likes that Bob Williams got courtesy of Mike Harcourt.

Let's end this corrruption silliness once and for all?

So how about it. Are you fools man enough to confront your NDP MLAs and tell them straight out to end political appoinments to reward NDP members? or are your just squishy enough to keep whining about BC Liberal corruption and yet don't want to do Dix-all about what the NDP would do?

So get goin if your're serious about ending corruption in government. Go on, get movin.

Now!

Anonymous said...

But once again. all Libs are exempt.
Sad little troll.

Applies to an NDP goverment, not a Liberal one, troll.

Why be whiny and complaining and start working proactively to prevent this type of corruption from happening? The NDP has an opportunity waiting, but I guess they too will slide into their own type of corruption. Few if any of the left wing trolls here will complain about that.

They'll want those cushy appointments held by Liberals to be replaced with NDPers. So guess what?

It starts all over again.

Anonymous said...

An interesting aside about the "trolls" is that they no longer come out swinging for Gordon Campbell:

have a look at the comments of this article here:

http://www.straight.com/article-604701/vancouver/gordon-campbell-appears-vancouver-board-trade-event


As of Feb 15th 5:30pm not a single "troll" polishing Gordon's ______. It is actually reassuring to me that a person would have to be paid in order to blog / phone in their support of the BC Liberals. I hope you people have a union!

Anonymous said...

It's rather odd that our Liberal lover assumes that just because I oppose Liberal Corruption, that I must be a New Democrat loyalist. Wrong again.
This just in from the CBC news at 5: NDP interim leader tells MPs that they will be penalized for following their constituents wishes by voting against keeping the long gun registry.
Pathetic!
BTW, if ordinary Canadians have to wait 'till 65 or 67, then I believe ALL Canadians must wait,including elected officials!

Anonymous said...

An interesting aside about the "trolls" is that they no longer come out swinging for Gordon Campbell:

Why waste any time on that moron?

Time to look ahead to what the NDP supposedly is going to do.

If you want an NDP government, be prepared to defend it.

if you want the NDP to fix things, now is the time to demand your NDP MLA stop the hollerin' and start workin on something the voters can see.

Perpetually crying moaning and whining over Gordon Campbell isn't going to fix any problems.

Anonymous said...

And the irony unfolding in victoria with the proposed appointment of a Municipal Auditor who I understand reports directly to cabinet. So much for openness and transparency when the Liberals have thrown up roadblocks for their own Auditor general who has often had to apply to the courts to get the information he needs to do his job!

Anonymous said...

"Why waste any time on that moron?"

Pay attention Christy - this is what your loyal PAB will be saying about you the moment the door hits your butt.

Anonymous said...

Pay attention Christy - this is what your loyal PAB will be saying about you the moment the door hits your butt.

Pay attention Adrian, this typical of the kind of NDP member you have available for your public communications office when you become Premier.

He'l be a good prospect for your Public Communications office. Doesn't know beans about what he's talking about. A perfect fit.

Anonymous said...

"If you want an NDP government, be prepared to defend it."

Why?

The logic defies me.

If Dix is a tool in office, then he must go if he turns out as useless as Clark.

Simple enough.

Anonymous said...

"If Dix is a tool in office, then he must go if he turns out as useless as Clark."

Simple enough.

Give that 8 months after the election. It will happen.

Not to the same degree as Clark (no one could match that), but he will be useless.

Except of course to the NDP stalwarts

Anonymous said...

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2012/02/16/bc-forests-audit.html

Anonymous said...

An NDP supporter who wishes to remain anoymous at 2.43 PM blew out:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2012/02/16/bc-forests-audit.html

Oh this is quite something. Many blog contributers here kept goin' on and on and whining like a 2 year old about the bad old MSM, and here is one waggin' NDPer that makes reference to an MSM story.

Hypocritical once again.

Anonymous said...

someone sure read a lot into a link to a news article... is it time to get help?

Anonymous said...

someone sure read a lot into a link to a news article... is it time to get help?

Sure. A blogger that continually complains, cries, whines against the MSM and yet brings a link from MSM does need to get pyschiatric help.

Hypocritical. Big time.

There's been many instanes on this blog about complaining about the MSM being biased, owned by the corporations, and everything else.

If you don't like it, why use it?

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsKO_r76kfQ

Anonymous said...

Come on Bill, let me poke the pab troll one more time:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsKO_r76kfQ

Anonymous said...

"Come on Bill, let me poke the pab troll one more time:"

Guess the NDP PAB couldn't get any sleep in anticipation of Uncle Adrian being Premier.