Sunday, September 26, 2010

BC NDP leader Carole James speaks to business Friday night at $295 per plate fundraiser - outlines party's approach

BC NDP leader Carole James laid out her vision for the future under a New Democratic Party government and her philosophical approach at a $295 per plate fundraising dinner on Friday night.

Public Eye Online reported
prior to the Hotel Vancouver event that it was titled: "A Night in the City: An Evening with Carole James for Business in BC" although on another part of the NDP website it was called: "Night in the City: An Evening with Carole James and the BC NDP Team."

The latter title appears the correct one based on James' speech to the event, a check-against-delivery version is reproduced below.

James argues that under her leadership, labour and business will come together

"And so even though I have been criticized for reaching out to, and meeting with, B.C.'s business community....

"Come on Carole, they'll never vote for you. They campaigned against you! That's not the way politics is done in B.C."

I will continue to welcome business to my table, not to earn their vote, but because it's the right thing to do."

I've previously argued
strongly that the business community - for the most part - has its own party called the BC Liberals which if finances handsomely and has no interest in being anything but openly, endlessly hostile to the NDP. That was obvious in the 2009 provincial election.

James clearly disagrees.

What's your view?

I'll have more to say about this in my column in 24 hours and The Tyee online on Tuesday but your comments are welcome.

Two caveats: read the speech first and be polite in your remarks.

* * * * *

Carole James, Leader of the BC NDP

Leader's Levee Address - September 24, 2010

Check against delivery

Thank you for being here with us tonight.

I want to thank all of you for your contributions to our province.

Looking around the room, you'll see leaders from all sectors of our economy, all regions of our province.

You'll also see our fantastic team of New Democrat MLAs.

A great caucus -- a diverse and dedicated group. I'd like to ask all of them to stand and be recognized for their hard work.

Tonight, I want to talk about doing business differently in B.C.
About the approach we need to take if we're going to build the future we all want.

An approach to leadership that represents a fundamental shift in the way we take on challenges.

An approach built on the idea that what unites British Columbians is much stronger than what divides us.

To many of you, uniting British Columbia might seem like an impossible task, given our province's history and the state of politics in B.C. today.

But I believe not only is it possible, it's absolutely essential if we're going to address the challenges we face.

Those challenges are great. We are a province in transition.

The global recession fundamentally changed our economic reality. And our province was among the hardest hit.

We've experienced heavy job losses, particularly in our resource and manufacturing sectors.

We saw a huge drop in our exports.

And trends in consumer spending and consumer confidence are persistent concerns.

While we're starting to see some positive signs, the global recovery is still uncertain and tentative.

The troubles of our neighbours south of us continue to impact our resource and tourism markets in particular.

The decisions we make now, will have a significant effect on how British Columbians experience that recovery.There are also significant social challenges, like poverty and homelessness, the growing income gap and disparities between rural and urban British Columbia.

And over all this looms climate change, an environmental crisis that has already impacted our province and our economy.

The challenges we face are serious. They're complex.

But these are challenges we can meet. There are answers. There are solutions.

But they aren't going to be addressed by the old ways of doing business.

And they aren't getting the attention and the focus they deserve, because we have a government focused on its own chaos.

There is no better example of that than the HST.

Announcing a major tax policy with no warning, no consultation, and no questions asked... is a lesson in how not to do things in today's B.C.

The HST has created serious economic uncertainty, just when we need it the least.

Whatever your views on the tax, I think we can all agree the referendum should be held as soon as possible.

That's why I wrote to the Premier this week, to tell him New Democrats are ready to come back to the Legislature, make the changes, and hold the referendum this fall.

It's the right move for our democracy. The right move for our economy.

While the people of B.C. are seriously questioning the government's direction, they're also rightly questioning what kind of change New Democrats propose.

The government's broken trust does not automatically translate into trust for New Democrats.

We have to work for it. We have to earn it.

In a province that's changing fast, we have to show we too have changed with the times.

That we understand the new challenges facing British Columbians.

That we have a vision for the future.

And that we have the right approach.

My vision for British Columbia is based on four key priorities:

A strong, dynamic economy that supports traditional industries while diversifying our base.

Investments in human capital to give British Columbians the opportunities and the skills they need.

A fundamental commitment to sustainability and environmental health -- a commitment that must be reflected in our choices and our actions.

And a strong democracy, with open government and fair access to information.

Achieving this vision in today's B.C. will require fresh thinking.

It will take a different kind of leadership than is usual in B.C. politics.

Leadership that respects and values the contribution of every British Columbian, and moves beyond traditional divides.

Leadership that unites British Columbians in common purpose, while respecting their differences.

Leadership that reflects our shared values and our commitment to a better world.

Now, I've been told that I am not the flashiest or most charismatic politician in the world.

Really? Not flashy? That's a bit of a shock.

I always saw myself as a cross between John Wayne and Lady Gaga.

You know: A tough-talking cowboy...with a flair for the outrageous!

And some people say I'm not up to the challenge.

You've heard the comments, I'm sure.

"She's nice, but she's just not tough enough for this game."

I have to tell you that anyone who knows the B.C. NDP knows being leader for seven years is a feat of strength in itself!

But in all seriousness, I firmly believe my approach and my style of leadership is the right one for our province and our time.

I have always believed that people, not personalities, should be at the centre of our politics.

And I have never believed that the politics of division is a politics that works or delivers results.

Now, that doesn't mean we will always agree on every issue.

This is British Columbia after all, where our need for debate and disagreement is legendary.

But it does mean that under my leadership, everyone will be respected. Everyone will be listened to.

And from that, comes better, lasting change.

Let me give you a couple of examples.

New Democrats are hosting a dialogue called Our Province, Our Future.

To kick off that dialogue I held a Leader's Summit -- a diverse group of more than 200 British Columbians from all walks of life, all regions, all sectors of our economy.

At that Summit, we put aside our differences and talked about our common aims.

We talked about the need for a long-term economic strategy, about the role education plays in our economy and our society, about sustainability and the role of good government.

It was a great conversation, one that's continuing in our regions and in key economic sectors.

Our Province, Our Future shows that you can bring diverse views together in common purpose in the province of B.C.

Despite our reputation. Despite our politics.

And that by working together, we can find the innovative solutions we need to succeed.

In April, I held a roundtable with Chinese tourism and business leaders to talk about the Approved Destination Status agreement between Canada and China.

An incredible opportunity that could bring millions of new tourists to B.C.

But it won't just happen overnight. It takes work.

And it was clear from the discussion that B.C. hasn't yet done that work. We're not prepared for this opportunity.

In fact, the government cut funding for tourism and eliminated independent Tourism BC.

At this roundtable, it became very clear - the ideas were there, the solutions achievable.

What's missing right now is leadership.

We need a different approach to turn this incredible tourism opportunity into a reality for B.C.

A few months ago, I spoke at a conference on green jobs in Washington, DC.

Business, labour, environmental and government leaders assembled to address the most fundamental challenge of our time.

This is precisely the kind of approach we need in British Columbia today.

I left that conference convinced of the potential I saw for B.C.

We have the people, the skills, and the determination to lead the green revolution.

But if we're going to do it, it will take a different approach.

It will take hard work, and it will take courage to set aside the old traditions and forge new ones.

But it is possible.

And it's incumbent upon all of us - each and every one in this room - to make it happen.

And so even though I have been criticized for reaching out to, and meeting with, B.C.'s business community....

"Come on Carole, they'll never vote for you. They campaigned against you! That's not the way politics is done in B.C."

I will continue to welcome business to my table, not to earn their vote, but because it's the right thing to do.

The future we all want for our province is not possible without a strong and dynamic private sector.

Risk must be rewarded. Innovation encouraged.

The wealth created by business and entrepreneurs helps pay for the services that make for a just and fair society.

We can't have one without the other.

That's why I will work with B.C. business to promote trade and open markets.

It's why I'll support small business by maintaining a competitive tax environment.

It's why I support economic diversification and key investments in science, high-tech, arts and culture and green sectors.

It's why I support a made-in-B.C. product strategy.

It's why I've tabled a forward-looking forestry plan.

It's why I'll partner with business and labour to expand trades training.

And it's why I will address First Nations land and resource interests, to end the conflict and uncertainty and increase employment, investment and economic growth.

That's the kind of leadership British Columbians can expect from me.

The old approach -- that says British Columbians have to choose between a strong business climate on the one hand, or strong social programs and a healthy environment on the other -- must be set aside.

British Columbians can count on me to work every day to break out of that mould.

But let me be clear: I do not believe that it's government's job to just get out of the way and let markets do all the work.

Governments also have a fundamental responsibility to fairness.

To ensuring that a strong economy and growing businesses are built from a strong society and sustainable environmental practices.

That's why I have fought my whole life -- and will always fight -- for social justice.

Because I believe that it is both a moral and economic responsibility.

The benefits of a strong economy don't just trickle down to British Columbians.

They're created when all British Columbians have the opportunity to fulfill their potential and contribute to the prosperity of our province.

That's why I will work to reduce child poverty in the province of British Columbia.

It's why I support raising B.C.'s minimum wage.

It's why I will work with communities to provide safe and secure housing.

It's why I've committed to make B.C. a place where workers are treated fairly and with respect.

And it's why I am so passionate about education.

Smart investments in education will pay huge economic dividends and build the strong, fair, just society we all strive for.

Last week, I visited Templeton Secondary School and toured their chef training program.

Where students can complete their high school graduation and earn college credits at the same time.

I met a future chef who told me about his plans for opening his own restaurant.

He described the concept, the layout and the challenges of being a small business owner.

This future entrepreneur needs a strong education system to provide him the skills and a strong economy to use those skills.

I want B.C. to be known as the place that got it right.

That saw the opportunity to be a world leader in economic innovation, social justice and environmental stewardship.

Saw to it that every British Columbian had the opportunity to make the most of themselves and to give back to their community.

Saw to it that the green jobs of today and the future are thriving right here in our province.

I want B.C. to be the place that had the courage to chart a new course.

But the road to that future is not found, but made.

It will take putting the old divides aside.

It will take focus and determination.

It will take an ability to work across sectors.

To bring business and labour, first nations and industry, local governments and environmentalists to the same table, to tackle the difficult questions head-on.

This is tough work -- tough conversations.

It would be easy to continue on with the same old approach.

Business in one room -- labour in another.

Industry on one side -- First Nations and environmentalists on the other.

That's the easy path. But I've never taken the easy path.

And if we're going to be a leader economically, socially and environmentally, it's time to step up, focus on what's good for BC and work to get it done.

Let me conclude.

We live in an amazing province. And I am so proud to be a British Columbian.

I'm reminded of that each summer as my husband and I head off on our annual camping trip.

Yes, I travel for a living about three-quarters of the time, but that doesn't keep me from the draw of exploring this amazing place we all live in.

We have all the strengths we need to lead:

A strong private sector and thriving entrepreneurial culture.

Dynamic people with the energy and ingenuity to create and innovate.

Abundant natural resources -- resources that built this province.

Quality public services that support B.C.'s people and communities.

And a spectacular environment that's the envy of the world.What we need is leadership to bring those strengths together.

Leadership that knows the best ideas come from the bottom up, not the top down.

That respects our natural environment and the people who live here.

That knows a strong economy, a just society and a healthy environment go hand-in-hand.

Tonight, I invite you to imagine the B.C. we can be.

And I invite you to join me -- to join New Democrats -- in making that vision a reality.

Thank you very much.



PJ said...

I think that she delivered a remarkable speech.
It will certainly raise the ire of business that is built on greed and without any moral obligation to someone other then their bottom line.
I am not sure how anyone who is upset with the little delusional dictator Gordo and his band of goose stepping idiots, would not agree with Carol James.
But yes it will be difficult to convince people to realize that change is good, after all we, most of us, live our lives without making changes, because it is the easiest thing to do.
That is why we are now mired in the political morass of political corruption led by big business, wealth, greed and Gordo, their lying, morally defective, talking head.
Let me remind you of a speech made by a very wealthy man, on January 20th, 1961.
. . . we observe today not a victory of party, but a celebration of freedom—symbolizing an end, as well as a beginning—signifying renewal, as well as change. . . .
. . . We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans—born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage—and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this Nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world. . . Find full text here:
Listen as well to this same wealthy man's speech where he warns of what greed and secrecy creates. Find speech here:
It is no wonder that those that wanted the absolute power over the world sought his assassination.
I am not an America.
I am a Canadian, living in British Columbia, and I believe that we, the people, have the right of humanity, a free and open government, a living wage, a right to be educated, a right to be treated when we are sick, a right to live in peace, a right not to be controlled by big business greed, and a right to live with dignity.
I also believe that we, the people, have an obligation to be involved in the governing of this province, by being able to trust, the open and honest leaders that we elect to manage our business.
The assassination of the Lieberal opposition will not be committed by weapon, but is an insidious, on going investment of propaganda fueled by the greed of the wealthy supporters of Gordo and his goose stepping band of sheep.
They are counting on 'fear' and the mindset of people that, 'it is too hard to change, so let us roast the people that will try'.
Time for change, fellow BCers.
Do you want the status quo?

Willy P said...

Is she willing to sign a commitment to what was stated or will weasel words come to the fore front again? I want HONESTY, not pie in the sky, lies, and half truths -no WRIGGLE ROOM. Our last NDP premier lied about a budget deficit, the next moron created one and hasn't stopped to stream of bullspit since.
I'm quite sure that I'm not alone in being fed up with politicians that are bald faced liars of ALL brands.
While I can't or would never have voted for the Liberal liars, I find I'm having a hard time putting an x beside my NDP candidate from the Glen Clark hangover. Or the fool that said "We can do anything we want- we're the government" (Dave Zirnhelt , I believe)

Is she willing to sign a legal paper committing to keeping her promises or resign? That's the commitment I and many others in our province want- anything else is just talk.

DPL said...

Speaking of change. A rowing regatta at Elk Lake today had the two MLA's from the area, on the recall list show up. We have been been showing up at regattas for many years as two of our grand kids have rowed for years locally and out of the country, still do. Never saw either of those recall subjects at the lake for any event. Another drone Little Garry Lunn showed up as well. Are we expecting not only recall but a federal election. The Canadian National Rowing team did some racing as well. They are there to support the up and coming younger set. So what were the Liberal MLA's doing? Looking out for themselves. What a sleazy bunch

Anonymous said...

I stand corrected in my earlier comment. The local Radio station just mentioned that the province finally ponied up 100,000 for the boat house. A photo op for the two local MLA's who under their own steam wouldn't know where the lake actually is. The feds put money in quite awhile ago. Guess we missed the big money event

Anonymous said...

Look south and see how well Carol's proposition is working out for Barrack.

At the end of the day - be fair. Restore fair taxation, restore proper environmental regs, restore workplace regs, restore social infrastructure - and do you think BIG business BC is going to support this?

SB said...

She has nothing to lose playing the cards , business loses because she made the attempt and can say i did invite them id say well planned to do this as the NDP can take Victoria now with a Coombs goat as leader business should listen though much of what she says makes sense but of course that will be why they dont.

Anonymous said...

I have read many articles and have talked with many individuals who all say the same thing. They would like to support the NDP, but NOT with Carol as leader. I realize she will not step down and I must say that unless she does, it will not go well for the party. People are looking for true inspiration & leadership and just being " nice " as she say's about herself will not cut it. There's a reason they say " nice guy's always finish last ". Ms. James has been asked many time if she will be around for the next election and the answer is always the same, that she will lead her party. I think the real question they should be asking is, If you lose the next election, will you step down ?

Guy in Victoria

Anonymous said...

Um, why is climate change still a crises issue in BC when it is a dead issue everywhere else?

Anonymous said...

Willy P
"While I can't or would never have voted for the Liberal liars, I find I'm having a hard time putting an x beside my NDP candidate from the Glen Clark hangover"
WTF has Glen Clark got to do w/this blog and why is it that these campbolods always go back to GC?
Google how gordo sabotaged GC over a $14,000 porch, Media coverage was relenless for weeks, especially W/RCMP in Glen's house.
MSM = CanWaste, Globull TV, CTV,

Anonymous said...

Boring. Simple aspect here:

It has been done before, Mike Harcourt tried that and kept going on about "the business cycle".

NDP and business are two words that don't go together as the NDP has never been business friendly (and neither have many supporters of the NDP)

The BC Liberals are too business friendly.

The NDP will still cater to the whims of public sector unions as the BC Liberals cater to the whims of the boys and girls on Howe Street.

Nothing will change.

She's fooling herself and her party if she thinks she is going to be bringing a mdoerate somewhat business friendly NDP with a tint
of labour into BC politics.

Not going to happen.

Try another leader and see where that goes.

She's tried two times and failed to become Premier.

What does that tell you?

Wendy said...

I'll try to be polite but what I read can only be described as hogwash. Very little substance, lots of promises and assurance that she has the answer to all our problems, Carole James as leader. Sorry, but I can't buy into any plan based on simple faith of the NDP again. (obviously Liberal is even more ridiculous)

"The government's broken trust does not automatically translate into trust for New Democrats."

No, we do need to do politics differently but I don't believe that will happen with the NDP.

"My vision for British Columbia is based on four key priorities: . . ."

Lets's look at her vision. Did she think she was setting herself apart from those who are pushing for a weak economy? And no real insight into how it will be accomplished.

Her second point, education, is the best but still somewhat unclear on "the skills they need" - to do what? What income level will be the end result and will this be worth the cost to the individual or will it be 100% taxpayer funded? Sounds good but how will it work?

Now I don't think should be touting sustainability and economic growth at the same time because they are contradictory but let's talk about the
"commitment". Is that hers or ours?

And the kicker, open government. Are you kidding, Carole? Don't even bother making that promise, made by every candidate for what seems like forever. It seems we believed it when Campbell said it and we know how his word turned out. First you need to do something to convince me the NDP aren't as morally bankrupt as the Liberals.

There are a couple of points, I'm not going to bother getting into because they're as ridiculous as most commenters here are oblivious to the extent of the atrocity of these ideas.

As to thoughts about Carole James continuing to attempt to embrace business, I tend to agree with you Bill, it's not the way to get the NDP to a majority win, but as long as she is clear that it is not an attempt at gaining votes then she can knock herself out.

As long as she is able to continually put good spin on her approach then she has nothing to lose. You know the NDP will be back in power (hopefully soon) and perhaps some dialogue prior to an election will somehow help her efforts at placating the business community after in order to maintain a smooth business/labour relationship.

Personally, it's a non-issue to me whether she courts business or not, either way I wouldn't trust her enough to vote for her.

SB said...

RE Wendy
[And the kicker, open government. Are you kidding, Carole? Don't even bother making that promise, made by every candidate for what seems like forever. It seems we believed it when Campbell said it and we know how his word turned out. First you need to do something to convince me the NDP aren't as morally bankrupt as the Liberals.]

I cant even wrap my head around how the Liberals in BC are open I did business with govts N America wide at all levels and now find teh worst place to get any info and the longest most exoensive adventure is here in BC since the BC Libs came to power its 10x worse hands down , I depended on accurate timely information from govts and in BC the only way to get that is by being a paying party insider look at BC Rail or Hydro tell me if those rose colored glasses came off. Morals you say so drunk driving is ok but only if you are a preimer and say sorry , lying about real plans to break contracts or sell off assets are not about morals i guess those political promises only count when they work in your favor .
How about tax breaks to all but wage earners and then HST for added help to the working class yep morals is what we should look at and if so the BC Liberals are past bankrupt when its about morals.
sad part is im a lifelong middle road conservative who has seen enough lying bullshit from Campbell to vote NDP now good job by Gord and his scammers tell me how you see that Wendy.

Anonymous said...

Campbell, Hansen and the bogus BC Liberal party...Do not recognize the Constitution. Our Civil Rights and Liberties, have been taken away from the people. There is no such thing, as Democracy and Freedom. Corruption and greed, is what we BC citizens are governed by. And, a dictatorship is, what we are forced live by. 90% of the BC citizens are sick of, Campbell and Hansen's, lies, deceit and cheating to win attitudes. I have watched, Carol James in the Legislature. She is an excellent debater. I have watched her more than once, pin back the ears, of many a Liberal M.P. And, I feel sorry for anyone, having to clean up the corruption, of Campbell and Hansen. That will be the toughest job ever, in the history of BC.

kootcoot said...

I'm with you on this one Bill. Indeed the Howe Streeters and their partners in greed may be in the market for a new party to support - BUT it won't be the NDP! When the Socreds self destructed, to a great extent by selling out W.A.C.'s legacy, the same old bunch of primarily right wing oriented worshippers of Thatcher and Reagan and Lyin' Brian just stole the Liberal name by discrediting Gordon Wilson (highly hypocritical too, considering what we now have in place of Gordon V. 1.0).

If necessary, that thanks to the blatant lying and arrogance the Liberal brand is now unmarketable in BC, the same bunch will come up with another name - but it is unlikely to be under the banner of the NDP!

In the meantime we could have an NDP administration while the right wing whackos wander around trying on Conservative, BC First etc. clothes until they come together under a new tent that keeps 'em on the same team and sells. The selling of course will be greatly expedited by their lackeys in the MSM who would criticize Carole James or any other NDP leader if they found a cure for cancer by claiming they put doctors out of work, or something.

I know you must realize that the way the neo-cons and neo-liberals measure success, the GDP, even catastrophes and disease are GOOD, because they all generate business activity. Not only that but they confuse and scare the general population as explained by Naomi Klein in the "Shock Doctrine" causing people to vote against their own interests out of fear!

Then at last and at least we won't have to hear about the bogus NDP deficits of the nineties or the Fast Ferries, because they will be able to demonize the caretaker NDP government that tried to serve the people while the reich wingers decided what to call themselves next time around.

Highly flawed, but a drum that has been beaten for decades in BC is the idea that somehow unions are a nest of selfish and evil "special interests" while big business is apparently motivated by altrusim only!

Wendy said...

I would love to tell you how I see that SB, but I'm having trouble following your rambling. So we agree that the Liberals are morally bankrupt or as you put it, past bankrupt. I assume you don't agree that the NDP is also. Okay, you trust them, I don't. What exactly did you want me to comment about? Your decision as a Conservative to vote NDP? Why not vote Conservative like a lot of Liberal supporters will be doing in 2013?

Willy P said...

Re Anon 10:02:
WTF has Glen Clark got to do w/this blog and why is it that these campbolods always go back to GC?
Google how gordo sabotaged GC over a $14,000 porch, Media coverage was relenless for weeks, especially W/RCMP in Glen's house.
MSM = CanWaste, Globull TV, CTV,

First and foremost- I have NEVER supported Gordo's gang of liars and thieves.Never voted for them never will/ But I will state clearly that I have NO time for lies from anyone of any political stripe - my reference was to the "wriggle room" budget that was, well, disingenuous at best. A simple cure for the after election"It's worse than I thought" used by all would be to sign a legal document about keeping pre-election promises, not the same old same old. It could be called the Gordnocchio law. I don't like liars period. And the assumption that I'm a "campbolods" is beyond ridiculous. Is it wrong to want complete honesty from elected officials?