Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Premier Gordon Campbell dodged all political bullets but the one with "HST" on it

Premier Gordon Campbell and Finance Minister Colin Hansen's fateful announcement of the HST on July 23, 2009

HST marks Premier Gordon Campbell's demise

By BILL TIELEMAN, 24 hours columnist

"When public debate becomes focused on one person rather than what's in the best interests of British Columbia, we have lost sight of what is important. When that happens, it's time for a change.”

— B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell in his resignation speech Wednesday

In the end, it wasn’t ripping up union contracts or massive public protests or a fudge-it budget or privatizing B.C. Rail or even the Basi-Virk corruption trial that took out Gordon Campbell.

And while a rumoured B.C. Liberal MLA caucus revolt and a leadership review vote by party members to be announced at their convention both put pressure on Campbell, they were both symptoms, not the cause.

No, the political bullet with his name on it had three fatal letters on the other side that he now likely wishes he’d never heard of — HST.

It was the Harmonized Sales Tax that Campbell announced on July 23, 2009, that sealed his fate.

Forget about all the other reasons — Campbell and his B.C Liberal Party have dropped dramatically since British Columbians realized that the $2-billion shift in taxes from corporations to
consumers would cost them each hundreds if not thousands of dollars every year.

Even Campbell’s last-minute attempt to avoid the electoral electric chair with a 15 per cent income tax cut announced in last week’s televised address couldn’t get him a reprieve from voters.

While Campbell handily won a third majority government in May 2009, his outrageous pre-election claim that B.C.’s budget deficit was only $495 million soon became $2.8 billion.

That caused Campbell to panic.

The quickest solution: a $1.6 billion, one-time-only grant from the federal Conservative government for imposing the HST.

When the HST was announced, I immediately started a NO BC HST Facebook protest page, announced in this column, realizing that consumers would be furious once they heard that everything from restaurant food to domestic airline tickets to sports events to haircuts to funerals would be taxed an extra 7 per cent.

And 24 hours readers and British Columbians responded overwhelmingly, with more than 1,000 people a day joining until the NO BC HST page peaked at over 136,000 members — second only to the Vancouver Canucks fan page.

Then, together with former B.C. Premier Bill Vander Zalm and ex-Unity Party leader Chris Delaney, we formed Fight HST and organized a major Vancouver rally of 5,000 protestors in Sept. 2009.

Fight HST then did the impossible — we launched the first-ever successful citizens’ initiative petition demanding the HST’s elimination. It gathered 705,000 signatures across B.C.’s 85 ridings and was declared valid by Elections BC.

Campbell and the B.C. Liberals continued to dismiss Fight HST and voters’ anger, but today the premier is political history and the HST is likely to follow soon.


ron said...

Surely some of the leadership candidates from the BC Fiberal caucus will defend the HST - or face embarassing questions about their previous, foolish pro-HST statements.

Any non-caucus leadership aspirants - Diane Watts ? - will be freer to shuck that political albatros me'thinks.

I'm trying to start a draft Kevin Kreuger for fiberal leader movement, but the motto "Kevin is an intellectual giant among a caucus of pygmies" isn't catching on.

Any suggestions as to how one can promote this outstanding fiberal MLA would be appreciated.

Norm Farrell said...

Sorry, there is more to it than HST. That announcement was 15 months ago and opposition was as strong then as now. The stop HST petition was delivered months ago.

Last week, Campbell was firm in his resolve to stay.

Something changed in the last few days.

Unknown said...

the HST was only a symptom of the rage being felt by a huge majority of BC'ers. It was the final straw in the deception perpetrated by this government from day 1 of the 2001 election. Day after day, week after week, we were led on and lied to. New taxes made up to benefit only a few and the rest of us pay and pay. We will never get justice for the mind boggling corruption of this government until we have MLA's who truly want to get to the bottom of all these scandals. Hopefully that will happen next election or sooner.

Bill Tieleman said...

Norman - it has been widely rumoured that several members of the BC Liberal MLA caucus were signing a letter demanding Campbell resign - that was going to blow up at the emergency caucus meeting today.

They could no longer stomach his disastrous polling and pesonal approval numbers, which were going to destroy them all.

I don't think there's any more to it than that and it's what changed.

But the HST is the reason why Campbell's numbers tanked - he had 50% approval before the 2009 election and 46% of the vote in that election.

Anonymous said...

Campbell garnered 46% of 50% of voters who showed up at the ballot. That isn't impressive.

kootcoot said...

Perhaps you want to once again agree with the Globe and Mail and the PostMedia crowd and blame all of Gordo's problems on the HST. I can understand that since you were so involved in the anti-HST campaign it must feel good to think that is the cause.

I will admit that the HST was the issue that FINALLY made the people of BC aware of the scams that have been being perpetuated on them for the last decade and the work that you and Bill and Chris performed was very helpful.

However, in spite of what you and/or so much of the media are trying to promote the HST WAS NOT and IS NOT the elephant in room, as that metaphor is commonly used to refer to the issue that everyone is ignoring - obviously not the HST.

But then Bill you seem willing to accept the fact that Wild Bill was properly appointed in the Basi-Virk case - apparently just because NO ONE is willing to ask the appropriate questions, which is very different from having been CLEARED!

The HST is/was the straw the broke the camel's back - but there is so much more and now that the floodgates have opened neither you nor the combined forces of PostMedia and the Goober and Maul and the goofs at CKNW will be able to limit the damage and carry on the pretence that Gordo is honourably retiring after a quarter century of "service" to the Province.

It would be a more apt analogy to compare him to a thug/crook fleeing the scene of a ten year crime spree hoping to get away before the proverbial waste matter hits the proverbial rotating appliance used for air circulation in hot weather!

Gordo is now holding his presser and decrying the lack of "respect" in today's politics - that's rich from the man who in opposition wouldn't accord the premier the respect he deserved and insisted in addressing his opponents in demeaning fashion. Only George Orwell (and perhaps Noam Chomskey) could appreciate the honorific "Honourable" being attached to the name Gordon Muir Campbell.

Anonymous said...

Bill you are a seasoned and skilled campaigner and you clearly needed to save some face from the disastrous "axe the tax" campaign so the HST (Hacks Selling Treason) campaign certainly helped you claw back some ground.

That said it was the feather that broke the camels back for one reason. It gave the mainstream an issue to hang the disastrous track record of Campbells on.

It serves nobody to fool the public into believing the HST had anything to do with the premiers demise. The fact is they are using it to cover up an endless stream of wealth transfer plays that have left us crippled and will neuter the next governments ability to do anything.

The Campbell track record is a disaster and the HST white washed it and gave Gordo the bilderberg the cover and catalyst he needs to move on to Federal politics.

Backroom hacks and power brokers used to keep their shenanigans hidden but the bold and beautiful are pulling off day time heists from Wall Street to Cambie Street.

These are perilous times and anyone who dares speak truth to power would garner immense support and would lead the outraged electorate out of the corrupt corporate jungle we have reduced the province to.

Pay heed to that fact brother.

Anonymous said...

After having watched Campbell on the televised questions on his resignation, I come away with the feeling that it was a total waste of time. It was just another Campbell tactic of being front and center for attention.

The above link describes Campbell to perfection.

Campbell is again using the media to his advantage only.


DPL said...

Hey Ron, if all else fails,get Kevin to pray for them. I seem to recall that he said in the house that we should pray for the misguided union folks. I really don't have a problem with religious folk, but there is a time and place and the legislature sure isn't the place to dump on folks who are working to improve the collective agreements

Bill Tieleman said...

I will be talking with Bill Good on CKNW AM 980 at 10:05 a.m. about Gordon Campbell's resignation - online at

Anonymous said...

I agree with Norman. This resignation represents the culmination of several factors that came together in a perfect storm for Campbell. I don't underestimate the gravity of the HST, but you have to admit, Bill, the Basi/Virk defence bill angered a lot of folk and helped the Premier's numbers sink to an all-time low. The bizarre cabinet shuffle, which prompted the first real chinks in the cabinet's armour -- that certainly must have been a factor.

You correctly theorize that "several members of the BC Liberal MLA caucus were signing a letter demanding Campbell resign." How many of those who signed this letter do you think supported and continue to support the HST? I'd say most of them.

There's also a theory that says the Premier had a sneak-peak at the leadership vote numbers in advance of the party convention, and the writing was on the wall. If that's true, this resignation has less to do, directly, with the HST, and more to do with a desperate attempt by the party to salvage their very existence.

I also agree with what Dennis Pilon said in news reports last night: the BC Liberal Party's biggest financial supporters (big business) put the screws to Campbell. Those big business people are the HST's most ardent supporters.

Bill, I think you're guilty of reductionist thinking. You reduce a complex political problem to a simple set of explanations.

Anonymous said...

Agree with Norman, which is unusual, Campbell's resignation was the culumination of many things, but the largest one was indeed the HST when it was introduced, not a manifestation of the online discord.

Rumors are just that, rumors, and anyone can start those, without even having hard written evidence to back it up.

While Bill's efforts on the online petition was good, it was not the sole reasoning for the huge opposition to the HST.

But things have to turn to the NDP.

The NDP has relied on weak leadership and every left wing blogger here has relied on their hatred of Campbell. So he's gone, and the HST is still here, and even if that is taken out by the referendum vote, what happens to Carole James? She has not shown any real solid leadership, just weak opposition.

The NDP needs to take a strong stand agains the HST, state publicly they would get rid if it within six months of assuming office if the HST still exists after the referendum vogte.

Anonymous said...

The rumoured caucus letter does not square with the 84% support for his leadership review that ran in todays in Winnipeg Press.

Show us the letter....

The fact is this is Gordo rewarding his suppporters with the second largest tax cut in history while turning the channel away from his complete corporate capitulation.

He will now hang around until spring while the media fawns over his great leader legacy and speculates who the next great leader will be.

We have been had by corporate spin meisters who had to pull Gordo's ass out of the fire.

What a joke, all he did is say I am going soon and its not my fault and my party still loves me so I am going to Ottawa to fulfill the my marching orders I received in Spain.

Joe said...

HST supporters have the power and money to hire spin doctors to create an illusion of reality through an ideological devotion to "reasonableness." Or they use sentiment to create victims and villains and heroes. Governments in Canada have moved away from taxing the large multinational companies. They used to carry 30-40 percent, but its far less now. Instead, governments nickel and dime the middle class and undermine the public good of Canadian society. In the meantime, I can not afford to support my family on the income I currently make. The real issue is that governments function as an interest group at the behest of other "interest groups" as they design public strategy. Canadian thinkers like John Ralston Saul have been saying this for years and we never learn. These elites claim the right to define our "success" as a society without messy debates and dialogue that are needed to get the best ideas out. This latest HST stranglehold and the BC rail fiasco show me how they are technocrats. Beancounters. They manipulate form and structure to keep power. They are experts in the skill of managing power and not much else. By their actions, they are opposed to fostering the engagement of the 'disinterested individual' citizen. The purported "inevitability" of government and industry led "partnerships" will not bring us prosperity. The only way is by the power of its citizens who exercise the power of their legitimacy. Mr. Campbell, you have failed as a leader. You are not the "victim" of politics here. Come and live my life as an aboriginal person in Canada.

Successors, beware of old style executive federalism backroom high handed politics..

Bill Tieleman said...

Anon 10:17 - I'm I engaged in "reductionist" thinking or do you just disagree with me?

The BC Liberal Party released the vote on Gordon Campbell's leadership review - 84% in favour, with a multiplicity of witnesses testifying its true.

Basi/Virk is a factor but the BC Liberals survived two elections after the raid including the serious revelations that came out in 2007 - dirty tricks out of the premier's office, RCMP discussing the case with the BC Liberal Party etc, etc.

Kootkoot - I've discussed Special Prosecutor Bill Berardino's case before - it's a red herring. In any event, it was the government that signed off on the plea bargain, not Berardino.

Anonymous said...

Bill, I appreciate you and your blog. I appreciate all the work you & the Zalm and Chris Delaney did to organize FIGHT HST and thanks for that. I wanted to offer a word of caution though on your conclusion (the same as the msm) that the HST was the reason for the fall of Gordo.

The caution I offer is this: you are playing into the hands of the Liberals by emphasizing this one cause. There were so many others and Gordo and the Liberals really, really want people to only focus on this one because it is fixable and its a "bad" political decision so Gordo's legacy can be spun by his many and expensive and talented pr guys as something magnificent and shiny when we know that is simply not true.

The man is a criminal and a liar and has done serious damage to this province in divesting it of public assets and shovelling bucket loads of public money to his friends. But it is not all Campbell, it is the party. So if they can manage the exit of Campbell, blame the HST and otherwise keep pumping what great things he did then the Liberals have a chance at saving themselves. The public has to be reminded by the few alternative media voices that Campbell with the full cooperation of his party are responsible for some truly bad decisions with exceptionally expensive consequences for the people of BC. Focusing on the HST only is a mistake.

Anonymous said...

"Successors, beware of old style executive federalism backroom high handed politics.."

and don't forget the labour based influnences on NDP leadership within the NDP.

high handed politics is not totally in existance with the BC Liberals.

There's also the Old Boy Liberal politics within the federal Liberals.The fights between the Chretieniste and Martinites was legendary and still continues.

Anonymous said...

Federal Liberals are in need of a leader. Iggy is not the guy. All those olympic photos of Campbell and his red mittens... I said at the time I think he is being set up to take over the Federal Liberals.

His participation in Spain at the Bildeberg gathering makes me even more curious. And what a travesty that would be! I believe powerful interests control both Harper and Campbell so having them as the leaders and dictators of the two most popular political parties in this country would be quite a coup.

Okay, maybe its a bit conspiracy-theoryish but I can't help but feel something wicked this way comes.

kootcoot said...

Everything but the HST is a red herring to you Bill. The fact that the Gord won two elections after the Raid on the Ledge is a red herring the size of a Sperm Whale. Thanks to the co-operation of the then GlowBall/Canned Waste empire now PostMedia and their allies at the Goober and Maul and the infamous quote that "It's before the courts, can't comment," most people in BeeCee had forgotten the whole issue, or thought it had been resolved until the dementia stricken Brown and Kenning pretended to testify and then the fix was implemented and everything made to go away.

You seem to be acting very ostrich like. By your reasoning the Pentagon Papers would have been not true or matter - in spite of the fact they were government documents, IF they hadn't been published. Of course like the dems in the US, I've come to conclude that you, the NDP and the Tyee are only left/liberal when compared to say Genghis Khan, Steve Harper and Dick Cheney - maybe standing on the left shoulder of the ghost of Richard Nixon (who could learn a lot about cover-ups from the BC liaRs.) In the US today they have Republicans and Republican-lite and here we seem to just have various flavors of PsuedoCon Corporatists all willing to provide the best government money can buy!

Just because no one will ask the right questions doesn't mean the answers don't exist or that they are either not true or irrelevant.

- So far the Campbelloids have managed to make everything go away or stay irrelevant except the HST - meanwhile too few care about the Rape of the Rivers IPP scams, the salmon farm travesty, the gambling/money laundering scams, the ALR/Forestland scams and you seem to be throwing yourself on the side of the "nothing to see here folks" Lamestream. I won't be surprised to see your byline in the Stun or the Times-Colonist WaterCarrier soon....I'm already seeing your face on the BC LIEberal TeeVee Station (GlowBall or CeeTeeVee or both).

I used to see you on the Mother Corp, but of course it is morphing into a PAB outlet too now that they have Liberal Lover Parsons on board.

Anonymous said...

according to this Campbell was blackmailed

Bill Tieleman said...

Koot - I've never said the other issues aren't important - I've written more than anyone else about the Basi-Virk case, I've followed cuts to people with disabilities and social assistance recipients, I've detailed the outrageous ripping up of union contracts.

But let's face it - Gordon Campbell survived all those significant scandals and unfair actions.

As to your "lamestream" media comments - I started my career as a reporter for the Vancouver Sun. I've been a columnist for the National Post and the Georgia Straight and I'm pleased to be with 24 hours now.

Anonymous said...

are we nut's this announcement means that he's still the preem well for another six months at least and yet the msm is fawning all over him,excuse me but am I wrong in thinking this announcement is about six months premature?WTF.

Ed Seedhouse said...

The NDP should stick with the leader it has at least until after the new Liberal leader is in office and has had a few months to put his stamp on the government.

For that new premier to call a snap election would require a sitting of the Legislature to change the law. Not so easy to do.

But there's no point in the NDP getting a new leader who can beat, say, a Kevin Falcon if the Liberals put up a Dianne Watts for example.

And of course we do not even know at this point if it even will be the Liberals the NDP will mainly be running against.

One or two successful recalls, for example, could change the whole political climate.

So the NDP should keep it's powder dry while paying off it's debts and getting a credible set of policies in place. Then when they have more information they might consider if they need a new leader.

But until then, best to keep the powder dry and don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes.

Anonymous said...

The Campbell government will go down in history as the most corrupt government ever to operate in Victoria and that's why the corporate criminals like them. Corruption runs so deep with these Liberals that it can't be erased. To make a long story short, you can replace the WARDEN but the trash remains inside.

Canadian Canary said...

Anon 11:41 AM I agree with you entirely:

The caution I offer is this: you are playing into the hands of the Liberals by emphasizing this one cause.

Anonymous said...

ok..he 9% ..he had to..
an outpouring of sympathy..his confidence restored, re energized...the recall loses momentum...they`ve bought some time of course.
The resignation was completely a strategic move and I completely agree with Canadian Canary and Anon 11:41 AM.

Paul said...

SFU Prof. Lindsay Meredith — a marketing and politics expert — said it was clearly the Liberal’s fear over the pending recall campaigns that forced the party to push Campbell out ungracefully.

Lindsay Meredith: "Once the recall campaigns got moving the Liberal MLAs would have got picked off like flies."

"They’re saying we have to put out this fire real quick, forget about who the new fire chief is."

Her analysis agrees with information being leaked from insiders in Victoria.

Lindsay Meredith: "This was just an effort to change the game and say ‘We got rid of your bogeyman. Well, I don’t think that strategy will work here."

Full Province story here!

Paul said...

Thursday October 28, 2010

QUOTE - CBC journalist Belle Puri on being appointed Gordon Campbell's new press secretary:

"Today, I'm feeling really invigorated with this new challenge. It's pretty exciting at this stage of my career to get an opportunity like this."

She said she got a call from the premier's office about a month ago asking about her availability.

"My first reaction was to laugh out loud, but after I had a couple of weeks to think about it, it seemed like a great opportunity."

She said she begins her new job immediately.

Wednesday November 03, 2010 (six days later)

The premier's office left her a message shortly before Campbell's 11:30 a.m. press conference.

QUOTE - CBC journalist Belle Puri:

"I was in the CBC newsroom tidying up some things."

"I missed the call."

"It's certainly been an emotional roller coaster."


She should have called Brigitte Anderson to ask why she accepted a lower paying job at a private girls school.

Anonymous said...

...recall is coming closer, and who is Diane Watts?

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately the damage has been done I am a Health Care Worker with HEU and I had 15% of my wages taken from me just so I can top up Campbell & Co wages as well as a wage freeze for 2 years that creep made sure he was well taken care of And since then the Health Care facilities are very top heavy with middle management ( Non Union )
workers with high wages and no qualifications I wish someone would look into that

SharingIsGood said...

Hi Bill,

Please include me in the camp that says that the HST is just the:

final bit of baggage that caused the porter to drop the bags;

last grain of sand causing the brakes to fail;

straw that broke the camel's back;

drop that caused the dam to burst;

last of too many trips to the carcinogenic tanning bed;

and the one drink too much that the arrogant, privatizing, corporatocratic BC Liberals offered us from the Liars' Well.

Yes, the HST proved to be a vehicle for all the folks that have been abused by our BC Liberals to climb aboard; but the recent outcome of the Basi-Virk trial was received by the electorate like gasoline on an already raging fire.

Anonymous said...

"Unfortunately the damage has been done I am a Health Care Worker with HEU and I had 15% of my wages taken from me"

Yeah so? Be glad you have a job that pays the bills and the mortgage.

I've known people who have lost jobs because of economic reasons and have had to take other jobs that meant a 40% reduction in what they used to make.

Breaking the contract was bad, but the constant snivelling from union people about their wages can be a bit much to take at times.

Anonymous said...

Conwest cum Post Muckia have been playing up Surrey Mayor Cop-Tool for over a year. They use any excuse to give her a photo-op.

Can Cop-Tool "clean up" BC, like she supposedly cleaned up Surrey? That is all BS. Cops are prohibited from taking operational direction from politicians. She had absolutely nothing to do with any nominal policing success in Surrey. And who says it is good? Stats reveal that local cops assist in less than 1 conviction per unit per month. How safe would that make you feel if you lived in Surrey?

Tieleman: don't catch David-Beers-Irrelevancy-Fever. We have senior prosecutors on the witness stand in the Frank Paul Inquiry; on Tuesday a sitting judge will testify. Crown participation of this sort has NOT happened since the inquiry into the zealous prosecution of Guy Paul Morin, in Ontario. Yah, I attended those sessions too. Speak or be the silent accomplice of the Lib malfeasants whose kiss-butt relations with cops, led to the death of Frank Paul. Silence is consent.

Let me name the Lib-Wingers who could kill the NDP election opportunity, with same-old-stuff: Carol James, Jenny Kwan (Criminologist), Mike Farnsworth, Leonard Krog. SOS: LOSERS.

Anonymous said...

"who could kill the NDP election opportunity, with same-old-stuff: "

Then there's those who have killed the NDP election opportuity, twice.

Carole James, Moe Sihota, and most of the incumbent NDP MLAs.

Anonymous said...

Thursday press Conference by Gordo

From: Steve Dockeray
Sent: Thursday, November 04, 2010 3:26 PM
To: jmccomb ; nw ws ; nwnews ; programming com ; t t
Subject: he did not make sense again =

1)he did not make sense again = Campbell just said " i do not let polls drive me " then he said " my low poll numbers distracted from my policies so i quit “

2) He said the spotlight needs to be taken off him & deal with policies -- then he says the spot light will be on the leadership race

3) What major Policy changes did he make last week ie: i did not hear any Media reports telling us of these major policy changes etc. ?

steve dockeray
milner bc

Anonymous said...

A)The Future can be determined by the character of those who shape it ie: Gordo chose to be a Bully\Dictator !

B) A Person can not tell the Future , but like a card counter in Blackjack you can increase your odds by paying attention to the Big Picture !

From: Steve Dockeray
Sent: Thursday, November 04, 2010 3:52 PM
To: jmccomb ; nw ws ; nwnews ; programming com ; t t
Subject: The Future can be determined by the character of those who shape it ie: Gordo chose to be a Bully\Dictator

1) People get pissed off when Politicians lie to us ( Not the system it is the character of the Politician )

2) The System does not create dictators - it is the character of the Politician & His or Her CHOICE to become a dictator that is the problem

3) When Gordo decided to pick up 6 million in ledge raid trial – Dejong said the trial was costing too much but not one Reporter said to Dejong “ it was your government who spent 2 years fighting to stop the DISCLOSURE of information , hence are you not partially to blame for the cost of the ledge raid trial “

steve dockeray
milner bc

Anonymous said...

Bob Simpson comes out on Campbell's side:

"NDP MLA warns of voting against HST
Jordan Armstrong | Email news tips to

At least one NDP M-L-A is signaling he may not vote to kill the HST.

Sounding very much like a member of the BC Liberal party, renegade MLA Bob Simpson says the HST would be complicated to unwind, and there would be implications in doing so."

G West said...

Has Campbell actually 'resigned'?

I don't think so. In fact, his little news conference - apart from repeating the same mantra he introduced in his 'resignation' speech the day before - indicated to me that it is 'business as usual' for Gordon Campbell and the Premier's Office staff.

They, and he, are going to continue to try and 'sell' the HST - you'll have noticed more short pieces with small business persons who'll let you know that it hasn't been 'all that bad' for them - with the help of the media.

Campbell is still planning a shakeup of public education in the province (of a magnitude that's undetermined at this time) as he mentioned at length in his speech on October 27; he has not reneged on any of the appointments he made during his cabinet expansion/shuffle.

There is NO INDICATION that there has been ANY change in direction - in the absence of such indications, the only logical conclusion is THAT CAMPBELL IS STILL IN CONTROL, THE CAMPBELL AGENDA IS STILL IN PLACE and BC is still in big trouble.

Unless there is an interim leader and some indication that the programs (including phony tax cuts) have changed I'm afraid it's business as usual. Campbell is one of those narcissistic characters who think they can do no wrong - his problems are all someone else's fault and he will not leave until somebody kicks his ass out the door for good.

Anyone who thinks there are people with the beans to take that kind of precipitate action in the government of British Columbia hasn't been paying attention for the past 9 years.

Anonymous said...

I am still laughing at the claim of a 5000 person rally. Every media reporter in attendance reported on what a bogus claim that was. Why the need to inflate the numbers Bill ?

Somehow I am sure this will be a case of everyone else was wrong and only you were right.

Anonymous said...


Regarding the HST, I have a few questions. Maybe someone out there knows the answers.

1)Does the federal govt now collect all sales taxes and re-imburse the provincial govt?

2) Can the provinvcial govt. increase or decrease (it's portion of) the HST?

3) Does the province, the feds, or both have power to remove a sales tax associated with a sector/item?


Bill Tieleman said...

To Anon 9:53 p.m. - keep trying - you and your friends have been attempting to discredit Fight HST unsuccessfully for over a year and now your HST hero has resigned. It must really bug you.

But here's the start of the Vancouver Province newspaper account, for the record.:

Finance Minister Colin Hansen fights back against detractors

By John Colebourn, The ProvinceSeptember 19, 2009 6:02 PM

VANCOUVER — The jabs to beat back the HST are coming fast and furious from the left and right.
And feeling the rage of people of all political stripes, Finance Minister Colin Hansen took on the ultimate fighter role Friday afternoon as he vowed to go mano-a-mano with his detractors in the tussle over the contentious taxation.

“I found a lot of the initial anger out there is dissipating as people are getting more information about the tax,” Hansen said at a hastily called media conference following the anti-HST rally in downtown Vancouver that was attended by about 5,000 people.

Whoops - sorry Anon 9:53 - you lose.

Bill Tieleman said...

To Anon 10:22 p.m. -

1) - yes

2) - yes, decrease up to 7% - the previous total provincial sales tax; yes, increase - the Nova Scotia NDP government just increased it 2% to a total 15% HST

3) there is a cap on provincial exemptions - BC is at that cap, having excluded gasoline and other products from the additional tax. Yes, a federal-provincial agreement could exempt some items or services - or the province could conceivably change the exemptions but it would, I believe, require federal agreement.

Dave-O said...

It's going to be Berry Penner he's been out dealing first hand with his ministry issues. People in general don't mind Penner he's been allowed to talk freely by the Libs brass.

My choice for the next leader of BC is Rob Fleming we got to get him some pro help a make over some buffing up new heartland talking points his mug in the media. Let's rock n' roll troops.

Otis Krayola said...

Regardless of everything else, my anger has found new focus over how the HST was implemented.

No, we won't. Oops! Well, maybe we will.

I think the jury's out on whether this is a 'good' tax. I have to say that I'm extremely suspicious about Business getting onside with the HST. These are the folks who never saw a tax that they liked.

But, maybe that's because it's (by and large) not THEY'RE tax.

Be that as it may, I hate the Lieberals because they lied about the implementation of the HST. Doesn't matter if Gordo's gone or not.

They all lied.

Anonymous said...

- What significance - if any - that Sean Holman got the first question at the presser?

- @9:08 AM Anonymous: "Campbell garnered 46% of 50% of voters who showed up at the ballot." It may not be impressive, but that's the way our democracy works.

- @9:20 AM PDT kootcoot: "Gordo is now holding his presser and decrying the lack of "respect" in today's politics - that's rich..." Ian Haysom (news director of Global News in BC) writes: "A theme emerges. Gordo, at his news conference and in a later interview with our Chris Gailus, says politics has become way too personal. Personal abuse is continually heaped upon politicians." Campbell's imperious arrogance at its finest.

- @9:57 AM PDT Anonymous: I have to agree with the 'psychopath' naming - how else does one explain a record string of child poverty while giving everything to business and the rich? There was not one word in Campbell's presser where he admitted responsibility for the BC Liberal party's fall from grace, or his own political demise.

- @10:17 AM PDT Anonymous: The leadership vote numbers came in at 84%; keep in mind that it was not a secret ballot and was therefore a meaningless exercise.

- @9:47 PM PDT Paul: I think with Gordon 'The Bogeyman' Campbell gone recall is dead. The BC Liberal leadership race will embolden voters into an apathetic state of denial along with some 'battered voter syndrome' the public will let the politicians off the hook and give them another chance under a new leader.

- tibit... Sean Holman posted a Coleman fund raising video a few days ago... the 1st 'validator' was some councilman that recently made headlines telling the BC Liberal finance minister he should resign...

SharingIsGood said...

G West, is right.

The Gordon Campbell - Now he's here, Now he's gone, and Now he's back again - magic show has to go.

He wants his cake and eat it too. His being the back-bencher in waiting while still the leader 'cause he knows better than the 94% of British Columbians who have said, "We've had More Than ENOUGH!" is more than BC can stomach.

The only saving grace about his over-overstaying his welcome is that it will ensure that the recalls will be successful. The BC Liberal seats lost in a recall will remain lost in a provincial election.

Joe said...

The real discussion we aught to be having that is largely missed is not pragmatic. Our prevailing symptoms of polarization,acrimony and apathy have more to do with bad ideas about the nature of our democracy and the nature of economics. In Canada, we live in a society with a pretense of democracy.People have been led to believe that the negotiation of "power" is corporatist, comprised as the sum of competing interest groups, high-handed technocrat politicans or "inevitable" global economic or social forces, and that the individual citizens voice in shaping sociey is somehow inefficiant,messy, irrelevant. Our elites dont make considered decisions regarding Canada and its history of balance and conciliation as an ethical contract to uphold the public good. Reardless of left or right leanings, they flip flop from one myopic ideological instrumental "solution" to another based on the latest poll or politicans brief.

The "disintersted citizen among us knows better on an intuitive, imaginative, thoughtful level. I hope discussions like this cause people to stand up and be counted and participte in their democracy in a more integrated manner.I for one demand leaders with vision, who understand public debate and dialogue enough to get out of the way so it can really happen, I want leaders who are able to think about the best that comprises Canada as a social pact, including the contributions of its aborignal people,the value of public education and the Arts and humanities,etc. Our beancounter Leaders get caught up into strategies with wrong foundational assumptions mentioned above, and then blame the people for the acrimony. Citizens-based politics in a functioning democracy were people are encouraged to think deeply about their country is where real changes are made that serve the public good!

Crankypants said...

Bill, I'm not so sure one can accept the 84% approval rating released after Campbell's announcement as gospell. The former mayor of Williams Lake, I believe his name is Scott Nelson, was on Christy Clark's show the day before Campbell's presser talking about the upcoming Liberal convention. He stated that if anyone tried to say that Campbell's approval was anything north of 50%, the numbers were being doctored. I know that he quit his position in the BC Liberal Party a while back, but I assume that he still has enough contacts in the party's hierarchy to get some pretty reliable information. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if the BC Liberal Party executive offered Gordo a deal he couldn't refuse. That is for him to abdicate his throne voluntarily and we will cover your butt by massaging the numbers, or we will release the true vote and embarass you into taking a walk in the sunset.

I also think that the upcoming referendum and potential recalls tied to the FightHST campaign played a part in Gordo's announcement. I believe that the likes of Winters, Hochstein etc. realized that as long as Campbell is seen to be at the helm, both the recalls and the anti HST votes would reflect not only the hatred of the new tax, but also the unpopularity of the man himself. Remember, it is these guys and their members that will benefit the most by having the HST in place, and they want to do whatever they can to make sure it remains in place. The Howe Streeters may also have been less than pleased with Gordo's commitment to let the referendum vote be decided by a simple majority instead of the super majority required by the Recall & Initiatives Act. A new leader would not have to abide by Campbell's declaration simply because it was nothing more than a personal commitment, not a legal requirement.

Although my theory of events is just conjecture, so is that of everyone else. How does one rationalize a person going from a man in charge, announcing a major cabinet change and redistribution of duties amongst ministries and a $240,000 primetime fireside chat one week, to a hastily called public announcement of resignation one week later? Either he has serious mental issues or he was read the riot act by some entity higher up on the pecking order. I may not be a psychiatrist, but from what I've heard on the radio and television, I do not believe that he has taken leave of his senses, which means that he capitulated to the latter. Who do you think could exert more pressure on him? His penchant to do the right thing for the province and its citizens, or the movers and shakers that have bankrolled his political existence from the getgo and will do whatever they can to make sure that the NDP never gains control of the Legislature again. My money is on the latter.

Anonymous said...

I also cannot see any degree of normal in a 84% approval rating of Campbell from his Liberal party. If this is true, then the kool-aid is spiked. Can people be so stupid and out of touch? It just seems impossible. The man is a train wreck for Chrissakes.

I also want to nominate Joe at 10:45 for the best comment and its' spot-on of what is going on in this province and country. Lost Liberals leaning on Dianne Watts for any sort of 'cum save me' strategy have supported the wrong favourite flavour for years now and want to (as usual) give power to a woman when things get nasty, to take the fall.

Unknown said...

There seems to be a feeling that once the HST is defeated and recalls are started and presuming they are successful, all is well. Frankly these events should only be the beginning of a democratic revolution. We should consider the implications of what has happened here.

This is class warfare make no mistake. We have to be vigilant and put in stone safegards that will protect us from unscruplious people like Campbell, Harper and their ilk.

Let the events of the HST and recall be the beginning of this revolution.

Joe said...

The HST referendum functions as yet another ideological tool that is designed to create heroes and tidy "reasoned" solutions. Its one of those "flip flops" I was referring to earlier. Its a false choice, a false solution for British Columbians. Governments of all stripe pose it as a populist tool of direct democracy, which translates into undermining representative democracy!

Remember that our current brand of Canadian politicans are myopic and don't read or integrate history. They just exploit it. This is because the integrated knowledge we require to function as a democracy has been siloed into the utilitarian, competing reasoning of "interest groups."

Case-in-point: Historically, referendum is a political tool that is anti-democratic. It was introduced by Napoleon in 1804 to destroy democracy and used by Hitler twice for the same purpose in 1933 and 1934. Look at how politicians have manipulated it in Canadas past. It resembled a democratic appeal, without requiring the sustained complexities of elected representatives, daily politics and ongoing individual citizens engagment, where we each find our place in the broader debate and dialogue.

Governments have the power to pose the HST question and to refuse it! They manipulate the whole process! They use time to slowly make us think we "need" to vote yes! This is still the politics of ideology. !ts not a mark of ethical, imaginative, contextual public leadership. FYI, nothing about participatory democracy is tidy.

Anonymous said...

2:21 brings up a good point,
"give power to a woman when things get nasty, to take the fall."
Two examples are Rita Johnson and Kim Campbell

Anonymous said...

Hope you are well. Please get back to work.

Anonymous said...


Will McMartin Shoots Down Squawking Gaggle of Campbell Praisers

A 'great' premier whose fiscal skill made BC 'great' for business? The facts say no.

Will McMartin, TheTyee

Anonymous said...

In his press conference Campbell said that he wanted to improve the quality of life for families in B.C.
Ask the people earning the minimum wage that he and the Liberals brought in if their quality of life has improved.

Anonymous said...

Where's the Special Prosecutor?

RCMP asked to investigate seven anti-HST canvassers

By Jonathan Fowlie, Vancouver Sun November 8, 2010 11:55 AM

Anonymous said...

"A 'great' premier whose fiscal skill made BC 'great' for business? The facts say no."

The real facts say "old news".

Anonymous said...

"Ask the people earning the minimum wage that he and the Liberals brought in if their quality of life has improved."

Ask the people who were working at minium wage when the NDP was in power if their quality of life improved.

Opie Dopie said...

Crankypants got it right. I knew as soon as I heard Campbell claim he would accept 50% + 1 on the referendum vote as reason to reverse HST that there was no way he would still be Premier by then and made reference to that here a week before the "resignation". Now any bets that the leadership convention "as soon as possible" will be done before May 30, the 10 year anniversary of Campbell as Premier and a huge pension increase?

Ron said:

"This is class warfare make no mistake. We have to be vigilant and put in stone safegards that will protect us from unscruplious people like Campbell, Harper and their ilk.

Let the events of the HST and recall be the beginning of this revolution."

I agree, but include the NDP and FightHST people in the list of the unscrupulous. Not the volunteers who have been misled but the leaders and organizers.

Bill, as to the 5,000 figure thrown around, I put no stock in what you, the Province or the Sun have to say. No idea why someone would bring that up now, it wasn't even interesting when it happened, but I was in attendance and don't believe there was that many, nor the lower estimate of 1,000 but rather somewhere in between. Yeah, I think you inflated the numbers, probably just took Colebourn's number and said "that's the biggest, I'll use it", but who cares? The important thing is Campbell is (almost) gone.

But the HST is still here. Whoops, you're still the loser. Any bets you will never be on the winning side of this debacle?
(Hint: It's a trick question, there is no winning side. We're all screwed by the HST. Permanently)

Anonymous said...

so Craig James has now referred seven anti-HST canvassers (all volunteers) to the RCMP for criminal investigation because of multiple signatures (a tiny fraction of the signatures---only 2,000 of 700,000 collected).

And Craig James sent out warning letters to everyone who signed more than once (which could happen easily enough by accident rather than design).

Of course the duplicate signatures were rightfully weeded out.

But why this big effort by our "independent" electoral office on a really minor fraction in what was an overwhelmingly successful grassroots democratic initiative?

Perfect timing though to try and put a chill on recall and turn the tide of public opinion. (Along with the non-resignation of the Premier).

Anonymous said...

Do not read if easily offended

Tom Syer is on a one-year contract, and will be paid $190,000 to... "provide information" for the BC Liberal's 'it's not propaganda' HST Information Centre.

Syer is the former director of policy and regulatory affairs at Plutonic Power. He is also Premier Gordon Campbell's former deputy chief of staff.

Anonymous said...

"so Craig James has now referred seven anti-HST canvassers (all volunteers) to the RCMP for criminal investigation because of multiple signatures (a tiny fraction of the signatures---only 2,000 of 700,000 collected). "

Canvcassers are supposed to ensure that only one signature per person is written into the sheets. It's impossible to know if one person signed two sheets in two different locations, but the onus is on the canvassers to tell the people who sign what the rules are. Was this properly done?

"And Craig James sent out warning letters to everyone who signed more than once (which could happen easily enough by accident rather than design). "

Was no accident. A person signing the petition should know what the rules are. "oh I signed before so I can't sign yours" should have been the line of thinking.

"Of course the duplicate signatures were rightfully weeded out."

and so they should but a person signing three times or more is no "accident".

"But why this big effort by our "independent" electoral office on a really minor fraction in what was an overwhelmingly successful grassroots democratic initiative?"

Because they have a responsibility to ensure all aspects of the BC Elections Act, and the Initiative and Recall Act are complied with. All of them.

"Perfect timing though to try and put a chill on recall and turn the tide of public opinion. (Along with the non-resignation of the Premier)."

Bull cookies. It's more of a "consipracy theory" cooked up by Delaney. So how does this reflect on his so-called BC First Party? Certainly not one the serious voter would consider for representing people in Victoria.

Some canvassers may have not done their job properly.

Anonymous said...

think the BC people were building up anger, every time Campbell introduced another and another tax. The election lie, the BCR wasn't for sale. The HST wasn't on Campbell and Hansen's radar. There was anger at Campbell stealing a 53% wage hike. Thieving and selling the citizens, natural resources. The list goes on forever. The HST was the final betrayal. Thanks to Bill Tieleman, Zalm and all the other hardworking people, they took up the battle, for all of BC's people. BC is the most corrupt province in all of Canada, thanks to the BC Liberal government. To lie, deceive and cheat to win, says it all. The bad thing is, Craig James can never be trusted. He is just another Campbell, kiss butt boy.We all know, if the RCMP don't play ball, they will lose their contract, with the BC province. So, of course they will follow Campbell's order, right to the hilt. The BC Liberal government is absolutely revolting.