Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Premier Christy Clark uses "semantics" to turn dirty into clean

Christy Clark's Newspeak

Got a political problem? Easily solved with one word: 'Semantics!'

Bill Tieleman’s 24 hours/The Tyee column

Tuesday June 26, 2012

By Bill Tieleman

"Creative semantics is the key to contemporary government; it consists of talking in strange tongues lest the public learn the inevitable inconveniently early."

- George Will, U.S. columnist

Dirty is clean.

Bonuses are salary.
Estimates are money in the bank.
Welcome to B.C. Premier Christy Clark's brave new world of political problem solving!
Clark turned the meaning of several words upside down last week to her government's advantage -- if voters believe it -- and dismissed objections as mere "semantics."
Bonuses for Community Living B.C. executives and managers were allegedly cancelled in October after a public uproar over how people with developmental disabilities were being mistreated. Social Development Minister Harry Bloy and CEO Rick Mowles were turfed as a result.
Last week a new controversy broke out after it was revealed that the bonuses were still being paid and simply redefined as part of their base salary, leading one advocacy group to call it "disgusting."
Clark immediately cleared that up by stating that criticism of the government decision to reward the same executives who had been rightly pilloried was just "semantics."
Dirty language
But Clark wasn't finished yet.
Next the premier declared that energy from fossil fuel natural gas that had been previously declared "dirty" by the BC Liberals' own Clean Energy Act would henceforth be called "clean" -- if it was used to power multi-billion dollar plants to liquefy natural gas for export to Asia.
That means two proposed power-hungry LNG plants with export licenses and four more under consideration -- which would use five times the energy now consumed by Vancouver -- can now burn natural gas for electricity to liquefy their product for shipping overseas.
Interestingly, one surprise critic of the Clean Energy Act was Business Council of B.C. executive vice-president Jock Finlayson, who wrote in an analysis of the legislation that:
"The government remains wedded to a policy of penalizing the use of natural gas as a domestic energy source. We continue to find the government's approach both puzzling and contrary to sound economic principles."
Not surprising then that Clark's reversal announcement that using natural gas to power LNG plants will now be regarded as "clean" came at a Business Council energy conference.
A head for numbers
And Clark warmed up her semantics strategy the week before that, by stating there was $500 million in the 2012 B.C. budget set aside for redeveloping Vancouver's aging St. Paul's Hospital.
It was left to Health Minister Mike de Jong to admit that there was actually only $8 million in that budget and that a business plan and concept wouldn't even be completed till 2014.
But no matter -- calling such picky little details "semantics" simply solves any problems!
Given this clear trend, a similar announcement from Clark may be coming soon.
May 2013: Premier Christy Clark declared a BC Liberal "election victory" despite her party winning less than a dozen seats, as the New Democrats swept to a crushing majority government.
"We clearly won the election because we had the best campaign, the best record and the best leader," boasted Clark. "To say otherwise is just... semantics."



Ron S. said...

Great column Bill. Right on the mark! LMAO!

DPL said...

I guess the world was easier back when Christy was on the hot line radio circuit. She could say just about anything she wanted, didn't have to back anything up and if all else failed, call for a commercial break and cut a disbeliever off. A bit different as premier. People listen, report on what was said and what she doesn't do.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

Old news.

Wait till the Premier Dix comes up with semantics.

You'll love those more than what Christy Crunch has come up with.

DPL said...

This blog seems to have collected a few writers who have what the old tank commander in Dirty Dozen used to call his driver" Negative vibes" Dix won't be perfect although he is very good at setting up plans to repair some of the carnage brought down on us by the BC Liberals under ex King Gordo, and the present leader, Christy. Still waiting for Christy to get an inquiry going on the sale of BC Rail. she claims she wasn't involved but one of they guys on two year house arrest says other wise.

e.a.f. said...

She is either delusional or crazy if she thinks the public is buying what she is saying. Maybe Baldry & Palmer believe her but the rest of us not so much.

Many of us have read the memo on AGT's blog. I'd believe that before I'd ever believe CC & her gang.

They have lied, created the highest deficiet in B.C. history, gave deals to their "friends", are still going ahead with the "sale" of the BCLCB, have the highest rate of child poverty in Canada 8 yrs running, driven B.C. Hydro into debt, ruined the B.C. Ferries which carries 10 interst on its loans with the german banks instead of 3. I don't care what Christie & her spin drs. call things. I know she is lying, lying, lying.

Dix won't be perfect but at least he won't sell the assets B.C. still has. He might want to keep Krug away from the cameras & move him somewhere he doesn't get noticed. It doesn't help to attack Basi/Verk because they aren't the real criminals.

At this point all CC can do is try to keep telling the same "story" because if she tells the truth, gee some body might go to jail.

Anonymous said...

Any thoughts on why Leonard Krog is attacking Basi instead of Clark on the BC Rail affair? Is this a signal that the NDP would forget about the whole thing if it formed a government?

Anonymous said...

Why even bother with these over and over again statements?

CC is gone anyway. Wash, rinse, spin repeat.

Dix will be good (well sort of). The problems will come from his caucus (Lali, Simpson, Chandra-Herbert and the other radical left wing elements).

Also remember, no absolutely no taxpayer funded advertising, no favours or appointments for insiders and friends to Crown Corporations, and no over the top rich contract deals.

and oh yeh, fix the health care system.

and dump the PAB completely.

Otherwise hypocrisy becomes a science best learned from an Adrian Dix NDP government.

Anonymous said...

liberals started with 32 billion dollar debt.Now 55 billion with a 4.5 billion deferral BCHydro in 2017 plus 1 billion for 2 hospital upgrades .plus BCRail 6 mil payout.30 million Boss Power payout .shadow tolls in p3 projects.500k a year for some jobs. all semantics.?

Anonymous said...

So according to this Anonymous genius hospital upgrades are un-nessary. He wrote "plus 1 billion for 2 hospitals." Guess $500 million hospitals aren't worth putting in.

Nice going, ace.