Missing from Throne Speech
was probably too much to hope that Premier Campbell would
use today's Speech
from the Throne to apologize for misleading British Columbians
before and during the election. The Throne Speech described
the HST decision as "difficult and rapid". Those
who believe that might also believe that the government had
no idea about the state of B.C.'s economy and government finances
before the election when Campbell promised a deficit no bigger
than $495 million and surpluses by 2011-2012. The post-election
Throne Speech said:
have been hit by seismic economic shifts that were unpredictable
and brutally deceiving in their speed and force. They rocked
our province, hurt our industries and have left thousands
of workers worried or unemployed."
"Government revenues have been decimated. Billions
of dollars have been lost to falling commodity prices, smaller
incomes, shrinking exports and lower sales."
for November 26, 2008 recorded that Colin Hansen, Minister
of Finance said: "We can deliver the programs that British
Columbians count on, and we can do it without putting this
province into deficit, because of the careful management of
the budget." That was before the election. Now the government
admits to what economists were saying then and wants the public
to believe it just got the bad news.
the one hand the Campbell government clings to its claims
about B.C. leading Canada, while on the other hand it advocates
implementing the HST as the Maritimes have done in order to
achieve growth. Is his government suggesting we look to Nova
Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador as models
of economic success? Campbell's government has consistently
shifted the tax burden to low and middle income British Columbians,
starting with the 50% hike in MSP premiums and continuing
through the regressive HST shock.
2009 Throne Speech, the position of the government was:
"We had hoped to be in a position to introduce a voluntary
all-day kindergarten program for five-year-olds this September.
Regrettably, three factors will delay its introduction. Current
economic circumstances, the need to develop appropriate space
and the time to recruit qualified educators means it is not
feasible in 2009." Just six months later, despite being
hit by "seismic economic shifts" that require the
government to again amend its balanced budget law so as to
allow four years of deficits, the August Throne Speech promised
all-day kindergarten by September 2010. Despite higher betting
limits at BCLC, don't bet on that promise.
Throne Speech also said: "Neighbourhood learning centres
will become the focus of intensive activities with city councils,
library boards, recreation commissions, parents and professionals.
Government will work to establish educational and preschool
opportunities in the midst of the neighbourhoods where our
families live." Aren't those called schools, or did Campbell
read another book and go off on a tangent over the summer?
Does the exclusion of school boards from that list signal
Bennett is alleged to have said that politicians should never
wear out a good promise by keeping it. In that spirit, the
Throne Speech again promised a transmission line alone Highway
37. The only energy project promised more often than that
is the elimination of Burrard Thermal, also mentioned again
in the Throne Speech, possibly as a message to the BC Utilities
Commission. Not mentioned was what the cost would be of either
project. Eliminating Burrard would require significant transmission
upgrades to serve the Lower Mainland. In June 2008 building
the Highway 37 Transmission line was estimated to cost $400
million, but government
was only willing to fund $250 million. Maybe the project
will get underway now that the government is in financial
the record the Campbell government has established in the
truth department, no one should take anything it says seriously
until proof is offered. Recycled news releases don't make
it as a contribution to the environment.