It was only a year ago, during the lengthy run up to our mighty neighbours’ last presidential election, that we watched incredulously as a red headed clown named Trump jetted from state to state exhorting dumbed down masses of largely large, and largely white, Americans to turn their rage over lost jobs, lost dreams, and incessant wars on “Crooked Hillary,” prompting chants of “ Lock her up!”
Not long after that, our own provincial election began to loom large. Horgan and Clark hit the hustings. Comparing the BC election to the BIG ONE in the US is like comparing the glitz of Ladysmith to that of Las Vegas, yet I couldn’t help but imagine the NDP leader touring the town halls and urging the crowds to lock up Crooked Christy.
Our new premier, in contrast to the nut bar narcissist now ruling the US, is a civilized man who would never stoop to such nasty behaviour, but in retrospect, there is a strong case for locking Christy up. For disbelievers, I’ll summarize.
Despite promising they would never sell BC Rail, the BC Liberals under Gordon Campbell did so. Suspecting that the sale was corrupt, the RCMP made an unprecedented raid on the Provincial legislature. Seven years later, government aides, Basi and Virk, despite admitting to giving insider information to bidders on the billion dollar deal, pleaded guilty and got house arrest for two years and a $75,600 fine after a deal brokered on the eve before Clark, Campbell and the rest of the Campbell cabinet were due to testify. The defence of Virk and Basi cost all of us $6.4 million.
After agreeing to and ratifying contracts with nurses, health workers, and teachers, Campbell and his Libs, in effect, tore up those agreements notwithstanding the fact that they said they would never do so in the run up to the election. The nurses and health workers took the Libs to the supreme court and won. It took longer for the teachers to get justice as Christy Clark, first as Minister of Education then later as Premier, did everything to complicate matters even after unfavourable supreme court rulings in both jurisdictions. As a result, a generation of kids was denied what they deserved and the cost of fixing a broken system will be staggering.
When a government health researcher killed himself three months after he and six of his colleagues were fired, Christy was forced to turn the matter over to Ombudsman Jay Chalke. Chalke and his investigators dug through a mountain of relevant documents and concluded that the firings were just wrong, a result of recklessness, incompetence, and dishonesty. They also concluded that there were specific failures in Christy’s office including lack of leadership and due diligence as well as statements that misled the legislature and caused delays in clearing the air over the reason for the firings.
Tim Duncan, formerly of the Ministry of Transport, was writing an e-mail about indigenous women and the Highway of Tears. When his co-worker, one George Gretes, grabbed the keyboard and proceeded to triple delete his emails, Duncan blew the whistle. This led to the revelation that triple deleting was commonplace under Christy Clark, who was forced to ban the practice. Critics pointed out that all government correspondence is the property of the people and that triple deleting is a tool used by those who have something to hide.
Christy was a high flier while on the government payroll. It’s a matter of record that she took over a half million dollars worth of flights in private jets during the first five years of her tenure on some occasions for such important government business as Liberal Party fundraisers and government photo ops. On some of these trips high flyer Christy flew aboard jets chartered from companies that just happened to be owned by high rolling Liberal funders.
Despite decades of opposition and the no-brainer that flooding agriculture land in the 21st Century is about the stupidest thing anyone can do, Christy was bound and determined to disturb the peace and dam the Peace. Her Energy Minister, Bill Bennett, claimed that Christy and the Libs pored over the Site-C project for seven years before concluding that it was the best way to acquire new electrical power. Were they unaware that the BC Utilities Commission exists to do that work and that, in fact, it did so in 1983, and rejected the idea? Apparently they weren’t, because Christy, Billy Bennett, and the rest of the gang, took pains to prevent the Utilities Commission from holding public hearings on the mega project.
In 2014 a joint federal/provincial environmental assessment panel vetted the project and came to similar conclusions as the BCUC. There was no urgent need for the dam, and that going ahead was reckless.
Add the Mount Polley Mine disaster to this list of indictments along with the promotion of aquaculture, and the continuance of the grizzly bear trophy hunt when more than 90% of the populace is opposed to it, because guide outfitters contribute to Liberal coffers, and you have a compelling case to lock her up.