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Dufus of the Week

Without Prejudice - Jan. 31, 2012
Kevin Falcon
Kevin Falcon - Finance Minister


B.C. Liberals planned to sell HST with iPad giveaway

Appeal to Olympic nostalgia also to be part of push for unpopular tax

On Thursday, Finance Minister, the not so Honourable Kevin Falcon said the pamphlet was shelved because it would have been mailed out at the same time as a court challenge on the anti-HST petition, and government did not think the approach was going to be helpful. He was not finance minister at the time all though he certainly was in the government, and he actually thought he should be premier and that is truly frightening.

"The idea was a desire to talk about the success of the Olympics and the HST and I think that, frankly, British Columbians wouldn't have been very receptive to it," Falcon stated.

The cost of this breathtakingly dishonest partisan play on the part of government was $780,000 out of the taxpayers purse. Not only that but a contest in the pamphlet was to giveaway 3 iPads at $750 a pop.

Unnamed sources claim Premier Christy Clark was quoted as saying, “Golly gosh, that's terrible. I knew nothing about that. I wasn't in government then. No wonder the people don't trust us.” Click Christy Clark to see a few other reasons we don't trust the Libs and Ms. Clark.

This blatant effort to distort the demographic process is wrong on so many levels:
  • It created a government feel good publication that used the last three pages to pump the HST.
  • It attempted to use the success of the Olympic and Paralymic Winter Games to make the HST look more appealing.
  • It flat out lied by saying: "Academic research and evidence from other jurisdictions have shown that under an HST tax structure wages go up, prices go down and more jobs are created," it said. "You won't pay a penny more on many of the products and services you use every day," it added, providing a list of items such as basic groceries, books and children's diapers.
  • It used public money for a partisan effort rather than present both sides of the issue.
  • It scrapped the whole thing when it realized it was too stupid to fly. A complete waste of our money

This whole affair brings up two other issues:

Public Disclosure
Access to the pamphlet was first requested by the Vancouver Sun under the Freedom of Information Act on June 24, 2010.

The government refused the request until 3 months later, citing a section of the act that allows government to block disclosure of records that "would reveal advice or recommendations developed by or for a public body or a minister."

The province finally released the documents to The Sun on Monday, on the eve of an inquiry to be held by the privacy commissioner's office.

New Law. The government should NOT be allowed to conceal information that they deem might make them look bad. It's called taking responsiblity for your actions. It's also called ETHICS.

Partisan Advertising By Government
NDP leader, Adrian Dix claims the government continues to spend money in a similar fashion, with recent documents showing that as of last month the government had spent $866,697 on advertising for its Jobs Plan.

"They're still doing it. The premier is doing branding ads for her jobs plan right now at $800,000 and really, when you look at what she's doing now, they don't learn anything," he said.

A tad pompous for a guy in a party that did exactly the same thing when in power. The fact is, they all say they won't do partisan advertising at public expense and then they all do.

New Law. The government should NOT be allowed to spend ANY public money advertising its imagined greatness. In fact there is no reason to spend any money on radio, TV or direct mail campaigns to tell us about government programs. Non-partisan brochures can be available on request and websites and emails can disseminate necessary information.

Just sayin'

C. F. Smith

   UPDATE: Feb. 2, 2012 - NDP leading by 14 points. Dix 4 points over Clark in who would be a better leader!

Looks like Christy will go the way of Kim Campbell, John Turner and Joe Clark in being a temporary seat warmer for the office.

Click to see previous Boneheads