British Columbia's soon-to-be ex-Premier must think you're pretty gullible.
British Columbia’s soon-to-be ex-Premier must think you’re pretty gullible.
With the BC Liberal government facing a real possibility of losing power next week, Premier Christy Clark decided to use Thursday afternoon’s Throne Speech to flip-flop on virtually every position she took during last month’s election.
According to one analysis by CBC News, two-thirds of all pledges read during the Throne Speech were things the BC Liberals never campaigned on – with the BC Liberals appearing to steal a handful of policies straight out of the BC NDP platform.
Even Clark’s former BC Liberal cabinet ministers appear unable to contain their disbelief:
Just scanning the NDP platform for anything we’ve missed.Still got time to put it in the Throne speech.
— Moira Stilwell (@DrMoiraStilwell) June 22, 2017
Want a few examples of Clark’s nakedly self-interested flip-flops?
After benefiting from BC’s “Wild West” campaign finance system for years (and collecting $50,000 salary top-ups for her troubles along the way), Clark has suddenly seen the light and had a change of heart about the tens of millions of dollars flowing to her party.
“A worse system would be one where the money is not given freely.”
Not to mention, Clark’s BC Liberals voted against BC NDP legislation to ban big money six times before claiming they support the idea.
— Taran Parmar (@Taranparmar983) June 19, 2017
How about childcare?
Clark now claims she’ll spend new money to create childcare spaces, except she previously claimed that wasn’t “doable” and the BC Liberals trash talked the NDP’s promise to invest in childcare as fiscally irresponsible.
— Michal Rozworski (@michalrozworski) June 22, 2017
Here’s what Stephanie Cadieux, Clark’s Minister of Children and Family, said about investing in childcare earlier this year:
“That would reduce our credit rating and increase the interest rate we pay on our long-term debt. It would mean there would be less money to spend on social programs — the opposite of what child-care advocates want.”
Clark would not even budge from her position when a grieving mother pleaded for new investments in childcare – but she’s willing to flip-flop now that she realizes she might lose power?
How about poverty?
Yet BC has remained the only province in Canada without a poverty reduction strategy and Clark’s government repeatedly ruled out increases to social assistance rates, something the BC Liberals left frozen for the last decade.
Last fall, Clark made cuts to programs that helped 55,000 British Columbians living with disabilities get around, causing some to see the cost of bus passes increase by over $500.
Now, Clark’s BC Liberals claim they’re going to improve social assistance, despite the fact BC Liberal Finance Minister Mike de Jong rejected doing this earlier this year, explaining his focus was on making sure those on social assistance became “part of the work force.”
Clark echoed that herself when she summed up her approach to social assistance in February:
“When it comes to social assistance, though, what I would say is we are trying to help people move from welfare to work.”
After realizing she might lose power, Christy Clark suddenly claims she’s a champion for the poor?
How about one more?
As recently as April, Clark insisted that any city that wants new money for public transit needs to hold a costly, drawn-out referendum on the proposed infrastructure spending:
“We are still committed to making sure that if there is any new revenue source required from cities for TransLink, we will go to a referendum on that.”
And now? Clark’s BC Liberals have suddenly dropped the referendum requirement for new public transit funding.
What changed? According to BC Liberal cabinet minister Sam Sullivan, they’re desperately trying to cling to power:
“What has changed? It’s called ‘an election’ … We just hollowed out in the urban areas of Vancouver.“
Hard to disagree with that.