Shifting political power - why you should vote 'no'

By Tom Fletcher
B.C. Views

Attorney General David Eby hasn't  cooked up the rest of the questions for next year's referendum on our voting system, but Premier John Horgan says the first one will ask if you want to change it at all. Here's why you should vote 'No.'

1204 - Now that the B.C. NDP-Green coalition has engineered the looting of the public treasury to replace union and corporate money for political parties, it is moving on to tilt the electoral system to favour its urban support base and prop up smaller parties.

That’s the essential strategy for the electoral reform referendum being pushed through by Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby. It’s rigged, or as Eby calls it, “hard wired” to shift political power to cities and away from rural B.C., to the benefit of the urban coalition and its professional environmentalist allies.
 
“Proportional representation” is the core demand of B.C. Green leader Andrew Weaver, and it’s easy to see why. This change would double or even triple the number of Green seats, based on current voting patterns.

TOM FLETCHER

Now is not the time to kill Site C project

1125 - Letter to the Editor,

Premier John Horgan made the decision to cancel the Site C dam project before the election. His letter to contractors to stop signing contracts and cease acquiring lands before his party assumed power makes that abundantly clear.

This delay is merely him realizing it’s a bad idea but he’s committed to it because it panders to his urban base.

As for being able to make up the supply difference through wind, solar and geothermal, one merely has to look to Ontario to see what that looks like. Those technologies are neither mature nor reliable and have caused immense cost increases that have bankrupted the province, driven out industry and cost jobs. “Could” does not mean the same as “is.”

With the reliance on electrically powered technology increasing exponentially this is not the time to be cancelling Site C. Particularly when it results in no increase in power availability, will result in increased costs and will also result in an immediate loss of $4 billion when the government has already increased program spending throughout the province.

Jason Kitt, Sooke

Battle lines drawn over electoral reform

1115 - The B.C. NDP-Green government is pressing ahead with its plan to change the voting system in time for the next provincial election, and is facing bitter opposition from the B.C. Liberals.

MLAs have been debating two major changes, one to replace corporate and union donations with a public subsidy based on previous votes, and another to adopt a still-undefined system of proportional representation.

The system is to be defined by the government and put to a referendum to be held by the fall of 2018. Unlike the past two province-wide votes on the issue, this referendum is to be decided by a simple majority of all participating voters, without requiring support from a majority of constituencies.
 

It's not a good day for Canada

Brad Wall, Premier of Saskatchewan

Today is not a good day for Canada. It is not a good day for the federation. It is a very bad day for the west.

 TransCanada made the decision to cancel Energy East – but make no mistake, the reasons for it fall at the feet of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the federal government. They have been, at best, ambivalent about the project and then moved the goalposts at the last moment by asking the regulator to consider the impact of upstream greenhouse gas emissions.

 Imagine if something like this was considered prior to the construction of auto assembly plants in Ontario or the factories that manufacture heavily subsidized jets in Quebec or the highways and rails that transport those products.

 Former federal Liberal Cabinet Minister, and now Montreal Mayor, Denis Coderre cheers the cancellation of this pipeline. He who leads a city that, just 2 years ago, used a pipeline to dump 4.9 BILLION litres, or nearly 2,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools, of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence Seaway.

 It is a good thing that Mr. Coderre’s hypocrisy needs no pipeline for conveyance, for it would need to be very large and could never get approved for construction.

 When Coderre cheers for the end of this pipeline, he cheers for the imported oil we buy from Saudi Arabia, where women can now drive, but the public beheadings continue.

 He is cheering against an energy sector in our country that employs thousands and has paid on average over the last 3 years $17 billion annually in taxes and royalties to Canadian governments.

 $17 billion is enough to pay for 680 new schools, 1.8 million knee replacements and 4.25 million child care spaces. We have lost an opportunity to strengthen quality of life in Canada.

 Beyond the immediate impact, there are other reasons to be concerned.

 A new Liberal carbon tax, new Liberal tax changes for small business (that will hurt many in the energy sector and farmers), changes to the NEB applied only to this sector and not to others, and methane regulations that will not be mirrored south of the border, with whom we must compete for job creating investment dollars.

 We have a company that committed more than a billion dollars to a project and made earnest efforts to address the concerns of the public and regulators. A company that made 700 changes to its plans as part of that response. Make no mistake, other companies' decisions to invest in Canada will be informed by this debacle.

 The expectation of course from the federal government, and some powerful central Canadian interests, is that the west will just grin and bear this latest blow to our economy and our people.

 That our taxpayers in Saskatchewan and Alberta will continue to send, without question, about $2.5 billion in equalization payments to help support Quebec that receives $11 billion in equalization per year and $1.4 billion to Ontario. All of this despite the fact that low energy prices have resulted in job losses and lower revenues for the last 4 years.

 Something needs to change. For the west to continue on like this in our federal system is the equivalent of having Stockholm syndrome.

 The decision by TransCanada to cancel the Energy East project was made because of a lack of interest and leadership – or worse, intentional decisions and policies of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government. He should answer for this. He needs to be held accountable for this.

 His actions and his government's actions may well have some westerners wondering if this country really values western Canada, the resources we have, and the things we do to contribute to the national economy and to quality of life for all.

 Brad Wall

Premier of Saskatchewan

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