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October 27, 2017 7:37 pm

Integrity B.C. Poses Some Resolutions for the Province

Tuesday, December 27, 2016 @ 5:52 AM

2016 is almost a wrap and – safe to say – one for the books.

In keeping with the spirit of the season, though, it’s time for a few New Year’s resolutions for B.C.’s political parties to consider in their on-going quest for self-improvement.

1. Anticipate more, scramble less

A line from Carly Simon’s Anticipation sums this one up: “We can never know about the days to come, but we think about them anyway.”

B.C. auditor general Carol Bellringer has a slightly less lyrical take: “(Government) needs to see far enough ahead to avoid hazards. And the slower you are to react and adjust, the further ahead you need to look.”

The B.C. government would be well-advised to do far more thinking about the days to come than they’ve done in the past.

Some of the issues they should have put more thought into, include:

  • Could rising home prices lead to an affordability crisis, is it possible that an opioid crisis will lead to increased demand for addiction treatment and is there a chance that a regional foreign-buyers tax will simply move the problem on to another region (hello, Victoria)?

2. Don’t develop policy on the fly

It took all of about 30-minutes for most economists in the province to conclude that the government’s plan to provide $37,500 interest-free loans to first-time home buyers isn’t such a bright idea.

Economists in near total agreement, a feat in itself.
As University of British Columbia economics professor Tom Davidoff put it: “We’re telling people we want you to stretch to buy a property. That puts the buyer at risk potentially.”

And that puts taxpayers at risk.

Granted, property developers don’t seem to be complaining.

3. Banish doublespeak

Case in point, the government’s recently announced four-point plan “to address homelessness in Maple Ridge.”

Point one? Scrub plans for a permanent-supportive housing facility. Points two and three? Implement improvements to the operation of the temporary shelter and then make its closure a priority.

Point four? Host a town hall meeting in late January.

Try as you might, that’s not a plan to address homelessness.

4. Don’t hold the most in need hostage to election cycles

Finance Minister Mike de Jong recently hinted that people with disabilities may see a hike in their assistance rates in the upcoming budget.

Why wait?

Mr. de Jong may recall this pledge from the B.C. Liberal party’s 2013 election platform: “We believe that British Columbia should be the most progressive jurisdiction for the people and families living with disabilities in Canada. But there is much more that we can, should, and will do.”
Words to live by.

5. Don’t spin humiliating defeats as victories

When you set a policy that ends up getting tossed by the Supreme Court of Canada in near record time, it doesn’t play well to try and take credit for the court’s decision, as Premier Christy Clark attempted to do with the landmark ruling in the B.C. Teachers’ Federation case.
Hubris, perhaps?

6. Sources please

With fake news playing a starring role in this year’s U.S. presidential race, this one goes out to all of B.C.’s political parties: let voters satisfy themselves that your numbers are on the up-and-up by linking to the source material.

And avoid the temptation of using percentages when they’re more impressive than real dollars or alternating baseline comparisons in the same announcement, as the Insurance Corporation of B.C. likes to do.

7. Don’t make election promises you don’t plan to keep

Just ask Prime Minister Justin Trudeau how well those cash-for-access events are going down, after campaigning on a promise that “There should be no preferential treatment, or appearance of preferential access, accorded to individuals or organizations because they have made financial contributions to politicians and political parties.”

Bet the government would have found those 500 new addiction treatment spaces mighty helpful right now, if the follow through had been there after making the promise in 2013.

Just a few resolutions for B.C.’s political class to ponder in the final days of 2016.

Dermod Travis is the executive director of IntegrityBC. www.integritybc.ca



Integrity?….. Government? Sorry, can’t use those two words together

As above, Integrity and politicians are an oxymoron. Goes for Feds, provincial and municipal. On and on it goes! Oh, and judges too. Not a politician but they do have an impact on society.

That’s not quite so. If you consider that ‘integrity’ could be defined as “having a single-mindedness of purpose” our politicians are full of it, for their universal sole purpose seems to be to get elected and remain in office as long as possible. So Christy Clark, for instance, would be a person of high integrity. She considers everything with the single minded approach of how it might affect the electoral fortunes of Christy Clark.

As per usual, Dermod Travis’s words peal the layers off the onion to reveal the BC Lib-Con truth. I enjoy reading fact based, and spin free, informed opinions… keep it coming Travis.

    Dermod Travis is correct, no matter who is running the dog and pony show we have to make sure we all hold their feet to the fire and ensure their word has meaning, I mean without that you may as well all be in the NDP

If the NDP were in power that list would be at least twice as long. Integrity my rear end, build me a deck and you are in…. Maybe credit the NDP for starting the fight against the BCTF as their leader rubber stamped something in the lead up to an election in hopes to garner votes his party did not agree with and tried in vain to reverse themselves until they were defeated

It has been such a nice 15 years not having to worry about the boss walking up to you with the dreaded layoff slip with tears in his eyes. Late 1999 was the only time ever it almost came to that

slinky–you are so out of touch with everything that is really going on in this province. Still talking about sun decks. What year is it now slinky?

    Sorry old man but it goes to show integrity as the title says. We have to go back to the 90’s because it was the last time the NDP showed what they could do as a government thankfully. Can’t stress the “thankfully” enough. Touring the province collecting checks from donors does not really show what the meat and potatoes of the party is. Ie they haven’t done anything for 15 years other than warm a bench so you have to compare what they did when they actually held on to some power, quite simple really.

    Developing policies on the fly is not an integrity issue, just a random comment. One could say every bill is developed on the fly and its merits will have to be looked at later. In a nutshell what he is saying with this point is don’t give younger people any chance of buying a home in expansive markets, just let them rent for the rest of their lives.

      “expensive”, new iphones love to try and guess what your context is as well as your spelling.

Wow, 17 years of the same oppressive, dysfunctional, government has some on here suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. *If you don’t know what it is, look it up*

    @ BeingHuman, I’m just having a look at the British Columbia 2016 Child Poverty Report Card and in spite of your constant bitchin’ and complaining about our current provincial government, the report while not glowing, does provide some evidence that the situation in BC has seen some improvement over the past number of years.

    One graph shows Child Poverty Rates by Province, LIM After Tax, 2014. Manitoba was the worst at 29.0% with Quebec the lowest at 15.1% (must be those Alberta Equalization Payments working their magic in Quebec). BC comes in 5th highest at 19.8%, with Ontario and Newfoundland right behind them at 18.8% and 18.6% respectively.

    BC seems to be right around mid-pack, not saying that we’re good, but we certainly aren’t as bad as you would have us believe with your never-ending rants!

    Another graph shows that between 2000 ad 2014, BC’s Child Poverty Rate dropped from just above 25% to just below 20%. Correct me if I wrong, but weren’t the BC Liberals in power during that bulk of that period of time, at least from 2001 on?

    The worst situations would appear to be child poverty within the Aboriginal communities. Being that each Aboriginal community claims to be a Nation in and of itself, I question why you seem to constantly attack Christy Clark when you should perhaps be directing at least some of your anger over the issue of child poverty at those directly involved with the governance of Aboriginal Communities?

    Perhaps you should direct some of your vitriol towards Terry Teegee, Grand Chief Stewart Phillips, AFN Chief Perry Belegarde (who received criticism over his hiring of his girlfriend) and other leaders within the Aboriginal hierarchy who seem to constantly fail to ensure that the billions of dollars directed to Canada’s Aboriginals filter down to those that need and deserve the money the most!

    While I agree that we can always do better, often things here in BC and under the Christy Clark Liberals, are not as bad as you constantly would have us believe!

      Oops, sorry that I forgot to attach this link to the report:

      ht tp://still1in5.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/2016-BC-Child-Poverty-Report-Card.pdf

In 17 years we went from being the worst of the 10 provinces at pretty much everything to being at the best in the last year, that really must grind your gears; hey People1st – I mean BeingHuman (as it is the most common moniker you go by now)?

    I guess when you look at it that way:

    Highest child poverty rate in the country… yeah we are number 1

    Highest crime rates in Canada… yes we are number 1

    Highest overdose mortality rate in the country… whoopie, we are number 1 again

    Should I keep on going?

    BC has the lowest student funding in the Country! Yeah we are number 1.

    ht tps://ca.news.yahoo.com/student-funding-b-c-worst-162949153.html

    “British Columbia is the worst place to be in Canada if you’re a child, and it has been for all but one of the past 13 years. The latest numbers released by Statistics Canada indicate that in 2011, British Columbia once again slipped into last place among the provinces, tied at the bottom with Manitoba.” Wooo hooo we are number 1 again!!!

    ht tp://www.vancouversun.com/business/2035/Daphne+Bramham+worst+place+Canada/8632354/story.html

    Oh, I could go on all night… what some more examples of BC being number one?

    “MiningWatch Canada has published a new analysis showing that British Columbia (BC) has the worst unsecured environmental liability for mine site clean-up costs in Canada.” Yup we are number 1 again!

    ht tp://www.marketwired.com/press-release/new-analysis-british-columbia-ranks-worst-canada-unsecured-environmental-liability-mine-2129404.htm

    “One year to the week after Premier Christy Clark announced health authorities would get an extra $80 million over four years to speed up access to MRI tests, B.C. patients have the longest waiting times in Canada for such imaging tests, according to a Fraser Institute study.” Longest wait times in Canada, OMG… we are number 1 again!!!

    “B.C. experienced the worst income growth — in fact, incomes declined — of any province in Canada during the 2006-12 period, according to an analysis of Statistics Canada data by an Ottawa think-tank. B.C.’s inflation-adjusted median income fell 2.4 per cent, from $29,917 per tax filer to $29,200, during a period when Canada’s overall employment income grew by 3.5 per cent. Median income is the midway point between the lowest and highest incomes.” Wait… did it say BC experienced the worst income growth (actually a decline) of any province in Canada???? OMG… we are number one again… so proud of our government making us number one in the country… almost brings a tear to my eye.

      Maybe you need to read the actual research and find out the context of an article before making claims. Here is a link to Stats Can report on population versus income level. Went up in every income bracket except 0 – $5,000 which went down. Single median income in 2010 in BC was 28,190 – in 2014 it was 31,610 which kind of makes one think it is going up.

      ht tp://www.statcan.gc.ca/tables-tableaux/sum-som/l01/cst01/famil105k-eng.htm

      One would have to do an apple to apple comparison but that isn’t what they did now was it? From a quick glance Atlantic provinces were worse for income growth, Alberta was better between 2010 and 2014

      Simple calc – took 5 minutes I will never have back:
      2010 28,190
      2011 2.3 CPI adjusted 2010 income 28,838 (28,190 x 1.023)
      2012 .83 CPI adjusted 2011 income 29,077 (28,838 x 1.0083)
      2013 1.24 CPI adjusted 2012 income 29,437 (29,077 x 1.0124)
      2014 1.47 CPI adjusted 2013 income 29,869 actual tabled amount = 31,610

      By the numbers looks like our median income in BC has surpassed annual CPI (inflation) – you will note my calculations are even compounded annually

      Reports have to be taken in context, what was the report actually measuring and why? Can you actually back up their research to what you are stating on your own? Did you misunderstand what they are reporting?

      Your failed attempts at making the “BC Government” look bad almost brings a tear to my eye – maybe do some actual research on what the annual wage versus CPI was from 1990 to 2000 to make your choice of government look good?

      As much as I dislike Justin and his Liberals, or Horgan and his NDP, BeingHuman hates anything Conservative or Right Wing even more, haha!

      Here’s something recent from the Canadian Press (Dec 22/16) that might ruffle his feathers:

      “Liberal government oversold child benefit’s impact on poverty rates, documents suggest”

      “The government has repeatedly said the benefit will cut child-poverty rates by 40 per cent from 2013 levels.

      The claim has confounded anti-poverty activists for months, with few clear answers from the government about how it made the calculation.

      Briefing notes to the minister in charge of the file — obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act — show the government has wrapped in drops in poverty rates from years when the Canada Child Benefit didn’t exist to reach that figure.

      A table in the briefing note shows that of the total drop in the child-poverty rate of 4.5 percentage points — to 6.7 per cent in 2017 from 11.2 per cent in 2013 — about three points of that drop occurred between 2013 and 2016, prior to a full year of the new benefit being in place.

      So, it would appear that Justin and Co. are claiming a total drop in the child-poverty rate of 4.5%, without telling us that 3 of those 4.5% occurred during the Harper Conservative Government’s last term!

      ht tp://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadian-politics/documents-raise-questions-about-child-benefits-impact-on-poverty-rates

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