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October 27, 2017 5:23 pm

The North the Loser in Green-Backed NDP Government – Pat Bell

Monday, May 29, 2017 @ 3:20 PM

Prince George, B.C. – Former BC Liberal cabinet minister and three-term Prince George-Mackenzie MLA Pat Bell says the North stands to be the big loser if a BC Green-backed NDP government comes to fruition.

Earlier today NDP Leader John Horgan and BC Green Leader Andrew Weaver announced they’ve reached an historic agreement making an NDP government one step closer to reality.

(All that stands in their way now is support from B.C.’s Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon).

“Well, in the 1991 to 2001 period when the NDP were in government the North lost in a significant way and I think that’s why you’ve seen northern seats going to the free-enterprise party,” he tells 250News.

“The free-enterprise party gets the issues around economic activity. That’s what people care about in the North so they’re aligned with the BC Liberals. I think it’s very concerning that our region has virtually no government representation and that will be a big issue in terms of us trying to advance the agenda for the North. And I think it will be very difficult to hold the NDP accountable.”

He adds Weaver is mistaken if he thinks a Green-backed NDP government will bring stable minority government.

“I think Andrew Weaver is being naïve if he believes that there will be certainty and that this will be a four-year government,” says Bell. “Forty-four seats to 43 seats – someone is going to get sick, someone is not going to be in the House when a vote is called and I am certain that that will occur on a regular basis.”

In fact, he predicts the government won’t even last two years.

“Perhaps a year, perhaps shorter, maybe a little longer, but I think this will be a relatively short-term government and then we’ll go back to the polls and the public will have an opportunity to vote based on what they’ve seen.”

Bell says it was “a coin toss” as to which party Weaver was going to support and feels he would have been far better off aligning himself with the BC Liberals.

“For one he is more of a fiscal conservative. Certainly, he’s not going to like the approach the NDP is going to take to spending and to reducing economic activity,” he says.

“The other thing is I think he will get lost in the NDP. With their policies, he will find it very difficult to distinguish himself. Had he aligned with the BC Liberals it would have been much easier for him to have distinguished himself and say I was able to cause the carbon tax to go up or I was able to drive climate change.”

As for who will become speaker of the legislature in a House divided by just one seat (44-43), Bell says the position is selected by secret ballot though he feels it’s likely the NDP will try to nominate a Liberal for the position.

“My advice to them would be not a chance and force the NDP to have their own speaker. They can by law though bring in a speaker from outside the House though I think that would be really undemocratic.”

And despite the likely change in government, he says it’s a tad early to argue Christy Clark will be out as Liberal leader should her party be confined to the opposition benches.

“Christy Clark is a fighter. I think she is the right person to lead an opposition if that’s what ends up happening here. I would certainly be supportive of seeing her staying on,” says Bell.

“There undoubtedly be those who claim it’s all her fault and I’m sure she’ll accept some of the responsibility but at this point I’d say it’s premature to look at a leadership change.”


Whatever you say Mr Bell, we know you are a liberal so I will presume your statements are biased. The biggest win the north ever got was getting rid of you…my opinion anyhow.

    I don’t agree with that statement. Pat Bell worked hard for this area.

      I agree, our MLA’s past and present have and will continue to work hard for us. They’ve got a lot of integrity, that’s why we keep voting the way we do. The same as Nathan Cullen keeps getting voted in on the North Coast, works hard.

    And your statement, of course, is not biased.

    At least Pat Bell was able to give a reasoned opinion. Something you have yet to provide.

Pat Bell… think you had tooo much wine today… Time to cut you off

All the North got was temporary make work jobs

    So what kind of job do you have? Or, if retired, used to have?

How many sawmills have closed in the north since 2001 Pat?

    You did hear of automation ….. and you did hear of the MPB.

    If it had not been for allowing the quick cutting of dead trees, and many fold increase of lumber shipments to China when the US housing economy tanked, then we would have had forestry jobs reduction much earlier.

    How little many understand what is going on and what has been going on.

      Raw log exports had nothing to do with mill closures either right?

      I suppose you know that during the whole decade of NDP rule no raw logs were exported from B.C.?

      Actually raw log exports have nothing to do with northern mills shutting down. Less than 2% of all interior lumber is shipped raw log.

      That is the problem, someone in the media spouts a bunch of nonsense and people fall for it.

      If a mill is going to shut down because 2% of the volume on the market is shipped raw log then it is going down for another reason. Probably amalgamation and automation

    Have yuh heard of private industry? If it don’t make money close it. That’s what they do. It’s about money and shareholders, not politics.

    So Fate can you please tell me how the government closed down sawmills that were closed by business decisions made by the forest companies can you please educate me on how government closed sawmills? I take it you did not factor into account upgrades, technology and financial losses play a significant role in mill closures but in your mind it is strictly governments fault please by all means educate me on why you think government is responsible….I’m listening

    Saw mill closures were not the result of the provincial government but for the lack of investing into the technology that was required to keep up with the big boys with the pine beetle infestation. The Canfors, Westfraser companies realized that there was not enough timber to support all their mills.They chose to invest into their super mills, which would produce longer, in Lu of shutting down their non productive mills. The other companies that were forced to shut down, completely missed the boat and could not compete!!

    List the mill that have closed and I am sure that there is a reason for each of them.

i think you guys are drinking too much of pat’s wine if you think the NDP green coalition is good. do you understand during the campaign the greens never came north of vancouver to campaign and horgan came here once. now we have zero elected representatives north of vancouver in either the ndp and the green and you think we will be represented and have our voice heard

    Shoulda thought about that before you voted for the wrong guys. 😂

      And you know how individuals voted, how?????

      I see you still haven’t found a sense of humour hey gus?

    Then we would in the pickle twice: No federal representation and no provincial representation either! Ah well…

    I forecast another election within the next 18 months.

Of course this story is going to be biased lol. Bad news for anyone living north of Prince George. NDP has NO plans for that part of the province but to make the people move by screwing the industry up there further. The NDP didn’t care from 1990 to 2001 while the Liberals saw $$ figures from Oil and Gas revenue. I think we need a new BC Liberal leader and hope Christy leaves the role. That’s what needs to change with the Liberals next time around.

    When people from the Central Interior and the North say that our resource industry is the base income producer for the province and that most of the service industry feeds off that, mainly headquartered in the GVRD and Victoria, it will be interesting if the new government will not support the resource industry and its communities and the provincial and municipal infrastructure.

    If that is what they will do, technically, as resource jobs disappear, so will the service industries built around the resource industries.

    So, we may find out how much the South is actually dependent on the Interior and North Island.

    If the theory holds true, then the entire province will suffer.

    We do not need to talk about which Party is right. All we have to do is determine the indicators of well being – social, environmental, and financial – look at the metrics of those now, and look at the metrics every quarter from now on.

    Simple, for those who understand such matters and are not just ideologues.

    Christy was a centrist. Pat Bell and Shirley Bond supported Kevin Falcon, a right winger.

    Had Falcon won the leadership race in 2011, the NDP would likely have formed government sooner.

    Christy was the choice of the GVRD, Island and Kotenay BCLiberal party members.

    The NDP said they would revitalize the BC forest industry if elected. Weaver said without resource jobs or pipelines or LNG, under his government we would have much more employment.

    Long on generalities, very short on details. I guess now with both of them in power we’re going to be blessed with a burgeoning economy based on…….something…..

      A $100 Billion Prosperity Fund wasn’t a generality and was long on details?

Nothing but the same people on here whining. They ought to shut these comments down for good since its nothing but snide comments and crying.

    I presume that includes the headline article by PAT BELL also. Hey Krusty dont let the door hit ya in the keester on the way out.

    Says the crybaby findme. If you dislike the comments so much, why do you bother reading them?

      And in runs the biggest whiner of all. Thanks for proving my point.

Yes Pat you really looked after the north when you were involved. Remember Pat when we didn’t have anyone in the province that new how to do long wall mining and you made sure you supplied the mine with TFW’s. You also spent 10yrs mining the minds of people talking about the not needed wood innovation building.

The Island will be taken care of by the Greens and the Lower Mainland will be taken care of by the NDP. The rest of the province is in for a steamy pile of poor times ahead. Maybe it’s time to draw a border line at Hope and start taking care of ourselves.

Actually the line should be the Trans Canada highway.

Right across the Province.

It is time for a serious discussion about sub dividing the province.

Into 2 separate provinces.

The rural and urban are 2 separate economies.

Hello there Pat….with those type of comments you just lost my business at your winery and I bet I am not the only person feels that way…I take my right to vote anyway I see fit seriously and don’t need you criticize my democratic choice…stick to running your business

    Well he’s not criticizing my democratic choice, nor the majority of voters in the NE ridings.

    You probably aren’t a regular customer of his anyways considering you disagree so much with his politics and let that dictate your business choices..

    But just in case, I’ll buy a few extra bottles next time to make up for you ;)

    I have never set foot in that place, nor do i have any intentions to.

      If you feel that way, you ought to read through the BCLiberals’ donor list so that you know which other businesses not to support.

      I do not buy from there because I drink wine made from grapes. Just call me a traditionalist.

      If I were into wines made from other fruits, I would buy local no matter what the political stripe of the individual.

      I tried his wines and liked them, but most of my wine is homemade from apples I grew myself, and from saskatoons I picked in the neighbourhood. I gotta say, in all modesty, that my wine is better.

    prov2, I had to go back and read his comments again because I didn’t recall him saying anything offensive. On second reading, I still don’t see what your beef is.

    I do luvs me a Baconater from Burger Patty’s joint though !

    Good more wine for the rest of us.. I doubt you even shopped at the winery anyhow.

Just for the record there are two NDP members in northern BC; Jennifer Rice in North Coast and Donaldson in Stikine. One if not both will be in cabinet if NDP can form a government which is far from a done deal. We could just as easily be looking at another election.

    The Coast is a different solitude than the interior. Look at the demographics and income profile of a riding and one gets a good idea which are right and left and which are greens.

    How riding boundaries are redrawn every now and then have a major bearing on how a a riding will vote. That could be seen in the new ridings in the Lower Mainland.

Best part is now Pat is going to have to pay his staff $15.00 an hour..no $5.00 training wage anymore

    ah the days of Wendy’s

    You obviously do not know how much he pays his staff.

    Not that long ago hourly paid managers were required to attend unpaid meetings on their days off or be demoted. Until someone filed a complaint with Employment Standards.

      Dumbfounded did you get fired for ratting him out?

      I know a lot of former employees at BK and know much of their labour squabble history. I see your still mopping floors there Hartly 2.

    The higher the minimum wage, the sooner those jobs are taken over by robotics.

      That’s true, Dirtman. But the great unanswered question is how do the ‘robotics’ BUY the product?

Just wondering Pat did you receive 32000 of our tax dollars- the same amount that was given by the Liberals to PWB to promote their new products before the election?

    Don’t forget the 10 million dollar tax break they got a few years back.

That’s pretty low class. The Lieutenant Governor hasn’t even weighed in on the matter nor have the NDP or Greens done a thing and you have already indicted them? That’s just sour grapes. That’s the kind of show little kids put on when they don’t get their way.

As a former political figure in this province I would think you’d show the voters more respect than that, Pat Bell. Or at least have the good manners enough to keep your mouth shut.

Its funny how people think that the North Central Interior should have more clout in Victoria, and perhaps more representation.

I seriously doubt that there are more than 350,000 people in all of North Central BC. (Less than half the population of Surrey) From say Hope, to Ft Nelson, to McBride, to Prince Rupert, and Kitimat.

We are spread about as thin as we can get, and our population has been decreasing for a number of years.

As we shut down more mills and lose more jobs, things can only get worse, they cannot get better.

We need to re-invent ourselves, and the first thing we need to do, is quit bull s……g ourselves and face the fact that we are a small cog in a bigger wheel.

The biggest City in Northern BC (Prince George) has a population of 75,000. What does that tell you.

People have been waiting for over 20 years for the population to grow. Much like they have been waiting for the Cargo Jets to land at the Airport.

Time to wake up a smell the roses. It is what it is.

    So true . Except , before this last election , Andrew was here with a solution for peanuts . Six million dollars . if he is to be in power lets demand that those peanuts come to rest in PG .

Remember back oh about ’07, Pat Bell thought the Province should charter aircraft to shuttle the people in his riding in Mackenzie to other Provinces for work!…..

Just a small sample of the 30,000 Forest Jobs obliterated under the BC Liberals with ideas like that….

BC Hydro . Supposedly the jewel in the BC Liberal Governments Crown. What a shame, and what a sham. They are so far in debt, and so poorly run that if they Liberals stay in power they will implode.

When you phone Hydro you are held on the line for up to 30/40 minutes. That in itself should give you an indication of how badly run this organization is.

If we open the closet doors on all the Government entities in BC we will be inundated with skeletons.

Thanks for the heads up Pat, because if an election is coming .. I want out of the North while my house has some value. The rest of you NDP voting suckers can have fun when you lose half your home value, and your HOLOC is worth more than your houses lol.

Can’t wait to hear the NDP fools in the area crying the blues, because they didn’t witness the devastation of the North in the 90’s. Have fun kiddos, get out while you can.

    Please define , HOLOC .

      Home owners line of credit..

It’s called a HELOC, home equity line of credit and they are a great idea if you are fiscally responsible and invest the difference you save in your mortgage payments. The market averages 8% and mortgage rates are 3%. I recommend everyone gets a HELOC.

    Geez . I was hoping he had a clue and a HOLOC was some exotic finacial vehicle that I had not heard of . IsthIsreallife ? Not really .

      Again, have fun when your 400k house is worth 200k, and you have a 200k LOC out on the house. Good times, just like the 90’s.

      None of you can see why the lower mainland voted NDP, and will continue to do so, and how that party cares nothing about the North. All they needed to hear was free tolls, increased pensions and the housing relief that always follows an NDP victory.

      Have a peak at how great Alberta has been handled by the NDP, its just a great reminder of what could be coming our way.

      Too funny ITRL . I have not been liberal with my money in any way . I do not carry any debt what so ever . As for real estate dropping in half ? Bring it on . I’ll just buy more . But your hyperbole aside . Even back in 83 when interest rates were pushed to 23 % to kill the then hyper inflation. property value was not chopped in half . I did however buy a house off a bank and made 30 % in two and a half years .

I’m not a big fan of the NDP, however lets give credit where credit is due.

It wasn’t the NDP that caused all the problems in Alberta, they are just trying to clean up the mess left by the Conservatives.

We will have the same situation in BC. The NDP/Greens will have to try and clean up the complete and total disaster created in this Province by the Liberals. The Liberals have screwed up royally, so don’t try and pin their complete lack of concern about the average citizens of this Province on the NDP.

We are in this situation to-day because of Liberal Government policies pure and simple. They have totally mismanaged the Province and basically turned BC into a basket case.

I doubt that the NDP/Greens are going to be able to pull this pig out of the mud hole it wondered into.

Of coarse they will pull this pig out of the mud hole . For starters they will empty the wallow of corporate money that Christy and gang have been feeding and being fed by . Andrew is well aware of what he promised to do for Prince George . He is a man of honour with a steel trap memory . A great many people in the north were donors to the Green Party . I will sit on my wallet till I see results . I am so looking forward to making my next donation upon seeing results .

The Liberals created a “complete and total disaster” Palpou? What a stunned observation. This Province led the country in many economic metrics over the years. Pull off the blinders and look at reality before spouting over the top crap. BC is a “basket” case? Whatever. Wait till the NDP and Greeens get to work. Your basket case reference will be relevant.

Oh, and by the way the dippers in Alberta didn’t cause the oil price collapse. But they are doing everything in their progressive, activist power to make it much worse. They are following Ontario’s disastrous policies. Taxes up, spending up, deficits up, red tape up, power prices up, carbon taxes, credit downgrades, etc. I am from Alberta and my whole family lives there. Some own companies in the oil patch, others in small business, some are teachers. The NDP are hated by all. They will be wiped off the map next election. The last several Alberta leaders governed like Federal Liberals and don’t go without blame. But the NDP is never a solution. Ever.

Dumbfounded …. how many logs out of the Central Interior are exported? What mills were affected by these exports. In both cases the answer is NONE.

Coastal logs exports have been carried on forever… and yes even under the NDP!

Please don’t post negative comments without some form of factual backing.

Chip007 is the central interior the only area with logs and mills? If you really think raw log exports haven’t
affected mills everywhere in BC you better wake up and smell the bacon. Oh and I see your negative comments have piles of factual backing. 😂

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