Premier’s LNG pipe dreams fail to materialize

Instead of reduced taxes we got ever-increasing BC Ferries fares and reduced northern coastal ferry services

Your editorial “Premier’s speech to UBCM defies economic realities”, Oct. 7, 2016, hits a home run.

Her speech was – as usual – was full of it: the Liberal alternative universe in which only Premier Christy Clark and her wealthy donors believe.

In the last election she promised a $100 billion Prosperity Fund and massive reduction of taxation to gullible voters who believed her mirage of an LNG gold rush for B.C. – despite descending international prices and increasing LNG sources of huge supply stretching from Australia to Russia and China.

Instead of LNG plants we taxpayers find that Clark plans to subsidize a foreign, corrupt LNG giant like Petronas with long-term low taxation and a degraded northern coastal environment that will destroy the invaluable Skeena River salmon fishery.

Instead of reduced taxes we got ever-increasing BC Ferries fares and reduced northern coastal ferry services, constant increases in the regressive Medical Services Premium head tax, and massive raids on BC Hydro deferral accounts adding multi-billion-dollar debt that even the constant raises we enjoy in consumer hydro rates cannot re-pay. Raiding BC Hydro and ICBC to create “balanced” budgets is an old trick but the consequence is a province where the net debt has doubled in the past 15 years.

As Liberal government truckfulls of money, and television ads, roll out eight months before a spring election, your warning of the consequences of “fantasy budgeting based on things like projected income growth from LNG exports” and the need for re-investing “in the province when it was needed rather than saving it up for election time” is timely and wise.

It is those in a degraded public education system and health system characterized by growing wait times and families who cannot find a doctor who pay the highest price for government motivated by a cynical election cycle rather than by evidence-based, longer-term policies and action.

Ron Faris

Saanich