Welcome back Mr. Bennett
It’s good to have Mr. Bennett’s column back in The Free Press.
And certainly it is understandable that he would use such an opportunity to tell his constituents what his government is doing.
It is, however, also understandable that he is reluctant to broadcast what some might consider the darker side of his government’s policies.
For instance, Mr. Bennett has not told his constituents that between 2001 and 2009, his government’s policies made B.C. a have-not province six times, requiring an infusion of $2.4 billion in equalization payments from Ottawa. (Under the NDP, 1991 – 2001, B.C. received one equalization payment of $125 million.)
Or that by 2013, the B.C. Liberals will have presented seven deficit budgets, including the largest budget deficit on record.
Or that, between 2001 and 2009 B.C. had the lowest growth in average hourly wages and second lowest growth in weekly wages in Canada.
And so on.
In an interview with Mary Giuliano in June 2001, less than a month after Gordon Campbell’s landslide victory, I predicted that provincial income taxes would continue to be cut for those whom George W. Bush referred to as ‘the haves and have mores’ and that the government, of which Mr. Bennett and present premier Christy Clark were all-too-willing participants, ‘would trash B.C.’s social infrastructure.’
(It is noteworthy that the Bush - Obama policy of tax cuts for the rich and uberrich has added $2 TRILLION to the American debt. There may be a lesson here.)
What I didn’t predict was the blithe disregard with which Mr. Bennett would continue to ignore the economic facts and realities of the last 10 years, which have become the B.C. Liberals’ very own Dismal Decade.