Response to Bennett
In his column, ‘Western Resource Extraction Motion’ of Thursday, May 31, EK MLA Bill Bennett tells us that his ‘blood was boiling’ and that he had to go ‘political’ over comments he attributed to Federal Opposition leader, Thomas Mulcair.
Mr. Bennett criticized the Provincial Opposition and the Speaker of the BC Legislature for ‘preventing’ his motion on Mulcair ‘from being debated by private members.’
The reason is simple.
The content of his motion was factually incorrect.
Mr. Mulcair, as Mr. Bennett’s motion claimed, did not refer to resource extraction as ‘a disease.’ This point was clarified by BC Liberal MLA Douglas Horne who quoted Mr. Mulcair’s remarks in full.
What Mr. Mulcair did, as did former Alberta Conservative premier Peter Lougheed, and current Alberta premier Alison Redford, was to speak of ‘Dutch disease,’ a phrase coined by ‘The Economist’ in 1977, referring to the negative consequences for a nation’s manufacturing sector of too-rapid extraction of natural resources; in the case of the Dutch, the super-swift exploitation of North Sea gas.
Mr. Bennett is a politician and going ‘political’ is what politicians do.
However, he should, as a politician, not only take more care over a task as important as formulating the wording of a parliamentary motion, but also avoid inaccuracies when going ‘political’ in constituency newspapers.