Crawl Across the Ocean

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

B.C. Liberal Government Going Green - Broccoli Green that is

Today was the day for the annual throne speech in B.C. (reaction from the globe and mail here - an NDP supporter's take on the speech here)

The biggest thing I took from the full text of the speech was that the B.C. government is in need of some good speech writers - I can't imagine how painful it would have been to listen to someone read this laundry list of everything the B.C. government has ever done or is thinking about doing, which included what must have been over a hundred references to how great B.C. is.

The next thing which struck me is that in it's five 'great' goals for the decade ahead...

  • To make B.C. the best educated, most literate jurisdiction on the continent.

  • To lead the way in North America in healthy living and physical fitness.

  • To build the best system of support in Canada for persons with disabilities, special needs, children at risk and seniors.

  • To lead the world in sustainable environmental management, with the best air and water quality, and the best fisheries management, bar none.

  • To create more jobs per capita than anywhere else in Canada.

... the government seems to be taking on some things it doesn't have much control over, most notably the healthy living and physical fitness.

For example, later on the speech reads, "it [the Government] will act now to increase by 20 per cent the proportion of British Columbians who eat the recommended daily level of fruit and vegetables."

As someone who has never eaten enough vegetables and probably never will, I am looking forward to seeing what the government has in store to try and succeed where all else (including my own efforts) has failed. A minor quibble perhaps but by definition, spending money on things you can't influence is a waste, so I prefer programs where the cause and effect is a little clearer and easier to measure.

Finally, the government really seems to be on the defensive over it's school funding, announcing a big funding increase for elementary/secondary funding while noting repeatedly that overall enrollment is down and at the same time promising to limit university tuition increases to inflation (nominal GDP growth seems like a better peg to me, but whatever).

All in all, this is a dull blog entry reflecting a dull speech which seemed more like an effort to cover off any political weaknesses prior to the upcoming election rather than a bold plan to create a 'golden decade'. (not that this is necessarily a bad thing - as Bush has proven, sometimes a bold Government plan is the worst outcome of all).

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  • Well, I didn't find this post dull at all, Declan. You know, B.C. Liberals are absolutely fascinating. Aren't they sort of a grab bag of Social Credit, P.C. and Liberal leftovers that don't fit into the NDP or something?

    It's weird to see them swing from hard right slash and cutters to uber-nanny staters like this. How does Campbell avoid whiplash?

    By Blogger Timmy the G, at 1:10 PM  

  • Thanks Timmy. I'm fairly new to the whole B.C. political scene myself, but from what I can tell, the Liberals are basically just a collection of everyone who is to the right of the NDP (except the far right).

    I guess they're spooked by polls showing a resurgent NDP and people saying that they're just mean spirited people who are going to starve all the government programs so they're trying to position themselves more in the centre as we head to the election.

    By Blogger Declan, at 7:48 PM  

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