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Olympics Not Worth it with Liberals at Helm
editorial by Marco Procaccini
looting the public purse
The fašade of the whole world leaving its differences aside to get together for a few friendly sports events is still what keep folks across the globe, no matter how poor or oppressed, interested in the Olympics.
So, it's no wonder that a recent poll claimed that about 67 per cent of British Columbians support the idea of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Whistler, BC. The BC Liberal regime, suffering from compulsive lies and incompetence, seems to be banking a lot on this pro-Olympic sentiment to keep it from being wiped out in the next election.
Now that their tax cut hysteria has turned out to be bogus (as taxes have in fact gone up, not down, except, of course, for the government's wealthy backers), and the supposed economic benefits from doing this have turned up bust, the Olympic fervour is about all the Liberals have left.
But at least two other polls conducted this year show most BC residents-81 per cent--are opposed to sacrificing health care and other vital public services to pay for the Olympics, and 95 per cent want a referendum on the issue. It's quite clear that while people like the idea of the Olympics, they don't see them as a priority for the government.
But the Liberals appear to think that they can buy public support through media hype over the Olympic bid the same way they bought public the last election though media hype (read media complicity) about their great tax cut measures without cutting any services or jobs.
But that hasn't happened. In their 18 months in office, the Liberals have taken the government from a healthy $1.5 billion surplus and lowering debt to a record $4.4 billion deficit and a ballooning debt. Statistics Canada reports that BC's economy is now shrinking for the first time in over 20 years.
When former premier Glen Clark first applied for the 2010 games in 1998, similar questions on the wisdom of such a move and how to pay for it legitimately arose as well. However, at that time, as repeated Auditor General reports have shown, the government's fiscal situation was far better and the finances were much more responsibly managed.
Then, despite the Asian crash and federal cuts, BC's economy was still in running mode, with some of the best job creation and wage level records in the country. Health and education services were still fairly secure, despite constant funding problems, and the tax system was fairly well balanced.
The Liberals have replaced this with looting the public purse to pay off the province's wealthiest of corporate special interests. Collective agreements are being ripped up, seniors are losing their care homes, hospitals are being closed or sold off, tuition is skyrocketing and retired government workers, poverty-stricken families and the disabled are having their incomes cut, while the province's infrastructure is being gutted. Yet the Libs want to blow over $6 billion on the two-week event, including building the world's longest driveway-a useless six-lane highway that starts in West Vancouver and dead-ends in the town of Whistler.
This type of business conduct is dishonest, disrespectful and cruel. It is patently incompetent and shows the Liberals and their sleazy big corporate backers can't, in their own infamous words, "manage a pop sickle stand." The Liberals have clearly shown they have nowhere near the level of competence in fiscal management of the NDP.
They have proven incapable of managing this province, and as long as they continue to govern, the Olympics aren't worth it.
The Columbia Journal
P.O. Box 2633 MPO,
Vancouver, British Columbia,
Canada V6B 3W8
Phone: 604-266-6552 Fax: 604-267-3342