BC: The Biggest Lies on Earth, but British Columbians
Don’t Believe Them
BC residents congratulate yourselves! The most recent polls by Ipsos
Reid and McIntyre Mustel showing the NDP is again pulling ahead of the
Liberals in popular support (NDP at 43 per cent, Liberal at 40 per
cent, with a 4.5 per cent error margin), despite a massive and largely
misleading propaganda campaign about how our supposedly great economy
is making BC “the best place on earth,” once again shows that people
aren’t as gullible as the corporate elite and its media want us all to
Since taking office in 2001, the Liberals have used “the best place on
earth” as a combined whipping post and garbage dump for all of their
dishonest claims and failed idiotic policies—and as the 2005 election
draws nearer, more and more people, regardless of the huge propaganda
campaign, appear to be seeing this fact.
The Liberals said they would cut taxes, stimulate the economy, protect
public assets, like BC Hydro, BC Rail and the ferries, and make private
health care “redundant,” honour all collective agreements. The list was
endless. The corporate media cheered the Liberals, and smeared (or
outright censored) anyone who tried to expose these promises as false
Literally every one of these promises were summarily broken—not because
they tried and didn’t succeed, but because they clearly had no
intention of honouring them in the first place. Since their first day
at the helm, the Liberals have done exactly the opposite: reckless
privatization scams, busting collective agreements, stripping rural
communities of their local economic engines via mass lay-offs, cutbacks
to services, facility closures and removing job protection requirements
from resource extraction, sale tax and premium increases and huge
rollbacks and exemptions of environmental and human rights standards.
Yet suddenly the government expects people to forget this, and gets
upset when they don’t.
Worse yet, they have surrounded the senior levels of government in a
shroud of secrecy by curtailing the freedom of Information Act and
restricting decision-making to the back rooms with a handful of
advisers (read Liberal Party funders) from BC’s corporate elite. They
are even refusing to say how much of our tax dollars they are spending,
or plan to spend, on this current advertizing hysteria campaign. Yet
people are expected to believe what it claims.
The economic results of this clearly show. Statistics Canada reports
show unemployment has risen under the Liberals and the average has
remained steadfastly higher than any time during the NDP tenure. The
GDP this year is averaged at 3.4 per cent—much better than in 2003,
when many economists claim the economy actually shrank, but much worse
than the 4.6 per cent averaged during the NDP time in office. Wages on
average have fallen by almost $1.80 an hour; full-time jobs are being
replaced by part-time ones, and consumer spending stagnates. The Trade
Union research Bureau reports consumer debt in BC is at an all-time
high. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives reports that capital
investment has fallen to lower than it ever was during the supposedly
“anti-business” NDP tenure. Finally, a majority of the of the economic
forecasters council in BC say the 2005 GDP will be lower than this year
(3.3 per cent).
It should come as no surprise that most people don’t seem to be taking
these ads too seriously. When someone loses their job, takes a pay cut
or find it harder to pay their bills on their current pay check, no
amount of government or corporate sponsored flash and pomp can convince
them they are better off. Yet this is exactly what these power cliques
are trying to do—totally at public expense.
The situation appears to be so bad that the BC Business Council, the
top elite of corporate bosses in the province that defacto owns the
Liberal Party, has gotten into the act to try to save the government
with a factless bombastic—and tax deductible—ad blitz of its own,
talking about “hiring” everybody, even this is not what is happening
now or is likely to happen in the future, given the province’s current
Some analysts have pointed out the reason, despite BC’s overall
economic stagnation, the Liberals have not yet spiraled downward in the
polls is due to these intense and largely unchallenged ad campaigns.
This may likely be true. However, it is telling that when oil, gas,
electricity and base commodity prices are peaking or rising, interest
rates are at a 50-year low, and for the first time in over 15 years,
the federal government is now transferring tax dollars the BC
government, this province’s economy, and the working people who make it
happen, are overall faring so poorly.
This is truly a made-in-BC crisis by a dishonest, incompetent and
scandal-plagued government that has clearly damaged the provincial
economy in order to pay off its elite wealthy core of fund-raisers and
corporate special interests. People are wise to see these ads as the
misleading fluff they are, and to look to an alternative to replace the
Liberals in the next provincial election.
The corporate media, namely the Global Canwest monopoly, which controls
the bulk of newspapers and TV stations in the province, has certainly
done its part in trying to shield the Liberals from public scrutiny.
The misleading Liberal ads are running constantly in the major media
with the full approval of those who control it.
The Columbia Journal has not, and will not, be so obliging. In the New
Year, we will be focusing our coverage on the economy and, unlike the
major media, the well being of the general public of the province. We
certainly are no match for the major corporate media or its efforts to
support the Liberals. But an informed and educated public definitely
is—and this is truly what just might make BC the greatest place on