B.C. Liberal fans fill up newspaper inboxes
If you go to the B.C. Liberal website, you'll see a section called "take action".
If you click this, you'll learn how to phone radio talk shows, write letters to newspapers, and have an opportunity to "join the digital influencers."
It's designed to generate support for the ruling party.
Sometimes, it's hard to tell which letters to the editor are genuine and which might be part of a planned publicity effort by a political party.
The B.C. Liberals provide links on their website to scores of newspapers, including the Georgia Straight.
Below, you'll see several letters that have come in over the past month to firstname.lastname@example.org from B.C. Liberal supporters.
Is it all a coincidence? You be the judge.
Balancing a provincial budget is quite an amazing feat these days. So my hat goes off to B.C.’s finance minister because he managed to do it and he did it with credible numbers that stand up to independent scrutiny. I think the people in Vancouver should know this.
Compared to Ontario, where they are currently looking at a $12-billion deficit, and oil-rich Alberta, where they are projecting a $4-billion deficit, B.C. is doing pretty darn good.
And when you throw in provincial debt levels, B.C. wins again with one of the lowest ratios of taxpayer-supported debt compared to the province’s gross domestic product (GDP) numbers: B.C. sits at just 17 percent while Ontario is at 36 percent and Quebec is at a whopping 48 percent.
Spending money you don’t have, as we all know, is a recipe for long term economic disaster. Fortunately for the people of B.C., Christy Clark and Finance Minister Mike de Jong get that fact and have refused to take us down that path.
> Bruce Sanderson / North Vancouver
Full marks to Premier Christy Clark and Finance Minister Mike de Jong for continuing to show restraint with respect to government hiring and government wages. The government bureaucracy in this province will be reduced by over 1,400 positions in the coming three years. Good riddance to BIG government and hello balanced budgets—my kids thank you.
> Monika Bonney / Burnaby
I feel compelled to write as I have heard so many people commenting on the budget introduced on Tuesday. I am normally the first person to look for ways to reduce taxes, especially for the underprivileged in society. However, I fail to see how a 2 percent increase on those earning more than $150,000 and a one percent increase to big business is going to hurt them or B.C.
I think the more important thing, in these economic times, is that B.C. is the first province to deliver a balanced budget in Canada since the recession. And as B.C.’s economy gets better, and provincial revenues increase, these specific tax increases should be the first to go. Then the government can continue by reducing taxes even further to encourage our economy and allow businesses to take risks and hire British Columbians.
> Marney Hogan / Langley
I find it interesting that Mr. Dix and the NDP oppose balancing the budget and even went as far as to say, and I quote: “Well, we might get around to balancing the budget in four or five years.” So there is the deciding factor for me.
A government in waiting that will continue to pile on debt for my kids to pay off or one that will do whatever it can to reach a balanced budget to ensure my kids have less debt and help ensure a triple A credit rating to reduce interest payments, which will help lower taxes as a result. As much as I was toying and tinkering with the NDP, I have decided to vote for responsible government.
> Sandra Robinson / Maple Ridge
History has shown that the NDP will always focus on helping big unions rather than people if they are elected. An NDP government would not be focused on the economy and would simply scare business and investment away from B.C. This has happened every time an NDP government has been elected in this province and it would happen again.
NDP governments just want to spend more and more money—YOUR MONEY—and to do that they will have to increase taxes. That will really hit small- and medium-size businesses hard as it did the last time the NDP governed this province. In the end, businesses will have to reduce workers’ hours and even lay people off to pay those taxes.
It’s a slippery slope that we’ve seen before, and it would not be long before people stop investing in B.C., which would make things even worse for our economy.
So for anyone considering voting for Adrian Dix and the NDP, think again and ask yourself what it really means for you and your family and for the people of this province.
> Shane Perich / Coquitlam
Even though the provincial election is just three months away, NDP leader Adrian Dix still refuses to reveal the NDP’s election platform. Why? Is it so empty that he has to hide it from public view for as long as he possibly can?
I think the public deserve to see what sort of plan Dix and the NDP have for this province. Voters should be able to evaluate the NDP’s platform and weigh it against the platforms, plans, and visions of other parties.
Unfortunately, all Dix has done so far is defend his secrecy around the NDP platform by claiming the B.C. Liberals never revealed their plans this early on when they were in opposition during the 1990s.
Well, I almost bought that argument from Dix until I checked the facts. Not surprisingly, the facts don’t line up with Dix’s claim.
In 1996, for instance, the B.C. Liberals released their platform three months before the election; and that was at a time when B.C. did not have a fixed election date as we do now.
And in 2000, the B.C. Liberals released their platform more than a year before the election. These were documents that voters could read and study, evaluate, and compare.
How sad it is, then, that B.C. voters still have absolutely nothing solid from Dix this close to the election. His platform and plans remain a mystery. You would think that someone such as Dix, whose fundamental honesty has been in question since the 1990s, would be doing everything he could to be open and honest with the public about his plans.
Obviously, and sadly, that is clearly not the case.
> Fred Reemeyer / Coquitlam
People are scoffing at Christy Clark’s vision to use liquid natural gas (LNG) production to pay off our provincial debt and eliminate the provincial sales tax. They say it’s just a dream. Well, Alberta did it with oil money, so why can’t we do it in B.C. with natural gas money?
Major corporations are spending billions of dollars to develop B.C.’s natural gas resources. They’re willing to invest these billions because they believe in the long-term future of this industry. I believe in it too; when was the last time you saw major corporations risking billions of dollars developing a resource with no prospect for long-term solid success?
Christy Clark has a vision to grow the B.C. economy with LNG, to hire more British Columbians, and eventually pay off our provincial debt and eliminate the provincial sales tax. It’s a darn good vision and a dream worth pursuing. Alberta did it. So can we.
> Massimo Mandarino / Coquitlam