By Roy L Hales
One of the principle movers behind the agreement to save the Great Bear Rainforest is running as a Liberal candidate in North Island riding. Dallas Smith hopes to bring more local accountability into the political process. There is not enough time to broadcast the entirety of our interview. Aside from a short exchange about Site C, last week’s broadcast was essentially a puff piece. In this segment, I am asking a Liberal candidate tough questions.
Asking A Liberal Candidate Tough Questions
In the attached podcast we discussed, in order of appearance:
- The growing provincial debt (doubled under the Liberals, from $33 billion to $67 billion);
- BC Hydro’s debt tripled under the Liberals (from $6 billion to $18 billion);
- the need for accountability in politics;
- Dallas says BC is leading the Canadian economy in terms of job growth BC’s forestry sector, LNG;
- He asks how can we bring the tech industry to Vancouver Island?; Vancouver Island’s housing is affordable & quality of life second to none;
- BC’s Medical Services Plan is currently a flat tax going into general revenues; improving the province’s medical;
- Fossil fuel contributions to the BC Liberals; The top 10 gas & oil companies, in terms of political contributions, call government officials 14 times a day (Rich Coleman gets 3 calls a week & Premier Clark almost as many); Now that the BC government has okayed the Trans Mountain pipeline, Dogwoods call for the Liberal party to give back roughly $771 million dollars in fossil fuel company donations; RCMP is looking at campaign contributions across the board;
The Liberal campaign in North Island riding, where they receive funding; volunteers.
Housing, Ferries, Education
Some of the other issues discussed:
- Housing costs and affordability in British Columbia; issues within First Nations communities and the broader British Columbian community; short-term rentals; Your house is an investment
- Affordability of the BC Ferries system; the experience card; all the “value added” extras on ferry trips.
- BC’s education system; Liberal (& NDP) government conflicts with teachers; Dallas’ Mother and sister are both teachers (which made the Christmas dinner when he announced his candidacy quite interesting!)
Top photo credit: Driftwood at Campbell River by Andrea_44 via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)
- This prompted me to do a comparison of BC’s unemployment figures with Canada’s, as well as the growing debt, under the NDP (1991- 2001) and Liberal (2001 – present) governments – “Are The BC Liberals Better Fiscal Managers Than The NDP?
- The NDP recently announced that, if elected, they intend to cut ferry fares by 15% on minor routes, freeze rates on major routes and reinstate free weekday travel for seniors.