The July 6th Edition of the 100 Mile Free Press published a story on Donna Barnetts concerns about being recalled. I wrote a paragraph by paragraph response and was asked if I would allow the paper to use it as a letter to the editor. To which I agreed.
The heavily edited version of my response was finally published in the July 21 edition and I don't feel that it completely covered my response, so I have chosen to publish it in full here.
All writing in black is from the original news article and the red is my response.
And so she should be afraid. Although she maintains she didn't lie to her constituents it is quite obvious by the response in the initiative that more people than voted for her think she did.
It’s a piece of legislation that’s there for people to use, she says, adding it’s been used quite a few times, but never successfully.
Wrong on this one Donna. Paul Reitsma in 1999 was recalled but to save face and not have the distinction of being the first to be fired by his constituents he quit. While the petition was being submitted I might add.
“Recall is a definite concern for everybody. There’s 24 of us on the list and it could bring the government down.”
Yes Donna it is a concern. Do you actually think we want to do this. Your boss is bringing it on himself. His arrogance and your continueing to spout the party line are forcing our hand. We have the option and we will use it
She says it’s the last thing British Columbia needs right now because the world economy is so bad — with the United States looking at “double recession” — and the province’s lumber industry so fragile.
Just what makes you think the world economy is the fault here and why do use the tax on the people back as a solution. Our situation hasn't got anything to do with the world economy, Campbell even alluded to this when he explained why our deecit was only $435 million. and we were calling his BS then
Noting people are saying the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) is big business against the ordinary citizen, Barnett says it’s proven that the HST is good for business, and what’s good for business is good for jobs.
“The world only rotates for the private sector by keeping your doors open.”
The people of this province get jobs on their own merits. We don't pay big business to give us a job Why is it that whenever a government policy is bad for the people, government uses the excuse it's good for jobs and the economy? What good is this shift going to do for the economy? Never mind the jobs that are going to be lost in the restaurant industry alone.
Barnett says she doesn’t know how far the recall threat is going to go because there are so many things on the table, including a challenge by a group of B.C. business leaders as to whether the petition, itself, is legal.
If the petition is validated by Elections BC, she adds, then it has to go to an all-party government committee and then it has to go to the legislature.
It will be successful and I want you to think outside the box for a moment. We just had a referendum whether you recognized it or not. And tell your colleagues to stop spouting that $1.6 billion dollar crap. the first transfer is $235 million. Have we even received that yet?
What she does know, however, is the B.C. Liberals stumbled coming out of the gates with HST and the lack of public information was a big blunder.
It wasn't a blunder Donna it was arrogance pure and simple. Campbell and Hansen were caught with their pants down. They didn't even bother to register as opponents because they never thought the people had had enough
“The HST isn’t the most popular thing the government has ever done, but there’s a reason for everything.
Barnett says the B.C. Liberal government did a very poor job bringing the HST out and explaining it to the public. “They still haven’t got the proper information out.”
Noting she has a number of good friends who have signed the anti-
HST petition, Barnett says they complain they have to pay HST on groceries and gas. I have to tell them groceries and gasoline are HST exempt, she adds.
Donna let's be a little more honest here. People who voted for you and are lifelong liberals were absolutely livid when they came to sign the initiative. They were red faced and talking loudly saying you had betrayed them. One that I know said he will vote NDP before he ever votes for you or a liberal again. And there were many of them who were well informed. Not the ones you say only were afraid of groceries and gasoline. By the way did you know some groceries that people purchase often did go up. Maybe you should check it out the next time you go shopping.
“So, you know we did an absolute terrible job of presenting this issue, and we have to take full responsibility for the terrible job that was done.”
A lot of people have told her she let them down with the HST decision.
“I wish I didn’t have to make this decision. It would be so nice to make decisions that make you popular, but unfortunately, sometimes in government, you have to make decisions that make you unpopular.”
Now you're using Campbells feeble line. You could make no worse decision I allege, than to do the bidding of Campbell. It will be your downfall.
However, she explains, government has to look at the budget and deficits because the main economic drivers, including forestry, mining and agriculture, are seeing their revenues shrinking.
Can I ask who put us in this mess in the first place? Don't know? It was your micromanager boss. You know? The one who is best suited to manage our economy?
The sophomore MLA says she asks people to tell her what to go back and cut, but people say they don’t want anything cut.
“I feel just awful inside that you have to make these kinds of decisions, and people say, ‘you were elected to represent us’ and yes I was, but I was also elected to protect health care and education.”
She adds health-care costs are almost $15 billion a year and education is more expensive every year.
“We don’t want to close schools; the enrolment is shrinking; we have people who need help and assistance, but how do you provide it?”
Why are you suggesting that we cut anymore in the first place? This tax is supposed to be revenue neutral. It has absolutely nothing to do with schools. Campbell has already cut that to the bone. And if he hadn't messed with health care we would have been in far better shape than we are in that department.
The $1.6 billion HST transitional funding the federal government put on the table, Barnett says, helps keeps the provincial deficit down.
Without that money to help with education and health care, she adds, the provincial deficit would be astronomical.
Revenue Neutral Donna.
“A lot of people said, ‘close the schools’ and others said, ‘have a deficit,’ but do you want to leave a deficit for your kids?”
No we don't want to leave that defecit for the kids. So why are the liberals avoiding the subject of returning some (or all) of the tax exemptions that your corporate welfare system gave out.instead of giving them more candy by dumping this on your constituents.
Barnett says the B.C. Liberals will definitely be travelling around the province to ensure its information on the HST is heard in all 85 constituencies.
Rumors have since had it that Falcon was to be here to make a big deal about some Seniors beds.But the ribbon cutting didn't materialize. I have since learned that it may be held in early September .
This is a project that was announced Four years ago and consisted of 29 Beds. Here we are 4 years later and it is only 14 Beds.