Curiosity is terminal

Saturday, 19 January 2013

The BC NDP and the Conservative Machine

On my way home from work on Thursday, I heard a report that the Conservatives in Alberta are getting antsy about the possibility (the inevitability) of the NDP forming the next BC provincial government, and they are holding fundraising dinners for the BC Liberals. They are also repeating their schtick about having to better inform BC about the benefits of pipelines and the importance of the oil industry to us.
I was mad but not surprised. By the next morning, it was in the Times Colonist, the National Post and the Globe and Mail.
The Disaffected Lib, and Big City Lib both blogged about it and I see today that Montreal Simon and Creekside have it covered too.

I was mad,  and then I thought it was funny because I don't want Alberta telling me how I should vote and I suspect a lot of other BC'ers don't either, and then I read a comment  on an article in the Tyee. The commenter said it was part of the plan. The Liberals want the NDP to inherit the mess they have made.  BC has very few money making assets left. In my opinion it is not going to be easy to run this province in the next few years (and candidly: I really like the two NDP candidates in my area, and I trust them both but I don't trust Adrian Dix even as far as I could throw him.) It is entirely likely that things will be bad and people will be unhappy and then they can blame the NDP. And so once again just as the NDP start to sort shit out, the Socred horde will come along and fuck things up for the general population.

I work for the training division for a good sized scaffold company. We have the only extensive scaffold training available in the province and we have trained nearly 400 scaffolders since I started the job in 2009. I  instruct and do the curriculum development, and I wrote the only scaffold manual being used in BC today. We have been trying to get the training recognized all this time. The current government has had us chasing in circles for most of it. Last spring we started to work on the NDP, and my partner got a meeting with an industry critic, who connected us with the education and training critic. I went in to let our boss know and he laughed at me and wanted to know what good that was? I told him I thought that having an ally in opposition was sometimes as useful as one in government, but also that I believe that the NDP will form the next government. Again he laughed at me. "If the NDP gets elected, industry will just leave the province," he said.

Frankly, its a stupid thing for him to say. We are a scaffold company. We build scaffold in mills and mines and refineries and gas plants, as well as for bricklayers and stucco-ers and siders in commercial and residential work, and we build scaffolds on city streets to keep the public safe from construction mess. Its not like all those buildings can just pick up and move to Wisconsin. Trees and minerals are already being sent unmilled and unrefined to other countries, but they have to be extracted here.

But it was chilling nonetheless, because my boss, who is not in fact a bad guy, really thinks that it is okay to close up businesses if they don't like the government we have. I think it is a sad illustration of the greed and fear of the Conservative machine.

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