KAMLOOPS — My friend the Armchair Mayor wrote this week about the white noise which has become the litany of funding announcements from the province as the writ is set to drop for the May 9 election. He’s probably right in his assessment. (After all, he is the Armchair Mayor and who can argue with a man in a comfortable armchair?)
I feel the same way about the sudden influx of the usual pre-election negative ads from the various parties, and several third parties, which typify the type of attack ads that Canada has stolen from south of the border. They aren’t quite as bad as the attack ads we saw leading up to the U.S. Presidential election, but they are irritating nonetheless.
I am already tired of the B.C. Teachers' Federation ad telling us that the Liberals have closed 260 schools, and the statement from the NDP criticizing the Liberal “war” on education. The statements have some basis in fact, but to suggest that 260 schools were closed because of a lack of funding is not totally accurate. Many schools were closed because enrollment had declined to the point it was totally irrational to keep them open. And to say the Liberals are conducting a “war” on education just doesn’t cut it.
On the other side, for the group CC4BC (Concerned Citizens for B.C.) to be ripping up the NDP as they have in various media forums over the so-called Leap Manifesto and other issues bothers me a lot, too.
And then there are the parties themselves. “Christy Clark-Not Working for You” is one NDP ad that comes to mind recently. It makes reference to the current controversy over fundraisers that has precipitated Elections B.C. asking the RCMP to take over the investigation into whether the Elections Act has been violated. The Liberals have been pushing the fact that B.C. leads the country in economic growth, and has the lowest unemployment rate in the country. It’s all become way over the top.
And sadly, it’s not over yet. I see the NDP is very big on providing an affordable British Columbia, but Mr. Horgan has yet to tell us how he will find the funds to provide big money to health care and education and still keep us affordable, unless he runs a huge deficit, and we all know where that will lead. The NDP website says “It’s time to build a better B.C.”, but Mr. Horgan still has a lot of convincing to do to sell us on how he will do better than to have the best economy in the country, least unemployment and surplus budgets. He has some potential issues to campaign on, including health care and education. But he has to tell us how he will do better than what the Liberals have done in these areas without bankrupting the province. There has to be some fact behind the rhetoric. If Horgan can do that, he will be able to make some serious progress. If not, I can’t see how he will fare any better than Adrian Dix did in 2013.