Tracking track records
Sometimes a decision is difficult, while in other instances it is a “no brainer.”
Liberal incumbent, Dan Ashton states that he should get my vote based on his track record (Penticton Herald, April 9, 2017).
The underfunding of education orchestrated by the Liberals over the last 15 years has forced most school boards to cut services for kids and to close schools. Last May, while the Okanagan-Skaha School board was preparing to close three schools, Ashton was on CBC Radio. He was asked about education funding shortfalls and responded by stating that “most school boards were dealing with it.” That was May 2.
On May 31, after massive outcries from the Penticton and Summerland communities, Ashton was “pleased to announce” funding to save two of the doomed schools. Ashton was nowhere to be seen during the arduous process of consultations and public meetings regarding the proposed closures. A perhaps little known fact is that the “rural schools” funding that Dan miraculously pulled from the Clark government’s coffers is only temporary. This means the likelihood of further school closures in our area is high. But, do not worry folks, Dan knows that the school board will deal with it. The track record of this government contains many closed schools.
Ashton sits on the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services. This committee has recommended year after year that K-12 education funding be increased. Dan agreed with the recommendations of his committee. Funding was not increased, despite the now retired slogan of “More Funding Than Ever.” Funding to public education will finally see an increase, thanks to The Supreme Court of Canada. This government’s track record includes tax-payer funded lawyers to stop adequate funding for schools.
A quick search for “Special Prosecutor” and the B..C Liberals should disgust you. You might be shocked at the number of times this has occurred since the last election. This government’s track record has the “quick wins” scandal, the “B.C. Rail” scandal, the “health firings” scandal, the “pay for access” scandal, the “triple delete” scandal and, let’s not forget they took bus passes away from B.C. citizens with disabilities while spending $500 a day for Christy’s photographer and half a million flying around on her private jet. This government’s track record is packed with sadness, scandal and corruption.
The campaign promises the B.C. Liberals and Ashton ran on included a “debt-free B.C.” That has not happened. In fact, according to the government’s own report, debt has increased since the last election and the Liberal’s fiscal plan states it will continue to increase every year of their reign. Another promise was to pay down both B.C. Ferries and B.C. Hydro debt and obligations. No progress on those either, in fact, both those corporations are in worse financial shape. Remember the LNG promise? You guessed it, no progress there either unless you consider the shell game of plopping our tax dollars in an account and calling it the “LNG prosperity fund.”
Former Social Credit MLA and journalist, Rafe Mair said the Liberals have, “doubled the provincial debt and ruined our former crown jewel, B.C. Hydro, and, having bankrupted it in all but name, committed it to a further $10 billion for Site C for power we don’t need and for which we have no customers.” This government’s track record on the economy includes promises they didn’t keep or didn’t even intend to keep.
The most amazing thing in all of the Liberal spin about the economy is their constant refrain that the other party’s promises are fiscally unsound, even perilous, since they will increase our debt.
If Dan wants me to base my decision on this track record, it’s a “no brainer.”