Timing is everything, and the decision to award former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell the Order of B.C. now, rather than sometime down the road when one can look at his legacy in more historic terms, makes no sense at all.
What was the committee thinking?
It’s been only days since one of the former premier’s unfortunate legacies, the HST, went down to defeat after it already cost him his job and quite possibly his party’s grip on power come the next election.
And the committee wants to give him the province’s highest award while the HST fiasco, which will cost in the billions once it’s reversed, is fresh in everyone’s minds?
It’s no wonder there are online protests and petitions gathering steam in cyberspace.
Especially when you consider so many previous premiers have never received the honour, and longtime B.C. leader Bill Bennett only received his two decades after he left office.
Certainly Campbell’s legacy includes the Vancouver/Whistler Olympics that were a huge success, a fairly tight grip on the provincial economy and years of service as the mayor of the province’s biggest city.
His lengthy record of public service deserves consideration for the Order of B.C., but that consideration should come later when his record can be looked at with some semblance of sober second thought.
But the honour seems out of place now, when the sting of the HST is too much in the minds of B.C. voters and when, in reality, his original mandate to govern as premier hasn’t even ended yet. There’s even some debate about whether as a sitting politician up until March of this year he is even eligible to receive this honour.
— Vernon Morning Star