Arrogant Campbell ruined lives, his caucus should follow him out

Photo: Stephen Dyrgas

The Communist Party of British Columbia issue the following release on the resignation of B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell:

The three terms of the Campbell Liberals have been characterized by implementing the lowest taxes for the wealthy and corporations in North America at the expense of the standard of living, wages, and social programs of B.C. residents. His forced resignation is a compliment to a tenacious and awakened electorate who has had enough.

In his devotion to corporate welfare, Gordon Campbell kept the minimum wage at the lowest level in Canada while presiding over an economy where the top ten CEOs collectively in 2009 earned $70 million. Upon the imbalanced scales of extreme wealth and extreme poverty, Gordon Campbell's weight was always on the side of extreme wealth.

For seven years, British Columbia has had the worst child poverty in Canada. After nine years of tuition fee increases, B.C. takes in more from tuition fees than it does from corporate taxation. The massive privatization of health-care services, with parallel cutbacks in quality and accessibility, has channeled hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars into corporate bank accounts, while rolling back health-care wages 15 per cent and then freezing them at that level.

The Campbell Liberals repeatedly broke election promises that had value to the public, and steadfastly adhered to every policy that gave away public resources to private business. They have brought almost every school board in B.C. into a funding crisis that has put nearly 200 schools on the closure list so far. They broke their promise not to privatize B.C. Rail, and in the corrupted bidding process, implicated cabinet ministers in a scandal currently hidden behind two scapegoats and a plea bargain that hides the extent and involvement of elected officials in betrayal and corruption.

The Campbell Liberals have gutted the Environmental Assessment Act and created cabinet powers that overrule municipal bylaws and autonomy to the point that municipalities can only govern if they don't interfere with corporate interests. They cut the transfer of gambling profits to charities and the arts from 33 per cent to 10 per cent. They made massive funding cuts to women's shelters, closed down homeless hostels, and cut and slashed their way through almost every social or special-needs program in the province.

For Gordon Campbell to whine about a vindictive public and the strain on his family after ruining so many lives is typical of the arrogance and contempt he and his government have exercised. The NDP MLAs and party leader who stroke him on his way out with platitudes about "years of public service" should tell the truth and expose the years of "corporate service" if they don't want to appear as members of the same club.

Gordon Campbell was not brought down by the parliamentary opposition; he was not brought down by a caucus revolt. He was brought down by massive public rejection of the Liberal government's record of lies, broken promises, and deceit that made it impossible for him to continue. The HST debacle and the transfer of $1.6 billion from the public to the private purse has become the catalyst, the glue of all the diverse forces screaming betrayal.

The historic pending referendum is evidence of the public rage. Gordon Campbell is going, he should be gone, and his entire caucus that supported him doggedly should leave with him.

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