The BC Liberals are on the way out the door. As in days gone by, this recent incarnation of Social Credit Big Business party has out worn its welcome. The HST seems to be the last straw for people. The fudge-it budget in the lead up to the 2009 election showed voters first hand the Liberals were lying to them.
In an effort to get back on track they elected an old new leader, Christy Clark. Clark was part of the Gordon Campbell government and introduced and passed labour laws against teachers. Years later the laws were determined to be unconstitutional by Canada's Supreme Court. The damage was done. Clark was also a feisty partisan. Never missing an opportunity to gore her opponents, whether it be the NDP opposition, unions or poverty activists.
Clark got out of town just in time, as the BC Rail scandal came to light. She was intimately entangled as her brother was implicated in in the scandal, though no court action was ever taken. As two senior political aides were charged and on trial, information was starting to spill out, the aides were not going to take the fall. The Liberals in BC were grateful on several occasions to see the process of the trial delayed, through two elections. Surprisingly, the trial judge was promoted just as the trial was to continue, a new judge was needed, another delay.
The BC Rail scandal died in court with the surprise about face by the defendants. They agreed to plead guilty and in return the BC Liberal government would pay them Six Million dollars. It was unprecedented in BC or even Canadian history. If they were guilty, why would the Government fork over the money. What was the value obtained by people of BC for such a payment?
To this day the BC Liberal government is refusing to hand over documents to the Provincial Auditor General who is seeking answers as to why government money was used to "what appears to be a bribe" in ending an embarrassing trial that was about to get a whole lot more embarrassing, when former BC Liberal Finance Minister Gary Collins was set to testify under oath. Rumours that then Premier Campbell and other former politicians would have to testify, perhaps even Premier Christy Clark was on that list of potential witnesses. We may never know.
The BC Rail sale itself must be scrutinized much more. The connections between then Premier Campbell and the head of CN Rail, the political donations in the thousands and thousands of dollars, the role of one Mr. Kinsella, the fire sale price for BC Rail, and the loss of the passenger rail service to the Cariboo. So many unanswered questions.
One is almost certain, the BC Liberal brand is about as good as the Ignatieff brand. Clark will be screaming WAC Bennett's call to action, "The socialist hordes are at the gates." It will fall on non-listening voters.
On the list of things for new Premier Dix, a royal commission into the BC Rail Scandal with powers to recommend charges.
Want more on the BC Rail scandal, check out these links below...
The Legislative Raids
No Strings Attached
Whose Who in BC Rail/Legislature Raids
A to Z - Railgate