B.C.’s Christy Clark, Ken Boessenkool and Stephen Harper. A trap for B.C. conservatives.

 
B.C.’s Christy Clark, Ken Boessenkool and Stephen Harper. A trap for B.C. conservatives.
 
by Robin Mathews
January 20, 2012
 
There are, in British Columbia, “conservatives” who care about Canada and B.C. and want to fix some of the broken things in the province.  They are not in the Gordon Campbell/Christy Clark coalition of Right forces in British Columbia.  They are not ‘profile’ federal Conservatives or other declared federal Conservatives in B.C.
 
That becomes clear when the new ‘love-in’ relation between Christy Clark and Stephen Harper is examined.  It becomes clear, too, when the appointment of Gordon Campbell by Stephen Harper as Canadian High Commissioner in London is looked at - and the appointment of Ken Boessenkool as Ms. Clark’s Chief of Staff.
 
Commentators say Christy Clark is trying to tell conservatives in B.C. they don’t have to go with the renewed John Cummins B.C. Conservative Party.  The B.C. Liberals are Right for them, she is saying. But that’s not all … by half.
 
What about Harper’s appointment of Gordon Campbell to London?  What about his slipping in Ken Boessenkool as Ms. Clark’s Chief of Staff? Mr. Boessenkool – besides having been a senior adviser to Stephen Harper - was also, like Harper (as prime minister), a lobbyist for Enbridge, proposer of the Gateway pipeline.
 
Federal Conservatives with a conscience in B.C. are holding on to Stephen Harper’s false image.  What else can they do – except leave the party? An online commentator in B.C. believes that all the bad things since the federal election have been spawned by Harper advisors and policy makers. The commentator calls them  colourful names.  They are – he believes – soiling the image of a principled prime minister who is marked by his integrity.  Leading him astray….
 
But Stephen Harper leads the wolf pack.  He was involved or involved himself in the scandal of the federal 2006 election when money was funneled through 68 constituency offices to be used illegitimately in the election!  The Party pleaded guilty in court to that offence.
 
He was the architect of the two ugly prorogations used to defeat the will of Parliament.  He supported the $50 million sidelined for pork-barrel purposes by John Baird and Tony Clement at the time of the G8 summit (2010).  He even supported Peter MacKay’s blatant misuse of air force craft for his own personal use. He violated collective bargaining practice in Canada to suppress claims to fair working conditions and wages of both the postal workers and Air Canada flight attendants. And more.
 
Those were not activities that he somehow got suckered into by his advisors. No one in the Harper Conservative ranks makes policy that Stephen Harper doesn’t want. As the on-line commentator remarked: “Corrupt is, as corrupt does”.  But still he calls Harper throughout: “sir”.  B.C. Federal Conservatives are going to have to make up their minds - to go along with Stephen Harper corruption and sacking of B.C.… or to jump ship.
 
Pre-dating the new love-in of Stephen Harper and Christy Clark was the sudden and – to many – surprising move by Stephen Harper to lift Gordon Campbell (just out of the B.C. premiership) to London as Canadian High Commissioner there.  (The High Commissioner is the chief Canadian diplomat in England.)
 
Gordon Campbell’s popularity was diving. Belief in British Columbia was hardening that he was personally highly involved in the corrupt transfer of BC Rail to CNR. Unpopularity was based – additionally - on his whirlwind about-face on the HST and the conviction of a large body of British Columbians that he had betrayed trust - had simply lied his way back into power.
 
The HST, in fact, takes from the poor and gives to the rich, one of the bases of Stephen Harper ideology.
 
Add to those matters the Gilbert and Sullivan absurdities of B.C. Ferries. A generally well-run operation, BC Ferries was (like BC Rail) intended to be flogged outside of Canada.  Its finances were looted to make the province’s budget look good. Gordon Campbell’s U.S. million dollar baby, David Hahn, spent much time in his first years travelling the world, trying to dump BC Ferries.  Failing that, he turned it into a cash cow for himself and so-called ‘senior administrators’.  (Even Hahn’s successor makes over a half million a year, with unspecified “expenses” taken care of.)
 
As well (though, not by any means all) Gordon Campbell created the monster BC Hydro has become, with its disastrous links to (foreign-owned) Accenture, to the U.S. energy network, to the environmentally destructive privatized river-energy boondoggle wired into the U.S. energy network, and to a built-in attempt to bankrupt BC Hydro.
 
And – just for the record – he and Christy Clark set to work to cripple unionism in B.C. by breaking contract with the Hospital Employees Union and violating the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to knee-cap the teachers of B.C.  Both moves have been overthrown by higher courts.
 
ALL OF THOSE MOVES are the kind that meet the approval of Stephen Harper. He has attacked unions and violated their rights. He has set up and seen sold off to U.S. interests Stelco, Canada’s major Steel company.  And when the buyers were proved to be violating the purchase agreement, Harper let them off the hook in a dirty back-door deal. He violated the rule of law to break the Canadian Wheat Board – setting it up to have its work taken over by gargantuan U.S. food monopoly operators. He just let Canada’s last, major publisher, McClelland and Stewart (founded in 1906), fall into foreign hands – and he had to violate the Investment Canada Act to do it. And there’s more ….
 
Stephen Harper believes in and works for the deindustrialization of Canada and in a life for this country as an economic “hewer of wood and drawer of water” for the U.S.A.  He just signed a deal that will let THEIR police operate in OUR country.
 
Under the rose, he worked with and approved of everything – legal and otherwise – Gordon Campbell was doing to destroy the economic and financial independence of British Columbia.  And so when Campbell got into deep trouble, Stephen Harper reached into B.C. and lifted Campbell out and moved him as far away as he could – to London, England, in a cushy, expenses-paid job at the court of St. James.  Poor Elizabeth ll – what she has to put up with at her receptions for Commonwealth “dignitaries”!
 
Gordon Campbell and Stephen Harper are long-time allies.  Just think of the “deserving” Conservatives in Canada who should have been posted to London as Canada’s High Commissioner.  But Harper turned to a Liberal, to Gordon Campbell, and gave him the job.  It smells.
 
His present love-in with Christy Clark is consistent.  She was deputy premier and the confidant of dubious actors all through the corrupt BC Rail giveaway.  It was she, as minister of education, who violated the charter rights of the B.C. teachers.  Her political position and Stephen Harper’s are the same.
 
And they both like Ken Boessenkool.  He lobbied for Enbridge – as Harper does.  He was a lobbyist for U.S. corporations – as Harper is.  He even became a lobbyist for Taser International at the time of the first phase of the brouhaha over the Robert Dziekanski killing by RCMP officers at the Vancouver International Airport.
 
As an associate of Stephen Harper, it is perfectly consistent that he should have been lobbying – as British Columbians see it – for a U.S. company attempting to deny justice in Canada.  What better person to be in the B.C. premier’s office telling her what to do on behalf of the overall policy to sell out Canada, as Gordon Campbell sold out B.C.  Christy Clark may even have suggestions of her own … and she’s used to showing contempt for the rule of law.
 
Watch carefully. Watch for attempts to buy, or to practice fraud in the next B.C. election. Watch for the moment Christy Clark announces Stephen Harper has forgiven the $1.6 billion HST payback debt.
 
Whatever Christy Clark may want for herself, Stephen Harper wants B.C. under his thumb for the next four years.  What a coincidence that a close advisor and ideologue of Stephen Harper, and friend of Christy Clark, is now in one of the most important positions in British Columbia politics.  If you don’t believe that about the premier’s Chief of Staff, ask Martyn Brown (Gordon Campbell’s Chief of Staff for nearly ten years).  Or ask anyone who will be honest with you about how Martyn Brown wielded the lash as if he was driving slaves on a U.S. cotton plantation.
 
Many conservatives in B.C. want justice for British Columbians and for the province as a whole.  They know they won’t get it from Christy Clark. They know they won’t get it from her love-in partner Stephen Harper and his boy, Ken Boessenkool, living close by Christy’s side.
 
What do B.C. conservatives do?
-------