Wednesday, December 10, 2014
A plan the
elves would be happy with
Released by Dermod Travis,
probably don't get Christmas letters from an entire province, but this
year we hope you'll think of adding B.C. to your magical journey. We
know we're asking a lot of you, but B.C. could really use a Plan B this
You see it all
started a couple of Easters ago. The Easter bunny "you know, the
competition down the calendar street "came hoppin' along and told
everyone to put all their eggs into her LNG basket. All of them,
It sounded great
at the time, really it did. Who could say no to a prosperity fund? A
$100 billion prosperity fund to boot.
But it's not working out so well and everyone just assumed that the
Easter bunny had a few other baskets behind her ears if things went
south. Well, Santa, it looks like she doesn't. And a few of us "OK,
most of us" are getting a little antsy.
Here's the thing Santa, B.C. is developing a bit of a "how do you
put it" reputation. Some folk say the province is akin to a never
ending battle between huggers and frackers played out on a
continuous loop, year after year after year.
Protests, environmental assessments (one or two, take your pick),
injunctions, PR strategies (strained or leaked), appeals, human
chains, petitions, more protests, SLAPP suits, social license
the list goes on and on.
And it ain't going over so well with investors. Never knew they were
such nervous Nellies. Heck, one tax break too little and suddenly
they're off playing in another kid's sandbox.
Oh, that reminds us, Kinder Morgan could really use a new GPS this
Christmas. They still seem to be using the one left behind by Enron.
Then, to top it all off, a few months back the Supreme Court of
Canada told some of us that we may be squatters. On someone else's
Look, we know you can't stuff a massive GDP hike into B.C.'s
Christmas stocking, but maybe this year you could get us a few of
the things from our wish list.
A new way to reconcile competing interests in the province on
economic development would be great. Like, wow, best gift ever. And
it would be so neat if it came fully assembled.
We know you can't till the entire province into an organic farm, but
maybe you could show us a better way to use our agricultural land
and market our products. No need to include those trade mission
accessories that come with it, there are a whole bunch of folk right
here in the neighbourhood who eat all the time.
In fact, we crunched some numbers last night and you know what, 16.3
million people live in Alaska, Alberta, Washington State and B.C.
combined? Well, of course you did, but that's still a lot of mouths
Speaking of which, any chance we could return that clawback toy you
let B.C. play with a few years back? Not that we're ungrateful, but
it got into the wrongs hands. It really should come with
Between us, did you ever notice how uppity the Easter bunny gets
whenever anyone says value added? You think she'd know that old
saying: give a bunny a carrot and she eats a carrot. Teach a bunny
how to cultivate carrots and you're overrun with bunnies. Or
something like that.
It would be fantastic though if we could add some value to B.C.'s
natural resources right here in B.C. before we ship them off
overseas only to buy them back in manufactured goods a few months
That new board game 'How not to cut off your nose to spite your
face' would be cool too. You know the one. The winner is the first
to clue in that government cuts in one area may result in massive
losses for government in another, thereby negating the original
savings and then some.
The best part of getting a Plan B for Christmas, Santa, is that if
the Easter bunny turns out to have only been partly right (still not
looking good on that front BTW), we get the best of both plans.
Oh, nearly forgot. Please don't go down the chimney at the
legislature. Seismic issues. We'll put the milk and cookies on the
PS: If you can do anything about ferry fares, no grumbling from this
Dermod Travis is the executive director of IntegrityBC.
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