It is nice to see our federal MP Alex Atamanenko has concerns about school closures in the southeast corner of his riding (March 18, Cuts Compel MP to Speak Out). Ah, yes, there’s an election ahead, but don’t worry, Alex, you are in the safest political jurisdiction in North America. You can pack up and tour Europe and your job will be waiting for you after you get back.
His suggestion for keeping all three high schools open was an excellent one except for one small problem, the province of B.C. is broke. We all have part of that $53-billion debt.
At some point and I am betting sooner than later, the B.C. government will have to get real serious about paying it back because a) they won’t be able to borrow anymore or b) they won’t be able to afford the interest payments on the money we already owe.
Both the provincial NDP and Liberals are to blame, the NDP bought dams for $130 million to help build a lead smelter, they built fast ferries $500 million, bought a pulp mill (Skeena Pulp Dan Miller’s riding) for another $400 million. Gordon Campbell built the Sea to Sky highway, hosted the Olympics, built some transit lines, etc. to the tune of a few billion. So collectively they both have pissed away the farm so to speak.
So, Alex, faced with the debt maybe the government might come in and close all three high schools and build one big one in, say, Genelle because it is in the centre. And then everybody’s kids can ride the bus.
Ditto for the hospitals – close all three Nelson, Castlegar and Trail and drive to Kelowna. Gee Alex it’s a long ride to Kelowna especially with a pain in your backside that needs attention.
Sound kinda out there folks? Not really. We all witnessed the near bankruptcy of Teck Resources, the bankers did the talking and the president of Teck did the listening. It will be the same for our premier be he or she NDP or Liberal.
I recently read the MP’s newsletter that is mailed to Alex’s constituents and enjoyed his corporate bashing. If I had to do it over again, I would get a good government job like Alex did (teacher). It wouldn’t matter then what the price of lead or zinc was, what a tonne of pulp was selling for or what a two-by-four was worth. I would get my three or four per cent every year regardless.
I am sure Alex did well enough in the nineties. I remember along with my peers getting three per cent over two years. Our MP doesn’t like corporations, but he made a real good living off the taxes they paid and the taxes paid by the people that worked them.
There were some nice pictures too, in our MP’s newsletter, with him at various forums like economic trade and Poor No More. Next time he should get a few shots with a chip truck driver on the Paulson in January laying in a pile of snow putting chains on to either get up the hill or down the hill. I am positive these forums will hit home with him. Let me know when you’re there, Alex, I would love to listen too.
Where was Alex when American coal companies got preference over Canadian coal companies to ship coal out of Ridley Terminals in Prince Rupert? What about the American corporation that is running Ridley? Is Ridley going to remain a Crown corporation? These answers should be in the MP’s newsletter as well. He is worried about the poor, he had better worry about where the money comes from.
Yes, Alex, you got it going on, tell anybody that will listen how the government will take care of them, strum a few tunes at the Joe Hill Coffee House and life is good. Yes, he can talk the talk but he will never have to walk the walk.
We all watched the saga of Teck trying to buy Inco, the nickel producer in Sudbury, only to be outbid by Vale of Brazil. At the time Vale couldn’t say enough good things about Inco, the workforce and Canada etc. Then it was time to bargain, Sudbury and the mine in Labrador were both rewarded with year-long strikes over pensions. Where was Alex on that one?