A question of truth

Based upon Norm Macdonald’s recent article about citizen’s right to truth, it seems that we need to fill in some blanks.

Gary Peck wrote that “lies of omission are every bit as bad as lies of commission” and based upon Norm Macdonald’s recent article about citizen’s right to truth, it seems that we need to fill in some blanks.

He wrote of an HST generated “tax burden on consumers” but failed in any way to provide us with any facts describing what this burden looks like and his ‘you just need to believe me’ approach to issues is wearing thin.

What he also chose to omit is the fact that the BC Liberal government has done exactly what we said we would do which was to hold an HST referendum and respect the simple majority decision of British Columbians. As a result of that referendum the province is returning to the combination of five per cent PST and seven per cent GST system on April 1, 2013.

He told us that “BC Hydro rates have increased dramatically” without telling us what dramatically actually looks like; another ‘you just need to believe me’ moment. What he omitted telling us was that one of the first actions taken by BC Liberal Premier Clark was to appoint a panel of senior government officials to conduct a formal review of BC Hydro’s operating and capital requirements.

This review reaffirmed that BC currently enjoys one of the lowest electricity rates in North America. As a direct result of this panel’s work, BC Hydro will file a revised application later this year to the BC Utilities Commission with the intention of a 50% reduction to its earlier announced rate increases spanning the next three years.

One of the most complex tasks facing our government is balancing a provincial budget. It is fraught with agonizing decisions that must be made by a Finance Minister and staff charged with the allocation of our tax dollars. Norm, of course if you sell your home you still have to live somewhere; however, sometimes it simply makes sense to downsize. If you are smart about it, you’ll make a profit and live somewhere more manageable and suitable for your current needs plus have some money left over to help improve your lifestyle.

He then offered yet another ‘you just need to believe me’ moment by telling us that MSP premiums have increased since 2001; again without offering any substantive evidence. He omitted telling us that our government continues to work hard to ensure that BC’s Health Care system is sustainable and will be there for our children and grandchildren.

Our government has increased the total investment in healthcare by over 92% since 2001 and funding for health authorities will be increased by $1.1 billion over the next three years. And, Macdonald omitted any reference to our government’s on-going commitment of $137 million of investment to overhaul our primary healthcare system to strengthen delivery; ensuring patients are full participants in their own care and providing every British Columbian who wants a family doctor with one by 2015.

Finally a glimmer of hope; he spoke a supportable truth. He told us that the actions of government could impact our financial future for decades and he is correct.  He knows this because he belongs to the NDP who in 2001 left behind a $3.8 billion structural deficit. He knows that during the 1990’s the NDP brought in eight consecutive deficit budgets. He knows that the BC economic disaster of the 90’s is the only legacy left by the NDP. Finally he knows that the BC Liberals continue to stimulate a strong and measurable economic recovery from the mismanagement of the NDP 90s.

So in the end and when it comes to telling the truth, Macdonald’s continuous commission of “omission” is a trait he seems to be ok with as he attempts to tell us we actually deserve the truth; I believe when telling the truth we all deserve the whole truth.

Doug Clovechok

Invermere