Saturday, August 1, 2015

Remembering the desperate nineties - Updated

Sources: BC Public Accounts, BC Stats, Bank of Canada

Sources: BC Public Accounts, BC Stats, Bank of Canada
A recent report from Statistics Canada, Exports and imports of natural gas to and from the United States, Table 129-0004, reveals that natural gas exports grew 70% under NDP administration, from 20.2 billion m³ in the year-ended May 1992 to 34.4 billion m³, declined to 27 billion m³ in the year-ended May 2011 and rose to 28.5 billion m³ in the year-ended May 2015.

The numbers show that despite lower government imposts, reduced environmental constraints and advanced technology, growth in natural gas exports has been negative, having declined materially under BC Liberals. That information is contrary to the "desperate times" meme about life in British Columbia before Premier Gordon Campbell.

The remainder was first published June 25, 2015.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
In 2010, Liberal campaigner Jim Shepard said,
“You know, we lived through socialism in B.C. for 10 years. I know what it looks like and it is not pretty.”
In Shepard's lexicon, apparently "not pretty" means the opposite of what we usually expect. Compared to the NDP's nineties, the time of Liberal rule has resulted in lower growth rates for GDP, jobs and personal income. It's also meant that urban housing is less affordable, that higher education is less accessible and our tax system is less progressive. In other words, while Liberal times may have been good for the wealthiest 10%, they've not been good for the remaining 90%. No doubt, it was the former rather than the latter group that Shepard had in mind.

May 2012, Liberal Rich Coleman told the Opposition in BC Legislative debates:
I know the socialist-communist thinking is that everything should be nationalized and controlled. If you had your way, you probably would nationalize mining, nationalize natural gas. You would nationalize everything, because you don't believe in the private sector.
Questioned by columnist Mike Smyth outside the house, Coleman repeated his description of the NDP:
That's what they are - they're socialists, they're communists. That's what W.A.C. Bennett used to say, "The socialist hordes are at the gates." People should start to think about that.
Instead, people should start to think about the reality that, like BC Liberals, the mainstream media has long represented and promoted special interests. Postmedia, Global, Shepard and Coleman are allies, working obediently for rich rewards allowed by those people to loyal servants.

A more accurate economic history, one that affected the majority of British Columbians, is revealed by Statistics Canada data in a way that does not reflect the messaging of ruling politicians and their media pals.

Statistics Canada Table 384-0038

Statistics Canada Table 384-0038

Statistics Canada Table 202-0202
The next graph is not directly related but it illustrates points made frequently at In-Sights. BC Liberals achieved a surprise victory in the 2013 election but they did it with a platform of lies, claiming that revenues from natural gas would lead to a debt free province with surplus jobs and tens of billions of dollars available for healthcare and education. Premier Photo Op's precious Pamela pal even promised a "trillion dollar Prosperity Fund." Instead, provincial coffers are almost devoid of natural gas revenues. It's been bad for a few years and it's getting worse, not better.

The remaining material was first published June 3 2015:

Much of British Columbia's recent political history has been written by a Liars Club sponsored by beneficiaries of corrupt public administrations. One fable claims that BC Liberals rescued the provincial economy in 2001 after a decade of socialist mismanagement. Yet facts assembled by Statistics Canada paint a different scenario.

I've previously demonstrated that the NDP (1991-2001) bested Liberal (2001-2014) results in a number of significant areas, including:
  • Gross domestic product value growth,
  • Job creation,
  • Provincial debt management,
  • Natural resource revenues.
Prior to the last election, Jim Shepard, fronting the quadrennial Concerned Citizens for BC, warned that any vote but a Liberal vote would return the province to days of socialist ruin. By the way, Shepard was recently named to the Order of British Columbia, a recognition intended to honour remarkable accomplishments, even if those are lies told on behalf of the ruling political party.

Yet, the level of taxpayer support paid to BC's mostly foreign owned resource industries is currently at unprecedented heights. While the Liberal Government withdraws from resource taxation, it increases direct and indirect corporate welfare to metal, mineral and gas producers. Apparently that style of socialism doesn't bother Shepard and fellow astroturfers.

Here is a representation of natural resource revenues gained by the province:

The situation is growing worse because one formerly large government revenue source is disappearing faster than a fugitive gas well emission.

One further graph demonstrates the massive policy shift that occurred during Liberal years. In 2001, government's natural resource revenues were $5.4 billion in current dollars. In each of the last six years, they have been under $3 billion. Keep that in mind when reviewing this item:

Two things are apparent:
  1. The value of commodity exports grew dramatically in the NDP years and growth has been flat during Liberal years.
  2. The public share of natural resource export values has declined during Liberal administration.
The grid marks I added but the graph was published by Resource Works, the organization headed by former Vancouver Sun editor Stewart Muir, who may or may not remain married to Athana Mentzelopoulos, Premier Photo Op's long time sidekick. Muir's organization is part of the resource industry's multi-million dollar PR campaign to counter facts revealed here and in other independent media sites.

Resource companies are also spending heavily in the corporate media, aiming to convince citizens they are paying more than a fair share in taxes. Obviously, the cash spent on advertising is substantial but it purchases pro-media loyalty and is far less than what might have been paid in taxation under a different government. Current and former journalists have made their own Faustian bargains and, sadly, Jas Johal - once a diligent and dedicated reporter - is among them, acting as spokesman for LNG proponents who will invest money here if they are guaranteed sufficient profits and no risks or net taxes. The only public officials favouring the deals are those with no souls to sell.

There is one additional fact that won't be shared by industry spin doctors or the corporate media. In Liberal years 2002-2014, the number of jobs in forestry, fishing, mining, oil and gas averaged 42 thousand. In the desperate NDP years 1992-2001, jobs in those resource sectors averaged 50 thousand.

Put another way, in 1994, 1.7% of BC's working age population was employed in resource jobs. Twenty years later, that proportion had fallen to 1.3%

The conclusion: resource values almost doubled but the public benefit, by way of taxes and employment, declined significantly. BC Liberals formed government with the aim of delivering benefits to their sponsors. They succeeded without reservation.

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  1. Nice to see Stewart Muir providing graphics for you now, Norm!

    1. Muir's group is hired to spread a message but apparently understanding it is not a requirement. Their own document refutes years of carefully managed messaging. Not that facts interfere with their work though.

  2. The 90's were the "happy times" in business and there was ample money being made and spent to keep the economy moving. Then came 9-11 and Gordon Campbell and business has been in a tailspin and it seems the only indicator of making money in this province (other than working for the BC Liberals) is real estate.

    Gordon Campbell (as well as mini me who is now premier) ensured the wealthy got wealthier and the poor got poorer and his and his brother's constipated libertarian view of the world is leading BC down the path to ruin.

    When evil gains power, prepare for evil days.

  3. First comment I have seen on Johal's sellout. Some months ago I first saw his face shilling for Christy's pals and I had to do a double take -- was this the same fearless objective reporter I had seen for years on the evening news? I had a lot of respect for him when he would handle the tough stories and most of the rest of his colleagues were reporting the lost or hurt puppy stories.

    There is likely a very interesting story on his transition. And a sad commentary on journalism in these times (present medium excepted).

  4. In response to the $15 billion award against the tobacco companies for smokers in Quebec, Health Minister Terry Lake took credit for the lawsuit against the tobacco companies ten years ago. Hmmmmm Wasn't it the BC Liberal Opposition Party that rebuked the NDP for starting the Lawsuit in the first place

    1. And, the Liberal patronage appointees at bcIMC thave hundreds of millions invested in tobacco companies that are now spreading devastation in third world countries. None of the that matters if there are profits to be made and bonuses to be banked.

  5. I agree ,Johal is a complete joke,shows you what is important to some people,,,,i imagine he got the good job for the little screaming fit aimed at Dix,(not that he didn't deserve it)....but if that doesn't show everyone where the corporate media has it's nose ,they definately need a wake up call

  6. "First comment I have seen on Johal's sellout."

    Nope. I pointed it out, as did others, that Johal showed his true colors when he screamed at Dix during a crucial moment of the '13 campaign. That's definitively when he proved who he really was, and shortly thereafter he made it official by resigning and was "promoted" to the big leagues, lol. Smythe bats right after him, and then Palmer, Baldrey, and the rest. It's the media's version of "murderers row". Disgraceful.

    Yes - many defended Jas, just like so many still defend Palmer (hello AGT!), but either they are biased in ways that are impossible for us to understand, or their instruments are desperately in need of calibration.

    Two kinds of media personalities here in Vancouver; ghouls and fools. Which do the greater damage?

  7. You know Norm, I wish I had a way to splash this all over the CBC & the rest of the MSM in BC. People need to wake up and do some quality reading. I read some of the comments this morning with respect to Rachel Norley's comment on just simply looking into refining the Alberta oil as opposed to sending it out of the Country. People are still stuck on Fast Ferries and it appears it's the only way they can criticize the NDP. These people must lack the ability to research a little.
    Norm I honestly appreciate the work you do and I will continue to make sure others are aware of it.

    Guy in Victoria

  8. Yes Norm, many thanks indeed, for the "real" truths, you provide. Many people have been "dumbed down" by the MSM, and corpratist propaganda movement. Most folks are too worried about their next paycheck, or where the money to basically live, will come from. Corporate and government malfeasance, is alive and well in this province. The "intent" of which is to create a new form of serfdom, to be dominated by the elite, and manipulated by an Orwellian state.
    We have let this happen. We, the people of this once great province, have allowed special interest groups and political lobbying to dominate the agenda. Fear and resignation now reign, where once common sense, accountability, integrity, and respect by government for the people in this province, existed.
    Your education of the people via this website, should be required reading by all. Kleptocratic regimes, and Corpratists alike, spend enormous amounts of money on propaganda, ( not spin, tell it like it is), that many people buy into without further thought. The truth, we are told is "their truth" not reality.
    We have to "wake up" quickly in this province. The sellout of "our" resources, continues, unabated. We should take a lesson from the first nations in this regard. True power resides where one cannot be bought, and who takes control of the agenda. This is the method that must be adopted by the average citizen in this province. Become a vocal proponent of the "peoples resources", and question every "government decision and policy". Challenge them at every turn, insist upon transparency. Where resistance is found to these ideas, is where governance is weak. This government is a sham, a ship of fools who think they can because no one challenges them.
    That must change...and quickly.

  9. Is there any difference between Senator Mike Duffy using taxpayers money to travel to and fro across our country for the Conservative Party of Canada fundraisers AND that of Premier Christy Clark attending a BC Liberal Party fundraiser at the Vancouver Convention Centre? The means by which she travels for partisan activities should not be borne by taxpayers, not evenly 50% between our taxes and her fundraisers. Remember, it was the Leader of the BC Liberal Party, Christy Clark, who authorized the repayment of 50% of the money that Brian Bonney received, 100% from the BC Treasury. Bonney, serving two Masters/Mistresses, failing miserably to know where's his 100% loyalty lies. Lies.

    The fact that the 'Premier' of British Columbia attended a closed meeting, solely for fund raising purposes, should have required her to drop her title of Premier and go for 'Leader'. The BC Liberal's claim they are an OPEN government, to then deny all/any British Columbians to hear her words of wisdom, based solely on the need for an invitation with one criteria: deep pocket contributors.

    North Shore News Benjamin Alldritt: April 8, 2012

    Before long there were maybe a few hundred folks also milling around and snacking on hors d'oeuvres. I chatted with some local businesspeople and politicians and a few Liberal staffers I've gotten to know. I was buttonholed by a lady who planned to hand Clark a letter protesting animal testing at UBC. Then, with no fanfare whatsoever, in through a side door walked the premier with her entourage. Her arrival was so low-key that Thornthwaite had to grab the mike and announce her entrance.

    I didn't have much appetite to elbow through the ensuing mob just to squeeze in a question that surely wouldn't have earned a much of an answer. But I'd barely finished that thought when a very worriedlooking man walked up to me, shook my one hand and pressed his card into the other: Gabe Garfinkel, Executive Assistant to the Premier.

    Pleased to meet you, Mr. Garfinkel.

  10. The last year of Mr. Johal’s work at Global tarnished an otherwise stellar career. But at least he made the move, and we can now look at what he says as pure spin he’s being paid to mouth, and realize the rest of the folks at the LNG Alliance are using tricks he brings to the table to polish the apples they’re selling. Like other journalists who made the move to the corporate or government stable, he’s crossed the Rubicon. Once they’ve stood before us and claimed crude oil or gasoline is safe to drink or that Christy Clark has only our best interests in mind while running an open and transparent government, they can’t return. Unless it turns out that Mr. Johal is a Trojan horse working on an exposé, we needn’t take anything he says from now on seriously.

    Unfortunately that’s also the case with most of those he left behind still supposedly working as journalists in this neck of the woods. Much evidence exists that they’re giving us pure spin on what they do report, and omitting huge parts of the real stories if they cover them at all. We cannot be certain what we are getting is either the truth or the whole story, and we should be outraged and calling these people out on it. The piece authored by Rob Shaw (May 23 Vancouver Sun) on Mike de Jong is a prime example. Shaw could have asked about any of the financial matters presented on this blog, or any of the pressing financial issues of the day, but couldn’t bring himself to do it. Even Vaughn Palmer must have had an expert’s word with his protégé about keeping his tongue hidden while licking boots after reading that embarrassment.

    But hidden amongst the chocolates on the freshly plumped pillows was this statement. “De Jong was roundly criticized for letting civil servants cut a deal that had taxpayers pay $6 million in legal bills to former ministerial aides Dave Basi and Bobby Virk, after they pleaded guilty to four charges of breach of trust and accepting benefits in the BC Rail scandal.” Really? The Acting Auditor General didn’t roundly criticize him in his audit report on the matter because he said he found consistent evidence no elected officials were informed until after the decisions were made and implemented. How could de Jong let somebody do something that was already done? And which of our vaunted media jewels roundly criticized de Jong for it? You know and I know. None of them. The same number that criticized the Acting Auditor General for producing an audit report that contained so many holes it could have been used for a pasta colander.

  11. The NDP did a great job while in office. Even though the Japanese lumber market fell, they opened up the Chinese market and left the province with a surplus. We haven't seen one since the BC Liberals came to power. Why did the NDP get slagged by the MSM? The MSM is friends with the BC Liberals and they slagged the BC NDP. The BC LIberals have lied to us continuously, note the BC Rail deal if you need an example. Many of these health authorities have too many administrators who are friends of the BC Liberals.

  12. This morning on ‘NW we are treated to over the top frenzied applause for Rob Shaw and Vaughn Palmer of the Vancouver Sun for their great work on the health ministry firings after a story published in the Sun today. Exposed was the fact government had been pointing to an RCMP investigation that never was and further that the RCMP had been trying for two and a half years to get information from the government on the file.

    Anybody remember similar applause when Andrew Macleod reported the same thing in TheTyee three months ago?

  13. No argument about it---at least no good one: the supposed "dark age" of the NDP 90s is one of the most spurious and easily refuted bits of BC Liberal propaganda. And, without specific, vigorous refutation from the top (remember Adrian, John!), it is frustratingly accepted without much thought. Job is to undo that, first to rehabilitate the misinformed, and, second, as just one more example of BC Liberal mendacity.

    Keep those graphs coming, Norm---really good T-shirt ammo, requiring the simplest (which is always best when trying to rouse sleepy-headed British Columbians) of captions: "BC Liberal Lies".

    Don't even need to quip, "Had Enough Yet?" One look gets the job done.

    Thanx a million!

  14. I totally agree Scotty...we have to get the message to the masses, the key is how.The MSM propaganda machine only allows "the privileged" to air their truths, unless of course it suits their overall plans. We need a forum that Norm's information can be presented in that goes far beyond the blogsphere. Somehow there has to be a way to do this. Norm's research and investigative reporting should go high profile. Any idea's? The truth must be heard, and the people educated in the way that the malfeasance in this province's governance, works and continues unabated.
    The fifth estate type of program, would be a perfect starting point.

  15. What we need is the HUGE list of BC LIEberal mis-deeds that we can throw in the face of the buffoons that parrot Fast Ferries - fast ferries every time they talk about the NDP

    1. Norm i love your graphs and charts for their devastating realities. I am a blue collar kind of guy so i have ideas but not the aptitude to bring them to fruition. Since many British Columbians can only interpret government malfeasance in nautical terms (ie fast ferries) i think a tongue in cheek graph showing the many MANY Neo -Liberal transgressions , cost over runs and incompetent business practices in the form of tiny pictures of fast ferries. As in BC place roof cost over runs would be 2 and a half fast ferries, where as the new Port Mann would be 4 or more fast ferries. Im sure it would be a good thing for the NDP to plaster posters around the next election time but i wouldn`t trust them to find their own asses with a map and a flash light. I know its not your job and if it never comes to light thats ok i just needed to express this idea and you were the only one i "know" that could pull it off. You dont have to post this if you wish. But just imagine the huge list with all the little fast ferries .A huge reality check.

  16. Speaking of the Liar's Club, I seem to remember that the Bc Progress Board (a bunch of large employers) was charged with reoporting to Gordo how bad the condition of the province was. thei0r 2002 report (on 2001) identified some major needs for capital investment, which hadn't happened from well into the 1980s, and a need to address crime, but overall they said the province wasn't in bad shape, and that included its debt. That's right - the debt of the province was not only manageable, but had been wisely invested. Of course, this didn't suit Gordo's handlers who wanted every day to be the day before election day, so that report was given a cursory once-over by the MSM and filed in a drawer. And you'll never heard anyone make reference to it today. IO wonder who even has a copy any more? The website is long gone.

    The Ordure of BC certainly has been cheapened by its political appointments.

  17. Something I've noticed — even compared to Harvey O's blog — is that you don't get many contrarian comments on here, Norm. I know it's not because they fear being bashed and belittled by you or the commenters; that isn't your style.

    I have to conclude that they don't comment because you haven't left them a leg to stand on. I'm sure they are lurking… but it would be nice to know what they think of your inconvenient truths. Paul Allen Keenleyside, who comments on the Province FB threads, has said that you "give the Left what they want to hear." I've invited him twice to drop by and speak his mind. I want to hear that, too.

    1. I'm sure you're right when you suggest many of us don't always comment..... could be that Norm does such an excellent job...there's nothing left but to realize that the government spends too many millions shoveling out the lies.

      Guy in Victoria

    2. There is a rule for shills and spin doctors on social media. It says that if you aim to defend a position with a weak set of facts, change the subject. Better yet, stay quiet and don't draw further attention to material that may cause you more trouble.

      Comments that I consider "drive by" efforts not intended to contribute to a reasonable conversation are not posted. Similarly, I don't welcome items that are rude or profane or comments delivering obvious misinformation. The test is, "Would I welcome the conversation in my family room." Aristotle wrote a statement is "persuasive and credible either because it is directly self-evident or because it appears to be proved from other statements that are so.” I try to live up to that style of argument, although I do admit to sometimes falling short. It's just that some of the research leaves me angrified.

      I'm proud of the high level of comments here and I look forward to regulars delivering information that is informative and well written. Compare these to comment threads at many sites that veer off into la-la land rather quickly.

      This message reminded me of the joy I used to feel reading Roger Ebert's blog and the many excellent comments from readers. I don't claim to have a fraction of Ebert's power but his achievements as a writer represent what I would aspire to if I were once again young, strong and ambitious.

      In-Sights on Ebert

  18. GBS. Along the same thread. It most be most horrendously distressing to be faced with such a negative environment! Would that there be something positive for Norm to report on. I know that I get depressed just reading about it, never mind researching and reporting on the misadventures of the Lieberals.
    I assure you that the Left does NOT wish to hear of the 'inconvenient truths' - we wish that they weren't necessary. Norm's is a small but important voice in a sea of corruption, ineptitude, graft and bribery, to name but a few of the current government's attributes.

  19. One would hope that the only "positive" news to be reported on this site would be the criminal prosecutions and corruption enquiry testimony that would be forthcoming when the tide of history turns in favor of the public's right to know and total government and political party accountability.
    A way must be found to end the malfeasance that currently infects the governance in this province, along with other levels of governance in the country.
    Truth must be sought after, with resolve and leaving no stone unturned. It appears the corruption runs very deep, and much work must be done in order to expose the perpetrators, and furthermore create the oversight and accountability mechanisms, to prevent its reoccurrance.
    The "attributes" of this government as you put it, must not be condoned any further, and a means must be found to engage both the public and commercial crime investigators, to investigate fully and completely the attributes of which you speak.
    Keep up the great work Norm, we will get results soon, as the message is being heard.

  20. Nationalizing BC natural gas, to bring to highest benefit to the people of BC. Sounds good to me.

    WAC Bennett nationalized BC Hydro, providing cheap, reliable power to people and business in BC. That seems ok too.

  21. Hi Norm: And the reason we're in this hell hole, while your political blog serves a terrific purpose, overall the masses (Joe Blow people) are not interested in this. They come home after a long day, responsibilities with the kids, this stuff to do and that stuff to do, put their feet up for a while and tune in to the 6 o'clock news, 11 o'clock news and are completely mind controlled/told to believe things a certain way. It's an art from, governments and the way much of the MSM work. Now that the federal election is underway, they are almost only too happy to brag that the longer the campaign, the better chances for the current gov't will form another majority. The more tax-payer funded money, the more attack ads, the more effective mind-controlling that has been mastered by the corporate/government agenda.
    Good luck to us all !

  22. Norm,
    On this BC day I would like to take a moment to thank you for all you do for BC by way of Insights.

  23. The problem in Greece and Puerto Rico appears to be too much debt.

    Since 2006 the Canada Federal government has added $149 billion to Canada's federal debt.

    Since 2006 the BC government has added about $20 billion to the total provincial debt. That doesn't include the $102 billion in long-term government contractual obligations.

  24. "Now in his seventies, (former BC Hydro CEO) Marc Eliesen, has worked in the nation’s energy sector for four decades, and has also served as Chairman and CEO of Ontario Hydro, and chairman of Manitoba Hydro.

    In the DeSmog Canada article he says, BC ratepayers will face a devastating increase in their electricity bills, if the Site C dam is built, and, he puts the increase, “Anywhere between 30 and 40 per cent over the next three years.”

    But rate payers are facing huge rate hikes even if Site C is not built:



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