In my story published by The Tyee on June 22, I reported on the outraged British Columbians who wrote to Premier Christy Clark this spring to express their anger at her $50,000-a-year BC Liberal fundraising bonus and the $10,000-a-head party fundraisers.
One of the emails to Clark stood out. A citizen linked the two biggest provincial issues of 2016: the BC Liberals’ out-of-control re-election fundraising and Metro Vancouver’s out-of-control housing market.
Anyone from anywhere can donate any sum to political parties in B.C. The BC Liberals refuse to do anything to limit corporations and unions from donating to political parties. Meanwhile, waves of Chinese investment are turning the real estate market upside down.
The citizen, whose name was censored by the government, wrote: “I cannot pay $10,000 to have dinner with you, but I would like you to come to Vancouver and meet with some ordinary Vancouverites. We can give you a different perspective on what is happening in our communities.”
A key paragraph read:
“What really concerns me is what the head of your fund raising committee, Bob
Rennie, had to say about the value of these events (apart from the dollars they add to the war chest). According to Mr. Rennie, they provide an opportunity for business leaders who support the government’s policies to ensure that it stays in power. I am alarmed that you are spending time with Mr. Rennie and his associates in the real estate industry. If they are controlling your view of the housing crisis in the Lower Mainland, then you are seriously out of touch with reality. The development and real l estate industry is not at all interested in regulation. They do not want you to put the brakes on foreign investment. They have been doing very well out of the great sell-off of British Columbia and they don’t want the provincial government to interfere.”
The response? In a show of utter arrogance and carelessness, an unidentified person in the Office of the Premier replied with a form letter thank-you and copied-and-pasted government propaganda about B.C. keeping its AAA credit rating from Moody’s Investor Service.
Yes, that is how seriously out-of-touch this government is.
The response is priceless. Read the document in its entirety below.
If you are the citizen who authored the email (or you know who he or she is), please contact me.
If the premier won’t visit your neighbourhood, then I will. Your story deserves to be told.