Some things just need to be said...

Sunday, October 30, 2005

BC to get more open government!

Open and accountable government

The Liberals have broken a lot of promises but the one that sticks in my throat the most is the one to be open and accountable government.

So far they have done the following to create open and accountable government...

1. They cut the budget in their first year!
2. They moved BC Ferries to a "private" corporation to remove it from Freedom of Information
3. They have steadfastly refused to release information on the BC Rail sale to CN
4. Only very superficial information can be obtained about the Public Private Partnership involving the Abbotsford hospital.

Yes that definitely qualifies as open and accountable right?

If you said I was nuts for suggesting it was open and accountable you would be right.

Aside from making government less accountable and open they have made it much harder if not impossible to obtain information. Why is that do you think. Is there a reason they don't want details of the BC Rail sale public? Why don't they want us to know who is providing BC Ferries with money to build ferries? Why don't they want us to know what the BC Ferries CEO and staff considered when they decided to build three ferries in Germany rather than BC?

What is in the contract to build the hospital in Abbotsford that we should not know? What considerations were discussed when making the decision to provide the builder of the hospital a 30 year deal to operate, maintain and staff the cleaning and security personnel.

How much profit was built into the contract and how much more is private borrowing going to cost the BC Taxpayer funded project vs public borrowing?

Now the Georgia Straight reports that BC Liberal hit man, Mike De Jong, the Minister in charge of Freedom of Information indicates changes are coming to the ACT but he won't say when or what changes are contemplated or even what the process to gather information and input is.

The history is clear. The BC Liberal government sat on the ugly situation of Sherry Charlie for over three years. They refused court ordered release of information on Grizzly bear killings to a group looking to stop the hunting of these bears and finally made the info available in an incomplete and unsearchable format.

They have raised the cost of obtaining information, they have reduced what they will release and not long ago, the Premier's head political guru told people not to write anything down so they don't have to release the info in a FOI request.

Gotta give it to the BC Liberals, the most effective users of FOI when in opposition, now in government they don't want any other to have the same access the opposition BC Liberals enjoyed. Their Mommies didn't raise no dummies.

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