NDP soul search going nowhere

Tom Fletcher looks at the NDP's five-member external review panel.

VICTORIA – B.C. NDP president Moe Sihota says an external review of the party’s performance in the May election will “look very much at the DNA of the NDP.”

Early signs are not encouraging. Start with the five-member panel announced to conduct the review. The required “labour” representation is in the person of Cindy Oliver, president of the union representing college and university instructors, and Andy Ross, ex-president of COPE 378, which represents BC Hydro employees among others.

Another appointee is NDP MP Jinny Sims, a former president of the B.C. Teachers’ Federation. If the party wants to further solidify its image as a lobby group for pension-subsidized government unions, it’s off to a great start.

Once they finally get down to business, the list of election campaign details they must examine is long.

One of the excuses offered by leader Adrian Dix for the party’s defeat was the loss of 40,000 jobs in the B.C. forest industry. The suggestion is that those people left for Alberta, and if they were still here, they would have voted NDP.

That presumed solidarity has never existed in the private sector, and in fact the highest-paid union workers have good reason to vote for lower taxes. To confirm B.C. and Canada’s “progressive” tax system, all they have to do is look at their pay stubs.

The mandate for this review mentions not one actual public policy issue. Here’s one the committee might kick around.

Having lost the 2009 election campaigning against the carbon tax, the NDP is now calling for it to be increased and extended to greenhouse gases from industrial process emissions.

A simple example is a cement kiln, which burns fuel to reach the temperature at which the components are partially burned and cement is produced. Cement manufacturers pay carbon tax on the fuel.

B.C. cement makers are already pleading for relief, because the fuel-intensive process puts them at a price disadvantage with U.S. and Chinese producers.

Further unilateral tax action by B.C. would only further increase imports, and potentially push B.C. firms out of business. Goodbye unionized private sector jobs.

Dix’s last foray in question period before the summer legislature session adjourned was a demand for the government to order BC Ferries to build its next three ships in B.C. The most likely bidder for this work is Seaspan, with shipyards in Esquimalt and North Vancouver.

Seaspan is hiring almost 2,000 people to build ships for the Royal Canadian Navy and Coast Guard. It will be flat out to get that done, and the company president can’t yet say if it has the capacity and skilled labour to bid on BC Ferries ships too.

Seaspan has to operate in the real world of limited resources. So does the NDP, but it’s not clear if they can find a way out of their thicket of special interests and stale economic notions.

Tom Fletcher is legislative reporter and columnist for Black Press. tfletcher@blackpress.ca

 

Just Posted

North Island Midget Eagles get their feet wet against Alberni Valley Bulldogs

The North Island Midget Eagles travelled down island to face off against the Bulldogs.

Council agrees to purchase emergency generator for Civic Centre

The loan will have to be repaid within five years, with no rights of renewal.

Candidates illuminate different visions of Port Alice’s future

The candidates were asked if they believed the pulp mill could run again.

VIDEO: Terry Fox Run returns to Port Hardy for the first time since 2016

All told, Port Hardy’s Terry Fox Run raised $2,200.30 with more still coming in.

2019 FEDERAL ELECTION: Meet the candidates for the North Island-Powell River riding

In an effort to inform the North Island-Powell River riding constituents, we… Continue reading

‘I shouldn’t have done it,’ Trudeau says of brownface photo

Trudeau says he also wore makeup while performing a version of a Harry Belafonte song

B.C. ‘tent city’ disputes spark call for local government autonomy

UBCM backs Maple Ridge after province overrules city

B.C. drug dealers arrested after traffic stop near Banff turns into helicopter pursuit

Antonio Nolasco-Padia, 23, and Dina Anthony, 55, both well-known to Chilliwack law enforcement

B.C. MLA calls on province to restrict vaping as first related illness appears in Canada

Todd Stone, Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, introduced an anti-vaping bill in April

Chilliwack woman wins right to medically assisted death after three-year court battle

Julia Lamb has been the lead plaintiff in a legal battle to ease restrictions on Canada’s assisted dying laws

B.C. bus crash survivor petitions feds to fix road where classmates died

UVic student’s petition well over halfway to 5k signature goal

NDP, Liberals promise more spending, while Tories promise spending cuts

Making life more affordable for Canadians a focus in the 2019 election

UPDATE: Police probe third threat against a Kamloops high school in eight days

Police have not released any further details into what the threat includes

Most Read