Christy Clark Leaves Politics
Premier of British Columbia 2011 to 2017
British Columbia’s former Premier , Christy Clark has announced that she will resign as leader of the Provincial Liberal Party and leave politics on August 4.
Some have expressed surprise and shock at this announcement . But anyone watching this provincial scene for a few years knew that Christy was not cut out for Opposition benches. She lost the Government in the recent election and clung to power , unceremoniously, for way too long, demonstrating the nasty side of her personality.
It was clear that her time was up . No doubt Liberal insiders made this known to her if in fact she refused to see it herself.
Her legacy is mixed at best . While she was forceful and optimistic she often overplayed her hand. For example, her advancement of the LNG opportunity was naive and her administration fumbled the file badly to the point that of the great promise of prosperity for all , only one small project is underway and the highly touted Prince Rupert, Petronas Project was just cancelled. Similarly, her anti Canadian stance on oil pipelines from Alberta and anti American rhetoric on the Soft wood lumber issue were counter productive .
One area in which I was an especially harsh critic was in her administration’s claim of balanced budgets when in fact the net debt continued to rise. In 2011 when she took over the net debt of the Province was $36 billion . If one believed the Government’s statements since that time the net debt ,one would think , is still $36 billion. It is not. It is $42 Billion . So six billion increase in six years .
The refusal of her Government to have the Site C Hydro Project be subject to scrutiny by the Utilities Board as recommended by the Joint Environmental Panel is another glaring error.
On the social side , increased spending was lost in the breaking of the teachers’ contract confirmed unanimously by the Supreme Court of Canada and the mysterious firing of Health Care public servants.
As image and public relations goes , Clark succeeded –and that, it seems counts for a lot in today’s celebrity driven age.
But on the ground on real issues , a positive record is indeed questionable.