Thursday, April 8, 2010

Deep Stink

I am not a lobbyist.

I just call Ministers of the government on their cell phones and threaten them.

My calls go like this:

"If you don't do what we want, we won't build what you want. So there."

Thus goes the saga of poor little picked on Ricky Turner.

Turner is, among other things the head of ICBC.

On behalf of Paragon Development Ltd. he phoned Tourism Minister Kevin Krueger and warned him that if the province didn't build that retractable roof for BC Place, well, his company may just not be inclined to build a very big or very nice casino/hotel complex next door.

Maybe just a few slots and a 10-room cabin style motel.

Now what this good and honorable non-lobbyist is talking about here, folks, is that the provincial government spend HALF A BILLION TAX DOLLARS on a fancy new roof for the football slash car show slash boat show field.

In other words...

A private businessman - who just happens conveniently to have very deep government connections - tells the government if you want a good casino and hotel downtown from us, you'll just have to spend HALF A BILLION PUBLIC DOLLARS.


Now why is anyone getting his sweats in a knot and calling this routine way of doing business here lobbying or undue influence or any other nasty things like that?


Now, the nasty old NDP have raised questions and asked the official watchdog to see if anything untoward has been going on here.

Those spoilsports!


Always causing a ruckus when we're just trying to get things done around here.

By the way...

I'd like to phone the honorable minister and talk to him about a few of my pet ideas.

But I seem to have misplaced his cell number...


Fox in the Hen House

B.C. has the lowest per-capita spending on prescription drugs in Canada.

One of the main reasons for that is our independent drug review panel, which is recognized around the world as just about the best thing that could happen to a district trying to ensure that medications are real and effective and that they don't bankrupt the neighbourhood.

Now, the Liberal government is thinking about messing with that body by a) reducing the budget; and b) adding to it representatives of the drug industry.

This is exactly categorically who should NEVER be on such a panel.

Big Pharma, along with armaments, oil and illegal drugs is one of the grandest businesses in the world and one of the most corrupt.

The routine buying of favors and endorsements and opinions of doctors by drug manufacturers has been documented a thousand and one times.

Ditto the collusion between Big Pharma and drug stores, pharmacies and hospitals.

The Therapeutic Initiatives here in B.C. is a clean program that saves lives and money.

Why would Kevin Falcon want to spoil that?

One of my Sports Heroines

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