When duo Gordon Campbell/Colin Hansen decided to install HST days after they secure new mandate to BC Liberals in May 2009, Christy Clark, that-time radio host on CKNW was a first person to grill them. For months she was talking, investigating and interrogating everyone who was connected with this story, but now less than two month after she called for legislature vote on HST, want-to be-premier Clark flipped her position declaring “change” of mind.
“Let our MLAs vote down the HST…. Get it over with, and get on with life in British Columbia,” Christy Clark told a group of about 50 supporters in Pitt Meadows on December 9 last year.
Her stand at that moment was that we don’t need HST referendum because if province held the referendum will waste $30 million on nothing. Main argument against HST referendum was that around 75 percent of BC citizens will vote to scrap tax and reinstate PST.
“I think we need to start thinking about a plan B. Because it’s 30 million bucks for a referendum. How many ice rinks does that build? How many heart operations does that do? How many special needs teachers does that pay for?”, said Clark in December.
This was clear example of someone who wants to forbid BC citizens to express their wishes on in a democratic and free spirit of our Canadian society. As we can remember BC Legislature already voted once on HST and their decision was to install this tax with July 1, 2010 as implementation start date.
Now almost seven months after HST took the place and started showing visible improvements for several industries including restaurants which was set to be the most damaged by this tax, Clark decides to change her mind. Suddenly BC Legislature vote request was wrong, referendum is quite good option and it should be held on June 23 this year. Somewhere and somehow she “cleared” her mind.
Her “clarification” you can watch on her YouTube channel, even if I’m not quite sure that you will fully understand what she was trying to do. The best explanation comes from The Vancouver Sun columnist, Vaughn Palmer, who suspects that Clark made this controversial decision after she saw change in BC public towards HST tax and possibility that HST will survive on referendum.
In May 2009 duo Campbell/Hansen ensure us that HST is not on the radar and that BC wouldn’t install this controversial tax, but only two weeks after they win elections and secure Campbell’s third premier mandate HST was installed and whole controversy started. Campbell loosed his premiership, was forced to resign from leadership position in BC Liberal Party, and Colin Hansen was grilled every day in all media publications or electronic media shows. Basically they become enemy’s No. 1 in the province.
With this flip-flop Christy Clark committed classical salto mortale showing to everyone that in a moment’s when you need to earn public support you will put a foot in your mouth and then make a perfect media target of yourself. I’m afraid that this situation shows to us that she would be prepared to do same thing as a premier of the province, because this is not any different from what Campbell and Hansen committed in 2009. All other candidates are firm in their stands regarding HST and I didn’t saw any of them changing mind regarding this issue. If referendum scraps HST they will accept that fact and work on reinstalling PST. If HST survives some of the candidates will work on lowering HST to 11 or 10 points in effort to help different industries to cope with HST.
It seems that every single proposal presented from Clark’s camp should be double-checked and well examined against possible alternatives and not taken completely serious, maybe she will change her mind in next three week prior to leadership vote. And at last we all should ask her again what’s her intention if she doesn’t become premier would she stand for her voters and remain active politician or she would go back in “political anonymity”? Would she keep her fight for better BC or she would change her mind, and once more inform us regarding her “clarifications” about her political work?