Former road warrior Harry Lali, who is running for the provincial New Democrats in Yale-Lillooet, is playing the race card against Indo-Canadian Liberal backbencher Patty Sahota. In a letter published yesterday in the Indo-Canadian Voice, Mr. Lali claims she has "completely abrogated her responsibility to her race and, along with the other six South Asians in her caucus, has left the task of representing South Asian interests for the last three and a half years to Gordon Campbell and the other non-Indo-Canadian MLAs." Racial responsibilities eh? What are are those? Please do tell Harry. We're all listening. The following is a copy of that letter.
Politics does make for strange bedfellows. It is understandable why sycophant Liberal backbencher Patty Sahota continues to blindly and passionately tie her political future ever so tightly to the mean-spirited and untrustworthy Gordon Campbell and his sinking ship, the S.S. Liberal Titanic. After all, the soon-to-be ex-MLA did get elected in a Liberal tidal wave in 2001, considering even lead-weight will float when attached to a piece of wood.
Again, it is understandable why Patty Sahota, "the one-term wonder", is a Gordon Campbell loyalist (he did help her to get elected), but where does her newfound love for Paul Martin sycophant, Ujjal Dosanjh, come from? The fact is she has been silent on every issue of consequence to the very South Asian community that gave her the Liberal nomination four years ago. After the election Ms. Sahota turned her back on the community. Like her boss, the increasingly hated Mr. Campbell, she has broken every promise made prior to the election.
Patty Sahota believes that one doesn't have to be an Indo-Canadian to represent the interests of Indo-Canadians. I suppose in her case she is absolutely right. Being an Indo-Canadian, Patty Sahota has completely abrogated her responsibility to her race and, along with the other six South Asians in her caucus, has left the task of representing South Asian interests for the last three and a half years to Gordon Campbell and the other non-Indo-Canadian MLAs. Her silence has been deafening.
If the Campbell Liberals supposedly did such a good job of delivering so much on behalf of the South Asian community then why did the latter demonstrate their appreciation to Gordon Campbell by handing Jagroop Brar and the NDP a landslide victory in Surrey-Panorama? It was made abundantly clear by the Indo-Canadian community in the by-election that they had turned their backs on the totally "Non-magnificent Seven" in the Liberal Caucus. Surrey-Panorama was a devastating slap on the faces of the Liberal Caucus, and especially a humiliating slap in the faces of the seven Punjabi MLAs. They have failed the South Asian community.
No matter how many lies the B.C. Liberal Government tries to feed to the people with their own tax dollars in the recent Liberal partisan ads the public will not be fooled. If the economy is so rosy and British Columbia's future is so bright why do the Liberals need to spend millions of dollars of your money to promote themselves? Gordon Campbell cannot be trusted to keep any of his promises. The Campbell Liberals lied about not privatizing B.C. Rail. The Campbell Liberals lied about not privatizing B.C. Hydro. The Campbell Liberals lied about not closing hospitals and healthcare services. As a matter of fact, there isn't much that the Campbell Liberals haven't lied to British Columbians about. Their booklet, "B.C. Liberals: A New Era," shouldn't it be more appropriately called "B.C. Liberals: A Litany of Lies"?
Everywhere I go people tell me that healthcare was much better under the NDP. The Campbell Liberals have increased hospital surgery waitlists by 300%. While the NDP made education its top priority in government the Campbell Liberals closed 113 schools across B.C. and increased class sizes to 1980's levels. While NDP froze tuition fees for six years for students, the Campbell Liberals increased tuition by over 300%. While the NDP froze ICBC and B.C. Hydro rates for five years and gave back rebates, the Campbell Liberals increased rates by 48% and 60%, respectively.
While the NDP gave tax breaks to lower and middle income earners and to small business, the Campbell Liberals gave the biggest tax breaks to the wealthiest 2% of society and to Big Corporations. While the NDP left behind the largest surplus in the history of British Columbia at $2.1 billion, the Campbell Liberals created a record $3.4 billion deficit after taking office. While the NDP built this province's highways, bridges, hospitals, universities, schools, hockey rinks, community centres, fire halls, playgrounds, etc., the Campbell Liberals went on a drunken path of destruction of our healthcare, education and social safety net. All that the likes of Patty Sahota could muster was to play dead in front of Gordon Campbell's mean-spirited, steam-rolling agenda. Politics is about having the courage to stand up for your convictions and not about sycophancy and self-interest. Sadly, the misguided Ms Sahota doesn't know the difference.
While Gordon Campbell has been mean-spirited, arrogant, untrustworthy and out of touch with British Columbians, NDP Leader Carol James is caring, honest, balanced and fair. Like NDP premiers Dave Barrett, Mike Harcourt and Glen Clark before her Carol James will be the next premier of B.C. and will put people's priorities first, including the priorities of the province's visible minorities.