Shut down the cloaking device! Ready disruptors!

So what does Premier Gordon Campbell have to say about New Democrat leader Carole James's pay raise flip-flop? Well, in a statement emailed out to the province's press corp, he writes "it is disingenuous for Ms. James to intimate that her withdrawal of support is somehow the result of a revelation that the public would have 'serious concerns' about 'the process we took to arrive at the decision to increase MLA salaries, pensions and the resources to serve constituents.' That has always been understood by all members of the legislature. The bill was unanimously passed notwithstanding that consideration, as both parties maintained yesterday in their news release, because it was deemed to be fair, reasonable and sensible."

He then adds, ""In the spirit that was central to the development and introduction of Bill 17, all members of the Government Caucus will be given a fair chance to debate and respond to Ms. James' new position prior to any decision by government. The bill would not ordinarily be proclaimed in any event until later next week. On Monday, all Government Caucus members will be given the opportunity to reflect on their initial position and support for Bill 17, in light of the Official Opposition's reversal of support." The following is a complete copy of that statement.

***

STATEMENT
For Immediate Release
2005OTP0134-001068
Nov. 18, 2005

Office of the Premier

PREMIER RESPONDS TO STATEMENT FROM OPPOSITION LEADER

VICTORIA - Premier Gordon Campbell today issued the following statement in
response to Opposition Leader Carole James' withdrawal of support for Bill
17:

"Bill 17 was initiated and developed by the Legislative Assembly Management
Committee on behalf of all MLAs. It has been unanimously passed by all
members of the Legislative Assembly from both parties, and is the product of
both parties' mutual agreement at every step. The content, process and
anticipated public reaction to Bill 17 was debated at length by both the
Official Opposition Caucus and the Government Caucus, and the bill would not
have been introduced without the full support of both leaders and every one
of their respective Caucus colleagues.

"The Leader of the Official Opposition has apparently now decided to
withdraw her support for Bill 17 and that is her right. But it is
disingenuous for Ms. James to intimate that her withdrawal of support is
somehow the result of a revelation that the public would have 'serious
concerns' about 'the process we took to arrive at the decision to increase
MLA salaries, pensions and the resources to serve constituents.' That has
always been understood by all members of the legislature. The bill was
unanimously passed notwithstanding that consideration, as both parties
maintained yesterday in their news release, because it was deemed to be
fair, reasonable and sensible.

"In the spirit that was central to the development and introduction of Bill
17, all members of the Government Caucus will be given a fair chance to
debate and respond to Ms. James' new position prior to any decision by
government. The bill would not ordinarily be proclaimed in any event until
later next week. On Monday, all Government Caucus members will be given the
opportunity to reflect on their initial position and support for Bill 17, in
light of the Official Opposition's reversal of support."

-30-

Media
contact:

Mike Morton
Press Secretary
Office of the Premier
250 213-8218

26 Comments

Yada, yada, yada......

Who decided on the timing of this, that's what I wanna know.

Because, given the timing and the result (ie. the number '713' is now below the fold) this looks like perfectly timed deflector spin to me.

.

It looks like Carole Joke just choked.

I got a kick out of her press release claiming she had listened closely to British Columbians. Carole James is currently in Saskatoon. I wonder exactly how many British Columbians she listened carefully to there.

Lets face reality; this was a done deal behind the scenes. Carole James and her NDP caucus had every chance to comment and debate on it and instead she was busy booking a flight to Saskatchewan They all agreed to support this little nugget and when big labor catches wind of it and threatens to pull support for Caroles NDP big labor divorce plan she cowers and bails out on the first opportunity.

Was she really stupid enough to actually think taxpayers would support this kind of crap? Of course not, hence why she was flying off to Saskatchewan. However the moment big labor threatens to pull support and with an NDP party convention fast approaching she bails out and sells out her own house leader and caucus in the process.

What a joke. As in Carole Joke.

And now you see why Carol is a short term leader.Should be be shocked? Not at all.Typical NDP run from the heat behavior!

The first full 15 minutes leading the BCTV 6pm news tonight was devoted to the MLA raise - 00 minutes to the 713 warehoused kids. 00 minutes given to the 713 kids on the 11pm news too.
Chalk one up for the bc libs.

James realized the mistake and took action. The NDP should never have agreed to it in the first place. Once the mistake was realized - or rather, the screaming public wacked them upside the head - James made the right decision.

Besides, anytime you can stab the BC Liberals in the back is a good time.

Nice to see BCTV's 11pm news running tape from the mid 90s showing gordo mocking "goldplated pensions"... rest easy gordo, it's only $100,000 a year to you. The Premier's press release is a nicely spun piece of backpedelling and trying to throw the blame on the NDP - James reacted first and poor gordo is left with egg on his face... James is definately not off the hook on this one though.

Sad to say, Kevin, you're right!

Carole James has really screwed this one up. How do you listen closely when you're out of town. Which is, of course, the place that all good leaders go when the shit hits the fan (remember Campbell leaving town during the teachers' strike).

But ultimately, you don't talk to the monkey, you talk to the organ grinder. Carole James just does the talkin' (but not much as of late) but David Perry does the thinkin' (such as it is). This fuck up has David Perry written all over it. When is enough enough and that useless windbag gets fired?

Yes GBI, it appears that the payraise thing was used as deflector spin, pure and simple.

My take on it is here.

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That is the whole point Ross. Carole James and the NDP had the Liberals by the nuts over the complete mishandling of the deceased children post death reviews. Despite this fact Carole James and her entire NDP caucus is happy to just idly sit back and ignore these very same deceased children in order to support the big pay raise package.

A deal that clearly they had been working on throughout the teachers strike and one they had obviosuly agreed to when they stood up in the house a few weeks back and said they had reached an agreement on the conclusion of this legislative session. Little did we know exactly what they meant.

I suppose politically the Liberals can claim victory in that they so easily and cheaply exposed the hidden opportunist that resides within every socialist. They not only gave themselves a pay raise, they also bought off the entire NDP caucus in the process. If Carole James truly did not believe in the wisdom of this process she should not have signed her name to this deal and gone along with it in the first place. Did she seriously think the public much less all those working people would seriously support such an increase?

Funny how Carole James suddenly has no problem with reneging on a deal that she clearly made behind closed doors with the Liberals. She didn’t even have the decency to consult with her own house leader and caucus who were busy defending the deal in the public while she flew off to Saskatchewan.

Airlines don’t allow you to use cell phones while you are flying and she didn’t hear from any British Columbians while she was there. Kind of makes you wonder exactly who is pulling the strings for the NDP these days.

Really it is all very pathetic.

I congratulate CJ for withdrawing the NDP's support, even if it may be too late. Am I wrong or is this wage hike illegal. Isn't there a public sector wage freeze? I can't understand why the Liberals couldn't wait until after wage contracts for Teachers, and other public employees are solved. I mean, our "fiscally responsible" government has shown itself two faced in its dealings here.

I hope they realize the framework it sets for future negotiations.

Its pretty indicative of the transparency we have under our current system. We have only two parties, and in cases like this we can loose our opposition.

I'm glad GC has agreed to reopen debate, and hopefully he takes CJs lead in withdrawing support based on public discontent,

The raise doesn't become effective until April 1, 2006.

Pathetic is the key word

both Liberal and NDP

this is a form of insanity and sane minds would have known what a uproar this would cause.

what can we do - write, phone, email, smoke signals. Tell all politicians to back off.

"Was she really stupid enough to actually think taxpayers would support this kind of crap?"

"Typical NDP run from the heat behavior!"

"Carole James has really screwed this one up."

"Despite this fact Carole James and her entire NDP caucus is happy to just idly sit back and ignore these very same deceased children in order to support the big pay raise package."

What's funny is these comments equally apply to Campbell and the Liberals, but you wouldn't know that reading these posters...

"It looks like Carole Joke just choked."

"Typical NDP run from the heat behavior!"

You all should save some of this scorn for next week when the Liberals follow suit. James just saw the writing on the wall first.

Well, it's difficult to say this right now, but it needs saying ... over and over ... that socialists really do expect a higher ethical standard to prevail.

And what Ms James and her team have done, is to betray a principle as well as an old and honourable party.

Pls excuse the sermon, but this is a hurtin' day for me. If you know people in Saskatoon, phone them. Ask them to remind Ms James about the public good, about equality.

Un-be-freakin-lievable.

Unless I'm mistaken (and somebody please correct me if I'm wrong) it is the sitting government who decides precisely when, and how, legislation is introduced to the house.

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I guess you're correct, RossK, but dammit, I expect the Opposition to oppose, in cases like this.

As someone who contributed to the Public service pension Plan for 30 years thus eligible for a 60%pension at age 60 but due to de-hiring went on pension at 55 which was reduced 3% per year for each year under 60 or 15% then have have MSP and Dental plans either educe or eliminated,which is now before the courts. How do you think I feel.
Pissed

You miss the point Ross that pie in the sky underscores well. The Government AND The Opposition worked together on this pay raise. They AGREED on this pay raise and TOGETHER they altered the normal legislative process to speed this one through. Why do you think they did that? They knew that this was NOT going to go down well. It’s not rocket science. They still agreed to do it anyways. Why do you think Carole James had a flight booked for Saskatchewan the very next day

No doubt the spin doctors are already working on an answer for that.

What kind of leader bails out on the team and leaves them to do all the dirty work as James just did ? Can she look Farnworth and Kwan in the eye ? What kind of leader flip flops and undermines the efforts of her own caucus? And to do it all from the safe distance of Saskatchewan on a cell phone.

This whole thing stinks.

"What kind of leader bails out on the team and leaves them to do all the dirty work as James just did ?"

Campbell will bail next week. Carrol has given him the out, you can bet he'll take it.

You're right Kevin. Carole seems to subscribe to the Bill Vanderzalm style of leadership: when things go wrong, as they always do, feed your number two to the sharks. It only works for so long, however, before you run out of willing sacrificial goats.

The obvious reality is this is all Carole's fault. And now it has come back to bite her in the ass and she's looking for someone to blame. If someone needs to take it on the chin for this, it should be Carole.

She should resign.

I now understand the purpose of this title. It's because Carole James looks like a Romulan. Highly logical, Captain.

KL--

Nope, I see the heat for what it is.

But I am also seeing a whole lotta smirking behind the curtain as the people who were really caught with their hands in the malfeasance jar get away with it again because they took advantage of the fact that people expect them, but not their opposition, to do the expedient thing.

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Let us be perfectly clear about this mess. IT wasn't just James. she didn't leave the mess for Farnsworth or Quan, as they were in it up to their eyeballs. Even Gordo mentioned that the NDP caucus was fully informed well before the event. The house rules were set aside to run the things through all sections in less than 60 seconds.any MLa could have stopped that as it needed 100 percent agreement. Then they all ran. Her flight to Sask. was no doubt set well before the event. If I recall Mr. Farnsworth has been teaching the democratic process to some third world countries for the last few years. One hopes none of them was wathing the sorry mess on hansard as they wrote a piece of paper and gave themselves a raise. We who work for a living baragin for numbers like 0,0,0 or less layoffs.
A earlier writer on this article mentioned the provincial pension arrangements. and just how they got screwed.a family member was in the same boat and the group are now suing on that broken deal.

I for one put in 35 years with the fed and have a smaller total pennsion tha the RAISE obtained by Sue Hammil a person who did one term as a MLA and is back about 7 months. we are all in the bush league compaired to these guys. We on the slightly left sort of expect the right to do backroom deals but never believed the NEW New Democrats under James would do the same/ her claim that they would work differenly sure came to pass.Sillly us. SLEEZE play all the way. Watch your back, present NDP MLA's, there must be someone who is honest looking for her job, and that would exclude the present caucus. Where is the Rhino party when we need them?

This needs saying too: nobody is more angry than New Democrats are, about this backroom deal. Carole James has not only betrayed the principle but the history of an old, honourable political party.

I could understand and accept it, if the NDP Opposition had battled untidily on the floor of the B.C. Legislature to oppose the pay raise while approving the constituency benefits.

But the Carole James team didn't take a principled stand. They submitted to the worst of schemes personified by the Campbell government, coming as it did on the same day as the body counts of desperate children "in care".

Carole James, as leader of the Opposition, allowed a hideous unfairness to become law, setting the stage for a tragedy which is yet to unfold in the picket lines and negotiating rooms of this province. What Carole James did was to ruin her own reputation. It was not a smear against all socialists or New Democrats. We're the ones battling this most fiercely.

Credit is due to New Democrats who immediately, without hesitation, rose as one, to denounce the NDP Opposition for this sleazy backroom dealing. New Democrats have sought the truth even though it hurts, hurts, hurts.

So I say Carole James IS responsible, and Carole James must make way for a new, stronger, more principled leader of the B.C. New Democrats.

Next weekend, I'll be watching the convention with keen interest.

Well as a convicted criminal having recently lost two weeks wages fighting for smaller class sizes, and less students with special needs, I can say that it will be much easier next time. I returned to the same HUGE classses and just as many special needs with no help. I got zero and zero. The MLA's pay just about as much income tax as I grossed in income last year. So next time I will think only of myself and my family. I will stay out for the "minimum" wage increase that is now determined by the government for "public servants". I am glad they came to their senses and realized that zero zero is not fair. Although six months ago, upon returning to office, they gave themselves 10%, oh yeah that was not a "pay" increase.
Yes, it will be much easier now. Thank you MLA's, for as Gordo said it was "fair, reasonable, and sensible" I agree and I cannot wait for my raise.

Jenny Simms said it appears that 15 percent is the base line( Maybe not her exact words, but that's the idea) Jim Sinclair was of a similar mind as well as a few other folks in the union leadership. The dumbest argument I've heard was that James and Co. let the deal go through so the unions would have a base to work from. Oh sure and if you believe that I can get you a deal on some land in the middle of a desset that shortly will have waterfront. It was a dumb show by James and her caucus. Gordo and his strategy team must be rolling in the aisles.

Easy to lose credibility and much harder to regain it. She is using the Campbell defence. She was sorry , made a mistake. In his case it was the booze he accidentally took that twisted his thoughts. It was her trip to Saskatchewan that short circuited her mind

A plague o' both your houses!

For the umpteenth time, fake contributor Kevin Larsen (kevlarman@go.com) waxes poetic on behalf of the Liberal Party. It's kind of like listening to one of Paul Martin Seniors old sound clips, it's all so predictable.

Kevin thinks we're all stupid. So stupid that no one will notice that his proud and mighty Liberals voted for this ill-advised pay measure, which they alone authored and introduced.

What's more, he hopes to distract attention from the real issue. In her September Budget Update, Fin Min Carole Taylor began talking about the new "compensation mandate" that will guide collective bargaining for hundreds of thousands of public sector workers who agreements expire in 2006.

{http://www.bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/bfp/default.htm}

"The current compensation mandate that has been in place since January 2002 will remain unchanged until March 31, 2006. As the next mandate is still under development, no compensation increase has been assumed in the fiscal plan. Details of the next wage mandate that commences April 1, 2006, will be released by the next budget in February 2006. The forecast allowances included in this fiscal plan cover the potential costs of future public sector wage settlements, in addition to revenue risks such as a sudden fall in energy prices, or the costs of natural disasters."

How is that going to play now? Is the government going to claim that people who have had no increases whatsover for years should now be happy with increases of, say, 1% per year?

I wonder what Kevin Larsen is hoping for. Perhaps like other Liberal hawks he believes that now is the time for the Liberal Government to freeze public sector wages and use the money thus saved to pay for big public works like Gateway and Port Mann. That would certainly tickle his party's Bible Belt base, and Phil Hochstein would be in hog heaven over it!

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