Is there any merit in this?

Former public service agency deputy minister Vince Collins may have cut British Columbia's civil service by one-third. But it looks like he's been helping pick up some of the extra workload he created. As our astute readers may remember, Mr. Collins - who was also the government's merit commissioner - departed the bureaucracy in September 2003 for opportunities in the private sector. But those opportunities turned out to be more of a public-private partnership, with Mr. Collins coming back to work as hired gun for the Campbell administration. And how much money has he earned as a consultant, you may wonder?

Well, answering that question was always somewhat troublesome because he was getting paid via Western Management Consultants Inc. But in April 2004, Mr. Collins left the firm. And, according to public accounts, government transferred $408,223 to his company - Vince Collins Management Services Inc. - during the last fiscal year. Mr. Collins, who earned $179,505 as a deputy minister, hasn't responded to a request for comment on this work placed via his wife Monica, herself a company director and former senior bureaucrat. Ms. Collins was last listed in the government directory as a member of the ministry of transportation's human resources branch, working on the "Next Generation" project.


A couple of us who followed the treaty process by showing up at all the main table meetings over 7 or 8 years, on a big part of Vancouver island,reading a large amount of paper on the subject, showing up at many public and not so public meetings on the treaty business, used to figure Vince was pretty good at the table. The guy had a good sense of humour and seemed to be well liked by all parties.

We were blown away when the New Era gang hired him to remove a lot of government employees.

Then he left. Now you tell us he is back working part time for the New Era gang.

Sort of handy for us folks to have you collect that sort of stuff, making it much easier for us to get an instant dislike for a person who's bottom line seems to be" Give me the money and I'll go anwhere you want me to go".

People need to realize that this "Have Gun Will Travel" type is what modern Liberalism is all about in Canada. Yuppie contractors doing a job that consists of doing nothing, yet doing very well.

Tom Kent and Warren Allmand must feel ill every time they run into or even hear of one of these people. The Christy Clark and Mark Marissen crowd, on the other hand, would of course be totllay thrilled to exchange embossed business cards with one of these noveau riche lobbyist/consultant/insider types.

And then there's Steve Hopkins and Shirley Chan who oh so desperately want to be one of these people, now that Shirley is never going to be an elected legislator, federal or provincial.

The job descriptions, pay scale, and working conditions for this kind of B.C. Liberal jobs bring on pangs of sympathy for guys like Basi and Virk.

What a wonderful world it would be if Budd Campbell and the State really did have the answer to everything. But as Budd keeps demonstrating, politics is characterized by long-winded suckers with an axe to grind and a shortage of real marketable skills. All that hypocritical outrage is nothing more than envy. My family has done its duty and we have no plans to be involved further beyond casting our votes along with 45% of the electorate on E-day.

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