Abbott proposes public policy consultation Website

Provincial Liberal leadership candidate George Abbott has added another bullet point to his government reform plan. Speaking on Public Eye Radio yesterday, Mr. Abbott said, "I am fascinated by the idea of having a government website called Public Policy B.C." According to the former education minister, that Website would be used by his administration to speak with British Columbians "about the challenges we believe need to be addressed as a government. And then start to flesh out what we believe is the remedy to that important public policy issue."


Too little too late George. Your governments record on listening to the people is dismal at best. If such a web site was established any input received on it would simply be deleted followed by a form letter or email thanking the sender.

George Abbott did respect what people wanted during the Conversation on Health. According to a Vaughn Palmer column, at a caucus retreat, Abbott reported British Columbians wanted to maintain universal public health care. Campbell, in favour of privatizing health care, was heckling him, but Abbott stood his ground, and deserves our thanks for that.

I can assure Linda that Kevin Falcon would privatize some health care. Christy Clark, not so much.

Like every consultation dog and pony show that the government has engaged in in the past the results would still be subject to someone's interpretation. In the past the consultation meetings were stage managed so the results were predictable. How would this be different? How would the public ever know how many opinions were recorded to favour a particular course of action.

You often hear a politician comment that his/her constituents are telling them this and that and the truth is that one person, maybe from the Chamber of Commerce phoned them. It all depends on who has the ear of the government. We know who has had the government's ear for the past 9 years.

It could work. The problem is transparency, i.e. everyone being able to see who was saying what. However, having said that, I expect that the influential folks will not bother and instead rely on their traditional means of access.

Hal makes a good point. I'm aware of instances where "industry" had the government's ear and was feeding them "a less than objective interpretation of the situation" and government seemed to take it at face value. Pretty disappointing.

I can add examples to Reid755's point about "industry" being relied upon as "A less than object interpretation of the situation". One is the TFL lands in Jordan River being released without public benefit. Another is changes recently made to the Strata Property Act that enable developers to build all rental condo buildings. Yet another is building code changes enabling 6-story wood frame condo buildings. What or should I say "who" is the common element in all these changes? You guessed it, it was Minister Rich Coleman. He is a developer who seems to only listen to developers.

Let's face reality. Abbott and the others running for the leadership of the BC Liberal Party can trot out all the feelgood ideas they wish, and if anyone thinks they will result in anything useful for the majority of British Columbians, forget it.

Ultimately, the new leader of the BC Liberal Party will do what Howe Street demands. If not, they will turn off the flow of money into the party's coffers, and look for another party to back and control.

As the saying goes, "follow the money".

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