By James W Breckenridge. When you heard/watched/read the medical staff at Royal inland Hospital stating the hospital has been running at over 100% every day since 2013 began, what thoughts were triggered in your mind?
My thoughts went back to Monday April 1st as I was standing at the cash register in a thrift store digging for the extra 21 cents imposed on my $3 purchase by the return of the PST.
As I dumped the change out in search of that 21 cents, I thought about just how appropriate it was that the PST came back on April Fool’s Day.
April Fool’s Day being appropriate only because there is no Stupid’s Day.
Because no matter how you spin it, switching back to the PST from the HST was so financially irresponsible, it blew past the line of colossally irresponsible behaviour into ‘did everybody eat several extra bowls of stupid’ territory.
Forget the petty stuff everyone seemed intent on being bogged down in. Yes many will be happy they do not have to pay 7% provincial tax when they eat out – at least until the eateries put prices up by more than 7% to cover the cost savings lost with the return to the PST.
Because all the ‘the government lied’, ‘they promised’, ‘7%! – the government is going to destroy the food services business’ etc is meaningless when contrasted with the consequences for British Columbia and its citizens of repaying $1.5 billion to Ottawa.
Want to replace or renew Royal Inland Hospital, Haida Gwaii Hospital or St. Paul’s Hospital? That will require an investment approaching $1 billion and, well Sorry, but that $1 billion is being repaid to Ottawa.
Have other important major capital projects that need investment, renewal or replacement? Sorry, but that 1/2 billion dollars is being repaid to Ottawa as well.
Because the majority of the citizens of BC (those who voted to repeal the HST plus those who did not vote against the repeal of the HST) chose to repay Ottawa the $1.5 billion, rather than using the $1.5 billion dollar bribe Ottawa used to ‘encourage’ BC (and Quebec) to adopt the HST in construction of/at St. Paul’s Hospital, Royal Inland Hospital, Haida Gwaii Hospital or other projects.
So as the media and the opposition joyfully (and unhelpfully) run around pointing out the government has not committed funding to hospital construction, we need to remember that the reason government does not have money to fund hospital construction is that Bill Vander Zalm, Adrian Dix, the NDP and the media convinced the majority of BC residents that sending the $1.5 billion back to Ottawa was a good idea.
One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity, there ain’t nothin’ can beat teamwork. Edward Abbey