Tuesday, 1 March 2011

I am old.

     And I guess I don't like changes.
I was hoping Fleers Double-Bubble Gum would always have a Pud cartoon in it. When I was little we picketed the grocery store against 6 cent chocolate bars. You rode swaying street cars then. My first car was a '46 Ford.
I never even cared about politics until I was involved in researching and writing a film called Twenty Great Years for the then Social Credit government. That was when I began to realize what a great province we were building.
So now as my life deteriorates into the grey morass of remembering what was, I need to express some things about today's reality.

When WAC Bennett expropriated the BC Electric Company it was stunning news. It became BC Hydro. And built itself through British Columbian management, into the jewel of an asset for the province. We could trust BC Hydro to be acting in our interests. The dams and power projects were all built for you and me.
Then we took over the Blackball Ferry line. To become BC Ferries. And boasted often that we had more ships under a BC banner than the whole Canadian Navy!  in those days, if they couldn't get your car on the last ferry, they would come back for you! We proudly constructed BC Ferries' new ships,  most of which are still working here, in BC shipyards.
The Pacific Great Eastern Railway was next. The provincial trust believed we needed our very own railroad, to open up our vast interior and service the small towns and help them build into vibrant communities. It became BC Rail and worked for all of us.
When I had my first house, and if my gas furnace broke down, BC Gas guys would come out and fix it, giving you the part free if they had it with them!
Our wild salmon fishery was so huge it could have fed the world with fresh fish. Forestry was growing and our mills were busy with lumber production. Mining was thriving with exploration and ore shipping. We built hospitals, highways, towns and bridges. How many can recall old WAC cutting the ribbon on the Lion's Gate Bridge and saying, "No more tolls for British Columbians." And smiling that toothy smile like a friendly Grampa.
British Columbia was being built and managed by proud teams of competent British Columbians.

But I'm not living in that past, only remembering it.
When did the balloon deflate? When did we lose control of our own future? Do we blame someone specific? What about those NDP governments? Social Credit had started the build. Did new governments of a political opposite carry it on? Did they respect the heritage of BC? I believe they did.
Even though the Social Credit, NDP governments had their share of scandals, they both had a constant direction: to improve BC for British Columbians. The things both these governments did wrong, were wrong, but not about selling out the people, their directions were still about what was good for us.
Had WAC Bennett lasted one more round we would have a Bank of BC now. And our share of the profits of the other banks which can amount to one BILLION dollars per quarter! That money would go into BC coffers.

But somehow a different mindset began to evolve. One that concentrated on how bad others were and not how good one could be. Every decision became political. A mindset grew that looked at profit first and not later. Patience was no longer a virtue. Protection of self interests was more important than public interests. Outsiders were suddenly deemed to be better than our local people. The Liberal government had no confidence in British Columbians to continue leading our people into the 21st century. They became polarized so badly that they were unable to look upon BC people and BC companies to do the job.

Today we consider only the so called global economy. What someone from somewhere else dictates as how we need to operate, what we need to produce, what we export. How we need to run our provincial business, and who we hire to do our jobs. International shareholders have taken precedence over resident workers and taxpayers. We need to reverse that direction.

British Columbia is huge, bigger than Washington, Oregon and California combined. (California has the eighth largest economy in the world.) We could go it alone. We wouldn't be swallowed up. Small countries like Sweden, Belgium, Uraguay, Jordan etc. do just fine with good management. And we have everything the world needs today, but we need to nurture our economy from a personal angle: what is the best for British Columbians.

The people of BC are vibrant, smart, tough when need be, inventive, adventurous,  and competent to do any job put to them. They are ready willing and able to continue building this great province into the pride of Canada and the world. We need only to place them first, and let them lead us further into this century.
Be proud of British Columbia accomplishments.  But don't try to keep it the way it was .... make it what it is.
I am old and I like where we came from, and want desperately to like where we're going, but we need to bring a little of that past with us.


  1. What a great article. Guess that is where the saying,"The good old days" came from. Keep writing and telling us not to settle for second best.

  2. wow. you need to write speeches.

  3. I enjoy this blog very much. I was surfing and came upon it. Bookmarked it and sent it to a few of my friends. Keep it up and keep us honest, the government I mean.

  4. Right stuff! Our world is effed up and we might as well just get drunk.


Keep it civil, folks, I know you're angry but try not to swear too much.