Monday, 30 April 2012

BC Liquor - Private Profits

So look at this in a simple way.
In BC, the government used to control all liquor sales in the province.
So if we, the BC Liquor Branch, (I say 'we' because it was something that we the taxpayers owned)  bought a case of whiskey or wine, shipped it into our own warehouses, distributed that booze to our own liquor stores, sold it to you the end buyer, then we as a government (read taxpayers) pocketed the profit dollars from that liquor, it was for the good of all the people of the province.

Say the wine cost a dollar a bottle. We built in all our costs, and sold the booze for a profit, say five dollars a bottle retail. If our costs of shipping, warehousing, merchandising and retail sales were one dollar, then our total cost for the bottle of wine was two dollars. After using two dollars of the five to buy the product and get it to you all over again, we made a nice net profit of one dollar. 20%.
That dollar profit went into the BC Government coffers. Which in most people's opinion, was a very beneficial enterprise. For all of us!

Now along comes Liberal Premier Gordon Campbell and he 'somehow'  decides that we need private liquor stores to sell this booze. Certain people from out of province were itching to get a share of our huge consumer market. Gordon is warned that the costs to the consumer must be higher through private-for-profit business, because every time the private store sells the same bottle of wine, they have to have a profit margin built into that sale. Not only that, but the taxpayer benefit of getting that dollar profit on every bottle sold in the province is now gone. Into the pocket of a privateer. All things being equal on the wine, the retail sale of that bottle of wine or whiskey seems to be about 10 to 30 percent higher now. All things equal except we now must build in a profit for the private seller.
Gordon Campbell did it anyway.

Now we have his protege, the BC Liberal Christy Clark, with her ex Gordon Campbell government following his intent; to further undermine the profits going into the government coffers in favor of more private dealers. So the Liberals have announced that: The Province will conduct a Request for Proposals to transfer the government-owned and operated liquor distribution branch warehouses in Vancouver and Kamloops to the private sector by 2015. 

The current BC Christy Clark Liberal party intends to 'modernize' the BC Liquor Distribution Branch or could that be read as fulfilling a Gordon Campbell promise to 'someone'?
Before the selling out of the retail market to whomever, the BC Liquor branch was among the world's largest purchasers of beverage alcohol. That buying power is lessened by other profiteers entering our market.

So we have yet more groups greedily moving into the high profit areas of what we do ourselves in BC. Feeding on our rich cream instead of developing the needed services and operations in the province on a long term basis.
We've lost BC Rail as a developing factor throughout our interior communities. We've lost once trusted BC Hydro as the guardian of our public rivers and power production to privateers from out of province. These utilities were owned by the people of BC and therefore not the property of any government to destroy or sell as a result of poor fiscal management! And BC Ferries and other provincial operations are being compromised by outsider management.  By selling out our assets for quick cash, the BC Liberals have in some cases, eliminated the potential of enduring benefits in perpetuity.

We do need to be more simplistic, in that we have to look out for ourselves first, and suspect any action by the BC Liberals or anyone else that excludes the public-taxpayer-voter from participating in the rightful benefits and largess of British Columbia.

Political situations every four years should not be the basis of building the province over the long term. Any branch of government contributing to the betterment of the people of BC should be left alone to flourish without interference. Any potential of selling off a BC asset should be put to a provincial referendum.

Any meddling is immediately suspect of some nefarious action going on, making us think that 'someone' is up to 'something'. Why?

Friday, 6 April 2012

What fine print?

Doesn't our Provincial government have TEAMS of lawyers whose JOB is to READ all the fine print? Don't our cities and municipalities have many lawyers and legal people whose JOB it is to read small print in contracts? What were all these highly paid trough feeders doing when this contract came down? WHY did NO ONE actually READ this contract? Can you imagine ANY private business signing a twenty YEAR contract without knowing the implications of said contract? Can you imagine these people keeping their jobs after revelations were revealed that would cost the signee MILLIONS of dollars?

And if you HAVE already signed said contract, (like Dianne Watts in Surrey) and the RCMP and Feds want to add something that costs money, you simply refuse to pay more money under the rule that it was not the deal you agreed to!

Someone needs to be fired! Including a lot of fat cat lawyers and Shirley Bond.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Here's how it works in BC.

The Victoria Parliament Buildings at midnight. A meeting in the janitor's closet between two men ... both are wearing grey fedoras and black trenchcoats, with Groucho Marx glasses and fake mustaches. They are whispering ....

BC Ferries guy - We need a price increase of about four percent to cover our next years bonuses and payouts to executives for great service to the people.
BC Liberal guy - Listen, we always gotta consider the backlash to fare increases. Uh, lose the cigar, would you?
BC Ferries guy - Backlash?  That was only because David was making a million a year and the ridership didn't like it? 
BC Liberal guy - David?  
BC Ferries guy - David Hahn.The last CEO of BC Ferries.
(BC Liberal guy slits open the door and peaks out. No sound from the eerie marble hallway) 
BC Liberal guy - Oh yeah. The guy who was in charge when that ferry sank.
BC Ferries guy - Um, we don't talk about that one, okay?
BC Liberal guy - Well, he took the spotlight off Gordo's salary and pensions.
BC Ferries guy - Gordo who?

BC Liberal guy - Gordon Campbell, the ex Premier who we hid in England.
BC Ferries guy - Oh, I heard about that. The Gordon's gin guy, we toast him with tumblers. What about our fare increase?
BC Liberal guy - No prob. What 'll we say you need it for? Gas? 
BC Ferries guy - Well diesel, that's what we use. The boats were made in Germany, you know, not BC.  Easier to disseminate the money off shore ... if you know what I mean.  (it is so black neither sees the other's wink) Hey, careful where you nudge, eh?

BC Liberal guy - Okay, sure, okay. (pause) Well this is how it works here in BC. You come out publicly and ask for, say a 15% increase, we'll have Christy step in and say she's looking after families and only give you like, 4.8%.
BC Ferries guy - What's the .8 percent for?
BC Liberal guy - You'll be in charge of the money, yeah?
(silence in the blackness)

BC Liberal guy - Win win for all of us.
BC Ferries guy - Lose lose for ferry riders though. (snicker) Say, who's this Christy anyways?
BC Liberal guy - New boss lady, Christy Campbell, er, I mean Clark. Oops, Freudian slip .... (a tremble in his voice) Sheez, I could get sent to East Vancouver for that.

BC Ferries guy - Oh yeah, I remember, Clark is the BC Rail woman.
BC Liberal guy - Shhh. We don't talk about that one and we don't remember stuff either. (he worriedly puts his ear to the slit and listens carefully) Psst! If anyone comes just grab a broom and start sweeping.
BC Ferries guy - You'll get this through before any elections or anything though, right?
BC Liberal guy - Done. Even before the secret RCMP contract. Say, you haven't seen BC Hydro guy, have you?

BC Ferries guy - I think I saw him in the gardener's tool shed siphoning gas out of a lawn mower. Hey, wanna grab a burger? I know an underground MacDonald's that stays open after midnight.
BC Liberal guy - Sheez, here in Victoria? Does everyone do illegal stuff now? Okay, but let's leave one at a time.
BC Ferries guy -You couldn't go as a British Harpo, could you?

Since 2003, when the Crown corporation was quasi privatized, BC Ferries' fares have gone up by about 70 per cent on the major routes between Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland and by 80 per cent on the minor routes, according to a chart on the ferry commissioner's own website.
As the ridership declines, BC Ferries considers charging more from the few remaining passengers. These are the elite brainy people who run our province for huge salaries.