By Greg Amos
Its amazing how much political hay can be made out of two unrelated events: the pending closure of Invermeres community dialysis unit, and a Calgary fundraising dinner for an aspiring provincial politician representing the Columbia Valley.
When the news broke that the dialysis clinic was set to be shuttered, NDP Columbia River – Revelstoke MLA Norm MacDonald wasted little time in sending out a press release lambasting the provincial government for spending $15 million on taxpayer-funded partisan advertising. The implication is that the BC Liberal government money could have been better spent on healthcare. Just one problem: the decision was made by management within Interior Health, far below the provincial level. Chalk that one up as a swing and a miss on the attempted political slam.
Then on January 16th, The Globe and Mail published a critical article about local BC Liberal candidate Doug Clovechoks Calgary fundraising event, in which he, along with cabinet ministers Bill Bennett and Rich Coleman, was seeking money from Albertans in order to build a campaign to represent constituents in B.C. This newspaper received an explanatory letter (look right) the next day, amid criticism from the political observers in B.C. It was either a smart fundraising move, or as the acting head of UBCs Political Science department told me, a risky move that raises the spectre of a politician
being beholden to out-of-province interests.
That, or its just B.C. politics as usual.