REALITY CHECK: B.C. Liberal Leader Hopefuls Carry Heavy Baggage On Trip To Prince George

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As the B.C. Liberal leadership hopefuls gather in Prince George this evening, the record shows that none of the leading candidates would be able to offer British Columbians the type of change that people are clamouring for.

With her latest flip-flop on the HST, even the B.C. Liberals admit that you just can’t trust Christy Clark:

  • George Abbott: “Her latest flip-flop on the HST once again proves she has no credible plan to lead the province or our economy.”  (Globe and Mail, Feb. 3, 2011)
  • Kevin Falcon: “I think there is a little bit of a 'ready, fire, aim' approach that's sort of taking place” (Vancouver Sun, Feb. 3, 2011)

Prince George voters have legitimate questions for former ministers Abbott, Clark and Falcon about their record of broken promises:

  • George Abbott: As the health minister, George Abbott was front and centre when the B.C. Liberals broke their promise to provide 5000 long term care beds for the province. By 2009, the end of George Abbott’s term as health minister, the B.C. Liberals closed four rural hospitals and downgraded 16 more, including closing much-needed beds at the Mackenzie and District hospital.
  • Christy Clark: As the B.C. Liberal education minister, Christy Clark forced through changes to the school funding formula that have led to the closure of 21 schools in the Prince George school district. And she continues to refuse to support growing calls for a public inquiry into the BC Rail corruption scandal, despite the fact that if the trial had not been brought to a sudden close last fall Christy Clark might very well have been taking the stand. 
  • Kevin Falcon: As a Gordon Campbell protégé, Kevin had a lead role in breaking the B.C. Liberals’ promises to the heartlands. Kevin Falcon was a key booster of the BC Rail sale, breaking a central promise to northern B.C., and one of his first acts in cabinet was to eliminate the Office of Northern Development. And his response in the legislature to forestry workers who had lost their jobs? “Boo hoo.” (Hansard, Feb. 18, 2008)