Slush fund drowns alternative energy in BC budget 2005

Let’s hope that on May 17, British Columbians remember the previous four years of pain, layoffs, government cuts, unfettered resource exploitation, gutting of community economies, and pandering to corporate donors.

Banking on buying amnesia, Campbell’s government is hoping to buy people’s votes with their own money through the $236.8 million dollars budgeted for Enhancing Economic Development Throughout British Columbia.

Little detail was made available on this money, making it a slush fund that the government can use at will to try to build support before the election. Expect this money, your money, to be largely spent by May 17.

Watch your Liberal candidate closely, and when he or she promises money for anything – a homeless shelter, a road project, whatever – you’ll be following the trail of your tax dollars, being deployed specifically to influence your vote.

That’s democracy, Liberal style.

This issue was raised by Vaughn Palmer in the Vancouver Sun. He said,

The one spending item that stood out most prominently in the budget lockup was a fund for Enhancing Economic Development Throughout British Columbia. On Tuesday, the Liberals boosted the fund to $200 million … scrapped the heartlands theme and announced the money will be available for “all regions of the province.”

The true purpose of the slush money is illustrated by the “fast-track approval process for key projects.” the Liberals’ envision.

No committments were made around process or how quickly projects could be fast tracked, but our quess is May 17th, election day, will be the driving force for announcements.

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