Montreal, February 16, 2002  /  No 98  
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Scott Carpenter is a freelance writer who lives, works and plays in Dawson Creek, BC.
by Scott Carpenter
          Until quite recently I never realized how many thugs there were in our midst. And I'm not speaking about the type who break down your door in the middle of the night to take your VCR. Nope. I'm talking about roughly ten to twenty percent of the population who believe it's their right to make their living off the backs of the rest of us.
          Indeed, it's funny how turning off the tap to the public trough really brings out the best in people. 
          Like this guy and this woman in the local fried chicken place complaining about the Liberal government and the cuts to government jobs, contracts and taxes they've made here in BC. The guy was an employee of a local mill – one that's unionized. He's unhappy because the government is going to revoke legislation that makes it illegal for companies that employ unionized staff to use "scab labor" during strikes. Looks like they may actually have to negotiate a real contract with their employers instead of using the courts to shove one down their throats. 
          Or the gracious woman with whom this dedicated employee spoke with. She's angry that two open but unfilled positions in her office were axed. Now she can't climb the bureaucratic ladder and is worried that her department may see further cuts. That would be a shame. 
          Or the social services worker who, while picketing our MLA's (Member of the Legislative Assembly) office, decided it would be appropriate for him to call one gentleman – a friend of my father's – who politely refused his literature on "the evils of the capitalist Liberals" nasty names. 
          And that's just the local scene. 
When government shrinks... 
          The Thugs among us are out in full force since the Liberals started cleaning house. They're picketing government offices and threatening to "shut down business" in the province. 
          Ken Georgetti, the president of the Canadian Labor Congress, said he will be telling companies to tell Premier Gordon Campbell they don't like the instability that his cuts have created. 
     « If Gordon Campbell's revolution is to stay the course, he's going to need more tenacity than Mike Harris and greater fortitude than Ralph Klein. »
          As to what instability he is referring to he did not say. I can only assume he is speaking about ex and current government employees who are picketing almost every political office in the province on a daily basis. Of course, that's not private sector instability – it's public – and that has little if nothing to do with how well business functions. 
          Actually, that's not entirely true. When government shrinks – as it has in the past few weeks here in Beautiful BC –, private business tends to do a little better... Actually, it does a lot better. And maybe – just maybe – that's because government – particularly big fat socialist types – are notorious for looting and pillaging private wealth. So it stands to reason when that government gets cut business confidence will return, grey markets will become legit once more and investors will return to the place where their investments are least likely to get pillaged. 
Way to go, Gordo! 
          Indeed, witness Alberta. Klein's cuts to government over the past five to eight years have turned that province around to the point where the federal government, jealous and frustrated with the "redneck" province's wealth, has begun to loot the oil and gas industry. What remains to be seen in the great Albertan experiment is whether or not the current Conservative government has the intestinal fortitude to face down the feds and the remaining welfare statists that still nag, complain and hound the Albertan treasury. 
          Here in Beautiful BC, Campbell's revolution is just beginning and it's got the welfare statists screaming mad. Unfortunately, because of this, it's still too early for the rest of us to get our hopes up. And, as a friend recently pointed out: Canada has a long history of having its conservative movements squashed by so-called concerned liberals and the media. 
          Still, this step back from the slippery slope is a good first move. But it has to be more than simply the axing of a few civil service positions and the rewriting of questionable contracts. If Campbell's revolution is to stay the course, he's going to need more tenacity than Mike Harris and greater fortitude than Ralph Klein. He's going to have to look at building a base that British Columbians can do more than just work on. In short, he'll need to turn the country on its head and give the people back their sovereignty. If he does, nothing the left can do will undo what Campbell has already done. Freedom loving people simply won't let their new found liberty slip away without a fight. 
          Anyway, I'm not generally in the business of slapping politicians on the back but what the heck. It's a good first step Gordo. Just don't make it your last. 
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