James Warns of Hidden Campbell Privatization Agenda
NDP Leader Says Premier Will Re-Play 2001 BC Rail Election StrategyKAMLOOPS - In his drive to get re-elected, Premier Gordon Campbell is going to try to paper over his record of trying to sell off BC's valuable public assets, NDP Leader Carole James said today.
James made the comment outside the Westsyde Liquor Store in Kamloops. The Liquor Store has become a local symbol of the Campbell government's botched attempts to privatize crown entities. Since the Fall, the Westsyde store has been slated for closure several times, until public pressure and potential embarrassment for local Liberal MLAs finally put the closure of the store off indefinitely.
But James said Gordon Campbell cannot be trusted to keep his promises regarding privatization.
"In the last election, Campbell promised not to sell BC Rail. Then he turned around and broke that promise. He promised he was committed to improving public health care. Instead, the Liberal government has driven privatization in health care to new levels. And in 2001, Gordon Campbell never said anything about selling the Coquihalla highway, but after the election he went right out and tried to sell it.
"This government has wasted millions of taxpayer dollars on failed privatization schemes - including $3 million to privatize the Roberts Bank spur line, and $6 million in his stubborn attempt to sell the Coquihalla," said James. "What's crystal clear is Mr. Campbell has a political agenda to sell off public assets. I worry that in this run-up to the next election, Mr. Campbell isn't being honest with British Columbians about his true plans for privatization.
"Will we see another attempt to sell the Coquihalla? Or further attempts to privatize BC Hydro? I worry that we could see the Campbell government try to break up and sell off BC Ferry routes to private interests."
"In this election, Gordon Campbell and the BC Liberals are trying to convince voters that they've changed. British Columbians should take a very close look at the Campbell government record. And New Democrats will be making sure that record is front and centre in the coming election."
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