Thursday, March 05, 2015

This Day In Clarkland...The Climb Down.


At the beginning of the week we learned that BC Hydro is doing its darndest to make us part of the New Deep South when it became clear that their intention is to keep Site C project workers, temporary foreign ones or otherwise, from organizing. 

And the minister responsible for Jobs 'N Stuff, Ms. Shirley Bond, who we believe was also present when the BC Rail sale/not sale blueprint was first revealed for real (see what I did there Mary?), was onside with the fine folks from Hydro:

...“I’m assured by BC Hydro that they have a model that will supply the work force that they need and that’s what matters to me,” Jobs Minister Shirley Bond said...

And then, suddenly, our good Premier, seemingly out of nowhere, intervened:

...“I think BC Hydro took this a step too far,” Ms. Clark told reporters. “I’m going to get it fixed.”

The Premier said she took action once she learned of the lawsuit. “In the last 24 hours, I’ve spoken to ministers, and I’ve spoken to the CEO of Hydro, they agree with me on that. They are going to rework the proposal to withdraw that part of it because I believe [unions] should have the right to organize. They do have the right to organize, and BC Hydro can’t take that away.”...

But here's the thing....

Apparently, the lawsuit wasn't the first time that the Premier's office learned about this:

...The unions were told last April that BC Hydro intended to adopt a new open-shop model for Site C. (Executive director of the BC and Yukon Building and Construction Trades Council) Mr. (Tom) Sigurdson said his efforts to persuade the Premier’s office, ministers of cabinet and Hydro brass had achieved nothing, prompting the lawsuit....


Given that our good Premier likes to 'Say Anything' at the drop of a hat, Mr. Sigurdson was wise when he...

..(W)elcomed the Premier’s intervention on Tuesday, but said the lawsuit won’t be withdrawn until the contract terms are rewritten...

Because, after all, even if Ms. Clark is actually really and truly determined to go against Hydro and it's Knotty Gordian-trained CEO on this one, for real, she will still have to deal with that pro-media magnet named Hochstein:

...Philip Hochstein, president of the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association of B.C., applauded Hydro’s approach.

“The craft unions are trying to recreate a model that may have worked 60 years ago but is no longer relevant,” he said, adding that fewer than one in five construction workers in B.C. currently belongs to a union...

And, of course, the people who back the good Mr. Hochstein, some of whom, it would appear, also backed Ms. Clark with a big money smear campaign in the run-up to the last election.

My take....This one is not over, by a longshot.

And stay tuned for the Dean's well-reasoned, insider-accessed baked cake take which should arrive by next Tuesday, I reckon...As for Ron Obvious....Well,  the smart money has him playing the part of the trumpeter swan swooning at the feet of Madame Premier probably by Saturday...As for Mikey Mike...Rumour has it that he's already received the scoop for Sunday on how Mr. Sigurdson once mowed lawns as a kid without a union contract or some such irrelevant showy offish-type thing...
There is one last thing to consider here that may or may not show up in the puffed-up punditry's pieces to come...Which is that all this is going down when there are only a few weeks to go before the bids on the first big contracts are set to close...
And I would be remiss if I didn't note (even though they are linked to above), that the reportage quoted from above come from two very solid 360 looks at this thing from Justine Hunter in the Globe.



Anonymous said...

According to good old Phil of the Independent Contractors " Projects like construction for the 2010 Olympic Games venues, the Port Mann Bridge, the Sea to Sky Highway, the Canada Line and the Gibraltar and Copper Mountain mines were delivered on time, on budget"

That last part " on time, on budget" why isn't that a Liberal government slogan ?

I've always been amazed how Phil knocks union because they have union dues etc. But try & join his organization and not pay a fee or be reminded to join it's health insurance plan etc. They are "independent" in name only.

Guy in Victoria

Bill said...

Great post Ross.

The BC Liberal "skulduggery" marches on unabated. They can only be trusted to continue doing what is in their own best interest, not that of BC and it's citizens future. The 'way back' link to BC Mary/Rail sure puts these goings on into context. Your looking forward to our esteemed MSSpinners "reporting" and commentary on these developments will as you say be according to formula... swirling deflection. In BC it is Whopper Wednesday 24/7.

All this deviation would be fascinating intrigue if it were not so costly and destructive.

North Van's Grumps said...

“I’m going to get it fixed.”

Ah the second coming of the fix is in:

BC Rail
BC Hydro

Lew said...

Clark can’t have it both ways. Either she knew exactly what was being planned and only backed off because the BC Building Trades called her bluff (as the evidence clearly suggests), or her Minister of Energy and Mines didn’t keep her informed about the serious consequences of his plan. The latter may be possible because the minister was so busy writing the report the conflicted conflict commissioner will issue on him that he didn’t have time to notice a crown corporation under his care was planning an obvious violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights And Freedoms.

Before our public institutions were incrementally sullied to their current sorry state, such exposed duplicity and incompetence would require firings or resignations to protect the dignity of office.

Now instead, we anticipate the effort the fourth estate will bring to make Clark the virtuous defender of the people, and await the imminent certainty of the next assault on what’s left of the public trust.

Minister Bond should be recognized here as well for her statement, “I’m assured by BC Hydro that they have a model that will supply the work force that they need and that’s what matters to me.” In other words the end justifies the means, no matter the means. Just the sort of values we need in a member of our Executive Council.

James King, Victoria said...

I can't imagine Ms Macdonald is too appreciative of being woodshedded by Miss doubt there will be another shoe hitting the floor in the fullness of time...Mary would certainly have been on this one Ross.

Chuckstraight said...

Debt free BC -wasn`t that the logo on Christy Clark`s campaign bus? How`s that working out for us?
The race to the bottom continues.
I say no to site C regardless. Stop the growth.
Start the sustainability.
The assault on unions will continue. In Kelowna the laundry at the hospital will be privatized-more union jobs gone .

cfvua said...

It would appear that the good Minister Bennett, is pre-occupied in trying to fix hunting allocation, which could prove to bite the Liebs in the derriere. Could Jumbo be starting to be a pain there for the Minister, after all that whole area would have been removed from somebody's guiding territory. What was the payoff?
The main irrelevance in the labour issue is the Hochstein group who still think that rounding up skilled labour still happens at the pool hall and beer parlour. Trades=BAD Carpenter in the morning, crane operator in the afternoon. Would he really call a plumber to fix the toilet or would just anyone do?