...About Renting Private Jets.
From a piece by Bob Mackin in today's Tyee:
Premier Christy Clark's controversial visit to Haida Gwaii to give $150,000 to a school under federal jurisdiction was her most expensive charter jet trip between late November and March.
The $8,170 round-trip on Nov. 26 was among 14 trips for photo opportunities and speeches that added $54,000 to the more than $500,000 Clark has spent on private jets since she became premier in March 2011.
Clark, four aides (including videographer Kyle Surovy) and her RCMP bodyguard flew from Vancouver to Massett on Orca Airways. She went to announce a $150,000 grant to the Old Massett Village Council so it could explore building a $4-million auditorium at an on-reserve elementary school...
Never mind the fact that it is still not clear what the actual motivations were for bestowing said 'grant', unannounced and out of the blue, to a school that is not under provincial jurisdiction while using a local politician as the intermediary who was just happened to be in the midst of a close election race at the time as well as being a supporter of a mega-project being proposed by a close relative of our fine premier.
Instead, for the purposes of this post at least, how about we consider the following question...
How many monthly bus passes for disabled folks could that $8,170 spent on the Premier's ultra-fine three-hour-tour have funded at $52 a pass?
Well, using that new-fangled math thing called long division, I get 157.
Which means that 157 people, who otherwise could not afford to (thanks to the Premier and her policies) get to the grocery store, doctor's appointments, school, therapy, the rec center, their Mom's house and, maybe even, the beach, if Ms. Clark had foregone her cheque backed-stopped photo-op.
As NVG mentioned recently in the comments, more often than not Ms. Clark could learn as much or more on her jet-setting, fact-finding junkets much more cheaply if she were instead to use Google earth.
But, then again, if our fine Premier were to do that it would leave a digital footprint behind and she wouldn't get all that videographer-generated PR pablum on the side.
Of course, there is great monetary irony in the political jujitsu of the clawback, because, in spite of the faux accounting arguments given that the funds just travel between various arms of government, giving folks bus passes who need them most would actually cost the rest of us absolutely nothing...So, what is this really all about, in addition to the longstanding Campbell/Clark government policy of making the poor pay for all of their ideologically-driven austerity pool party bills?...Well, I reckon some wizardly apparatchik got a bee in their bonnet (and then jammed it into Cookie Dough Mike's bluetooth-free ear) when they learned that, gasp!, some folks were selling their passes....Now, here's the thing...Was the extra, say $75 bucks a pop making anybody rich...Or...Was it an entreprenurial way help them make ends meet given how long the disability support rates have been, essentially, frozen?
And, as for the videography...As best we can tell, the YouTubian record of the tour has a whopping total of 513 views so far...Now, before anybody does the long division with at aggregate $158K as the numerator, you should know that the number 513 (which falls nicely between 404 and 801) is actually pretty high when it is compared to almost all of the rest of the PR pablum found...Here....Truth be told, I, for one, am mildly surprised somebody doesn't have those whip-smart Bob Mackin-attackin', Klout Club-lovin' BC Liberal young-uns banging those levers 24/7...Or, is it just that there are too many levers and not enough recruits and/or summer interns to go around?