What with summer holidays and all, I fell a little behind in my reading of the best of the local long form blogs over the past month or so.
And the best of those just may be Paul Ramsey's 'Clever Elephant'. A few weeks ago Paul gave us an in-depth breakdown of our New Era government's latest expenditures on IT outsourcing:
...(I)n this year’s analysis of IT outsourcing we have a surprise result: total spending on IT contractors by the BC central government actually fell in the 2015/16 budget year.
The fall-off is almost entirely the result of a collapse of billings to the central government by IBM, though Deloitte had a small fall-off also.
Other IT contractors continued to bill heartily, including massive category leader HP Advanced Systems (HPAS) who billed a very respectable $163,499,787. For comparison, that’s more than was spent on the Ministries of Energy & Mines, Agriculture, Small Business, and International Trade, combined...
...The fall-off is almost entirely the result of a collapse of billings to the central government by IBM, though Deloitte had a small fall-off also.
Since 2010, IBM’s billings to central government have fallen in four of the last six years, which leads me to a question: what’s the matter with Big Blue?
After further research, the answer is this: nothing at all. Big Blue is doing just fine. It turns out that the fall off in IBM billing to central government has been more than offset by a massive increase in IBM billing to the Provincial Health Authorities...
...When Health Authority spending is taken into acount, IBM revenue from the BC government has not fallen at all. It has instead been on an almost unbroken tear upwards, taking total government IT outsourcing spending to just under $700 million dollars in 2014/15...
Paul also chronicles how underwhelming the spending has been for locally-sourced IT companies.
'Cause that's where the real jobs for real British Columbians isn't, right?
And speaking of real jobs for real British Columbians in the Clark government portion of the Golden Era (i.e. the entire five years, not just the last bubble-driven year which the Klout Club loves to trumpet, even as those numbers, too, are now starting to fall off), Dermod Travis of Integrity BC has the direct comparisons with the other big four provinces:
Mr. Travis, who is indefatigable, is also breaking through regularly into the proMedia, which is a good thing.
And, of course, regardless your employment and/or bus pass situation, in British Columbia that tax shift away from the de-regulated money piles of the cronies onto the backs of the citizenry just keeps on keepin' on, which got Harvey O hopping uppity recently:
...The Liberals LOVE to tell you … and the investment world … how LOW our TAXES are.
Unfortunately, you can’t get that deal … if you live here … without buying the rest of the package.
And adding those extra costs on to your “low” provincial income taxes will cost you plenty … MUCH more than they advertise!
Just this week, ICBC announced yet another price hike for MANDATORY basic coverage: 4.9% … on top of another 5.5% increase last year … and, if you drive, no way to avoid it.
I don’t know about you …but I surmise whether you are employed or on pension ..YOUR income has NOT come close to rising that much over the past two years!
ICBC blames rising costs related to accidents, injuries, claims.
But don’t forget: the BC government … like an organized crime syndicate … has also shaken down ICBC for more than HALF A BILLION DOLLARS since 2012 in ”dividends”. Vito Corleone would have smiled at that!
Let’s face it, that “dividend” is just another tax.
This year …nothing to do with the coming election, I’m sure … the BC government says it will forego its $160 million “dividend” from ICBC. Are we really supposed to be grateful? I wonder if re-elected, they’ll make up for that next year …and the year after …and the year after?...
And then, of course, there's that small matter of Hydro rates and MSP premiums which Mr. Oberfeld also goes into.
Speaking of Hydro, to digress from the chronicling of the blogs themselves (but not necessarily blog writers) for a moment...
Somehow I do not think that Norm Farrell and/or the actual consumption numbers support the good Ms. McDonald's claims.
Speaking of Site C, Laila Yuile had Roger Bryenton of the BC Hydro Ratepayers Association explain the magnitude of the 'mistake' over at her blog recently.
Turns out it's not the just cost of the dam that will keep us paying and paying and paying...
And paying some more, despite what the Ol' Turdstormer said back on April Fools day:
..The “numbers” for the cost of power from Site C, delivered to the lower mainland and Vancouver Island, locations of most of the power users, is $145/MWh, based on Eoin Finn and Erik Andersen’s numbers we have developed. This is in sharp contrast to the Minister’s email from April 1st, stating that the cost would be $64/MWh. Either he is badly informed or he is lying. The $145 is also much greater than the IPP’s have been criticized for selling to BCH, at $100/MWh...
And, as Norm Farrell has explained ad nauseum, the ridiculous 'contracted' prices of IPP electricity is already costing us dearly.
Merv Adey, the blogger who elicited the comment from the BC Hydro CEO above, ended his summer with an excellent post on the 'weathervane' governance practices of the Clark government:
...The BC Liberals in their approach to public education have long since abandoned any pretense to a realistic appraisal of needs in the system, though their own finance committee has repeatedly recommended raising public education spending after a decade and more of cuts vs inflation.
Likewise, the philosophy of deregulation in real estate has reached a predictable and absurd end in which a culture of criminality has permeated a most important industry to government revenues, and the government has decided it’s time to take a bigger slice of the pie, while nibbling at the margins of the real problems driving housing unaffordability throughout the lower mainland and southern Vancouver Island...
Changing gears, but only a wee bit...
In the wake of a NaPo story which noted that the private Cambie Surgery Centre provides care for worker's compensation board clients, the notorious NVG had this to say:
...(Cambie Surgery Centre's) Dr. Day is funding his legal challenge to privatize the health care of all Canadians using funds 'earned' from the BC Provincial Government coffers...
And finally, local philosopher king Mr. Beer 'N Hockey, who has an important post up today about root causes, also had this to say about those lemmings without a cliff who have been mindlessly partaking in the summer's already fading fast fad:
...Sonja and I went for a picnic. More of a wine-nic really. Eventually I had to water my horse so I walked over to the sh*thouse while Sonja kept an eye on the wine.
There were a lot strange looking motherf*ckers in the vicinity of the sh*thouse. They appeared to be lost. As if their smartphones were all acting up or something.
I asked one of them, "Pokemon?"
Ol' Turdstormer?....Well...You know.