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FORSETH – Guess which govt news releases were before election, and after

B.C. Wildfire Service photo of Pantage Lake fire.

CARE TO GUESS which of the following news story starts, from the B.C. Government News on Demand website, ran prior to the start of the B.C. provincial election — and which have run since after the election?

  • Effective immediately, the new allowable annual cut for the Quesnel Timber Supply Area is set at 2,607,000 cubic metres, chief forester Diane Nicholls announced today…
  • Floodwaters and groundwater in many places in the Central Interior are expected to continue to rise, and the threat may not be over for some time…
  • Effective at noon on June 15, 2017, the size of open fires will be restricted at all elevations throughout the entire Kamloops Fire Centre to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect the public…
  • All travellers, including drivers, pedestrians and cyclists, are reminded that McKenzie Avenue will be closed while construction crews install the new Galloping Goose Trail bridge as part of the McKenzie interchange project…
  • BC Wildfire Service crews have made good progress fighting the Pantage Lake wildfire, which is burning about five kilometres south of Pantage Lake and 40 kilometres northwest of Quesnel…
  • Post-secondary students at 16 colleges, institutes and universities throughout British Columbia will benefit from an investment of $1.3 million to raise awareness of the benefits of work experience among employers and students…
  • Provincial funding of over $10 million will bring more than 70 new affordable homes at two new housing developments in Kamloops…
  • The Province has provided $6 million to the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation to support the Vancouver Prostate Centre in expanding its Prostate Cancer Supportive Care Program throughout British Columbia…
  • The Province is providing $250,000 to the Kootenay Livestock Association over the next three years for projects administered under the Grassland and Rangeland Enhancement Program (GREP), Bill Bennett, MLA for Kootenay East, announced on behalf of Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson…
  • Members of Lake Babine Nation will benefit from forestry skills training and traditional ecological knowledge development that helps advance Lake Babine’s participation in the forest sector, made possible through $210,000 in funding from the Province…

The first five came from several releases following day one of the election campaign, and up to and including Friday, June 16.  The bottom five?  Well they ran in ONE single media release alone … dated April 7.

Prior to the 2013 provincial election, independent MLAs Vicki Huntington, John van Dongen and Bob Simpson released an 18-page document entitled the “Democratic Reform Agenda“.   In it were a number of suggestions regarding Election and Legislative reforms which NO political party in B.C. has to date seen fit to implement (although at long last we may be finally getting to campaign finance reform).

What was missing from these proposals?  One that would have ensured that government advertising, and media releases, remained NEUTRAL and NON-Partisan in nature.

Look again at the first five items listed above — informative in nature.  The next five?  Well, there can be no doubt they were written and released to do nothing more than promote the government — and by extension, the BC Liberal Party led by Christy Clark.

BUT … at least these blatant advertorials only came at the expense of the salaries, and office costs, of the hack who wrote them.  That did not, however, include the MILLION$ of dollar$ which were spent by the government on paid TV advertising blowing the government’s own horn, in ads that could have easily be mistaken for paid BC Liberal advertising.

Whoever ends up governing our province after June 22, one of the first orders of business should be to create legislation for an independent office to vet any and all media releases, and paid advertising, to ensure it is ONLY to advise on government services, and changes in legislation affecting British Columbians.  In other words, nothing PROMOTING the government of the day would be allowed.

Whether somehow miraculously Christy Clark’s BC Liberals continue as our provincial government … or it’s the John Horgan / Andrew Weaver GreeNDP … gaining the trust of British Columbians will take a huge step forward, in the trust department, by doing this one simple thing.

In Kamloops … I’m Alan Forseth.

Alan Forseth is a Kamloops resident and former member of the Reform Party of Canada, the B.C. Reform Party and the B.C. Conservative Party. His blog is My Thoughts on Politics and More.

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About Mel Rothenburger (4705 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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