Advises Horgan to start running ‘Can you trust this person now?’ ads against Clark right away
BY RATTAN MALL
KASH Heed, former B.C. solicitor general, told The VOICE on Thursday that Premier Christy Clark abrupt turnabout on social programs this week was predictable based on her leadership style.
He said: “Her desire to hold power, to be a dictator, just foreshadows everything she is going to be. She is going to be whatever she can to try and maintain power or at least get back at people that are opposed to her governing the province of B.C.”
Kash told me: “She has continued to do what she thinks is popular, rather than the right thing to do.”
That was evident by her announcement that she would invest one billion dollars in child care and also deal with some of the other social programs.
He pointed out: “For years her government has been criticized for the lack of funding in these critical areas and at no time, even during this past election, did she ever indicate that she was willing to budge on her stubbornness in these particular areas and provide adequate funds.”
He added: “So when she comes out and makes the announcement such as this latest one [on child care on Wednesday], you have to suspect right away after all these years of denying there is a problem, all of a sudden she is going to dedicate money towards this because she knows that that is a problem with people that are voters.”
Heed also noted that Clark was making it out to look that she is the one providing extra funding for the education system “when we know for 13 years the Liberals fought this issue and at the end of the day, they were forced to put money into it because of a Supreme Court decision.”
He said bluntly: “Now she just cannot accept defeat. Her arrogance in leadership … will hurt the party in the long run, in my opinion. She continues to cost taxpayers dearly with no accountability for her irrational leadership.”
Heed also blasted Clark for her lack of graciousness as he pointed out: “She is trying to say she is going with the democratic system. There is certainly some discretion in that democratic system. She could have graciously bowed out when in fact the Green Party and the NDP formed their coalition to govern the province.”
He added: “But she cannot be anything gracious. She fights it to the last minute because it’s not her money. It’s our money she is spending. So calling the House back, going through this theatre over in Victoria is just costing and costing and costing the taxpayers.”
THE VOICE asked Heed if it would be wise for the Liberals to replace Clark as their leader.
He responded: “Well, here’s my prediction on it. If in fact we are forced into an early election, she will maintain leadership of that particular party because there is a good likelihood she has a chance of governing the province of British Columbia once more.”
He noted: “Since Election Day they’ve carried on with fundraising and they’ve accumulated a fair amount of funds to carry them to a quick election. We know the other parties are nowhere near where they need to be in order to go into another election. So strategically, she does have an advantage there.”
But he also pointed out: “If in fact there is no election within the next six months to a year, I think the knives will come out in the party. There are a few knives out there right now for her because she is failing to take ownership of the reason why they did not have a better showing than they did this last (election) – she’s refusing, and I think you’ve seen that arrogance of Christy Clark over the last month.”
Heed said: “So at the end of the day I think there will be … several people, if there is a leadership race, who will throw their hats into the rink. I think at the end of the day, there will be a bitter battle between two people: I think Kevin Falcon has an interest of getting back in the government. I think Andrew Wilkinson, who is a bright individual – and he’s very clean, will throw his hat in the rink and I think it will be down to those two as a battle at the end of the day.”
Wilkinson is the MLA for Vancouver-Quilchena and the Attorney General and Minister for Justice.
Heed said that there could also be some close associates of Clark such as Brad Bennett who might want the party leadership. Brad could be hoping to “again re-establish the Social Credit / Liberal government here in the province of B.C.”
Incidentally, Kelowna businessman Brad Bennett, who campaigned with Clark, is the grandson of W.A.C. Bennett, Social Credit premier of B.C. (1952 to 1972) and the son of Bill Bennett, Social Credit premier (1975-1986).
THEN Heed told me: “What [NDP Leader] John Horgan has to do, in my opinion, is to remind the voters of the failure of Christy Clark and the Liberal Government to address “significant needs of the voters such as what we just discussed – all of those social issues – over the years.”
Heed referred to the aggressive ads that the then-prime minister Stephen Harper had run against the then-federal Liberal Party leader Michael Ignatieff almost to the point of “Can you actually trust this guy?”
He said it would be wise for the NDP to start running those ads right now because you can show what Clark has said over the years on, for example, the social programs and what she is saying now with the theme of ‘can you trust this person now?’
Heed added: “You almost want to get that in the minds of the voters right now because they most likely will be going to an election – I am not sure if it’s going to be in the next few months or if it’s going to be in the next couple of years.”