B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson and MLAs at the B.C. legislature. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

LETTER: Fletcher forgets B.C. Liberals’ ‘weasel party’ at legislature

Salary escalation occurred under Gordon Campbell’s watch

Re: NDP government resumes taxing, spending to battle poverty (B.C. Views, Feb. 3).

Tom Fletcher’s columns always lean to the right in keeping with Black Press beliefs, and I am good with that. We “Utopian socialists” likely need someone to point out the reality that there are many British Columbians who see things differently than we do. I am often influenced by reading his point of view.

His recent column “NDP resume taxing, spending to battle poverty” spends very little time worrying about the poor, and a lot of time worrying about the poor people who own two homes and leave one empty or full of lazy relatives, and might be subject to pay some taxes to help relieve poverty for our less fortunate citizens.

OK, I understand that those two-house people are his constituents. But he goes a bit too far for this “Utopian socialist” when he starts praising B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson for his assurances that he would put an end to the flagrant abuse of the citizens by legislative officials.

Fletcher chooses to ignore the fact that it was his predecessor Gordon Campbell who raised all their wages, and all the wages of senior public servants so high, and convinced them that they were so special, under the guise of higher productivity. I must admit that it certainly improved their shopping skills.

For Wilkinson to claim that he and his party are the ones to clean this up smacks of trusting the weasel to clean up the chicken house after holding a big weasel party there. The NDP for its part has committed to now allow freedom of information requests on legislature business, which seems to me to be at least a baby step in the right direction. No mention of that from Fletcher.

Fletcher pledges in the end to “drink to that,” in response to Wilkinson’s bluster. I would suggest he should check the colour of that Kool-Aid before he slugs it back.

Rod Retzlaff, Glade, B.C.

Tom Fletcher replies: The suggestion to extend freedom of information legislation was made by Information and Privacy Commissioner Michael McEvoy, and endorsed by NDP house leader Mike Farnworth, after the column was published.

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