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NEWS RELEASE · 8th September 2010
BC NDP Caucus
Over $1 million for failed spin campaigns revealed over last two weeks

The shocking revelation that the B.C. Liberals spent more than $360,000 for a flashy announcement that the controversial Site C dam proposal would go ahead to the next stage shows this is a government in chaos that has no qualms about using public money to save their own skin, say New Democrats.

“It is truly appalling to see the amount of public money the B.C. Liberals are flushing down the toilet, or literally shredding in some cases,” said John Horgan, New Democrat energy critic.

A freedom of information request by the Globe and Mail revealed the B.C. Liberals paid $360,000 to a Liberal-friendly party planning company to stage the April 19 announcement that the Site C dam would be moving to the environmental assessment stage. Horgan noted that the bill included $9,000 for a private jet to fly Premier Gordon Campbell to the event at the WAC Bennett Dam in B.C.’s northeast.

“This wasn’t an announcement that shovels would be going in the ground to start building a new dam tomorrow; this was an announcement that the project was moving to the third stage of a five-stage process. This should have been a two-page press release,” said Horgan, noting that stage two lasted three years.

Last week the B.C. Liberals revealed they spent $780,000 on pamphlets that were designed and printed in support of the HST, then promptly shredded without ever being seen by anyone.

“Between the HST pamphlets and the Site C photo op, to see more than a million taxpayer dollars spent in failed damage control and spin for a fatally wounded premier is sickening,” said Horgan.

“To make matters worse for taxpayers, the newly passed B.C. Liberal Energy Act gives the premier and cabinet control over billions of dollars worth of energy projects with no public oversight. Coupled with the B.C. Liberals’ unwavering support for private power producers at all costs, they are forcing B.C. Hydro, the jewel of our Crown corporations, towards financial ruin,” added Horgan.