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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Never say never again

Those who remember Gary Collins, who was B.C.'s Finance Minister until last December, may be interested to know that he hasn't lost his skill at answering questions as a politician does.

Mr. Collins, who is now the CEO of Harmony Airways, was recently interviewed by Business Edge, a Vancouver business affairs newspaper. Mr. Collins gave a standard answer when asked why he had decided to leave politics.

(snip)

"Why did you resign as B.C. Finance Minister last December?"

[Mr. Collins] "Because I'd been doing it for 14 years and I have a very young family. I had sort of completed what I think I went there to do. I looked at all the indicators, all the work we had done and sort of said, "Well, where do I go for the next four years?" I thought it was probably an opportune time to get out of elected office and let someone else have a go at it. I never viewed it as a lifetime career. I viewed it as something I would do for a while, as long as I could continue, and then move on."

(snip)

Okay, we can conclude that Mr. Collins has had his fill of politics, right? Yes. No, I mean no! Well, you can imagine that I was a little confused by his answer to a qustion later on in the interview.

(snip)

"What would it take for you to be lured back into politics?"

[Mr. Collins] "People have asked me if I would ever go back and the answer is 'Yeah, I would go back.' I'm not planning on going back. It's not something that I am waiting for to happen. If the right issues come along and I felt I could contribute and I would add value to improving things or solving a problem, then you know, I might consider it. But its certainly not something I have written down in an agenda pad. I'm doing what I am doing now. I'm very interested in it. I have lots of challenges to keep me busy for the next number of years and we'll see what happens."

Let's parse this. The answers seem to me to be, in order:

1) Yes

2) Yes, but don't hold me to that.

3)Yes, if the generic conditions that led me to politics in the first place happen again. [Politicians are only unable to "make a positive contribution" or "solve problems" in places like Stalin's Russia or Castro's Cuba"]

4. No, on second thought don't assume that I will go back to politics because I don't have plans to do so...

5. ...because I have lots of challenges to keep me busy...

6. ...for the next few years which may mean "until I become Premier of B.C.," or "retire".

Spin worthy of a Maytag washer. :)  Within a single paragraph, no less.

Posted by Rick Hiebert on September 29, 2005 in Canadian Provincial Politics | Permalink

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Comments

Mr. Heibert is the Maytag washer here, not Mr. Collins. This is a pure hatchet job.

Mr. Collins says he had accomplished all he had set out to do and, so, retired from politics. But, if someone can give Mr. Collins a reason to return to politics he would consider returning. What could be more reasonable than this?

Mr. Collins' comments so disturbed Mr. Heibert that he felt he had to invoke the names of Stalin and Castro for some sort of comparison. One can only shake one's head at this truly silly comparison.

I have never heard of Mr. Heibert before today and, if this is the best he can do, I hope to never hear of him again.

Posted by: michael hammer | 2005-09-29 6:44:40 PM


You're just another another left turn to the fact manipulation dump.

Posted by: Jim | 2005-09-29 7:44:12 PM


I'll side with Michael Hammer on this one. I read the entire article, having a copy of Business Edge with me. It appears on the surface that Mr. Hiebert has some particular axe to grind with Mr. Collins, though the axe itself is not directly addressed. It's a drive-by smearing.

Mr. Hiebert points out that Mr. Collins "contradicts" himself, Mr. Collins having offered different outcomes for different circumstances. And yet, we're not even offered an opinion as to why we should be looking at Mr. Collins with suspicion. Really...does this have any more relevance than Mr. Hiebert's neighbour contradicting himself in an over-the-fence conversation last week?

Mr. Hiebert, maybe I'm the dumb one here. Would you be so kind as to explain to me the relevance to The Shotgun of a private-sector CEO's interview about what he may or may not do regarding future employment? Or perhaps you were just looking for a reason to look clever by using "spin" and "Maytag" in the same sentence.

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