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Monday, April 20, 2009

Better know a party - the BC Conservatives

As I mentioned here on Saturday, it's election-time in BC, and I've been speaking with party leaders, candidates and 'stakeholders' in the campaign.

I've been focusing on issues of interest for readers of the Standard - namely liberty, and the threats to it.

Over the next two weeks we'll see about a dozen of these interviews.  To start with though, BC Conservative Party leader, Wilf Hanni.  Hanni's frequently called a 'spolier'.  In fact, in a response to an excerpt from our interview with Mr. Hanni which appeared here on Saturday, Mark Steyn reiterated this, writing:

Perhaps the most improbable headline I've ever featured in was this one from last year: "Steyn Could Decide Election"

... in British Columbia, John Martin seemed to think the [right-of-centre] Liberals' margin of victory in the last election was so narrow that, in the wake of the Maclean's show trial in Vancouver, a relatively small number of disaffected free-speechers could decide the party's fate...

So are the new Tories just spoilers who'll vindicate last year's headline by delivering the province back to the socialists? Or might they perhaps spur the Liberals to show some leadership on this issue?

Beyond free speech, we also looked at private health care, the civil forfeiture act (which is used to hand over property from marijuana growers to the police), and the Liberal Party.

The full interview is available below the fold.

Western Standard (WS): Do you support restrictions on election advertising and spending by ‘third parties’?

Wilf Hanni (WH):  No

WS: Are you aware of the Steyn/Macleans 'free-speech' case which was brought before the BC Human Rights Tribunal last year?  If so, would you support a reform of the BC Human Rights Code to eliminate sections which criminalize many forms of (non-violent) political speech?

WH: Yes, we are aware of that case. That has helped us to formulate a position to reform the human rights commisssion when we form government. Our position is as follows:

A BC Conservative Government will reform the BC Human Rights Tribunal:

We realize that it is neither fair nor equitable that complainants currently receive free legal representation no matter how frivolous the complaint, while defendants must pay their own legal fees.

WS: The Civil Forfeiture Act puts a reverse onus on property owners to show that they did not acquire their property with proceeds from crime.  Do you support a reform of this act to put the onus back on the crown, and to put a cap on the amount of property that can be seized by the government?

WH: We do not have a policy on this issue. My natural inclination is to beware of any law that puts the onus on the individual to prove his or her innocence. This goes against the very basis of English Common Law, on which our entire system of government is based.

WS: Will your party support more experimentation in private health care delivery?

WH: We believe that there are many improvements that can be made to the public health care system and we believe that every British Columbian should be entitled to receive the best quality of care possilbe in the public system. However, we also believe that there may be some definate cost savings and some definate reductions in waiting times and improvements to the delivery of health care services that may be possible by allowing some competion in the health care industry. This has already been mandated by the courts in the Province of Quebec, who determined that it was unconstitutional to force a patient to wait in line for public health care when help was available much more wuickly from private sources.

WS: What has your party done to advance the cause of liberty in British Columbia during the last term?

WH: We have not held any seats in the Legislature in the lat term. However, we are developing policies to ensure that liberty will be protected under a BC Conservative Government. This will include freedom from persecution, religious freedom and the freedom of speech.

WS: When will BC recover from what the IMF is now calling, ‘the Great Recession’?  And what measures would you introduce in the next session to assist in the recovery?

WH: No one knows how long the "great recession" will last. What is clear is that British Columbia has an abundance of wealth in our natural resources, including coal, methane gas, petroleum and natural gas as well as timber and precious metals. It also includes non traditional sources of energy like wind power, tidal power and in stream hydro-electric power. These resources could be developed for the benefit of British Columbians and new uses and new markets could be found which would help to diversify our economy and afford some protection against the effects of the "great recession" This could begin immediately.

WS: Besides those questions, I'd be interested in learning your views on the state of your party, and of the Conservative movement in BC.  Who do you see as your party's natural constituency and how do you intend to reach them over the course of the election?

WH: Our Party's natural constituency is the majority of the voters in British Columbia who are conservative but have voted for the BC Liberals because they had no better alternative. The BC Liberals are NOT a conservative party and never were. Today, they are more left wing than they have ever been, with the introduction of the carbon tax, the gag law and the proposed recognition and reconcilliation act which will grant Aboriginal Title to most or all of British Columbia. The conservative voters of British Columbia have been deserted by the BC Liberals and will now turn to the BC Conservative Party.

We will not form the government on may 12th, but we will elect enough MLA's to form the balance of power in a minority government. That minority government may be either Liberal or NDP. It really does not matter which one it is because neither is qualified to govern British Columbia. However, with the Balance of Power, we will be in a position to keep a minority government accountable to the voters and prevent them from doing much damage to British Columbia.


You can find Wilf Hanni and the BC Conservatives online at a very familiar looking*: www.conservativesbc.com

Posted by Robert Jago on April 20, 2009 in Canadian Provincial Politics | Permalink


They're probably being funded with drug money. The Standard is trying to split the vote on the right so their "Guns and Drugs" pals get off easier with an NDP government, just like the Standard is trying to get the Liberals elected federally.

You are a sick man, Robert Jago. Liberty my ass, you're a straight thug, and a closet NDP socialist to boot. We should be enacting provisions of the Emergencies Act (formerly War Measures Act), not getting even softer on these brazen murderers.

Posted by: No Commies | 2009-04-20 3:49:12 AM

But if we jail druggies and use them for impressed (slave) labor, think of the money we'll save then! We'll have pristine highway embankments all over the continent. Tis but to dream.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-04-20 6:09:36 AM

Are their policies better than the BC Liberals? Mostly yes. Are their policies recycled Socred family values and populism? Mostly yes. Are they too much into many things that would be better left to the private sector? Mostly yes. Are they naive or ignorant in policy areas where I have expertise? Of course.

Are they worth the cost of another NDP term or two? Doubtful.

Posted by: John Chittick | 2009-04-20 12:19:38 PM

What family values are the B.C. Conservatives pushing? Are they opposing abortion or gay marriage? Are they supporting a concealed carry or self defense law? Are they for homeschooling and school vouchers? On a scale of 1 to 10(with 10 being the most conservative), the Liberals are a 5.5 and the B.C. Conservatives are a 5.8. There is no right leaning party competing in BC. The battle is between socialist left and freee market centrists.

Posted by: Jackson | 2009-04-20 7:24:36 PM

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