OPINION: Goodies flow

Columnist Diana French on recent government funding announcements.

Provincial money bags have opened up and goodies are pouring out fast and furious for education, health care, heritage planning, whatever.

At one time Highways had dibs on the just-before-election dollars. Road crews were sent all over the place to make roads look good.

My husband worked for highways and once we had holidays booked when an election was called (no set dates then) and all holidays were cancelled.

I was miffed because it meant no visit with my parents at the coast — our kids in school required holidays during the holidays. I groused about it to an acquaintance, not knowing she had good political connections. A few days later my husband got a phone call from Highways Minister Alex Fraser telling him to take the holidays, there would be no repercussions. We did and there weren’t.

Acquaintance was pleased with herself and I have to admit I was pleased with her too.

Along with spending maxi dollars touting themselves and dissing their opponents, politicians seeking election make promises, probably because it works. Incumbent governments also find funding for long-overdue projects.

If they truly believe they are doing such a wonderful job governing, why not just brag about it?

Or do they suddenly realize some things are amiss and need fixing? For instance, after skimping for years, it took a court ruling for the current B.C. government to pony up adequate funding for education. Playing fairy godmother now won’t help the many students who were shortchanged over the last 15 years.

Politicians seeking power make promises too. They have to, they really don’t have a record to run on.

Alas, pre-election promises aren’t necessarily commitments. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made many promises before the federal election, and no doubt he garnered many votes because of them. It looks now as though he might be saving a few to re-promise  next time around.

Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune.She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.

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