By Harvey Oberfeld
November 30th, 2015
If Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Geez… I still find it difficult to call him that! ) is serious about cleaning house and making a fresh start at restoring public confidence in the federal government and institutions, he should move NOW to FIRE Gordon Campbell as Canada’s High Commissioner to the UK.
He can get him to “retire” or “move on to pursue new opportunities” or cite “personal reasons” … or whatever: the end result is Campbell MUST go.
I personally have never seen Campbell’s appointment to Britain as anything more than a “well done, thou good and faithful servant” sop by Gordon Campbell to a disgraced politician who was resoundingly rejected by his own people … the voters of BC … in that great outpouring of public anger … the HST referendum.
Citizens were so incensed by Campbell’s and the Liberal government’s handling of how the HST was foisted on them, the arguments pro and con the HST were lost in a province-wide rebellion against not only the hated tax, but what they saw as hated political back-stabbing.
We must NEVER forget all the obstacles the “NO to HST” campaign faced: the almost impossible requirements to even a referendum scheduled; the massive advertising campaign (using public funds) to defend the tax; and, yes, the massive media and pundits campaign to discredit the “NO” side and support the Big Business corporate campaign to keep the tax.
Not to mention …but let’s … the deceit and secret negotiations by the Liberal with Harper and the Conservative government to bring in the tax … well before the provincial election … without revealing the truth to BC voters.
The voters spoke out LOUDLY … the HST was repealed ….and Campbell resigned in 2010, in what many saw as the ultimate move of disgrace.
Did that really deserve reward?
Harper thought so … and in August 2011 named Campbell High Commissioner to the UK …. as cushy a financial and prestigious payoff as I’ve ever seen.
Too bad we couldn’t hold a referendum on that decision!
Or maybe we did … look what the voters did to Harper. (For that and all kinds of other over-the-top decisions and injustices.)
Now it’s time for Trudeau to act … and take away Campbell’s sinecure.
I have no doubt, of course, that any new Trudeau appointment to the post, will be another partisan payoff to some party or personal or corporate supporter or partisan campaign ally.
But at least we can hope it will NOT be someone disgraced in his own province and rejected by his own voters.