Last week we sent out an email outlining ten important questions that everyone should be considering during this Leadership race. Below are my answers to the remaining questions.
7. What is more relevant, free enterprise business experience, nonprofit experience, or Government experience?
In my opinion, this is simple, and tangible results can prove it. If I ran my business like the politicians run our Province, I wouldn't be in business for very long... I have repeatedly said “I am not a politician”, this is what that means to me. I have lived my life with the threat of personal economic consequences for every decision I make. I don’t have the luxury of non-recourse spending. I can’t simply sit back and order a few studies with the hope of passing off blame if things don’t work out, the buck stops with me for better or worse. I don’t have a comfortable pension to rely on, and I can’t simply vote to increase my salary without increasing my results.
Some people in this race keep talking about their Government experience and how it makes such a difference, in my opinion, that is exactly our problem. If we keep relying on “Government experience” how will we ever fix Government, reign in spending, speed up timelines, provide better services to our citizens, and bring accountability to everyone on the taxpayer payroll. We need to stop looking at the Government as if it has a special status where common-sense rules don’t apply and start looking at it as the business it is. After all, it’s your hard-earned taxpayer dollars funding it and you should demand results.
8. How do we grow our economy? Fix healthcare? Affordable housing? Climate change?
Solving these items starts with one thing, a strong, competent Leader, who is not afraid of making executive decisions to get things done. We cannot rely on studies and focus groups to fix these problems. Many of the solutions are visible and common sense.
Our free-market economy needs less red tape, and most importantly, it needs to stop being vilified as the enemy in schools, universities, and in the media. Ethical businesses need to be championed and shown as the solution to our problems, not their creator. All these people who seem to believe that increased regulation and a larger government will solve every issue should take a closer look at Venezuela, or any of the other failed socialist states.
Healthcare, we need to stop hiring back of house administrators, and start hiring more front-line healthcare workers. In the last twenty years, the ratio of front line to back of house transitioned from 80/20 to approximately 50/50, yet has your healthcare services improved at all???
Affordable housing, this is the simplest item to fix. Housing prices function just like any commodity, supply, and demand. We will rezone large tracts of land at the Provincial level on day one, we will not wait for cities to debate where and how much for years. We will focus on transit corridors and allow hundreds of thousands of homes to be built immediately without a multiyear approvals process. Once the supply meets and exceeds demand, prices will moderate. This is the simplest thing to adjust, which is 100% within our control.
In addition, we will bring out a program to promote home ownership versus lifelong rental. If you can afford $1,500 a month in rent, we will guarantee that you can purchase a home through a Government backed mortgage, which when coupled with strata fees, and taxes equals the same amount. Lifelong rental “subscription service” for housing should not be our sole solution to affordable housing.
Climate change is real, and we need to take real action. The economic benefits from becoming known as a global leader in fighting it are immense. Every large company is looking for ways to improve their ESG “environmental, social, governance” scores. We can attract and retain significant investment from championing this cause.
These critical problems above need real, bold, and immediate action. I will be that champion, I will cut through the Government bureaucracy, and empower those around me to lead their respective portfolios to get things done. Perhaps most importantly, I will set strict deadlines for tangible action, and ensure real results are delivered to the citizens of this province no matter what, delivering tangible results is what I have done my entire life.
9. What do you believe the role of Government should be for the people of this Province?
Governments are there to serve the people, not the other way around. Government should not just be about creating lifelong union jobs, expanding bureaucracy and discovering new forms of red tape to impose. Government among other things should be there to provide security and safety to all its citizens, provide world leading healthcare, education and infrastructure, it should be there to support and champion the free economy, and not hold it back. All too often it seems like the only role government plays economically is finding more ways to regulate, tax, and restrict free enterprise. Under my watch this will end. We will champion the free enterprise sector and ensure that union and nonunion companies alike have equal opportunity to bid on Government work.
10. How do you create a Government that serves a greater majority of all British Columbians.
This starts with electing a leader who has lived the life of the majority of British Columbians. For a Leader to truly be there for everyone, they need to have walked in everyone’s shoes. I have lived those lives, I was a refugee immigrant who didn’t speak a word of English when I arrived as a young boy, I lived in the far north without running water or electricity, I started working on a construction site at 16, and I have built a highly successful real estate development company over the past forty years that has delivered thousands of homes and generated hundreds of millions in economic revenue. I can interact with and most importantly understand the vast majority of British Columbians. Electing a leader who doesn’t have a broad ability to connect with their electorate is bound to end in failure. We need to ensure Government leadership represents the people and is for the people.
If you like so many others we have talked to are fed up with the status quo old guard in our party, we need your vote on February 5th to win this election. If you have already promised your first vote to another candidate, please consider putting us down as a second option on the ballot.
As always, please do not hesitate to reply to this email with your thoughts or answers to the questions. I truly appreciate the responses I have received so far, regardless of opinion.
BC Liberal Leadership Candidate
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Voting registration is now open, please remember to register, and don’t forget to tune in to the final, televised debate on January 18th.