Money is made available for gas companies
Editor: Education Minister Peter Fassbender has stated $1 billion would be needed to restore teacher-pupil class ratios to 2002 levels, and there’s insufficient funding in our budget to pay teachers, when he announced the provincial government’s appeal of Judge Susan Griffin’s decision.
Yet there’s nothing in the Charter of Rights, or gas company contracts, that says our BC Liberals had to refund gas companies $116 million in 2013, and a total of $840 million since 2004. These royalty refunds, over roughly the same time frame, are a glaring example of government priorities.
The Infrastructure Royalty Credits Program refunds industry up to half the cost of access roads and pipeline construction. Check the program at this government site: www.empr.gov.bc.ca/og/oilandgas/royalties/infdevcredit/pages/default.aspx
On the other hand, the Charter does guarantee that governments bargain in good faith with public employees. Given the gift of $840 million back to gas companies, I cannot accept Fassbender’s budgetary reasons for violating the Charter and going to court a third time.
Contracts must be respected and honoured by our elected government representatives, and especially by our premier and cabinet ministers.