FACE TO FACE: Should B.C. voters look back on the NDP 1990s in fear?
I had to chuckle the other day hearing NDP leader Adrian Dix try to defend his government's record of the 1990s.
In a radio interview, Dix bragged that B.C.'s annual economic growth in the 1990s was greater than the economic growth in the decade that ended in 2010.
I'm no economist but maybe, just maybe, that had something to do with the fact that, in 2008, we experienced the largest worldwide economic slowdown since the 1920s.
Putting aside Mr. Dix's attempts at revisionist history, I think the appropriate way to analyze the NDP's record in the 1990s is to compare B.C.'s economic performance to that of the rest of Canada:
During the NDP's reign of terror, B.C. ranked last in private sector job creation in all of Canada and suffered from the highest unemployment rate of all the Western provinces.
Real disposable income dropped every year between 1991 and 1997 and while bankruptcies across Canada fell by 13%, they rose by 12% in British Columbia.
And let's not forget the eight consecutive deficits, which led to not one but two credit rating downgrades and the worst fiscal record in Canada.
It got so bad during the 1990s that British Columbians left in droves to find better opportunities elsewhere. B.C. lost an average of 10,000 people a year to other provinces and in the NDP's last full year in government, nearly 14,800 people left the province.
Things were so bad that the good people of British Columbia decimated the NDP at the polls in 2001 and left them with just two seats.
The lefties will tell you these statistics are ancient history. I wish that were the case. These statistics are relevant because many of the same players are still involved in the NDP spewing the same old high-tax and high-spend socialist rhetoric.
Adrian Dix was Glen Clark's chief of staff. Mike Farnworth was around handing out casino licenses. Other prominent members of the era include current MLAs Jenny Kwan, Sue Hammel, Leonard Krog and Harry Lali.
These are the same folks who brought us the fudge-it budgets, the fast ferries, bingo-gate and a disgraceful economic record.
Do they really deserve a second chance?
Andy Radia is a Coquitlam resident and political columnist who writes for Yahoo! Canada News and Vancouver View Magazine. He has been politically active in the Tri-Cities, having been involved with election campaigns at all three levels of government, including running for Coquitlam city council in 2005.