Gordon Clark: Eby’s ‘security concerns’ are an insult to his constituents
That seems to be the prevailing public sentiment concerning Vancouver-Point Grey MLA David Eby and his decision to cancel a public meeting about the NDP’s despicable “school” surtax on homes over $3 million because of “safety concerns.” It’s a well-deserved denunciation, especially since Eby’s entire career, if one can call it that, has been dedicated to protesting one thing after another.
Eby and his buddies are trying to sell the notion that it was irresponsible of Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson to urge citizens to attend the event, which Eby had attempted to control by issuing a limited number tickets and framing it as a “discussion” between those opposed to the tax and its advocates.
Yeah, nice try, but politics doesn’t work like that. Citizens, especially those hurt by the NDP’s bogus “school” surtax — and all the other envy taxes the NDP hopes to employ to expropriate hard-earned property wealth from British Columbians — won’t be stage managed.
They are pissed off, and for good reason. They already pay staggering levels of tax, often from pensions, and the NDP is changing the rules on them in going after their main assets, acquired through great effort over long careers.
In claiming “safety concerns,” Eby not only comes across as disingenuous, but as a fool. Clearly, the meeting was cancelled because he didn’t want to end up on the news being berated by a large crowd of angry grey hairs. To suggest his constituents represent a “security” threat is beyond bizarre. Those folks might be angry, but the odds of some septuagenarian from Point Grey taking a swing at Eby is, well, do I really need to finish that sentence?
If Eby is truly frightened to face his almost exclusively well-educated, professional-class and retired constituents, he should find another line of work. Frankly, there’s a high chance he will have to anyway after the next election. Does he think he would have been elected last year if he’d run on bringing in these taxes?
But there is something else about Eby’s “security concerns” comment that is more sinister, reflecting an ugly habit of the NDP and others on the left (although some on the right also do it) to manipulate language for political ends with little regard for truth. We can — and should — laugh at Eby’s ridiculous security comment, but it is also a not-too-subtle defamation of his critics in implying they would resort to violence.
This happens frequently on university campuses when controversial figures such as University of Toronto psychology professor and best-selling author Jordan Peterson are invited to speak. Activists, usually from the left, threaten violence and events get cancelled for “security concerns” by cowardly university officials with a shockingly low commitment to free speech.
I’ve noticed the Horgan government frequently manipulates language. The “school tax” is clearly a wealth tax. In justifying its new and additional property taxes in ads, the NDP goes on about “foreign investors” and “speculators” in blaming — as others have more terrifyingly through history — outsider scapegoats for our pricey housing. Turns out, “foreign investors” are a relatively small part of the market (and we invited them to come and invest here) and the “speculators” are largely Canadians who have often owned B.C. properties for decades. Worse, the NDP is doing almost nothing to address the real cause — low supply.
What about the language the NDP uses in justifying its new law to kill private health care, claiming it was to “protect” British Columbians? Setting aside their disrespect for the court in bringing in the new law while in the middle of a lawsuit on the matter, the NDP is actually trying to protect the party’s biggest sacred cow — socialized medicine — not patients.
The NDP would rather have people wait in agony for months or years for joint surgery slowly rationed out by public officials than let them pay for private care that would increase the number of surgeries completed each year in a mixed medical system found everywhere else in the developed world.
How about Premier John Horgan dismissing the Kinder Morgan pipeline as in the interest of “Texas boardrooms?” I don’t know what NDP backroom bozo came up with that talking point, but the pipeline actually means thousands of jobs, billions in taxes for Canadians and lower gas prices, not to mention that many Canadians, including the pension funds millions of us rely on, are invested in the company.
NDP politicians can play word games and political spin all they want, but voters aren’t stupid, as Eby is learning. They see through it.
Gordon Clark is a columnist and editorial pages editor for The Province.