The path to economic recovery in B.C. will never be successfully travelled if we keep shooting ourselves in the foot.
If B.C.'s economy really is going to surge again, as the Christy Clark Liberals claim their Jobs Plan will achieve, we can't afford to have major works projects - and the jobs they generate - shipped out of the province.
And it's more galling when the it's a public agency outsourcing the work.
Unions are speaking out about Greater Vancouver's transit agency, TransLink, contracting with a foreign shipbuilder to build a new $25-million SeaBus. But unions aren't the only ones who are angry. People from all over the political spectrum are astonished our public money is being used to create jobs elsewhere in the world.
If it must be spent, public money should create jobs here - especially when a B.C. company can do the job just as well and about as competitively.
If it costs a few dollars more, that's a small price to pay to create jobs here.
B.C. shipyards were deemed good enough by the federal government to handle an $8-billion Coast Guard contract If they can do that, surely they can build a Sea Bus.
And, in fact, they have. The other Sea Buses in the TransLink fleet were all built in Vancouver and Victoria.
Decisions like this, and B.C. Ferries' decision in 2004 to build boats in Germany, are a misuse of taxpayers' money.
That's our money these government agencies are using to ship jobs out of the province.
The government should have stepped in in the ferry case, and it should step in now to keep jobs in B.C.
We're hearing a lot of promotion from the government about how its B.C. Jobs Plan is benefitting the province. But the plan is all for naught if the government is complicit in shipping jobs to other countries.
- City Editor Pat Bulmer