Our Campaign

Our campaign, if I am nominated, is going to be very simple.

A vote for Paul Summerville and the Liberal Party of Canada is a message to Stephen Harper that huge local tax increases to help fund a billion dollar sewage treatment plant that we don't need is fiscally and environmentally irresponsible.

These tax increases are going to show up in everybody’s water bill and give the local economy another shot in the head it doesn’t need particularly as the property market weakens.

It’s a great billion dollar boondoggle.

It’s bad economics, it’s bad science, and it’s bad for Victoria.

And the argument that it is a done deal is quite frankly, a lie.

It isn’t.

This mad plan can and must be stopped.

A long line of Victoria based scientists and health policy professionals have confirmed time and time again over the last two decades that the billion dollar treatment plant is unnecessary, and quite frankly madness.

I was at the standing room only rally at St. Ann’s on Wednesday hosted by ARESST -- Association for Responsible and Environmentally Sustainable Sewage Treatment -- and the first speaker Dr. Shaun Peck laid out the irrefutable scientific evidence for maritime and not land based treatment of that portion of the Capital Region’s sewage that can be treated responsibly by virtue of the good fortune that we live beside very cold and very fast moving water that literally flushes our scientifically and environmentally responsible diluted waste out into the Pacific Ocean once it has been first screened to block anything bigger than a thumb tack.

It’s been said that the ‘solution to pollution is dilution’ which we are getting in Victoria; we already have an environmentally responsible solution rooted in science and a 40 year process of doing the right thing.

Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, Mr. Floatie is a myth, a piece of well, you know what.

Also at the rally ex-Minister of the Environment and four time Victoria Liberal Federal MP David Anderson gave lie to the argument that this is a done deal, it isn’t, and it can and must be stopped.

Unfortunately this sewage lunacy has made strange bedfellows because the NDP is pandering to voters afraid to alienate anyone claiming that nothing can be done to stop this bad plan.

That’s a lie.

We do know that the provincial Greens are against it, Green Party Provincial leader Jane Sterk and I both are making the case that the environment will be ill served by this plant and in fact the environment will be hurt and could even be endangered by it.

We both argue that our local environment would be better served by investing in world class storm sewers that deal with the pollution from our roads that runs off into our beachside waters particularly after our long summer droughts.

The federal Green Party has not committed clearly one way or the other but I would be very surprised if candidate Donald Galloway doesn’t step up and join me soon.

At least I hope so because he has an important voice to add to this struggle.

Let’s be clear, no train has left the station although sadly all of the hungry pigs trying to feed at this wasteful government trough are now scrambling to get into position for their piece of the action, and who can blame them it’s really deep and wide.

And sadly this wasteful project will vacuum up all the federal and provincial infrastructure dollars that could be spent on 21st century storm sewers, on improved public transit, maybe even on a downtown rec centre to replace Crystal Pool, or how about keeping our public libraries open on Sundays.

Or how about not taxing the money in the first place until there is a very good reason.

And tragically this plan will have a severe financial impact on seniors living on fixed incomes, families and single people just trying to pay their bills and save.

To build and fund this billion dollar boondoggle all of us will face the consequences of huge local tax increases estimated to be an average of $400 per home per year for years and years to come.

Of course as a Liberal the proposed sewage plant being imposed on Victorians by the Harper government helps me make the case that this just another example of a Conservative government that ignores science and scientists, that claims to be small yet is big, that claims to be fiscally responsible yet is the opposite, dumping debt and tax increases on all of us and our children.

I hope also to remind Victorians that there is proud Liberal legacy in the person of David Anderson and that Liberals can be proud of the strong, prosperous, and envied country liberalism has helped shaped of Canada.

The Liberal point of view is that ‘we’re all in this together’ is much better than ‘you’re on your own’ and that liberalism is not an ideology, it is not a book of campaign promises, liberalism is a movement based on the trust in others to do the right thing, building efficient government to ensure a prosperous, fair, and clean country.

Liberal politics are the politics of inclusion and responsibility, of facts and evidence, of reason and dialogue over dogma and ideology.

Yet sadly it’s this very dogma and ideology that is forcing on Victoria, forcing on us, a secondary sewage treatment plant that we don't need and we don't want.

Let's stop this mad plan.

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Twin Virtues: Inequality of Outcomes & Equality of Opportunity©

Twin Virtues

Ultimately, the most successful societies find the balance between the twin virtues of inequality of outcomes and equality of opportunity.

The new politics must marry the twin virtues of unequal outcomes and equality of opportunity.

When too few get too much everybody loses.

Feminism is about women living their lives on their own terms, marshalling the resources of the society to make that possible, and men embracing this as vital to a successful society and their own liberation.

Can it be that striving for equality of opportunity however imperfect the process not only benefits the individual but also creates benefits for the society that are unintended but wonderful?

Economics must be a 'moral enterprise' as much as politics claims to be. Economic outcomes need to be framed in terms of right and wrong not just efficiency if only because these often align in surprising ways that are good for society and the economy.

My vision of Canada is that any Canadian child from a family of limited circumstance can expect to have a chance at lifetime of unlimited opportunities.

Free trade is a wonderful thing. Time and time again economists have proven that free trade creates enormous wealth for each country 'on the whole'. Historians have shown that free trade is usually associated with rising political, social and cultural liberty. The perennial problem is that free trade always creates tremendous disruption for thousands even millions of individuals often concentrated in one geography, and where the state is idle, not investing in best in class instruments of social justice, free trade can be a permanent ticket out of the middle class, down, not up.

Tax policy should be founded on the principle of generating steady tax revenues sufficient to maximise environmentally sustainable economic growth in order to fund fair government.

Public policy should be designed to decrease inequality before the law and increase equality of opportunity.

Capitalism is not the problem; the problem is what we do with capitalism.

Content is always more difficult to argue than conspiracy.

Let the state regulate and the market operate (most things).

Welfare strategies are best designed as a hand up, not as a hand out.

Political debate should not be fact free fighting.

Explanation lasts longer than eloquence.

Always favour empowerment over dependency.

The most enduring public figures are embraced for the causes they fought for and not the concept of themselves they hoped others would remember them by.

Find your voice and don't be the echo of somebody else.

It is possible to operate on two different levels: the practical, cautious and conservative; and the realm of ideas, open, free, and radical.