To the Editor,
After defeating the Social Credit Party, WAC Bennett had one request. That was for Dave Barrett to build a three-lane span next to the Lions Gate bridge.
He told Barrett that there was funding in treasury for the project. Barrett did not listen and went on to bankrupt the province. In 2012, the Lions Gate bridge is still only three lanes.
Barrett will be remembered for his spending and quickly taking the government from surplus to debt.
Barrett reformed the welfare system making it so popular as to say why work when NDP welfare benefits are fantastic.
Barrett brought in ICBC. In 1975-76, B.C. taxpayers had to bail out their government run insurance company just two years after it begun operations. This money has never been repaid. At the same time, ICBC had been so mismanaged, with insurance being sold significantly underpriced, that the government was forced to increase rates by at least 25 per cent. Did a major public sector expansion. Highest number of government employees in history for a provincial government.
So preoccupied with a bankrupt government, Barrett did not even consult with his cabinet about calling a provincial election. Alex MacDonald, NDP former attorney general, watched the announcement on the TV news at home.
Lost three provincial elections in a row to Bill Bennett of the Social Credit party.
On Oct. 6, 1983, Barrett was removed from chamber for failing to abide by the speaker’s ruling. This was the first incident in the legislature history where security staff had to intervene and remove a member from chamber.
When Barrett and the NDP formed government, it is believed they were in “minority party syndrome” and did not have the knowledge or expertise to operate as a government.