Tuesday, September 06, 2011

How sad that the Order of B.C. has been revealed to be politically influenced. The awards body has done an exceptional job at keeping itself above the political fray, but has clearly thrown that all away with this latest round of nominations, which honour a strangely predictable list of clubby B.C. Liberals and hangers-on including Gordon Campbell, Ken Dobell and David Emerson.
Campbell was even a sitting politician when he was nominated, which ought to put him out of the running right then and there. But no. He's in, and only the second B.C. premier ever to get the award. (Bill Bennett was the other, but only in 2007 -  21 years after leaving office.)
I know Campbell has his fans, but really, what is the "exemplary" behaviour he exhibited that has distinguished him as worthy of the honour? He did great things for all his friends, but little for the rest of us. I'm sure Dobell and Emerson are competent, caring people in their own way, but I suspect their tight ties to the Campbell government played more of a role in their nomination than their actual service to B.C., seeing as many fine civil servants who have done great work on behalf of the province have never received the honour.
The toll his government took on social services will take generations, if ever, to repair. He tore up valid union contracts and privatized health-care support services, and I don't think it's coincidental that food quality and cleanliness plummeted in B.C. hospitals after that. He has created a virtual kleptocracy in government, where senior civil servants make buckets of money and are paid bonuses for cutting public services. He got caught driving drunk while in office, a crime that was suffcient to get Steve Fonyo stripped of his Order of Canada.
Obviously, his award has generated just a little controversy, including an online petition through Facebook that has already garnered almost 3,000 of the 5,000 signatures the organizers are trying for. I'm waiting with eager anticipation to hear what the good folks at the Order of BC have to say about all of this - the story broke over the Labour Day weekend, so none of the stories thus far have had any comment from the office.
Unfortunately, the brouhaha over Campbell's award has overshadowed news coverage of some of the truly worthy recipients, like Crystal Dunahee. Here's the news release issued late Friday by government, which lists all 14 recipients of the 2011 award.
Interesting that the Order of B.C. Web site doesn't have a news release posted, or any listing of the 2011 recipients. Hmmm - could it be there are some people inside that office cringing at Campbell getting the award?


Anonymous said...

Interesting tidbit about the luckless Steve Fonyo.

A CBC article gives some background and explains that because of "his multiple criminal convictions, for which there are no outstanding appeals" the honour was revoked.

"Membership to the Order of Canada can be terminated if the recipient:

- Has been convicted of a criminal offence.
- Departs from generally recognized standards of public behaviour.
- Has been sanctioned by a professional organization.

Other Canadians who have lost the Order of Canada include former NHL Players' Association head Alan Eagleson, after he was convicted of fraud, and lawyer T. Sher Singh, whom the Law Society of Upper Canada disbarred after finding him guilty of professional misconduct."

So if Erik Bornmann is nominated (whether for outstanding athletic ability? or contributions to the the law?) his award would be safe?

Dave Killion said...

[It is, indeed, very sad when honours are subject to political influence, and I personally don’t care to see a politician win an award for anything.}