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?