Editor: In the Maritimes, politics is a disease, in Quebec, a religion, in Ontario, a business, on the Prairies, a protest, and in B.C., just entertainment. John Horgan, leader of the B.C. NDP seems to have problems about “severance pay” and “casino expansion.”
Horgan’s recently-appointed new chief of staff, John Heaney, is his former business partner. They were partners in a company called IdeaWorks. The other partners were NDP caucus research director Mary O’Donoghue, and Ian Reid, former chief of staff to ex-NDP leader Carole James.
After the NDP was voted out of office in 2001, Horgan lost his job and was given a cheque that contained severance pay. He opened up a consulting company called IdeaWorks. Note, a consultant is anyone with a briefcase 50 miles away from home.
IdeaWorks was retained by casino operators Gary Jackson and Len Libin in 2003 to persuade the then COPE-controlled Vancouver city council to lift a moratorium on slot machines. At the time, Horgan said that the company’s objective was to bring diverse groups together to demonstrate how slot machines would yield benefits for charities, fund city projects, and provide jobs for trade unions.
“Once the fabric all came together, the cloth looked pretty impressive for a majority of council,” he said.
Horgan’s lobbying was successful in bringing in more slot machines. Horgan, Heaney, and Reid had all previously worked for the B.C. Ministry of Management Services, which spearheaded the expansion of gambling when the NDP was in control of the provincial government.
Now come to the present day, and Horgan has new versions of his past. He calls for large severance payouts to former government employees to cease, and no more casino expansions. This shows that he has a set of double standards.
He is changing his views to agree with whomever is paying his paycheque. It’s unbelievable, but true.