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BC Premier #30: Glen Clark

Hey, remember a million zillion years ago when I was working on a series of postings about BC Premiers, posting about one premier each Sunday? Yeah, apparently neither did I. But with the convergence of needing to come up with a new blog posting topic every day this month AND the big news of Gordon Campbell quitting this week1, I thought it was high time to resurrect, yet again, this series that I seem to keep letting fall off my plate.  I only have four premiers left (until the BC So-Called Liberals pick a replacement for Gordo), so surely I can keep this up for the next four Sundays, right?

OK, so when we last left off in our series, Premier Mike Harcourt had resigned the position. Enter Glen Clark, the 30th Premier of the Province of British Columbia.

Name Glen David Clark
Born: November 22, 1957 in Nanaimo, BC2
Died: hasn’t
Party: NDP
Held Office: February 22, 1996 – August 25, 1999
  • Glen Clark is a controversial guy, as evidenced by the fact that his Wikipedia page is a mess of “this page’s neutrality is disputed” and “you need actual sources to back up this shit, yo.” And since I’m far too lazy to do any real research, take anything I write here with a giant grain of sodium chloride.
  • 1986: elected to the BC Legislature
  • served as Finance Minister under Premier Mike Harcourt and when Harcourt resigned in 1996, Clark was elected by the NDP to succeed him
  • 1996: Clark won an NDP majority government, did stuff like keeping tuitions fees frozen and something about Vancouver Island and Skytrain
  • And since BC politics loves scandals, there were two “scandals” during Clark’s reign:
    • The “Fast Ferries” – some new, faster ferries were built for BC ferries, but they cost way more than expected, took longer than they were supposed to and never quite went as fast as they were supposed to3.
    • “Casinogate” – Glen Clark’s house and officer were searched by the RCMP in 1999 in relation to accusations that Clark had accepted $10,000 worth of renos in exchange for granting a casino license. He was charged with “breach of trust,” a criminal offence, but in the end was not found guilty. Essentially, the judge said that he’d done something stupid, but not done anything criminal.
  • Clark resigned as premier in 1999 in light of the “Casinogate” scandal.
  • currently works as an “Executive Vice President” for the Jim Pattison Group and president of The News Group North America.”

In summary, Glen Clark did some stuff and then people got mad at him and then he quit.

References:

Footnotes:

  1. for his mug shot when he got arrested for driving drunk in Hawaii, click here []
  2. Nanaimo a.k.a., “Surrey by the Sea,” and the home of the deliciousness that is the Nanaimo Bar []
  3. if memory serves, they went fast, but then it took a long time to dock them because they didn’t quite match up with the docks correctly, so after all the time and money spent on the new ferries, your ferry trip wasn’t any shorter than it was with the old ferries []

3 Responses to BC Premier #30: Glen Clark

  1. Kalev says:

    I don’t know about docking but I believe with respect to the speed of the fast ferries, they didn’t really have enough open sea room between the mainland and Vancouver Island to get up to their top speeds plus they didn’t deal very well with the many logs floating in the Georgia Strait.

  2. and I thought they couldn’t run them at full speed because their wakes would have been too big for the narrow channels they ran in.

    Or something.

  3. There was an issue that they couldn’t run at high speed for long enough, and had smaller capacities than other ferries, as well as more frequent mechanical problems and higher running costs. So they hardly ran with BC Ferries at all, were sold, and sat in shrink wrap for years.

    I’m an NDP supporter, but the fast ferries were still a prototypical white elephant government make-work project. The hundreds of millions spent on them would certainly have been better going to traditional vessels or other transport infrastructure improvements.

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