Environment Minister George Heyman and Premier John Horgan announce court reference, Feb. 22, 2018. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

Environment Minister George Heyman and Premier John Horgan announce court reference, Feb. 22, 2018. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

EDITORIAL: Fiction and falsehoods a political reality

If there was previously any doubt, British Columbians have certainly now found out that political promises are about as believable as that email you received from the Nigerian prince wishing to deposit millions into your bank account.

The latest promise to go by the wayside was the NDP pledge to freeze BC Hydro rates. The B.C. Utilities Commission has now refused to implement the freeze, instead approving a three per cent increase effective April 1 (just a little April Fools joke on B.C. voters). Energy Minister Michelle Mungall blamed the previous Liberal government for its mismanagement of BC Hydro, while praising the independence of the BCUC (residents left freezing in the dark can certainly take some solace in that).

But the rate freeze that wasn’t is only the latest example that fiction and falsehoods have become a political reality. Remember that $400 renters rebate? Premier John Horgan sure hopes not, because it’s nowhere to be seen. Are you looking for $10 a day childcare? Well, keep looking because even an electron microscope couldn’t help you find that in this year’s provincial budget.

And the provincial NDP government is not alone in this, this is an issue that transcends borders and political stripes.

Justin Trudeau campaigned on getting rid of the first-past-the-post electoral system. Fast forward one majority mandate for the federal Liberals and it seems the current voting system works just fine. And that promise to legalize marijuana by July 1, up in smoke.

The list goes on and on for politicians going on and on with promises that never quite made it into legislation. From ending the GST to British Columbians swimming in liquified gas revenues, promises made on the campaign trail somehow get lost on the way to the halls of power.

So get ready for higher energy bills. But instead of cursing the darkness, voters must vow to hold our political leaders to account when their promises fail to see the light of day.