Bill Vander Zalm
Wednesday, April 29 2009 @ 10:46 AM PDT
For those, who do not know, Bill Vander Zalm, as well as being the Lilac king, was the premier of BC from 1986 to 1991. Before that, he was responsible for bringing Sky Train to British Columbia.
When he took office, BC's economy was certainly in 60th place if you took the 10 provinces and 50 US states into account. It might have been in 89th place if you added in the 30 states in Mexico. One report I saw put one Mexican State, Chiappis, behind BC. Every other geo-political area of North America was ahead of BC.
When he left office in 1991, BC was number one out of the 90 jurisdictions. It helps to have a real businessman as Premier of your Province.
He started the Indian land Claims negotiations which gave business people hope for their investments and everything flourished.
As one example, mining went through the roof, only to be stopped dead in its tracks when the NDP took over and Mike Harcourt (who I also like and have great admiration for some of his social accomplishments) made the Tatashini the world's largest park and scared the heck out of every mining person in the world. In addition, the NDP would NOT do incremental land claim settlements (which Gordon Campbell finally adopted after a disastrous start with his referendum) and mining exploration and develpment slowed to a trickle.
Bill's book is a tell all book available directly from his web site at BillVanderZalm.com
There's lots more in the interview with Bill. Even in his 70's he's a bundle of fire and good humor. There's even a bit of an insight into the "give them a shovel" comment that is likely the best known aspect of his political career.