Minister of everything has nothing

Urban Compass by Paul Sullivan published in Metro Vancouver

As we watch the B.C. Liberal leadership hopefuls peck each others’ eyes out, the one man who is most qualified to be B.C.’s next premier beavers away in humble obscurity, forever shut out of the political Promised Land.

Remember Colin Hansen? Not too long ago he was considered Gordon Campbell’s logical successor.

But that was before he got tangled up in the web of deceit that is the HST debacle. Campbell resigned; Hansen may as well have. His chances of becoming B.C.’s next leader went the way of all those sales tax exemptions we used to enjoy.

As far as I can tell, his punishment for backing up the boss on HST is to be forced to work his butt off as Minister of Everything while his fellow cabinet ministers take several months off to play politics.

Campbell resigned and went to Maui, his (mostly) happy place.

So, as finance minister, Hansen has to table a budget tomorrow to open the first session of the legislature in 256 days.

As health minister, he has launched an investigation into how two unqualified radiologists managed to review thousands of CT scans.

As finance minister, he has appointed a panel of experts to examine the virtues of the HST. (Good luck with that).

Busy, busy.

I wonder how he feels watching the mayor of Parksville duke it out with a CKNW talk show host for a job that could have been, should have been, his.

Whatever he thinks, in a couple of weeks Christy Clark or George Abbott or Kevin Falcon or somebody will be the premier of the province and he won’t.

Maybe it’s a good thing he doesn’t have too much time to think.

What’s sad is that Colin Hansen is the right man for the job. He’s been humbled by defeat, forged by fire, and is probably the one person in government who really knows what’s going on. The others are too busy fending off the threat of Clark.

As for the NDP, are you kidding? If you think Colin Hansen displays questionable political ethics, how about the Gang of 13? Not to mention Adrian Dix and his (alleged) political dirty tricks.

As the rest of our elected representatives wear themselves out doing the Funky Political Chicken, Colin Hansen just quietly goes about the business of government, a big “L” for Liar or Loser, or both, pasted on his forehead.

But how long will it be before all is forgiven and a solid majority of British Columbians, plus or minus four per cent, wonder where the Minister of Everything went when we need him?

Considering the alternatives, not long.

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