The irony of the provincial government's throne speech is its focus on gas because what came out of Victoria on Tuesday stunk but dissipated quickly.
At least liquefied natural gas has some value as an energy source, which is more than can be said for the Liberal government's future agenda.
What a sad display from a party that clearly has run out of ideas on how to take the province forward.
Bruce Strachan once wrote that political leaders are like a baby's diapers - they need to be changed regularly and for exactly the same reason. After 12 years in power, it appears the diaper analogy clearly applies to governing parties as well.
Christy Clark has had more than enough time to rejuvenate the B.C. Liberals since becoming premier after the timely departure of Gordon Campbell. Instead, she has brought the worst kind of politics into the Premier's office. With no vision and no goals, she seeks only to hang onto power.
Tuesday's throne speech was perhaps the last great opportunity to set out a meaningful agenda.
On the same day in Washington, U.S. President Barack Obama used his state of the union address to boldly lay out his plans on gun control, immigration, fighting climate change and bringing home most of the remaining American troops in Afghanistan.
There was no such vision from Victoria.
Instead, what B.C. residents were treated to was the creation of a fund that won't have any money put into it until 2017 at the earliest. The B.C. Prosperity Fund could accumulate somewhere between $100 billion and $260 billion in natural gas royalties over the next 30 years. That money could be used to wipe out the province's $56 billion debt. There might not even be need for a provincial sales tax, Clark's Liberals said.
That money's going to come from all of those liquified natural gas terminals currently operating in B.C.
Wait. There are none.
Well, all those gas terminals currently under construction.
Wait, there are none of those, either.
Just like there isn't a Wood Innovation and Design Centre under construction in that hole in the ground across from the street from the Ramada where the Prince George Hotel once stood, despite vows to build it in not one, but three, throne speeches. The fact that project wasn't even mentioned Tuesday means Mayor Shari Green should have those throne speeches printed out, put in a nice wood box and tossed into that big hole on George Street, covered up with dirt with a sign erected that reads "Here lies the Liberal government's big plans to build a Wood Innovation and Design Centre, the tallest multi-use wood building in the world."
The province has waited patiently for Clark to chart a new centre-right course for the B.C. Liberals and Tuesday was another wasted opportunity to do that. Instead of announcing major new efforts in childhood education, health care, infrastructure (trotting out Site C for the billionth time doesn't count), forestry, mining and skills training, the Liberals unveiled a fund that won't be ready to receive money for years to come and won't see results for decades after that.
That's pretty galling from a party that hasn't been able to forecast its own budget deficits and its own natural resources revenues looking just six months ahead.
B.C. voters go to the poll three months from today but are still waiting to hear something more substantial than "we're not the NDP" as a governing vision from Christy Clark and the B.C. Liberals.