Campbell hangs out with global eliteBy Les Leyne, Times Colonist June 8, 2010 http://www.timescolonist.com/technology/Campbell+hangs+with+global+elite/3126037/story.html
Premier Gordon Campbell jetted quietly off to Spain as the legislature was adjourning last week to attend the Bilderberg Conference.
Let the conspiracy theories begin.
It's a gathering of about 120 VIPs from Europe and North America who get together once a year to ponder the world's problems.
The conference is as unofficial as possible and the meetings are kept as quiet as possible. All sessions are closed and no record is published.
So naturally, it's a focus for conspiracy theorists who see SECRET CABALS directing events from BEHIND THE SCENES. They see POWERFUL FORCES AT WORK, forces so powerful that some bloggers have to use all capital letters to express how profound the influence is.
Bilderberg was elevated in the rankings of secret societies that control the world last year when the cable TV show Conspiracy Theory With Jesse Ventura devoted an episode to it.
I remain open-minded on whether Bilderberg is a sinister dark force or an excuse for rich, powerful people to spend a weekend together in the sun.
But the fact that Campbell was invited this year will keep the debate going.
Bill Vander Zalm sees the harmonized sales tax as some kind of precursor to a global tax imposed by a new world order headquartered in Belgium. Learning that Campbell spent the weekend hobnobbing with the powerful in Spain will no doubt confirm his worst suspicions.
On the other hand, Campbell's invitation is a tribute to his reputation -- at least in places other than B.C. He may be a virtual pariah at home these days over the HST. But others apparently think the world of him.
Campbell said it was an interesting weekend and a great opportunity to hear what's going on in a global context. "I thought it was sort of a tribute to B.C. that I was asked," he said. "I didn't ask them why I was selected."
He said B.C. is generating economic activity, dealing with climate change and health care and did a superb job hosting the Olympics.
"Sometimes British Columbians don't notice this, but we are leading the pack in Canada and everyone expects us to be a major leading economy and province as we move into the 21st century," he said. "So those are the reasons that I would think they would ask the premier of B.C."
Even the guest list at the Bilderberg meetings was secret in the past, but this year's was made public. Other Canadians invited include some TD Bank brass, CBC anchor Peter Mansbridge and Indigo Books CEO Heather Reisman.
They joined a list of world luminaries that included Bill Gates, Henry Kissinger, Google CEO Eric Schmidt, U.S. envoy to Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke, U.S. economic gurus Paul Volcker and Lawrence Summers and former presidential adviser Richard Perle.
No resolutions are proposed, no votes are taken and no policy statements are issued, according to the group's website.
It said guests are invited privately, not in their public capacities. But Campbell said he went as premier and the trip to the Spanish resort that hosted this year's session was considered official business and paid for as such.
The agenda included financial reform, cybertechnology, energy, Pakistan and Afghanistan, the world food problem, social networking, medical science and European Union-U.S. relations.
Campbell didn't give a presentation; he participated as a guest at meetings, question-and-answer sessions and meals.
He attracted a fair bit of international attention two years ago when he imposed the carbon tax. That might have factored into the thinking of conference organizers. B.C. hoped to lead the way at the time with a revenue-neutral carbon tax. It might still, but no one has followed suit since.
Was the HST a factor in the invitation? Harmonized value-added taxes are old news elsewhere in the world. More than 130 jurisdictions already have them.
And as the premier has made clear, he doesn't have much to tell anyone when it comes to advising how to harmonize taxes successfully.
On the other hand, maybe he went to learn how to do it properly.Doesn't want to pay for Campbell's tripBy Rob Delaney, Times Colonist June 10, 2010http://www.timescolonist.com/business/Doesn+want+Campbell+trip/3135219/story.html
Re: "Campbell hangs out with global elite," June 8.
Premier Gordon Campbell quietly left B.C. over the weekend to attend the Bilderberg conference in Spain on our tax dollars, so I would like to see a lot more of what his agenda was and what he actually did there.
Our premier says that, as British Columbians, we should be proud of the fact that he was invited as an indication of the strength of our provincial economy. I note that the finance minister of Greece was also invited. I don't know that I would be too proud rubbing shoulders with a country that has been the root cause of the potential collapse of the euro.
Campbell did not give a speech, but admitted that he had attended a question-and-answer session. A slap in the face, once again, to the taxpayers of B.C.