COLUMN: Handing out holiday gifts to politicians
It’s Christmas again, and time for Santa to hand out presents to Surrey, Delta and White Rock residents. As usual, Santa isn’t forgetting the well-known members of the community. He believes in equality.
He confided some of his plans to me again. Here’s what he plans to give to people we read and hear about over the year.
To South Surrey MP Russ Hiebert, he will give a return airline ticket to somewhere other than Ottawa. The MP, who was soundly criticized for his travel spending in the past, has reduced it drastically (by over $120,000). This makes Santa (and other taxpayers) happy.
To Fleetwood MP Nina Grewal, he is giving several large recycling bins. Santa wants her to put many of the “10 per center” partisan flyers she sends out straight in the bins, as few people bother to read them. The pamphlets have boosted Grewal’s expenses, and Santa wants to give her a poignant reminder to cut them back.
Cloverdale MLA Kevin Falcon, who has a more beetled brow these days as the province’s finance minister, is getting a copy of QuickBooks, to help him sort through the myriad challenges of provincial finances. He’s also giving him an unlimited supply of calculator batteries.
To Whalley NDP MLA Bruce Ralston, Santa is giving a slightly used pair of shoes. In 2013, he may need new ones if his party wins and he takes over Falcon’s old job.
Santa hasn’t forgotten the people in university politics. At the top of his list are the directors of the Kwantlen Student Association. He is giving all of them a large number of new textbooks, to keep them busy at their studies in the coming year.
New White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin, a firm believer in the status quo, is getting a large Lego set. In case he needs to, he can erect a wall between Surrey and White Rock and prevent further suggestions of co-operation between the two cities (and savings for taxpayers).
Delta Mayor Lois Jackson, safely back in office after fending off three challengers in the election, gets a footstool. She can put her feet up, if only occasionally, now that she is no longer the chair of the Metro Vancouver board as well.
Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts has so many gifts under her tree, Santa wasn’t sure he needed to add to the pile. However, he’s on giving her a Tim Hortons gift card, to allow her to fuel up during her travels.
Former mayor and councillor Bob Bose isn’t being forgotten by Santa, even though many Surrey voters deserted him at the polls last month. He will get a set of bicycle tires, as he will undoubtedly be burning through them even faster on his many bike trips.
For beleaguered Surrey drivers, who face the prospect of a TransLink tax increase of two cents per litre on fuel in the new year, Santa plans to drop plenty of pennies along their daily paths throughout the year.
Santa is working really hard on designing a gift for the Port Mann Bridge toll collectors who will take up their posts sometime late in 2012. He’s thinking of having his elves design a good-looking toll collection software system that ends up with inexplicable problems once tolls are in effect. He has also refused to pay any tolls as his sleigh files over the bridge, this year or any other year.
A Merry Christmas to all, and may the peace and goodwill that so many express in this season remain in effect into the new year.