BOOTH: Notable moments by Hiebert... Wait for it... Nope, I have nothing

BOOTH: Notable moments by Hiebert… Wait for it… Nope, I have nothing

Farewell Russ Hiebert; wish I could say it was nice knowing you. A decade of "public service" sounds impressive on paper, until you view the impact his work had on the community he served. The list of Hiebert’s accomplishments reads as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

That about covers it.

Actually, that’s not fair.

In 10 years (and counting) of service as the elected Member of Parliament for South Surrey-White Rock-Cloverdale, Hiebert established himself as the poster boy of everything that’s wrong with our electoral system as it exists today. Rather than represent the people in his riding, Hiebert represented Ottawa to his riding.

Hiebert parachuted in from Manitoba and stacked a meeting to nab the Conservative nomination away from an actual hard working MP, Val Meredith.

Once elected, he was the beneficiary of a new Conservative Party rule that guaranteed the renomination of sitting MPs. In one of the Conservative Party’s safest seats in British Columbia, it would take a massive screw up on Hiebert’s part to lose the seat. He solved that problem by not doing anything of note and avoiding contact with the media whenever possible.

But even by doing nothing, Hiebert managed to find his share of trouble. He liked to sign his name to the giant presentation cheques handed out in the community, giving the appearance of personal largesse on his part when in fact it was government money being distributed.

He bombarded residents in his riding with inane mailouts filled with information that insulted the intelligence of anyone foolish enough to attempt to read them. (Sample question: Who do you think is tougher on crime: a – Stephen Harper; b – Michael Ignatieff; or c – Jack Layton? As if residents were actually expected to fill out such vapid queries attached to boilerplate Conservative propaganda.)

In a Conservative caucus so utterly devoid of talent that Prime Minister Harper repeatedly opts to recycle his cabinet ministers rather than take a flyer on someone from among the bobbleheaded masses on the backbenches, Hiebert didn’t stand out from the crowd. He never got the call to join the PM’s inner circle despite holding one of the safest Conservative seats in the West. He was a bobblehead to the end.

Sorry, once again not true.

The high point of Hiebert’s career as an MP came in 2010 when it was revealed he was the biggestspending MP in all of B.C. for the 2008-09 fiscal year. Not only that, Hiebert’s expenses totalled $637,093 – the second highest of all MPs in the country. (The average was roughly $200,000.) And what was all that money spent on? The glossy boilerplate mailouts were part of it, but those costs were overshadowed by Hiebert’s penchant for purchasing first-class plane tickets for himself and his family whenever they travelled to and from Ottawa.

When he finally mustered a response to the public’s outrage, Hiebert smugly stated that his expenses were "the price of democracy."

So now, after four terms in office and a fat pension package in his back pocket, Hiebert has announced he is stepping down. In keeping with his tradition of open communications with the community, he did not return phone calls from the Now to comment on his decision.

MONORAIL? HAS IT REALLY COME TO THIS?

Monorail in North Surrey? Surrey residents are so egregiously served by public transit that city officials are willing to listen to any proposal that crosses their desks. Last week, Surrey transportation committee heard a presentation from a company that wants to build a monorail along 104th Avenue linking Whalley with Guildford.

So it’s come to this has it? Crappy bus service, rising bridge tolls and extremely limited SkyTrain access for Surrey commuters has pushed us to the point where we seriously consider fairground rides as a solution to the problem.

Why not build a rollercoaster-style of transportation system just to keep things interesting for commuters? It must be cheaper than the other options because the rails are so much smaller.

Throw in a couple of loop-de-loops on the route and people won’t mind paying a couple of bucks extra to cover the costs.

Michael Booth can be reached at mbooth@thenownewspaper.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Eternity Medical Equipment’s ECAN95 masks have received Health Canada approval and CSA certification. (Eternity Medical Equipment photo)
South Surrey N-95 equivalent manufacturer launches mask recycling program

Eternity Medical Equipment partners with Ontario-based LifeCycle Revive

Surrey Fire Service at a garage fire in the 14400-block of 82A Ave on March 22, 2021. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
‘Perfect storm’ of variants, increasing COVID cases are concerning for Surrey fire chief

Between police and fire, Larry Thomas said there are 8 confirmed cases, 18 others isolating

Surrey Fire Service is on scene of a fire in the 12300-block of 72A Avenue Saturday morning (April 10). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Surrey crews on scene of house fire

It happened in the 12300-block of 72A Avenue

Emergency crews on scene after a small plane crashed in a grassy area on the northeast side of Boundary Bay Airport Saturday morning (April 10). A freelancer said the plane caught fire and one person was transported to hospital by BC Emergency Health Services. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Small plane crashes at Delta’s Boundary Bay Airport

Plane appears to have suffered ‘significant’ damage, says freelancer

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

Most Read