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The Art of the Impossible: Dave Barrett and the NDP in Power, 1972-1975

Overview

At his first cabinet meeting Premier Dave Barrett takes off his shoes, leaps onto the leather-inlaid cabinet table and skids the length of the room. "Are we here for a good time or a long time?" he roars. His answer: a good time, a time of change, action, doing what was needed and right, not what was easy and conventional.

He set the tone for a government that changed the face of the province. During the next three years, he and his team passed more legislation in a shorter time...

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Overview

At his first cabinet meeting Premier Dave Barrett takes off his shoes, leaps onto the leather-inlaid cabinet table and skids the length of the room. "Are we here for a good time or a long time?" he roars. His answer: a good time, a time of change, action, doing what was needed and right, not what was easy and conventional.

He set the tone for a government that changed the face of the province. During the next three years, he and his team passed more legislation in a shorter time than any government before or since. A university or college student graduating today in BC may have been born years after Barrett's defeat, but could attend a Barrett daycare, live on a farm in Barrett's Agricultural Land Reserve, be rushed to hospital in a provincial ambulance created by Barrett's government and attend college in a community institution founded by his government. The continuing polarization of BC politics also dates back to Barrett--the Fraser Institute and the right-wing economic policies it preaches are as much a legacy of the Barrett years as the ALR.

Dave Barrett remains a unique and important figure in BC's history, a symbol of how much can be achieved in government and a reminder of how quickly those achievements can be forgotten. This lively and well-researched book is the first in-depth study of this most memorable of BC premiers.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781550175790
  • Publisher: Harbour Publishing Company, Limited
  • Publication date: 10/25/2012
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Geoff Meggs is a Vancouver city councillor and a former communications director to Premier Glen Clark and Vancouver mayor Larry Campbell. As a journalist, he edited The Fisherman and wrote Salmon: The Decline of the West Coast Fishery (Douglas & McIntyre, 1991), which won the Lieutenant-Governor's Medal for Historical Writing and Cork Lines and Canning Lines: The Glory Years of Fishing on the West Coast, with Duncan Stacey (Douglas &
McIntyre, 1992).

Rod Mickleburgh is a senior writer for the Globe & Mail, based in Vancouver. During his long career he has worked for the Penticton Herald, Prince George Citizen, Vernon News, Vancouver Sun, Vancouver Province and CBC TV. In 1994, he was a co-winner of the Michener and in 1993 was nominated for a National Newspaper Award. His previous book, Rare Courage (McClelland and Stewart, 2005), profiled Canadian veterans of World War II.

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Table of Contents

Preface 8

1 The Twenty Years' War 15

2 Inside The Gates 40

3 Awesome, Sweeping Powers 68

4 Little Chief, MiniWAC and the Northern Kingfish 98

5 The Chicken and Egg War 123

6 The Engineer Who Made the Grade 151

7 The Godfather and the Tank Driver 177

8 Health, Housing and Human Rights 202

9 Life of the Party 226

10 How They Forgot the Future 249

11 Back to Work 277

12 And Good Luck to Us All 303

Conclusion 326

Appendix 335

Acknowledgements 339

A Note on Sources 341

Notes 342

Bibliography 352

Index 361

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