Christy Clark fails the marshmallow test

The marshmallow test measures children’s ability to postpone immediate gratification in exchange for a greater reward later. An adult places a marshmallow on a table before a four- or five-year-old child and tells the child that she will return in 10 minutes, and if the child has not eaten the marshmallow, the child will receive a second marshmallow.

Follow-up studies show that children who wait for the second marshmallow tend to lead more disciplined lives and become more successful as adults.

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Premier Christy Clark ate the first marshmallow when she agreed to a liquefied natural gas contract that promises to create 3,500 construction jobs for three years and 200 to 300 permanent operational jobs, a drop in the bucket in comparison to B.C.’s workforce of more than two million. The deals places future governments in a tax and regulatory straitjacket for 25 years by requiring that the company be compensated for any increase in costs due to changes in regulations, taxation or royalties.

By waiting a few years for the second marshmallow, when LNG prices might be higher, a contract might have been signed that allowed future governments to charge higher royalties and taxes and increase environmental protection without compensation to the company.

Google “marshmallow test.” The children are cute even when they fail the test. Our provincial government is not cute when it fails the test.

Harvey Williams


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