The scent of old-style pork barrel politics is hanging over the premier's office.
The government has decided it would be a good idea to see schools threatened with closure used as community centres.
The five lucky schools selected for the pilot project would not only be spared the risk of closure, but get big money for upgrades and new facilities.
Typically, for Premier Gordon Campbell, the first step was a snappy name - Neighbourhoods of Learning. (Community schools by another name.)
Next, a $30-million budget.
But then, the obvious questions. Where should these pilot projects be located? Where students and communities need them? In the places school trustees decide are priorities? Nope.
Two of the three schools announced as pilot projects are in Gordon Campbell's riding. Two rural schools that will participate are still to be chosen.
One of the schools in the premier's riding, General Gordon Elementary, only made the list because Campbell said that's where he wanted the money to go.
It wasn't purely a move to steer money to a school in his constituency. Campbell said the parents there had pitched the idea for the community schools and deserved a reward for their initiative.
But the government's had already signalled its nervousness about the premier's intervention.
Education Minister Shirley Bond - always a loyal trooper - tried to maintain Campbell hadn't been involved at all in the decision to award the big money to two schools in his riding.
Vancouver school district trustees had raised the need for upgrades to General Gordon, she said.
But the school district contradicted Bond.
The superintendent said the district had raised concerns about a number of older schools in Vancouver that were threatened by the need for seismic upgrades.
The premier, not the school district, said General Gordon should jump to the front of the queue as part of the Neighbourhoods for Learning pilot. He had been lobbied by the parents, who had also noted their in with the top guy in pushing the Education Ministry to see things their way.
There are a lot of schools in the Lower Mainland and on the Island that need upgrading to keep children safe in the event of an earthquake. Some of them might close because of the problem. The government has leaned toward building smaller, cheaper schools.
Should the fact that parents' advisory council can get a meeting with the premier decide where the money goes?
Rural communities that have faced closures, long bus rides for kids and lost schools might have liked the chance to make their case for a larger share of the money. Though that could still come when the remaining pilot projects are announced - especially if the parents can get a meeting with an influential cabinet minister.
Too cynical? Maybe.
But it does look much look who you know matters more than what you need to give kids and communities a boost. Campbell's riding - Vancouver Point Grey - is among the most affluent in the province.
Meanwhile, out in Langley, a 5,000-seat arena and community centre is being built at a cost of $56 million. Great news for the community.
Especially because almost one-third of the money is coming from the provincial government. When he was forests minister, Rich Coleman decided to spend $15 million of forestry money on the arena. It would use wood laminate beams and be a great marketing tool, he said.
But the industry could likely suggest better uses for $15 million than an arena in the minister's riding. Unemployed forest workers - some 12,000 jobs have been lost in the last year - certainly could.
What should worry supporters is that neither of these were missteps Campbell would have allowed a few years ago. The Liberals risk becoming the government they once ran against.
And it's not hard to remember what happened to that government.
Footnote: The whole school closure issue is a problem for the government. It had been pushing school districts to be aggressive in closing and selling schools to pay for new facilities for the last six years. Now, after about 170 schools have been closed, a policy flip-flop calls for new uses and a moratorium on closures. It's sensible, but erratic.