Legislature spring session ends

A report by contributor and MLA Claire Trevena about the end of the spring session in the Legislature

This report marks the end of the spring session in the Legislature. The session left the perception it had been driven by a government bereft of ideas but desperate to stay in control.  The last few days of debate in the Legislature are a microcosm of the manipulation of the parliamentary system by the BC Liberals.

An example of the BC Liberal’s manipulation of the system for their own ends was the discussion around the Government Information Act. The first iteration it was so badly drafted that the government itself tabled pages of amendments to be debated at the committee stage. Even the title of the bill was amended to the Information Management Act. We were opposed to the Act – which allows for an increasingly oral approach in government business, in other words leaving no traceable records. The legislation does not mandate a duty for the government to keep written records, which means it is impossible to trace information. We had seven amendments of our own which were defeated. In the end, the committee stage, during which all these changes were introduced and debated and the bill supposedly analyzed, lasted a mere 50 minutes.

We spent a couple of Question Periods asking about needed changes to the system for children in government care who “age out” at 19, leaving them on their own with no family or other supports. This came into shocking perspective when a young woman who had been in government care nearly her whole life, who had moved 50 times and who had been abused, killed herself after she left care. Neither the Premier nor the minister responsible would commit to making any changes to prevent such cases happening again.

The debates on bills finished early and the final two days were given over to the budget estimates of the office of the Premier. This seems like a fruitless exercise as the Premier uses every opportunity either to spin or simply avoid answering. For example, when John Horgan, the leader of the opposition asked about why she did not confirm George Abbott as head of the Treaty Commission, she started to talk about her “aspirational goals” on LNG and job creation. He asked that direct question four times and never got an answer.

I was able to recognize School District 84’s Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement in the Legislature. It was an honour to attend the event in Zeballos and to share with other MLAs the District’s achievement.

I have been appointed to the Special Committee to Appoint a Merit Commissioner which will entail some extra work back in Victoria. The Merit Commissioner’s job is to ensure that all public service appointments are based on ability; reading some of the reports from previous years it is clear this was not always the case.

We are not sure when the Legislature will resume sitting. We are supposed to have a session in the fall for two months which might happen. The government has indicated it wants to move on some legislation to speed up the sell-off of LNG to foreign companies.

With the summer recess I will be busy both in the constituency and through my critic portfolio, working on ways to try to improve our transportation infrastructure and make BC Ferries work for us.  I can always be reached by email Claire.trevena.mla@leg.bc.ca, by phone in Campbell River on 250 287 5100, in Port Hardy on 250 949 9473 or 1 866 387 5100 toll free. Feel free to friend me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter @clairetrevena.

 

Just Posted

North Island MLA Michele Babchuk. Photo contributed
COMMENTARY: MLA Michele Babchuk talks the future of forestry

‘These forests are important to every single one of us, myself included’

Dr. Prean Armogam hands over a cheque for $10,000 to Hardy Bay Senior Citizens Society president Rosaline Glynn. The money will be going towards a new roof for the Port Hardy seniors centre. This is the second donation Dr. Armogam has made to the society, giving them $5,000 a little over a year ago. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)
Doctor donates $10k to Hardy Bay Senior Citizens Society for new roof

This was the second donation Armogam has given to the society

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of May 30-June 5. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
COVID-19 cases drop again almost everywhere on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo had four new cases last week, down from 22 the week before

Blueprints for the seniors housing project in Port Hardy. (North Island Seniors Housing Foundation photo)
BC Housing declines North Island Seniors Housing Foundation’s proposal to build units

BC Housing will be explaining why exactly the project was declined at a June 18 meeting

An aerial view of the marine oil-spill near Bligh Island in Nootka sound that the Canadian Coast Guard posted in a live social media feed in December. ( Canadian Coast Guard/Facebook)
Oil from vessel that sank in 1968 off Vancouver Island to be removed

DFO hires Florida firm to carefully remove oil from MV Schiedyk in Nootka Sound starting in mid-June

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read