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

People’s Party of Canada plan to have a candidate in the North Island-Powell River riding

Elections Canada formally recognized the North Island—Powell River PPC Association

NVIATS takes over NIEFS space in Thunderbird Mall

“We were approached by NIEFS, they’re going to be downsizing”

Port Hardy Reigns compete in Nanaimo at Island Championships

“We are very fortunate to have this opportunity for our youth in Port Hardy”

Derina Harvey Band – Heartfelt, Energetic, Celtic rock comes to Port Hardy

Front-woman Derina Harvey leads this Celtic-rock act, who offer an authentic east-coast experience.

OPINION: Urgent care room will cost lives

“Seniors, of any demographic, are the most vulnerable to the loss of emergency care.”

What’s age got to do with it? B.C. couple with 45-year gap talks happy marriage

An Armstrong couple that has 45-year age gap began turning heads after being featured on show Extreme Love.

B.C.’s largest Vaisakhi festival target of threatening Facebook post: Surrey RCMP

Police say they are investigating the posts on Facebook, after local MLA forwarded screenshots

Pug life: B.C. town boasts waggish list of dog names

Freedom-of-information request lists most ‘pupular’ dog names registered in White Rock

VIDEO: Duncan-Nanaimo’s Funkanometry bow out of ‘World of Dance’ with ‘After Hours’ routine

Judges praised them as entertainers, and urged them to work a bit more on their dancing

VIDEO: Fish farming company launches $30-million vessel to treat salmon for sea lice in B.C. waters

Freshwater treatment an improvement but fish farms should be removed from sea, says conservationist

Singh says childhood abuse steeled him for scrutiny and stress of politics

He recounts the assaults for the first time in his book Love & Courage

Despite five extra weeks’ parental leave in Canada, dads still face stigma: survey

One reason people said dads don’t need leave is because they can just bond with their kids at weekend

Vintage bottles, magic cards, a 1969 Playboy: Quirky items found in historic B.C. buildings

Crews set aside some of the funkier pieces emerging from the construction rubble

PHOTOS: Inside the ‘shoe house’ in Northern B.C.

A rare look inside the famous Kitseguecla Lake Road shoe house, with a tour led by owner Toby Walsh

Most Read