Tempers Flare at Legislature

Gazette columnist Claire Trevena reports on the happenings in Legislature

For any political watcher, and in fact for many Canadians, there is no question that there is just one political story – the stunning and unexpected victory of the NDP in Alberta, bringing to an end the 44 year reign of the Conservatives.

There is a BC connection to the story: Rachel Notley, the Premier-elect of Alberta was a Ministerial Assistant in BC when the NDP was last in government here. That was proudly acknowledged by our current leader, John Horgan, who congratulated Notley in the Legislature. On one of her rare appearances in the Legislature BC’s Premier, Christy Clark, made no reference to the election in the neighbouring province nor did she offer good wishes to her new fellow premier.

But then again, nor did she even attempt to answer any questions about massive cost overruns on an IT project at BC Hydro. While hydro costs are spiraling out of control for users, more and more money is being pumped into the project which is already two years overdue. Instead of responding to our questions, the Premier gave a campaign-like list of activities her government has been involved in over the last two years.

It is very unfortunate that Question Period has degenerated into what is little more than spin from the government. Almost without exception, no matter what we ask the government responds, not by answering the question, but by grandstanding and bragging. In other, perhaps more mature, parliaments such blatant disregard of process, procedure and simple politeness – answering a question you have been asked – would never be allowed. The media would be deriding the government as would the electorate.

But this is BC. So when we asked about important issues such as emergency preparedness we were told in a dismissive manner, not to worry, the government has it all in hand. Actually it is a strong network of volunteers who have it in hand. I was extremely impressed at the Emergency Preparedness Fair on Quadra last weekend. It showed what communities are doing: without any financial support from the government.

I tried again in Question Period to raise concerns about the quality of work on the retaining walls on the $600m Sea to Sky highway. It seems like each week more information is uncovered, but I don’t get an answer from the Minister and nothing is being done.

Debate started on the Forest Land and Natural Resources Amendment Act. Primarily this is about BC Timber sales – a quasi private part of the forest service.  Real issues which arise in our forest sector as a result of 14 years of BC Liberal government – from the escalation of raw log experts, the culling of old growth and the closure of dozens of mills – are not addressed.

And right at the end of the legislative week, on Thursday afternoon, we started to debate the Election Amendment Act. While this takes into account some changes recommended by the Chief Electoral Officer, it ignores his number one priority: youth voter pre-registration, which would engage young voters. The bill is troublesome in many respects including removing spending limits in the pre-election period. That will allow for Americanization of campaign spending by parties in the election period.

As always, feel free to email me Claire.trevena.mla@leg.bc.ca, friend me on Facebook, follow me @clairetrevena on Twitter, or more conventionally call at 250 287 5100 in Campbell River, 250 949 9473 in Port Hardy or 1 866 387 5100 toll free.

 

Just Posted

Rachel Blaney ‘humbled’ as NDP incumbent earns second term

Blaney will remain MP in North Island-Powell River riding

Trudeau has won the most seats — but not a majority. What happens next?

Trudeau will have to deal with some of the implications of Monday’s result

LIVE MAP: Results in Canada’s 2019 federal election

Polls are now closed across the country

ELECTION 2019: Here are the results from our 12 B.C. races to watch

Incumbents mostly won our 12 key races, but there were a few upsets too

BREAKING: Canadian Press declares NDP’s Blaney winner in North Island-Powell River

Canadian Press is declaring NDP candidate Rachel Blaney as the winner in… Continue reading

Scheer says Canada more divided than ever, as NDP and Bloc hold cards close

While Liberals were shut out of two key prairie provinces, they took two-thirds of the seats in Ontario

Horvat’s hat trick lifts Canucks to 5-2 win over Red Wings

First career three-goal game for Vancouver captain

Runners brave wet, windy weather for Ucluelet’s 20th Edge to Edge

“The spirit of the runners I have nothing but compliments.”

Saanich Gulf-Islands’s Elizabeth May coy about leadership plans

The federal Green party leader talks possibility of running as MP without being leader

Estheticians can’t be forced to wax male genitals, B.C. tribunal rules

Langley transgender woman Jessica Yaniv was ordered to pay three salon owners $2,000 each

Two youth arrested in UBC carjacking at gunpoint, after being spotted in stolen Kia

‘A great deal of credit is due the alert person who called us,’ said North Vancouver Sgt. Peter DeVries

People’s Party of Canada’s anti-immigration views ‘didn’t resonate’ with voters: prof

Party was formed on anti-immigration, climate denying views in 2018

Windstorm knocks out power for 10,000 in north and central B.C.

Power slowly being restored, BC Hydro says

Investor alert: ‘Split games’ pyramid scheme circulating in B.C.

British Columbia Securities Commission issues warning about scheme selling virtual shares

Most Read