BC News Stories To Watch In 2013

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ADRIAN DIX CHRISTY CLARK
B.C. NDP Leader Adrian Dix could prove to be a real newsmaker in 2013 if he becomes premier of British Columbia. (Canadian Press) | CP

What does 2013 hold for British Columbia? The province is never lacking for news. 2012 saw news events including pipeline protests, earthquakes and plucky individuals taking a stand.

In 2013, environmentalists are likely to broaden their focus beyond the pipelines. Protesters who stared down the Harmonized Sales Tax in 2011 will see the fruit of their labour when the Provincial Sales Tax returns on April 1, 2013.

The continuing turmoil within B.C.'s governing Liberals could mean a new party chosen in the May provincial election.

Of course, these predictions are based purely on what's happening right now. We've yet to see what 2013 will bring us, and we can't wait.

Some B.C. stories to watch in 2013:

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B.C. News Stories to Watch in 2013
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Marijuana legalization
It's not imminent in Canada, or even in British Columbia. But the decision by Washington state voters to decriminalize the drug is sure to stir debate north of the border. Perhaps activist Dana Larsen will bring back his petition to relax enforcement of pot laws in B.C.

Legislature vs. Labour
A left-wing provincial government will mean labour peace with the unions, right? Don't be so sure. The B.C. Federation of Labour has thrown its wholesale support behind the NDP in the next election, the Globe and Mail reports, but that doesn't mean B.C. will be free of public sector strikes.

Site C dam protests
The Northern Gateway and Kinder Morgan pipelines will share the limelight with the Site C Dam, a proposed third dam on B.C.'s Peace River that will enter an environmental assessment this year. It's expected to flood hundreds of hectares of land.

Return of the PST
Turfing HST was the easy part. Re-educating an economy about the previous tax system will be a challenge. The Provincial Sales Tax (PST) returns April 1, 2013, and we can expect many stories of confusion at reverting to a system that levied taxes on tangible goods, with a cavalcade of random exemptions.

Christy Clark's leadership
She's the articulate premier of a majority government in Canada's most beautiful province. So how does Christy Clark keep attracting negative attention? Will she lead her party to victory in the May provincial election?

Vancouver real estate recovery
No one can say for sure what will happen to Vancouver's real estate market, but the B.C. Real Estate Association predicts growth in provincial home sales in 2013. Perhaps Vancouver will finally get over the shock of tightened mortgage rules.

A new police force?
The report of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry means that police reform must be on the agenda this year. But don't hold your breath for a new police force this year. The provincial government has signed a 20-year agreement to keep the RCMP.

A new government?
Far be it from us to predict that the B.C. NDP will win the 2013 election, but the polls don't tell us much different. However, far from an NDP majority, the Liberals are getting plenty of help from the B.C. Conservatives.

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