The B.C. premier's New Year's resolutions have nothing to do with the provincial election in less than six months, and everything to do with making us cookies!
Well, us = the media. In a Youtube video posted on Dec. 31, Christy Clark promises to give the media a "big hug and bake them all some cookies." Aw, isn't that nice?
Steering clear of any political pledges, Clark offers a light-hearted best wishes to British Columbians for 2013 in the short clip.
She notes that some people believe the new year is a chance to focus on the noble ideal of self improvement, while others view the period as "just simply fun." In that spirit, the premier shares some of her 2013 resolutions.
"Number one, I will stop demanding that Hamish get a shout out in every single one of his games," says Clark of her hockey-playing son.
She adds: "I will accept Richard Branson's kind invitation to come waterskiiing.... OK that was just a joke."
In May, the British billionaire invited the premier to go kitesurfing on his back in the buff.
Er, just pass the cookies, thanks.
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Don't get excited. It's not imminent in Canada, or even in British Columbia. But the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/11/07/marijuana-legalization-bc-washington-pot_n_2088388.html">decision by Washington state voters to decriminalize the drug</a> is sure to stir debate north of the border. Perhaps activist <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/11/21/dana-larsen-bc-marijuana-petition-pot_n_2174174.html">Dana Larsen</a> 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 <a href="http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/dix-and-labour-pledge-mutual-support/article5769522/">wholesale support behind the NDP</a> in the next election, the Globe and Mail reports, but that doesn't mean B.C. will be free of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/10/04/bc-university-cupe-strike-ubc-sfu-uvic-unbc-tru_n_1939864.html">public sector strikes</a>.
Site C Dam Protests
The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/12/12/northern-gateway-ubc-study_n_2282633.html">Northern Gateway</a> and <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/ben-west/kinder-morgan-enbridge-trans-mountain-pipeline-oil_b_2229622.html">Kinder Morgan</a> pipelines will share the limelight with the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/10/03/site-c-dam-cost_n_1936911.html">Site C Dam</a>, 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.
The Return Of The PST
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2011/08/26/hst-vote-bc_n_938296.html">Turfing HST</a> was the easy part. Re-educating an economy about the previous tax system will be a challenge. The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/niels-veldhuis/bc-pst-hst-tax-reform_b_1970961.html">Provincial Sales Tax (PST) returns April 1, 2013</a>, 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 <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/11/14/carol-todd-amanda-todd-mother-anti-bullying-conference_n_2130424.html">attracting</a> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/10/01/christy-clark-alison-redford-northern-gateway_n_1928096.html">negative</a> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/09/16/christy-clark-bc-fall-session-evan-solomon-letter_n_1888773.html">attention</a>? 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 <a href="http://www.bcrea.bc.ca/news-and-publications/news-room/news-releases/housing-forecast-news-release">B.C. Real Estate Association</a> predicts growth in provincial home sales in 2013. Perhaps Vancouver will finally get over the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/09/17/vancouver-housing-bubble_n_1890553.html">shock of tightened mortgage rules</a>.
A New Police Force?
The report of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry means that <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/12/18/misisng-women-inquiry-metro-vancouver-police_n_2320517.html">police reform</a> 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 <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/03/21/bc-rcmp-deal-contract-details_n_1371048.html">20-year agreement to keep the RCMP</a>.
A New Government?
Far be it from us to predict that the B.C. NDP will win the 2013 election, but the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/09/04/christy-clark-bc-liberals-ndp-poll_n_1853245.html">polls don't tell us much different</a>. However, far from an NDP majority, the Liberals are getting plenty of help from the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/11/23/bc-conservative-support-poll-liberals-ndp_n_2177760.html">B.C. Conservatives</a>.