"Any claim that the ministry will not be supplying Christmas gifts for children in care is absolutely inaccurate and it is very concerning that this erroneous message was sent to a client," said B.C. Children and Families ministry. We have two sources making the same allegations, an email transcript backing up those allegations and a government denying all of it.
Children everywhere are writing to Santa, hoping that they haven't made the naughty list. Turns out that it's not only children who should be worried this year. I received a tip recently from a source in the North Pole and Santa is more than a little upset with the B.C. Liberals. I was happy to help him assemble the top 5 naughty list in B.C. politics.
Trust must be the cornerstone of the relationship between a government and its taxpayers. Every year, we hand over our hard-earned money a bank account worth $42 billion to our politicians. We expect them to run our affairs professionally and efficiently and to keep us well-informed on their plans. When that trust erodes, it's very difficult for government to earn it back. But it can be done, if Clark and de Jong are willing to change their behaviour.
The point Justin Trudeau, and largely the rest of Canada, has missed is the role British Columbia will play moving forward in Canada. If it's not obvious, it should be by now. With Vancouver MP Joyce Murray announcing her run for leader of the Liberal Party today, it's slowly setting the pace to which B.C. politicians will begin to take a more active role in shaping the country's policy.
When British Columbians rejected the HST in the 2011 referendum, they were promised things would go back to the PST normal. But an independent panel has recommended adding taxes to things that virtually every B.C. family buys -- a plan that will increase our already sky-high cost of living.
If the B.C. NDP have sprung to life, they have a strange way of showing it off, by failing to sign up members and sending experienced candidates packing. In contrast, supporters of the B.C. Liberal Party are showing up in strong numbers and backing A-listers.
Once upon a time, a popular opposition firebrand named Christy Clark stood up in the B.C. Legislature to rip the NDP government for spending tax dollars on shameless, self-promoting advertising. Fast forward 13 years and there was Clark, now B.C. Liberal premier, last week holding court for 90 seconds of taxpayer-funded TV ad time to laud her B.C. Jobs Plan -- even promising that four more weekly installments are on the way.
Though they were standing outside, the assembled media could barely miss a word that was spoken at a closed-door B.C. Liberal convention session. They huddled near the doors, picking up enough sentence fragments to be able to make out what was being said. Inside, the fingers were not at all idle either -- delegates tweeted what was being discussed. The buildup of interest -- undoubtedly piqued by the closed doors -- caused #BCL12 to trend across Canada, with thousands of followers hanging onto the words of the political masterminds Don Guy and Stephen Carter.
Conflict between B.C. Premier Christy Clark and Alberta Premier Alison Redford over the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline to the West Coast is not in the long-range interests of either province and needs to be resolved. In July, Ms. Clark laid down five conditions for considering support of the project, including a provision that B.C. must receive a "fair share" of the fiscal and economic benefits. Ms. Redford's response was immediate and negative and seemed to assume that B.C. was seeking a share of Alberta's oil royalties, even though this was not the case. Since the Alberta Premier has been seeking to take the lead in developing a "national energy strategy," it's in her interests to take the initiative in negotiating a resolution to this dispute with British Columbia.
Last week, the Legislative Assembly Management Committee, chaired by Barisoff and made up of both Liberal and NDP MLAs, agreed to post quarterly expense reports online -- but continue to withhold actual receipts, ensuring the public is kept in the dark on where public money is actually going. For two parties who are at each other's throats on nearly every issue facing this province, it is astounding that the Liberals and NDP continue to walk in lockstep when it comes to hiding these receipts.
B.C. Liberal party director Mike McDonald made an interesting point on Sunday. Not one to miss an opportunity for a partisan shot given the nature of his political post, McDonald tweeted: "Shocked at low NDP turnout in Fairview. Huge media, high profile candidates, less than 400 voted. NDP support not deep." Despite the dig, McDonald is on to something. But what he's on to isn't pretty and regrettably it ails all political parties in B.C.
To encourage businesses to invest and expand their operations in B.C., the focus should be on making B.C. the most investment-friendly jurisdiction in Canada. To that end, the government should put forth a tax plan to reduce the crushing blow to B.C.'s competitiveness in light of the PST's rebirth.
The anxiety and depression that resulted from cyber-bullying were too much for Amanda Todd, resulting in her suicide. And yet a large faction of the public, is reticent to the notion of legislating on this issue. In an interview Christy Clark made it clear that her preferred avenue to combat bullying is through education and not legislation. I am unable to comprehend why education and legislation have to be mutually exclusive, but perhaps when the next teen commits suicide, I can have Christy explain it to me. We have attempted to educate children on the detrimental effects of bullying, and yet, they do not seem to be learning. Perhaps it is time we change the lesson plan.
The criticism of B.C. Premier Christy Clark's strategy regarding negotiations over Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway pipeline is unwarranted. Clark has been clear on what the province requires in order to move forward with construction of the pipeline in Northern B.C. while her Alberta counterpart has given her little to work with. Clark said herself, it's her job to fight for B.C. and our environment. She's absolutely right, and we should all be in her corner cheering her on.
I'm beginning to feel sorry for Premier Christy Clark. She is a very nice person, personable and able to speak. What she is not capable of doing is speaking sensibly or making decisions that make sense. It seems obvious to me that she is getting wretched advice and nowhere is this more evident than on the pipeline issue.
Citing a whole range of exceptions from legal privilege to law enforcement to personal privacy, the ministry refused to release any of the records we requested. This, despite the fact that our request should have little or nothing to do with lawyers or police! An RCMP investigation shouldn't mean that every record held by the ministry is automatically off-limits to FOI requests.