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.
Domestic provincial considerations have complicated the viability of the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline project. One major barrier to the development of the Northern Gateway pipeline is the parochial interests of B.C.'s premier, Christy Clark who has demanded a "fair share" of the benefits from the pipeline. Lifting the moratorium on offshore oil and gas activity on Canada's west coast has the potential to resolve inter-provincial in-fighting over pipelines by ensuring British Columbia is a larger beneficiary of Canada's energy renaissance.
It's impossible to keep a good idea down for long -- and a looming NDP landslide may put electoral reform back on British Columbia's political radar. Many casual observers would say such disconnect between the number of votes and seats is unfair. But this is becoming a recurring phenomenon in B.C. The way British Columbians elect MLAs was a hot topic of debate after the 2001 B.C. Liberal landslide, which saw a 58 per cent vote count turn into 97 per cent of the seats in the legislature.
We've heard a lot about the potential splitting of the center-right or "free enterprise" vote in next May's B.C. election. How it would ultimately seal the fate of the B.C. Liberals and hand the election to the NDP. Think again.
We visited forgotten places like an abandoned railway tunnel, a former gold mine where Chinese labourers once toiled, and an unmarked cemetery where Chinese pioneers were laid to rest. In the valley, I discovered how two histories intersected ― how some First Nations people nursed railway workers back to health when they were left to die along the tracks, how First Nations men had teamed up with Chinese labourers working in a Nanaimo coal mine to fight off white bullies, and how some labourers had children with First Nations women.
It's difficult to find someone in Vancouver's business community who relishes the prospect of an NDP government. Yet that's precisely what they are bracing for when B.C. goes to the polls next May. Confidence in Christy Clark has all but evaporated. Members of the business establishment are increasingly resigned to the NDP forming the next government. So it was against this backdrop that Adrian Dix, Leader of British Columbia's NDP, had his coming out party.
B.C. Premier Christy Clark has yet again found herself in a sticky situation with the recent publication of an interview in which she expressed explicit disdain for the "sick culture" of Victoria, the provincial capital. I can't help but wonder though if all of the backlash to Clark's admittedly foolish comments are missing the mark. Which one of us, especially the politicians and political commentators in the bunch, can truly look in the mirror and say that the state of government in our society today is not a little bit perverted?
The question is, will a reduction in tolls make any difference at all to hardened voters weary of the endless stream of politicking from Christy Clark, the second most unpopular premier in Canada? I don't think so. The Liberals are using the old bait and switch trick, one they've perfected over the last 10 years. Sure we get a discount at first, but eventually we're all going to be paying -- for the rest of our lives.