Mike De Jong

Pre-Approving Suppliers Won't Solve B.C.'s Transparency Problem

Dermod Travis | Posted 10.28.2016 | Canada British Columbia
Dermod Travis

News that's guaranteed to cheer the hearts of a small number of B.C. companies is word that they've been added to a list of pre-qualified suppliers to the B.C. government. The lists are intended to offer all the appearances of open and transparent procurement. They can be anything but.

B.C. Liberals' Long-Shot LNG Deal Was Fantasy After All

Dermod Travis | Posted 07.25.2016 | Canada British Columbia
Dermod Travis

B.C. may still see an LNG plant, but as for that $1 trillion in economic activity and $100 billion prosperity fund the only step left is to call time of death. There's an upside for the government. The public never bought the hype in the first place.

B.C. Legislature Will Consider Vancouver Empty Homes Tax

CP | The Canadian Press | Posted 07.11.2016 | Canada British Columbia

The tax is aimed at improving the supply of rental homes across Metro Vancouver's superheated market.

B.C. Foreign Home Buyers Are Mostly From China, Data Reveals

CP | The Canadian Press | Posted 07.07.2016 | Canada British Columbia

B.C. finance minister said just over three per cent of sales between June 10 and June 29 involved foreign buyers.

The B.C. Government Is Dodging Necessary FOI Reforms

Vincent Gogolek | Posted 05.26.2016 | Canada British Columbia
Vincent Gogolek

The spring sitting of the BC Legislature has wrapped up with a lot of talk about information and transparency, but with little action.

B.C. Government Masters The Art Of Political Spin

Dermod Travis | Posted 05.18.2016 | Canada British Columbia
Dermod Travis

Canadians have come to expect that politicians will take a few liberties with facts as they spin issues to suit their purpose. A master practitioner of the art form is the B.C. government, with spin that can be light in the accuracy department.

Bid To Ban Clapping In Legislature Rejected With Rousing Applause

CP | Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press | Posted 05.14.2016 | Canada British Columbia

The House of Commons in the United Kingdom banned hissing and applause 323 years ago.

B.C. Government Scandals Hint At Systemic Misconduct

Dermod Travis | Posted 05.05.2016 | Canada Politics
Dermod Travis

Last July, whistleblower Alana James made a startling claim in an interview with the Vancouver Sun about allegations of corruption leveled at the B.C. Ministry of Health: "This was not about one ministry and less than a dozen individuals."

B.C. Finance Minister Doesn't Do Email Because Modern Life Sucks

The Huffington Post | Mohamed Omar | Posted 03.17.2016 | Canada British Columbia

Maybe he's on to something.

Are Christy Clark's Travel Expenses Soaring Sky-High?

Dermod Travis | Posted 03.03.2016 | Canada Politics
Dermod Travis

News that Premier Christy Clark has spent $500,000 on private jets since assuming office has -- not surprisingly -- raised a few eyebrows. It's a story that has as much to do with the symbolism as it does with the dollars. A political condition that the government seems increasingly tone deaf to as of late.

B.C. Vows Action As Vancouver Housing Hits The Stratosphere

CP | The Canadian Press | Posted 02.09.2016 | Canada British Columbia

"Success is not for quitters," said the speech.

B.C. Pre-Budget Holds Good, Bad And Ugly Ideas For Taxpayers

Jordan Bateman | Posted 12.17.2015 | Canada British Columbia
Jordan Bateman

The bipartisan legislative committee was asked by Finance Minister Michael de Jong to travel the province and make recommendations for the 2016-17 B.C. budget. Unfortunately, the committee fell into the usual trap of recommending billions in new spending requests put in by dozens of special interest groups.

The B.C. Government's 7 Stages Of Damage Control

Dermod Travis | Posted 11.04.2016 | Canada British Columbia
Dermod Travis

health ministry firings, multicultural outreach strategy and what some are calling deletegate -- they demand finesse and there's a definite pattern to how the government goes about it. Its damage control manual seems to come with instructions: mix and match to fit, use sparingly and only as required.

B.C. Expects Budget Surplus Despite $380-Million Wildfire Season

CP | Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press | Posted 09.15.2015 | Canada British Columbia

B.C.'s projected surplus has dipped $7 million from last February's forecast, but the province is still on target to post a $277 million surplus by the end of the year.

B.C. Finance Minister Heads To Malaysia To Woo Energy Giant

CP | Posted 07.26.2016 | Canada British Columbia

Travel and accommodation for the minister and his chief of staff will cost about $7,900.

B.C. LNG Law Introduced To Pave Way For $36-Billion Facility

CP | Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press | Posted 07.13.2016 | Canada British Columbia

Finance Minister Mike de Jong said the proposed facility would be the largest private investment in the province's history.

Who Else Was Involved in the B.C. Health Ministry Firings?

Dermod Travis | Posted 06.18.2016 | Canada British Columbia
Dermod Travis

Three years out and the public outrage over the 2012 health ministry firings shows no signs of abating and may be intensifying over recent disclosures that the government misled the public on the RCMP investigation that never was.

B.C. Legislature Is Setting For Some Riveting Screenplays

Dermod Travis | Posted 06.16.2016 | Canada British Columbia
Dermod Travis

It may look like one at night, but the B.C. legislature isn't a movie set, even though some government staffers seem to be living out their own screenplays along the corridors of power.

Vancouver Mayor's 'Rampant Speculation' Is Far From The Truth: Realtor

The Huffington Post B.C. | Andree Lau | Posted 05.26.2015 | Canada British Columbia

"I'd be interested to know where the mayor and Bob Rennie are getting their information from."

B.C. Budget 2015: The Status Quo Isn't Good Enough

Charles Lammam | Posted 04.21.2015 | Canada British Columbia
Charles Lammam

De Jong should be commended for B.C.'s exclusive membership in the balanced budget club. But with its commitment to the status quo, the government misses an opportunity to build an even better economic future.

B.C. Budget 2015 Pushes Dream Of White Picket Fence Further Out Of Reach

Dermod Travis | Posted 04.21.2015 | Canada British Columbia
Dermod Travis

But what's really killing off the economic hopes of most British Columbians is the incessant nickel-and-diming by a government that lacks the political will to set personal income tax rates at a level where the tax burden is shared fairly among everyone in B.C.

B.C. Budget Balanced, But LNG Boom Nowhere To Be Seen

CP | Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press | Posted 04.19.2015 | Canada British Columbia

Finance Minister Mike de Jong's budget projects a surplus of $284 million.

Proposed B.C. LNG Income Tax Rate Cut In Half

CP | Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press | Posted 12.21.2014 | Canada British Columbia

VICTORIA - The British Columbia government climbed down from its proposed goal of a seven per cent income tax on liquefied natural gas, earning praise...

B.C. LNG Emissions Law Greenest In World: Environment Minister

CP | Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press | Posted 12.20.2014 | Canada British Columbia

VICTORIA - New legislation introduced in British Columbia requires liquefied natural gas plants to meet emission standards or face penalties and makes...

Ministerial Accountability In B.C. Slip Slidin' Away

Dermod Travis | Posted 11.30.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Dermod Travis

Batten down the hatches, because this fall it's not just the threat of extreme weather British Columbians need to worry about; MLAs are returning to Victoria for a rare fall sitting of the legislature as well. And if the spring sitting was any indication, don't hold your breath hoping for much in the way of ministerial accountability.