While the federal government and governments in Ontario and Alberta — to name just two — are wallowing in red ink, Christy Clark’s Liberal government in B.C. could table a budget Tuesday in Victoria that promises the elimination of its deficit within the year. And yet, Clark’s government is struggling to find favour with voters. From earlier tonight on Battleground on Sun News Network, our Vancouver reporter Jill Bennett tells us what Clark and her finance minister Mike de Jong were saying and then I check in with Vancouver 24 Hours columnist (and Adrian Dix supporter) Bill Tieleman on the budget, new BC Liberal nominations and the significance of Clark cabinet minister Pat Bell’s decision to take a break from politics once the writ is dropped.
British Columbia’s Lt Gov Judith Guichon delivered a rather remarkable Speech from the Throne this afternoon in Victoria. After failing to meet for than eight months, the government of B.C. Liberal Christy Clark convened this afternoon for what will be a very short session ahead of a May 14 provincial election.
It was remarkable because, within only a handful of sitting days ahead of it, this speech from the throne could not do what most speeches from the throne do, namely lay out what kind of legislation the government will present to the legislature. Instead it was largely aspirational, looking ahead to a future in B.C. when natural gas has done for that province what oil has done for Alberta. Continue reading A magical future awaits B.C. thanks to natural gas!
British Columbians go to the polls in mid-May. It’s now almost mid-February. The incumbent premier, B.C. Liberal Christy Clark, continues to trail badly in the polls and she polls particularly badly among female voters. Here’s a new ad that, it seems to me, is aimed at female voters. Think it’ll help?
Angus Reid says voters in BC think Premier Christy Clark is “out-of-touch”, “arrogant” and “secretive “. [Here’s the poll – PDF] On my show Battleground last night, Alise Mills thinks Clark is wearing the rep for years of Liberal rule in BC.
The B.C. NDP have responded (above) to some negative ads put up by a right-leaning group known as the Concerned Citizens for B.C. as well as other ads put out in the last week by the B.C. Liberals. From the B.C. NDP press release: Continue reading Hi, I'm Adrian Dix and I'm not the scary guy my opponents would have you believe
Every party now and again feels the need to trump the wishes of their local riding association and appoint a candidate to run in a general election. But, with the British Columbia general election just a few months away, the Liberal Party of British Columbia (which should definitely not be confused with the Liberal Party of Canada) seems to be making it more of a normal practice of trumping its local riding association. Continue reading BC Liberals continue to push around local riding associations
Monday to Friday — on Sun News Network at 6 pm Eastern. :
Colin Hansen had the good fortune/misfortune to be the finance minister of British Columbia when his boss, then Premier Gordon Campbell, told him to merge the GST and BC’s PST to create BC’s HST. Any number of economists (and a certain federal finance minister named Jim Flaherty) will tell you that an HST is more efficient, better for the economy, etc., etc.,
But British Columbians hated it at least because Hansen announced the plan to move to an HST within weeks after the last BC provincial election, an election in which Campbell’s Liberals made no mention of the HST.
The backlash was ferocious, so much so that Campbell eventually called it a day (and was sent, by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, to London where he is Canada’s High Commissioner to the UK) and was replaced as leader and premier by Christy Clark. Clark subsequently sent Hansen to the backbench in the Victoria legislature. Then she held an HST referendum and after campaigning half-heartedly in its favour lost that ballot and resolved to go back to a PST and an HST. Hansen, meanwhile, had been relegated by Clark to the backbenches in the legislature and so, after 17 years in that institution, got the message and, last September, announced his retirement as MLA for Vancouver-Quilchena (a riding which is the eastern neighbour, incidentally, of Clark’s Vancouver-Point Grey riding).
But Hansen is still a force in the party, taking on the duties of deputy campaign manager for the upcoming election. His task will be to to convince voters that Clark is Campbell’s heir to the free enterprise coalition that has been governing BC for an awful long time now. Here, on Battleground, we ask him about the election and the role the HST will play and what he’ll be doing to help Christy Clark overcome Adrian Dix’s Socialist Hordes. ™
#bcpoli NDP insider calls me up and asks me to step down as Green candidate in OBGH. Talks about party being worried about Green support.
— Andrew Weaver (@AJWVictoriaBC) December 13, 2012
#bcpoli Talks about other ways I could be effective in an NDP government. Dangles the idea of my being Deputy Minister of the Environment
— Andrew Weaver (@AJWVictoriaBC) December 13, 2012
Those two tweets, from University of Victoria professor and the nominated BC Green Party candidate in Oak Bay-Gordon Head have created quite a little kerfuffle. The “NDP insider” that Weaver is referring to in those tweets is Michael Byers, a UBC political scientist who ran for the federal NDP in the last general election. Continue reading In his own words: BC Green Party candidate Andrew Weaver on allegations of political interference
“I’m going to run on (being) number one in job creation,” BC Premier Christy Clark told the Liberal Party of BC convention last Saturday, boasting at one point that BC had created 57,000 jobs and that that was more than any province in Canada.
At the time, as I pointed out in a blog post, that claim was not true based on the most recent 12 consecutive months of jobs data for BC (and the country) as provided by Statistics Canada.
On Saturday, the most recent numbers available were for September, 2012.
Today, Statistics Canada released the numbers for October, 2012 and they were awful for British Columbia.