By the time all the hysteria over the 10 year deal dies down, Susan Lambert will no doubt wish she was still dealing with George Abbott rather than Premier Coleman ( should Clark somehow blow the by election) and flunky Fassbender.
Stay tuned I think this issue will get a whole lot more interesting between now and September when the kids are scheduled to return to school.
As crazy as it sounds,today,at the weekend conference of blame the BCNDP is holding to determine what went wrong during the May election,Adrian Dix blamed a large part of the loss on those folks who are blue collar workers and NDP supporters who lost their jobs and moved on .
This is a totally illogical statement coming from the man who, without warning, changed his position on the Kinder Morgan project which surely cost them the election. In fact it still has not occurred to Adrian that by opposing this project it would result in the loss of more of those blue collar jobs he has accused the BC Liberals of scaring off.
In fact if the BCNDP wants some hindsight into why they lost they should simply read Gary Mason’s excellent column in the Globe. It details for the most part why the Liberals won and how they came back from the dead.
From my work in the field during the election,Mason only left out one part of the NDP defeat and it was it important and it was this : After the Kinder Morgan fiasco which led to Dix’s lousy performance at the debate, my field operatives started reporting to me that Dix’s people has told them that Dix was such a wimpster they were staying home and were not prepared to vote for him.
The NDP,instead of putting the election on cruise control,should have been hammering the Liberals on their record and their litany of scandals.
As for the debate, BC Conservative leader John Cummin’s first line had a prophetic vision attached to it, just not in the way we thought. If you recall he said: You are tuned in tonight because you know Christy Clark and the BC Liberals are going to lose the election and you want to see what kind of premier Adrian Dix will make.
The people saw alright and what resulted was a BC Liberal majority!
Phone lines were jammed on the talk shows this morning with people calling in to show their disgust. Kind of reminded me of those same calls that came in over the HST. You recall that episode was not to pretty for the BC Liberals.
People said after the election that Clark was a good campaigner but a lousy governor and she would revert to the later quickly. I don’t think anybody realized how quickly it would start.
You would have thought that in the name of screwing the people over they would have at least waited until after that election was done.
Except that Clark and her team are extremely smug and arrogant and could care less about what the people think.
Patronage and payback are at the top of her list. ( More on that in a later post)
This event in itself shows that she really doesn’t get it.
The voters in Westside-Kelowna ought to do her and her government a favor a teach her a harsh lesson now.
They should show their angst for both losing the MLA they voted for a few weeks back and for this terrible act of managing the taxpayers money.
They should take advantage of this golden opportunity and vote against her.
A loss here will no doubt cause the party to give her the boot and just maybe they will get their act together and get a good leader that believes in honesty and transparency.
But then this is BC and these are the BC Liberals so who knows what they would do.
This sneaky act comes at at time when not only did they promise transparency but as Clark was publicly telling then to watch spending.
She obviously speaks out of both sides of her mouth.
I can only imagine the reaction of the teachers when they are told to shut up , sign the 10 year contract and that there is no money for salary increases or the seniors who have to cough up the new user fee for the wheelchairs to pay for these raises.
Where on earth is the BCNDP while all this is going on? Are they not the opposition?
Given their disastrous results in the election ( they were supposed to win the polls said), you would think they would be all over this.
Unless of course they are busy licking their wounds!
With a chance to start fresh and let bygones be bygones Premier Christy Clark has chosen to keep the hurt happening and stiff Dr. Moira Stillwell and Sam Sullivan out of cabinet positions in her new cabinet unveiled today.
Sullivan was a former mayor of Vancouver who has hands on experience with Government management and would have been a great fit with the new cabinet.
The handling of Dr.Stilwell leaves more to be desired in that if you recall she was a former BC Liberal leadership aspirant who was passed over in Clark’s first cabinet. She most recently served as a Minister of Social Development.
With her background Dr.Stilwell should have be named Minister of Health.
But no; In Clark’s world a former Environment Minister ( Terry Lake) is more qualified for that portfolio?
Could it be Clark is getting even for the good doctor speaking out over the premier’s transgression with the red light during the election?
This coming from a premier who spoke of respect in one of her opening lines in her speech?
There is about as much chance of Dr. Stilwell getting respect in BC Liberal circles as is their budget actually balancing.
Not going to happen.
If you are interested here is the list from today’s announcement:
Deputy Minister, Minister of Natural Gas Development and minister responsible for housing: Rich Coleman
Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation: John Rustad
Minister of Advanced Education: Amrik Virk
Minister of Agriculture: Pat Pimm
Minister of Children and Family Development: Stephanie Cadieux
Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development: Coralee Oakes
Minister of Education: Peter Fassbender
Minister of Energy and Mines and minister responsible for core review: Bill Bennett
Minister of Environment: Mary Polak
Minister of Finance and Government House Leader: Mike de Jong
Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations: Steve Thomson
Minister of Health: Terry Lake
Minister of International Trade, minister responsible for Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism: Teresa Wat
Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and minister responsible for labour: Shirley Bond
Minister of State for Tourism and Small Business: Naomi Yamamoto
Minister of Justice and Attorney General: Suzanne Anton
Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services: Andrew Wilkinson
Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure and deputy house leader: Todd Stone
Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation: Don McRae.
This is no ordinary cabinet day, it is being done with a twist.
Departing from usual tradition,The BC Liberal government is announcing their cabinet in Vancouver as opposed to stately Victoria.
Why? Is it because Clark thinks Victoria culture is so sick she wants to stay as afar away from that as possible or is it more likely she is looking for the grandiose photo-op to give her by-election a kick-start?
So what about the cabinet? Will it be large or small?
Given the BC Liberals propensity to spend money coupled with so many people wanting to get in , I would hedge my bets on large.
Who will get in?
Likely Coleman, Mike de Jong, Shirley Bond, Mary Polak and the usual suspects.
If Coleman has any say at all Peter Fassbender will be there to carry his water bucket.
What about Marvin Hunt,Amrik Virk,Suzanne Anton and a whole host of the new one term wonders elected this past May?
What about long time MLA’s Moira Stillwell ( Not to be confused with the other newly elected Stillwell) and Gordon Hogg. Where will they wind up?
What about Adrian Dix? Given his performance in that May election Clark should find a spot for him, after all he handed her the election on a silver platter.
Once the current senate turmoil in Ottawa involving Senators Duffy and Wallin blows over, a strong rumor out of Surrey suggests former BC Liberal Finance Minister Kevin Falcon will be appointed to the Senate.
Should this happen it will quash the other rumor, namely that Falcon is going to run in the new riding of Cloverdale-Langley ( or whatever it is to be called) against already declared candidate former MP Gurmant Grewal.
The first week of June is shaping up to be an interesting week in BC politics what with the official election results being finalized on June 5.
Premier Christy Clark has some interesting choices to make given she has said that she will name a cabinet later this week ( June 7) and decide what riding she wants to run in to attempt to get entry in the house. Astute political junkies will recall Clark lost her seat in the recent provincial election this past May 14th.
The most likely day for her to call the by-election would be Thursday June 6. Given Clark’s penchant for photo ops that day also happens to coincide with the 69th anniversary of DDay and would make a wonderful opportunity for her to call the election and claim in her heart she is a DDay vet.
She has to win this and of course she will. They will choose the easiest possible seat to run her in despite all the bravado from the NDP about running a candidate against them. (Actually they don’t all say that just some of them).
It is rumoured to be Fort Langley Aldergrove where current MLA Rich Coleman is purporting to be offering to step down. If true, Coleman will still have Peter Fassbender on the inside to watch over things while he gets ready to run for the leadership when Clark is dumped.
What about the BC Conservatives? That decision has not been made yet and will probably be made at an upcoming board meeting later this week. My take, shockingly, is that we should respect the mandate that the premier and her party have received from the people. That means I don’t think we should run a candidate. The party has a wonderful chance to hold this government accountable over the next few years. The NDP won’t,they will be to busy looking for ways to dump Dix and rebuild their own party.
The Premier has demonstrated over the past 2 years that while she is a good campaigner she is a terrible governor. ( Her pipeline announcement this week is an example of that,declaring opposition to the project even though all the tests haven’t been done)
You can bet at some point down the road the Premier and her team will come on board with the pipeline. It will happen about the same time as they come to the realization their balanced budget ( 2013 edition) is not really balanced and they need the revenue to save face. ( How do you spell HST anybody?)
For Clark, The bigger minefield lies with the choosing of her new cabinet. Usually the cabinet that is chosen gives you an idea of which direction the government is going.
In this case I would think that even though Clark has won a majority, the party will keep her on a short leash.( Remember she still has no seat and is a left leaning liberal in a caucus full of right leaning conservatives).
Think also to various gaffes Clark has made over the past few months. She ran a red light that was disclosed during the election. Caucus member and MLA Moira Stilwell spoke up against this. Stillwell is one of the brightest MLAs the party has. What will become of her?
Gordon Hogg took on Rich Coleman over the mess during the botched casino affair. What will happen to Him?
How many of the new MLA’s will be content to thank their lucky stars Adrian Dix and crew screwed up so badly and they got elected.
What if Clark decides to follow her Liberal ways and take the government even more left?( Remember they now agree with the NDP on the pipeline) What will become of the Conservative hopefuls in that BC Liberal Caucus?
Those who are not thrilled can always take out membership in the 8:01 club can’t they?
The week ahead in BC Politics is shaping up to be very interesting and the decisions made will shape the province for the next 4.5 years. ( Assuming the next election is in the fall to allow for proper budget debate)
Stay tuned, I will be here to dissect the different events as they unfold and thank you for reading!