Premier’s patronage appointment reversed

I would talk about the ways the government has lessened the effectiveness of the Legislature over time.

Last week, as I began to think of what I would say in my next MLA report, I thought I would talk about the importance of the Legislature to the democratic process.  And I would talk about the ways the government has lessened the effectiveness of the Legislature over time.

But this week, as I actually put pen to paper, I have a perfect example of why the government has worked so hard to keep the Legislature from sitting; why this government wants to avoid the scrutiny of the Opposition.

You will likely have heard this story already.  On March 12, the Justice Minister announced that a former BC Liberal cabinet minister would be paid $140,000 to co-chair a committee to review earthquake preparedness, in addition to a number of well-paid patronage appointments he has already received.  As you can imagine, the Opposition cried foul as there is absolutely no benefit to the taxpayer with this appointment; this was simply a way to funnel taxpayers’ money into the hands of a BC Liberal friend.

Because the Legislature was in session, and the Premier would have to face the Opposition in Question Period, Christy Clark quickly cancelled the contract.  It was clear that the only thing that caused her to backtrack was a vocal opposition using all the tools of the Legislature and direct access to the Legislative Press Gallery.  If the House had not been in session, she would have got away with it.

So even though much has been done by the BC Liberals to remove themselves from the scrutiny of the Opposition, it was wonderful to see that even with a reduced legislative session the democratic system that elects both government and opposition members to the Legislature worked in this case.

And it proves that when we see injustice, we must not remain silent.  As citizens, we are responsible for defending our democracy.  We must speak out when the government takes action that is not in the best interest of the people they are supposed to represent.

Norm Macdonald is the MLA for Columbia River—Revelstoke.

 

Just Posted

‘Art Alleries’ coming to Revelstoke with funding from the Columbia Basin Trust

Rob Buchanan’s creations will be hung on alleyway walls and lit

Animal rights activists to protest Kelowna’s RibFest launch

Animal rights activists plan on sinking their teeth into an annual event they say is unethical and unhealthy.

No end in sight, smoke is here to stay

There is no anticipated change in weather for the Okanagan-Shuswap this week

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

LUNA Q&A: Isabelle Kirouac

Meet the artists of LUNA Noctural Art & Wonder coming to Revelstoke Sept. 29

Interim GoFundMe payments approved in Humboldt Broncos crash

$50,000 to be given to each of the 13 survivors and each family of the 16 people who died

Ottawa intervenes to get B.C. ball player, 13, to Little League World Series

Before immigration issue was resolved, Dio Gama was out practicing the game he loves Wednesday

Pet goldfish invades small B.C. lake

Pinecrest Lake is located between Whistler and Squamish

Mounties deployed to help B.C. communities affected by wildfires

RCMP officers heading to places particularly within central, northern and southern B.C.

Chinese medicine practitioner in B.C. facing historical sex assault charges

71-year old Kit Wong practiced acupuncture from his home during the time of the assaults

Quebec sets aside $900 million for companies hurt by U.S. tariffs

Premier Philippe Couillard says his government will make $863 million available over five years

Wildfires converge near Mabel Lake in Lumby

Area restrictions expanded in Lumby and Cherryville

Super League Triathlon makes North American debut in Penticton

Making its North American debut, the event brings a new twist to the traditional sport

Most Read