National Newswatch

Pipeline politics key to Weaver weaving historic deal

May 30 2017 — Vaughn Palmer — The word “historic” gets tossed around with abandon these days, but that was the right way to describe what unfolded Monday afternoon in the foyer outside the B.C. legislature chamber. The setting itself was apt: The ceremonial entrance open and the chamber beyond fully lighted, 87 desks in place, awaiting confirmation as to who would […]

Clark and Horgan spar as Weaver ducks line of fire

Apr 21 2017 — Vaughn Palmer — Incumbent Christy Clark and challenger John Horgan lost little time getting to the rough stuff in the first debate of the 2017 election campaign, broadcast Thursday morning on radio and over the Internet. Less than 10 minutes was gone on the clock at host station News 1130 when the two leaders were at it. Clark […]

Ambitious Horgan plans to unseat play-it-safe Clark crew

Apr 11 2017 — Vaughn Palmer — On the eve of the formal start of the election campaign, the B.C. Liberals released a platform Monday with only a bit of news, but laid out at great length. Strong B.C., Bright Future ran some 129 pages in all, a size that if nothing else confirmed the Liberals don’t lack for dollars, paid research […]

BC Liberals lacking in bold ideas

Nov 7 2016 — Vaughn Palmer — The B.C. Liberals held their annual convention in Vancouver over the weekend amid much talk about avoiding complacency and offering the electorate something fresh for campaign 2017. With that in mind, the party convened a major policy session to air the preliminary fruits of what was said to be “the most extensive platform consultation in […]

Alberta draws a (pipe)line in sand on getting to yes with B.C.

Oct 6 2016 — Vaughn Palmer — While the B.C. Liberals reacted favourably to the federal government’s foray into carbon pricing this week, neighbouring Alberta served up a reminder of a controversial shoe that could be dropping on this province before the end of the year. “In principle, the government of Alberta supports a common price that all provinces and territories meet […]

Pacific NorthWest LNG reminds us of NDP’s Alberta vs. B.C. nuances

Oct 1 2016 — Vaughn Palmer — Among the more telling reactions to the federal government approval of B.C.’s Pacific NorthWest LNG project was the carefully crafted comment from Alberta Premier Rachel Notley. “We’re encouraged that the federal government appears to be rolling up its sleeves to try and navigate a path towards an important combination of sustainable economic growth while ensuring […]

Searching for a spark to revive dormant B.C. Conservatives

Jul 20 2016 — Vaughn Palmer — The B.C. Conservatives went into the last election with longtime federal MP John Cummins as leader and a briefly competitive standing in the opinion polls, hoping to at least establish a beachhead in the legislature. But Cummins faltered in the campaign, the electorate gravitated back to the B.C. Liberals, and the Conservatives ended up with […]

Legislature seethes over premier’s salary supplement

Apr 29 2016 — Vaughn Palmer — Shortly before 11 a.m. Thursday, New Democratic Party MLA David Eby rose in the B.C. legislature to take on Premier Christy Clark. The two had clashed before, of course. Most famously in the 2013 provincial election, when his 1,000-vote victory over her in Vancouver-Point Grey provided the New Democrats with their only cause for cheer […]

Parties criticize fundraising even as they do it

Apr 1 2016 — Vaughn Palmer — As the New Democrats entered the last two weeks of 2013 provincial election campaign, they found themselves with an unprecedented amount of cash on hand to pay for a final outreach to the voters. “We drafted, recorded and broadcast a saturation radio campaign — a 100-per-cent negative ad campaign, that went straight after the B.C. […]

B.C. Liberals write a multi-billion-dollar shopping list

Mar 8 2016 — Vaughn Palmer — Premier Christy Clark and the B.C. Liberals don’t lack for ambition or imagination, judging from the shopping list they produced in response to calls from the new federal government for proposals to develop green infrastructure. Released to coincide with last week’s federal-provincial summit in Vancouver, the list runs to four pages, dozens of proposals, and […]

Christy Clark still wields a mean broom

Mar 2 2016 — Vaughn Palmer — Opposition leader John Horgan waded into question period Tuesday, confident that he had a winning issue in Premier Christy Clark’s apparent preference for travelling by chartered jet with a full-blown entourage on board. “I appreciate that the premier has a busy schedule,” said the New Democrat. “That was certainly the first line of defence of […]

Opposition hammers B.C. premier’s high-flying ways

Mar 1 2016 — Vaughn Palmer — Opposition leader John Horgan launched question period in the legislature Monday with “a fairly graphic example” of the contradictory spending choices made by the B.C. Liberals on the transportation front. The government has taken a hard line on transportation allowances for folks with disabilities. Yet there is an apparently lax attitude toward the chartering of […]

Christy Clark feels the wind at her back

Feb 11 2016 — Vaughn Palmer — The provincial capital would never be mistaken for a hotbed of enthusiasm for the B.C. Liberals, the party having lost its only seats in the region in the last election. Still, more than 900 supporters packed the main hall at the Victoria convention centre this week for a $125-a-plate fundraiser that grossed more than $100,000 […]