National Newswatch

NDP starts small, but dreams big, on legal marijuana

Oct 14 2018 — Michael Smyth — British Columbia is poised for a flowering of small-scale marijuana cultivation. Call it craft cannabis. B.C. is already famous for producing some of the world’s finest cannabis. But when marijuana is finally legalized later this week, the proud home of B.C. Bud won’t exactly be charging out of the starting gates. After many months of […]

The NDP’s conversion to LNG on the road to China

Oct 7 2018 — Michael Smyth — Can B.C.’s LNG help save the world from global warming? The NDP once called the idea “ridiculous.” Now they embrace it. The NDP’s new love affair with liquefied natural gas is quite the change of heart from their earlier contempt for the Liberals’ hot pursuit of the industry. Back then, John Horgan ridiculed then-premier Christy […]

It’s a make-or-break byelection for NDP’s Jagmeet Singh

Aug 9 2018 — Michael Smyth — Jagmeet Singh should win the Burnaby South byelection. Emphasis on “should”. If he doesn’t, he’s in deep trouble. When it comes to parachute candidates in politics, Tom Cruise has got nothing on Jagmeet Singh. This guy is about to execute a Mission: Impossible-style high-altitude HALO jump. Singh, the federal NDP leader, lives in suburban Toronto, […]

For NDP, lots can go wrong when Krog vacates Nanaimo seat

Jun 17 2018 — Michael Smyth — What could possibly go wrong? That’s the question New Democrats and Green party members around B.C. are asking themselves after NDP MLA Leonard Krog confirmed the news revealed in this space last Sunday: He’s running to be the mayor of Nanaimo. Why is this such a big deal? Because Krog’s move sets up a crucial […]

Can the Liberals’ brainy new boss win big?

Feb 4 2018 — Michael Smyth — The biggest knocks on Andrew Wilkinson have been that he’s too straitlaced, too downtown, too tight-collared and maybe a little (or a lot) too smug about his own prodigious I.Q. But they said the same thing about a guy named Gordon Campbell, and he won three elections in a row in this province and drove […]

Shocking massive losses revealed at ICBC, huge rate hikes feared

Jan 28 2018 — Michael Smyth — British Columbia’s public auto insurer has driven over a financial cliff and the damage is far worse than anyone had feared or predicted. On Monday, ICBC will announce a staggering projected operating loss of $1.3 billion for the current fiscal year. That’s more than $1 billion higher than projected just three months ago. The financial […]

Trudeau’s Liberals look to steal Surrey seat away from Tories

Nov 19 2017 — Michael Smyth — Gordon Hogg has seen a lot of pretty intense politics as a city councillor, mayor, an MLA and a provincial cabinet minister — but there’s really nothing quite like campaigning with Justin Trudeau. “He’s a rock star,” marvelled Hogg, who retired from provincial politics in the spring, only to be lured to run for Trudeau’s […]

Dianne Watts: Revved up to fight and win again

Sep 24 2017 — Michael Smyth — Columnist Mike Smyth interviews former Surrey mayor Dianne Watts ahead of her expected B.C. Liberal Party leadership bid announcement on Sunday. Dianne Watts is ready to come home and she wants to be premier. Watts has scheduled a news conference for Sunday afternoon at Surrey’s Guildford Hotel, where she will announce her candidacy for leadership […]

John Horgan, Bruce Ralston fight back against Gordon Wilson libel lawsuit

Sep 10 2017 — Michael Smyth — Premier John Horgan and Jobs Minister Bruce Ralston are fighting back against former Liberal leader Gordon Wilson’s $5-million defamation lawsuit. Wilson launched the massive court action last month after Horgan’s new NDP government fired him as the province’s $150,000-a-year “LNG advocate” on Aug. 1. At the time of the firing, Horgan and Ralston said Wilson […]

BC Liberal platform underwhelms, giving NDP hope

Apr 10 2017 — Michael Smyth — The last time Christy Clark kicked off an election campaign, she shot for the moon by promising an economic miracle so massive that it boggled the mind. Clark’s promised LNG windfall was supposed generate 100,000 new jobs, a billion-dollar “prosperity fund” and a trillion — yes, trillion — dollars in economic activity. Clark even drove […]

Expect this election to get down and dirty

Apr 9 2017 — Michael Smyth — Three major political parties. Three senior political strategists. Three campaign war rooms ready to rumble. The 2017 B.C. election campaign officially kicks off on Tuesday, signalling the start of a 28-day battle for power. As voters get set to weigh their May 9 election choices, they will see many differences between this campaign and the […]

BC New Democrats fume as Ironworkers Union endorses Clark

Mar 2 2017 — Michael Smyth — The irony ran as thick as the mud at the rainy construction site where Premier Christy Clark stood Wednesday to accept the endorsement of the Ironworkers Union. Ironic in so many ways: Clark and her government have frequently battled the labour movement — fighting the teachers’ union all the way to the Supreme Court, for […]

How Christy Clark’s hacking smear backfired

Feb 12 2017 — Michael Smyth — Premier forced into rare apology after falsely accusing NDP of illegally accessing B.C. Liberal website There’s an old saying in politics: When you’re in a hole, stop digging. Unfortunately for Premier Christy Clark, when it came to last week’s bizarre, backfiring “hacking” saga, not only did she not stop digging — she also got behind […]