National Newswatch

NDP changes B.C.’s fixed election date from May to October

Oct 5 2017 — Rob Shaw — British Columbians will vote for a provincial government every four years in October, instead of May, under legislation introduced Wednesday by the NDP government. Attorney General David Eby said the change, which New Democrats campaigned for, would move the 2021 election, and all future provincial elections, to the third Saturday in October from the current […]

B.C. NDP partisan hiring spree ‘sickening’: Greens

Sep 28 2017 — Rob Shaw — The B.C. NDP government’s hiring spree of partisan friends and insiders is “sickening” and the kind of hypocrisy that turns the public off politics, says Green Leader Andrew Weaver. Weaver, whose friendly power-sharing deal gives the NDP the votes to stay in power, levelled scathing criticism Wednesday at Premier John Horgan’s administration for giving dozens […]

Mike de Jong enters B.C. Liberal leadership race

Sep 26 2017 — Rob Shaw — Former finance minister Mike de Jong has joined his party’s crowded leadership race, saying he brings the best mix of prudent fiscal management, and targeted spending, to defeat the New Democrat government. De Jong will announce his candidacy Tuesday, with endorsements from MLAs Teresa Wat, Simon Gibson, John Martin and former MLA Pat Bell. He’ll […]

B.C. Premier Horgan defends flip-flop on subsidies for political parties

Sep 20 2017 — Rob Shaw — Premier John Horgan is unrepentant over his plan to provide public subsidies to political parties, saying it’s an appropriate use of taxpayer dollars and is only temporary support. “I’m unapologetic about wanting to get big money out of politics,” he told reporters at the legislature, where he was under attack for flip-flopping on the issue. […]

B.C.’s NDP unveils corporate and union donation legislation

Sep 18 2017 — Rob Shaw — B.C.’s New Democrat government fulfilled one of its major campaign promises Monday by introducing a bill to ban corporate and union donations. The legislation was tabled shortly before 2 p.m. in the legislature, and was followed by a media availability with Premier John Horgan, Attorney General David Eby and Green party leader Andrew Weaver. “This […]

B.C. budget: Tax hike for wealthy, more money for education, housing, overdose crisis

Sep 11 2017 — Rob Shaw — B.C.’s New Democrat government will hike taxes on the wealthy, corporations and polluters, while pumping more money into education, homelessness, rental housing and the overdose crisis, according to the new government’s first budget update. Finance Minister Carole James said the budget follows through on some of the party’s priority issues, as a first step before […]

B.C. NDP abandons 2021 deadline to reach $15 minimum wage

Sep 1 2017 — Rob Shaw — The B.C. NDP government has altered an election promise to implement a $15 minimum wage by 2021, and will instead give an independent review panel free rein to suggest a new, possibly longer, timeline. Labour Minister Harry Bains said he agrees with criticism from Green party Leader Andrew Weaver that mandating the review panel to […]

NDP government sends Site C dam for independent review

Aug 3 2017 — Rob Shaw — B.C.’s new NDP government has referred the largest construction project in the province’s history, the Site C dam, to an independent review to see whether it should continue, be paused or completely cancelled. Energy Minister Michelle Mungall made the announcement at the legislature Wednesday. The review will start on Aug. 9. “Rather than questioning whether […]

Christy Clark’s former deputy minister agrees to help NDP government

Aug 2 2017 — Rob Shaw — Former premier Christy Clark’s deputy minister, Kim Henderson, has agreed to provide advice to the new NDP government. Henderson was fired, with severance pay, during the NDP’s transition to power. She was replaced by Don Wright, who is now Premier John Horgan’s deputy minister and head of the public service. Henderson has agreed to act […]

Severance packages for fired B.C. Liberals cost taxpayers millions

Jul 22 2017 — Rob Shaw — The new NDP government’s transition to power cost taxpayers $11.3 million in severance packages for fired Liberal political staffers. The NDP terminated 133 Liberal appointees, including ministerial assistants, public relations staffers and a few deputy ministers. The total bill for severance packages was $11,322,206, the government revealed Friday, or an average of about $85,000 per […]

Christy Clark retools her senior staff for opposition

Jul 11 2017 — Rob Shaw — Outgoing premier Christy Clark has set her new staff as she transitions to leader of B.C.’s opposition. Clark on Tuesday named Nick Koolsbergen as her opposition chief of staff, Jessica Wolford as deputy chief of staff and Stephen Smart as executive director of communications and issues management. Several of her most high-profile staff do not […]

Clark to tell lieutenant-governor the NDP-Green alliance cannot offer stable government

Jun 28 2017 — Rob Shaw — Premier Christy Clark says she’ll tell B.C.’s lieutenant-governor that the legislature has no hope of functioning properly under an NDP government, advice that could pave the way for another provincial election. Clark’s Liberals are expected to be defeated in a confidence vote on Thursday and Clark would immediately visit Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon to hand in […]