National Newswatch

Multi-pronged attack launched in B.C.’s pipeline politics

Aug 11 2017 — Vaughn Palmer — The New Democrats began their promised effort to block the Trans Mountain pipeline twinning on Thursday, launching a multi-pronged attack on the project with full support of their governing partners, the Greens. The plan includes new and revised action in the courts, as well as a more rigorous standard for environmental approval and consultations with […]

Fault lines show as B.C. Liberals slag own potential leaders

Aug 2 2017 — Vaughn Palmer — The race to succeed Christy Clark was just getting underway last week when I began hearing from Liberal party members why such and such a contender was a poor choice for the leadership. Target: Todd Stone, the Kamloops MLA and recent minister of transportation and infrastructure. Objection: Poor communicator. Ticked off Metro Vancouver with his […]

Premier Horgan goes headhunting to fire, hire B.C. Hydro leader

Jul 22 2017 — Vaughn Palmer — On the morning after John Horgan appointed Ken Peterson as chair of B.C. Hydro, the premier’s guy descended on a meeting of the board of directors Friday with marching orders from the boss. The fallout was soon circulating to Hydro employees, via a statement sent out over Peterson’s signature at midday. “Please be advised that […]

Expect Clark to stand pat, at least for the short term

Jul 8 2017 — Vaughn Palmer — After Christy Clark’s poor showing in the election and her failed scheme to persuade the lieutenant-governor to grant a rematch, she was quick to announce that she would nevertheless remain leader of the B.C. Liberals. “I’ll stay on as long as my caucus wants me to, and needs me to,” Clark declared, two days after […]

Horgan’s next challenge begins now

Jun 30 2017 — Vaughn Palmer — After weeks of speculation, Lt-Gov. Judith Guichon acted decisively and simply Thursday to end 16 years of Liberal government in B.C. and invite the NDP back to office in an unusual partnership with the Greens. The drama started in the legislature just before 5 p.m. as Premier Christy Clark delivered a last plea to defend […]

Clark schemes, dreams NDP-Green alliance is a flop-in-waiting

Jun 29 2017 — Vaughn Palmer — Most days, B.C. Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon is preoccupied with the viceregal and symbolic roles of an office that is, to be sure, mostly ceremonial. This is not one of those days. On Thursday, Guichon, the Nicola Valley rancher who has served as B.C.’s 29th lieutenant-governor since 2012, faces one of the tougher judgment calls in […]

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 […]