The Legislature is back in session. MLAs gathered in Victoria this week ready for a very political few months. I am also getting back into work after undergoing open heart surgery near the end of last year.
With an election a year away, this is the time the BC Liberals, who have been in power for 15 years, try to show that they have new ideas. However, the annual Throne Speech belied that; it was vacuous, repetitive and, to be honest, in some sections it was insulting and divisive.
It was no surprise that Christy Clark clung to her LNG pipe dream in the Speech, which sets the agenda for the coming session. So much was placed on that in the last election that, despite missing all target dates so far, she is still heralding LNG as the saviour of the province. However, Ms Clark has had to scale back on her promises. She originally told British Columbians 100,000 jobs would be created by LNG. But in this Throne Speech she now says 13,000 jobs will be ‘saved’ – whatever ‘saved’ means.
The Speech touched on possible changes to the government’s strategy on housing. Part of that is because of the mad real estate market in the Lower Mainland and now has been underlined by the controversy over so called shadow flipping, an issue the official opposition’s spokesperson on housing raised last January.
But what was clearly lacking in the government’s first major statement of the year was any commitment to make life more affordable. There was nothing to give comfort to those struggling with ever increasing hydro bills, the continuing unfairness of MSP and the ridiculous costs of our ferry service.
During this session I will be raising these issues on behalf of the people of North Island as well as taking on other serious concerns for our communities such as the loss of major industries, the closure of Quinsam and Myra Falls mines and the continuing shutdown of the Port Alice specialty cellulose mill.
I am also Shadow Transportation Minister and intend to continue questioning the government about ferries, highways and their pet projects such as the multi-million dollar bridge planned to replace the Massey Tunnel. In Question Period this week, I asked the Minister responsible about the perceived conflict of interest around the government’s negotiations with Uber. Of course he claimed that under Christy Clark’s government there was no conflict of interest in his office, everything is just as it should be under the Liberals.
I am honoured to have the opportunity in the Legislature to recognize people from North Island. It was with sadness that I told the House about the death of Ole Chickite, the man whose name will be forever linked to his fishboat, the BCP45.
I am very grateful to my fabulous staff in Campbell River and Port Hardy who have kept the office running in my absence. And I am excited about the coming months both in Victoria and working closely with out new MP, Rachel Blaney, with whom I’ll be sharing office space in both communities.
I can always be reached by email at Claire.email@example.com, or by phone in Campbell River on 250 287 5100, in Port Hardy on 250 949 9473 or toll free at 1 866 387 5100. You can also friend me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter @clairetrevena or check out my web page www.clairetrevena.ca.