I was so tempted to yell, “let’s get ready to rumble” in the legislature right before the minister of education introduced the “Education Improvement Act” this week.
Since the introduction of the budget, it’s felt like both political parties have been waiting for the teachers’ bill to be tabled to get their juices going. The energy in the capital building has been low, QP repetitive, and MLAs’ budget responses have simply rehashed the tired old arguments about why the people of B.C. shouldn’t trust the other political party.
The premier doesn’t help this situation. When she does show in the House she uses Question Period to lecture the Opposition on how to be an Opposition. Instead of answering the questions posed to her, she chews up the clock lecturing the Opposition on what questions they should be asking in QP.
One could be forgiven for thinking she’s auditioning for the role of Opposition leader given the sorry state of her party’s polling numbers and the likelihood that a B.C. Conservative will take a seat in the legislature whenever the by-elections are called. The leader of the Opposition spends his time ducking and covering behind those same polls — afraid to give anyone a real sense of why he wants to be premier for fear of undermining his current bump in popularity. Day after day the Opposition asks the government to fix the justice system, health-care system and seniors’ care without once telling British Columbians where they’d get the money to do what they’re asking the government to do. They also refuse to state how they would address the current impasse with the teachers or avoid the upcoming battle with the other public sector unions that have indicated they will not accept the government’s net-zero bargaining position.
The leadership vacuum in B.C. has never been so stark.
Bob Simpson is the Independent MLA for Cariboo North.