Whistler Liberal convention upbeat, says Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett

Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett enjoyed the Liberal convention held at the Chateau Whistler last weekend.

  • Oct. 31, 2012 2:00 p.m.

Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett enjoyed the Liberal convention held at the Chateau Whistler last weekend.

She was among 800 delegates that attended, she felt the convention and said it was “upbeat” and she felt great about it.

“One of the highlights was the meeting held Friday where people that didn’t belong to the party could come and ask questions.

“The cabinet called it an accountability session. The cabinet members were all on stage and people asked them questions,” Barnett said.

There were some policy and resolution sessions, however, Barnett had to leave early to return to 100 Mile House for a friend’s funeral and missed most of the resolutions portion.

Steve Forseth, a member of the Cariboo Chilcotin Liberal Association, was one of 10 members from Williams Lake that attended the convention.

He agreed with Barnett that the conference was upbeat.

“There was a lot of high energy. Everyone was looking forward to chatting about what is going on provincially and turning the situation around. During the accountability session people were saying they can’t afford the NDP to form government after the next election,” Forseth said.

Three policy resolutions that peaked his interest centred around unions, the BCTF and compulsory voting.

“One was about making sure unions are using union dues for union activities and not political activities — it passed. I put forward one about compulsory voting, making it mandatory for people to vote in provincial elections. Australia’s had this in place for a number of years, and people can actually be fined for not voting,” Forseth said.

It didn’t pass and Forseth actually tried to bring it further, by suggesting it be mandatory for people to vote in local government elections, but only 15 delegates of about 250 in the room at the time were in favour of the idea.

“We also suggested that teacher participation in the BC Teacher Federation be voluntary, rather than mandatory, however, it did not get the support of the delegates either,” he explained.

He also attended the policy sessions on Friday where “lots of people” took interest in how to make the province’s finances stable.

“At one point it was standing room only during that discussion,” Forseth said, adding the Young Liberals had its AGM and many cabinet members and Premier Christy Clark gave the group support.

Next on Barnett’s agenda is to continue working hard for her constituents and to prepare for the upcoming formal nomination meeting for her riding that will take place some time in November, most likely in Williams Lake.