Changing the face of B.C. politics

I have to admit I had fun during this short session — even though I thought it was unproductive overall.

I have to admit I had fun during this short session — even though I thought it was unproductive overall. I felt that as an Independent I was able to rise above the partisan fray, get lots done for my constituents, and propose public policy that would make a difference in B.C.

Under the new premier, ministers appear to have more freedom to manage their portfolios and seem more interested in learning about ways to address real issues.

I also worked closely with Opposition critics on both estimates and legislation debates, allowing me to make substantive proposals that were generally well received by both the ministers and critics. Some of these proposals related to the Pacific Carbon Trust, seniors care, predator control, placer mining, water management in the Peace region, and the softwood-lumber dispute with the U.S.

The changes I proposed to the Pacific Carbon Trust would immediately benefit the public sector, and the finance minister committed to following up with me on this once the Trust submits its annual report to his office.

I wrote to the premier and the leader of the Opposition asking them to show leadership on the bio-economy so B.C. doesn’t miss out on a golden opportunity to re-invigorate its forest economy. The premier indicated she was interested in pursuing it further.

Vicki Huntington, the other sitting Independent, and I called on the premier to strike a special committee of the legislature to investigate the use of hydraulic fracturing (fraccing) in B.C. Twenty-one organizations and individuals supported us on this call.

I proposed three Private Members bills. One proposed that the fixed election date should be switched from May to October every four years. The second that candidates and political parties should report their donations during an election so voters can see who is funding candidates and political parties before they cast their ballot. The third proposed that only registered B.C. voters would be eligible to donate to political parties and candidates to a maximum of $1,000 per year. I also have to admit, I was a little tired at the end of the session.

Bob Simpson is the Independent MLA for Cariboo North.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

As a former reporter and editor at the Tribune, Diana French carries on sharing her ideas through her weekly column. (Photo submitted)
FRENCH CONNECTION: Skating rink welcomed

This lake one will not last long but is still worth it

Jim Hilton pens a column on forestry each week for the Quesnel Observer.
FOREST INK: New batteries close to industrial level applications

The good news is the hope that this cost should come down each year

Researchers in B.C. say earlier than usual return of bats or dead bats can indicate trouble, such as signs of white-nose syndrome. (Cathy Koot photo)
Public help is essential for monitoring for bat disease

Anyone finding a dead bat is asked to report it to the BC Community Bat Program

Sandi Griffiths is the region’s new district manager of transportation for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
New MOTI district manager takes the wheel in Williams Lake

Sandi Griffiths replaces Todd Hubner who retired recently

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Most Read