The resignation of Burnaby-Lougheed MLA Harry Bloy from the cabinet of Premier Christy Clark might be considered a minor blip in B.C. politics. From time to time, cabinet ministers do something inappropriate enough that they should (and usually do) resign.
In Bloy’s case, he shared an e-mail from a reporter with the individual whom the reporter was gathering information about. The person he shared it with is a substantial donor to the BC Liberals.
The bigger story is that Bloy’s resignation is a microcosm of all that has gone off the rails for the BC Liberals in the year since Clark became premier. It is important to remember that he was the only MLA who supported her leadership bid. Thus, he was rewarded with a cabinet post when she put together her cabinet team, which was mostly holdovers from the Gordon Campbell era.
Unfortunately, he was the cabinet minister responsible for Community Living B.C., which had done a terrible job in dealing with many of its clients, mostly adults with physical and mental challenges. Part of what went wrong was started by the Campbell government, but Bloy was not the person to clean up the mess. He was completely out of his depth and was like a deer caught in the headlights.
Clark shuffled him off to a minor portfolio and called in Stephanie Cadieux, a new MLA, to help get to the bottom of the troubles at Community Living B.C. Thus far, there seems to be some positive progress on that front.
Now Bloy is gone from cabinet completely, and in what is rare if not unprecedented, Clark has also announced that he won’t run in the next election. One wonders if he was given a choice, and what his constituents think about the premier’s pronouncement.
Clark’s government has lurched from crisis to crisis in the past year, with very mixed results in getting to the bottom of problems. Some like to blame it all on her management style, and that’s part of it, but the bigger truth is that this government has completely run out of gas.
While it has some able ministers and good ideas, the public isn’t listening any more. The majority have turned their backs on the BC Liberals.
It’s sad in a way, because the Campbell and Clark governments have done some good work. But this is how democracy works. It’s never pretty to watch a government self-destruct.