SUNDAY MORNING EDITORIAL — Has anyone else noticed that this B.C. Liberal government has developed a penchant for doing things in two parts? Why is it that new policies seem better when there are two pieces to them?
Is it that two parts are simply better than one? Or that two parts soften the blow by splitting any objections in two?
Or is it that the government is so unsure of its policies that it can’t make up its mind which way it should go?
A lot of questions, for sure.
Saturday, another two-part policy was launched — the initial implementation of change to B.C.’s liquor laws. Not only is the new policy itself split into two parts, but the implementation has been divided into two parts. One part now, the other part later.
In early March, when Attorney General Suzanne Anton and Parliamentary Secretary John Yap announced how they would handle the results of a public-input exercise on the liquor laws, our headline was “Two-part model for liquor changes announced.”
The first sentence stated, “The provincial government today unveiled a two-part model for changes to the way British Columbians buy their liquor.”
One part involves a “store-within-a-store” model for liquor licences, another for VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance) licences.
But the two-part model won’t actually be implemented until next year. It will be, in effect, part two of the changes. The changes announced yesterday involve regulations around beer gardens.
The government has also broached changes to the Agricultural Land Reserve. It wants to divide the province into two parts, one that would include more populated areas where current ALR rules would remain intact, and another in less populated areas of the Interior where protection of farmland would be loosened.
The idea of a second ALR zone is drawing a lot of fire from farmers.
And then we have the wolf management plan, which the wolves should be worried about. Our headline last week read, “New two-pronged provincial strategy for wolf management revealed…”
One part of the plan will revise seasons and bag limits for hunting wolves, the second part will provide for “detailed implementation plans” for ranchers who say wolves are preying on livestock.
What new policies will the government come up with next? Two systems for doing environmental assessments of major industrial projects (oh, wait, we already have that)? Maybe two different speed limits on the Coquihalla? A two-tiered system for health care?
It’s a two-part question.