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IN THE LEDGE – ‘Leader of BC Greens votes against things he campaigned on’

BC Green Leader Andrew Weaver during Question Period Tuesday. (Image: BC Hansard video)

Excerpt from debate during Question Period in the B.C. Legislature on Tuesday, June 27, 2017.

Mr. Speaker: The member for Oak Bay–Gordon Head. [Applause.]

A. Weaver: I’m not used to that, hon. Speaker. The NDP and the B.C. Greens have already demonstrated their willingness to work across party lines. The Premier has stated….

Interjections.

Mr. Speaker: Members. Members. The Chair will hear the question.

A. Weaver: It’s good to see the government acting like an opposition party right now. The Premier has stated she’s willing to do the same. Last week, the Liberals even adopted 30 B.C. Green and B.C. NDP policies, most of which we now have all-party agreement on. If the B.C. Liberals are being honest with British Columbians when they say they want to avoid an election and make this Legislature work, then the issues that the Minister of Finance raised today in his letter to you, hon. Speaker, will be the exception, not the norm, since we should all be able to cooperate to advance good public policy in the best interests of British Columbia. So….

Interjections.

Mr. Speaker: Members. Members.

A. Weaver: My question is to the Premier: will she reiterate to this House and to British Columbians her party’s commitment to work constructively across party lines to ensure stability regardless….

Interjections.

Mr. Speaker: Members. Members. The Chair will hear the question.

A. Weaver: Again, will she reiterate for this House and to British Columbians her party’s commitment to work constructively across party lines to ensure stability regardless of where she and her party sit in this chamber?

Hon. C. Clark: Thanks to the member for the question. Yesterday, our government introduced legislation which all three parties campaigned on supporting — on campaign finance reform. And the members of this House….

Interjections.

Mr. Speaker: Members. Members. The Chair heard the question. The Chair will also hear the answer.

Hon. C. Clark: In an effort to put forward legislation, again, that demonstrated that this House could work and work across party lines — campaign finance legislation — which all parties and British Columbians agree it’s time for…. Members of this House voted against it, including that member, before he’d ever even seen it.

In addition to that, yesterday in this House, this government introduced another piece of legislation which all parties, I understood, agreed on — a one-page piece of legislation that would have changed something like two words. Legislation that would have given him official party status. That member also voted against it. So he should be careful about talking about working across party lines. He doesn’t want to be a party. I guess we’ll only be able to work with one of them in this House.

Mr. Speaker: Member has a supplemental.

A. Weaver: Well, the B.C. Liberals continue to act like that belligerent child going into a hissy fit, kicking and screaming as they’re put in a time-out that they don’t want to go into. I didn’t hear the B.C. Liberals campaigning on the election campaign to give the B.C. Green party, party status. I certainly did not hear them campaigning to ban big money on the election campaign. This is revisionist history.

You know, if the B.C. Liberals are truly sincere about their desire to collaborate across party lines and work to implement legislation on the priorities outlined in their throne speech, the question raised in the Minister of Finance’s letters would be of limited relevance. After all, with all the policy agreements that we have in the last few days, there shouldn’t be many tied votes. The Liberals support both of our platforms.

Yet, the government….

Interjections.

Mr. Speaker: Members.

A. Weaver: This is remarkable. They truly are getting ready to sit in opposition. It’s remarkable. Yet the government appears to unnecessarily be delaying the confidence vote, creating uncertainty and using every opportunity to raise the spectre of a possible election, which only the governing party seems to want.

Did you know that the idea of another election has a lower approval rating than Donald Trump? My question is this. Assuming you are sincere, assuming….

Interjections.

Mr. Speaker: Members. We’ll hear the question.

A. Weaver: Assuming that the government is sincere about their intention to work constructively across party lines, why are they so focused on the games that they are playing to create uncertainty in British Columbia today?

Hon. C. Clark: So, what I understand from the member from Oak Bay is he thinks that the way to demonstrate that we are working across party lines is for him to vote against the things he campaigned on, because it didn’t come from his preferred party in the Legislature. He campaigned on campaign finance reform. And then he voted against it. He campaigned in favour of his party and asked very clearly for his party to have third party status. And then he voted against it — in both cases, without even wanting to see the bill before it was introduced.

That is not demonstrating that you can work across party lines. That’s shown that the member opposite has put himself in an ideological box he can’t find his way out of. He isn’t willing to work across party lines. If he does change his mind about that, though, I would be delighted, if he’d be willing to give leave for it, to offer those two bills to the House again so we can conduct the vote again and demonstrate that we can all work across party lines on issues where we all agree…

Interjections.

Mr. Speaker: Members.

Hon. C. Clark: …because there’s no reason that the leader of the Greens should be working so hard to defeat legislation that he campaigned on.

Source: BC Hansard.

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About Mel Rothenburger (5003 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

1 Comment on IN THE LEDGE – ‘Leader of BC Greens votes against things he campaigned on’

  1. tony brumell // June 28, 2017 at 3:24 PM // Reply

    Mz Clark wouldn’t even consider working across party lines before the election but in her desperate attempt to cling to power she now decides to “work across party lines”.It reminds me of a drowning dog desperatley hanging on to a life ring.
    Such hypocracy should be rewarded with a cutting of the party lines.

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