MILOBAR – NDP MLAs embarrass themselves with ‘bozo eruptions’
By PETER MILOBAR
MLA, Kamloops-North Thompson
PREMIER DAVID EBY, who hasn’t managed to contain the chaos in health care, housing, public safety or affordability, is struggling to contain the chaos in his own caucus — as a number of his NDP MLAs had embarrassing ‘bozo eruptions’ this week in the B.C. legislature.
The most egregious came from Burnaby North NDP MLA Janet Routledge, who in her throne speech response had the audacity to compare the role and speech of the official opposition to the horrors of the Holocaust.
These comments are deeply disturbing and highly offensive. Although she rose in the chamber to apologize and withdraw her comments, it doesn’t erase the hurt and pain her words caused.
If that wasn’t bad enough, it turns out Routledge made similarly vulgar comparisons in 2021, when she compared the official opposition to “Nazis.”
This is a pattern of offensive behaviour, and the official opposition is calling on the premier to show some leadership and remove her from her role as Parliamentary Secretary for Labour.
Meanwhile, her colleague, the Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Development, also made some outrageous remarks in his throne speech response — this time, disparaging rural communities.
Boundary-Similkameen NDP MLA Roly Russell said that supporting our natural resource sector was “uninspiring” and “a vision for what rural communities were 100 years ago.”
His literal job is to stand up for rural B.C., and he’s failing miserably. Forestry, mining, energy and other natural resource industries are major contributors to our economy, supporting the livelihoods of generations of hard-working British Columbians.
Premier Eby needs to publicly reject these insulting comments and actually fight for our natural resource sector. Instead of managing the decline of vital industries like forestry, the NDP ought to focus on creating jobs and opportunities.
The NDP also need to show some focus inside the chamber. This second week of the legislative session has been an administrative disaster on the part of government.
The NDP are so disorganized, they are wasting valuable debate time because ministers don’t know where they need to be. Multiple recesses are being called so these ministers can be tracked down to report to the chamber for committee questioning of their own bills.
With a spring session schedule that’s already been cut short by this government, we can’t afford to lose more precious debate time on the issues that matter to British Columbians.
We are already shaping up to have less time to scrutinize the 2023 budget — and now the stage is set for more rushed legislation that will result in the eventual closure of debate without proper public overview or oversight.
This week has been pure amateur hour on the part of government. It’s sad to see them treating the People’s House as poorly as they treat major provincial issues — with dismissiveness and a lack of interest in doing the jobs they were elected to do.
Peter Milobar was elected MLA for Kamloops-North Thompson in May 2017, and re-elected in October 2020. He is the Official Opposition Critic for Finance. He previously served as critic for Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, critic for Environment and Climate Change Strategy, and the Official Opposition House Leader.
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