Elbows up as legislature winds down

Speaker Bill Barisoff and Premier Christy Clark raise the Vancouver Canucks flag outside the B.C. legislature Tuesday.

VICTORIA – The B.C. Liberal government has rejected an NDP request to extend the spring legislative session past this week, and pushed through its plan to offer a reduced rate for the harmonized sales tax.

B.C. Liberal house leader Rich Coleman said the provincial budget and remaining legislation will be completed and passed by Thursday afternoon. That includes endorsement of the Yale First Nation treaty, limits to ferry fare increases, creation of a new police investigation unit and dozens of minor amendments to legislation.

Cariboo North MLA Bob Simpson said Tuesday he plans to vote against the Yale treaty, partly because the government is pushing the disputed settlement of Fraser Canyon fishing territory through with only a few hours of debate.

And the NDP says the B.C. Liberal government is using its majority to ram through the HST changes with inadequate debate.

NDP leader Adrian Dix said the government closed off debate on the HST plan in less than a day, and switched debate on Premier Christy Clark’s office budget to coincide with game one of the Stanley Cup finals Wednesday, to distract the public from criticism.

Coleman continued the hockey theme, accusing the NDP of “ragging the puck” after agreeing to debate all current legislative measures by the scheduled adjournment on Thursday.

NDP house leader John Horgan said the government’s reduction of legislature time is an affront to the citizens who elected MLAs to represent them.

“We sat for four days the previous 10 months,” Horgan said. “We have a four-week session to deal with a $40 billion budget and a handful of bills at the start that turned into 15 bills, one of which is a treaty.”

Under the NDP government in 2000, the Nisga’a treaty debate took 147 days, and the same year hundreds of hours were spent debating ministry budgets, Horgan said.

Just Posted

B.C. Green Party pushes for wild salmon commissioner

The role would serve as a unifying force in the provincial government

BC Ferries confirms Northern Sea Wolf will not sail until mid-July

BC Ferries had hoped to get the vessel in September of last year, but it didn’t arrive until December

UPDATED: Horgan says B.C. defending its interests in Trans Mountain pipeline

Canadian finance minister’s update comes the same day Kinder Morgan shareholders plan to meet

5 things to know about B.C. Floods 2018

Snowpacks continue to melt causing thousands to be displaced, dozens of local states of emergency

VIDEO: Canadian Forces help flood-ravaged Grand Forks residents heal

Sgt. Bradley Lowes says the military is used to dealing with traumatic times

UPDATED: Almost 1,200 people allowed to return home in Kootenay-Boundary as floods dry up

Officials hope to have all 3,000 people back in their homes by Monday night

B.C. Lions bring back 6-time all-star offensive lineman Jovan Olafioye

He was acquired by the Montreal Alouettes last year.

Whitecaps rally for 2-2 draw with FC Dallas

Vancouver climbed out of a two-nil hole to tie FC Dallas 2-2

B.C. VIEWS: Making sense of climate policy

Flood and fire predictions have poor track record so far

Chilliwack Chiefs moving on to RBC Cup final after thrilling win over Ottawa

Kaden Pickering scored the winning goal in the 3rd period as Chilliwack won their semi-final 3-2.

VIDEO: As floodwaters recede, crews assess the damage to Grand Forks’ downtown

More than four dozen firefighters and building inspectors came out to help

Wellington Dukes pull off epic upset of Wenatchee at RBC Cup

The Dukes are off to the championship game after downing the Wild 2-1 Saturday at Prospera Centre.

Canada to face U.S. for bronze at world hockey championship

Canada was looking to play in the gold medal game for a fourth straight year, but saw 3-2 loss

Most Read