One week left in the fall sitting of the British Columbia Legislature. Fundamental promises made in last February’s throne speech remain unfulfilled.
In the wake of the Legislature corruption scandal, which eventually led to the retirements of the clerk in May and sergeant-at-arms in October, the NDP government promised new accountability and transparency measures.
Including the expansion of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act to finally cover the Legislature.
At his penultimate news conference of the sitting on Nov. 21, Premier John Horgan said the latter was still a work in progress. He gave no hint when the February-promised bill would be tabled.
“We’ve had some challenges when it comes to the Legislative Assembly Management Committee, it’s a year since we had what can only be described as an extraordinary day here at the Legislature,” Horgan said, referring to the Nov. 20, 2018 suspension and RCMP investigation, of Craig James and Gary Lenz. “So with that backdrop, the challenge is of coming to a place where all members of the legislature are comfortable with the changes we would make to the role and function of independent officers is a work in progress.”
Despite running in 2017 on a platform that included reforms to the FOI law, Horgan said the vast majority of the public is more interested in gas price and mobile phone billing transparency.
“I’m focusing on the things that matter to people, we’ve been here two years and we’ve addressed almost 80% of the commitments made and we’ve got two years left in the mandate. So, be patient and we’ll clean up that last 20%.”
Listen to highlights from Horgan’s news conference. He remained upbeat despite the lack of a new contract with the B.C. Teachers’ Federation and the prospect of Unifor drivers and mechanics shutting down the Coast Mountain Bus and SeaBus system on Nov. 27.
Also, listen to several lawmakers pay tribute to Spirit of the West’s late John Mann, who passed away Nov. 20 after a battle with Alzheimer’s. Plus headlines and commentaries.
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