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

Number of SD62 kindergarten registrations about same as last year

Approximately 850 kindergarten registrations for 2019/2020 school year

Missing: 12-year-old girl last seen in area of Shelbourne and Hillside

Victoria police ask for public help in locating girl

VicPD faces ‘significant pressure’ following Victoria’s 2019 budget decision

Chief Const. Del Manak says council continues to micromanage his department

Work set to begin on removing Sooke’s derelict boats from waterways

Seven boats earmarked to be removed this spring

Protective human chain forms around Victoria mosque for Friday prayer

Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

Wildlife activists slam B.C. business, clubs for ‘wolf-whacking’ contests

Chilcotin Guns, Creston Valley Rod and Gun Club and West Kootenay Outdoorsmen Club under fire

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Vancouver Island motorists attempted CPR on victim in fatal Highway 4 crash

Collision took place west of Whiskey Creek; man in his 70s died

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

B.C. driver caught going 207 km/h on motorcycle along Okanagan Highway

A motorcyclist was caught by Kelowna RCMP going 207 km/h on Highway 97C

Motorcyclist dies after three-vehicle crash on old Island Highway

Accident happened at 12:15 p.m. Friday near Country Club Centre in Nanaimo

SOOKE HISTORY: Grandma Sue shared First Nations’ traditions with visitors

Elida Peers | Contributed We have had a number of books published… Continue reading

B.C. fire department offers tips to keep your home safe during wildfire season

With wildfire season getting closer, the Penticton Fire Dept. offer tips to keep your home safe

Most Read