B.C. Liberal majority vulnerable in budget vote

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Former vice president for the Surrey-Tynehead B.C. Liberal Riding Association has said that discontent within the party is making it increasingly susceptible to a no-confidence vote.

“I would not be surprised if we were to see the whip kind of losing his mind as nobody wants to show up to vote,” James Plett said today (March 4) in a telephone interview.

Earlier in the day, it was reported that Kash Heed, Liberal MLA for Vancouver-Fraserview, would not be in Victoria for a March 5 vote on the budget. Heed’s absence reduces the Liberal’s majority from five votes to four.

“More absences makes sense to me,” Plett added.

On March 3, Premier Christy Clark held an emergency meeting and told reporters that her cabinet was “absolutely united”.

“On Tuesday, there is going to be a budget vote,” she said, “and we’ll see where the caucus stands.”

A number of high-level party members have parted ways with the B.C. Liberals since the NDP released an embarrasing email. The document outlined a plan to use government funds for partisan purposes and win the support of non-white voters with apologies for historical wrongs. Others have distanced themselves or been thrown under the bus.

Plett announced his resignation on March 1, stating that he was leaving the B.C. Liberals on account of “the pattern of arrogance, deceit, and downright unethical behaviour of the BC Liberal Party.”

His resignation was the fourth high-profile defection in Surrey, an area with a large South Asian population and potential swing ridings. The premier’s deputy chief of staff, Kim Haakstad, also resigned amid calls for Clark to step down. And today, John Yap, B.C. minister responsible for multiculturalism, removed himself from Clark’s cabinet pending an investigation led by John Dyble, deputy minister to the premier.

Grilled at a caucus meeting today, Clark apologized for the email and vowed that Dyble’s investigation would be impartial.

“I want to apologize for the ideas in it and I want to apologize for the language in it as well,” she said.

John Horgan, NDP MLA for Juan de Fuca and the Opposition house leader, said that the Liberal’s shrinking majority is already evident in the B.C. legislature.

“I did note today, Mr. Yapwho has been removed from cabinethe wasn't in the legislature,” Horgan said. “I noticed that Mr. Heed, who has been very vocal, wasn't in the legislature. So depending on whether or not they show up, that draws the margin down.”

Speaking shortly after Clark announced that Yap was resigning from his cabinet job, Plett said that he “cannot believe the cowardice of Christy Clark”. Plett noted that Yap was reportedly not involved with the so-called “Multicultural Strategy”, and was not holding the position of minister responsible for multiculturalism at the time it was drafted.

“It kind of seems like John [Yap] is taking the fall so that Christy Clark can say that she is doing something,” Plett said.

You can follow Travis Lupick on Twitter at twitter.com/tlupick.

Comments (5) Add New Comment
James G
If ever I needed a preferential ballot, it was on the Georgia Straight poll on who was worse as Premier of B.C. Choosing between Gordon Campbell and Christy Clark was simply too hard!
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Ted Campbell
The next Provincial election will be the first one since I became voting age that I will not cast a ballot. I've supported both sides of the Legislature depending on what I viewed as most important at the time. I don't trust Adrian Dix and I can't stand Christy Clark. This is the worst choice in B.C. in over half a century. The responsibility falls right back on Gordon Campbell who was a terrible leader and his Cabinet Ministers who should have stood up for the people who elected them instead of caving.
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Avi
Ted! That is exactly how I feel.
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@Ted Campbell
Disenchantment, cynicism, and apathy help create sub-standard governments. Some politicians even depend on it. But, it is your choice.
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Rating: +7
NDPs are fools and they think voters are too
The NDP creating this so-called "ethnic" scandal is a means of trying to win "ethnic" votes.
This tactic is a dirty and disgusting way to try to “innocently” lure “ethnic” voters.

Voters should also be reminded of the NDPs past scandal of offering cash to voters and also NDP MLA Jenny Kwak's controversial means of trying to woo the politically ignorant and old-aged Chinese voters. There are past news stories on these scandals.

Like we all know, it’s about voting the “lesser” of the two evils.
And many of us and more and more of us are coming to realize that the NDP is not going to give us a better B.C.

Under an NDP government, it will, no doubt, get worse because they have been out of government for so long, lack the experience, and also have no other choice but to rely on raising taxes for revenue.
The major reason for this? Because businesses and investors won’t stand to support an NDP government that is promising to tighten rules, tax everyone and everything possible, and create vacuum with a lot of red tape!

No investor in his or her right mind will waste time and money on a government run under the NDP that discourages trade and investment and innovation through free enterprise principles.
The NDP and its members are totally old school with their union supporting backdrop.

And look at the caliber of the candidates! Most are inexperienced and have very lame experiences. They are not worth our tax dollars!

However, the incomparably high-quality of most of the Liberal candidates only reinforces the preferred choice of government we need right now under such volatile economic conditions — that is stability and predictability.

The NDP will not bring stability or predictability to the citizens or investors!

The NDP does not seem to understand what “change for the better, one practical step at a time” means!

People do not have the time to see changes “one practical step at a time!”.
No government should be asking the people for time!
People want confidence, stability, growth, and predictability.
We don’t want to lend the time or risk the time! And we don’t have the time!

The NDP (No Direction Party, No Development Party), therefore, should also seriously rethink its campaign motto!
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