The Editor’s Desk: Shaken, not stirred

The Editor’s Desk: Shaken, not stirred

Are you excited by the forthcoming B.C. election? If so, you might be the only one

We’re almost two weeks into a provincial election campaign, and there is one question top of the mind for B.C. voters: “If No Time To Die is Daniel Craig’s last outing as James Bond, who will be cast as the next 007?”

I jest. With Elections BC warning that an explosion in mail-in votes could mean a significant delay in announcing the final results, the question voters will be asking themselves is “When will this needless election finally be over?”

These things used to be predictable. Whatever time the polls closed, the result was usually in no doubt within a couple of hours, bar the odd closely contested riding. The 2017 election, however, dragged on for what seemed like an eternity, and 2020 could be a repeat. I know, I know. Try to control your excitement.

It’s not just frustrating from the “When will this nightmare end?” perspective. The fact is that once the writ dropped on Sept. 21, B.C. was left with what’s known as a caretaker government. John Horgan became the leader of the BC NDP Party. Adrian Dix — to pick one cabinet example — was Health Minister in name only, as evidenced in two provincial press releases sent out on Sept. 21. The first one came out at 6:41 a.m., and stated “Media are invited to join Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, for an update on novel coronavirus.” A follow-up, released at 12:56 p.m., noted tersely that “Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, will not participate in this teleconference.”

That’s thanks to the snap election call, which automatically distanced MLAs from their portfolios, and put an end to The Bonnie and Adrian Show, amongst other things. It also probably left a lot of local governments wondering if their meetings with provincial ministers, which took place the week before, were all a complete waste of time.

How many elected officials from around B.C. sat down with (for example) then-Transportation Minister Claire Trevenna, to discuss issues and challenges affecting their residents, only to find just over a week later that not only is she no longer the Transportation Minister, she isn’t even running for re-election?

The time probably wasn’t wasted, because while the Minister of Transportation is the person in charge, the real day-to-day work of the ministry is carried on by staffers, who remain in their positions. When, for example, Ashcroft council met with Trevenna in 2019, to discuss making the junction of Highway 1 and Cornwall Road near the Travel Centre safer, she was not familiar with the situation because, as the person in charge, she has all the facts about every highway challenge in B.C. at her fingertips. No, she was familiar with the situation because Ashcroft staff sent a detailed briefing note to her staff in advance of the meeting, and these staffers then researched the matter and drew up notes for Trevenna, so that she was able to talk knowledgeably about the subject, rather than saying “Hmm, Highway 1 at Cornwall Road, just let me pull up Google Maps so I can see where that is.”

So the lights are still on at the Legislature in Victoria, but the concern about a caretaker government is that it might not be able to react as nimbly as usual to a crisis, and if the last six months have taught us anything it’s that situations can change rapidly, with crisis potentially just around the corner. Having a caretaker government through Oct. 24 is one thing; the prospect of it dragging on for what could be several weeks after that is quite another.

Ah well, we can always distract ourselves with speculating about who the next “Bond … James Bond” will be. Henry Golding? Idris Elba? Richard Madden? Send an email and let me know who leaves you shaken and stirred.



editorial@accjournal.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Columnist

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Aerial view of a wildfire at 16 Mile, 11 kilometres northwest of Cache Creek, that started on the afternoon of June 15. (Photo credit: BC Wildfire Service)
Wildfire at 16 Mile now being held

Wildfire started on the afternoon of June 15 at 16 Mile, east of Highway 97

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Most Read