Premier John Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)

Premier John Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)

The Editor’s Desk: When you hate being right

Emails told me there was a snap election coming, but not the way you think

I knew there was going to be a snap provincial election called more than 24 hours before the Premier announced it on Monday, Sept. 21.

When I say “knew”, I mean that literally. It wasn’t a hunch, or a gut feeling; I knew it, as surely as I know that the sun rises in the east, the Earth is round, and Sean Connery is the best James Bond. And much as I would like to claim that this knowledge was the result of a hot tip, or because I ripped open a chicken and studied its entrails, the answer is much more mundane and not nearly as messy. I simply looked at my editorial email inbox on Sunday, Sept. 20, and the new messages from the sender “noreply.newsondemand@gov.bc.ca”.

This is the email address from which I — and every other newsroom in the province — receive press releases from the provincial government. The releases are mostly purely informational: they announce new programs, new grants or funding, projects large and small, or recipients of awards and honours, such as the Medal of Good Citizenship. There are also media advisories about live events, the Premier’s statements marking religious festivals, holidays, and days of recognition, and other fairly business-like matters (state of emergency extended, latest COVID-19 numbers, etc.).

On a given weekday I’ll get between three and six of these releases, but they usually slow to a trickle on weekends. Some Sundays there are none, and any that I do get on the Sabbath are almost always of the media advisory/premier’s statement variety.

Last week, as chatter about a snap election reached fever pitch, I noticed that the number of these releases was beginning to increase fairly significantly. On Wednesday, Sept. 16 there were eight; on Thursday there were 11; and on Friday, Sept. 18 a whopping 17 hit my inbox.

I hadn’t seen numbers like that from the Province since the run-up to the last election, when the Liberals were sending out press releases like someone drunk-texting their ex-girlfriend at 2 a.m. In the four days prior to the writ dropping in April 2017, I received a total of 46 provincial press releases, with 18 on April 7 alone.

So the numbers last week made me realize something (read: an election call) was probably up, but I knew it for a fact on Sunday, Sept. 20, when I got 11 press releases, all of them about fairly substantive programs and funding announcements. It’s a truism that governments bury bad news by releasing it late on a Friday afternoon. It’s also a truism that they don’t release good news on a Sunday, and certainly not 11 times. It could only mean one thing: someone was clearing the decks for a Very Big Announcement the next day, and you didn’t have to be Sherlock Holmes — or even Insp. Clouseau — to figure out what that was.

So you can colour me “unsurprised” when the announcement came on Monday morning; I was already sorting out mugshots of the various candidates in Fraser-Nicola. I was also mentally saying goodbye to the week of holidays I’d booked starting on Sept. 23, because journalists — especially those in one-person newsrooms — don’t go on holiday during an election campaign. Thanks, Mr. Horgan.

Following the flurry of releases on April 7, 2017 there was a blessed silence, like the peace of God which passeth all understanding. Between then and July 19, when the new NDP government took office, I received a total of 21 provincial press releases, or less than one every four days. Of course, when God closes a door (no provincial press releases) He opens a window (I’m already receiving a flood of emails from the provincial NDP, Liberal, and Green Parties, and let me tell you, none of them are at all happy about their rivals’ plans for B.C.). Fasten your seatbelts: we’re in for a bumpy ride.



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

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Bella Bella is on B.C.’s Central Coast, accessible only by air and ocean. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
B.C. provides $22 million for Heiltsuk development on Central Coast

Elders care home project, tourism, lumber mill supported

The federal government says it wants to ban most flavoured vaping products in a bid to reduce their appeal to youth. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Craig Mitchelldyer
Health Canada proposes ban on most vaping flavours it says appeal to youth

If implemented, the regulations would restrict all e-cigarette flavours except tobacco, mint and menthol

Most Read