B.C. Liberals cancel fall session of legislature
Last Updated: Wednesday, September 10, 2008 | 1:35 PM PT
The B.C. Liberals have cancelled the fall sitting of the provincial legislature, sparking outrage from the opposition NDP.
Liberal house leader Mike de Jong confirmed Wednesday that the legislature wouldn't be recalled until February, when Premier Gordon Campbell's Liberals will introduce a throne speech followed by the provincial budget.
The final legislative sitting for the current government was to have begun on Oct. 6, before the provincial election already set for May 2009.
Liberal house leader Mike de Jong said there is no need for an additional session to deal with any extraordinary legislation, even though the opposition New Democrats have been calling for a fall session to debate the carbon tax and double-digit pay-raises granted to some high-level bureaucrats.
NDP Leader Carole James said the move amounts to the Campbell government cancelling the democratic process.
"I find it extraordinary that this is a government that continues to want to govern behind closed doors and, if the government doesn't have an agenda, we do. We have a list of issues that could be talked about in the legislature," James said on Wednesday.
Dennis Pilon, a political scientist at the University of Victoria, said the decision will not be viewed kindly by voters who want to see the government being held to account.
"The legislature is the place where accountability is supposed to happen," said Pilon.
"At least we get this tiny, small window where the people with power have to stand in front of everyone else, and the elected opponents of them, and justify the policies that they make.
"This is fundamentally undemocratic. This is wrong. We should live up to the standards of a modern democracy. Having one session that goes from the spring into the summer and then shutting things down, there's no other workers in this province who get that kind of sweet deal."
This is the second time the Campbell government has cancelled a legislative sitting since it was elected nearly four years earlier.
Campbell also has yet to announce the dates for byelections in two Vancouver ridings left vacant after former New Democrat Gregor Robertson quit to run for the mayor of Vancouver and Liberal Lorne Mayencourt decided to seek a Conservative nomination in the current federal election campaign.With files from the Canadian Press
Latest British Columbia News Headlines
- Half of First Nations children live in poverty
- Half of status First Nations children in Canada live in poverty, a troubling figure that jumps to nearly two-thirds in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, says a newly released report. more »
- B.C. backcountry mobile maps cause concern
- The BC Search and Rescue Association is raising concerns about a set of free, high-resolution topographical backcountry maps released by the provincial government on Tuesday. more »
- B.C. teacher duct-taped students' mouths
- The B.C. Teacher Regulation Branch has reprimanded a Vancouver teacher after she duct-taped her students' mouths in an effort to keep them quiet. more »
- Canadian border agents being impersonated in phone scam
- The Canada Border Services Agency is warning Canadians of a possible phone scam and fraud. more »
Top News Headlines
- 30,000 Canadians are homeless every night
- A new national report into homelessness in this country tells a grim story — at least 200,000 Canadians experience homelessness in any given year and least 30,000 Canadians are homeless on any given night. more »
- Obesity called a disease by U.S. doctors group
- In order to fight what it described as an "obesity epidemic," the American Medical Association voted to recognize obesity as a disease and recommended a number of measures to fight it. more »
- Neil Macdonald: Washington's obsession with leakers
- Julian Assange and Edward Snowden are just the most prominent targets in an all-out legal and propaganda campaign that America's security apparatus is mounting against leakers everywhere, Neil Macdonald writes. more »
- How open is Ottawa's new 'open data' website?
- Treasury Board President Tony Clement is touting the federal government's revamped data portal as a "new natural resource." But that online window for previously published data arrives at the same time the government faces controversy over just how open it really is. more »
- Police probe death of woman, 27, in Kelowna home
- Hundreds attend 'Change Brazil' protest in Vancouver
- Parents of son 'brutally beaten' playing hockey want charges
- Failed condo pre-sale deal costs Vancouver buyer $750K
- Police probe Mohinder graffiti in East Vancouver
- Cross Canada bike stolen from B.C. senior
- Vancouver airport CEO takes aim at cross-border travellers
- The class photo that made a father cry
- Prison guard files murder trauma claim