Trevena addresses Liberal transparency, Hydro rates, cuts to education in latest round of reports

Questions and cuts were common themes in North Island MLA Claire Trevena’s most recent reports to her constituents.

“People often repeat the line that ‘it is Question Period but not answer period’ to shrug off the fact that Christy Clark and the BC Liberals don’t answer our questions in the Legislature,” Trevena wrote in her March 11 MLA report. “However, in a healthy democracy, there has to be accountability and that means not just asking questions but also getting honest and full responses.”

Trevena says the premier continues to refuse to answer questions about the health researchers who were summarily dismissed without justification four years ago.

And she says the attorney general is no better at answering questions. Last week, that happened on International Women’s Day (March 8), when the Opposition asked about provincial access to rape kits and resources in the Ministry of Justice to ensure reports of sexual assault are dealt with quickly.

“Instead of taking the question, she let the minister of health respond,” wrote Trevena. “Cabinet ministers sit with large binders on their desks ready to flick to the relevant section when we in the Opposition ask a question. In the binder are briefing notes and speaking points crafted by their back-room political team, which is why, so often, the answer has little or nothing to do with the question and everything to do with some political message being promoted.”

John Horgan, the Leader of the Opposition, introduced the Hydro Affordability Act last week, which Trevena says would offer “real choice” to people worried about whether they can afford to heat their homes and get food on the table.

“The bill would protect such people from skyrocketing hydro rates by offering a ‘lifeline rate,’” she wrote. “It is similar to the special protection industry receives and with hydro rates surging upwards, it would provide real assistance to those needing it.”

The NDP have also re-introduced a bill which would ensure the government had a duty to document.

“It would prohibit triple deleting emails, which was found to be the BC Liberal practice, by making it an offence to destroy government records,” wrote Trevena. “It would also ensure greater access to records by the public. This is part of a wider package of democratic reforms that we have been bringing to the Legislature for the last few years in an effort to make what is the people’s house more accountable and representative.”

Trevena says the loss of transit passes for people on provincial disability was central to debate in the Legislature the week of Feb. 29 to March 4.

“We have been raising this injustice daily in Question Period, in debate on legislation and even from the steps of the Legislature at a rally,” she wrote in a recent report. “I have heard from many people who can see their lives being diminished by this callous cut.”

Cuts to public education have also been a concern for Trevena.

“I asked the minister of education about the ongoing cuts to the education budget, which is having a significant effect on School District 72 (SD72),” she wrote. “The sad irony is that the cuts SD72 is having to make as a result of government policy are just over $1 million; the savings from closing two schools is just under $1 million.”


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Telus representative Doug Anastos (top left) and SitePath Consulting Ltd.’s consultant Brian Gregg (top right) present to the SRD board, including CAO David Leitch (bottom left) and Cortes Island director Noba Anderson, on Jan. 13, 2021. Photo courtesy SRD/Youtube
Improved wireless connection for Quadra, Cortes pitched to SRD

Idea includes new towers at various locations on islands

Eva Xu (left) and Joanne Moon (right) presents Campbell River Hospital Foundation executive director Stacey Marsh (centre) with a $1,476 cheque to go towards the new mammography machine at the hospital. Photo supplied by Campbell River Hospital Foundation.
Gourmet Essentials donates nearly $1,500 to Hospital Foundation

Machine will cut wait times for mammogram results

Robbie Burns Day will be celebrated a little differently this year, but celebrated it will be as the Tidemark Theatre presents a live virtual celebration that will be available for ticketholders to view for three days. Black Press File Photo
Tidemark Theatre presents Burns Night 2021: The Bard & His Ballads

A tale of whisky and haggis, and of how Robbie Burns would emerge as a champion for the common man

Everett Bumstead (centre) and his crew share a picture from a tree planting location in Sayward on Vancouver Island from when they were filming for ‘One Million Trees’ last year. Photo courtesy, Everett Bumstead.
The tree planting life on Vancouver Island features in new documentary

Everett Bumstead brings forth the technicalities, psychology and politics of the tree planting industry in his movie

Bill Reekie and his then-four-year-old granddaughter Lily. Photo contributed
Alzheimer’s – the Unplanned Journey

By Jocelyn Reekie Special to the Mirror “January is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month… Continue reading

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

A woman types on her laptop in Miami in a Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, photo illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Wilfredo Lee
British Columbia government lax on cybersecurity practices, auditor reports

The audit did not highlight a specific threat, but it found breaches in cybersecurity are increasing globally

A water taxi at Victoria’s Fisherman’s Wharf. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man arrested after stolen water taxi raced up Victoria’s Gorge Waterway

Man is facing recommended charges of over $5,000 after leading police on marine chase

A mattress on fire gutted the second floor hallway at Town Park Apartments C-block Jan. 17. (Port Hardy Fire Rescue images)
‘Suspicious’ Port Hardy apartment fire could keep tenants out of their homes for months

A burning mattress created smoke and heat, causing several tenants to jump from windows

Cranbrook Food Bank coordinator Deanna Kemperman, Potluck Cafe Society executive director Naved Noorani and Sunshine Coast Community Services Society executive director Catherine Leach join B.C.’s new Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne on a video call about B.C. gaming grants, Jan. 19, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. gaming grants reorganized for COVID-19 priorities

Minister highlights community kitchens, food banks

(Pixabay photo)
‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

Kelowna RCMP recently concluded an international drug investigation after finding cocaine in local grocers’ banana shipments in 2019

A new video from NCCIH and BC Northern Health titled ‘Healing in Pandemic Times: Indigenous Peoples, Stigma and COVID-19’ was animated by Joanne Gervais. (Photo Provided By: NCCIH Archives)
VIDEO: Stigma against Indigenous people is a ‘social sickness’

A new short animated video is aiming to educate the public on the stigmatization

Most Read