Category: Dermod Travis


Time for a rethink on candidate nominations, starting at the very beginning: vetting

It was hardly front page news on the west coast, but St. John’s lawyer Ches Crosbie, son of former Progressive Conservative MP John Crosbie, was elected the new leader of the Newfoundland and Labrador Progressive Conservative Party last month.

It’s noteworthy because three years ago, the Conservative party of Canada, rejected Ches’ federal candidacy, claiming in his words that “decision-makers at party headquarters in Ottawa decided I wasn’t the type of candidate they wanted.”

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Big money’s last hurrah

The big money party is over and what a party it was. Given its well-deserved reputation in B.C. it’s fitting that it went out with a bang in 2017.

First, though, a walk down memory lane for an appreciation of its shock and awe legacy on B.C. politics.

Between 2005 and 2017, B.C.’s political parties reported $206.9 million in donations ($250+), with the B.C. Green party raking in $4.3 million, the B.C. NDP ($63 million) and the B.C. Liberal party ($132 million). Trade unions accounted for $20.6 million of the haul, individuals ($74.9 million) and corporations ($90.4 million), with the balance split among unincorporated businesses and non-profits.

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B.C. budgets need more context, fewer sacred cows

When times are tough, governments like to spin bad news budgets as a call for every segment of society to share in the pain.

Rarely, when times are good, do they set out a blueprint to share the gain, something the last government paid dearly for.

Finance minister Carole James rightly recognized that B.C.’s social fabric is a little frayed and some mending might be the order of the day.

While her budgetary themes were dead on, the devil is still in the detail.

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B.C. has some tough crowds to please budget time

British Columbia is often defined by what divides us: geography, politics, social interests, environmental issues.

Something else that divides us? Our bank balances or the size of our payday loans.

B.C. is home to the uber-wealthy, the mere wealthy runner-ups, the keeping our heads above water crowd and the four in 10 British Columbians who are $200 away from not being able to pay their bills, that last one according to the latest MNP Consumer Debt Index report.

Tough crowds to please. Throw last month’s provincial budget into the mix and it’s sure to spark some reaction from all quarters.

Pity the poor scribes who have to make sense of it all in a matter of hours during the budget lock-up, ready to tweet as the Finance minister rises in the legislature.

Then the days go by and the impact of various budgetary measures begin to sink in.

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