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Friday, July 19, 2013 - North Shore News - A7

She’s the boss: Clark cements hold on party THE summer legislative session is now half over, so it’s time for some observations and thoughts about what we’ve seen so far in the house:

The multitude of new faces around the legislature has changed the atmosphere for the better. There are more than 30 newbies, and perhaps because they’ve had to spend so much time trying not to get lost in the maze of corridors they haven’t had time to descend to the level of bitter partisanship that characterized the place the past few years. Let’s hope this continues. The new government cabinet, which has a number of rookies, has so far performed fairly well. Education Minister Peter Fassbender has navigated the usually rocky shoals of the government’s relationship with

View from the Ledge Keith Baldrey

the B.C. Teachers Federation fairly well, and Transportation Minister Todd Stone has ably deflected any criticism hurled at him by the Opposition. Veteran MLA Bill Bennett is new to the energy portfolio and has his hands full with B.C. Hydro, but acknowledges there are problems at the Crown Corporation that need to be dealt with and not swept under the carpet.

One newcomer, AttorneyGeneral Suzanne Anton, has had a bit of a shaky start but she’ll have time to grow into her role. New Health Minister Terry Lake has already had to deal with controversy (over a smoking cessation drug) but has weathered things well. The NDP Opposition has yet to find its sea legs in the house. A number of veteran MLAs, no doubt devastated by the prospects of another four long years in Opposition, appear to have checked out, at least for now. It’s unlikely the NDP caucus will be reenergized any time soon, as it will probably take months for caucus members to get over that unexpected election loss. The only two members who seem to have their heads fully in the game right now are John Horgan and Mike Farnworth, and that may be because both may once again find themselves in a party leadership race should Adrian

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Bike paths well-used by cyclists

Dear Editor: I’m writing in response to the July 7th letter to the editor by Lynn Gordon arguing that we shouldn’t put more resources into bike paths. I suggest that Gordon stop and think about cycling and its benefits. Cycling is a great way to stay physically fit (something that many people have a hard time making time for) and it

doesn’t contribute to climate change. I’m a cyclist and I use the bike paths every day and my kids do as well. To say that they are empty is simply false. Perhaps Gordon can’t see them whilst she’s whizzing around in her (polluting) automobile. Margaret Bryant North Vancouver

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her out of the job and now she is firmly steering the ship with apparently calm waters ahead. B.C.’s first-ever Green Party MLA, Andrew Weaver, has demonstrated an ability to get under the skin of the NDP. He isn’t given much opportunity to ask questions in question period, but he does get to vote on things. His decision to vote in favour of the B.C. Liberal government’s budget really irritated a number of NDP MLAs, who voiced their objections on social media. Weaver told me he voted for it because the election outcome made it obvious people want a balanced budget, so he was following the public’s lead. He said he didn’t necessarily think the budget will actually be balanced when all is said and done, but he was in favour of at least the concept of a

Dix step down as leader. A whole bunch of issues that dominated question period and much of the political debate before the election are now mostly off the table. Remember the NDP’s constant demand for an inquiry into the sale of B.C. Rail? Goodbye! The attacks on Premier Christy Clark for constantly campaigning? No more. Even the ethnic memo furor, which the NDP is trying to revisit, has lost its edge. Speaking of the premier, she hasn’t been around the legislature much as she spent several weeks campaigning in the Westside-Kelowna byelection, so she hasn’t had much of a physical presence. But there’s no doubt who is in charge, as her byelection win cemented her hold on her party. Just a few months ago, people were plotting to force

balanced budget (something that sets him apart from the NDP). Clark has been able to reward most members of her caucus with cabinet posts, parliamentary secretary appointments, committee memberships and caucus positions, most of which come with a boost in salary. Two MLAs, however, have been frozen out: Moira Stilwell and Sam Sullivan. Stilwell has been on the outs with Clark for months, and Sullivan beat Clark for the Vancouver mayoralty some years back. It looks like Clark is not in a forgiving mood towards some people. I wonder whether she will display a similar attitude to some key people in the business community who were less than loyal before her miracle win. Keith.Baldrey@globalnews.ca

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North Shore News July 19 2013  

North Shore News July 19 2013

North Shore News July 19 2013  

North Shore News July 19 2013

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