That's the question the Canadian Centre for Investigative Reporting asked me following my decision to suspend Public Eye's daily reporting. In an article published by the centre and J-Source.ca I provide some of the answers, revealing the secrets of its success and why it was difficult to capitalize on it. You can check it out here.
It's been just over a week since I announced I was suspending Public Eye's daily investigative coverage of provincial politics. Since then, I've been overwhelmed and appreciative of everyone who has expressed their support for the work I've done over the past eight years. I'm also appreciative of coverage of that announcement - which included interviews on CBC Radio, CFAX 1070 and Shaw TV, as well as a news story and an op-ed in The Tyee. That resulted in Public Eye being Canada's top trending twitter topic - which gives me hope for the future of investigative journalism in this country, a future that I will be part of. So remember to continue to check in with Public Eye for updates on my radio show, as well as future projects.
Since 2003, I've been honoured to be your eyes and ears in British Columbia's capital city, providing daily investigative coverage of provincial politics. That coverage now amounts to an archive of more than 6,000 stories - many of which have had a substantial impact on public policy and governance. But all good things must come to an end. So today I'm announcing the suspension of the site's daily reporting.
In the eight years I've reported on British Columbia politics, Public Eye has published more than 6,000 stories - not including the articles that were written when the site was a weekly, email-distributed .pdf publication. Almost all of those stories have been works of enterprise journalism - digging up news both big and small about public officials and institutions in this province. It would be a voluminous task to summarize them. And, in compiling some of the highlights, I'm sure I'll miss stories that mattered to many of you. But, among the major ones, there were articles that revealed:
The chair of the provincial government commission that owns Victoria's old Canadian Pacific Railway Steamship Terminal has said he understands the capital city's harbour authority is submitting a proposal related to that unoccupied building. The Provincial Capital Commission is in the midst of trying to find a tenant for the iconic 87-year-old terminal, which occupies a prime piece of waterfront real estate. But its chair Bill Wellburn said he doesn't known anything further about the harbour authority's proposal because he's excused himself from "all deliberations" about it. Mr. Wellburn said he did so because he also serves as the treasurer for the non-profit authority, which has operated Victoria's four port facilities since 2002.
Public Eye, as you may have noticed, is still experiencing technical difficulties. As a result, its search function is broken and our ability to update the site is severely impaired. Public Eye's service provider is working to resolve those issues as soon as possible.
What do Premier Christy Clark and her supporter, lobbyist Jay Hill, have in common? Both, it turns out both want to tell the natural gas industry's "story." At last month's oil and gas conference, the premier told attendees she had a job to do "making sure people understand the contribution your industry makes to British Columbia."
It may have been music to the oil and gas industry's ears. But recent comments made by Premier Christy Clark in Fort Nelson have struck a discordant note for the environmental community. Speaking at an industry conference in the northern city, Ms. Clark told attendees, "I'm tired of hearing people say, 'No, I don't want that development. No, I don't want those trees cut down. No, I don't want that mine. No, I don't want that well drilled.'"