Yesterday, British Columbia New Democrat conventioneers debated an emergency resolution approving "the statement by (party leader) Carole James that ended support of Bill 17." As has already been reported by provincial broadcasters, that resolution was passed 294 to 190 - although some ornery delegates took to the microphones to condemn caucus for supporting that pay raise package in the first place. And now, some delegates are curious why that debate happened on Friday at 8:00 - past The Vancouver Sun's weekend edition deadline and the six o'clock news. After all, traditionally, emergency resolutions have been discussed on Sunday - a much more convenient time for the press pack. But, in an interview with Public Eye, party secretary Gerry Scott explained that tradition was changed two years ago, prior to the leadership convention. Now, those document are debated at the same time as non-emergency policies. The following is a copy of that resolution.
Category: Good Government
Whereas: The recent legislation dealing with MLA's compensation and support budgets for MLA's service offices has caused significant public concern, and
Whereas: Many citizens in BC feel the priority of the Legislature at this time must be to address the attacks by the Campbell Liberals on middle income and working families, on the most vulnerable, on key public services, on collective bargaining, on fair labour laws, on employment standards, and on the fair sharing of economic opportunities in BC, and
Whereas: British Columbians of all political persuasions believe any Changes (sic) in MLA compensation must be based on an independent and transparent process,
Therefore be it resolved that:
1. The BC NDP supports the initiative of the NDP in bringing about the repeal of Bill 17 and supports any future MLA compensation change going through an independent and transparent process, not simply a legislative process.
2. The BC NDP supports the statement by Carole James that ended support of Bill 17 and that recognized the public concern on the issue.
3. The BC NDP supports the work of the NDP MLAs and Leader Carole James in their efforts during the recent Legislative session to address the numerous failures of the Campbell Liberal administration in the protection of children, in the destruction of collective barganing, in the provision of vital health, educational, and social services, in the privatization of public utilities and public services; and in the neglect of the public inteerest in the core functions of government.
Composite with Oak Bay Gordon Head