As has been already been reported far and wide, provincial New Democrat conventioneers had a lot to say last night about party leader Carole James's earlier support for a MLA pay raise. But Ms. James wasn't nearly as talkative about that support when she addressed those delegates earlier this morning: "Last week, when we made a mistake, you spoke up. You told us we were wrong. And you were right. But we cannot allow it to overshadow our incredible success." Full stop.
In a scrum following that address, The Vancouver Sun's Vaughn Palmer asked Ms. James why she thought her "glancing, half-sentence reference (to the controversy) was a sufficient way to deal with the furor over the wage increases?"
Answered the leader, "Because of the fact we had a very good discussion last night. A good opportunity for people to raise their issues. I think it was important to mention it again today. But yes, I've had delegate after delegate come up to say they're pleased with the way we've handled it. Their pleased with that we had an open opportunity for debate last night."
"You didn't really mention it though...you didn't say what (the mistake) was. You just said you made a mistake," commented BCTV/Global's Keith Baldrey. "I don't think there's a person in this province (who) doesn't know what's gone on in the past five years," responded Ms. James.
But what about this line that the mistake should not "overshadow (caucus's) incredible success?" Doesn't that sound like something out of Premier Gordon Campbell's oft-mocked robotic "moving forward" message box, which focuses future successes rather than past mistakes? "Not at all. In fact, we stood up and said, 'We made a mistake.' We acknowledged and fixed it. If we'd seen the Campbell government admit mistakes we wouldn't be dealing with things like child deaths that we've been dealing with in the past six months."