The provincial New Democrat's political fortunes have taken a turn for the worse, as of late. According to the most recent Mustel Research Group Ltd. poll, if an election were held tomorrow, just 32 percent of British Columbians would vote for the party compared with 50 percent for the Liberals. So you'd think the New Democrats would be pulling out all the stops to prepare for the upcoming legislative session. But you'd be wrong. Because it turns three of the opposition's caucus staffers - including senior communications officer Rich Overgaard - have been granted a leave of absence to work on the New Democrat election campaign in, er, Ontario.
Asked for comment, senior communications advisor Jim Rutkowski said, "We've got a great team, as you know, of energetic young people who are burning the midnight oil getting prepared for the session. That session is in two weeks. And we'll be ready." Also working on the Ontario campaign - where the New Democrats are presently polling at 18 percent in a three party race - are caucus communications officer Tim Renneberg and research officer Adrienne Smith.