Thinking local, acting provincial

Despite the premier's belief in the doctrine of subsidiarty, the Campbell administration hasn't always respected the autonomy of local governments in British Columbia. For example, in 2006, the administration mandated that all new municipal capital projects receiving provincial funding will have to be reviewed by Parnterships British Columbia if they cost more than $20 million. And, in 2003, passed a law giving the province the power to overrule local decisions that constrain the development of projects deemed to be provincially significant. So critics of that legislation will be delighted to know Blair Lekstrom, the new minister of community development, actually voted against the Significant Projects Streamlining Act.

At the time, the former Dawson Creek mayor told the legislature, "I know that I share many concerns with many of my constituents when I see the federal government stepping into jurisdictions that we feel are provincial. I recognize this bill in a similar light "” that we're stepping into jurisdictions that I believe wholeheartedly should remain within the realm of local governments and those bodies to act upon."

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