The hiring of Jan O'Brien as the British Columbia New Democrats' new provincial secretary will surely be less controversial than her last high-profile appointment. In 2000, then labour minister Joy MacPhail named Ms. O'Brien vice-chair of the Labour Relations Board, prompting criticism from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and the British Columbia Chamber of Commerce. Writing for The Vancouver Sun, Paul Willcocks quoted a federation representative who called the long-time union activist's appointment a continuation of the New Democrat government's "highly politicized" appointment process. And the chamber's John Winters said, "It's not a signal to the business community that they're prepared to listen."
December 16, 2009