Last week, the provincial Liberals proved themselves to have a poor understanding of British Columbia's laws. But no matter - because the Liberals also proved themselves willing to change those laws so their understanding of them becomes British Columbia's legal reality. For example, on Thursday Finance Minister Colin Hansen alleged Bill Vander Zalm's petition campaign against the harmonized sales tax had misled voters. He then went on to suggest that could invalidate the signatures collected by the former premier. But a reading of the Recall and Initiative Act reveals no such penalty exists.
Then, on Friday, Attorney General Mike de Jong said the children and youth representative's sweeping legal right to access government information doesn't apply to cabinet documents. The reason: according to him, the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act prohibits the province from releasing such documents. But a reading of that act reveals that prohibition only applies to the government's response to freedom of information requests - not the representative's powers.
Of course, it's possible this isn't just incompetence. It's possible something less innocent is going on. Which could explain why the Liberals introduced an amendment stating the representative doesn't have that authority, making sure their opinion prevails.
But perhaps I shouldn't complain. After all, having voted the party into government, we've given them the power to do exactly that.