Valley’s MLAs see throne speech differently

Valley’s MLAs see throne speech differently

No confidence votes expected later this month

The Cowichan Valley’s MLAs have differing opinions of Christy Clark’s speech from the throne on June 22.

Doug Routley, NDP MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan, said he was surprised to hear the NDP’s platform during the election campaign repeated back to him and his party colleagues through the throne speech.

He said he doesn’t know what Clark’s plan is in co-opting many of the NDP and Greens’ platforms in the throne speech.

“But people are sick of the Liberals’ shenanigans and they just want their business taken care of,” Routley said.

“I think it’s pathetic and disrespectful that the Liberals are playing party games after people in B.C. voted 57 per cent against them in the election.”

But Sonia Furstenau, the Green MLA for the Cowichan Valley, said the speech reflects exactly what the Green Party has been saying about the advantages of a minority government.

She said the throne speech shows that, with a minority government inevitable, there is now agreement among the three parties in the legislature with some of the major initiatives that were part of the Green Party’s platform.

“We’re now seeing promises in the Liberals’ throne speech to ban big money (donations from unions and corporations), investments in child care, and moving forward with electoral reform and proportional representation,” she said.

“If people in B.C. are seeking stability in government, then this could be the most stable legislature ever. I think people want to see more governance and less politics. If all MLA s recognize their responsibilities, we should be able to set aside party politics and pass legislation that will make the lives of British Columbians better.”

Among the many promises and commitments made by Clark during the throne speech are the establishment of a new provincewide poverty reduction strategy, with a particular focus on children, a referendum on electoral reform, covering an additional 150,000 children with full or partial child-care subsidies, and work to build light rail on southern Vancouver Island.

“British Columbians spoke loud and clear — they’re looking for a better balance between economic, social, and environmental priorities,” said Clark during the speech from the throne.

“Together, we have built the most solid economic foundation in Canada — and with that, an opportunity to take better care of each other, and invest in the services we all need.”

Routley said he expects a no-confidence vote in the government to be held on June 29.

“After 16 years of lies and failures, we intend to show the Liberals that we have no confidence in them,” he said.