EDITORIAL: B.C. government shows signs of conforming to public concern

Evidence this week that provincial government is heeding public feedback on spending and agricultural land use concerns

Apathy in the political process has reached an all-time high in recent years, with the perception that elected representatives are not really listening to public concerns.

But there is evidence this week that the provincial government is heeding public feedback, on two currently contentious issues at least.

An all-party committee of MLAs has unanimously supported a proposal from Finance Minister Mike de Jong that henceforth all B.C. politicians will publish their expense receipts – including food, travel and accommodation – online.

The proposal, clearly a response to the flap over legislature Speaker Linda Reid’s expenses – including nearly $5,500 in business-class air travel for her spouse, since repaid – elicited a few grumbles from NDP MLAs over the work involved in backing all expenses with receipts. But it seems MLAs overall agreed with de Jong’s assessment that steps need to be taken to restore public trust, after recent “unreasonable” expense abuses in B.C. and beyond.

Meanwhile Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick has apparently taken note of written feedback from B.C. residents in amending the proposed Bill 24, which would make changes to the province’s Agricultural Land Reserve.

The contentious two-zone provision remains, dividing ALR land into one area (Metro Vancouver, Vancouver Island and the Okanagan) where farmland would be protected from non-agricultural development and another (essentially the rest of B.C.) where farmers might have options to invite in ‘value-added’ industries that could include oil and gas development.

But there are indications that the impassioned words of many regarding both the need for food security in the province and a long-term commitment to preserving agricultural land have been noted and reflected in amendments.

Just Posted

Victoria woman, 76, challenges alcohol-screening laws after failing to give breath sample

Norma McLeod was unable to provide a sample because of her medical conditions

Victoria council looks to self-impose carbon tax on staff airfare

A new carbon pricing fee would put additional funds into the city’s Climate Action Reserve

Gas stations could push to 167.9 cents a litre this week

Analyst says high prices are due to supply and demand

United Way celebrates volunteers, contributors in Greater Victoria area

$4.7 million was raised in 2018 thanks to the work of hundreds of people

Police charge 27-year-old man with weapons offences after Langford shooting

Justin Lemmen was arrested shortly after the shooting after crashing into a truck

WATCH: Cougar saunters through Metchosin yard

Spring cougar sighting caught on camera

Wanted by Crime Stoppers

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you think the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris should be rebuilt?

Images of one of the word’s most iconic landmarks were seared into… Continue reading

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with B.C. First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

B.C. youth coach banned amid sexual harassment, bullying scandal: Water Polo Canada

Justin Mitchell can’t take part in Water Polo Canada events or clubs

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Island Cup set for East Sooke on May 3-5

Off-road racing event expected to attract over 50 racers

Female real estate agents warned of suspicious man in Metro Vancouver

The man requests to see homes alone with the female agent, police say

Most Read