Celebrating the best and the best of the worst in B.C.’s Question Period - for Feb. 18 to March 5, 2020.
THE QPEE FOR EXCELLENCE IN SEMI-TRIUMPHANT RETURNS
By popular demand, the QPees have returned – and we’re playing catchup. We’d have been here sooner, but we were busy.
THE QPEE FOR EXCELLENCE IN BEING A SUCKER
When Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation Minister Scott Fraser let seven young protesters into the Legislature, it was predictable to virtually everyone what was about to happen: he was getting suckered.
And suckered he was, as Scott’s Tots did exactly what they said they would do for weeks – they refused to leave the ledge. Victoria police had to arrest them after hours of livestreams and colonial pizza.
The next day, Mike de Jong went to work on Fraser’s Folly:
“How is the judgment — the poor judgment, the lack of judgment — that the minister displayed last night supposed to convey any sense of confidence or create any sense of confidence that he has the necessary judgment to undertake, on behalf of British Columbians, the negotiations that are taking place today?”
Fraser quietly admitted that he wanted to brief the kids on his secret negotiations with a handful of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs (telling them things that he won’t tell the BC public). But no apology.
After taking several body blows, Fraser gave way to John Horgan, who did what Fraser wouldn’t do: apologize. “I want to personally apologize to the Victoria police department for the situation they found themselves in.” He then demanded to know what Opposition would have done differently (easy: followed Legislative Security’s advice and not let the protesters in).
THE QPEE FOR EXCELLENCE IN FINALLY TELLING PEOPLE WHAT YOU REALLY THINK
After weeks of a Legislature closed to the public, of seeing Scott’s Tots break all the rules on the steps of the Ledge, and watching as his personal popularity dipped 10 points, Hulk Horgan finally called the protest for what it was.
“Is the mob outside helpful? I would suggest not.”
Certainly not helpful for your polls, Premier.
THE QPEE FOR EXCELLENCE IN LIMITING YOUR CAREER OPTIONS
North Shore NDP MLA Bowinn Ma – who styles herself as B.C.’s Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez – got taken to task in QP for this tweet after Teck cancelled an oil sands project that include 3,500 person-years of BC employment:
Ma oh Ma, said the Premier’s office behind closed doors, before making it abundantly clear to the rookie that she went too far.
Premier Horgan seemed a bit annoyed to have to get up in QP to defend her, and made it clear that he does not share her views. But he also claimed she speaks for a “new generation… oftentimes.”
If that’s the case, Premier, why is the Legislature buzzing about the hard words your office had for her?
Anyway, Ma’s tweet dumped on one Christina Joan Clark – the only woman in Canadian history to ever have been elected Premier twice – so let’s check in with our friends at #BCPOLI Memes:
Sword of a Thousand Truths, FTW.
THE QPEE FOR EXCELLENCE IN OH YEAH THERE’S STILL A GREEN PARTY
They weren’t trying to trip their NDP buddies up (heck, they even admitted that their question was provided in advance), but when interim Green leader Adam Olsen asked Minister Michelle Mungall how much of the $700 million CleanBC spending program was just reclassified film tax credits, she wouldn’t – or couldn’t – say. Eventually, Mungall fessed up that $650 million was film.
It’s always sad when someone in a long-term relationship is hiding something from the other. It make you wonder what else is happening under the surface.
THE QPEE FOR EXCELLENCE IN WEIRD FLEX
Forestry Minister Doug Donaldson, wilting like, sadly, the same forestry industry he’s supposed to be stewarding, had enough of Jas Johal in QP, dismissing him as nothing more than a “former TV broadcaster.”
Kinda like his cabinet colleague, Claire Trevena – the 1990s CBC broadcaster who is now — still — in charge of transportation? At least Johal was broadcasting this millennium.
After that insult – and his answers – fell faster than the forestry employment rate, Donaldson did what NDP ministers always do when flailing in QP: mumble something about the BC Liberals’ 16 years in government and sit down.
THE QPEE FOR EXCELLENCE IN LIES, DAMNED LIES AND STATISTICS
Never thought a BC Housing update could double as a Rorschach test — but this is British Columbia.
Todd Stone and Selina Robinson fought tooth and nail over the numbers in the latest BC Housing report. Stone – using actual page numbers like he was worried about APA style, the sly dog – pointed out that only 2,430 of the promised 114,000 new housing units have been completed – and only 71 of those were “affordable” units.
Robinson fired back with unsourced numbers of her own, saying 4,300 have been completed. (Not sure why she thinks finishing 3.77% of a promise is worth bragging about, but cool, cool.) She added that another 7,700 were under construction.
Stone, still reading from the actual report, then pointed out that almost half of all Robinson’s announcements still have no funding attached to them. You don’t need to be a real estate expert to know you can’t build homes for free.
Robinson, sputtering, then claimed 23,000 units were complete or underway. That contradicted what she had just just moments before, she had said 12,000 were complete or underway (4,300 + 7,700).
Meanwhile, BC taxpayers be like:
THE QPEE FOR EXCELLENCE IN THROWING YOUR COALITION UNDER THE BUS (THE BUDGET-CUT BUS)
Reminded that the NDP had broken their promise of a rebate to renters, Finance Minister Carole James didn’t miss a beat: Well…yes. But! But! It’s because the BC Greens don’t support it.
Okay, but the BC Greens didn’t support LNG, LNG tax breaks, Site C, or Coastal GasLink. Odd.
THE QPEE FOR EXCELLENCE IN 90S TRIBUTES
Weird dynamic in the Ledge as the public was kept out of Question Period for several days, as the protests unfolded out front. Politicians love a good crowd, so it was odd to see them tossing haymakers for the sake of the Hansard readers…
Kinda reminded me of the classic Mankind vs. The Rock empty arena match during halftime of John Elway’s 1999 Super Bowl win – yet another NDP tribute to their beloved 1990s?
Jordan Bateman has a long history of public policy work, championing small business and fiscal responsibility. Currently the Vice President, Communications & Marketing for the Independent Contractors and Business Association (ICBA), Jordan also served six years as the B.C. Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, and was a two-term Langley Township Councillor.