Preparing for Another Session

Preparing for Another Session
Bob Simpson MLA Cariboo North
 
January 25, 2012
 
Unlike Premier Campbell when we never knew if the legislature would sit, Premier Clark has posted the full legislative calendar for this year and it shows we’ll have full spring and fall legislative sessions.
 
Since we did not prorogue the last fall session, Premier Clark’s Throne Speech from the fall carries over and so does some of the outstanding legislation from that session, particularly the Local Government Auditor General Act that has been called into question by the Union of BC Municipalities.
 
The most interesting aspect of this spring session (which starts on February 14th) will of course be the budget, which we’ll see on February 21st. The government continues to send out mixed messages about whether they will or won’t be able to balance the budget in 2013 as currently required by law. The budget tabled this spring will put an end to that speculation, as the government is also not allowed to project a deficit for 2013 and beyond. So, if the budget does show a deficit beyond 2012 then we’ll have to see a Bill this spring giving the government yet another reprieve from balancing the books (it’ll be their third time).
 
I’ve made my thoughts plain on this: balanced budget legislation is simply political smoke-and-mirrors as it hasn’t been adhered to in any jurisdiction that has it. Rather than amending the existing legislation yet again, I’ll be calling on the government to repeal the legislation in its entirety.
 
There seems to be pressure to try and get the Resource Roads Act tabled this spring or fall session; however, the government failed to successfully table this act once before and I’m hearing there’s still considerable push back against the current attempt. Likewise, we may see legislative or regulatory changes affecting log exports and land use plans (particularly for the interior to allow access to the mid-term timber supply that’s locked up in the Cariboo-Chilcotin Land Use Plan).
 
In my estimation, the work on forest policy is being done without sufficient public consultation and I’ve expressed this concern in meetings with Ministers and senior bureaucrats. If any natural resource legislation is brought forward my office will get as many people involved as possible in scrutinizing it and calling the government to task if it favors corporate interests over those of the public who own these resources.
 
Prior to February 14th, I’ll be travelling throughout the riding to hear from constituents about their priorities so I can continue to represent this riding’s interests in Victoria.
 
 
 
Adam Schaan
Constituency Assistant
Bob Simpson MLA Cariboo North
#401-410 Kinchant St.
Quesnel BC V2J 7J5
Tel:  250.991.0296
Fax: 250.991.0281
bobsimpsonmla.ca