Mend your ways

B.C. Liberals needs to change its governance style

The B.C. Liberal government just can’t seem to keep out of trouble as it continues to dig a deeper and wider hole under the leadership of Premier Christy Clark.

She became BC Liberal Party leader on Feb. 26, 2011, after then premier Gordon Campbell fell on his sword when the party plunged to the bottom of the polls.

Clark pulled her party from the ashes in the May 14, 2013 provincial election based on promises of jobs and financial security through the development and export of liquefied natural gas, which have been slow developing.

The Clark government has been battling its way through problems – some small and large – from the outset of their mandate.

Most recently, there have been back-to-back issues that have the Clark government on its heels, ducking and covering up like a beleaguered boxer as the New Democrats, led by John Horgan, have been pummelling it during Question Period in the Legislature and in the provincial and national media.

Children & Family Development Minister Stephanie Cadieux came under fire last month after Alex Gervais, who was in government care, died after falling from the fourth floor of a Super 8 Motel in Abbotsford on Sept. 18.

The NDP asked Cadieux to resign, calling it the latest of a series of crises, deaths and court rulings – all pointing to the provincial government’s inability to look after children in its care.

Clark defended Cadieux, and said her government wouldn’t stop using hotels to house youth in emergency circumstances; however, she added it should be done as rarely as possible and for as short of a duration as possible.

Obviously, the government has to patch the holes immediately.

Last week, the Clark government got spanked by Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham for the way it handles requests for access to information.

A hearing was held after a Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure employee complained that a co-worker deleted several files while he was working on a response to a request for information on Highway 16/Highway of Tears. The co-worker denied the allocations; however, the matter has been forwarded to the RCMP to look into the matter.

Denham noted her office staff found negligent searches for records, a failure to keep adequate email records, a failure to document searches, and the wilful destruction of records responding to an access request.

“Taken together, these practices threaten the integrity of access to information in British Columbia,” she wrote.

Like the former federal Conservative government, the B.C. Liberals are showing a penchant for doing whatever it wants and trying to hoodwink British Columbians.

One wonders if the provincial government will suffer the same fate as the Tories, or if it will mend the way it governs.