MLA not surprised by Premier’s resignation

  • Nov. 8, 2010 5:00 p.m.

North Coast MLA Gary Coons says he wasn’t surprised last week when BC Premier Gordon Campbell announced his resignation. Back in the spring, Mr. Coons said he was on a radio panel of pundits talking about BC Ferries when the host suddenly asked him how long he thought the Premier would be around for. “I said he would be gone before their November convention,” he said. “The HST was a problem, the Olympics were over.” Mr. Coons said he found the Premier’s address to the province, made a week before he resigned, baffling. “It’s not too often that the second largest tax cut in the BC history is given in an infomercial, without the Finance Minister standing beside you,” he said, adding that it was particularly strange given that the finance committee has not even finished its public consultation over the 2011 provincial budget. But that kind of sudden decision was typical for Mr. Campbell, he said. Mr. Coons said BC now has the lowest minimum wage in Canada and the highest cost of living, and that under Mr. Campbell’s leadership the gap between poor and rich has gotten wider. “The rich have gotten richer and the rest of BC has been ignored,” he said. “British Columbians are looking for a change.” Meanwhile, the NDP has a convention coming up in a little over a year, in December 2011, and will hold its own leadership review at that time. Mr. Coons said some people in the party are calling for a full leadership convention instead of just a review, so that members can either back leader Carole James or choose a new person to lead the NDP for the 2013 provincial election. Mr. Coons said his own opinion is that Ms James has done a great job as leader for the past seven years, and it would be healthy for the NDP to have a full convention to ensure that the leader has a firm mandate going into the election.