Saturday, March 18, 2017

MLA's Week: March 13-16, 2017

The Sixth Session of the 40th Parliament came to a conclusion on Thursday morning, bringing and end to a short four week period of final legislation and mainly offering up the stage for some MLA's to make a final impression, or in some cases bid their farewells from politics before British Columbians head off to the polls on May 9th.

For North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice, the month of work at the Legislature was a fairly active one, providing her with a number of opportunities to introduce a few themes of note from the North Coast.

For this final week Ms. Rice returned to the current discussion on the need for a replacement for the city's Middle School, a topic that has dominated much of her speaking time in the last month.

Ms. Rice also addressed the theme of health care in BC, making note of the Liberals phased in approach towards eliminating MSP premiums, while reminding the Legislature and would be voters that the NDP has been calling for a full elimination for years.

Other than those two contributions, the week was about tidying up Legislative affairs before the long grind of an election campaign across the sprawling geography that makes the North Coast riding.

Our look at the work week that just concluded, can be found below:

On the week, Ms Rice was listed three times in the accounts of the sessions of the Legislature from March 13 - March 16.

Ms. Rice opened the last week of the session with a review of the themes of the province's MSP program and reaffirming the NDP call for removal of MSP premiums in the province

North Coast MLA calls MSP premiums an unfair tax; reaffirms NDP calls for removal

As the session was coming to a close, Ms. Rice put forward one final push towards the issue of the need for a replacement for Prince Rupert Middle School, introducing a petition from the North Coast and asking a number of questions of the Education Minister during the Wednesday Question Period.

Petition for replacement of PRMS delivered by Legislature by MLA

The MLA's week in the Legislature concluded with a short statement of acknowledgement in the Thursday morning session, with Ms. Rice making note of a constituent in the public gallery and paying tribute to recently retired SD52 teacher Nick Adey from Prince Rupert.

**Note/Correction -- Ms. Rice might be rushing Mr. Adey off to the sunset a little early, as he is not scheduled to retire until the end of this school year, a timeline which would give his final class an opportunity to do a bit of retirement shopping one might think ...

Ms. Rice is also a member of the Committee on Children and Youth, that committee did not meet in the past week.

We offered up some observations from the end of the session and the launch of the campaign for the North Coast on Friday, with an item reviewing the short schedule of work of February and March as well as taking note of a final address to the Legislature from Skeena's Robin Austin who is retiring from provincial politics.

As current session nears end, a departing Robin Austin reflects on time Legislature

With an end to the 40th Parliament, MLA's bid farewell to the Legislature and head out to the campaign trail

As well as notes on the work in the Legislature, we started off this week with a synopsis of the North Coast campaign prospects, noting that to this point it remains a contest that only features the participation of the NDP and Liberal parties.

North Coast remains a two party race heading to May

Barring any emergency requirements, the proceedings of the Legislature are now suspended until after the provincial election of May 9th, you can review some of the campaign themes that are developing on the North Coast from our North Coast Votes Archive page here.

We also offer up a provincial digest to track notes of interest through the campaign, it is available on our political portal Darcy McGee.

There is more background on the work of the North Coast MLA available from our MLA's Week Archive as well as our General Archive on the Legislature.

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