Friday, March 17, 2017

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

And it's a farewell to Victoria as the Spring Session of the Legislature
comes to an end, How many incumbents return will be up to the voters on May 9

Thursday marked the final day of the Spring Session of the British Columbia legislature as MLA's tied up the loose ends of the current list of bills and made their farewells, wondering how many of them will be returned to the Chamber on May 9th.

With the close of business in the capital, the official launch of the upcoming election campaign is now in motion, though for many of the incumbents in Victoria, the last few months have been for the most part a non stop campaign, with those in the Legislature making the most out of their opportunities to gain some notice for their work.

The Spring Session proved to be a busy
one for North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice
with the MLA taking advantage of a
number of opportunities to raise issues
One MLA who made the most of that opportunity was North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice,  as NDP leader John Horgan, having recently added to her critics duties, provided some valuable speaking allotments for Ms. Rice to deliver a number of discussion points related to the North Coast.

The themes of Prince Rupert making for a prominent feature for the last month and a bit of the legislative session.

Ms. Rice, tackled a number of issues and concerns and found a a number of forums to address them. whether through statements in the House sessions, or questions to Ministers during the daily Question Period.

A quick scan of some of her themes this session can be found from our MLA Archives page.

It all made for a significant increase for her time on the main stage of the Legislature compared to previous sessions over the last four years, perhaps indicative of some concern from the NDP that the North Coast riding may be in play during this campaign, as Ms. Rice prepares to face Liberal candidate Herb Pond on the campaign trail.

For Mr. Pond, the end of the legislative session will probably be somewhat of a relief, bringing to an end the added speaking time and publicity that it offered for Ms. Rice, providing the Liberal candidate a chance to now set some of the agenda for the run up to election day.

All of them topics that do seem to have some traction on the North Coast, and while segments of the local media seem to forget that we do actually have a sitting MLA in Victoria, the talking points that Ms. Rice raised during the session did find ways to make it into the discussion for North Coast residents.

The advantage of being the sitting MLA for the region comes from the platform that the Legislature provides, and the ability to call on a research staff to lend a hand with the talking points.

Now that the campaign is about to move into the active phase, Ms. Rice will be without those resources, making for additional strains on her time of preparation.

Liberal Candidate Herb Pond
has kept active with local events
so far in the pre-campaign period
So far for Mr. Pond the early preamble to the election campaign has been somewhat low key, one of occasional comments for local groups or organizations, attendance at local events, along with door knocking and updates through social media.

With the end of the Legislative session, the playing field levels off a bit, framed by how the two candidates (or more if some latecomers join the party) decide to take the issues to the public.

At some point over the next seven weeks, North Coast voters may hope to see a candidates debate, or similar forums, where the range of issues that face the region can be explored, offering a chance for those seeking our vote in May to outline how they would be serve the community.

Ms. Rice will now have an opportunity to expand on her time in the Legislature for residents of the North Coast, answering questions from the public as to why another four year term should be endorsed by the voters.

Mr. Pond, we imagine will look to create his own narrative as to how the representation will be better for the riding, should he receive the confidence of the voters on election day.

While it seems as though the campaign has already begun, the formal start date isn't until April, with the 11th of next month, the first day registered as the actual official launch for election period for 2017.

As the first rumblings of the campaign ahead began to develop late last year we created our North Coast Votes archive page, tracing newsworthy notes related to how the candidates in this region were approach the themes for the election campaign.

Over at our political portal Darcy McGee we will be adding on to our focus from the work of the Legislature, tracking developments along the Provincial election campaign as well, our results as part of our Daily Election Digest can be found here.

As the candidates across the province seek out our vote on May ninth, check the resources we have to offer for a snapshot of the day on the campaign trail

No comments:

Post a Comment