Saturday, February 15, 2020

MLA's Week: February 11-14, 2020

MLA's returned to their seats in the Legislature on Tuesday, though not without a bit of effort, that as protesters blocked all of the access points to the Legislature building, the provincial capital just one hot  spot for a week of turmoil across the province.

Once they found a way into the Chamber, those in attendance on Tuesday were attentive  to Lieutenant Governor Janet Austin, who delivered the Speech from the Throne.

The government document and introduction to the Fifth Session of the current Parliament was one which for the most part recounted the NDP Government's highlight reel of past Legislation.

BC NDP replay their greatest hits as part of Speech from the Throne; as Premier responds to string of protests across the province

For much of the week however the focus for the MLA's was the current dispute in the Wet'suwet'en territory and the growing number of protests that were disrupting trade, travel and employment across the province.

Some of that disruption was delivered on the North Coast as a rail blockade near Hazelton effectively shut down the operations of the Port of Prince Rupert for most of the week until it was lifted late Thursday evening.

Hazelton rail blockade impacting on Port of Prince Rupert operations

Freight set to roll again along CN mainline as blockade lifted near Hazelton

MLA Jennifer Rice spoke to the issues of the last few months through a statement to her Facebook page earlier in the week, making for her first extensive discussion on the topic this year.

MLA Rice finds a fence to straddle

However, some of the North Coast MLA's past statements during her days in Opposition would make for the current of debate in the Legislature this week.

That as Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson highlighted the comments of the past on hereditary and elected Band Council governance as working against rule of law in the province.

Liberal leader Wilkinson points to past statements from Northwest NDP MLA's as working against the rule of law in British Columbia

Mr. Ross addressed the issues of the week through both Social Media and by way of a number of enquiries of the government during the Wednesday Question Period in the Legislature.

Prior to the return to the Legislature, the Skeena MLA continued to gain strong exposure from the British Columbia media, appearing as a guest on a new political commentary program from Victoria.

New political program gains perspectives on range of themes from Skeena's MLA Ellis Ross

Another political representative in the Northwest was also featured in the news this week out of Victoria, with the Environment Minister George Heyman announcing the new appointees to the Climate Solutions Council, with Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain set to take a place on that panel.

Mayor Brain appointed to Climate Solutions Council

As for the first week of work in the House for the spring session, the four days unfolded as follows:


On the week, Ms Rice was not listed in the accounts of the sessions of the Legislature from February 11-14

The North Coast MLA is also a permanent member of the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs, serving as the convener of that forum.

Transcripts of the work of the committee are available on the Legislature page for the Committee.

Select Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs


For our readers from the Terrace-Kitimat region, Skeena MLA Ellis Ross  was listed once in the accounts of  the Legislature from February 11-14.

The Skeena MLA was one of the lead Liberals in the first Question Period for the Spring Session, addressing a range of questions to the Government side on the dispute in the Wet'suwet'en territory.

Wet'suwet'en protest issues dominate first Question Period for Spring session, with Skeena MLA Ellis Ross seeking clarity on role of Nathan Cullen

Mr. Ross is also a permanent member of the Standing Committee on Legislative Initiatives.

He has also been appointed to the Standing Committee on Children and Youth

The Skeena MLA is also a member of the Special Committee for Review of the Police complaint process, you can follow their work here.

There is more background on both the North Coast and Skeena MLA's available from our MLA's Week Archive, as well as our constituency archives below:

North Coast constituency

Skeena and Stikine constituency

The Legislature returns to its work following the long weekend, with the first session of the week set for Tuesday when the NDP Government will introduce their Budget in the House.

The full schedule for the Legislature for 2020  can be viewed here.

A larger overview of provincial issues can be found on our political portal D'Arcy McGee

To return to the most recent blog posting of the day, click here.

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