Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Government's fuzzy math on COVID puts Premier on the political hot seat ... once again

Confusion over the release of COVID related data is
gaining the NDP government some extra attention as the fourth 
wave of the coronavirus continues its path across the province

The release of COVID information of late by the Province of British Columbia is getting met with somewhat of a skeptical eye these days, and for Premier John Horgan the mixed messaging on how the government is handling the issues of COVID has made for a scorching column by one of British Columbia's most read journalists.

Vaughn Palmer of the Vancouver Sun composed the point by point checklist of where the NDP government has been somewhat selective in its information delivery through the pandemic, something which as the Sun columnist quite rightly points out makes for a blow to the credibility of the Government, that at a time in the COVID battle when credibility is probably required the most.

In the column published Monday which you can read here, Palmer notes of the under representation of the number of people recovering in hospital from COVID-19, he traces the the trail of media requests that spoke to that issue and were never addressed and notes how the Health Ministry has used a word salad of sorts to deflect the topic in the past, with frequent revisions required for their data releases through the pandemic.

Another topic that is covered in the story is the ever changing position of the provincial government on how they are approaching the issue of COVID and the schools, another area where the message has been jumbled at best by the government  and at times has been greeted by skepticism by parents and educators.

All of which as Palmer notes has served to undermine the credibility of the government, something which could have a much wider impact on their health message when it comes to a range of COVID related areas.

It's just the latest curious approach to government that has been seen by the NDP in recent months. 

The summer started with a victory lap of sorts over how they had handled COVID previous that then took us into a provincial recovery plan that has now stalled, that as the fourth wave leaves Health Authority's across the province in challenging states of distress.

BC never quite made it to Step Four of the Re-start plan,
that  as the fourth wave of COVID has had a significant
impact on communities and health care across the province

There was the flash of anger over the media's attempts to get answers on how the provincial government approached the summer heat waves in the south and the large number of deaths that it brought and then the slow response in empathy for communities that had been impacted by the wildfires this past Summer.

A period of time where the Premier had even disappeared for a summer vacation with no forwarding address is seems.

While not as dire for human life as COVID and the summer's emergencies, the provincial government has also been somewhat slow to react to how Alaskan representatives have taken measures into their own hands when it comes to the Alaska Cruise industry. 

The Alaskans crafting legislation that will have a significant impact on the British Columbia tourism industry, the Premier somehow misreading the anger in the north, while deflecting the issue as one for Ottawa to solve.

Something which may be correct in a division of powers theme, but certainly saw the NDP government adrift when it came to protecting the interests of those in the BC industry.

All of which has made for a growing list of missteps that are contributing to a feeling that once in a majority situation as they have become, the NDP government is losing a focus on much of the success that they had just a year ago when the prospect of losing power seemed to propel them towards more attention to the issues that are important to communities across the province.

Somehow the Provincial government has got to find its way to a return to the urgency of government of those minority government days, a period of time when for a brief period of time it did really seem like we were all in this together.

Failing that, they may want to at least govern as though they were a minority government; if only to avoid returning to that status or worse, when the next election comes along

The Premier is hosting a live media availability today at 10AM, the topic one to share the government's initiatives on Clean Energy, considering the growing confusion on the government's COVID information sharing, Clean Energy may be a secondary topic when they get around to taking questions today.

More items on note on provincial politics can be reviewed from our archive page.

A wider overview of provincial themes is available through our political blog D'Arcy McGee and our Victoria Viewpoints archive.


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