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Issue No. 29 September 4, 2012
In This Issue
Key BC Cabinet Ministers Resign
BC Conservative Party Calls for Leadership Review before September AGM
Proposed Review Process a Mistake – Editorial
The Public Affairs Update is your weekly insight, perspective and analysis on politics in British Columbia and Canada.  This newsletter is brought to you by the largest, and most broadly-based business organization in the province, the BC Chamber of Commerce – the Voice of Business in BC.


Key BC Cabinet Ministers Resign

Last Wednesday, citing personal reasons, Hon. Kevin Falcon announced he would be stepping down as Minister of Finance and Deputy Premier and would not seek re-election in the upcoming provincial election in May 2013. He will, however, stay on as MLA until the election. Hon. Shirley Bond, Minister of Justice and Attorney General, will serve as Acting Finance Minister in the interim. Minister Bond already serves as Deputy Chair of Treasury Board and alternate Finance Minister. Premier Christy Clark said Mr. Falcon was “the hardest working Finance Minister in the country and *kept the province on strong fiscal footing with a triple A credit rating despite the worst global recession in generations.”


Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier John Les, Minister of Education Hon. George Abbott and Minister of Children and Family Development Hon. Mary McNeil also announced on Thursday that they will not seek re-election in May 2013. All three will remain as MLAs until the election.


BC Conservative Party Calls for Leadership Review before September AGM

Members of the BC Conservative Party’s board of directors are challenging leader John Cummins. The provincial director, John Crocock, has called on party members to endorse a leadership review ahead of the party’s annual general meeting in September that, if successful, would force Cummins to step down.


Part of the BC Conservative constitution holds that during a leadership review, party members are asked if they support a leadership election. The rules hold that if 50 per cent +1 of ballots submitted vote yes a leadership convention is called, which results in the leader stepping down.


Cummins has responded to the criticism by saying that the internal attack comes from a minority of the board.


Proposed Review Process a Mistake – Editorial

A Vancouver Sun editorial published this morning outlines the evolution of the BC NDP’s position on the proposed Northern Gateway Project including the future role of environmental assessments with respect to proposed pipeline projects in BC.


The editorial outlines the BC NDP’s clear (opposing) position on the proposed Gateway Project. Recently, NDP leader Adrian Dix has said that if the party were to form government, they would withdraw from the Joint Review Panel with the federal government and insist that Gateway undergo a new provincial environmental assessment.


Critics of the NDP’s plan argue that the party is sending a damaging message to potential investors, claiming that the NDP’s new proposed environmental assessment process will undo years of work between the province and the federal government to harmonize environmental assessments to reduce costs, shorten the timelines and avoid duplication without increasing risks. As such, critics claim the BC NDP should “work toward fixing the process rather than returning to a costly, redundant system that acts as a barrier to investment without adding any environmental protection.”


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This weekly report produced for the BC Chamber of Commerce by Fleishman-Hillard.  While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information included in this publication as of the date of issue, events and government policies are subject to frequent change.  Therefore, the BC Chamber of Commerce and Fleishman-Hillard cannot assume any responsibility for actions taken solely or principally on the basis on the information contained herein.


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