From our Executive Director, Barry Janyk:
So the provincial election is finally over! Well hold on a sec…I’m thinkin’ not. We might have all the ballots counted but the May 9th, 2017 provincial election is certainly not over. Not by a long shot.
Given the split of votes between the three parties—Liberals with 43, NDP with 41, and more critically, the Greens with 3, the current government is a pretty wobbly affair. As we know, anything with an unstable foundation generally can’t stand for long.
It is certain that the current premier, Ms. Clark, will attempt to govern but will only be able to do so until there is a vote on the budget—a “vote of confidence” in the Liberals. Be that as it may, as I write this on the evening of the 24th, we are unsure as to how the parties will dance the do-si-do at the governors’ polka party. That’s another convo…
Anyways, enough of the election opinion and prognostications. We must deal with whatever the dynamics are, or more likely, will be, because I suspect there will be dance lessons involved…
The close results create both opportunities and challenges for organisations like the FMCBC. I will start with a positive overview.
One would presume that the Fed’s goals and objectives would be better received by parties that have more of a grassroots, and less corporate, agenda. The suspicions and allegations surrounding the “pay to play” and “pay to stay” related to land tenure, trespass and management, particularly in or adjacent to BC parks and on Crown Lands, could diminish or be curtailed under a coalition government with the Greens holding sway. Such a government that is more philosophically aligned with FMCBC should be of benefit to our members. In theory.
Now a more cautious overview. While we would hope—and might even expect—that some type of coalition provincial government would benefit our aims and objectives, what may occur instead is bureaucratic constipation. It may be that the civil service, sensing a tentative and possibly short-lived government, may chose to drag its collective heels on taking, and following, fresh direction and enacting new government policy and acting on current rules and procedures. It takes time for an administrative culture to change and it will be interesting to see if change can occur in the limited time this coalition will have to actually govern.
Also, given the fact that some of our problematic constituencies remain Liberal ridings (such as Sea to Sky), this is a complicating factor. The bridges we have begun to construct will need serious attention. This will take real tact and honest engagement. Every MLA will certainly seek to shun any, and all, negative controversy. Their ambitions will be to resolve riding issues swiftly and be seen as key in every solution. And we can certainly help with that.
I think the election result will be an improvement for the Fed’s ambitions (Lord knows it had to better than the status quo) and if we continue on our current smart path of diplomacy and advocacy I see real wins in the near term and really positive prospects in the long.
Thanks, everyone. We soldier on.