Wednesday, June 08, 2005

And the Cabinet & Critic Post Goes to ...

Tomorrow's the big day for the Liberal
swearing in. June 16th is Cabinet Unveiling
Day. I've already heard some disturbing
rumbling about more organizational changes
in government and a more militant attitude
on the part of management towards staff,
who are just reeling from everything that's
already gone down. This next four years is
going to bring organizational change in some
Ministries like nothing that's been seen for
some time. Watch for some serious impli-
cations as a result. With a renewed mandate
to govern, and the local media in the bag,
the sky is really the limit.

Attended First Call's meeting with Wally Oppal
today. It was a "dialogue" about issues affecting
children, youth and families. He was a good sport,
it wasn't really a dialogue, as coalition members
talked about the many problems in every sector
after the last four years. He tried to distance
himself as much as possible, pointing out several
times he hasn't been part of the past decision-
making. I can see he is a quick study as a
politician, like everything else, I'm sure.

He lost a bit of credibility when he kept encouraging
people to advocate for the issues. After four years of
losses, instability and doors being slammed in faces,
or stony silence from government, people have a
hard time accepting that advice when some of them
see the devastating effects of it all on the people of
the province. But Mr. Oppal is in a tough position.
I wonder if there isn't a bit of naivete on all sides,
he isn't going to be able to advocate and learn about
all the issues.

I don't know if he entirely knows what he has gotten
himself into in the Liberal camp. Or maybe he does,
who really knows? I believe in Mr. Oppal's sincerity
when he says he has been a social justice activist
throughout his life. I hope he remembers this most
now that he has the opportunity to use his integrity,
passion and position to help create a more balanced
approach and improve whatever systems he is part
of as an elected official.

One thing that is certain, Wally Oppal is not going
to be the kind of puppet Minister we've had examples
of in the last cabinet. I appreciated the fact that he
showed up and listened, it's more than any of his
Liberal caucas members have done over the last
four years.
How will all of Campbell's MLAs get along?

By Keith Baldrey, (
June 08, 2005).
View from the Ledge:
The Now News.
Lots of swearing to happen in Victoria today
Jun, 09 2005 - 5:00 AM

VICTORIA/CKNW(AM980) - A much smaller
BC Liberal Caucus will be sworn in this afternoon
in Victoria.

The Legislature has pretty much been in limbo
since the Provincial Election campaign began but
there's finally some action today.

45 Liberal MLA's will take their Oath of Office in
the Legislative Chamber, but Lorne Mayencourt
won't be one of them, as he's still not the official
winner in Vancouver-Burrard, "At the very least
I'll be a visitor and I look forward to that because
I really enjoy the whole ceremony. It's very
important to me."

The Liberals held 74 seats heading into the election.

The ceremony begins at 2pm and will be broadcast
on Hansard TV.

The NDP goes through a similar exercise next
Wednesday, a day before Premier Gordon Campbell
appoints his Cabinet.

Premier to unveil new cabinet June 16
Canadian Press, (
June 6, 2005).
Vancouver Sun.
Legislative Committees
David Schreck, (
June 8, 2005).

The Legislative Assembly website provides some background on
parliamentary committees. Cynics might say that the committees
exist so as to keep government backbenchers busy and out of
trouble, but others believe they can influence government policy.
When he sat on the opposition side of the legislature, Gordon
Campbell called on government to make more use of parliamentary
committees. Now there will be almost twice as many members of
the Official Opposition as there are government backbenchers
(cabinet members usually don't sit on parliamentary committees);
he might find it difficult to keep the committees as active as they
were from 2001-2005.
I missed this one from Babble @
predictions for the Opposition critics.

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