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BC Election 2017, News, Politics

Christy Clark's BC premiership 2011-2017

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Jenni Sheppard Jul 31, 2017 1:25 am 1,543

After six years as BC Premier, and 10 days as leader of the official Opposition, Christy Clark resigned as leader of the BC Liberal Party on Friday.

It’s not clear what her plans are for the future, but looking back at the past six years, we’d be surprised if she doesn’t take a very long break.

So here’s a look back at some of the highs and lows of Christy Clark and her premiership of BC, from 2011 until now.

2011

Elected leader – Christy Clark is elected leader of the ruling BC Liberals, after then Premier Gordon Campbell resigned over criticism of the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).

Sworn in – Christy Clark is sworn in a BC Premier, however cannot enter the legislature, because she did not run in the 2009 election, and so is not an MLA.

Elected MLA – Clark runs in Campbell’s former riding of Vancouver-Point Grey and wins, the first time a governing party won a by-election in 30 years.

2012

Resignations – Clark’s finance, education, and children’s ministers all resign, as well as her parliamentary secretary, after announcing they would not run in the next election in 2013.

Health firings – As well, several Ministry of Health workers are fired, amid allegations of inappropriate and possibly criminal conduct relating to patients’ data.

Clark’s government said the RCMP were investigating. All the fired researchers bring defamation lawsuits against Clark’s government.

2013

Health firings – One of the health researchers fired in 2012, Roderick MacIsaac, is found dead in his home, after taking his own life.

Quick wins – Meanwhile, documents are leaked showing the BC Liberals created a “quick wins” ethnic outreach plan for the 2011 election. The documents discussed using government resources to engage with ethic groups to benefit the BC Liberals.

The “quick wins” scandal results in the resignations of the communications director for multiculturalism, the Deputy Chief of Staff, and the Minister Responsible for Multiculturalism.

In the face of public outrage over the “quick wins” scandal, BC Liberals party members called for Clark’s resignation, but to no avail.

Wins election, loses seat – Despite the “quick wins” scandal and the resulting unpopularity of Clark, the BC Liberals still win the provincial election. However, Clark loses her seat.

Elected MLA – BC Liberal MLA Ben Stewart steps down in Kelowna-West to allow Clark to run for election again. She wins, and so can once again enter the legislature.

Massey Bridge – Clark announced a new bridge will replace the aging and seismically unsafe bottlenecked George Massey Tunnel.

Chinese-Canadian apology – Clark apologizes to Chinese-Canadians who suffered from 160 historical racist and discriminatory policies under previous BC governments.

LNG – Clark’s government announce a plan to build a liquefied natural gas industry in BC and establish an LNG Prosperity Fund. The government say LNG success will provide this fund with $100 billion over 30 years.

Clark signs a letter of intent with Malaysia’s state-owned energy giant Petronas to develop and secure long-term investments in the province’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry, including an $11-billion LNG plant in BC.

Health firings – Clark’s government apologies to the family of Roderick MacIsaac, the health researcher who killed himself after being fired in 2012.

2014

Teachers’ strike – BC’s 41,000 teachers go on strike for three months, in a dispute over their new work contract with Clark’s government.

Clark’s government eventually begins paying out $40/day to the hundreds of thousands of parents affected to help them with childcare costs.

After three months, the teachers agree a contract to end the strike, which includes the awarding of $105 million in grievances and a new $400-million education fund.

Site C – Clark announces construction of the new Site C dam, an $8.9 billion hydroelectric dam set to be completed by 2024, and the most expensive infrastructure project in BC’s history. The project is opposed by First Nations and environmental groups.

2015

Health firings – It is discovered that the province never gave the RCMP any evidence to examine in the health firings scandal and the RCMP never investigated the case.

Housing – As housing prices in BC continue to rise dramatically, Clark rules out taxing foreign real estate investors.

Om The Bridge – Clark announces Om The Bridge, which would have seen Burrard Bridge closed on the International Day of Yoga at a cost of $150,000. However, after intense public backlash, event sponsors drop out and Clark is forced to cancel the much-mocked event.

Transit – As expected, Metro Vancouver residents vote against the Mayors’ Council plan to introduce a regional 0.5%  transit sales tax to support public transit initiatives. The referendum had been promised by Clark as part of her 2013 election campaign. The result leaves transit development without clear funding for the future.

LNG – Clark passes the controversial Liquified Natural Gas Project Agreements Act, which allows the government to enter into LNG project agreements. Clark claims it will create jobs and bring billions of dollars of investment to BC. Others disagree.

BC Tech – Clark announced a new tech strategy for the province that will include an investment of $100 million into local tech startups.

2016

BC Tech – Clark announces #BCTECH Strategy, to boost the province’s tech sector, including introducing coding into the BC school curriculum.

Transit – Clark announced $246 million over three years to fund public transit upgrades in Metro Vancouver, short of the full $3 billion requested by TransLink’s Mayors’ Council.

Overdose crisis – BC’s provincial health officer declares a public health emergency after a huge rise in drug-related overdoses and deaths.

Clark later announces $10 million for a British Columbia addiction treatment and training centre, in the face of an overdose epidemic in Vancouver.

Biography – Judy Tyabji releases an unauthorized and generally glowing biography of Clark, Behind The Smile. Tyabji and her husband, former BC Liberals leader Gordon Wilson, have both received money from the BC Liberal government for other projects.

Housing –  Clark announces the real estate industry in the province will no longer be allowed to self-regulate through the Real Estate Council of BC, after public outcry about shadow flipping and shady realtor practices.

Clark increases property transfer tax rate by 15% for foreign buyers of real estate in Metro Vancouver, as pressure grows over increasing unaffordability.

Asia – Clark goes on a trade mission to Asia but is accused of helping foreign buyers by including two real estate companies in the delegation.

BC Tech – Clark signs an agreement with Washington State Governor Jay Inslee committing their governments to try to create the Cascadia Innovation Corridor and take joint action on tech research, education, transportation and investment.

Teachers dispute – The BC Teachers’ Federation won a 14-year legal battle with the provincial government dating back to Clark’s time as Minister of Education in 2002.

At that time, the BC Liberals’ government banned teachers from negotiating class size and composition in their contracts and reduced their ability to strike.

In 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada finally ordered Clark’s government to reduce class size and composition to 2002 levels and pay $2 million damages.

Housing – Clark announces investments of half a billion dollars in affordable housing projects.

Royal recognition – Clark is honoured by the Queen for her work to preserve the Great Bear Rainforest.

Housing – Clark announces the BC HOME Partnership plan to help first-time homebuyers get into the housing market.

2017

Pipeline – Clark approves the province’s portion of Kinder Morgan’s controversial Trans Mountain pipeline project, which will run through Burnaby Mountain. It later emerges the BC Liberals had received more $718,000 in donations from Kinder Morgan.

Campaign financing – The New York Times calls British Columbia the “Wild West” of political donations in Canada in an article that criticizes BC’s total lack of limits on political donations, and the $50,000/year stipend Clark gets from the BC Liberals.

The article gets global attention and Clark is forced to say she will no longer accept the stipend, which she was getting on top of her $195,000 Premier’s salary and was funded entirely by donors to the BC Liberals party.

MSP premiums – The BC government announces plans to cut MSP premiums by half after this year’s election and eventually, cut them altogether.

Campaign financing – Clark pledges to bring about far reaching reforms of the way political parties are funded in the province.

Ridesharing – With Vancouver now the biggest North American city without ridesharing, Clark promises to allow it by December, and agrees to give the taxi industry up to $1 million for an app.

Transit – Clark’s government also commits $2.2 billion to the underground SkyTrain extension under Broadway in Vancouver and the new light rail transit system in Surrey.

Health firings – A report by the BC Ombudsperson finds the health workers fired in 2012 were wrongly dismissed and calls on Clark to apologize and compensate those fired. By this point, the government has already settled out of court with the surviving workers.

Bridge tolls – Meanwhile, the BC government announce that if re-elected, they will cap bridge tolls at $500 per year for drivers who use the Port Mann and Golden Ears Bridge.

Election called – The writ is dropped and official campaigning in the BC Election 2017 begins.

Hung parliament – The BC election is too close to call and recounts reveal the province has a hung parliament: the BC Liberals hold 43 seats, BC NDP hold 41, and BC Greens hold 3. Clark is elected MLA in Kelowna-West.

The BC Greens negotiate with both the BC Liberals and the BC NDP to see if they could work with a party to support a minority government.

Ultimately, BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver announced they had agreed to support a BC NDP minority government with Horgan.

No resignation – Clark comes under pressure to step down, but refuses, saying she will try to form her own minority government.

Premier again – Clark is sworn in again as BC Premier and recalls the legislature, with a throne speech full of BC NDP and BC Green campaign promises.

After failing to pass any legislation, she loses a confidence vote introduced by BC NDP leader John Horgan.

Clark resigns – On June 29, 2017, Clark resigned as BC Premier. Horgan is asked to form a government and becomes the new BC Premier.

July 28, 2017 – Clark resigns as BC Liberals leader and as MLA.


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Jenni Sheppard
Jenni is a former Senior Staff Writer at Daily Hive. Happy Vancouverite. Traveller, snowboarder, foodie, film fan, feminist, geek, cheesemaker, curler.

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