By Rikki Schierer
While his appointment as the Parliamentary Secretary for Silviculture has been eliminated, Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad says he’ll be continuing the work he’s done so far.
His was not the only position that was eliminated in Premier Christy Clark’s new cabinet, that took 24 ministries and amalgamated them into 17, plus the premier.
“Obviously I was disappointed about not going into cabinet,” Rustad said. “But there were some tough decisions to make”
We’re still well represented in the North with three cabinet ministers, he added, which is up from the two we used to have.
“I actually think the shuffle is good, I think that Christy has shaken things up … there will be a different tone for sure and that’s not necessarily good or bad, it’s definitely going to be different,” Rustad said, who’s looking forward to working with the new ministers.
In the past 10 years, we have seen a number of positive things for the province of B.C. Rustad said, a legacy to Gordon Campbell, but with Clark as premier she should re-energize the B.C. Liberal Party.
“She has a lot of ideas, she is a very dynamic person … and I am very encouraged with the first two caucus meetings we have on her approach,” Rustad said. “On how she would like to work towards having a government that is open and listening to people and responding to the needs of families.”
Rustad has done a lot of work over the last few years when it comes to silviculture, and that’s not going to change. While the position was eliminated, he’s already spoken with the new Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson about continuing his work there. The only thing that’s changed is it’s no longer in official capacity, however it’s an important cause for the province, especially for the regions within his boundaries.
“There’s no question, it’s critical for the future of our fibre supply … and so I’ll be continuing that work with Steve,” Rustad said.
He’ll be continuing his work on the Legislative Review Committee, one he was appointed to last fall. There, they take an up close look at all the legislation that is brought forward to legislature.
“It involves a fair bit of work, but it’s a pretty interesting position,” Rustad said.
When it comes to restoring faith and trust in the room, they have a lot of work ahead of them, Rustad said. A lot of it will depend on “the elephant in the room” that is the HST. In his own riding, Rustad says he’s planning on distributing a questionnaire seeking constituents’ input on what they think would be best for B.C.
Would this be reinstating PST, or another taxation alternative?
“I’m very interested in hearing back from the people throughout the riding on that issue,” Rustad said. “Clearly, it was a step that we should have done back in 2009 and it’s one of the reasons that there is people who are justifiably angry with the B.C. Liberal Party.”