New premier to be sworn in March 14

Premier-designate Christy Clark takes questions at the B.C. legislature Monday.

VICTORIA – Christy Clark confirmed Monday she will be sworn in March 14 as B.C.’s 35th premier, and promised to unveil a smaller cabinet than the last one appointed by Premier Gordon Campbell.

Meeting with reporters at the legislature for the first time since her selection as B.C. Liberal leader Feb. 26, Clark declined to say how much smaller she would make the government’s executive council. It currently stands at an all-time high of 20 full-scale ministries as well as ministers of state and parliamentary secretaries.

Clark didn’t rule out calling an early election some time in 2011, saying only that it would be after a province-wide referendum on whether to scrap the harmonized sales tax. Clark has indicated she wants that referendum held June 24.

She renewed her campaign pledge to restore $15 million in gambling grants cut from charities last year, and to launch a review of the B.C. government’s relationship with charities.

Faced with a recession and budget deficits, former housing and social development minister Rich Coleman restricted arts and sports grants to those that benefit young people and the disabled. B.C. government revenues from lotteries and casinos have grown to $1 billion a year, with a large new destination casino being considered for downtown Vancouver.

“My position on it has always been that if we’re going to expand gambling in British Columbia, we need to make sure that there is money going back to communities and charities,” Clark said. “I think that was the crucial tradeoff that citizens bought into, and so we need to make sure that if we’re expanding gambling, that we keep that deal with the citizens of the province.”

A commission will be appointed to examine the government’s relationship with charities, and to recommend ways that they can be assured of stable funding.

Clark said her first priority is to make sure the government considers families in all of its decisions. Asked how that fits in with increasing medical services plan premiums and BC Hydro rates that are expected to rise 50 per cent in the next few years, she said government has to look beyond tax rates to the full costs imposed on families by the province.

Just Posted

Northern B.C.’s Ridley coal terminal sold, Canada divests, First Nations to own portion

Ten per cent of shares transferred to the Lax Kw’alaams Band and the Metlakatla First Nation

Vanderhoof Clippers are working towards getting a booth rebuilt at the Arena

Terry Lazaruk, president of the club said they haven’t been able to host sanctioned meets due to the lack of a proper timing booth

Skeena mainstem closed to recreational sockeye

Escapements expected to be below 800,000 threshold

Vanderhoof skateboard park almost complete

Different recreation opportunities opening up in the District

FOI data confirms rural drivers discriminated against, former Telkwa mayor says

Analyzed rural postal codes paid just over 2.5 times more in premiums than they received in claims

VIDEO: Plant-based burgers may not be as healthy as they seem

Both the Impossible and Beyond Burger have more saturated fat than beef burgers

B.C. mom to go to Europe court in hopes of getting alleged abducted daughter back

Tasha Brown alleges her estranged wife abducted their daughter Kaydance Etchells in 2016

Driver who killed B.C. motorcyclist receives absolute discharge

Chase family speechless following decision by BC Review Board

Lower gas prices slow annual inflation rate to Bank of Canada’s 2% bull’s-eye

Prices showed strength in other areas — led by a 17.3 per cent increase in the cost of fresh vegetables

B.C. moves to preserve 54 of its biggest, oldest trees

Fir, cedar, spruce, pine, yew set aside from logging

Report of dead body in B.C. park actually headless sex doll

This discovery, made at Manning Park on July 10, led police to uncovering two other sex mannequins

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Dog recovering after being drenched in hot coffee, B.C. man charged

Man was taken into custody, charged, and released pending a court date

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Most Read