2005 Legislative Session: First Session, 38th Parliament
The following electronic version is for informational purposes
The printed version remains the official version.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2005
Volume 1, Number 2
|Speech from the Throne||3|
|Introduction and First Reading of Bills||10|
An Act to Ensure the Supremacy of Parliament (Bill 1)
Hon. W. Oppal
|Appointment of Deputy Speaker||11|
|Appointment of Assistant Deputy Speaker||11|
|Appointment of Deputy Chair, Committee of the Whole||11|
|Printing of Votes and Proceedings||11|
|Appointment of Select Standing Committees||11|
[ Page 3 ]
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2005
The House met at 2:06 p.m.
Mr. Speaker: Please rise. Bishop Gagnon from Victoria will lead us in prayer.
R. Gagnon: Let us pause for a moment of silent prayer, asking God's assistance in our proceedings.
God, our father, creator and shepherd, you guide everything in wisdom and love. Accept the prayers we offer for our province. By the wisdom of our leaders and the integrity of our citizens, may harmony and justice be secured, and may there be lasting prosperity and peace.
Loving God, all earthly powers serve you. Help your servant Queen Elizabeth and her representative in our province to fulfil their responsibilities worthily and well. Look upon this assembly of our provincial leaders, and fill them with the spirit of your wisdom. May they always act in accordance with your will, and may their decisions be for peace and for the common well-being of all, especially the most wounded and vulnerable. Bless their families and loved ones, and watch over them during this year of responsibility and service.
Dear God in heaven, may all those in public service be channels of your peace. Where there is hatred, let them bring your love. Where there is injury and woundedness, let them be people who forgive. Where there is doubt, anxiety and heavy burdens, let them have recourse to you.
Blessed are you, our God, maker of the universe and father of all. Guide the members of this Legislature, and help them to serve the people of our province. Help them to make laws that unite and strengthen our communities — laws that are just, laws that are equitable. Bring success to their work, and reward them for the good they do. Help them to realize the importance of your service. Blessed and very great you are, Lord God. We ask this in our Lord's name.
Mr. Speaker: The Lieutenant-Governor is in the precinct. If the hon. members will please remain seated, we'll wait for her arrival.
Her Honour the Lieutenant-Governor entered the chamber and took her seat on the throne.
Mr. Speaker: May it please Your Honour, the House of Assembly has elected me as their Speaker, though I am but little able to fulfil the important duties thus assigned to me. If in the performance of those duties I should at any time fall into error, I pray that the fault be imputed to me and not to the assembly whose servant I am and who, through me, the better to enable them to discharge their duty to the Queen and country, humbly claim all their undoubted rights and privileges, especially that they may have freedom of speech in their debates and access to Your Honour's person at all seasonable times, and that their proceedings may receive from Your Honour the most favourable interpretation.
Hon. W. Oppal: Mr. Speaker, I am commanded by Her Honour the Lieutenant-Governor to declare to you that she freely confides in the duty and attachment of the House of Assembly to Her Majesty's person and government, and not doubting that their respective proceedings will be conducted with wisdom, temper and prudence, she grants upon all occasions, and will recognize and allow, their constitutional privileges.
I am commanded also to assure you that the assembly shall have ready access to Her Honour the Lieutenant-Governor upon all seasonable occasions and that their proceedings, as well as your words and actions, will constantly receive from her the most favourable construction.
Speech from the Throne
Hon. I. Campagnolo (Lieutenant-Governor): As this parliament begins, it is right for us to remember the contributions of fellow citizens who have passed away since parliament last sat.
We have lost those who took public service into the political realm: Robert Bonner, who was our longest-serving Attorney General; former members of this assembly Jeremy Dalton and Larry Guno; and Member of Parliament Chuck Cadman.
We join our friends in first nations in mourning the loss of their leaders: Grand Chief Archie Jack of the Penticton Indian band and George Watts of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council.
We share the loss felt by everyone touched by Sister Mary Alice Danaher's lifelong work making post-secondary education accessible to the first nations people of Canim Lake with exceptionally positive results.
We mourn the passing of Lilian To, whose extraordinary and dynamic efforts made life better for people who came from across the globe to make a new life in British Columbia.
In this Year of the Veteran, we were reminded of the great sacrifices made by earlier generations when we lost Ernest "Smokey" Smith, Canada's last surviving recipient of the Victoria Cross for his bravery in the Second World War.
On my way to the chamber this afternoon I offered a wreath of remembrance from all of us at Victoria's cenotaph in salute to all those whose service to our society ensures the continuance of the parliamentary democracy that we celebrate here this afternoon.
In recent weeks the hearts and prayers of all British Columbians have gone out to the victims of Hurricane Katrina in the U.S. Gulf Coast, especially those still struggling in and around New Orleans.
We can all take pride in the compassion of the countless British Columbians who stepped forward to
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help, including the members of Vancouver's urban search and rescue team who did an exemplary job rescuing more than 100 hurricane victims in St. Bernard Parish in Louisiana.
Your government has pledged its continued support for the people of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi as they begin the long process of recovery and rebuilding. Their suffering is a sobering reminder to us all of the awesome power of nature and the need to constantly prepare for the unexpected to protect and preserve the many blessings that we enjoy here in our province.
I'm pleased to open the 38th parliament of British Columbia and to congratulate all new and returning members on your electoral success.
On behalf of your government, I wish to thank every-one who participated in the recent provincial election. From the many thousands of volunteers who supported the 412 candidates who ran for office across B.C., to every-one who worked on the election in our 79 electoral districts, to the more than 1.76 million registered voters who cast a ballot, you all deserve our gratitude. Your involvement reminds us how fortunate we are to live in one of the world's most peaceful and prosperous parliamentary democracies.
Once again, the people have freely elected their representatives to form a responsible government that is accountable to them through this assembly. It is an achievement and an honour for which all members and their families should be especially proud. You are 79 of only 854 Members of the Legislative Assembly to have ever been chosen to serve in this Legislature since our first provincial election in 1871.
The task before you now, as it was for your predecessors, is of vital importance and consequence. It is the chance to build upon the legacy of achievement that has marked our province from its inception, to help all British Columbians realize their full potential. It is the opportunity to reach for the full promise of British Columbia and to reinforce this province's reputation as the best place on Earth to raise a family, live, work, visit and invest.
Your government wants to involve all members in that endeavour. It congratulates the new official opposition and welcomes its stated desire to serve as a constructive force for positive change.
Today British Columbians are confident in their future and buoyed by the cresting tide of opportunity that is lifting British Columbia higher. The people have given this government a new mandate to lead British Columbia forward and to make real progress on its five great goals for the golden decade ahead. They have elected a strong opposition to help accomplish that task and to hold your government accountable for its actions.
All members of this Legislature have an opportunity to elevate public confidence through a common commitment to constructive debate, marked by civility, dignity and decorum. That is a fitting goal for this new parliament as your government seeks to advance its election platform and commitments. That platform document will serve as the central policy framework and work plan for the term ahead.
It is a long-term plan that looks beyond the next four years to set out five great goals for the next decade that were outlined in some detail in the last throne speech. Briefly, those great goals are as follows. First, to make B.C. the best-educated and most literate jurisdiction on the continent. Second, to lead the way in North America in healthy living and physical fitness. Third, to build the best system of support in Canada for persons with disabilities, special needs, children at risk and seniors. Fourth, to lead the world in sustainable environmental management with the best air and water quality, and the best fisheries management bar none. Fifth, to create more jobs per capita than anywhere else in Canada.
These are far-reaching and long-term objectives. They oblige your government to reach beyond the status quo in the delivery of health care, education, support services, environmental management and economic development.
The government has established these key goals in response to the demands of today's world. We can no longer let institutional inertia and the fear of change hold back our children. Nowhere is that more true than with respect to education. There is much more that can and will be done to improve education for students at all levels, as your government's platform suggests.
When we speak of lifelong learning, we must remember that from the moment a child enters the world, they are learning. Already major efforts have been launched to improve access to early childhood development. Those efforts will be expanded.
B.C.'s children deserve the best, and every effort will be made to establish public education services that celebrate excellence in teaching and excellence in achievement. In British Columbia every child should know the joy of reading and revel in the discovery of new knowledge and the excitement of learning.
Your government intends to capitalize on new knowledge to give our children the best education possible. The annual teachers' congress will create an exclusive forum for teachers to join with parents, school trustees and educators to examine approaches that focus on the needs of children as we pursue our goal.
Education will move beyond our schools and into our communities. Literacy programs will open new doors of opportunity to provide students of all ages the foundation skills in literacy and numeracy that are essential in today's world.
Your government will aggressively pursue new initiatives in trade and skills development in concert with our colleges in the private sector. It will add new opportunity for skills development by building on the successes that have seen a 30 percent increase in apprenticeships in the last two years. It will work with other provinces and the federal government to development a new pan-Canadian skills partnership aimed at maximizing educational opportunities for all citizens.
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These are just some of the steps that will be taken to advance your government's goal on education. Others highlighted in the Real Leadership, Real Progress platform will be taken, as well, to increase accountability, access, achievement, parental involvement and student health.
As your government moves forward to improve access, choice and quality in public education, it will likewise act to make real progress on the other great goals. For example, the government has committed to building the best system of support in Canada for B.C.'s seniors. Several steps will be announced to advance that great goal and build on initiatives already announced that are today benefiting seniors, children at risk, and persons with special needs and disabilities.
The five great goals are deliberately far-reaching objectives. They aspire to put British Columbia at the top in education, health care, social support, environmental management and job creation. They are, by definition, comparative goals that will be important to be defined by clear and consistent measurements. In the months to come, your government will invite the official opposition, the B.C. Progress Board, first nations and others to help identify the most appropriate targets, benchmarks and indicators for measuring progress on each goal.
The five great goals cannot be achieved overnight or even in one term. They are goals to guide government's strategic focus for the next decade. They will be as difficult to attain as they are worthy of aspiration. Each goal is dependent on the others. Meeting them will require unprecedented cross-ministry coordination and relentless resolve.
Several overarching strategies will be crucial to that enterprise. Your government has already piloted successful innovative approaches in cross-ministry coordination. These will be expanded to include a permanent policy secretariat to work on cross-government priorities that will report to participating ministries through a deputy ministers committee.
The provincewide Act Now B.C. program will unite strategies in education, health, transportation and the environment to meet your government's great goals on health. Strategies recommended by advisory bodies such as the Premier's council on aging and seniors issues, the task force on homelessness, mental illness and addictions, the Premier's Technology Council, the B.C. Competition Council and the Asia-Pacific trade council will all help to advance these goals.
The Asia-Pacific gateway initiative will play a crucial role in opening up every part of our province to new opportunities. The initiative will include the establishment of an Asia-Pacific museum of trade and culture to showcase our Pacific history and to tell our story to Canada and the world.
All of the great goals will be advanced by the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The Olympics offer a once-in-a-lifetime chance to showcase the best of B.C. to the world as we reach out to one another with common pride and purpose. The games will be a Canada-wide catalyst for excellence in athletics, a flourishing of artistic talent and untold economic opportunity.
Meeting the five great goals will also demand a new emphasis on citizen-centred service delivery from government. It will require a strong British Columbia to exercise strong national leadership on several fronts.
Your government is committed to strengthening our country by leading the way in pursuit of a national Pharmacare strategy and by developing national strategies for literacy, wait-time reductions and skill training. It is committed to leading a new national transportation strategy that will open up Canada's Asia-Pacific gateway as never before.
As British Columbia leads in these endeavours, we will be crossing new ground. Mistakes will be made. Learning from them and building on our successes will be essential to our achievement.
Leadership requires an ongoing commitment to social innovation in addressing the large societal challenges of our times. Bold, new, collaborative steps are needed to tackle the social challenges of housing, addictions, mental illness, poverty and literacy and skills development, and community safety. Fresh, creative actions are needed to cope with the societal challenges of fetal alcohol syndrome disorder, child protection, and women escaping abusive relationships.
British Columbia is leading the way in Canada with novel innovations in many of these areas. Most involve partnerships with other levels of government and with private sector organizations working shoulder to shoulder to make real progress.
Your government will build on that work with new measures this fall, including the establishment of a new Pacific centre for social innovation. The centre will serve to stimulate social innovation and the development of best practices reports from across the country and around the world. It will engage governments, academics and experts in various social disciplines to identify groundbreaking innovations now working in other jurisdictions to improve social outcomes and to successfully address contemporary socioeconomic challenges.
The centre will be asked to initially focus on three pressing social imperatives. One is the question of what might be done to better serve the needs of today's families at home, in the modern workplace and in our changing communities. The recognition of these changes and a response to them will enhance the quality of life for all British Columbians.
The second priority will be to look at creative approaches being employed around the world to foster environmentally sustainable communities and other innovations to promote sustainable use of natural resources. In British Columbia we're already recognized for the quality of our cities and towns. As our population grows, we must find ways to maintain and improve air and water quality and maintain our natural landscapes for future generations.
The third focus of the Pacific centre for social innovation will be the issue of how to improve voter participation in elections. Voting is the most fundamental act of citizenship, and it is on the wane. We must
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search for the mechanisms of revitalization. The health of our public life depends on it. None of the goals that have been laid out will be accomplished unless all British Columbians share in our achievements and the success.
The government will work tirelessly to establish a new relationship with first nations. Allied with first nations and aboriginal leadership, it will build upon and hopefully assist the work that aboriginal leaders are leading with provincial and territorial governments across Canada. Innovative strategies are required to reverse the trends that have left too many aboriginal people behind in education, health and economic opportunity.
There have been huge institutional and systemic impediments to progress in aboriginal communities. We need to better understand those impediments and act with aboriginal leaders to overcome them. Rampant poverty, inadequate housing, chronic unemployment and notoriously low high school completion rates are measures of our collective failure. They should not be the fate of first nations. High suicide rates, lower life expectancy, high infant mortality and intolerably high levels of substance abuse should not be the plight of Canada's aboriginal peoples and cannot be allowed to continue.
Portable, accessible, universal, comprehensive, publicly administered health care should not be just words in the Canada Health Act that apply to Canadians who live off reserve. They should be principles that apply equally to aboriginal people and to all citizens in rural communities and in urban communities alike.
Your government will also continue to press this point as a national imperative for a stronger Canada. Later this fall first ministers will meet with aboriginal leaders to act on a ten-year vision and plans for first nations, Inuit and Métis communities. The goal will be to eliminate within ten years the inequities that have plagued first nations and aboriginal people throughout Canada's history.
Your government is committed to forging a new relationship of reconciliation with first nations in British Columbia and to working with first nations and aboriginal leaders across Canada to accomplish this ambitious goal. This new relationship with first nations will help define Canada and will help to shape our country's future. The new relationship must be based on mutual respect and recognition of aboriginal Canadians' constitutional rights. It must recognize the Crown's legal and moral duty to consult where decisions impact constitutionally protected aboriginal rights and title. It will require all governments to build capacity that will enable aboriginal people to fully participate in the multiple bounties of British Columbia.
The path to prosperity does not lie in the denial of aboriginal rights or in the discredited approaches of the past. The way forward is not to be found through confrontation or endless litigation that has held us back as a people and as a province.
The future we all seek for our families and communities must not be won through the uncertain path of denial, resistance and shortsightedness. It is ours to claim together through a new relationship that is honourable, constructive and grounded in immediate and practical progress for all British Columbians. Your government will push to extend that vision from coast to coast to coast. It will seek to build a new national relationship of reconciliation that brings first ministers together with aboriginal leaders as never before.
For too long Canadian federalism has been viewed through the narrow prism of the two solitudes that speak to its French and English duality. The story of Canada has largely been how those two distinct cultures have existed and have thrived together. It is a story of how they embrace many other cultures in building a nation that is a model of diversity, tolerance and human generosity.
Yet there remains a third solitude in our nation's midst, one that has been largely ignored and discounted by governments throughout our history. It is the solitude known by Canada's founding nations, the first nations, who even today struggle for recognition as full partners in Confederation.
Your government believes that Canada's greatest duty and hope for the future is to reach out to first nations and aboriginal people to forge a new partnership. Aboriginal people are not peripheral to Canada's fabric. They are part of every fibre woven in the tapestry of Canada's history.
British Columbians are making great progress, and their province is again a national leader. There is new-found optimism and confidence throughout the province. British Columbia's fiscal house is in order, and our income tax rates are competitive. We are leading the nation in job creation and economic growth. Families are keeping more of their paycheques and are feeling optimistic again. Jobs and economic growth are providing the foundations for strengthening our public health, education and social support systems.
Your government will continue to pursue B.C.'s economic advantages and to extend the current economic recovery to all families and all regions. To secure a future for all our children, it will ensure that government does not fall back to the spendthrift ways of the past. The burdens we have laid on the next generation must continue to be lightened through wise investment, continuing containment of the costs of government, and an acknowledgment that we will not put off today's problems because they are inconvenient to be dealt with. We must use the power of all we have learned to provide the next generation of British Columbians with the full range of opportunity.
Many challenges remain. Managing debt, controlling cost pressures and meeting the mounting demand for new and better services within available budgets are never easy imperatives to meet. On Wednesday the Minister of Finance will address those challenges in her budget update. Indeed, the need to gain legislative approval for that spending plan is why this House is meeting earlier than scheduled.
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In addition to the estimates, your government will introduce other legislation this session to honour previous commitments. It will act to establish the southern interior development initiative and the north island–coast development initiative and to further invest in the northern development initiative. Together these three independently run regional development initiatives will invest, manage and leverage some $300 million in provincial funding for the benefit of regional economies. The goal is that the regional actions should meet the regional challenges and complement the government's endeavours to create a broad prosperity for all people in every region of the province. Regional development boards will use this $300 million in seed capital to create new jobs and opportunities free of provincial interference.
While our province strives to diversify its economy, we must never forget the traditional natural resources that create the foundation of our mutual prosperity. Urban and rural families across British Columbia depend on these resources for their prosperity.
No single resource has contributed more to all of us than our forests. Yet today our forests are under an unparalleled attack from the mountain pine beetle. That attack is more damaging than anything we have faced before, and its effects will be felt for many generations yet to come. Without unprecedented national action to thwart, contain and recover from that epidemic, the pine beetle will cause even worse economic, environmental and social damage.
The government's multi-pronged approach includes developing community partnerships, as well as two new separate partnerships with the province of Alberta and with the federal government. New on-the-ground decision-making, similar to an emergency response team, will be developed in the months ahead.
A 15-year partnership between the federal and provincial government is being pursued to provide, first, increased resources for economic diversification; second, improved silviculture to increase yields in immature but unaffected forest stands; third, immediate streamside, riverside and fish habitat protection and improvements; fourth, increased reforestation and stream debris management programs; fifth, expanded science and research development in the best use of beetle-infested wood and expanded product diversification; and sixth, long-term land use opportunities with first nations and other resource-dependent communities that have been directly impacted.
As your government pursues these initiatives, it will introduce other measures to this session to help the province. As promised, it will act to facilitate the creation of a new World Trade University in Chilliwack. The World Trade University is a United Nations mechanism aimed at promoting education and commerce in global trade. A private bill will be supported to formalize that exciting new institution.
Your government will bring forward the civil forfeiture act that was tabled last April, as promised in its platform, to ensure that criminals do not profit from their crimes.
With a new parliament, it is timely to recall the purpose of scheduled fall sittings. One reason was to give all members, their families and the public greater certainty about the legislative schedule. Another was to complete items introduced or announced in each previous spring session and any other matters demanding the Legislature's urgent action. Consistent with that intent and the added imperatives of this fall to debate and pass the budget estimates, the legislative agenda this session will not be onerous.
In future years fall sittings will be convened as required, according to the set legislative calendar, to serve the purposes originally intended. Your government will work with the official opposition to explore new ways of improving the Legislature's effectiveness for British Columbians. It will build on British Columbia's growing reputation as a national leader in democratic reform with several reforms in representative and participatory democracy.
Your government wishes to acknowledge the input and support of the official opposition in advancing changes to improve and to modernize the rules that guide the conduct of MLAs in this chamber. Both parties have agreed that steps should be taken to give all members a stronger voice in this Legislature. For the first time ever, a second Deputy Speaker of the House will be appointed from the ranks of the official opposition.
It has been 33 years since question period was introduced in this assembly. In all that time the 15-minute time block available for members' questions has never changed. Your government will extend question period. Question period will be doubled from 15 minutes to 30 minutes.
Other reforms will be initiated to help private members better represent their constituents and enhance the effectiveness of our legislative committee system during estimates debates. The number of daily two-minute members' statements will be doubled from three to six. That will give private members more than twice the time and frequency to address issues of particular importance to them and to their constituents each day.
Select standing committees will be activated with clear and compelling mandates. The Health Committee will be asked to help advance the great goal on fitness and health, focusing specifically on the growing problem of childhood obesity.
The Education Committee will be asked to focus on specific challenges of adult literacy and helping B.C. meet its goals of becoming the most literate jurisdiction in North America.
A special committee on sustainable aquaculture will be struck this session to advance B.C.'s great goal of leading the world in sustainable fisheries management. It will be asked to work with the Pacific Salmon Forum and others to identify viable improvements to our fish farming industries that balance economic goals with environmental imperatives. The government will invite the official opposition to chair that special com-
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mittee and to also hold the majority of that committee's members. This will address an important issue of vital interest to B.C.'s island and coastal communities, who elected so many opposition members to represent their interests. Indeed, all of these reforms will give the official opposition an unprecedented role in this Legislature.
At the same time, your government will continue to lead the way in Canada on electoral reform. British Columbia was the first province to establish set election dates. Your government has considered the date set for the next election and has resolved that the next general election will be held as scheduled, four years from the last provincial election, on May 12, 2009.
The issue of electoral reform remains, following the results of the referendum put before the public in May. Nearly 58 percent of all citizens who cast a ballot in the recent referendum on electoral reform supported the proposed STV electoral system. A solid majority supported STV in all but two of B.C.'s 79 constituencies. Yet that was not enough to pass, according to the rules this Legislature unanimously established.
Your government has been clear that it does not intend to rewrite those rules after the fact or to pretend that the vote for STV succeeded when it did not. Nor can it ignore the size of the double majority that voted to change our current electoral system to the STV model. There have been many interpretations of the electoral reform referendum's result. Whatever the analysis, a troubling question remains: why did so many people vote so strongly to change the current system?
The Citizens' Assembly considered the question of electoral reform for over a year. They, too, concluded that our current system of electing MLAs was lacking and that a better system could be found in the single transferable vote model. They came to that conclusion after intensive investigation, public consultation and consideration of academic advice.
Your government does not accept that the solution to a majority vote that failed to pass is to essentially ignore it and impose yet another electoral system. It does not accept that the answer to the minority's rejection of the Citizens' Assembly proposal is to redo its work. It does not accept that the 79 members of this assembly are any better qualified than the 161 members of the Citizens' Assembly were to choose the best electoral model.
In any event, your government believes that the widely acknowledged success of the Citizens' Assembly flowed directly from its independence from traditional political interference. The Citizens' Assembly had no political master and no partisan axes to grind. It was not a body of elected politicians who were perceived to be guided by self-interest. It was exactly what this Legislature intended: citizen-centred, dedicated and independent.
One task that was never assigned to the Citizens' Assembly was to show precisely how its proposed STV model might apply on an electoral map. This was arguably a design flaw in its terms of reference that in retrospect may have impacted how people voted in the referendum.
Your government believes that establishing STV constituency boundaries may provide the public with a critical piece of information that was missing at the time of the referendum. The government will recommend that shortcoming be rectified. The Legislature is obliged to appoint an electoral boundaries commission this session. Your government will use that opportunity to take the challenge of electoral reform to its ultimate conclusion. Legislation will be introduced to enable that requirement.
The new Electoral Boundaries Commission will be given two tasks. First, to draft the provincial electoral map, as is currently required. The government will introduce an amendment that it hopes will protect northern representation in this Legislature. The amendment will allow the commission to provide for up to 85 members under the current electoral system. Having decided on the most appropriate number of MLAs within that cap to protect northern residents, it will set its sights on STV. The commission will also be asked to identify the best and fairest way to configure British Columbia's electoral districts under the STV model.
In view of the double difficulty of this assignment and a new census not expected to be completed until 2007, the time frame for the commission to complete its work will be extended from the time prescribed in the current legislation. The commission will be asked to submit its final report on electoral redistribution under both electoral systems by the spring of 2008.
That information will be put before the public as part of an extensive effort to better inform British Columbians about the two electoral options: the current system and STV. Equal funding will be provided to support active information campaigns for supporters and detractors of each model.
The two models will be put to a provincewide vote, along with the applicable electoral boundaries, in a referendum that will be held in tandem with the November 2008 municipal elections. That question will be crafted by the government and will be debated and voted upon in this Legislature. All members, including cabinet ministers, will be free to speak to it and to vote as they wish.
In establishing electoral boundaries, it has been the practice that all members are invited to make representation to the Electoral Boundaries Commission. All members will be encouraged to also use that opportunity to comment on the relative merits of both electoral models under the boundaries proposed. No one is obliged to support STV or remain silent if they have concerns. The Premier will remain neutral, but all government members will be free to support or oppose either model. In the final analysis the people will again decide — not the politicians — which electoral model and boundaries suit them best. The people will have their final say on STV.
The same rules and thresholds that applied for passing STV in the recent referendum will apply in
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November 2008 referendum. Whichever model succeeds is the model that will be employed to elect the next parliament on May 12, 2009. The government intends to launch a provincewide enumeration prior to that date to ensure that the British Columbia voters list is brought up to date and is accurate.
In conclusion, British Columbia has always had a public life marked by adventure and by challenge. But more importantly, it is a public life fuelled by dreams and by the imagination of those who came before. Although we cannot be proud of all that was done throughout this province's history, we can be proud of what has been accomplished. Those accomplishments are not owned by governments. They were shaped by the contributions of aboriginal peoples and immigrants from lands in every hemisphere, and fashioned by engineers and public servants, by doctors and teachers, by farmers and foresters and miners. They are accomplishments created by people committed to a dream of making a better place for their families to live.
In two years British Columbia will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the colony of British Columbia. Our sesquicentennial will be a time for us to look back at the story of this place and of the people who live here. It will be a time when each of us can search for a new understanding of the history that produced our present. As we look at that past, read about it and examine its meaning, we will find new strengths to build a future that reflects the best we have to offer.
Today we celebrate the beginning of a new parliament and with it the chance to build upon that proud legacy and bring out the best in our province. May the excitement of today reflect itself in the work you do tomorrow so that in the future people will look back on this time and say they saw their province, knew its greatness and acted to make it a better place for all who would follow.
Her Honour the Lieutenant-Governor retired from the chamber.
[Mr. Speaker in the chair.]
Mr. Speaker: Hon. members, in order to prevent mistakes, I have obtained a copy of Her Honour the Lieutenant-Governor's speech.
E. George MacMinn, QC
Clerk of the Legislative Assembly
Re: General Election, May 17, 2005
Please consider this letter a certified report per section 147 of the Election Act, RSBC 1996, chapter 106, regarding the results of the 38th provincial general election.
Her Honour the Lieutenant-Governor dissolved the 37th parliament of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia via a proclamation issued on April 19, 2005. A general election was required to fill vacancies caused by the dissolution. Writs of election were issued in the afternoon of April 19, 2005, calling for a general election on May 17, 2005. The writs were returnable on or before today, June 8, 2005.
The general election was held pursuant to the provisions of the Election Act. In conjunction with that election, a referendum on electoral reform was also conducted. Recounts of candidate ballots were conducted by district electoral officers under section 136 of the Election Act in eight electoral districts — namely, Burnaby-Edmonds, Burnaby North, Cariboo North, Cariboo South, Maple Ridge–Mission, Saanich South, Skeena, Vancouver-Burrard.
In addition, the district electoral officer for the electoral district of Vancouver-Burrard was required to apply for a judicial recount of the ballots in that district, in accordance with section 139(5)(b) of the Election Act. The Supreme Court judge who conducted the recount will issue a certificate of the results of the election to the district electoral officer following the judicial recount appeal period. I will report the election result to you immediately after the district electoral officer returns the writ of election for that district.
I hereby certify that the following members have been elected to represent their respective electoral districts as set out below.
|Abbotsford-Clayburn||John van Dongen|
|Abbotsford–Mount Lehman||Michael de Jong|
|Bulkley Valley–Stikine||Dennis Edwin MacKay|
|Burnaby North||Richard Lee|
|Cariboo North||Bob Simpson|
|Cariboo South||Charlie Wyse|
|Columbia River–Revelstoke||Norm Macdonald|
|Comox Valley||Stan Hagen|
|Delta North||Guy Gentner|
|Delta South||Valerie Roddick|
|East Kootenay||Bill Bennett|
|Fort Langley–Aldergrove||Rich Coleman|
|Kamloops||Claude Harry Richmond|
|Kamloops–North Thompson||Kevin Krueger|
|Kelowna-Lake Country||Al Horning|
|Malahat–Juan de Fuca||John Horgan|
|Maple Ridge–Mission||Randy Hawes|
|Maple Ridge–Pitt Meadows||Michael Sather|
|New Westminster||Chuck Puchmayr|
|North Coast||Gary Earl Coons|
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|North Island||Claire Trevena|
|North Vancouver–Lonsdale||Katherine Anne Whittred|
|North Vancouver–Seymour||Daniel Morrison Jarvis|
|Oak Bay–Gordon Head||Ida Chong|
|Peace River North||Richard Neufeld|
|Peace River South||Blair Lekstrom|
|Penticton–Okanagan Valley||Bill Barisoff|
|Port Coquitlam–Burke Mountain||Mike Farnworth|
|Port Moody–Westwood||Iain Black|
|Powell River–Sunshine Coast||Nicholas Simons|
|Prince George–Mount Robson||Shirley Bond|
|Prince George North||Pat Bell|
|Prince George–Omineca||John Rustad|
|Richmond Centre||Olga Ilich|
|Richmond East||Linda Reid|
|Saanich North and the Islands||Murray Robert Coell|
|Saanich South||David Cubberley|
|Surrey–Green Timbers||Sue Hammell|
|Surrey–Panorama Ridge||Jagrup Brar|
|Surrey–White Rock||Gordon Hogg|
|Vancouver-Burrard||In this letter, judicial recounts results pending|
|Vancouver -Fairview||Gregor Robertson|
|Vancouver–Mount Pleasant||Jenny Kwan|
|Vancouver–Point Grey||Gordon Campbell|
|Victoria–Beacon Hill||Carole James|
|West Kootenay–Boundary||Katrine Conroy|
|West Vancouver–Capilano||Ralph Sultan|
|West Vancouver–Garibaldi||Joan McIntyre|
Chief Electoral Officer,
June 10, 2005
E. George MacMinn, QC
Clerk of the Legislative Assembly
Dear Mr. MacMinn:
Re: Certified Report of Election Results
in Vancouver-Burrard electoral district
A provincial general election and a referendum on electoral reform were held on May 17, 2005. The district electoral officer for the electoral district of Vancouver-Burrard was required to apply at the Supreme Court for a judicial recount of ballots in that district, in accordance with section 139(5)(b) of the Election Act.
Associate Chief Justice Patrick D. Dohm conducted the judicial recount on June 6 and June 7, 2005. Following the conclusion of the judicial recount, a two-day appeal period was observed as required by section 144 of the act. This appeal period ended at the close of business on Thursday, June 9. The decision was not appealed.
This morning Justice Dohm issued a certificate of the results of the election to the district electoral officer. I have now received the completed writ of election for the electoral district of Vancouver-Burrard. In accordance with section 147(2) of the act, I hereby certify the election of Lorne Mayencourt, affiliated with the B.C. Liberal Party, as the member to represent the electoral district of Vancouver-Burrard in the Legislative Assembly.
Chief Electoral Officer,
Hon. W. Oppal: I move that the certificates of the Chief Electoral Officer of the results of the election of the members be entered upon the Journals of the House.
First Reading of Bills
AN ACT TO ENSURE
THE SUPREMACY OF PARLIAMENT
Hon. W. Oppal presented a bill intituled An Act to Ensure the Supremacy of Parliament.
Hon. W. Oppal: I move that Bill 1 be introduced and read a first time.
Hon. W. Oppal: The introduction of this bill prior to the consideration of the throne speech really expresses the established right of an independent parliament, through its elected members, to deliberate independently of the sovereign and independently of the Crown. As such, it is an important part of our parliamentary democracy. It's a right that first was asserted by the parliament at Westminster in 1603, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.
Mr. Speaker, I move that the bill be placed on orders of the day for second reading at the next sitting of the House after today.
Bill 1, An Act to Ensure the Supremacy of Parliament, introduced, read a first time and ordered to be placed on orders of the day for second reading at the next sitting of the House after today.
[ Page 11 ]
APPOINTMENT OF DEPUTY SPEAKER
Hon. M. de Jong: Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the member for Port Coquitlam–Burke Mountain, that Sindi Hawkins, the member for Kelowna-Mission electoral district, be appointed Deputy Speaker for this session of the Legislative Assembly.
Hon. M. de Jong: The next motion is somewhat historic for this chamber, and I might defer to my colleague the Opposition House Leader.
ASSISTANT DEPUTY SPEAKER
M. Farnworth: I move, seconded by the member for Abbotsford–Mount Lehman electoral district, that Sue Hammell, member for Surrey–Green Timbers electoral district, be appointed the Assistant Deputy Speaker for this session of the Legislative Assembly.
APPOINTMENT OF DEPUTY CHAIR,
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE
Hon. M. de Jong: I move, seconded again by the member for Port Coquitlam–Burke Mountain, that Harry Bloy, member for Burquitlam electoral district, be appointed Deputy Chair of the Committee of the Whole for this session of the Legislative Assembly.
PRINTING OF VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS
Hon. W. Oppal: I move that the Votes and Proceedings of the House be printed, being first perused by Mr. Speaker, and that he do appoint the printing thereof, and that no person but such as he shall appoint do presume to print the same.
SELECT STANDING COMMITTEES
Hon. G. Campbell: I move that the select standing committees of this House for the present session be appointed for the following purposes:
1. Aboriginal Affairs;
3. Finance and Government Services;
5. Public Accounts;
6. Parliamentary Reform, Ethical Conduct, Standing Orders and Private Bills;
7. Crown Corporations;
and that Standing Order 68(1) is hereby amended to so reflect, which said committees shall severally be empowered to examine and inquire into all such matters and things as shall be referred to them by this House and to report from time to time their observations and opinions thereon, with power to send for persons, papers and records; and that a special committee be appointed to prepare and report, with all convenient speed, lists of members to compose the above standing committees of this House under Standing Order 68(1), the committee to be composed of the Hon. M. de Jong (Convener); Messrs. Cantelon, Hogg, Jarvis and Nuraney; Ms. Roddick; Messrs. Farnworth and Horgan; Ms. Conroy and Ms. Kwan.
Hon. M. de Jong moved adjournment of the House.
Mr. Speaker: This House now stands adjourned until ten o'clock tomorrow morning.
The House adjourned at 3:02 p.m.
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