Short session in Victoria leading into provincial election

After a short session in Victoria, Columbia River-Revestoke MLA Norm Macdonald is back in the Kootenay region.

After a short session in Victoria, Columbia River-Revestoke MLA Norm Macdonald is back in the Kootenay region.

Though the house only sat for five weeks, Macdonald said it was a busy time for the government.

“There was lots going on, but it has wrapped up now,” he said.

Macdonald said the one piece of legislation that required a great deal of co-operation from the NDP was the reintroduction of the PST (Provincial Sales Tax).

“Because there was not a fall session there was a constrained time to work on that. We spent most of the time on that,” he said.

He also said that there is a great deal of work remaining to do on the budget due to the short session.

“The budget, as it stands, will have to be reintroduced after the election,” he said.

He also said there was some time given to private members bills, which is often a signal from the opposition on the issues they think need to be dealt with.

Macdonald said that the NDP brought forward a pesticides legislation that corresponded to bylaws which have been put in place in towns like Golden over the past few years.

“We put forward a piece of legislation that we thought corresponded more closely to what people told us they wanted,” he said. He added that the NDP also are attempting to have a “truly independent seniors’ representative” that would be able to address the serious issues facing seniors in British Columbia. This is the third time New Democrats have tabled such a bill.

He added there was an opportunity to talk about forestry issues and local issues like the dialysis unit as well.

“It was really rushed. The government didn’t follow through on many of the bills that were put forward.”

He added that the large number of MLAs who will not be running in the upcoming election, had to be given a chance to say their goodbyes.

“A number of the MLAs who were not running again, gave their goodbye speeches. Some of them had been there quite a long time. That was the wrap up and then everyone was off.”

Now that the session is over the focus for Macdonald is the upcoming election.

“I think what you have seen over the past two years is a government which has not been governing right. They are preoccupied with a permanent state of campaigning,” he said. “To have the legislature sit for five weeks is a big problem. To have that session with so little substance being presented by government is also a problem.”

Macdonald is set to have a booth at the Golden Spring Home and Lifestyle Show .

“I always enjoy meeting with people and enjoy the campaign. It has always been a good experience and you learn a lot.”