COLUMN: Bringing the Kootenay voice to a rare fall session

Although the legislative calendar has your provincial government going to work in Victoria every fall, normally the Liberals cancel it.

Over the past two months, the Legislature had a rare fall session.

Although the legislative calendar has your provincial government going to work in Victoria every fall, normally the Liberals cancel it.

Their rationale is that there is no work to be done. In other words, there is no need to conduct the people’s business in a democratic way where there is accountability and public oversight.

I find this reasoning ridiculous, so I was pleased that on this rare occasion we were in Victoria for a full fall session.

While there, I was able to ask ministers questions in person about the ongoing Jumbo farce.

We learned that the proponent built his concrete slab in a class four avalanche path and that architectural experts would not consider this slab a building foundation, so BCNDP Leader John Horgan and neighbouring Kootneay MLA Norm Macdonald and I asked the minister to end this unreasonable resort.

We further pointed out that one of the conditions set on the resort proponent was to respectfully work with local First Nations. When the Ktunaxa’s Qat’Muk Declaration was met with disdain and a ridiculing website, the proponent clearly broke that condition, and we asked the minister to uphold her own standards.

We also asked why the Liberals are forcing funding on to the fake town of Jumbo.

In one of the more bizarre parts of this farce, the mayor and council of no one tried to return most of the provincial taxpayer funds given to them by the Liberals.

They didn’t need it for obvious reasons. The Liberals told them to keep the money — this while Nelson and District Arts Council can’t get funding, or survivors of the Johnsons Landing mudslide still don’t have a buy-out program for properties where they can longer live.

You can watch these exchanges on my YouTube channel where you will note some heckling by Jumbo booster Bill Bennett. We clearly hit a nerve with him.

I also pressed for government action on poverty reduction. BC is now the only province to not have a poverty reduction plan, but we could have gotten one underway this fall had the Liberals supported my bill for such a plan.

I also took the Minister of Social Development to task for clawing back child support payments from some of BC’s poorest kids.

It is wrong to clawback child support payments from kids simply because their custodial parent (mostly single moms) receives income supports like disability.

Since the spring, I’ve been working with impacted families on this issue, and we’ve made considerable headway. In the upcoming budget, we want to see an end to this policy and a step toward reducing child poverty.

It was great to be in Victoria this fall, but even better to come home for the holidays.

My staff, Laurie and Curtis, and I want to invite you to join us for our annual community holiday party on December 19 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Our Daily Bread.

Lunch is on me and everyone is welcome to be a part of the festivities.

If I don’t get a chance to see you at our party, other holiday events or while shopping local, have a wonderful holiday season and joyous 2015.

— Michelle Mungall is the MLA for Nelson-Creston.

Her column appears in the Star monthly.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Trucking company fined $175K for Lemon Creek fuel spill

Decision handed down last Friday in Nelson court

Missing Nelson woman found dead

Police say there is no evidence of a crime in the death of Heather Gunderson

Interior Health leading the way with innovative therapy for stroke patients

Percentage of ischemic stroke patients who received treatment has risen dramatically

Police ID man found dead in Vallican after probe leads to no arrests

Forty-seven-year-old Aaron Graham, of Vallican, has been identified as the man killed

Greg Scott: CBC program sparked outrage in Nelson in 1970

News items from 50 years ago from the Nelson Daily News

VIDEO: Wet’suwet’en supporters vow to keep protesting at B.C. legislature

Supporters say they will continue ongoing action to hold government accountable

VIDEO: Province promotes ‘lifting each other up’ on 13th annual Pink Shirt Day

Students, MLAs, community members gathered at B.C. Parliament Buildings Wednesday

Prepare for new coronavirus like an emergency, health minister advises

About 81,000 people around the world have now become ill with COVID-19

B.C. residents in Wet’suwet’en territory have right to police presence: Public Safety Minister

Nevertheless, Bill Blair said officials remain ‘very anxious’ for the barricades to come down

Winnipeg police investigating graffiti on RCMP and other buildings

Manitoba Justice Minister Cliff Cullen denounced the vandalism

B.C. seniors’ watchdog calls for better oversight after recent problems at Retirement Concepts care homes

‘There is no financial incentive right now to be a good operator’ - Isobel Mackenzie

B.C. city rebrands with new logo, cheeky slogan

‘Langford, where it all happens’ is the City’s new slogan

B.C. Liberals call for ban on foreign funds to pipeline protesters

Sierra Club, Wilderness Committee back Coastal GasLink blockades

Donations pour in for family who lost father, son in fatal crash on B.C. highway

Mike Cochlin and sons Liam and Quinn were travelling on Highway 5A

Most Read