Feeling a little discombobulated? Wondering where your provincial government is headed? Wondering what that means for you as a West Vancouver-Sea to Sky resident?
We'd love to help you with that, but the person best suited to speak to you about it - your representative in Victoria - is not returning calls.
Both the Squamish Chief and the Whistler Question have tried to reach MLA Joan McIntyre for the past two days,ever since the shocking news that B.C. premier Gordon Campbell has decided to step down, leaving his party in disarray and casting even more doubt on the future of the controversial harmonized sales tax (HST) - but we have yet to hear from our insider. It's not all that surprising -McIntyre has tended to shy away from addressing issues that show strife within the party.
Just recently, she faced criticism for being silent while complaints piled up over the implementation of the HST. McIntyre refuted the allegations, saying she spoke to numerous concerned constituents but didn't feel the need to talk to people who were "just venting."
McIntyre now seems to be dodging sticky questions over her thoughts on the party, its leadership and the fact that B.C. will have an unelected premier for two years or more.
To be fair, it may be that she's too busy working on your behalf to take the time to reach out to Question and Chief readers.
But wouldn't a leader want to voice something, anything, to the people she represents in the wake of such a shake up? Maybe she hasn't quite gotten her talking points down yet.
In the absence of McIntyre's views, we must settle for a broader sense of perspective. To recap, Campbell's government has been plagued with angry criticism over the manner in which the HST was implemented mere months after being elected with suggestions that B.C. residents wouldn't see such a tax. In the backlash, Campbell apologized for not providing enough information, however he sounded less than regretful as he deflected the heat with accusations of a "misinformation campaign" leveled at anti-HST opponents - it didn't endear him to voters.
Last week Campbell tried again, spending $240,000 in taxpayer money on a televised address with a pledge of a major tax break.
Apparently, his caucus wasn't willing to wait and see if his disastrously low popularity ratings would improve following the appearance.
The scuttlebutt is that a caucus rebellion among B.C. Liberals pressured Campbell to quit. The Globe and Mail reports that a senior member said caucus members were preparing to confront the premier over the party's decaying political position. Another B.C. Liberal source said the premier was threatened with a "power play" that aimed at pushing him out if he did not move on his own accord by January.
So did McIntyre know of the dissenters? Was she among them? If so, why? If not, what does she think of her colleagues' manoeuvres? And will she support a new regime?
Maybe next week, we'll be able to tell you.
- Sylvie Paillard