B.C. government hammered over BCTF ruling
Justice Minister Suzanne Anton. (24 HOURS FILE PHOTO)
The first question period in the British Columbia legislature in 200 days saw Attorney General Suzanne Anton fend off a barrage of attacks over a court judgment asserting the government tried to provoke a teachers’ strike.
In January, a B.C. Supreme Court justice said in a judgment that the BC Liberal-led government tried to goad the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation into a strike to advance its political agenda.
High-profile BC Liberals have decried the judgment in the media, via a letter to teachers, and through their own news-style interview via YouTube.
Wednesday the opposition repeatedly demanded the government release cabinet documents referenced in the court decision, and asked numerous questions about the ruling to Premier Christy Clark.
But Clark remained silent, leaving it up to Anton to continually tell the legislature the matter was before an appeals court and therefore the government would not comment.
BC NDP MLA Norm Macdonald was one of the many on the offensive during the nearly 20-minute salvo.
“For 200 days this government has avoided accountability here in this legislature — let’s agree today that it’s 201,” Macdonald said. “When it comes to the one place where they should have an obligation to speak about it and to answer to the people of British Columbia they choose to sit and do nothing.”
At one point Macdonald asked Clark if her chief negotiator, who in court indicated a strike from teachers was the goal, had perjured himself since the premier insisted the government did not try to provoke the strike.