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General News · 13th February 2009
Claire Trevena, MLA
The Legislature returned this week to deal with an embarrassing U turn for Gordon Campbell.

After years of railing against deficits, the government decided that it is time to venture there. But first we had to amend a straitjacket act which prohibited deficit spending.

While for most of us moral issues are ensuring we get rid of child poverty, house the homeless and look after our communities, for the Premier deficits have are the moral issue: he believes they are wrong no matter what the situation. Now, he’s lost sleep over the fact BC will be heading to a deficit for two years; he didn’t lose sleep about the unemployed forest workers or the fact that for five years we’ve had the worst child poverty in the country.

I was able to raise the issue of poverty and poor housing in the Legislature this week when I questioned the Premier about action on the Tsulquate Reserve near Port Hardy. In yet another sign of the BC Liberal hypocrisy and arrogance, the government signed on to Jordan’s Principle which means the health and safety of first nations children is paramount and trumps jurisdictional squabbles. But this jurisdiction – the BC government – has not acted on it.

We were also raising concerns in Question Period about the continued inaction by this government on forestry – and demanded that the BC Liberals match the federal dollars going into community support.

The difficulties faced by rural agency liquor stores became an issue towards the end of the week, and I joined other rural MLAs asking whether private liquor stores were being given a financial advantage because the group representing them donates to the BC Liberals. This has an impact in all our rural communities where there are agency stores.

I was also able to paint a portrait of one of our north island communities – Port Alice – during the time we have for private member statements. I called the piece Resilient Communities, and while it focused on Alice, I hoped to convey the strength that all our north island communities have.

Part of the MLAs job is to present petitions – no matter the number of names – to the Legislature, if presented as an issue for your community. On Wednesday I presented a petition on behalf of those who want a change in the ferry schedule for the tri-ferry route.

I’m back in the constituency this weekend, and will be holding a second meeting of stakeholders to discuss the future of hospital care for Campbell River. I’ll also be at Campbell River Museum’s Valentine Day celebration.

If you have any issues or concerns, do not hesitate to get in touch. I can be reached through my community offices, in Campbell River at 250 287 5100 or Port McNeill at 250 956 0028 or toll free at 1 866 387 5100. I can always be reached by email at or through my website at