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REPORTING · 7th October 2010
Merv Ritchie
In an online news service similar to ours in Williams Lake, BC NDP MLA Bob Simpson critiqued the speeches offered to the delegates at the recent UBCM (Union of BC Municipalities) conference in Whistler. This he wrote and was published HERE yesterday, October 6, at noon. By midnight he was fired.

He simply stated this in regards to his own leader, Carol James; "had little concrete to offer the delegates other than a commitment to be more consultative than the current government and a promise to explore the possibility of revenue sharing with local governments. This is a timely concept which has the potential to address the resource needs of local governments, but the lack of specifics was a disappointment to delegates."

This apparently is enough to have one removed as an elected representative for the NDP.

Carol James released a short curt statement at just after midnight, October 7;

"Earlier this evening, I spoke with Bob Simpson, the MLA for Cariboo North, to advise him that he was no longer a member of the NDP caucus.

"The NDP caucus is a team of hardworking British Columbians committed to our work as a strong opposition and focussed on building a pragmatic and progressive alternative to the current government.

"Through his public comments today, Mr. Simpson has made it clear that he would rather criticize our work than contribute to it. He has made it clear that he does not want to be part of our team.

"I wish Mr. Simpson well."


It would appear that BC and indeed all of Canada's main Political Parties cannot stomach a member speaking up for him or herself and having an opinion all their own.

It is this problem the NDP have consistantly complained about with the BC Liberals.

Read the entire text of Simpson's comments below and be sure to check it at the source HERE.

The annual fall convention of local government officials (UBCM) is usually a place where provincial and federal leaders make major announcements or present their agenda for the coming year. This year, none took full advantage of this opportunity.

Premier Campbell’s hour long speech focused on anecdotes about BC’s Olympic glory – for the first fifteen minutes he kept telling “just one more story” about how the Olympics affected British Columbians. He kept his Olympic theme going through his bizarre attempt to make light of his fumbling of the HST along the lines of ‘my skating partner, Colin Hansen, and I should have spent more time warming up before we tried our first technical jump.’

The only concrete announcements the Premier made, aside from a rehash of previously announced infrastructure projects that may or may not be funded, was three new totem poles and some money for Beetle Action Coalitions.

Neither of these spoke to the immediate needs of local governments which lack resources to address the increasing responsibilities that have been downloaded onto them by provincial and federal governments.

The Leader of the Opposition likewise had little concrete to offer the delegates other than a commitment to be more consultative than the current government and a promise to explore the possibility of revenue sharing with local governments. This is a timely concept which has the potential to address the resource needs of local governments, but the lack of specifics was a disappointment to delegates.

MP Stockwell Day’s speech was a bizarre throwback to the heady days before corporate greed and “toxic assets” collapsed the economy. He simply rehashed old arguments about why government and taxes are bad, even going so far as to ask the audience if they wanted “Happy Meal Regulators.”

The most courageous speech of the convention was given by the Leader of the BC Green Party. While she failed to address the issues facing local governments, she at least challenged every politician in the room with her reflection that unless we fundamentally change our thinking about our consumer driven economy we will doom our children to a bleak future.

The failure of provincial and federal politicians to address the real concerns of local governments and communities at UBCM this year is simply another example of the ongoing failure of our political system to address the complex issues of governance in the 21st century. They were simply politicking for the press, not serving the real and immediate needs of UBCM delegates and their constituents.

Bob Simpson
MLA Cariboo North