Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Premier Clark

Presently, until they move, this is the Vancouver Art Gallery. But, in 1917 when this photo was taken, this was the courthouse and you can see the Hotel Vancouver on the side. This would be the second Hotel Vancouver (we are currently on the third)
A 1916 view of the rooftop gardens on the Hotel Vancouver.

A 1939 panoramic view of the city from City Hall.
The Hotel Georgia - across the street from the courthouse - in the 1940s.

Ms. Clark did not stay out of politics for long. On August 31, 2005, she announced her intention to seek the nomination of the Non-Partisan Association (NPA) and would run for the position of Mayor of Vancouver. She lost the nomination in September.

Christy also had a radio show on CKNW 980AM from August 27, 2007 to 2010. She wrote a weekly column for the Vancouver Province newspaper and the Vancouver Sun during the 2005 provincial election and was a political analyst for Global BC and CTV News Channel (both television stations) during the 2006 federal election.

Clark had said numerous times that she was out of politics and had no further interest in a political career. However, when Premier Campbell resigned, she apparently had a change of heart and decided to run for leadership of the B.C. Liberal party and take on the position of premier.

Family first was on the top of her agenda and Clark attempted to promote herself as an outsider, someone who could provide the change the people were looking for. She proposed establishing a provincial family day in February, establishing an Office of the Municipal Auditor General to monitor local government taxation and to provide a more open government by holding 12 town hall meetings to hear from provincial citizens.

All sounds well and good, but there was still the issue of the HST and some opposition wanted to bring up the BC Rail sale. At first, Clark wanted to cancel an upcoming referendum on the HST and instead let the MLAs do their job and vote down the HST. Later, however, she did decide to continue with the HST.

As for the BC Rail sale. This event haunted her until April of 2013 when B.C.'s Conflict of Interest Commissioner released a decision that Clark had been in neither a real nor apparent conflict of interest. 

On February 26, 2011, the B.C. Liberal Party elected Christy Clark as leader and on March 14, 2011, she became premier. She then unveiled a smaller cabinet.

At the time of her swearing in, Clark did not have a seat in the legislature so she ran in Campbell's riding of Vancouver-Point Grey. By defeating NDP candidate David Eby by 595 votes, Christy once again made history since her win marks the first time that a governing party won a by-election in thirty years.

When Clark first became premier, the B.C. Liberals experienced a surge in support and lead in opinion polls. Unfortunately, that increase was short lived and soon Clark and the Liberals were trailing behind the New Democratic Party.  Yet, despite the opinion of the polls, Christy Clark and her party were victorious in the May 2013 election. 

Clark, however, lost her seat to David Eby. Perhaps because she had spent so much time on promoting her party? The MLA for the Liberal seat in Westside-Kelowna, Ben Stewart, stepped down so that Christy could run in that riding. On July 10, 2013 Clark won the by-election, taking more than 60 percent of the vote. 
Wow! There it is, all thirty-five B.C. Premiers. Writing on the politicians did not give me a better understanding of the political system - I still don't understand a lot of it - but it gave me a better appreciation for what these men and women have gone through. From John Foster McCreight to Christina Joan "Christy" Clark, B.C. premiers are interesting, sometimes controversial, figures that helped shape this beautiful province I call home.

Of course, I have to thank Wikipedia for the information on Ms. Clark.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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