BC’s neoLiberal Solicitor-General John van Dongen “admits the protests of Burnaby’s mayor and his wife, who is running as a New Democratic Party candidate in the upcoming provincial election, were partly behind the government’s decision to seek a new jail site.”
This is pretty much the closest thing to an endorsement from a sitting BC neoLiberal cabinet minister of an NDP candidate that I could imagine. Like Dan Jarvis’ lame protests over BC Ferries building ships in Germany instead of his North Vancouver ship-building riding, nice guy John Nuraney, Burnaby-Deer Lake MLA, seemed incapable of stopping his government from plunking a remand centre into a Burnaby neighbourhood with no community consultation.
Crediting someone who isn’t even an MLA yet with being able to side-track condenscending, unresponsive government policy over the government’s own sitting MLA in the riding may be the highest praise an NDP candidate could hope for. Thanks for that John! I wonder if he’s looking for an honourary NDP membership. I’d sure give him one.
And judging from Pat Tracy of the Burnaby Now, agreement with the NDP’s arguments that the neoLiberals are arrogant and out of touch is widespread: “The problem with this whole issue is that it just seems unfathomable that van Dongen and Nuraney were caught so flat-footed on this. Didn’t they realize back in August that this would be a hot potato? Apparently not. And, apparently, based on our interviews with them prior to the anti-prison campaign gaining steam, they thought that they could pacify the community’s fears with facts. Wrong again.”
So in attempting to defuse a wedge issue by bending on the remand centre’s location, van Dongen has essentially given Kathy Corrigan her first victory as an MLA. Now all we need to do is get her elected on May 12th. Maybe the solicitor general will do some door knocking too.