By David F. Rooney
In Revelstoke Tuesday morning, Premier Christy Clark made a pitch for support from local women during a breakfast meeting at the Golf Course.
“Everywhere I go I’m trying to bring together groups of women to have a conversation about where you want our province to go,” she said. “So tell me what you like about what government’s doing, what you don’t like about what government’s doing and what your aspirations are for the province. We talk differently when it’s just women in the room.”
Well, although the meeting was originally billed as a women-only affair, Christy and her handlers changed their minds late Monday afternoon regarding that aspect of the meeting. About eight men — local BC Liberal Party members Mark McKee and Peter Bernacki, Mayor David Raven, Sicamous Mayor Darrell Trouton, party nominee Doug Clovechok and BC Liberal Riding Association President Todd Mitchell, two male members of Clark’s staff and two newsmen (me and Times Review Editor Aaron Orlando) — did attend the meeting. However, none of the “token men,” as she described us, were allowed to question the premier until afterwards when there was a very brief news scrum.
Clark talked about her commitment to family and community and said she wants to restore public trust and faith in government.
“People are often pretty angry at government people — not just my government or the federal government but every level of government,” she said, adding that some of that anger is justified.
Clark, who was not in government when the HST was brought in, pointed to the HST debacle that ultimately forced Gordon Campbell to resign from the premiership as a case in point.
Government should deal more equitably and honestly with people but more importantly it needs to do everything it can to ensure that BC remains the kind of prosperous and economically advanced free-market province that can ensure full employment for all.
“We’re going to do everything we can to support your local economy here,” she said.
Speaking to reporters afterwards, Clark, who was to drive on the deeply pot-holed Trans-Canada Highway between Revelstoke and Golden for the first time in her life, said the government will eventually address the state of the highway, which she described as “essential” to the province.
“There are all kinds of things government can do and I’ll be taking a good close look at it on my drive to Golden,” she said, adding that it is critically important highway for BC.
“We are the gateway to Asia. We have a responsibility to the rest of Canada to ensure that our roads are passable for truck traffic. We’re balancing our budget this year so we’re a little bit tight on money.”
For his part, Mayor David Raven said he raised the issue of the TCH’s shoddy state of affairs when he met Clark at a political function in Salmon Arm on Monday evening.
“I’m a bit of a one-trick pony when it comes to this issue,” he said afterwards. “I raise it with them (political leaders) whenever I can.”