David Eby became the leader of the NDP last week, and thus the Premier Delegate for our province.
So while we may have to wait a couple of weeks for Mr. Eby to be sworn in, he has already launched his 100-day-plan for his first months in office.
I was eager to see what would be in this plan, as Eby had only released a housing policy platform in his leadership bid.
Anjali Appadurai, his disqualified environmental activist opponent, had released far more policy than Eby during the race, with well flushed out plans and ideas on healthcare, the environment, housing, and mental health.
Ms. Appadurai and I would not necessarily be aligned on issues, however I greatly admire her temerity in engagement, as she gave the residents of BC an idea of who she is, what she stands for, and how she was going to fix the issues that British Columbians face daily.
Mr. Eby had not.
So there was much anticipation for Mr. Eby’s 100-day plan.
During his press conference, Eby spoke of three major priorities: healthcare, housing and safety.
He also mentioned climate change and the cost of living.
I think that most would agree with that list, but there were no details of any actions that would work to solve these issues for British Columbians.
Based on what little was in his plan, I don’t know that Mr. Eby’s policies and direction would differ any from the trajectory of the government and premier.
Take prolific offenders for an example.
For over a year, as our cities’ crime rates skyrocket, the Urban Mayors’ Caucus was asking for meetings with the former Attorney General, and begging for action.
They wrote letters, detailing the crime in their communities and the small number of prolific offenders responsible for these crimes.
In the Legislative Assembly, the BC Liberals put forward solutions that could be taken immediately, including MLA Mike Morris asking for dedicated crown counsel for prolific offenders.
Numerous times, I asked for complex care facilities, which would serve those with mental health and addiction issues, and debated the former Attorney General in estimates asking for municipal funding for these facilities.
The BC Liberal caucus, through MLA Mike de Jong, suggested the use of a specific directive to crown counsel. This directive would have crown counsel asking the courts to hold prolific offenders in custody until their court date, instead of releasing them into the community, where they are likely to re-offend.
Instead of considering these suggested solutions and meeting with the Urban Mayors’ Caucus, then Attorney General Eby commissioned a report that took four and a half months to be completed.
Again, a report that took four and half months to be completed.
Each day, on average, four people are attacked by strangers in downtown Vancouver.
This number doesn’t include what happens on our streets in Kelowna or other municipalities around the province.
This means, that while Mr. Eby commissioned reports and chose inaction, over 1000 people were assaulted.
1000 people were assaulted while our future premier defended his catch-and-release program.
So will we see shifts or changes in policy or direction on public safety with this new premier?
I wouldn’t hold my breath.
Mr. Eby has been the Minister of Housing, and the Attorney General for the last two years and six years respectively.
He has been the minister in charge of two of the three areas where he promises dramatic action.
I hope he brings dramatic action.
British Columbia needs and deserves action on these and so many issues.
My question to you is this:
What would you like to see included in the 100-day plan of the new Premier?
I love hearing from you.
Please email me at Renee.Merrifield.MLA@leg.bc.ca or call the office at 250-712-3620.