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Where’s the legislative agenda? Another miscellaneous statutes amendment act!

Today in the BC Legislature we debated at second reading Bill 7: Miscellaneous Statues Amendment Act, 2018. Such miscellaneous statute amendment bills are considered house keeping bills that contain numerous minor changes to several existing pieces of legislation. Typically these changes emerge as clarifications prompted from questions that have arisen in interpreting existing legislation.

Such bills are common. But what concerns me is that we are now half way through this legislative session and the government has yet to introduce any substantive new legislation. I was hoping for much more. The BC Greens would be thrilled to implement our ideas if the government is at a loss as to what should be done.

Below I reproduce the video and text of my brief speech.

Video of Speech

Text of Speech

A. Weaver: I rise with great pleasure to speak to Bill 7, the Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act. These are typically acts that we don’t debate very often, hon. Speaker, as you will know, as they’re housekeeping acts — acts that typically have highlighted a number of problems that have arisen, and legal challenges, etc., through the years.

In this particular case, we’re fixing a few things in the Interpretation Act — important things, defining where a time starts and ends for various measures — and little additions to the Crown Proceeding Act, as well as the Cooperative Association Act, the Building Act, the Fire Services Act and, of course, the Ministry of Provincial Secretary and Government Services Act.

Now, obviously, I speak in support of these changes. These changes are the culmination of a lot of hard work done by civil service legislative drafters, trying to ensure that our bills and laws are as up to date, as succinct and clear and easy to interpret as possible.

But on the broader question…. The broader question is really this. We are now halfway through this session. We are going to end at the end of this week. As it stands, the members of the opposition have brought in more bills to debate than has government.

In fact, the government has only brought in four bills. What is government doing?

We’re here to debate the Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act. When I sat on the other side, I used to listen to member after member in the opposition then and now government hurl abuse at the B.C. Liberals — abuse about the fact that all we were debating was miscellaneous statutes amendments acts. Sometimes, there were three such acts. Here we now have a government that’s been in power for nearly eight months, and what are we debating? We’re debating Bill 7, Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act.

Where’s the Family Day amendment act? We know that the Premier has stood up and said that Family Day is going to change. It’s one line that needs to change in that act. Why aren’t we debating that? We had the members opposite, when they were in opposition, bringing in bill after bill after bill for years. Where are all of those bills?

Obviously, I stand in support of this, as both sides stood in support of the Supply Act to ensure that the government was paid, but really, this is not good enough. Government has been in power for eight months, and this is the level of our debate here. Frankly, I’m tired of it, and British Columbians are tired of it. I think that we need to shape up here in British Columbia and ensure that we’re actually debating legislation about the issues that British Columbians care about.

With that, hon. Speaker, I thank you for your time, and I look forward to finally debating some other bills that we hope, at some point, will actually be brought forward to this Legislature.

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