Coffee with Dianne Lineker

At some point in the past 15 years, chances are you have spoken with Dianne Lineker, if you live in the Comox Valley.

Dianne Lineker

You may not recognize the face, but chances are pretty good that at some time or another in the past 15 years, you’ve at least had the occasion to speak with Dianne Lineker.

As the constituency assistant to MLA Don McRae – and Stan Hagen before him – Dianne has been on the “front line” of local politics for the past decade and a half.

For all intents and purposes, she’s the screening process – the one who filters out the calls, prior to them getting into Don’s voicemail in-box.

Dianne will start her 16th year in the position on September 11, and she says there’s rarely been a dull moment in the first 15 years.

“It’s a very diverse job – you never know what somebody is going to phone the MLA office for. It could be anything from having trouble with Medical Services Plan, to having trouble with zoning… all kinds of things.”

And all kinds of characters.

There have been many lively protests outside the Fifth Street office, none any more original than when a group of farmers got together to voice concerns regarding Bill 24 – the Agriculture Land Commission Act. The farmers bombarded the MLA’s office, live chickens in hand.

“They were very passionate. Don had a good conversation with them and tried to assure them that things weren’t going to be as bad as they anticipated…”

The politicians help when they can, but sometimes, people just want to vent – and that’s when Dianne offers an empathetic ear.

“We have to be very open to that. A lot of people will phone the office and go on and on about a lot of things that are causing stress in their life, and they feel the government is responsible for. But they seem more relieved after they can just tell someone what their problems are.”

She said she has never had a protest get out of hand, but there are some safeguards in place, should anyone get unruly.

She has an emergency button she can press – a hotline that goes directly to the RCMP.

She said in her 15 years, she’s only had to use it twice.

With an election looming, and particularly with McRae already declaring his intention to resign at the end of this term, Dianne’s future is in limbo.

“Well, hopefully, as the case was when I went from Stan to Don, they can see the experience that I bring to the job, and the continuity. And hopefully, if it’s a BC Liberal that wins, they’ll want to take me on next time.”

Of course, there is another option. Dianne became a grandmother for the ninth time earlier this month.

“Retirement is certainly an option. I’ve gone into the grandparenting business, from 2005 on… and that is the best job in the whole wide world.”

Her current career could rank second.

“Being able to work for two great men, in both Stan and Don, has been very rewarding.”

Just Posted

Everybody Deserves a Smile’s 2019 campaign coming to fruition

The 2019 Everybody Deserves a Smile campaign is reaching its crescendo. Thursday… Continue reading

Filling the need for growing senior home care in the Comox Valley

Tracie Robertson and Melissa King recently opened Home Instead Senior Care

Cumberland expects draft plan for Bevan Road in 2020

Site contains more than 80 per cent of potential industrial land in Comox Valley

Comox Valley’s school district surplus to support boundary review costs

Board of education passes spending plan but only in principle to give it flexibility

Courtenay-Alberni NDP MP Gord Johns says Scheer’s resignation not surprising

Pressure is on NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, as the lone major party leader remaining in the opposition

VIDEO: Feds give update on flying clearance for Santa’s sled

Transport Minister Marc Garneau has this message for the country’s children

Canada’s Attorney General looking to larger reforms on doctor-assisted death

The Quebec Superior Court gave Ottawa just six months — until March 2020 — to amend the law

Navigating ‘fever phobia’: B.C. doctor gives tips on when a sick kid should get to the ER

Any temperature above 38 C is considered a fever, but not all cases warrant a trip to the hospital

Wagon wheels can now be any size: B.C. community scraps 52 obsolete bylaws

They include an old bylaw regulating public morals

Indigenous mother wins $20,000 racial discrimination case against Vancouver police

Vancouver Police Board ordered to pay $20,000 and create Indigenous-sensitivity training

Sentencing for B.C. father who murdered two young daughters starts Monday

The bodies of Aubrey, 4, and Chloe, 6, were found in Oak Bay father’s apartment Dec. 25, 2017

B.C. vet talks tips for winter travel with pets

Going to see the vet the day before a trip is never a good idea

Suspect steals 150 pairs of cosmetic contacts from Nanaimo party supply store

Incident happened at Pattie’s Party Palace on Rutherford Road on Thursday

B.C. driver has car impounded for speeding to church

The driver, who said he was late to church, was clocked travelling 150 km/hr in a 100 km/hr zone

Most Read