EDITORIAL: Is new cabinet post for Comox Valley MLA demotion or reprieve?

Don McRae’s new cabinet post can be interpreted as a demotion or a reprieve.

Don McRae’s new cabinet post can be interpreted as a demotion or a reprieve.

The Comox Valley MLA was one of only two Liberals on Vancouver Island to rise above the NDP tide in the election.

Considering that and the fact he has held two portfolios in his young provincial political career, it would have been a shock had Premier Christy Clark not returned McRae to cabinet.

In a larger, 19-person cabinet, he will head the renamed Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation, not the Ministry of Education he led heading into the election.

Ignoring the tiresome spin and sell job in Clark’s wording of McRae’s job description, he will “continue efforts to assist people with disabilities earn an income.”

That’s a noble objective, but it’s a step down from the high-profile education portfolio, which has one of the biggest budgets in government.

McRae presided over an awkward school year notable for job action yet again by the BC Teachers’ Federation followed by more cooling-off legislation from the government.

After that expires at the end of this month, Clark is expected to push for the 10-year contract with the BCTF she trumpeted before the election.

Echoing the law of physics about an equal and opposite reaction to every action, the BCTF is expected to return to the same old dreary trench warfare B.C. has seen many times before.

McRae is earnest and likeable, the kind of opponent the battle-hardened BCTF snacks on before the first recess bell rings.

Clark instead appointed new MLA Peter Fassbender, a former Langley mayor with a reputation for being tough.

Considering how strife-filled BCTF contract negotiations usually are, the premier might have done McRae a favour.

Besides, his experience as a teacher is a double-edged sword. While it gives him credibility, it also raises BCTF hopes unrealistically and might cause his fellow Liberals to fret that he might be soft on his former colleagues.

editor@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

Just Posted

Brent Flahr new Philadelphia Flyers assistant GM

Courtenay resident reunited with Chuck Fletcher in Philadelphia

Comox Valley Food Bank – 35 years of feeding the Valley

The Comox Valley Food Bank turns 35 years old on Dec. 19,… Continue reading

Kingfisher Resort unveils newly renovated Ocean Courtyard Wing

The $2 million renovation was completed at the end of November

New Cumberland fire engine long overdue, says fire chief

The prospect of a new fire hall delayed the order as existing engine bays were too small

BC Hydro increasing flow in Puntledge River

BC Hydro is warning the public to stay away from the Puntledge… Continue reading

Man caught on camera allegedly trying to defraud ICBC

Auto-insurer warns B.C. drivers to record info after crashes

2,000 Canadians died of an overdose in first 6 months of the year

New data from the Public Health Agency of Canada shows the crisis is not subsiding

Another B.C. city votes to ban single-use plastic bags

First six months of proposed ban would focus on education, not enforcement

UK Prime Minister Theresa May wins party no-confidence vote, but troubles remain

May won the vote of 317 Conservative legislators with a 200-117 tally

B.C. trustee’s anti-LGBTQ comments got him barred from schools

Barry Neufeld calls vote to leave him off liaison list ‘workplace discrimination’

Firm says trees obstructing vision at Humboldt Broncos crash intersection

Sixteen people died and 13 others were injured in the collision at an intersection north of Tisdale

Man charged after B.C house fire triggers high-grade explosives

Thomas Daniel Kendall charged with causing bodily harm by failing to properly store explosives

Stop ‘renovictions,’ B.C. housing task force says

MLAs call for end to strata bans on renting vacant suites

Girl, 6, lured from elementary school, sexually assaulted: Vancouver police

Police are seeking dashcam footage from nearby Sexsmith Elementary School in South Vancouver

Most Read