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

Comox Valley firefighters assist with wildfire effort

Four Courtenay firefighters are in Fort St. James helping with the fight… Continue reading

Woman rescued from Stotan Falls calling for safety measures

3L Developments did not comment on immediate plans to add safety precautions

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

More than 22,000 blood donors needed

Canadian Blood Services is urging Canadians to help meet patients’ needs this… Continue reading

Kiyoshi Kosky running for Courtenay City Council

I am Kiyoshi Kosky and am running in the upcoming Courtenay Municipal… Continue reading

Interim GoFundMe payments approved in Humboldt Broncos crash

$50,000 to be given to each of the 13 survivors and each family of the 16 people who died

Altidore nets 3 as Toronto drubs Whitecaps 5-2

Vancouver falls 7-4 on aggregate in Canadian Championship final

Ottawa intervenes to get B.C. ball player, 13, to Little League World Series

Before immigration issue was resolved, Dio Gama was out practicing the game he loves Wednesday

Pet goldfish invades small B.C. lake

Pinecrest Lake is located between Whistler and Squamish

Mounties deployed to help B.C. communities affected by wildfires

RCMP officers heading to places particularly within central, northern and southern B.C.

Quebec sets aside $900 million for companies hurt by U.S. tariffs

Premier Philippe Couillard says his government will make $863 million available over five years

B.C. company patents Sasquatch, the country’s first homegrown hops plant

Created by Hops Connect, Sasquatch hops are being grown commercially for the first time in B.C.

Farmers ponder impact of alternatives to pesticides being banned

The nicotine-based pesticides scientists have linked to a rising number of honey bee deaths will be phased out of use in Canada over a three year period starting in 2021.

Most Read