Oct. 18, 2022

Municipal upheaval sends warning to provincial politicians

There’s likely a quiet nervousness among the provincial NDP hierarchy after the outcome of the civic elections across the province. They have reason to scratch their heads as their party cohorts got mashed in the Vancouver election with Ken Sim, of the centre-right ABC Vancouver, and seven of his candidates topped the polls. Vancouver is the root system for the NDP.

ABC not only elected its entire slate of seven councillors to city hall alongside Sim, they topped the poll. With eight votes on council, that will allow the party to pass any of their policies and proposals, even those that require a two-thirds majority. The party also saw all of its candidates elected to the parks and school boards, locking in solid majorities.

Before B.C. Liberal leader Kevin Falcon dances up a jig, 37 mayors in large and small centres across the province got dumped. It didn’t matter, left or right, voters just seemed frustrated with the governance they had so they turfed the incumbents.

It’s worth noting that Sim’s main campaign was to hire 100 more police and streamline housing and construction approvals by the city bureaucracy. 

One of the biggest issues across the province has been law and disorder. Let’s be serious, crime, drugs and mental health issues are not being addressed no matter how the province tries to tiptoe around the issue. The homeless encampments, the drugs and the mentally ill are still almost everywher you look. People want solutions rather than political posturing. 

When harm reduction does not reduce the harm, the other pillars of the four-pillar drug strategy have to be enacted – prevention, treatment and enforcement. That’s what British Columbians expect. 

There has been talk among insiders that David Eby might consider an early provincial election in spring to get a mandate after he assumes the NDP leadership. This province-wide outcome will certainly lead to some serious second thought in his inner circle.