The view from the Government side of the House has its perks, with pay bumps for additional duties and more opportunities for travel and larger exposure, but with the higher profiles, will also come the quest for more accountability from the folks back home.
North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice may soon find that those return trips back to Prince Rupert will provide for a new reception, as the NDP now holding the reins of government begin to make decisions that may not always find acceptance from the public.
Something which will leave it to Ms. Rice having to answer for government decisions and face questions and comments from constituents and just from those that are forever to be counted on the opposite side of the NDP agenda.
Right out of the gate, the NDP have raised a few eyebrows with the speed in which they have dispatched a number of government staffers and crown corporation heads, so far ringing up a total of over 11 million dollars (and counting) in severance.
NDP paying 11.3 million in severance to 133 fired liberal linked staffers
Severance packages for fired B.C. Liberals cost taxpayers millions
BC Hydro CEO Jessica McDonald fired
B.C. Hydro president and CEO Jessica McDonald fired
BC Hydro shuffles leadership as NDP government prepares review of Site C
Premier Horgan goes headhunting to fire, hire, BC Hydro leader
While every new government changes the deck chairs when they take power, the NDP is in the unique position of holding the slimmest of margins in electoral seats as they set their course.
Aided by the Green Party's three seats Premier John Horgan's tenure will exist mainly at the whim of the Green's who while on board for now, may at some point declare they can go no further and to the polls we would go once again.
Should that happen sooner than later, those 11 million dollars in severance payments could very well make for a strong election issue, especially should the NDP not move very far in their ambitious program plans ahead.
Another hidden landmine for the new government could be coming from the province's auto insurance company ICBC, with a leaked report suggesting that some significant increases may be coming for policy holders in the months ahead.
Leaked report warns of massive ICBC hikes
NDP must come clean about plans for ICBC, Liberal opposition demands
And while it's pretty clear that the issues related to ICBC are not new and any increases have long been in the planning phase and considered during the Liberals time in office, should the rumoured increases come through, they will happen on the NDP watch.
|North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice|
may soon find that the seat in the
House is hotter when it's on the
government side of the aisle.
It would take a fair bit of spin by the new government to try and distance themselves from an unpopular money grab, even one that has a solid case behind it.
Any push back from the public on such things as significant increases to ICBC and other high profile areas of government overview will now be delivered to Ms. Rice, who won't be able to take the mulligan of "it's the government's responsibility", now that the NDP is the government.
Such are the challenges that come with taking control of the House, and for the North Coast MLA, the days of photo ops at community events may soon be a happy diversion of the past, with the real impact of government decisions providing immediate feedback from the public to her offices both on the North Coast and in Victoria.
To follow Ms. Rice's work for the North Coast in the Legislature see our archive page here.
Cross posted from the North Coast Review.