Horgan loses bet, but glad to wear a legend’s sweater
HOME ALONE — Saanich South MLA Lana Popham acknowledged a staff member in the legislature this week and, in the process, recalled her early MacaulayCulkin-like days as the new agriculture minister.
“When I was first sworn in as the Minister of Agriculture, I went to see where my office would be,” she said. “I walked in and the first thing I noticed was that there was nobody in my office, at all. There were a lot of desks and a lot of spots where people might be, but nobody was there. I came in and out quite a few times, hoping, every time I opened the door, that some people would be there. And it wasn’t happening.
“One day I walked in, and this wonderful woman by the name of Lisa said: “Hi, I’m Lisa, and I’m here to help.” I don’t know if I’ve ever looked at anyone with more love in my eyes than at that point. So Lisa Johnson is here. She is my administrative co-ordinator. I appreciate everything you have done since I’ve been sworn in.” ROLE REVERSAL — After 12 years as a critic, Premier John Horgan still has some adapting to do in the legislature. He referred to interim Opposition Leader Rich Coleman as “Minister” instead of “Member.”
“I’ll keep going back and forth,” Horgan quipped. “As long as you keep saying Premier, that’s good by me.”
Horgan was obviously paying attention during his time in Opposition, since he was quick to borrow one of the Liberals’ favourite lines of defence over the years. Asked whether public money will be used to defend the defamation lawsuit by Gordon Wilson, Horgan adopted the time-honoured stance: “This issue is before the courts, and we couldn’t possibly interfere.” JERSEY BOY — NDP MLA Judy Darcy got the upper hand on her boss by winning a bet on who would capture the Western Lacrosse Association championship.
Darcy’s New Westminster Salmonbellies defeated Horgan’s beloved Victoria Shamrocks at Queen’s Park Arena last month, so Horgan dutifully showed up in the legislature last week wearing a Salmonbellies jersey — though he noted that it wasn’t just any old sweater.
“I am happy to be wearing this jersey, particularly because it is a game-worn jersey by one of the greatest lacrosse players Canada has ever seen — hall-of-famer Wayne Goss, who played for 14 seasons for the Salmonbellies,” Horgan said.
“He was a Mann Cup champion. He was rookie of the year, a three-time league MVP and one of the most decent people you’ll find anywhere. So to be able to wear Wayne Goss’s jersey is an honour and a privilege.” BCCP vs. CPBC — The B.C. Conservatives are going to take another run at getting their act together next weekend, with an annual general meeting that will include discussion about changing their name.
The party cratered in the May election after a bizarre leadership argument last fall that saw the board of directors fire its leader just a few weeks after he had won the position after resigning earlier over a different issue.
The Conservatives, who lost their official spokesman to an even smaller party halfway through the campaign, fielded only 10 candidates in May and managed to collect one-half per cent of the popular vote, although two candidates split enough of the vote to make a difference in two ridings won by the NDP.
One notable name on the agenda is Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman, who sought a B.C. Liberal nomination and remains involved in that party. She said she has been invited as a guest, which has raised some eyebrows in the Liberal caucus.
There will also be speeches by as many as five prospective Conservative leadership candidates, and potential Conservative nominees for the Kelowna West byelection.
The meeting venue is the Flourishing Chinese Seafood Restaurant, in Langley.
Although some new names for the B.C. Conservative Party might be suggested by members at the gathering, the only option currently on the agenda is — wait for it — the Conservative Party of B.C.
NDP MLA Judy Darcy and Premier John Horgan, wearing the jersey of New West Salmonbellies hall-of-famer Wayne Goss.