Tough week for Horgan

MLA Donna Barnett's regular column

The return of the Legislature in the fall is usually low key, but this was probably the worst week for John Horgan and the NDP since assuming office in 2017.

It began with the sudden resignation of the Citizen Services Minister Jinny Sims when it was revealed the RCMP is launching a criminal investigation into unspecified activities. Sims will hang on as the MLA for Surrey-Panorama, so that won’t threaten Horgan’s fragile minority, for now.

But the other shoe dropped when Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver suddenly announced he intends to step down as head of the party this summer, just two years after signing an agreement with John Horgan that put the NDP in charge of the province.

Weaver is also going to hang in there as MLA until the next fixed election date in October 2021, however, this does have implications for their power-sharing agreement. A new leader may ask for new terms to continue the relationship, especially since Horgan ran roughshod over the Greens when his cabinet approved Site C, backed LNG and then the Coastal GasLink pipeline.

Things got even worse when Horgan’s chief of staff got caught shredding documents related to a police investigation on Wednesday, but the real bad news of the week came in the form of job losses totalling 25,000 in just the last four months.

Unemployment in the Cariboo now stands at 6.8 per cent, prompting a call for the immediate resignation of Forests Minister Doug Donaldson.

Donaldson fired back, claiming his $69 million forestry package is sufficient to exit forest workers from the industry. Mayors strongly disagree after it was revealed the NDP is simply diverting existing money away from the much needed Rural Dividend Fund.

For Horgan, what once looked like a solid hold on the reigns of power just dissolved into a much more fragile handle on a failing, overtaxed economy.

What a difference a week makes.

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