A source close to the core BC Liberal 2017 campaign team and another source on the riding level both tell me that internal polling is dismal, with 300 days to go before the May 9, 2017 election.
The Metro Vancouver real estate bubble is weighing heavily in polling. There is plenty of time to right the ship, but the NDP is sailing forward at full sail after putting the Liberals on their heels.
One: They’re Going Back to the Legislature (When They’d Rather Be at a BBQ)
The last summer before an election is normally time to rub shoulders, rouse the troops, enjoy burgers and beer and raise some bucks. The BC Liberals weren’t counting on returning to Victoria to amend the Real Estate Services Act to re-regulate real estate agents or pass a law to enable City of Vancouver to tax owners of vacant houses and condos.
Reconvening the Legislature in the final week of July takes time and energy away from those all-important activities. Mind you, the expected Question Period grilling from the NDP will not have as much traction in summer as would Question Periods this fall, should the Oct. 3-Nov. 24 sitting go ahead as scheduled.
The anti-red tape crusaders are reluctantly about to christen a brand new roll of red tape.
Two: Premier Christy Clark Flies Commercial
More than five months after chastising those who dared question her preference to ding taxpayers for private jet flights around B.C. with her entourage — including omnipresent videographer Kyle Surovy — Clark took to Twitter on July 12 to show an aerial photo that she said was shot while flying on Air Canada to Penticton for a hospital construction photo op.
I recently revealed that #AirChristy had exceeded the $560,000 mark and that Clark led an entourage to a Prince George BC Liberal fundraiser on a taxpayer-funded charter.
Clark’s press secretary, Stephen Smart, did not immediately respond to my query about who accompanied the premier to Penticton and how much the flight cost taxpayers. I’ll let you know if he replies.
Three: George Gretes is Back in the News
The former aide to Transport Minister and B.C. Liberal re-election campaign co-chair Todd Stone is expected in a Victoria Provincial Court room on Thursday to plead guilty.
He was charged on March 11 with two counts of lying under oath to the Information and Privacy Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, when she was investigating the triple delete scandal last year. Gretes will avoid trial, but questions about the Triple Delete scandal and BC Liberals misbehaving won’t go away. As they say, it’s not the scandal, but the attempted cover-up that does more damage in the long-run.
Four: Another Booze Newser
Clark is going on a tour of Vernon’s BC Liberal-friendly Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery on Wednesday. The distillery has vodkawhiskeyginabsintheaquavit… and fruit brandy. Which will she throw back first?