Skip to main content

“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

OLSEN – I haven’t forgotten feelings of helplessness as a provincial minister or senior bureaucrat coldly stated they couldn’t help us, even though their legislation created the situation needing a solution


On my morning walk I got to thinking back to my decision to resign from the Central Saanich Council table to run in the 2013 Provincial election for the BC Greens.

The decision to resign was triggered by one of my colleagues, who moved out of the country, and the reality that the District needed to hold a by-election. This allowed me to be clear with my constituents what my intention was. However, my decision to run was a lot more to do with my experience of the relationship between the provincial and local governments.

It was frustrating to thoughtfully develop priorities and community objectives, and then have to chase conditional grants on non-priority areas -- just so we could fulfill the provincial government’s priority.

In addition, we were constantly shouldering more of the weight from federal and provincial downloads.

I remember that experience even all these seven years later.


This post is to plant that flag. I have not forgotten those feelings of helplessness as a provincial minister or senior bureaucrat coldly states that they can’t help us with this, or with that, even though it’s their legislation that creates the situation needing to be solved. What they are really telling you is that you are not their priority.

Embracing governance not politics

I was talking with one of my neighbours heading into the 2011 municipal elections and glibly said, “maybe we should just develop a strategic plan that mirrors the provincial government’s objectives.” In other words, the current system we maintain forces us into the politics rather than good governance.

I’ve worked on many provincial issues since my election as an MLA. With the Union of British Columbia Municipalities’ (UBCM)annual convention, a week away, I’m checking in. While I am very close to my local government colleagues in Saanich North and the Islands, I look forward to reconnecting with mayors and councillors from around the province. We have fully booked meeting schedules.

The relationship between governments has not changed much -- we face growing challenges with climate change, with the infrastructure deficit burdening most communities and the increasingly poor provincial resource management that is deeply impacting communities traditionally dependent on those resources.

The province is going to need to reach the hand out and invite more collaboration, rather than continue the top-down decision-making that inspired me to run provincially all those years ago.


Adam Olsen ... is a Green Party Member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia for Saanich North and the Islands. Born in Victoria, BC in 1976, Adam has lived, worked and played his entire life on the Saanich Peninsula. He is a member of Tsartlip First Nation (W̱JOȽEȽP), where he and his wife, Emily, are raising their two children, Silas and Ella.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

It seems the call for blood donors is being responded to, however ... “This effort is a marathon, not a sprint” says Canadian Blood Services

A week and a half ago I wrote the commentary ... “ While the national inventory is currently strong, an increase in blood donor cancellations is a warning sign of potential challenges to maintaining a health inventory of blood ” It was written as a result of talk about a potential blood shortage that would occur if people stopped donating due to the COVID-19 virus. It seems the call to Canadians was responded to, however, as I was told this afternoon ... “ T his effort is a marathon, not a sprint ”. As it now stands now, donors are able to attend clinics which are held in Vancouver (2), Victoria, Surrey, and in Kelowna, so I asked if there any plans to re-establish traveling clinics to others communities - for example in Kamloops, Prince George, Prince Rupert, Revelstoke or Cranbrook, and perhaps further north at perhaps Ft. St. John? According to Communications Lead Regional Public Affairs Specialist Marcelo Dominguez, Canadian Blood Services is still on

FEDLSTED -- Rules will have to relax-- the question is how and when

The media has created a fervour over the mathematical models that allegedly help governments predict the future of Coronavirus infections in the general population. Mathematical modelling has limited use and value. We need to understand is that the data available on Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections in Canada is far too small for statistical reliability. The data available for the whole world is useless due to variables in how nations responded to Coronavirus infections. There is no commonality in steps taken to combat virus spread and no similarity in the age demographics of world nations, so the numbers you see on the daily tracking of world infections are not useful in developing a model of infection rates that can be relied on. Mathematical models of the future spread of Coronavirus are better than nothing, but not a whole lot better.  Mathematical models must include assumptions on virus spreads, and various factors involved. As they are used in projections, a small erro

AARON GUNN -- He is, at his core, an ideologue, meaning the facts of any particular issue don’t actually matter

Ben Isitt - City Councillor and Regional Director Victoria City Council and its resident-genius Ben Isitt is back with another dumb idea. Introducing a motion to ban the horse-drawn carriages that have coloured Victoria’s downtown streets for decades, calling them “an outdated mode of transportation”. Are you serious?   No one is actually commuting by horse and carriage. They are here for tourists and residents alike to interact with world-class animals and discover the magic and history of our provincial capital. It’s part of what gives Victoria its charm. And the truth is these horses are treated better than anywhere else in the world. They probably live better lives than many British Columbians.   And talk to anyone who works with these horses and they’ll all tell you the exact same thing: this is what the horses love to do. This is what they were bred for and trained for. This is what gives their lives purpose and meaning. But maybe we shouldn’t be su

Labels

Show more