NDP leader John Horgan says he is “stoked” about adding more new faces to the legislature on May 9. (Black Press)

Donation rules die, high-heel freedom lives

Election campaign gears up as legislature shuts down

The BC Liberal government wrapped up its pre-election legislature session Thursday, leaving its last-minute bill to require disclosure of campaign donations to die on the order paper.

The government passed amendments to remove racially discriminating provisions from little-known historical legislation, attracting a surge of interest from Chinese-language media in Vancouver.

A mostly undefined bill to force licensing of puppy and kitten breeders also passed, as did housekeeping amendments to adoption, online hunting permits and rules allowing cost recovery for forest fire damage.

Green Party leader Andrew Weaver said he expects his proposed ban on employers requiring women to wear high heels at work will be dealt with by an order from Premier Christy Clark’s cabinet, given the support he has seen on social media. Jobs Minister Shirley Bond has confirmed Clark’s intention to implement the idea, he said.

“It was 100 per cent support, even more support than the puppy bill we debated, so you know if high heels beats puppies, you’re onto something,” Weaver said. “It was covered in Brazil, it was covered in the U.K, I did a BBC interview. This thing went viral, so there’s no way the premier would not follow through with it.”

Clark used her last question period appearance to taunt the NDP for opposing industrial projects like the Site C dam and the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion, and boast of the government’s record of increased employment and five straight balanced budgets.

NDP leader John Horgan said he’s “stoked” about the election campaign that officially starts April 11, with the election date May 9. And he said the voting public will remember the BC Liberals’ token gesture to reform campaign financing while taking in millions in unrestricted donations.

“I think there’s a simmering anger at this government, that they’ve neglected key services for people,” Horgan said. “I think people want to make sure the economy is working for them, not just for those who make donations to the BC Liberal Party.”

BC Liberal house leader Mike de Jong said immediate disclosure of campaign donations could not have passed without co-operation from the opposition NDP, who hammered the governing party until the last moment over its unlimited corporate and union donations.

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