Martin blasts Premier for campaign-style visits to Chilliwack-Hope

BC Conservative candidate John Martin blasted Premier Christy Clark and the BC Liberal government Tuesday.

The BC Conservative candidate in Chilliwack-Hope leveled a double-barreled blast Tuesday at Premier Christy Clark and the BC Liberal government.

Candidate John Martin took umbrage with Clark’s thwarted visit to a Chilliwack private school during the teachers’ strike, and with her government’s failure to act as another court case in B.C. was stayed for taking too long to come to  trial.

For good measure, Martin also took a shot at Clark for her failure to call the byelection in Chilliwack-Hope, but in the meantime making another campaign-style visit to the riding with BC Liberal candidate Laurie Thorness in tow.

“If the campaign’s on, let’s announce it and have a level playing field,” Martin said.

He said the BC Liberal candidate is “in a spending mode” buying newspaper and billboard advertising, and accompanying the Premier on multiple visits to the riding, yet Clark has yet to announce a byelection date.

Clark and Thorness did a campaign-style walkaround of downtown Agassiz on Feb. 16, with side trips to the Britco plant and the Tycrop plant in Chilliwack.

Thorness was also with the Premier in Hope on Monday before she cancelled her visit to the Unity Christian School in Chilliwack when she learned striking teachers were waiting to greet her.

Martin said the visit to a non-union school site during a teachers’ strike “was just such a slap in the face of the teachers.”

“You don’t go rub peoples’ faces in it when they’re out on the picket line, and you’ve got parents making daycare arrangements,” he said.

“The Premier should be above that kind of fighting in the gutter,” he added. “There’s other (staff) to do that.”

Martin, a criminologist at UFV, admitted some “empathy” for the teachers, but said he’s been critical of both sides in the past for the way they’ve handled contract negotiations.

Clark told The Progress earlier that the school visit had been planned in advance, and she saw no reason to stop doing her job because the teachers had stopped doing theirs.

But Martin said surely the Premier or her staff could have seen the “bad optics” the visit would present — and postpone the event until after the strike.

“It was just the wrong thing to do,” he said.

Finally, Martin criticized the “Christy Clark Liberal catch-and-release justice system” that he said simply encourages criminals to continue their illegal activities.

Drug charges against two Chinese immigrants were stayed by a provincial court judge in Kelowna on Feb. 14 after it took 33 months for the case to come to trial.

Judge Robin Smith said 23 months of the delay were in “no way attributed to the accused,” but to a lack of court resources.

“This is a sad state of affairs for the judicial system, and not one that will be fully resolved by the recent judicial appointment,” Smith said in his reasons for judgment.

“There would need to be an increase in the number of judges in order for that to happen, as opposed to simply a replacement of retiring judges.”

“Otherwise, the status quo is likely to continue,” he said.

Martin said the case was thrown out “because of the Liberal government’s negligence of the justice system.”

“It needs to be stressed that when we talk about (judicial stays) that it’s not just a one-off, that this has become a regular occurrence, ” he said, with more than 2,500 cases in B.C. inching toward the 18-month range where judicial stays must be considered.

“If you can’t get a court case through the system within 18 months, there’s an ever-increasing likelihood it’s going to be dismissed,” Martin said.

Just Posted

Jacqueline Pearce and Jean-Pierre Antonio received the BC Historical Federation Best Article Award on Saturday for their story about translating haiku written in the Tashme internment camp.
Article chronicling haiku in Japanese internment camp near Hope wins award

Tashme Haiku Club’s work was preserved and recently translated, authors write

Kindergarten kids from Evans elementary school in Chilliwack painted rocks with orange hearts and delivered them to Sto:lo Elders Lodge recently after learning about residential schools. (Laura Bridge photo)
Kindergarten class paints rocks with orange hearts in Chilliwack for local elders

‘Compassion and empathy’ being shown by kids learning about residential schools

Chilliwack potter Cathy Terepocki (left) and Indigenous enhancement teachers Val Tosoff (striped top) and Christine Seymour (fuchsia coat), along with students at Vedder middle school, look at some of the 500-plus pinch pots on Thursday, June 10 made by the kids to honour the 215 children found at Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack students make hundreds of tiny clay pots in honour of 215 Indigenous children

‘I think the healing process has begun,’ says teacher about Vedder middle school project

Dennis Saulnier rescued his daughters, two-year-old Brinley (left) and four-year-old Keegan, after their truck was driven off the road and into Cultus Lake on May 16, 2020. Reporter Jenna Hauck has been recognized by the B.C. and Yukon Community Newspapers Association for her story on the rescue. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)
Chilliwack Progress, Hope Standard staff take home 7 Ma Murray awards

Jenna Hauck, Eric Welsh, Jessica Peters, Emelie Peacock all earn journalism industry recognition

(Unsplash.com)
Protecting our elders: It’s up to all of us to look out for them

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is June 15

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read