VIDEO: Plecas praises NDP for housing homeless

‘Man are we off to a good start,’ former BC Liberal praises government at housing announcement

As a former BC Liberal colleague looked on, Abbotsford South MLA Darryl Plecas showered praise on NDP cabinet minister Selina Robinson at a supportive housing announcement Tuesday in his riding.

The event gave the Speaker of the BC Legislature a rare chance to publicly voice an opinion on the actions of the government of the day.

Plecas has kept a relatively low-profile since assuming the Speaker of the Legislature’s chair in controversial circumstances last fall, after which he was booted from his party. The move was labelled a betrayal by Plecas’s BC Liberal colleagues. Plecas, meanwhile, said he wasn’t a proper fit with the Liberals and that he was attracted to the non-partisan nature of the Speaker’s job, which sees him preside over debates in the legislature and try to maintain order among unruly politicians.

On Tuesday, Plecas – now an independent – spoke at an announcement that will see the construction of 80-units of supportive housing at two separate locations. The Riverside Road site where the announcement was made is located within Plecas’s riding, while the supportive housing location is located a stone’s throw away, in the Abbotsford West riding of BC Liberal Mike de Jong. De Jong was absent but Abbotsford-Mission MLA Simon Gibson was present for the event, but did not speak.

Plecas praised the City of Abbotsford, BC Housing, and the two organizations that will run the facilities: the Lookout Housing and Health Society and the Elizabeth Fry Society. Then he saluted the province.

“One of the things I feel very good about saying is, it’s what’s done by government and the minister,” he said. “It’s a government that’s responsive to needs and especially people who are most in need. We are so lucky to have Selina as the minister because helping people is in her bones. She truly, truly gets it. She knows we don’t have a society unless we’re helping everyone and helping each other – and that’s not always easy to do, there are all kinds of things that hurt being able to do that.

“Man are we off to a good start, and I know we can look forward to this facility and the one on Livingstone road being extremely well-managed because anyone who knows these people know that Lookout Society and Elizabeth Fry do a spectacular job.”

UFV political science professor Hamish Telford said there didn’t appear to be anything improper about Plecas’s comments, given the context surrounding an event in his own riding. Telford says that while Plecas must act non-partisan while acting in his speaker’s role, he also remains MLA for the region and thus has license to speak about issues affecting his constituents. It would be another matter, Telford said, if Plecase were to make such statements at an event in another riding.

At most, the comments could be read as an “implicit slight” directed towards the former BC Liberals’ performance on the homelessness file, Telford said. It wouldn’t be the first time. Even while he was still a BC Liberal, Plecas suggested his party could have done more on social issues.


@ty_olsen
tolsen@abbynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Carol Young, an artist who fought for timely cancer treatment in Abbotsford, dies before first solo show

B.C. Haida artist’s exhibit to open Saturday at downtown Seattle gallery

Paramedics respond to two-car crash in Abbotsford

Sedan and SUV collided just after 10 a.m. on Ash Street

KMS Tools celebrating grand opening in Abbotsford

New location on McConnell Road, right next to Costco

Volunteer organization provides first aid and rescue services

Main fundraiser, the Winter Extreme Ski and Board Swap, takes place at Abbotsford Exhibition Park Nov. 16 and 17

Highway 1 crash in Langley slowing traffic

Accident happened at 232nd Street and has left one car on the right shoulder

B.C. to restrict nicotine content, bring in 20% tax on vaping products

Province will also restrict candy and fruit flavoured vaping products to adult-only stores

Union ‘not at all’ optimistic that transit strike will resolve before full work stoppage

Overtime ban could disrupt 10-15 per cent of bus service in Metro Vancouver

‘It’s been 12 years’: Father of murdered B.C. real estate agent pleads for mayor’s help

Lindsay Buziak was stabbed to death on Feb. 2, 2008 in Saanich. Her case is unsolved.

B.C. woman sends fight to reduce preventable medical errors to Victoria

Teri McGrath and South Okanagan senior’s centre members presented 150 signature petition to local MLA

B.C. First Nation Chief Ed John faces historic sex charges

John served as minister for children and families under then-premier Ujjah Dosanjh

Yelling at your dog might hurt its long-term mental health: study

Researchers find dogs trained using negative reinforcement are more ‘pessimistic’

Black Press career fair happening now at Langley Events Centre

Find your dream job at the Black Press career fair

Transgender inmate in Surrey denied transfer to women’s prison

Petitioner argued denial of transfer to women’s prison was unreasonable and unfair

Most Read