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Premier's vote recorded just once during fall sitting

During the 39 days the provincial legislature sat in the fall, Premier Gordon Campbell is recorded as having voted just once.

That was on the second reading of the Budget Measures Implementation Act (No. 2), 2009 on Sept. 22, a bill that allows the government to run deficits until the 2012-2013 fiscal year. He voted in favour.

Most MLAs' votes were recorded a dozen or more times on various bills and proceedings during the session. New Democratic Party leader Carole James voted 10 times in recorded votes.

“I think that says an awful lot about this government and his approach to the government,” said Mike Farnworth, the NDP house leader and MLA for Port Coquitlam. It appears that to Campbell, he said, “the legislature is more a distraction and a nuisance than a functioning body with a job to do.”

A spokesperson for Campbell said not every vote is recorded and pointed out the premier had an extremely busy travel schedule in the fall, having made trips to Greece, the United States and across Canada. Many of the trips were for Olympic-related events.

During the session MLAs debated and passed 24 bills into law, including ones that allow police officers to deliver homeless people to shelters whether they want to go or not, ordered paramedics back to work and updated the rules governing lobbying the government.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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