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BC Premier's office budget debate scheduled during Canucks game

British Columbia Premier Christy Clark has been an enthusiastic booster of the Vancouver Canucks' playoff run, but she'll miss at least the start of the first game of the Stanley Cup finals.

As of last week the government had scheduled the debate on the budget for the premier's office for today (May 31), said NDP House Leader John Horgan. "Yesterday morning I was given a new list moving to right in the middle of the [June 1] hockey game. That's a decision by the government house leader, you'll have to ask him about that choice."

Clark has taken opportunities to be seen supporting the Canucks. Several weeks ago she posed for photos in a Canucks jersey for a Vancouver tabloid newspaper and today she and Speaker Bill Barisoff raised a flag outside the legislature "in celebration of the Vancouver Canucks entering the Stanley Cup finals."

Government House Leader Rich Coleman acknowledged it was "probably to her chagrin" to be in debate during the start of the first game against the Boston Bruins.

"Just to meet her schedule," said Coleman, when asked why the change was made. Clark will be handing out public service awards this evening so the estimates for her office had to be moved, he said. "If you've ever looked at a premier's schedule, you try to work around it, you try to work the house around it, that's what we did."

NDP Leader Adrian Dix said the scheduling is an attempt to avoid attention. "It says they know everyone's going to be watching or covering the Canucks tomorrow, so they can avoid media coverage of that," he said.

Fortunately Hansard has made it easy for people to find out what happens in the legislature, he said. "Enterprising journalists will still be able to pick things up there."

Clark predicted that the Canucks will win the best-of-seven-game series in five games. Dix said that sounds about right.

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

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