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

District of Kent to implement snow fence pilot project

$8,000 project to help prevent hazardous, drifting snow, and more from Kent council

PHOTOS: Fraser Valley Eagle Festival

Mission photographer Bob Friesen shares some of his images with the Record

PHOTOS: Harrison warms up to Christmas

The Lions Club hosts holiday event for community

11 years sought for Burnaby man who killed girlfriend with hammer, burned her body

Manslaughter sentencing hearing starts Monday in BC Supreme Court in Chilliwack for Ryan Armstrong

German-born British Columbian warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Pot users, investors need to be vigilant at Canada-U.S. border

U.S. authorities say anyone who admits to having used pot before it became legal could be barred

Shirtless stranger loomed over couch and started stabbing, bloody B.C. murder trial hears

Colin John pleads not guilty as trial opens in 2016 Chemainus murder case

Late 2019 too long to wait for ridesharing: B.C. Conservatives

“While the rest of the world is embracing this transportation revolution, B.C. is only now staggering slowly toward legislation on a business model that’s been mainstreamed for over a decade in other jurisdictions.”

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

ICBC warns shoppers of the high-accident season at mall parking lots

Over 150,000 accidents happened during the holiday season last year

No deal in sight: Canada Post warns of delivery delays into January

Union holds fifth week of rotating strikes as both sides remain apart on contract negotiations

COLUMN: Higher interest rates will slow B.C. economy after ‘unusually robust’ show

Jock Finlayson is executive vice president and chief policy officer of the Business Council of BC

Jason Aldean, Old Dominion to headline Merritt’s Rockin’ River concerts next summer

Four-day music festival at Coldwater River from Aug. 1 to 4

Most Read