Former premier John Horgan joining the board of a coal company the day after resigning his seat in the BC legislature did not win a lot of rave reviews. It reinforced the image most people have of the hypocritical and cynical career politician.
But it might have been the best thing he's done for health care in BC in a very long time.
The NDP has wasted billions on failed pipe dreams (UPCCs) and micromanaging bureaucrats, chased away healthcare workers, and generally fucked things up royally. They routine lie about or hide the horrific results.
And they're totally getting away with it. Why? Because it isn't costing them any votes. Yes, there's been a lot of public outcry about healthcare. But, they clearly have the polling to suggest it's not hurting them where it counts. And in fact, they have a very credible defence for anyone who really cares about healthcare:
"What are you going to do, vote for the Liberals (now BC United)? Because you know they're going to cut even more and privatize the crap out of it."
(This may be the Canadian equivalent of "I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn't lose any voters, OK?")
Enter Horgan's resignation.
At some point soon, there will be a by-election for Horgan's old seat in Langford-Juan de Fuca. A riding where countless clinics have closed and probably more than half of people don't have a family doctor.
The BC Greens have announced Camille Currie as their candidate in the riding. They didn't recruit her because she's a tree hugger. She's been the driving force behind BC Health Care Matters and one of the strongest and most effective voices fighting for patients we've seen in decades.
The Greens already had impressive bona fides on healthcare, and have long punched well above their weight on the subject. They've worked hard, consulted and listened to experts, followed science, and sought practical answers to very difficult problems. They've been the real opposition in BC when it comes to healthcare. And they've proved it once again by convincing Camille, who is about as non-partisan as it gets, to join them.