Our View: Back to the weird old days in B.C. politics

The B.C. Legislature spending scandal is a blast from the past.

It feels like oldies weekend here in B.C.

If there’s one thing British Columbia has been known for, over the years, it’s the oddness of our politics.

This is the province that anointed Amor de Cosmos premier, that saw its highways minister rack up speeding tickets faster than he built new roads, and that saw W.A.C. Bennett once torch a symbolic boat full of old provincial debt documents like he was hosting a viking funeral on Lake Okanagan.

We gave the nation Fast Ferries, the fudge-it budget, and the Fantasy Gardens scandal.

Yet things have been oddly quiet for a time.

Sure, there were scandals, but they didn’t have that old B.C. verve. Where were the odd characters, the weird details?

Objectively, the scandal at the B.C. Legislature involving its two most senior staffers, is appalling.

The allegations of overspending run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. If true, it looks like a lot of taxpayers’ money was misappropriated. A police investigation is ongoing.

It’s all very serious.

It’s also very much an old-style B.C. scandal.

Only in B.C. would senior public servants use their power to allegedly buy a wood splitter. To expense thousands of dollars a year in magazine subscriptions, including Arizona Highways. To supposedly just load up a pickup truck with leftover legislative booze. To expense everything from suits to overseas trips to jars of British mustard.

Sordid? It might be. But how can we be surprised, here in B.C.?

– M.C.

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