It IS Time For a Change in B.C. Politics

Special for Campbell River Mirror May 5, 2017

By John Twigg
Leader, B.C. First Party                                           

The top two issues in the current B.C. election campaign are really combined in one over-arching theme: the urgent need for the provincial government to do a much better job of managing its affairs so it can deliver a much better mix of measures to stimulate the economy, create more jobs and thereby afford major improvements in a wide range of health, social and education services – including lower fees and taxes!
Despite the rhetoric from the B.C. Liberal regime of Premier Christy Clark about job creation statistics, the reality is that B.C. does not have enough good-paying jobs now and due to their mismanagement of the forest industry things are about to get worse as American countervails on lumber exports kick in.
What should the Province have done? Revive regional log market auctions so there would be both a perception and a reality of a transparently fair and open market in logs but instead Ms Clark has resorted to cheap rhetoric and dangerous theatrics such as her threat to retaliate by blocking American coal shipments through B.C. ports.
Unfortunately that example of mismanagement of the forest industry is typical of the Liberals’ mismanagement in dozens of key policy areas, especially ferries and transportation on Vancouver Island but also seniors care, education, housing, health and yes job creation everywhere, and government operations too.
Though the “Lieberals” claim to be strong managers of the government finances and economy, the truth is that its debt has soared and wasteful spending on boondoggle projects abounds (e.g. money-losing P-3 bridge projects) and that since the reserve funds from B.C. Hydro and ICBC have now been depleted their already-high rates will soon have to soar.
The overall gross mismanagement of B.C. affairs is a huge scandal that should have come out more in the campaign, especially when there are so many positive alternatives to simply rewarding friend-and-insider donors with sweetheart contracts at taxpayers’ expense and then wasting millions on distorted propaganda claims to mislead voters at election time.
Obviously it IS time for a change and here in North Island voters have a choice in me of someone who can and will strongly and adeptly represent the best interests of the North Island and its constituents and businesses and industries regardless of which major party wins the election, or even better if there is a minority.
To see some of my unique and constructive policy alternatives, such as issuing a made-in-B.C. currency and earning new revenues from new industries such as a new ferry crossing route, please visit and .
Thank you for your support and vote.

Premier Makes Quick Visit to North Island

By John Twigg

Leader, B.C. First Party
Candidate in North Island
In a sign that the B.C. Liberals are either hopeful or desperate of winning an NDP-held seat, Premier Christy Clark on Friday morning dropped in to Campbell River in support of North Island Liberal candidate Dallas Smith.
Whereas her only previous visit was a quick drop-in to an event in the E & B Helicopters hangar in the Campbellton area, this visit was a quick visit to a private event in the hangar of Sealand Aviation Ltd.’s hangar at the Campbell River Airport, after which she continued flying north to events in Terrace, Smithers and Prince George.
Though the event seemed to have been organized on short notice it still featured a lineup of several dozen heavy industrial trucks lined up along the road, and lots of signs for Smith and maybe about 100 people including the Mayor, two councillors and several leaders of prominent businesses as well as family and friends of campaign workers.
Before her speech Clark climbed into the cab of one of the trucks and made a bit of a show of being pro-industry but when she tried to back up the truck a bit it stalled, which perhaps was a reflection of how her campaign has been going.
Clark’s comments were not audible to me because two of her provincial party campaign officials asked me to leave what was deemed to be private property but I did hear her promise to keep fighting hard for jobs and industries and to applaud Smith for standing up for the same things, especially with his First Nations background. She also mentioned good job prospects in aquaculture.
A lengthy video clip of her visit made it onto Global TV at 3:30 p.m., and an advertisement with similar language in it ran on Global just before 4 p.m.
Clark incorrectly claimed that “B.C. is on a roll” and said “let’s make sure we keep it that way” and then departed for her plane, spending in total only about one hour there.
A photo and brief report also made it quickly onto the local paper’s website: .
A winnable seat?
Why here and not in say Courtenay-Comox where the Liberals are hoping to hold onto a seat held by a now-retired MLA? Possibly because the Liberals’ polling shows they have either a safe win or a sure loss there whereas in North Island the contest is close enough that a pep talk from the Premier might help – except that very few people knew she was coming.
In other words it was an efficient media event en route to more important events in northern B.C. – important in terms of winning swing seats and the optics of her being seen to care about the whole province, not only the populous urban south. Plus it was a signal that she also supports First Nations voters who support economic development and job creation, which Smith happens to embody.
But as for substance? There really wasn’t much of that and there was zero dialogue with undecided voters.
NDP leader John Horgan meanwhile was scheduled to visit Courtenay-Comox for a rally tonight (Friday) and that will be his second visit there and the second time he has chosen to not visit North Island riding, which says that it’s either a safe win for the NDP or a lost cause according to their polling, or that Horgan is boycotting MLA Claire Trevena because years ago she dared to be part of a group that rebelled against former leader Carole James, who happens to be a very close friend and supporter of Horgan.
Twigg makes the paper
Meanwhile I had a good time chatting with various political and business leaders, almost all of whom were friendly towards me and none of whom said I should stop criticizing the Clark Liberals so harshly, like which I did in today’s issue of the Campbell River Mirror paper, one in an advertisement and the other in an equal-space editorial viewable here: .
I do believe it is time for a change, because the B.C. Liberals have become too inept and too corrupt, but if I am elected MLA in North Island and the Clark Liberals are re-elected to govern I could still serve the constituency well, partly because I know how the systems work but also because I have maintained cordial relations with most Liberals, probably even including Clark, who I happen to have known for about 30 years – ever since she was a rookie MLA and she was a guest on a radio show I guest-hosted on a now-defunct Vancouver radio station.
But if the John Horgan New Democrats win the same conditions would apply: I’ve known him and them even longer and generally have maintained cordial relations with most of them too even though I defected from their party about five years ago.
The main issue is not personalities, it is policies – especially the need for innovative ideas to build the province into something a lot better than what it is now.


Premature Closure of Oyster River School Shows Problems in B.C. Education System

By John Twigg
Leader, B.C. First Party
Candidate in North Island

The closure of the Oyster River School in June 2016 is a glaring symptom of systemic and deliberate mismanagement of B.C.’s education system since the election of the Gordon Campbell B.C. Liberals in 2001.
The school at the south end of School District 72 (and also the south end of the North Island constituency) was opened in 1982 for elementary grades and when it was closed – reluctantly by school trustees – it had 78 students from kindergarten to grade 5, so it was not in an archaic building and had more than enough students to qualify as a normal rural school.
But of course it was not deemed that and instead was judged as an urban school, and so its added costs of about $4,000 per year per student were deemed too high and the trustees – under heavy pressure from the B.C. Ministry of Education to reduce operating costs – decided to close Oyster River School along with Discovery Passage School on the north side of Campbell River and instead pay to bus students elsewhere.
The main but not only problem is that the Campbell Liberals were systemically and deliberately underfunding schools in general and teachers’ wages in particular, the latter of which was recently found by the Supreme Court of Canada to have been an illegal practise – due to contract-breaking – but only after 15 years of costly and vexatious litigation by the B.C. Teachers’ Federation! And subsequently the Clark Liberals have claimed to be happy to deliver hundreds of millions of dollars in lifted funding to school districts. But of course the smiles are not genuine.
Why was the provincial government so nasty towards teachers? Because their members had dared to support the NDP against Campbell’s hyper-partisan Liberal oligopoly, and before them the parsimonious Socreds.
In any case, for that and other reasons [notably the Liberals’ vanity about balanced budgets] all school districts were under heavy pressure to reduce costs anywhere and everywhere, with ratio quotas applied such that low-population schools had to be closed or else district budgets wouldn’t be approved, and after years of resistance the Campbell River trustees finally bit the bullet and shut down Oyster River School – but only after years of resistance by area parents and the Strathcona Regional District representative Brenda Leigh, for Area D, and in fact their resistance continues.
Though the students now being bused to a school closer to town apparently are doing well in their new classes, area parents are still concerned at the closure of a nearby school that seemed to be functioning well, though it also was known that some teachers employed there struggled with the added stress and uncertainty and so learning environments were suffering too – from stress that originated from partisan downloading of spending cuts onto a small school in an area that just tends to vote NDP in a riding that regularly does the same.
As one parent told me recently, the absence of a school makes it less likely now that young families will want to move there, and that reduces everyone’s real estate values.
But another problem is that Area D rep Leigh and NDP MLA Claire Trevena apparently have failed to collaborate on efforts to try to save the school, such as declaring it’s a “rural” school rather than an urban one and so should be eligible for a somewhat higher per-student subsidy from the province.
So this travesty also is tinged with a lot of partisan politics, with an overly-partisan provincial regime happily hurting an area that tends to vote against the Liberals.
Statesmanship? Not regarding Oyster River School!
And sadly that partisan coloring of funding decisions also can be found and seen in health care funding, road and bridge maintenance and construction, tourism promotion and several other areas of provincial government operations, especially social services and seniors’ services such as the recent deep cuts in home care, and post-secondary job training.
The good news is that there has been a spurt of housing developments in Area D such that its building permits and population growth figures have been remarkably high, so it’s possible that there soon may be enough young students to support the reopening of Oyster River School, which presently has its doors boarded-up except for a small daycare operation now and still in there.
But that segues to another point, and that is that a more enlightened and less bureaucratic provincial government would have long ago engineered changes such that a facility like Oyster River School could be morphed into a new multi-use facility, perhaps for a part-time nursing station, maybe a bit of a community centre and maybe a seniors’ activity centre.
The problem there is that Ministry bean-counters and government lawyers quickly see things that could go wrong and then debate which ministry’s insurance could kick in, and how would they split the costs – with bureaucratic wrangling going on for years until the building itself decays.
No, what we see in Oyster River School closing is not merely an inevitable cost-saving but actually is another folly of false economies by insensitive partisan bullies riding roughshod over disorganized opponents.
And that’s an excellent reason why it’s time for a change on Tuesday May 9 voting day.

John Twigg 778-348-0747         


Special Message to Voters From John TWIGG

Leader, B.C. First Party
Candidate in North Island 

Dear Voters

For people close to the current election campaign it is obvious that many people will be voting against one of the two major parties by voting for the other one, but I want them and you to know there IS a better way and that is to vote for me and for my unique and innovative platform at
I offer a way people can safely vote against either or both major parties without having to vote for the other one!
Why vote for me as the leader of a little-known but venerable small party?
Because my extensive experience and strong abilities mean I can be an effective MLA regardless of which major party wins the election and especially so if there is a minority government!
I have been active in B.C. politics for 50 years and know well how the systems in Victoria work, plus I know the North Island constituency well and many of the key players and industries in it too – such as the urgent needs for more affordable public sector housing for low-income seniors, and for affordable child care for young families so parents can return to work, and for good family-supporting jobs for everyone – especially in resource industries.

Innovative Proposals

Furthermore, my unique platform contains numerous innovative ideas that if or when implemented will work wonders for B.C. as a province, for North Island as a region and for the benefit of its people and businesses – including First Nations, for whom I am proposing a new bilateral process for more quickly settling native land claims so we all can get on with much needed province-building.
My novel proposals include launching a new currency (in addition to the Canadian and U.S. dollars), reviving regional log market auctions (which would undermine America’s countervailing duties), enable a new shorter ferry crossing route (from Gabriola to YVR, which would hugely boost North Island tourism), rescuing BCIMC from foreign control and repairing BC Hydro and ICBC, exporting bulk water from surplus coastal sources (e.g. Campbell River and Port Alice), taking back jurisdiction over inshore waters and aquaculture, improving ferry services and lowering fares, and providing land for more new housing developments.
Among many other such ideas mentioned on my websites, such as lowering tuition fees and loan costs for students, creating new types of work experience positions associated with improved social services such as homecare for seniors and shut-ins.
And the new currency could be used in part to reward volunteers now providing valuable services without any pay or expense reimbursements.  I believe our goal should be to remake British Columbia into a shining example for the rest of the world of how a jurisdiction can and should be run in the best interests of all of its people, but to get that started I need your vote on Tuesday (or sooner in advance polls).
If you want more details including my full biography please see my websites and or contact me directly at or phone 778-348-0747.
Thank you in advance for your support and vote.
Campaign Office Open House Sunday and Monday 2 – 4 p.m. 1631 Island Hwy., Campbellton To support the campaign call 778-348-0747
Authorized by Financial Agent John Twigg 778-348-0747

BC Debt Graphs

2017 Throne Speech:

…your government is on track to be free of any operating debt by 2021. For the first time in 40 years, children born that year will no longer be asked to pay for the burdens that our generation has placed upon them…

George Orwell: Politics and the English Language (1946)

Political language …is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.


For the complete story: Have they lied to you before?


Campaign Update

Flaws Seen in B.C. NDP’s Election Campaign

By John Twigg

One of the stranger questions in the B.C. election campaign so far has been “Where is John Horgan and what is his NDP party up to?”

Horgan did pop up last week in Merritt for a candidate nomination vote, which his favoured candidate lost to former MLA Harry Lali, and then he moved on to the media hub of Kamloops and announced a plan to “revitalize” B.C.’s forest industry.  The details were so light (recommend the use of more wood in public projects) that they didn’t make much news in any major media.

The latest leader of the B.C. NDP did make some waves with his accusation that Premier Christy Clark has done too little too late to negotiate a new Softwood Lumber Agreement with the American foresters lobby. Horgan, not too helpfully, suggested this should have been done when former President Barack Obama was still in power. But that perhaps willfully ignores that the U.S. lumber lobby was in no mood for a negotiated compromise after years of B.C. lumber exports perceivably undercutting their own log prices, even if Obama had the time, will and ability to do so, which he showed no sign of having.

So that was kind of a cheap shot by Horgan. By the way, did you hear him loudly raising this issue during the recent sitting of the Legislature? No, you didn’t because he didn’t. Yes, Horgan and some of his colleagues did occasionally question that elephant sitting in the MLAs’ debating room. But the NDP did not make any stink at any time about the B.C. Liberals’ obvious mismanagement of yet another major file, on which they belatedly appointed well-known David Emerson as a special envoy on the file.

In fact, Horgan and his colleagues have been more or less silent on all manner of issues in recent months. Ostensibly because they plan to release major new policy statements during the campaign (which began on April 11th and ends on May 9th).  More likely, it’s because the New Democrats are planning to run yet another stealth campaign in which they’ll lay relatively low, not rock many boats and hope to get gifted with a majority from an electorate that is increasingly fed up with the widely seen as corrupt, B.C. Liberal Party regime of Premier Christy Clark.

This will be the third consecutive NDP leader to try that ploy, after the tragically weak Carole James and then the bright, but misguided, Adrian Dix, who got caught on a weather vane about whether or not to support a pipeline expansion to Vancouver to enable more oil tanker movements out of its harbour.  Amazingly, Horgan has already repeated Dix’s fatal mistake by also flip-flopping on that very same issue, which the over-funded Liberals happily turned into yet another TV ad exposing Horgan’s duplicity.

Supply Bill let through

The relative silence from the Horgan New Democrats, before and early in the campaign, has been apparent on quite a number of other major issues, too. Perhaps worst of all, in the recent sitting of the Legislature, when they let the Liberal government’s $60-billion Interim Supply Bill (half of operating and more of capital) get passed with less than 60 minutes of questioning by former finance critic Bruce Ralston substituting for an unaccountably absent critic Carole James. It should be noted that Green Party leader, Andrew Weaver, also said and did nothing to derail what was obviously some kind of deal struck between the Liberals and New Democrats – a deal that so far no one else has reported on.

Granting that massive interim supply without proper debate could be seen as a gentlemanly act of Parliamentary process by the Horgan New Democrats, it stands in marked contrast to former Social Credit Opposition Leader Bill Bennett’s “Not a dime without debate” line in 1975, that still echoes through the Chamber because it helped him win the 1975 election and become Premier.

So what might have been the deal they made? Probably that if the Liberals didn’t proceed with the electoral and campaign reforms they were intending, which would have hurt the B.C. NDP’s apparatus as well as making other dubious changes in B.C.’s political systems, then the NDP would let the budget go through without any serious debate. Ostensibly because it’s an election year and that’s the normal, polite thing to do.

So much for the public interest, eh.

But forest policy and budget policies are only two of many important issues on which the Horgan New Democrats have been less than forthcoming. In a probably self-serving way, one of those is their relationships with and against, the B.C. Green Party. Which of course, is a major threat to pull away lots of NDP voters and thereby cause the NDP to once again snatch defeat from the jaws of victory with Green Party vote-splitting enabling another win for the B.C. Liberals. Which, on the basis of their performances, neither party deserves.

For example, the Weaver Greens recently advocated a doubling of B.C.’s already dysfunctional carbon tax but did you hear Horgan come out and call the idea crazy? No. But he did have NDP environment critic, George Heyman, say the plan is aggressive (i.e. good) but it lacks the rebates that the NDP would provide to 80% of British Columbians. No word about any help for businesses, though.

And that’s not an isolated example. Back in February, Vancouver Sun columnist Vaughn Palmer reported on a leaked NDP planning document that even though the carbon tax is bringing in several hundred million dollars less than the value of the tax cuts, the New Democrats “intend to leave the structure in place for now.”

Though there continues to be debate about whether global warming is really happening and whether or not it’s really seriously worsened by human emissions [which still are dwarfed by natural emissions despite the population explosion from 1 billion to 7 billion people in the last few hundred years] – but there’s no debate with the New Democrats: their science is settled, and it’s political science they’re really concerned about: in order to win the next election they believe they have to try to out-green the Greens, starting with an extremist approach against carbon.

In other words, don’t rock the boat eh. Don’t tell anyone the New Democrats think they can steal this election win eh.

It seems Horgan wants voters to believe he’s a regular guy who just wants to help people when really B.C. needs a special guy, or gal, who can, and will, be tough and will fight for the Province’s best interests, which in Canada’s federal system is a most important talent.

Yes, Horgan is an affable fellow, but as Premier Clark and her colleagues repeatedly point out, he has already proven unable to lead and control his caucus and party.  So the B.C. NDP continues to be an unruly cabal of minority special interests, especially militant feminists who now demand gender quotas (and racial and sex-orientation quotas) in key positions and who vie to dominate the party’s top policy priorities.

Thus, the NDP is big on helping families, notably its $10 a day childcare plank, but not so big on helping businesses.  Such as intending to hammer them with higher taxes, fees, red tape and other impediments to prosperity.

Of course, there are many other issues deserving mention regarding NDP policy flaws (no space or time to deal with “Uber”, B.C. Hydro and ICBC here, too).  But perhaps most important is their approach towards jobs and development.

Whereas the Liberals go overboard helping their donors to take on major projects and profit hugely from them, especially public sector ones like bridges, buildings and IPPs, the New Democrats are more inclined to pander towards “green” voters by opposing resource projects.  With the end result being that the B.C. taxpayers and the public interest lose out again and again.

There is a better way, and the B.C. First Party plans include eliminating the carbon tax – if not completely at first then certainly starting from schools, hospitals, homeowners, small businesses and industries that are not major polluters (think of greenhouses that usefully consume CO2 versus the old beehive burners that smoked up wood wastes around the province in decades of yore).  Our solution to the softwood lumber exports crisis will be to revive the regional log markets that were killed by former premier Gordon Campbell, even though those markets raised the stumpage returns to the province and established a fair market value test that was recognized as such by U.S. lumber trade negotiators.

But meanwhile, we see the NDP pandering to cliques of special interest cabals across a range of issues. Especially to minority special interests such as with anti-male gender quotas on candidates, and their anti-development and climate-alarmist stances, trying to out-green the Greens.  They’re also staying silent while the corrupt provincial Liberals get worse and worse. Leaving it to only a handful or so of independent watchdogs to blow loud whistles and do the heavy lifting research against the self-serving Liberals.

But the good news is that in a number of ridings voters who want to vote against the corrupt B.C. Liberals but can’t vote for either the NDP or the Greens WILL have a way to do so by voting FOR John Twigg in North Island, for a B.C. Conservative Party candidate in 10 constituencies, and numerous other independent and small party candidates, raising the prospect of electing at least four MLA’s who could ally to gain official party status and thereby become a strong Opposition to whichever party wins. Or even better: holding the balance of power in a minority government Legislature.


Seniors Seen as Assets to Communities

By John Twigg
Leader, B.C. First Party

Apart from being a senior myself, at age 68, and being a founding member of the Campbell River Seniors Centre, which give me various valuable insights into seniors’ concerns, I also have a platform that reflects the need for and benefits of more and better efforts to meet seniors’ present and emerging needs, plus I have other platform policies that will help to grow the economy and thereby make such service improvements viable and affordable, as well as desirable.
One of my main policy objectives is to better enable seniors who wish to stay in their own homes to do so as long as possible, which is what many seniors themselves want but which also is helpful to the community at large by keeping more seniors out of costly care facilities, some of which facilities also can become quite unpleasant, such as long waits in soiled diapers reported in some facilities, especially in publicly-funded beds in private-sector facilities – a type that was unfortunately and unfairly favoured in the Gordon Campbell years.
The best way to do this is to rebuild the Home Care program that was gutted by the Campbell Liberals, notably their false economy in greatly reducing double-staffing on visits and thereby triggering a jump in workplace injuries as single workers struggled to do the lifts that formerly were easily handled by two workers working together.
However there are several viable routes to service improvements, such as new models for care facilities, for example perhaps experimenting with a combination of Child Care facilities and Seniors’ Activity Centres interacting in facilities such as underutilized schools – which would require new types of inter-ministry co-operation that has been sadly lacking in the 16 years of B.C. Liberal mismanagement.
These improvements in Seniors’ Care also should be seen in wider contexts, notably saving money by delaying the entry of seniors into more costly facilities such as acute-care hospitals, and growing the economy to help pay for such improved services (another similar one of which is more Child Care), which can be accomplished by unrelated financial and economic reforms such as reviving the Bank of B.C. and letting it issue a new currency (in addition to the C$, not supplanting it) which could in part help pay family caregivers who now get virtually no help for their work and expenses.
But improved care services for seniors also could be seen as an asset for the economy, notably as a prime target for job creation and entry-level work experience for young and marginalized workers – a sort of modern version of the now-outmoded candy-striper model of care aides who were generally ousted from hospital and care facility workplaces by union and legal pressures in recent years.
Overall the solution to seniors’ issues is a more holistiic, practical and innovative approach to finding new solutions to emerging problems.
Meanwhile there also are housing and affordability problems arising for many of the Baby Boomers now reaching retirement age, and many of whom – like me – are still physically and mentally robust and looking for new challenges for what could be decades of life yet to come.
These challenges should be addressed in an open and democratic market, and probably be looked upon as not just a problem but also an asset: a great opportunity to improve our society.
The more more seniors can contribute their ideas and wisdom to society the better it will be.

Any questions, please call 778-348-0747

Letter to Times-Colonist

by John Twigg, Leader, B.C. First Party

Congratulations to the Times-Colonist editorialists for identifying what should be one of the major issues in the current B.C. election, namely the depopulation and struggles of small and remote communities (editorial April 21, 2017).

That happens to be one of the major themes in my platform as a candidate in the North Island constituency which I am proposing to address. In part, by reviving the B.C. Government Agent and Provincial Treasury Branch systems, which would greatly assist communities such as Gold River and Tahsis, to retain their populations.

Another issue is road maintenance, which has been poor everywhere under the B.C. Liberals but especially so in NDP-held ridings. This is a prime reason why the Clark regime should be ousted (among many others, including inept management and corrupt party financing).

Those two issues were both factors in the deaths of four First Nations leaders from Gold River earlier this year in a car accident (they were driving to Campbell River in a snow storm to get groceries) and they have been problems in many other ways for many other people, for example impinging on tourism, and hampering health care.

More generally this problem of rural depopulation reflects a basic flaw in the current election campaign, which tends to focus on surficial media incidents such as a “touching” moment in a leaders’ debate but ignores many of the major fundamental and structural challenges facing the B.C. public interest.

For more details see .

Why I am Running to Represent North Island

By John Twigg Leader, B.C. First Party

There are two main themes in this year’s provincial election. The need to get rid of a government that has become inept and corrupt and supporting a policies agenda that will build the province, grow the economy and create jobs and prosperity for everyone to share in.

Regardless of which party wins the election, or even better, if there is a minority government, I have the experience, ability and willingness to advance the issues that are most important to the people, governments and businesses of North Island.

As the former press secretary to Premier Dave Barrett, and later as a business journalist covering the B.C. Legislature from its Press Gallery from 1986 to 2002, as well as the last 15 years as an active resident of Campbell River, I have learned intimately how the systems of government work.  I have gained deep understanding of B.C.’s economy and society, how it works and what people want, need and deserve to get.

My family’s roots in Campbell River go back to 1939 and I spent many summers here ever since I was born in 1949, so I am well prepared now to go to work on YOUR behalf.

Because of my love for the Province, I have developed an extensive platform of truly innovative policy ideas to help it become a shining example to the rest of the world. All of these are posted on my website on my Platform page as well as on my party’s website, the latter of which includes links for contacts and donations.

If you have questions about specific issues I would be pleased to answer them either by email at or by phone 778-348-0747.  You can also leave comments on this website and questions will be answered.

To make the North Island and B.C. better than ever, vote for me now, regardless of how you’ve voted in the past. Thank you. I am on YOUR side.  I put the public interest first in all things.

About B.C. First Party

As some may know, I had been volunteering for a different party until shortly before the election when I learned I would be unable to espouse my full platform if I ran for them.  I decided to consider other options.  While I liked the policies of the Vancouver Island Party, I felt the B.C. First Party offered the most freedom to espouse my novel ideas, plus they agreed to make me their leader instantly.

The B.C. First Party was founded in the 1980’s by Roger Rocan, who became a very close, personal friend of mine in the 1990’s until his death about 10 years ago. After this, the party was led for a time by former Premier Bill Vander Zalm.  He was followed by businessman Chris Delaney and finally, Vancouverite Sal Vetro.  All of these people were instrumental in defeating Gordon Campbell’s hated HST in a referendum – a campaign I also helped with, along with others, notably Bill Tieleman.

The general thrust of B.C. First is to put the public interest first in all things and that is a stance everyone can support.

New Bridge Tolling Policy Promises to Illustrate Problems in B.C. Politics

By John Twigg
Leader, B.C. First Party

The latest fooferaw over bridge tolling policy is a prime example of what has gone so badly wrong in B.C. politics.
It began with the B.C. Liberal Party’s pronouncement Sunday, by Finance Minister Mike de Jong, that if they are re-elected in the May 9th provincial election, they will put a cap on bridge tolls of “only” $500 a year, saving some regular commuters about $1,000 a year but doing nothing to help less frequent users.
That the Liberals should have such a conversion on the eve of an election campaign is kind of like Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus: it reverses many years of an opposite policy. But of course, it still doesn’t address the underlying problems in financing transportation projects in Metro Vancouver and around the province, namely that the Liberals’ new quasi-privatized bridges have become chronic money-losers for the provincial government.
The ink was barely dry on the de Jong story leaked to the Vancouver Province when B.C. New Democratic Party leader John Horgan announced that if the NDP wins the election they will remove tolls entirely, though of course he didn’t explain how that move would be paid for, let alone how it would be done when there are some complex P-3 contracts in place in which the private sector ostensibly helped pay for constructing the new and money losing Port Mann Bridge and presumably would do so again on the dubious but Liberal promised Massey Bridge, replacing the Deas Island tunnel of the same Massey name, and on the long-overdue replacement of the decrepit Pattullo Bridge between Surrey and New Westminster.
The folly of the Liberals’ bridge financing model is seen in the fact that many thousands of drivers will go far out of their way to avoid the perceivably over priced tolls on the Port Mann Bridge, some of which reflect the extra costs of the P3 model imposed by former premier Gordon Campbell in order to use the still free Pattullo bridge, thereby creating an often huge traffic congestion problem there.
But now on the eve of an election the Liberals have noticed they’re in danger of losing so, like a chronic gambler, they’ve doubled down on an even more ludicrous bet and then the New Democrats double down on that.
The B.C. Green Party meanwhile signaled that their heads are in the sand too, by indicating they would retain the tolling policy, apparently, as an environmental policy designed to discourage driving to work and instead “encourage” more people to carpool or use transit, even though it should be obvious that those choices are impractical or simply not available to most commuters. But, hey, who cares when we’re supposedly saving the world from catastrophic climate change, eh?
To be fair, there should be lots of room in B.C.’s rubber budgets to find a few hundred million dollars to subsidize transportation that facilitates commerce – except, of course, that the Liberals for the last 16 years have been pillaging the Crown corporations’ savings accounts to falsely make it look like B.C. has had a string of balanced budgets and Canada’s strongest economy and many other such claims, all dubious when one digs down for the facts.
Canada’s lowest unemployment? Only because the other provinces are worse and the many discouraged workers here who have given up seeking work aren’t counted in the official stats.
Canada’s strongest economy? Again, only because all the others are turtles in the tank, and the reality is that B.C.’s economy and government have been grossly under performing for at least 20 years, i.e. since before Campbell was elected in 2001, and that’s due to a combination of factors that neither the Liberals nor the New Democrats have adequately addressed and on which the Greens are hopelessly out of touch with their extreme anti-carbon policies.

Twigg jumps to BC First party

All of which is a good reason why I decided on Friday to leave the B.C. Conservative Party and become leader of the small but venerable B.C. First Party, which will be made official later this week with Elections B.C.
As many readers will know, for the last two months I had been volunteering for the B.C. Conservatives under the job title of Director of Policy and Communications, which produced such things as my announcement of a proposed fourth ferry crossing of Georgia Strait, which would run from Gabriola Island, reached via a small new bridge to the big Vancouver Island, to a new ferry terminal on, or near, Iona Island which is near and connected to Sea Island, site of Vancouver International Airport and a Canada Line rapid transit connection to Vancouver’s SkyTrain system.
Despite some skepticism, that proposal proved to be a big hit with many people. Especially those waiting six hours to catch a ferry from Tsawwassen and Horseshoe Bay ferry terminals on the recent spring break, when one of the major ferries broke down.  It got lots of media coverage too, except in the large mainstream outlets.
For some reason, the idea of a 30 minute ferry crossing and much improved foot passenger access to Vancouver had great appeal for commuters. Maybe because it just makes common sense? My proposal would have involved a request for proposal process and not necessarily a public sector only project. It would feature a similar RFP process to develop a new technology, rapid transit system, in association with the EAZEway group, that could be exportable.
Anyway, it became apparent to me at a lunch on Friday that my opportunity to advance such radical new ideas on many other issues, like bridge tolling, would have been severely limited during the campaign. So I resigned on the spot and was kindly taken in that same day by Salvatore Vetro, the president and leader of B.C. First party, whom I have known for many years.
I also considered joining the new Vancouver Island Party (VIP) and had met with its leader Robin Richardson and was pleasantly surprised to learn that their policy orientations are quite similar to mine, except that my focus is more province wide than theirs.
Nonetheless, I will be endorsing VIP candidates where they are running and I also will be endorsing the B.C. Conservative Party candidates in the 10 or so ridings where they will be running. Especially the very strong Leah McCulloch in Courtenay-Comox, whom I had personally recruited to that party.
As for me, I’ll be running for B.C. First in North Island, the largest community of which is my home town of Campbell River – assuming I get the paperwork done in time! (That’s job one for me today, now that this column is done.)
The BC First website also is still a work in progress but it is up and running at and for some reason, is suddenly generating literally dozens of requests for more information!
Why BC First? It was started by Roger Rocan in the 1980’s and he became a very close friend of mine until he passed away about 20 years ago. The party was used briefly by former premier Bill Vander Zalm in a Delta by-election and then its registration was maintained by our mutual friend Vetro, who lives in Vancouver.  More recently, it was being worked on by Brian Thiesen of Kelowna, also a political activist, especially against so called smart meters. I am grateful to them all.
The party’s ethos is putting the public interest first in all things, with truth, honesty, integrity and good government.
But, especially for me, the focus will be on proposals to grow the economy, build B.C., create more jobs and spread prosperity to all. Which is also why I thought the B.C. Conservatives would be a good fit for me, and I joined them about three years ago when I was attracted by its former leader, Dan Brooks, who encountered problems with its board of directors, many of whom are also federal Conservatives who believe there should be a unified coalition to keep the NDP out of power in B.C., even though the horse being used to do so, the B.C. Liberal Party, has become demonstrably inept and even corrupt.
I have a list of at least 50 innovative policy ideas to improve British Columbia, many of them apparently too radical for the B.C. Conservatives’ board of directors, such as reviving the Bank of B.C. as an investment bank, not a mere retail bank, issuing a new parallel currency, (not supplanting the Canadian and American dollars), and reviving B.C.’s Treasury Branches and Government Agents services to help preserve small rural communities, among many other unique but actually practical proposals. Now, as the Leader of B.C. First, I’ll be in a good position to advance them.
C’mon along! It should be a quite interesting ride.