This, my friends, is God's Country. Great weather, cool people, great skiing, sushi, golf year round, BC bud (of which 40% of Canada's bud is grown) ...if you can't be happy here, you can't be happy anywhere.
B.C. natives are generally assumed to smoke a lot of marijuana, eat a lot of granola, and complain about the state of the environment. This is only true in 98% of cases. Albertans are usually the worst stereotypers of B.C. natives.
In addition to these, the stereotypical British Columbian is depicted as Asian, gay, lefty, unemployed/employed by the government (sometimes both for some reason) or a combination thereof although usually by the most ardent of rednecks. On the plus side, British Columbians are often depicted as more educated than most other provinces.
Dusting aside the stereotypes reveals something of a bizarro-world for this province. To start, the only parties in its Legislative Assembly are the Liberals, the NDP and Greens. For a good chunk of time, the province had been run by the more left-leaning provincial NDP (who are more inline with the federal party) with... well, mixed results. They were eventually undone by continued frustration from the public in handling labour disputes (teachers, nurses, etc.), a failed attempt to modernize infrastructure between the mainland and BC's coastal islands and numerous reports of "fudge-it budgets." Before then, the province was run for decades by the SoCreds (short for SOcial CREDit), which despite their name was a right of center party and arguably the forerunners of the BC Liberals.
Eventually, the BC Liberals were able to capitalize on these issues and tapped into a loose coalition of moderates and anyone right of the NDP, which was mostly done through appealing to centrists - and it worked!That said, the Liberals are considered fairly right-wing by many B.C. natives due to their disregard for unions and have distanced themselves from the federal party. Southern onlookers might find that amusing, perhaps less so after finding out that the B.C. Liberals cut taxes, cut social spending, privatized some government-owned businesses, deregulated industry, and generally shrank the economic role of the Province substantially. In short, the B.C. Liberals are
Conservatives in sheep's clothing liberals acting as liberals in the absence of anyone to the right of them.
In their defense, Gordon Campbell's Libs did try to implement a higher (on paper) value added tax, which would have streamlined the GST and PST into one, visible tax that was applied to the final sale price of a given purchase (instead of being applied individually to items). Economists on all sides were all for it, but the public was confused at best. This decision to implement the HST eventually cost Campbell his job as premier and triggered a referendum on the issue. Long story short, the HST was defeated and Christie Clark took the office as BC's premier.
A Sharp Right
Crispy Christy Clark took the helm of the provincial liberals and the premiership following Campbell's resignation as above. She was able to beat back opposition during the last provincial election, landing her a majority in BC's legislature. However, Clark is turning out to be a recurring theme among BC's provincial leaders that share that last name in that her comments and policy decisions have invited controversy. On the milder end, her government has told students to "buy less coffee" in the face of rising tuition fees and she has made some rather head-scratching comments regarding religion. Her other more appalling stance on education came during the latest teacher's strike, largely centered around class-size and composition as well as bargaining rights while loudly proclaiming there wasn't room in the budget to accommodate such requests; in the same year alone, the province funneled some $315 million to private schools. Additionally, Clark is looking to copy Alberta's policy of transforming BC into a giant oil- and gas-plant at the expense of environmental and public safety concerns by incentivizing oil companies to do so with seemingly no strings attached. As a final indignation, BC now has the highest level of income inequality in the country due in part to the Liberals' machinations. Following the recent federal election, there were rumours that she would consider a stab at CPC leadership, but these have been denied.
And then a Thing Happened
The political landscape heaved leading up to the 2017 general election; for the incumbents, their federal Conservative patrons have been tossed out of office, their nearest neighbours have had a radical change of heart and there's a new challenger growing in their midst. The New Democrats, having lost the last three elections in a row, were desperate for a new leader that might rally the vote; meanwhile, the BC Green Party, led by former UVic climate science prof Dr. Andrew Weaver were looking to make gains in this election from the single seat they won last time around. The campaign trail itself got messy, following allegations that the Liberal Party bought ads for the Green Party.
So that was the run-up but what were the results? Just as equally messy - though the Dippers were denied victory, the Liberals were also denied a Majority government and the Greens gained two more seats (all on Vancouver Island, of course). The Lieutenant Governer had asked Christie Clark to remain as Premier while the final tally and recounts were tabulated and eventually approached her to form government. However, the New Democrats and Greens came together at the last second with an agreement to topple the Liberal government with the Greens supporting an NDP minority government; albeit a frail one, this minority technically has more seats than the Liberal bloc. Victorious, Clark resigned and the new government was sworn in with NDP leader John Horgan as premier. Shortly thereafter, a liberal crossed aisle joining the New Democrats, becoming the new house speaker. This had the effect of tying the two major parties with the three greens (and one independent) to break ties.
Things got dicey thereafter. Not because of any particular wrong-doing or shadiness of the GreeNDP but the world around them has turned in interesting ways. The Province's finances were scrutinized and many crown corporations--notably BC Hydro and ICBC--were found to have been ransacked by the previous government, saddled with high deficits despite the increases in hydro and insurance rates. The new government set to work to fix these along with enacting their agenda, notably to make housing more affordable in the province with two of most expensive cities in Canada. They also planned a phase-out of internal combustion by 2040. The provincial government was under mounting pressure to investigate the misdeeds of the previous Liberal government, especially pertaining to corruption and money laundering, which eventually led to the formation of the Cullen Commission at the start of the new decade.
Late in 2018, the Supreme Court of BC sided with TC Energy to enforce an injunction against a blockade on unceded Wet'suwet'en territory. The indigenous government had not been consulted as was required following SCOC ruling and only one of the nine hereditary chiefs was in favour of the gas line. The RCMP showed up in SWAT gear with support from snipers to clear the blockade. This prompted criticism of Horgan's handling of the situation versus his rhetoric regarding fossil fuel pipelines as well as protests in solidarity throughout Canada, resulting in criticism against Prime Minister Trudeau as well.
Year of Hindsight
The 2020s have been difficult for everyone worldwide especially in this post-COVID era. However, BC has one of the lowest case rates in Canada for COVID-19 owing to the province's rapid response.
Western Canada's most famous city, Vancouver, is found in B.C.; there was an Olympics or something there, and something to do with some hockey party that got violent. Nobody really expected that, but come on... it's Canada, we take hockey seriously. If there's one thing Vancouver has in excess, it's arguably nouveau riche snobs but to be fair, Victoria has a pretty large amount of those too. As time goes on, snobs tend to migrate to the island enclave, consume overpriced goods and generally sneer at the poors just like our previous Premier and the leader of the opposition!
Victoria is the province's capital city and arguably the second largest city in BC, following the trend for pretty much every province's capital city. Compared to Vancouver, it has a tenth of the population and Victorians really don't care that much about hockey, actually; basketball on the other hand... For the longest time, Victoria was Canada's best kept secret, but then the word got out of this city that was like Vancouver, but nowhere near as crowded - then BAM! Everyone wanted to live there and property values soared. This doesn't help the fact that Victoria, unlike most other major metropolitan areas, isn't treated as one city but rather as thirteen smaller cities rubbing up against each other: each one has its own mayor, local emergency services and is responsible for its own infrastructure. Amalgamating the municipalities into
one less than thirteen has become something of a hot-button issue and demonstrated itself to be at least popular with the majority of Victorians.
There's also a rather infamous bridge.
Cities beyond Hope
After that it's places nobody outside of Western Canada has heard of, like Hope, Kamloops, Kelowna, and Prince George. (B.C. should be thankful no one has ever heard of Prince George though.) For this reason, nearly everyone outside B.C. believes that everyone from B.C. comes from Vancouver, and they are statistically usually correct.
Climate and geography
Vancouver and the coast of B.C. is envied by much of Western Canada for its mild winters. Of course, it has Noah's Flood rivaling rainfall and it's pretty close to a fault line. Also home to a (temperate) rainforest.
- By the way, he tried to implement the HST in spite of his insistence that he wouldn't because MUH TAXES!
- They are however down a few seats from Campbell's tenure.
- A tad let them eat cake-y.
- Some would say this kind of "guidance" is more suitable of another party from somewhere else.
- The Teachers' Union in BC eventually took their case to the courts and lost.
- Despite a budget surplus largely from oil and gas revenues that they had no idea they would receive (see below).
- Like the one attended by her son, not to mention appointing an advocate for private schools as secretary to the minister of education. Funny, there seemed to be enough money in the budget for that.
- A "multi-billion dollar" plan which, as we have seen in Alberta, will certainly leave quite a few people out. Just scroll down a few cite notes...
- "Implications for BC's Parks and Wildlife," or as we like to call it, "what people tend to like about BC."
- The province has actually suffered more oil and gas related accidents in the last decade than any other province. Guess who is also behind the push for BC to accelerate its oil and gas sector development.
- Because why charge royalties and ensure that profits will definitely flow back to your people when you can sit back and watch the wealth trickle down?
- Yes, we managed to outdo Alberta in one particular shitty stat.
- Much to BC's chagrin, we won't be getting rid of her that easy.
- All hoped that Dipper veteran John Horgan might do the job
- An "unusual effort" to spoil the vote, according to some.
- Plecas crosses the floor.
- Sit down Calgary.
- It's nigh impossible to talk about basketball in Victoria without mentioning Steve Nash.
- If this sounds like a bad idea, it is.
- As you can see here, but note that per capita income of municipality citizens is largely inversely proportional to support for amalgamation. Wouldn't want ARE TAXDOLLARS going to them filthy poors!
- The Johnson Street Bridge has a long and storied history... primarily of failure and neglect.
- But then again, if you have a spine, chances are you're a fish.