In the 1980s the Whistler Question began posing a question to three to six people and publishing their responses under “Whistler’s Answers” (not to be confused with the Whistler Answer). Each week, we’ll be sharing one question and the answers given back in 1983. Please note, all names/answers/occupations/neighbourhoods represent information given to the Question at the time of publishing and do not necessarily reflect the person today.
Some context for this week’s question: On October 6, 1983, Dave Barrett, NDP MLA for Vancouver East and former Premier of BC from 1972 to 1975, was forcibly removed from the Legislative Assembly chamber by the Sergeant-At-Arms staff after repeatedly disregarding the authority of the Speaker during a debate on the Social Credit government’s Public Sector Restraint Act, 1983. The bill proposed major cutbacks in social services, education, and labour and had led to demonstrations and work stoppages throughout the summer and fall. Barret, who had announced his resignation as leader of the NDP in May 1983 but agreed to stay on until the end of the year, was serving as Opposition Leader. This was the first time that an MLA had to be forcibly removed from BC’s Legislative Assembly. The bill received Royal Assent on October 12, 1983.
Question: What do you think of recent activities in the legislature?
Marilyn Willoughby – Mom – Alpine Meadows
To be quite honest, I don’t pay much attention. People love to complain. It seems that whoever gets in, there’s the same problem.
Mike Litwyn – Developer – Victoria
It’s politics. Two parties fighting for space in the newspapers. I wasn’t suprised to see what happened (Barrett’s ejection from the house). BC has been that way for years. I think the legislation will get through, but watered down a little.
Jim Tabrett – Log Builder – Emerald Estates
I think it’s typical of Bennett’s whole attitude toward his mandate to rule by any means he sees fit. They’ve opened the door to a lot of political ballyhooing. These people are supposed to be our guides.