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A man heckles with a megaphone in this file photo. Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Kevin Krueger has been roundly condemned for heckling opposition members in the legislature. (iStockphoto/iStockphoto)
A man heckles with a megaphone in this file photo. Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Kevin Krueger has been roundly condemned for heckling opposition members in the legislature. (iStockphoto/iStockphoto)

Regional Report

A little political heckling never hurt anyone? Add to ...

Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Kevin Krueger has been roundly condemned for heckling opposition members in the legislature. His heckling has been described as loud, vindictive and boorish. But his heckling was not out of line with advice he received from George MacMinn, a former clerk of the legislature, he told Kamloops This Week. Mr. Krueger said Mr. MacMinn advised him that heckling was a valuable part of the process, lightening the debate, easing stress and keeping things moving along. Mr. Krueger did not expect his remarks will hurt him politically. Almost all of the emails, calls and letters coming into his constituency office agreed with him, he told the newspaper. Mr. Krueger is confident he is speaking for his constituents and that they will be there for him when the province goes to the polls next year, the newspaper says.

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Premier Christy Clark is campaigning in the riding of Chilliwack-Hope for the Liberal candidate in the much-awaited by-election, even though she has yet to call the by-election. Ms. Clark was in Hope last week to discuss local issues and introduce candidate Laurie Throness, The Hope Standard reported.

“[Mr. Thorness]understands how to make the system work for the community. He understands the inside of the machine and he knows how to manipulate it. He’ll be a great representative because of that,” she said, according to the newspaper report. Mr. Throness is already representing the constituency, she added. “The community needs an MLA sooner rather than later,” Ms. Clark said. Mr. Throness and Chilliwack MLA John Les “have done a good job keeping government apprised of what’s going on in the riding,” Ms. Clark said.

The Chilliwack Progress says activities in the constituency indicate a by-election in everything but the name. Mr. Throness has already put up election signs, which prompted complaints to a bylaw enforcement official. Conservative candidate John Martin and NDP organizer Al Ens were critical of erecting signs before the by-election has been called. Mr. Throness told the newspaper he did not know when Ms. Clark would call the vote. He speculated that Ms. Clark did not want the vote during the teachers’ strike. He believes the vote will be called once the teachers strike is settled, the paper reported.

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Telus should forget about naming rights to B.C. Place, columnist Paul Rudan says in the Campbell River Mirror “B.C. Place will remain in honour of this great province and the taxpayers who really paid for the stadium. I like that,” he says. His dismisses concerns of Conservative Party leader John Cummins, who was critical of the government for giving up $40-million in revenue that Telus would have paid for the naming rights. “Really, how long will it take to recoup 40-big-ones from beer-drinking football fans? Two, maybe three games at the most?” He suggested if Telus has $40 million, they could give the money to the Vancouver Island Health Authority for naming rights to a new hospital in Campbell River. “Telus General Hospital (in Campbell River) has a nice – ha-ha – ring to it,” he said.

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Meanwhile in federal politics:

By-elections must be called in every riding where fraudulent phone calls redirected voters to non-existent polling stations, says an editorial in Gabriola Island’s Flying Shingle. Voters in Saanich-Gulf Islands are familiar with the so-called robo-calls from the 2008 election, the newspaper says. Liberal party candidate Briony Penn was in a tight race with Conservative cabinet minister Gary Lunn. NDP voters received robo-calls on election day encouraging them to vote for NDP candidate Julian West even though he had dropped out of the race. Mr. West got 3,700 votes and Ms. Penn lost by 2,625 votes. Mr. Lunn was re-elected. The newspaper says Elections Canada investigated “albeit somewhat anemically” but did not learn where the calls originated. “Perhaps we should also ask the UN to supervise [the]campaigns, as apparently Canadians – and [Elections Canada] are no longer capable of guaranteeing fair elections for ourselves,” the newspaper says.

Editor's Note: Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Kevin Krueger spoke to Kamloops This Week, not The Kamloops Daily. This version has been corrected.

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