“Civil society depends on all of us deciding we’re all going to abide by the same laws.” ~ Premier Christy Clark

Premier Christy Clark is in the limelight again, after a recent interview with Mike Smyth where she decried the parents who allowed their children to cross the Kinder Morgan pipeline during the protests- you can hear Mike speaking about this interview with Jon McComb here: https://soundcloud.com/cknwnewstalk980/the-jon-mccomb-show-december-2-christy-clark-gives-parenting-advice

Here is Mike’s Province story today: http://www.theprovince.com/life/Smyth+Premier+Clark+slams+parents+Kinder+Morgan+child+protesters/10431555/story.html

“They’re 11 years old, for heaven’s sakes,” Clark railed in an interview. “Teaching your kids that it’s OK for them to break the law when they’re 11 years old isn’t OK. I think we all as parents would ask ourselves, ‘What kind of message are we sending to our kids?’”


I think most of us would say, ‘If my child broke the law, purposefully or not, there would be some punishment for that’ — whether or not I thought they were doing it for a greater cause.

“Civil society depends on all of us deciding we’re all going to abide by the same laws.”

In both links, Mike mentions the incident last year when she ran a stale red light, with her son…and a reporter in the car : https://lailayuile.com/2013/04/27/i-guess-the-message-from-our-premier-is-its-ok-to-do-it-as-long-as-you-dont-get-caught/

“At times, the two seem more like sidekicks — siblings even — than they do  mother and son. And especially so the morning when the two were on their way to  Hamish’s goalie clinic.

“Let’s see you go through this red light,” Hamish challenged as they pulled  up that morning, at 5:15 a.m., to an abandoned Vancouver intersection.

“I might. Don’t test me,” Clark replies.

“Yeah. Go ahead.”

“Should I?”

“There’s no one.”

“Would you go through? You shouldn’t because that would be breaking the law,”  she says.

And with that the car has already sailed underneath the stale red stoplight  and through the empty intersection.

“You always do that,” says Hamish.


After receiving harsh criticism for that well-publicized moment-former reporter Jonathan Fowlie was in the car at the time – the premier eventually apologized. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/christy-clark-admits-she-shouldn-t-have-run-red-light-1.1338794 

B.C. Liberal Leader Christy Clark is apologizing after running a red light with her son and a newspaper reporter in the car.

According to an article published in the Vancouver Sun, Clark ran the light while driving her 11-year-old son to a hockey practice at 5:30 a.m. PT.

The reporter who was in the car quotes her son encouraging his mom to run the light.

Clark apologized Sunday after the article was published.

“I shouldn’t have done it, and I certainly shouldn’t have done it with my son in the car,” she said. “But you know, I work hard to be a great parent, and I’m not a perfect parent.”

The article also quotes Clark’s son saying she “always does that,” but Clark says that’s simply not true.

This is a tough one for many – peaceful protest and civil disobedience has been an essential part of democracy and throughout history has been instrumental for important changes like a woman’s right to vote, and the civil rights movement. I fully support peaceful protest and civil disobedience has resulted in positive changes to forest policy here in our own province, thanks to the War in the Woods. ( Interesting note: those protests began in response to the decision to allow clear-cut old growth logging by the NDP government of the time)

But I digress: There are two separate issues here.

First, the issue of  parents allowing or encouraging their children to break the law: in making the decision to cross the Kinder Morgan protest line, my hope would be parents would have had long discussions on this background and what the implications would be across the board. Some children at 11 may fully understand this, and many may not. That decision should be each parents judgement call and consideration, in full awareness of the consequences. While these events ended without harm or repercussions, that may not be the case in every protest or event.

While the premier can express her personal opinion on parents allowing their children to protest, that is all it is- her opinion. The motive for doing so would appear to be a vast difference from the motive for running a red light at the urging of your son, with a reporter in the car. To many that action exemplified willful disregard for the law in spirit and motive, regardless of the difference in penalty or how minor the infraction. Both are parenting issues.

However,a second and separate issue for me is this statement made by the premier in that same interview: “Civil society depends on all of us deciding we’re all going to abide by the same laws.”

I agree. A civil and just society does depend on the majority of society  respecting and upholding the word of the law. In occasions where the law is unjust or the cause is worthy, then society must undertake to make change and often civil disobedience is the chosen and effective path to longstanding change, as demonstrated in the historical examples given above.

For the premier though, it’s a bit rich to opine on society abiding by the same laws while her government – and persons connected to the Liberal party itself –  have undergone RCMP investigations, scrutiny and in two cases, charges.    And while the RCMP found nothing criminal took place in the case of Speaker of the House Linda Reids extraordinary expenses, the RCMP and the Ontario Police have remained silent on what their review of the RCMP ruling found. Why? ( I see no more recent news on this issue)


Her statement opens the door for other discussions about right and wrong, about the ethics and morals society largely operates by- and which government must as well. Because of this, her statement also opens the door to the manner in which her own government has conducted business which without a doubt, often laughs in the face of abiding by laws, or rules. In fact, there are many examples  where circumventing the rules appears to have become the new government past-time.

The Province editorial board recently commended the NDP for calling for Advanced Education Ministers resignation after the embarrassing revelations of his direct involvement in improper payments to which he allegedly covered up.

Premier Clarks response? She commended his excellent work,accepted his apology for his involvement, which took place when he was an RCMP officer and before he was elected!

Let’s not forget the horrific aftermath of the Health ministry firings that ruined many lives, and may have driven one man to commit suicide: 

“In the two years since the Ministry of Health fired eight workers amid allegations of breach of privacy and conflict of interest involving personal health records, the province has steadily retreated. Most of the workers have been reinstated or have settled claims for wrongful dismissal, and pharmaceutical research contracts have been restored. The government acknowledges it found no evidence that any medical data were accessed or used for purposes other than health research. The Premier has already said she expects the review will show her government was heavy-handed and unfair to many of the people involved.

But the government hasn’t explained why it went after those workers. Labour lawyer Marcia McNeil’s report was expected to shed some light on the scandal, which led one of the fired researchers, Roderick MacIsaac, to suicide. The coroner’s report noted he had experienced significant personal stress over his dismissal and its impact on his academic future, chronicled in a document found on his home computer.”

Both the government and premier Clark have come under fire by a senior official who said the probe into this debacle ” is tainted by conflict and crafted to protect the Premier’s office from judgment.”

Despite the continuing questions on the NDP’s identity crisis and recent support of flawed Liberal legislation, Opposition leader John Horgan brought all these points home in a feature printed online today: http://thelinkpaper.ca/?p=42661

I could go on, there are many more examples as the Liberals have endured many scandals,probes and investigations.( Feel free to add your own example in the comments below, but they must be supported with media reports and links, not simply conjecture.)

Indeed it’s true Premier Clark, that civil society depends on society deciding to abide by the laws, rules and ethics that govern us all – and that includes you. Politicians who live in glass houses, should never be quick to pick up stones.

30 Comments on ““Civil society depends on all of us deciding we’re all going to abide by the same laws.” ~ Premier Christy Clark

  1. Abiding by the same laws as a definition of civil society would have erased Martin Luther King’s legacy. Ghandi’s. Nelson Mandela. Is every protester as much a crook as even Gordon Campbell? Basi-Virk? NOT in my book. And how many innocents you gonna find in the 100 reasons the Liberals should be voted out? Civil society should be defined by how we treat one another and Clark’s hypocrisy on that score is criminal. Just listen to the Children’s advocate or even the Auditor General. Look at the food kitchen in Surrey. Look at the shreds of our health care system and the money paid the health CEOs or the Transit leeches. Or those government contractors who build for twice the price quoted. The woman has no brains. Vacuous. Empty. Idiotic. How can she – who sells out the resources for not enough to even fund education – teach anyone anything?

  2. Yup, Christy had a wonderful year – building relationships and the such – and unicorns poop rainbows too.

    Sent from my iPhone 6+

    • All that relationship building with partners overseas does not seem to have resulted in very much from what I can see.

      It would be most excellent to see a database of each trip, costs involved, meetings had and end result.

        • Haha! I got you, don’t worry! Yes, we often hear that these trips are so fantastic and bring BC so much… but I rarely hear specifics and often it’s reported quite differently overseas, as with Clarks recent trip to India.

  3. Ha ha, that’s rich: the leader of an organised “famiglia” publicly criticizing the actions of parents who are committed to exercising their right to peaceful protest.
    Too much funny from one who is breathtakingly unqualified to lead and to parent responsibly, apparently.

  4. RCMP and the Ontario Police have remained silent on what their review of the RCMP ruling found. Why?

    The answer is quite simple Laila, the choice of Ontario for a review of the RCMP investigation was inappropriate because the officer (retired??) spent most of HIS working life as an RCMP officer IN Ontario

    Hon. L. Reid: I’d like the House to join me this afternoon in welcoming Mr. Larry Litke. He’s come home to British Columbia from Ontario with his wife Joan and his daughters Kelsey and Shauna. I would ask the House to please make them very welcome.

    Page 7 of 67 ]Hansard — Wednesday, March 7, 2007 pm


    Do you think that it’s a typical practice on the part of MLAs’ introduction of guests in the gallery to follow up with a business offer?

      • Wow North Van Grumps… so he is a personal friends of Reid’s? Is that it?

        That would definitely be a hitch in the entire investigation, wouldn’t it. Did you blog about this yet?

  5. bc disregarding class size decision.?
    tearing up hospital contracts.?
    70 people dying from c difficile due to poor cleaning in hospitals in BC .?
    how many confidential agreements has bc handed out.?
    6 milllion dollars to bc rail Basi/Virk.?

  6. Standing up and cheering for everything in this writing. It is a battle cry!

    The might mark the beginning of the kind of rally that overly complacent BC voters need to propel themselves into the voting booth next time. Only the failure of the majority of voters, the civil citizens of British Columbia, to get out and vote, that allowed this dishonest gang of constantly retreaded socred-reform-dishonestly-named-liberals to sneak into power and civilly forfeit British Columbia.

    Nothing smarter or dumber than that happened at the last election, regardless of all the punditry. Too many complacent BC citizens woke up in shock, thinking that the polls were bad enough that Christy would never get in.That only worked on Gorden Campbell. Christy Clark didn’t have the honour or the majority. Instead she took two votes to push her way into office, and even then the second vote had to be in a carefully selected constituency in order to evade a second terminal judgement at the polls.

    Civil society needs an effective opposition to protect itself. The NDP have utterly failed as evidenced by the last session in the legislature, and especially failed at putting together at something like this, Laila Yuile’s one excellent list of reasons why not. Apparently the NDP have no clue.

    For future and more particular lists, I would trace the arc of Christy Clark’s treachery that started with the ‘conditions’ that so infuriated other provinces, then travelled through such points as signing the equivalency act (without majority mandate or any civil process) and rewriting and removing BC’s own environmental reviews and safeguards (again, without majority mandate or civil process).

    • A nice little video for those who think voting helps. Quit legitimizing these crooks by voting.

  7. Christy Clark campaigned on 100,000 LNG jobs for the people of BC. Then there was her lie of needing a vast number of workers, for her mining plans for BC as well. Six figure wages for those mine jobs and everyone wants one. Gordon Campbell twice lied and cheated to win his elections. Nor, do we forget Harper’s part in the destruction of our province either.

    Christy chided Kenny and Harper regarding, their TFW program. She needs thousands of TFW, for all of her resource projects in BC.

    Christy, Harper and Gordon Campbell consider themselves above the law of which, we have witnessed countless times.

  8. Yes, it is okay to break the law when the law is unjust and does not have the best interest of the people of British Columbia in mind. My daughters, Lauren age 20 and Zoey age 17, and myself were planning on heading up and crossing the “Line” last Sunday, but events leading up to that day, as we all know, no longer required the participation of our civil disobedience. Premier Christy Clark, you should be the last person giving advice about bending or breaking the law, considering you have made a political career out of it.

    • Off topic, but I am getting messages on a new post that was published, that was actually a post from 2009-I only published this Christy post today,so I dont know why that went out but I am looking into it now, and why it seems to have since disappeared. I just got in,so give me a bit to figure this out!

  9. While I consider Christy Clark’s traffic light “faux pas” a bit of a minor event.
    (Full disclosure here, I have stopped at a red light at 4am and when it was apparent that there was no danger, I drove through it).
    I have to question her unbelievable stupidity to do it WHILE A REPORTER IS SITTING IN THE BACK SEAT !
    Is she really THAT dumb? Did she think it was “off the record’? Did she think it was funny? And then to have her son admit that “she does it ALL THE TIME” ………jayzus!
    I question the intelligence of a public official that would be so naive as to do something like this and not expect repercussions……oh…..right. She was re-elected.

    The voters that elected her are the idiots, she’s just taking full advantage , while she can.

    • Meh, she denied her sons statement in her apology, But the point is,that if was flippant and that there has been a lot of scandal since she took the reins,and none of it in line with what the standards of civil society would consider acceptable. Same rules for everyone,including government.

  10. Segregation was once the law in the U.S.A. Society saw that as wrong. Demonstrations were held, Laws were changed. Segregation is gone. South Africa had its own version. Demonstrations, jailings, world boycotts, things changed. Slavery was once o.k. not any more. Hanging was once o.k., not any more in Canada. Shooting strikers to break strikes was once o.k., not any more. Concentration camps were once o.k. in Germany. Most of the western world objected and went to war. That’s not on any more. If there was no civil disobedience was not exercised from time to time, we’d still all be serfs and slaves. When elected politicians’ do not serve the interests of the people, their only method of sending a message is civil disobedience. Christy just likes it when she picks and chooses the laws she wants to have upheld.

    She was part of a government which violated teachers’ rights, even back in the day. Her party, the B.C. Lieberals certainly seemed to be o.k. with all sorts of things which were not quite “kosher”. Did she object? not so much.

    Having disabled people try to survive on $908 per month is immoral. But she thinks its just fine. Spending $11M on a Bollywood special while schools needed earthquake upgrading is immoral. Does she care? Not so much.

    Just because something is the law doesn’t make it right. Civil disobedience is appropriate in response to things which don’t work for the “greater good”. Crusty Clark doesn’t like this type of civil disobedience because it infringes upon her “friends” ability to make money. She hasn’t taken into consideration “the great good”. If we were to permit corporations to run amuck, the world would be even uglier than it currently is.

    If ole Christy wants to talk about what is right and wrong, she ought to check that bible of hers. It doesn’t provide for not feeding the hungry. In some societies it is consider unethical to let children go hungry and live 50% below the poverty line. She does it each and every day. As the bible says, to remove the log from your own eye before you remove the splinter from another’s.

    The premier of this province is a disgusting piece of shit. How dare she “lecture” parents on right and wrong.

  11. I’ve noticed that the BC Liberals are now often referred to as the Clark / Coleman government….telling, ain’t it…

  12. 3 billion dollar bridge here 3 billion dollar bridge there.
    war on the poor.?
    2.7 million dollars for grey cup 2104 also?
    11 million dollars BC Bollywood awards around election time.?

    The NDP says the Liberal government should use BC’s growing budget surplus to end its controversial policy of clawing back child support payments from parents on welfare or disability.

    Finance critic Carole James says ending the clawback would cost the government about 17 million dollars per year.

    At 10.25hr min wage, every bit helps.Especially competing with TFW’s

  13. I don’t know whether it is a blatant superiority thing, pomposity or being dense but it seems with Clark that as long as she does not acknowledge a screw-up or a lie, it does not exist and never did.
    Reminds me precisely of one of my dogs. If she screws up, she will look away….at the floor, the ceiling, turn and look at a wall or hide her face behind a pillow or blanket. As long as she doesn’t look at you, the problem does not exist in her mind.
    Comical with the dog…….sad, pitiful, inexcusable with the Pretender.
    Leader? my ass.

  14. luigi, that is an interesting comparision. Of course the dog is smart enough to know it did wrong. Christy, not so much.
    I think its called being narcistic or something along those lines. its all about her.

  15. Christy Clark the perpetual dung machine.
    Doent matter what goes in, crap comes out.