Everything Old is New Again

In a widely-expected cabinet shuffle today, BC Premier and Point Grey MLA Christy Clark appointed Bill Bennett as the Minister of Community, Sport, and Cultural Development, replacing Ida Chong. As minister, Mr. Bennett will have, on paper, an oversight role over long-term land development at UBC and in the UEL. This isn’t Bennett’s first stint providing “oversight” for UBC; the timeline looks like this.

  • April 29, 2010 – The Municipalities Enabling and Validating Act (No. 3) transfers the oversight of UBC’s local governance from Metro Vancouver to the BC ministry of Community and Rural Development (CRD). The minister responsible at the time was East Kootenay MLA Bill Bennett.
  • June 2010 – Blair Lekstrom left the BC Liberal caucus over the handling of the HST, resulting in a mini cabinet shuffle that installed Westside-Kelowna MLA Ben Stewart as the new minister of CRD.
  • October 25, 2010 -A cabinet reorganization created the Ministry of Community, Sport, and Cultural Development (CSCD), under which oversight of UBC falls. The new minister was Surrey-Panorama MLA Stephanie Cadieux.
  • March 14, 2011 – Christy Clark took over as BC Liberal leader and the cabinet changed once again. Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA Ida Chong was the new minister of CSCD.
  • September 5, 2012 – Another cabinet shuffle results in Bill Bennett as minister of CSCD, his second time overseeing UBC and UEL lands.

For those keeping track, that’s 5 changes at the helm of the UBC portfolio in just 30 months.

Metro Vancouver –> Bill Bennett –> Ben Stewart –> Stephanie Cadieux –> Ida Chong –> Bill Bennett.

While everyone knew the system of direct provincial oversight over UBC’s land governance was a sham when it was first concocted in 2010, few could predict it would be a sham in quite such a transparent manner.


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  1. It is really sad, especially if one is familiar with the legislative history of the University from 1890 onward. The University of British Columbia was _not_ constituted for the purpose of holding the University Endowment Lands (UEL) for subsequent development into condos.

    But who is going to stop the Administrators for the time being? The students? If they do anything, they’ll get dinged with non-academic misconduct, and they know it. So they’re left with useless theatrical efforts, because anything effective, well, that’s why the President has that non-academic misconduct stick: so that they can ostracize anyone who doesn’t go along with the New Model University: a property-development company with a few schools on the side for corralling undergrads, who are really quite a good source of income for the administrators, “world-class” faculty and other con-artists.

    Posted by Jack | September 11, 2012, 9:04 am
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