Harry Bloy gives farewell speech
While speaking in the legislature earlier this month, ostensibly as part of the budget debate, Burnaby-Lougheed Liberal MLA Harry Bloy appeared to be giving his farewell speech.
Bloy, the only BC Liberal caucus member to support Christy Clark's leadership bid, was first elected in 2001 and has since served a short tenure as Minister for Social Development. He resigned from cabinet after supplying a reporter's email inquiry to the government to the subject of the investigation. He has since been identified as the Minister of State for Multiculturalism when the controversial ethnic-vote strategy was distributed out of the premier's office.
In his speech on March 4, according to Hansard, Bloy was critical of the media.
"You know, the media is there to report the news. They're not there to make the news, and that's all they want to do," he said.
"This is pathetic—the words that they call us. It's not me. I'll stand up and take it. You can call me that … But they don't even know who I am."
Bloy said the media coverage over the years has been hurtful for his family.
"I can tell you, over the years, that my family wasn't very keen when I ran a third time. They thought that I should stop. They wanted me at home more. I appreciate that."
Ironically, while calling unfair the Opposition's criticism of the province spending more than $16 million to advertise its accomplishments, Bloy said it was a similar situation which led him into politics in the first place.
Concerned about health care funding, he wrote to "[provincial health officer] Dr. Perry Kendall, who has been the health advocate, or whatever, for the province of British Columbia forever and a day. I got back a bureaucratic response. It was all about the advertising that the NDP were doing, saying what a great job they were doing in health care. They were running full-page ads," Bloy recalled.
"That was one of the things that started to motivate me to run for public office—because of the waste."
As for his accomplishments during his time in office, Bloy cited as examples the recently unveiled statue on the grounds of the B.C. legislature honouring fallen firefighters, the Evergreen SkyTrain line which just started construction, and giving a book to every kindergarten child in his riding.
Of his time in cabinet, he said, "I took it very seriously. I worked hard at it. I was proud of the work that I could start to accomplish. I didn't get to finish a lot, but I was proud of the work that I did there on behalf of the citizens of British Columbia."
In retirement, Bloy said he plans to "maybe work on my couple of old cars" and do volunteer work, perhaps for Scouts Canada of which he has been an active supporter, even wearing his uniform to the legislature.
"I want to say that when I walk out of this House, I will hold my head high. I am proud of the work I have accomplished, and I am proud of the accomplishments of this government."