Doug Routley has represented the region through a boundary change since 2005. (Photo submitted)

Doug Routley has represented the region through a boundary change since 2005. (Photo submitted)

Routley left off the list of NDP cabinet ministers again

Premier Horgan opts for some newcomers in key positions over experienced MLA

Nanaimo-North Cowichan’s Doug Routley was passed over for a cabinet position by Premier John Horgan despite his 15 years as an MLA, making him one of the most experienced members of the NDP team in the legislature.

Routley, 59, was first elected as MLA for Cowichan-Ladysmith in 2005 and re-elected in 2009 and 2013, a trend that continued in 2017 and 2020 after boundaries were redrawn to become Nanaimo-North Cowichan in 2017.

Related story: Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley seeks reelection

Some senior ministers did not run in this October’s election, leaving Horgan with several newcomers on his majority government. He selected a few of those over Routley in determining cabinet posts.

“I am honoured to be serving my fifth term as MLA, alongside the largest NDP caucus in B.C.’s history,” Routley declared in a statement furnished to the Chemainus Valley Courier. “I appreciate the concerns expressed from the community around me not receiving a minister position and I continue to be humbled by your confidence and support. My career in politics has always been focused on serving and improving our community and while there is a great honour in ministerial roles, they also come with very full calendars and province-wide responsibilities.

“The premier has asked me to chair a special committee and, while I am not at liberty to provide more details at this time, I can say that this work will be essential to ensuring a fairer and more equal province. This position will allow me to make a long-lasting, positive impact on our province, while also ensuring that I continue to be accessible and available to my community which remains my top priority.”

A query sent to Horgan’s office for an explanation of Routley being left off the list of cabinet ministers and ministers of state went unanswered.

The expanse of the cabinet during the COVID-19 pandemic has drawn criticism from Kris Sims, the B.C. director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

“It’s disappointing to see the premier had a chance to show leadership by trimming cabinet and saving taxpayers money, but instead he made cabinet even bigger,” she noted. “Many people have lost their jobs, lost their businesses or had their salaries reduced, so when the premier adds more ministers and expense it shows we are certainly not all in this together.”

Before the election, Sims pointed out, there were 22 cabinet ministers and eight parliamentary secretaries. Following Thursday’s swearing-in ceremony, there are now 24 cabinet ministers and 13 parliamentary secretaries.

Cabinet ministers are currently paid more than $166,000 a year in salaries, according to Sims, plus living allowances.

Related story: Nanaimo-North Cowichan candidates in the final stages of spreading pre-election messages

Routley was sworn into the legislature virtually the previous day, Nov. 25, to the cabinet being named, as one of the 57 BC NDP members.

“I’ve been proud to serve my community in the legislature since 2005 and I am looking forward to a new term as MLA,” stated Routley. “Our government has accomplished a lot these past few years, creating child care spaces, funding hospital upgrades and building housing. In the face of hardship, we are delivering for people and working families and I am excited to continue this important work.”

Routley lists a diverse background in industry, business, labour and politics. He also comes from a family of educators and attended Cowichan Valley public schools and then Camosun College before living and working in Japan for one year.

With many rookie MLAs in his midst, Horgan still didn’t consider those credentials enough to put Routley in a key cabinet position.

Routley has previously served as the Official Opposition spokesperson for Citizen Services, Deputy spokesperson for Forests – Forest Futures and Opposition critic for Skills Training.

BC politicsndp

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Doug Routley meets with a future voter in Chemainus while on the election campaign trail in October. (Photo submitted)

Doug Routley meets with a future voter in Chemainus while on the election campaign trail in October. (Photo submitted)

Just Posted

Luke Marston works on the seawolf mask for Canucks goalie Braden Holtby. (Mike Wavrecan photo)
Stz’uminus artist Luke Marston designs new mask for Canucks goalie

The mask features artwork inspired by the Coast Salish legend of the sea wolf

Scott Saywell, Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ superintendent and CEO, has seen his contract renewed for four years, the district announced Wednesday. (SD68 YouTube screenshot)
Ladysmith school district renews superintendent’s contract for four years

‘Singing superintendent’ Scott Saywell under contract through 2024-25 school year

Emergency services were on scene at 1st Avenue and Warren Street after a skateboarder was struck by a vehicle. (Submitted photo)
Skateboarder ‘bumped’ by vehicle on 1st Avenue

Emergency services personnel say the skateboarder is uninjured

Parents Robin Ringer and Wyatt Gilmore with the No. 1 baby of 2021 in the Cowichan Valley. They have yet to decide on a name for her. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Chemainus couple excited about having the New Year’s baby for the Cowichan Valley

Recent arrivals from Fort Nelson celebrate their girl coming into the world on Jan. 7

Regional District of Nanaimo’s transit select committee is expected to vote on a recommendation that could see busing between Nanaimo and the Cowichan Valley. (News Bulletin file)
Regional District of Nanaimo staff recommending bus route to Cowichan Valley

More than 1,900 survey respondents expressed support for inter-regional transit, notes RDN report

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Canada released proposed regulations Jan. 2 for the fisheries minister to maintain Canada’s major fish stocks at sustainable levels and recover those at risk. (File photo)
New laws would cement DFO accountability to depleted fish stocks

Three B.C. salmon stocks first in line for priority attention under proposed regulations

Trees destroyed a Shoreacres home during a wind storm Jan. 13, 2021. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay woman flees just before tree crushes house

Pamala DeRosa is thankful to be alive

Most Read