Premier Clark to recall legislature; test confidence in Liberals

Katrine Conroy confident NDP will form government
BC NDP expected to review, ratify deal with Greens today

03 June, 2017

Asked if her resignation as inevitable, Clark said she would follow constitutional convention and wait for the lieutenant governor's decision. She made clear, however, that she expects her government to fall.

"That's what I'm looking forward to doing in very short order".

The NDP will have to consult the Greens on the broad outline of the government's legislative program, legislation to be introduced in the House, major policy issues, broad budget parameters and events/policy changes with provincial or budgetary implications.

However, unless NDP and Greens fail to enforce party discipline, Clark is nearly certain to lose the crucial vote. It should happen in public, as constitutional convention tells us it should.

While there is some dispute over whether British Columbia can actually formally block a pipeline project, it can raise multiple hurdles like denying local construction permits that could effectively make it impossible to build.

"This is new territory for British Columbia, and certainly for me", says Fraser-Nicola MLA-elect Jackie Tegart.

"I am happy to take on any job that voters will give me", Clark said.

On Monday, NDP leader John Horgan and Green leader Andrew Weaver announced their parties would cooperate to form a "confidence and supply" government.

Horgan said the Green agreement would allow an NDP government to improve housing affordability, improve health care, defend the coast from pipelines and improve the education system. If Lt. -Gov. Judith Guichon decides to invite B.C. NDP Leader John Horgan to form the new government, the agreement would continue until the next election.

Extend the term of the government to four and a half years, by moving the legislated spring election date to the fall of 2021. "Time to expand our enterprise". However, with only 44 seats (with Green support), and the necessity of appointing a speaker and a committee of the whole chair, the NDP would have 42 seats to the Liberals' 43.

For her part Clark, the hard-hat premier who has pushed mega-projects, such as Site C and LNG development, would have been unlikely to back away from those developments, or the Trans Mountain pipeline.

"And it's not just with Green MLAs, but with Liberal MLAs as well", Horgan said.

The BC Liberals have held power in the province for the last 16 years. "That includes Kinder Morgan and making sure we have access to tidewater for our products", said Alberta Deputy Premier Sarah Hoffman.

The province's two right-leaning parties recently signed a deal to merge, but the union needs approval from both Progressive Conservative and Wildrose Party members this summer to go ahead. Further details are scheduled to be released after 2 p.m.

Under the agreement, Horgan cannot request a dissolution of the legislature under the agreement, except following the defeat of a motion of confidence.

"The challenge here is to demonstrate to British Columbians, as we are today, that people from different political persuasions can come together in the interest of British Columbians so people don't fear minority governments, in fact, they embrace them", Horgan said.

Horgan welcomed 15 new people to his caucus as well as veterans such as Carole James, Mike Farnworth, and Leonard Krog.

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