New BC Premier John Horgan and his incoming BC NDP government will be sworn in on July 18, it has been announced.
The date was revealed in a release from BC NDP MLA for Victoria-Beacon Hill and transition spokesperson Carole James.
“We are working as quickly as possible to give British Columbians the new leadership they voted for,” said James. “For too long ordinary people have been left behind.”
“Now, help is on the way, with a new government and a new cabinet that will work for everyone, not just the wealthy and the well-connected.”
Horgan and his new cabinet will be sworn in by the Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon, as the Queen’s representative in BC, at Government House in Victoria.
I’m excited to announce that my cabinet and I will be sworn in at Government House on July 18th. #bcpoli
— John Horgan (@jjhorgan) July 6, 2017
The swearing in comes almost three weeks after Guichon asked Horgan to try to form a new provincial government, after BC Liberals leader Christy Clark lost a vote of confidence.
The latest twist in the political saga comes almost two months after the extremely close BC provincial election, which left BC with a hung parliament.
The BC Liberals won 43 seats, the BC NDP 41, and the BC Greens 3.
In the aftermath, the BC Greens negotiated with both the BC Liberals and the BC NDP to see if they could work with a party to support a minority government.
Ultimately, BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver announced they had agreed to support a BC NDP minority government with Horgan.
Meanwhile, Clark came under pressure to step down, after the final BC Election count confirmed no party had won the election.
However, after the BC NDP and BC Greens announced their agreement, Clark came out fighting, saying she would not be resigning from her post as BC Premier.
Instead, she said, she would be recalling the legislature to test the confidence of the house, by introducing a throne speech to see if it would pass.
The speech, which lays out the BC Liberals’ plans for government, borrowed heavily from what had been in the BC NDP and BC Green campaign platforms.
The legislature then adjourned until this Monday, when a variety of bills were introduced by the BC Liberals and voted down blind by the BC NDP and BC Greens.
And then, finally, came the traditional period of debate on the throne speech, which traditionally lasts around four days.
Much of that debate was long speeches by the BC Liberals, punctuated by criticism from the BC NDP and BC Greens and attempts to get to a vote.
Meanwhile, the BC Liberals were accused of delaying democracy, while the BC NDP and BC Greens have been criticized for voting down BC Liberal bills sight unseen.
On Thursday, 29 June, Clark finally lost the confidence of the BC Legislature when faced with a non-confidence vote introduced by Horgan.
According to convention, this meant she and the BC Liberals could not form a government, and Clark resigned, paving the way for Horgan to take his turn.
After being sworn in, Horgan will have to recall the legislature and attempt to pass his own throne speech or budget to see if he has the confidence of the house.
If that passes with the support of the BC Greens, then Horgan will continue as the next BC premier and the BC NDP minority government will remain in power.
If not, another provincial election will be on the cards.
In the meantime, Clark’s failure in the legislature may have left her position as leader of the BC Liberals precarious.
She has said she would stay on as Opposition leader if that’s what her caucus wanted. That remains to be seen.