BC NDP leader John Horgan is next BC Premier

Jun 30 2017, 1:32 am

The Queen’s representative in BC, Lieutenant-Governor Judith Guichon, has asked BC NDP leader John Horgan to form a minority government.

Earlier today, Christy Clark’s BC Liberals lost the confidence of the BC Legislature when faced with a non-confidence vote introduced by Horgan.

Speaking to reporters assembled outside Government House, BC Premier Horgan said he looked forward to working “harder than I’ve ever worked before.”

“It is truly an honour to stand before you today and say that tomorrow I’ll begin putting together a government that will make British Columbia better,” he said.

Commenting on the fact his premiership comes seven weeks after election day, he said the whole process had been a “rollercoaster” for all British Columbians.

But after 16 years of rule by the BC Liberals, there was much work to do, said Horgan.

“I want to focus as quickly as possible on putting in place a cabinet and government structure, so that we can get working on issues that matter to people,” he said.

“I’m confident all members of the house will be able to work together, to meet the objectives that all British Columbians want to see.”

BC Premier Horgan will now have to recall the legislature and attempt to pass a throne speech or budget to see if he has the confidence of the house.

If that passes – with the necessary support of the BC Greens – then Horgan and the BC NDP minority government will remain.

And, after 16 years in power, the BC Liberals will be relegated to the Opposition.

BC Greens leader ‘delighted’

In a statement issued late on Thursday, BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver said he was “delighted” British Columbians will finally have a new government.

He also reiterated his pledge to work with Horgan and support a BC NDP minority government, as set out in their previously negotiated agreement.

“The BC Green caucus will provide stability for this new minority government by supporting confidence and supply measures,” said Weaver.

“We have also agreed to collaborate on a wide range of policies that are supported by a majority of British Columbians.”

However, he said, the BC Greens would remain an opposition caucus, collaborating with colleagues on both sides of the house and holding government to account.

“No party was given a majority of seats and 100% of the power. I am encouraged that the leaders of both other parties have acknowledged this.”

Latest twist in election saga

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.

BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver at Daily Hive (Caley Dimmock/Daily Hive)

BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver at Daily Hive (Caley Dimmock/Daily Hive)

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.

On June 12, Clark and her cabinet were sworn in by Guichon. Ten days later, last Thursday, she finally recalled the legislature and introduced her throne speech.

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.

Speaking on Wednesday, the day before her defeat, Clark conceded her imminent defeat, but said if asked, she would tell Guichon she didn’t believe the legislature could work.

Clark said she had seen no evidence that the BC NDP and the BC Greens had the numbers needed to actually govern, and she would advise Guichon so.

After comments on Wednesday, Clark was accused of making a last ditch attempt to scare opposition MLAs into keeping her in power, to avoid an election.

However, if it was indeed her ploy, it doesn’t seem to have worked.

What now for Christy Clark?

After Clark’s failure in the legislature, her position as leader of the BC Liberals may be as precarious as previously thought.

She has said she would stay on as Opposition leader if that’s what her caucus wanted. That remains to be seen.

See also

Daily Hive is your home throughout the BC election and the aftermath. Find all of Daily Hive’s BC Election 2017 coverage here: Battleground BC.