LIB­ER­ALS ON LAST LEGS

Green-backed NDP ‘anx­ious’ to take power in June; Clark to test con­fi­dence

Metro Canada (Vancouver) - - FRONT PAGE - Matt Kiel­tyka

The stage is set for the NDP, with the back­ing of the Green Party, to form Bri­tish Columbia’s next govern­ment in June.

Fol­low­ing news that John Hor­gan and An­drew Weaver’s par­ties have struck a four-year deal, Premier Christy Clark told me­dia she would re­con­vene the leg­is­la­ture as soon as pos­si­ble for a vote of con­fi­dence on her in­cum­bent Lib­eral govern­ment.

“We have a duty to meet the house. I in­tend to do that in very short or­der, cer­tainly be­fore the end — maybe closer to the be­gin­ning — of the month of June,” Clark said. “Should the govern­ment fail the test of con­fi­dence in the house, as seems more than likely, I would be given the job of leader of the op­po­si­tion. I am more than ready and will­ing to take that job on.”

Hor­gan, the ap­par­ent premier-in-wait­ing, said he’s ready for his new job as well.

“We’re anx­ious to get go­ing. We’re anx­ious to start that tran­si­tion,” Hor­gan said. “The Greens and NDP have a ma­jor­ity of sup­port in the leg­is­la­ture. (Clark) wants to test that, that’s her right. I’m hope­ful that Ms. Clark does fol­low through with that prece­dent and that she’ll do it in a timely man­ner.”

If the Lib­er­als are de­feated in a vote of con­fi­dence, the NDP must ask the lieu­tenant gover­nor for the chance to govern.

The NDP and Greens on Tues­day re­leased a 10-page doc­u­ment out­lin­ing the terms of their part­ner­ship to form a mi­nor­ity govern­ment. That ac­cord, signed by MLAs of both par­ties, prom­ises a ref­er­en­dum on elec­toral re­form in 2018, a ban on union and cor­po­rate do­na­tions in pol­i­tics, the elim­i­na­tion of MSP pre­mi­ums, a $5 per tonne per year in­crease to the car­bon tax, im­me­di­ate re­view of the Site C dam by the B.C. Util­i­ties Com­mis­sion, govern­ment op­po­si­tion to the Kinder Morgan Trans Moun­tain pipe­line ex­pan­sion, a path to­ward $15 min­i­mum wage and new cli­mate and poverty plans.

The Greens hold the balance of power in the leg­is­la­ture with their three seats, com­pared to the Lib­er­als’ 43 and NDP’s 41.

We have a duty to meet the house. I in­tend to do that. Christy Clark

The Cana­dian press

Christy Clark in Van­cou­ver on Tues­day.

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