LIBERALS ON LAST LEGS
Green-backed NDP ‘anxious’ to take power in June; Clark to test confidence
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
Christy Clark in Vancouver on Tuesday.