VIDEO: B.C. Liberals elect speaker to begin historic session

Speaker to resign if government defeated by NDP and B.C. Greens

B.C. Liberal MLA Steve Thomson of Kelowna-Mission was elected Speaker of the B.C. legislature Thursday to begin a historic session that will determine whether the NDP and B.C. Green Party take over as government or whether voters head back to the polls.

Thomson resigned as forests minister Wednesday evening to take on the new role. Aboriginal Relations Minister John Rustad has added responsibility for forests, lands and natural resource operations to his cabinet duties.

Premier Christy Clark has said the B.C. Liberals will put forward one of their 43 MLAs to stand as speaker, but if the 44 opposition MLA join forces to vote non-confidence in Thursday’s throne speech, it will be up to the new government to name its own speaker.

Elections to the speaker position, the referee of the legislature, are a secret ballot vote by all MLAs. In practice there is rarely more than one candidate put forward.

The throne speech sets out the government’s goals for a new session, and Clark has disclosed most of its highlights in advance, adopting main elements of the B.C. NDP platform. Wednesday she announced that the B.C. Liberals’ pre-election budget will be amended to include a $1 billion boost to child care, and the intention to create an anti-poverty plan, after a decade of she and former premier Gordon Campbell maintaining that the best anti-poverty plan is job creation.

On Monday Clark announced she wants to meet another key NDP demand, to ban corporate and union donations to political parties.

Social Development Minister Michelle Stilwell then announced a $100-a-month increase in temporary income assistance payments, another measure taken from the NDP platform in the May 9 election.

Whether the B.C. Liberal government survives long enough to implement any of these measures remains to be seen. Rules of the house require four days of debate before a confidence vote can begin, and the B.C. Liberals may extend that period by introducing legislation for debate.

Just Posted

We need a Junior B hockey team

Quesnel is worthy of a having a KIJHL hockey team

City of Quesnel council notes

Reservoir project expanded due to surplus and fees and charges increased

Don’t expect your hydro bill to go up this winter

NDP government making good on budget promise to freeze hydro rates

Curling sponsor league players find the fun in winning and losing

Curlers continue with Wednesday night competitions

Quesnel women help grandmothers in Africa

HIV and AIDS taking a huge toll in sub-Saharan Africa but Quesnel grandmothers providing support

VIDEO: Government approves funding of $750,000 drug for B.C. woman

Approval comes one day after province announces funding for Soliris on a case-by-case basis

BC Transit buses to get safety door for drivers

These new full-length doors will be tested in Victoria, Kelowna and Abbotsford

‘Fresh eyes’ looking into three missing Cowichan Tribes men

First Nations want answers to their disappearances

Pedestrian hit moments after receiving safety reflector from police

The Vancouver Island man was treated for minor injuries by police at the scene

FortisBC LNG site exports first shipment of gas to China

The shipment is part of a pilot project that could see more exports in the future.

BC RCMP hunt for white SUV that rammed cruiser

Kamloops RCMP are looking for a white SUV headed north on the Yellowhead Highway

B.C. to reimburse methadone patients for taking clinic fees off welfare cheques

Provincial government agrees to pay back more than $5.5 million in deducted fees

Stiff fine for B.C. man caught trafficking bear parts

A Cache Creek resident was charged after an undercover sting operation by conservation officers

Vandals pour fake blood on statues at B.C. church

Church members concerned about string of acts of vandalism and possible escalation

Most Read