Premier-designate John Horgan greets cheering supporters outside Government House in Victoria Thursday evening, after being offered a chance to lead an NDP-Green government. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

John Horgan set to become B.C. premier

NDP-Green alliance gets its chance to govern province

NDP leader John Horgan will be B.C.’s next premier.

Lt. Gov. Judith Guichon has asked Horgan to form the province’s government, ending 16 years of B.C. Liberal rule.

The combined forces of the B.C. NDP and Greens defeated the Liberal government and leader Christy Clark in a vote of non-confidence in the B.C. legislature Thursday afternoon.

Outside Government House in Victoria, Horgan said he’s ready to get to work.

“I’m excited,” he said. “Now, seven weeks after the election we can get going on a government that works for the people,” he said.

After a long day of guiding the confidence vote through and waiting for a decision, Horgan said his first priority was to get a bite to eat and get some rest. The next is to begin building a new government and choosing a new cabinet for the first change of political leadership in 16 years.

Horgan said he told Guichon he can maintain the confidence of the legislature, with 44 seats for the NDP and Greens to 43 B.C. Liberals. Immediately after the legislature adjourned Thursday following the vote of non-confidence, B.C. Liberal Speaker Steve Thomson resigned the position, forcing the NDP to nominate one of their MLAs when the legislature resumes.

Horgan has estimated that it could take the rest of the summer to go through government transition documents, meet with deputy ministers, and review Crown corporations such as BC Hydro and ICBC. The legislature may not be called for delivery of a new throne speech until after Labour Day, he said.

Clark said in her discussion with Guichon, she was asked to choose between two options, handing over power to the NDP-Green alliance or dissolving the parliament and going to a new election.

“I did ask for dissolution and she hasn’t granted that request,” Clark said. “She’s chosen another path.”

Clark offered “a true, sincere congratulations” to Horgan on his opportunity to lead, adding that “he is inheriting the best balanced books in the country, the strongest economy in the country, the best job growth in Canada and a great fiscal situation.”

NDP house leader Mike Farnworth said in an interview Thursday he is confident that even after appointing a speaker from the NDP bench, leaving 43 MLAs on each side, the alliance of NDP and Green MLAs can pass legislation. Rules of the legislature allow the speaker to vote only in the event of a tie, and the speaker is restricted to voting for further debate or to support the government.

Legislation can be introduced and moved to committee, where the NDP and Greens would have a majority, and only brought back to the main chamber for a final vote where the tie would be broken by the NDP speaker voting in favour, Farnworth said.

Just Posted

RDCK calls for reversal of Sinixt extinction

The board opposed a land transfer to the Westbank First Nation this week

Nelson city council to update banner policy

Council will revisit the wording of the policy at its December meeting

Forecasters promote avalanche safety awareness

Avalanche Canada advising backcountry enthusiasts to get proper training and equipment.

Meteorite fragments found near Crawford Bay

The pieces came from the fireball that exploded over Kootenay Lake in September

Nelson honours veterans on Remembrance Day

About 200 people gathered at Nelson’s cenotaph on Saturday to pay their respects to Canada’s veterans

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Nelson Leafs stretch winning streak to six

Jack Karran scored twice in the Leafs 6-3 win over Fernie

Nelson city hall selling bear-proof garbage bins

The city has purchased 100 bins and is charging residents $205

COLUMN: Will West Kootenay forests survive?

As with most things around ecology, the answer is not simple, says columnist Greg Utzig

Julien Locke races to NST World Cup berth

Black Jack cross-country skier Julien Locke races to first place at World Cup qualifier

NDP government to plug fixed-term rental loophole

Kootenay experts say local landlords not using loophole to raise rents

LETTERS: For and against proportional representation

From readers Maurice Rhodes and Ann Remnant

Nelson Leafs romp past Rockets in Golden

Ryan Cooper scored twice as the league-leading Leafs won 6-1

B.C. Liberal leadership candidates debate different paths for party

Third debate held Sunday, Nov. 19 at Nanaimo’s Vancouver Island Conference Centre

Most Read