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

Nelson Greyhound cuts approved

Service will be reduced to two trips in each direction per week

Before the war, ‘a beautiful life’

Syrian refugee family moves to Nelson from Castlegar, Turkey and Damascus

COLUMN: Violence and bullying very much alive in school

Nelson mother says real change is needed

Critical Condition: ‘People are dying from treatable medical conditions’

Problems with ambulance service policies are systemic and province-wide, advocacy group leader says.

BC BUDGET: New spaces a step to universal child care

Fees reduced for licensed daycare operators

South Nelson sings ‘Wheat Kings’

Grade 4 and 5 students performed at Nelson city council

COLUMN: Violence and bullying very much alive in school

Nelson mother says real change is needed

No whistles, no problem for deaf hockey player

Nelson’s Iain Love is set to compete at the Canada Deaf Games in Winnipeg

Castlegar Complex goes to referendum

Area-by-area voting will happen before summer

LETTER: International student left Nelson after just three weeks

‘I hope (she) has a better experience at her next school’

Reconciliation explored in play at LVR

Off-site presentation by the Capitol Theatre

Let the playoffs begin! Nelson Leafs host Grand Forks in Game 1 on Friday

The Leafs finished the season with the third best record in the KIJHL

SS Moyie gets $113,000 boost from CBT

Funds will help upgrade historic sternwheeler

Fundraiser for Kootenay Co-op Radio

BBQ and blues at Finley’s

Most Read