BC Liberals seek Speaker clarifications prior to Thursday's confidence vote

Posted June 28, 2017

NDP Leader John Horgan and Green Leader Andrew Weaver said the opposition parties are focused on Thursday's vote that is expected to defeat Premier Christy Clark's Liberals.

The B.C. Liberal government presented its own legislation to ban corporate and union donations Monday, but it was immediately voted down by the B.C. NDP and Greens.

The NDP and Greens agreed to combine their votes in confidence motions in the legislature in a bid to topple Clark's government.

Last month's election saw the Liberals win 43 seats in B.C.'s 87-seat legislature, but the NDP and the Greens together have 44 seats, which they plan to use to defeat the liberals and form a minority NDP government.

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The BC Liberal government is poised to introduce legislation this week on campaign finance reform, a step toward shedding British Columbia's "wild west" reputation for no-holds-barred political fundraising that would finally bring it in line with other jurisdictions.

But the throne speech contained measures that would affect only the NDP, such as banning transfer of funds from a federal to a provincial party.

The next day, she reiterated the point, and told PAN that while her party's issues may be similar to those raised by the opposition, "the approaches that we're taking are quite different".

Until Thursday though, Liberal MLA Andrew Wilkinson says they're going to keep trying to govern with their minority. "Only (the government) controls the timing of the confidence vote", he (Weaver) continued. So let me get this straight: Christy Clark "sees the light" (or listens to the voters, she says) and introduces a jaw-dropping series of priorities in the Throne Speech (affordable, she says, because the BC economy is in much better shape that she thought only a few weeks ago), and she's corrupt/cynical or any other c-word that one might imagine, and Weaver is bursting with integrity by saying one thing last week and doing the opposite this week.

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"The premier has been clear that she wants to follow procedure and test confidence of the house", he said in a statement.

The Throne Speech will be debated in the coming days, and Mr.de Jong is expected to provide a fiscal update to demonstrate that the ambitious and costly new agenda can be paid for without deficits or tax hikes.

The letter also questions how the legislature would function under an NDP government because the Speaker does not sit in certain debates - called committee of the whole or committee of cupply - potentially resulting in a tie or even giving a Liberal Opposition the edge in votes.

Clark said her government made every effort with its changes from the throne speech last February to ensure that all members of the house could support the speech. Letting those two bills proceed past a first reading would have been a way to say to the public that they don't care where good legislation comes from, as long as it is good legislation. "We are confident that we will be able to make this house work".

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