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BC NDP introduce non-confidence motion, setting stage for fall of Clark government

NDP tables non-confidence motion against BC Liberal government
Mon, Jun 26: The wheels are in motion for the Christy Clark government to fall as early as this Thursday. Keith Baldrey has more on what we can expect this week in Victoria?

The wheels are in motion for the possible defeat of the BC Liberal government.

NDP Leader John Horgan has introduced a non-confidence motion in the B.C. legislature, paving the way for a confidence vote Thursday.

Horgan introduced the motion just before 3:30 p.m. as an amendment to the speech from the throne.

LISTEN: NDP Leader John Horgan introduces motion of non-confidence

“We want to make life more affordable for British Coloumbians, we want to make sure they’re getting the services that they depend on and we want the economy to work for everyone,” Horgan told the house.

READ MORE: B.C. government announces unaudited $2.8B surplus on eve of confidence vote

“So with that, honourable Speaker, I would like to move, ‘Be it resolved that the motion we, her majesty’s most dutiful and loyal subjects the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, session assembled, beg leave to thank your honour for the gracious speech which your honour has addressed to us at the opening of the present session be amended by adding the following: But her honour’s present government does not have the confidence of this house.”

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The NDP and BC Greens say they will combine their 44 votes to defeat the Liberals, who hold 43 seats.

Outside the House, Horgan said it is certain that the Liberals will fail to get confidence, and that all that remains is the Lieutenant Governor’s decision.

“I’m hopeful that she’ll do the right thing as I’ve heard and as the scholars that we’ve talked to have recommended. That there is a majority of support on one side of the House, that they, that we, should be given the chance to govern.”

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“It will be her decision”

Following amendment, Premier Christy Clark spoke to reporters outside the Legislature acknowledging her government is likely to fall on Thursday.

Clark said if that happens, she will visit Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon and said while she won’t specifically advise her to call an election, she won’t hold back her opinion either.

“But if she asks me a question about what I think, I’m not going to lie about what I saw going on in this place this week. And I’m not going to be able to lie about what I read in the Speaker’s letter. I’m going to have to give her an honest answer.”

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That letter refers to advice prepared by current Liberal Speaker Steve Thomson addressing the challenges an NDP Speaker would face in a nearly deadlocked House.

“I know that they have the numbers to topple the government and to take power but I haven’t see any evidence that they have the numbers that they need to actually govern,” Clark said of the NDP and Greens who she argues are unwilling to collaborate.

But Carleton University professor Philipe Lagasse, one of Canada’s foremost constitutional experts, said he was stunned by how Clark intends to approach the Lieutenant Governor.

“As the first minister her duty is to advise the Crown. It’s not to answer questions, it’s not to simply be a sounding board for the LG. The reason the Crown needs a first minister is to proffer advice.”

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The Lieutenant Governor has the constitutional  power to offer the NDP a chance to form government or call another election.

  • With files from Liza Yuzda