Decision day for B.C., confidence vote expected in Victoria

BC Liberal government defeated in confidence vote
WATCH: BC Liberals toppled in confidence vote

MLAs are set to decide Thursday afternoon if the BC Liberals will continue to hold the reins of the current government.

MLAs will continue their work throughout the day at the Legislature, debating the NDP’s motion of non-confidence filed on Wednesday.

WATCH: History in the making in the B.C. Legislature today. Keith Baldrey reports on what to expect.

B.C. Legislature confidence vote today
B.C. Legislature confidence vote today

If things proceed as expected, the vote will happen around 5:30 p.m.

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Members will indicate voting by standing, so if all of the NDP and Green MLAs stand, this will be the end of the current government.

Following the vote, Christy Clark will head to the Government House to meet with Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon.

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

On Wednesday, Clark said she would not be specifically advising for another election, but added she won’t hold back her opinion either.

The province will then have to wait and see what’s next for British Columbians, if it’s an NDP government, or another election.

The announcement could take a few minutes to a few days to make.

Constitutional questions

“If this is how this is going to be played – that the Premier is going to deny that she offered advice and that the Lieutenant-Governor is still going to dissolve the legislature when in reality, what really happened is she’s offered advice to dissolve and the LG’s accepted,” said Phillipe Lagasse, a constitutional expert at Carleton University.

“I mean effectively the Premier is saying she didn’t request a dissolution but she’s going to stay on as Premier anyway and it just runs counter to everything, the very core of responsible government.”

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LISTEN: Reporter Liza Yuzda talks with Phillipe Lagasse

Lagasse says there are mechanisms to ensure the government is ultimately responsible for the decision.

Adding that one of the reasons the proclamation of a dissolution has to be countersigned by the attorney general is because it’s understood that the decision is made by the government, not independently by the Lieutenant-Governor.

“If I were around the LG right now I would be wanting to document and keep careful tabs on who said what and why.”

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

He says this will help fight any efforts made to imply Guichon reached that decision alone.

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Lagasse says he hopes that what we are hearing from the Premier is political theatre and behind closed doors she does her duty.