BC NDP passes its budget on party lines

Reaction continues to pour in for 2018 B.C. budget
Feb. 22: A day after the NDP 's first budget, the reaction is still pouring in. Among other things, the B.C. government announced help for childcare, housing and the eventual elimination of medical services premiums. Keith Baldrey has the details.

With a legislative vote in its favour, B.C.’s NDP government now has the mandate to move forward with its first full budget.

The budget passed with 44 votes in favour and 41 against — the Green Party voted for the budget as expected.

House Leader Mike Farnworth was confident after the vote, calling it “the key confidence motion that we face during the session.”

Finance Minister Carole James spoke about her budget before the vote.

“I am very proud, honourable speaker, to have a budget that is there to make a difference for the people who helped build our strong economy, and that’s the people of British Columbia,” she said.

READ MORE: B.C. budget 2018: 11 things you need to know

BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson changed his tune from saying the NDP-Green alliance could collapse quickly, to saying, “so for the time being it looks like we have a minority government that’s going to be surviving for some time.”

Story continues below advertisement

But Wilkinson added that anything can happen.

“That’s why we have a parliamentary system, because it doesn’t provide for automatic fixed election dates like in the U.S.A.,” he said.

“Elections can happen in parliamentary systems at any time.”

Tweet This

He did, however, say that’s unlikely to happen.

“The legislature reflects the will of the voters and right now it’s 42 seats for the Liberals, 41 for the NDP, and three for the Greens,” he said.

“The Greens have a deal to vote with the NDP, and they’ve voted with them 100 per cent of the time.”

READ MORE: B.C. budget 2018: Government plans to add speculation tax, eliminate MSP

The big measures in the budget are a 30-point plan for housing that includes expanded foreign buyers and speculation taxes.

It also includes expanded childcare assistance, which the BC NDP called a step toward universal childcare.