B.C. Premier John Horgan has revealed that he hopes to have his new cabinet sworn in ahead of Christmas.
Horgan and the NDP, who recently won a majority government following a B.C. provincial election, revealed the latest timeline during a media press conference held on Monday morning.
Horgan said there is a handful of new members from his party voted in as MLAs and the next several weeks are expected to be busy.
“We hope to bring the Legislature back before Christmas, but with the increase in cases over the last ten days or so, that has challenged our ability to bring people together in Victoria for swearing-in,” Horgan said during the press conference.
Several cabinet ministers, including Carole James (Minister of Finance) and Claire Trevena (Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure), opted to retire and not seek re-election meaning that Horgan will be looking to fill multiple positions.
Horgan admitted that the Christmas timeline to recall Legislature is ambitious and there is a chance he “might not meet it,” as people get adjusted to new roles.
“We have 23 new members of my caucus and I think there are a couple of new Liberal members as well, they’re going to want to go through the whole deal about signing in and becoming MLAs.”
Horgan highlights that he’s hopeful he can swear in a cabinet amid the onboarding process.
“There are two months before the end of the year and we plan to be very busy in both of them,” Horgan added.
Also during his press conference, Horgan acknowledged the rising COVID-19 case numbers being experienced in British Columbia and continued to encourage residents to listen to the safety regulations being implemented by health officials.
Horgan said the government is asking for compliance with the new gathering restrictions outlined by Dr. Bonnie Henry and Adrian Dix this past weekend, adding that he hopes it won’t require rigorous enforcement.
“Over the next two weeks we need to reduce our social contacts and we need to make sure we are staying local and reducing to only essential travel,” Horgan added.
Lastly, the premier hinted that the Labour Relations Board will be putting forward recommendations in the near future regarding a new troubleshooting process within the K-12 school system to combat COVID-19. Horgan said this process will aim at bringing school stakeholders together on a more regular basis to proactively source any challenges that may arise and resolve them as quickly as possible.