John Horgan poses with his cabinet before the swearing-in ceremony on July 18.
WATCH: The first NDP government in B.C. in 16 years has now been sworn in. The 11 men and 11 women cabinet took the oath of office at Government House earlier this afternoon. Mary Griffin has more.
British Columbia’s NDP have officially been sworn in as government for the first time in 16 years.
During a swearing in ceremony, Premier John Horgan unveiled his cabinet, which he said is the first in British Columbia to achieve gender parity. There are 11 women and 11 men in the cabinet.
“It is an honour to be your premier,” Horgan said tearfully after being sworn in. He also thanked his family for getting him to where he is.
There are five cabinet ministers from Vancouver Island.
Former NDP Leader Carole James has been deputy premier. She also has the finance portfolio. Rob Fleming is the new Minister of Education and Claire Trevana is the new Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. Lana Popham received the agriculture portfolio while Scott Fraser is the new Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation.
The NDP has also created a new Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions, which will be led by former health critic Judy Dary. The death toll in the province from opioid overdoses has continued to climb. Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training Melanie Mark is the first First Nations woman to serve in cabinet in British Columbia.
The New Democrats won 41 of the legislature’s 87 seats during the provincial election in May, two less than Christy Clark’s governing Liberals.
However, the NDP and B.C. Greens, who won three seats, signed a confidence and supply agreement, which allowed Horgan to form a narrow minority government. The agreement set out core priorities both parties agreed to address in the next legislative session. These include campaign finance laws, a referendum on proportional representation and reassessing resource projects while fighting climate change. The Greens have agreed to vote with the NDP on confidence motions but all other issues will be on a case-by-case basis.
One of Horgan’s first responsibilities will be the B.C.-wide state of emergency. Thousands of people have been displaced in the province’s southern and central Interior due to the wildfires.
Horgan addressed the wildfires after the ceremony and said they would support all those impacted.
“I want to commit to those who are in distress today that this government, these 11 men and 11 women, will be working has hard as we can to ensure that we get through this crisis and you back in your homes safe and building a future for your families in this great province,” Horgan said.
B.C. Green Party Leader congratulated Horgan and his cabinet, saying the minority government was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to do politics differently in the province.
?We have a historic opportunity to put partisan politics aside and work together across party lines to advance good public policy that is in the best interest of British Columbians,? Weaver said.
Horgan said together with the Green caucus, the NDP will lead a new kind of government.
“A government that is caring, a government that listens, a government that shares information in the interest of all British Columbians,” Horgan said.
He also said as premier, he will work hard to live up to the commitments made during his campaign, reduce costs for people, ensure the services they count on are for them and making sure the economy benefits everyone. Horgan spoke about making sure classrooms have adequate funding, doubling down efforts to address the opioid crisis and that the forestry industry has support for a softwood lumber agreement.
“We don’t want to leave anyone behind,” Horgan said.
B.C. NDP Cabinet
- John Horgan, Premier
- Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training
- Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture
- David Eby, Attorney General
- Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care
- Jinny Sims, Minister of Citzens’ Services
- Rob Fleming, Minister of Education
- Michelle Mungall, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources
- George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
- Carole James, Minister of Finance and Deputy Premier
- Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
- Adrian Dix, Minister of Health
- Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation
- Bruce Ralson, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology
- George Chow, Minister of State for Trade
- Harry Bains, Minister of Labour
- Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions
- Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
- Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General
- Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction
- Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture
- Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure