NDP Leader John Horgan asked to form government in B.C. after Liberals defeated in confidence vote

NDP Leader John Horgan asked to form government in B.C. after Liberals defeated in confidence vote

British Columbia’s lieutenant-governor has asked NDP Leader John Horgan to form government and become premier after Christy Clark’s Liberal government was defeated in a confidence vote Thursday. 

Premier-designate John Horgan made the announcement that he will have the opportunity to become premier and test the confidence of the house after meeting Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon Thursday evening.

John Horgan speaks after meeting with LG

BREAKING: B.C. NDP Leader has been invited to form government with Green Party support.

Posted by CHEK News: Official Page on Thursday, June 29, 2017

Horgan was greeted to cheers of “NDP” after leaving Government House.

“She has asked me if I have the confidence of the legislature to form a government and I told her that I do,” Horgan said.

Horgan said he is looking forward to making sure British Columbia continues to grow and that its prosperity is shared with others.

“We want to make sure that the services people count on are there when they need it,” Horgan said. 

He noted that it has been 16 years since there has been a change in government and challenges won’t be fixed overnight.

“I want to focus as quickly as possible on putting in place a cabinet and government structure so that we can get moving on issues that matter to people,” Horgan said, adding that the fentanyl crisis, softwood lumber agreement and public education all need immediate attention.

Before Horgan met with Guichon, the lieutenant-governor had a meeting with B.C. Liberal Leader Christy Clark after the Liberals were defeated in a confidence vote Thursday evening. The meeting lasted around 90 minutes. 

However, Clark left before a decision was made by Guichon. Ten minutes later, Horgan was heading to Government House.

Guichon said in a statement she had met with Clark and will accept her resignation. 

“I have asked Mr. Horgan to form a government, he having assured me that he can form a government which will have the confidence of the Legislative Assembly,” Guichon said in the statement. 

Clark later spoke to media and said she asked the lieutenant-governor to trigger an election. 

The non-confidence vote on Thursday was passed by 44 to 42, with the NDP and B.C. Green Party using their combined 44 votes to defeat the 42 Liberals. Former Speaker Steve Thomson, a Liberal MLA, was only able to vote in the event of a tie.

NDP MLAs cheered following the confidence vote while Clark and the Liberal ministers were applauded by staff members when they went to her office.

READ MORE: B.C. Liberal government falls after non-confidence vote

After the non-confidence vote, Guichon could choose whether to trigger an election by dissolving the legislature or asking NDP Leader John Horgan to form a government. The 41 NDP MLAs and the three Green Party MLAs have reached a ?confidence and supply agreement? where the Green Party will support the NDP minority government. None of the parties won a majority of seats in the provincial election.

In the Liberals? throne speech on June 22, Clark made 30 pledges that weren?t in their election platform, including a ban on corporate and union donations and a referendum on electoral reform. She also said later in the legislature that an NDP government would not work because one of its own MLAs would have to serve as Speaker, leading to continued 43 to 43 ties.

Following Guichon’s request for Horgan to form government, B.C. Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver said in a statement that he is “delighted” that British Columbians will finally have a new government. He also said the B.C. Green caucus will provide stability by supporting confidence and supply measures.

“As an opposition caucus, we will collaborate with our colleagues on both sides of the house to advance good public policy that will put the interests of British Columbians first, as well as hold the government to account for their decisions and actions,” Weaver said in the statement.

?On May 9, British Columbians sent us a strong signal that they want us to work together ? no party was given a majority of seats and 100% of the power. I am encouraged that the leaders of
both other parties have acknowledged this.?

NDP Leader John Horgan speaks outside Government House after being asked to form government.

Alexa HuffmanAlexa Huffman

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