A snow storm that has disrupted travel on Vancouver Island also wiped out traditional ceremonies at the B.C. legislature today associated with the throne speech.
The usual military honour guard, ceremonial cannon salutes and a performance by the band from nearby Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt won’t take place because of the weather.
Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin will still receive a red carpet welcome but the ceremony will be scaled back.
The throne speech read by Austin in the house sets the government’s political agenda for the coming months.
A snow storm has forced school cancellations, road closures, and flight and ferry delays in Victoria and across much of Vancouver Island.
Austin made note of the weather when she attended the legislature to formally end the last session before the throne speech is read later today.
“It’s wonderful to see you here on this crazy, snowy but actually very beautiful day,” she told legislature members.
The house is sitting as all three parties search for answers surrounding allegations that have been made against the legislature’s two most senior officials.
Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz and clerk Craig James have denied any wrongdoing after they were placed on administrative leave last November over allegations of overspending and questionable expenses in a report prepared by the Speaker.
NDP house leader Mike Farnworth said the government will work to develop tighter checks on all officials at the legislature to ensure strict spending and reporting rules.
Opposition Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson has called for a 20-point plan to put more restrictions on legislature officials, including bans on most foreign trips and mandatory retirement at the age of 75 for senior administrators.
The throne speech comes a week before Finance Minister Carole James delivers her next budget.