NDP and Greens ‘Just Aren’t Interested in Collaborating,’ Says Premier

Facing a confidence vote and possible ousting Thursday, Christy Clark speaks her mind.

By Andrew MacLeod 29 Jun 2017 |

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative bureau chief in Victoria and the author of A Better Place on Earth: The Search for Fairness in Super Unequal British Columbia (Harbour Publishing, 2015). Find him on Twitter or reach him here.

Premier Christy Clark says that if her government loses a confidence vote in the British Columbia legislature Thursday as she expects, she’ll tell Lieutenant-Governor Judith Guichon that she’s seen no evidence the NDP and Green Party can work together.

“If she asks me do I think this legislature is working, or do I think that it can work, I’ve got to be honest,” Clark told reporters. “I mean you’ve seen what I’ve seen this last week. It isn’t working. There’s no effort on the part of either party to work together.”

The May 9 election resulted in 43 Liberal, 41 NDP and three Green candidates becoming MLAs, giving no party a majority in the legislature.

Within a week of the final count being released, NDP leader John Horgan and Green leader Andrew Weaver told Guichon in a letter that they had reached an agreement that would see the Greens support a minority NDP government on confidence votes in the legislature.

With the largest number of seats in the legislature, Clark was given a chance to form government and she appointed a cabinet. Earlier this week her government tried to introduce two bills that were voted down 44-42 on first reading.

A motion amending the throne speech to say the government lacks the confidence of the house is set for a vote at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday. Clark said that if the government loses that vote, she intends to go to government house to see Guichon immediately.

“It’s not my intention to advise her whether or not she should call an election. That’s her decision,” Clark said.

While the Greens and NDP have the numbers they need to topple the government, it’s not clear they can make the legislature function, she said. “I haven’t seen the evidence that they can actually govern.”

Clark says it’s her obligation to inform Guichon of her intentions, but not necessarily to make a recommendation of whether the lieutenant governor should give Horgan a chance to form government or call a new election.

If Guichon asks questions, which she may not, she’ll tell her what she thinks, Clark said.

“It is not a functional place and the Greens and the NDP just aren’t interested in collaborating,” she said. “I’m going to answer the questions that she asks me and I’m going to tell her what I really think... I’m not going to lie about what I saw going on in this place this week.”

A rancher from the Nicola Valley and former president of the B.C. Cattlemen’s Association, Guichon has been the lieutenant governor since 2012.

The Tyee reported at the time that Elections BC’s donation database listed Guichon as the principal officer for Gerard Guichon Ranch Limited when it donated $700 to the governing BC Liberal Party in 2009 and $650 in 2005.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper recommended Guichon for the job on the advice of both Clark and then NDP leader Adrian Dix, Harper’s office said at the time.  [Tyee]

Read more: BC Politics

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