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Horgan becomes premier today

Last Updated Jul 18, 2017 at 10:52 am PDT

John Horgan outside Government House. (Lasia Kretzel, NEWS 1130, Photo)

It's the first time in 16 years that the BC NDP has held power

Horgan's cabinet will be introduced and sworn-in at the afternoon event

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – New Democratic Party Leader John Horgan becomes Premier John Horgan today as his minority government is sworn-in at a ceremony at Government House in Victoria.

Horgan’s cabinet will also be introduced and sworn-in at the afternoon event.

“That transfer of power will happen. John Horgan will become premier as he’s sworn in, and cabinet will be sworn in as well. Christy Clark will cease to be the premier. At the end of the day, a fairly straightforward and simple process,” says SFU political scientist David Moscrop.

There’s been lots of speculation about who will be in the cabinet, with names such as Carole James and Adrian Dix (both former NDP leaders) mentioned.

Moscrop says no matter who gets a portfolio, the cabinet will be busy.

“They just want to get to work. They’ve been waiting for so long. Both in the short term, after the election, and in the long term of having been in opposition for 16 years. They just want to start governing.”

Forestry and education 

Forestry and education are two cabinet portfolios that were important for the Christy Clark government and the developments of our softwood lumber dispute under the Trump administration have again put the forestry industry in the spotlight.

Assistant professor of forestry at UBC Harry Nelson doesn’t think that will change for the new government.

“No,I think it’s going to continue to be a priority, especially given its importance outside the Lower Mainland, kind of in rural BC,” he says.

“I haven’t seen anything either in the NDP or Green platform to suggest that we’re going to see substantive changes around forest policy but I look forward to seeing whether there might be some.”

UBC’s Jason Ellis says education was a contentious issue between Christy Clark and BC’s teachers.

“I don’t know if it’ll be any less contentious (under the NDP). I think many of the issues that were resolved through the Supreme Court decision abotu class size and composition has taken some of the issues off the table,” he says.

“I don’t know how high on the new government’s agenda education will be. They’re only going to have a limited time in office, all signs seem to be saying. And they have an accord that has set certain priorities.”

Those priorities include democratic reform and campaign financing.

It’s the first time in 16 years that the BC NDP has held power and comes thanks to an agreement with the three members of the BC Green Party.

Green Leader Andrew Weaver and the two other Green MLAs have pledged to work with the New Democrats to give the alliance a one-seat edge over the Liberals.

NEWS 1130’s Martin MacMahon will be reporting from the swearing-in ceremony today.