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NDP to form government for first time in 16 years

Last Updated Jun 30, 2017 at 6:47 am PDT

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

Christy Clark resigned after her minority Liberal government was defeated in a non-confidence vote

The Lieutenant Governor has asked NDP Leader John Horgan to form government

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – The NDP will form government and John Horgan will become British Columbia’s premier, after Christy Clark’s minority Liberal government fell in a non-confidence vote on Thursday afternoon.

A new alliance by the New Democrats and Green parties defeated the Liberals in a vote 44-42 in the BC Legislature.

The Lieutenant Governor, Judith Guichon, asked Horgan to form a new government after accepting Clark’s resignation.

Outside Government House where his supporters cheered, Horgan said the period since the May 9 election had been extraordinary.

“It’s been a rollercoaster for all of us, for all British Columbians of all political persuasions. I’m grateful that today we were able to demonstrate in the Legislature that the Green and the NDP alliance, when it comes to matters of confidence, is strong,” he said. 

“There’s an enormous amount of work to do. It’s been 16 years since there’s been a transition in government, there’s been 16 years of challenges that have been created for many, many people. These challenges won’t be fixed overnight.”

“The fentanyl crisis needs immediate attention, the softwood lumber agreement needs immediate attention, as does our public education system.”

Horgan says his party will receive transition documents tomorrow and begin the process of selecting a cabinet as soon as possible.

But an NDP government faces hurdles, because even with the support of the three Green members of the legislature, the New Democrats can only count on 44 votes in the 87-seat legislature, putting them in a precarious position.

Clark said she and the Lieutenant Governor had a “very good, long conversation” after the non-confidence vote and she had asked the Lieutenant Governor for dissolution of the house.

“She hasn’t granted that request, she’s chosen another path… I don’t know why, but she did and I certainly accept that result. And I, again, wish Mr Horgan and Dr Weaver the very, very best in the coming years as they operate their coalition government.”

“Over the last six years, I have learned to love British Columbia even more than I ever did before,” Clark said.  

“I’m so grateful for the job. To have been able to do this for six years.”

Prior to the vote, Clark made an impassioned plea to MLAs, but acknowledged her pending defeat.

“If this marks the end of our government, I stand here with great humility and gratitude to the people of British Columbia,” she told the House.

The Liberals have held power for 16 years.

In a bid to remain in power, the Liberals adopted NDP and Green promises from last month’s election in their throne speech, including banning corporate, union and third-party donations to political parties and spending more on childcare.

Liberal MLA Steve Thomson resigned as speaker, following the minority government’s defeat.

After the provincial election on May 9, the Liberals had 43 seats, the NDP 41 and the Greens three.