B.C. legislature likely silent until spring, says de Jong

The B.C. government is not planning to recall the legislature for a fall session, Finance Minister Mike de Jong said Tuesday.

Finance Minister Mike de Jong tables his post-election budget in June.

VICTORIA – The B.C. government is not planning to recall the legislature for a fall session, Finance Minister Mike de Jong said Tuesday.

That could change if a labour dispute shuts down public schools, with contracts expired since spring for teachers and school support staff. The government could call an emergency sitting to impose a settlement if the school year is disrupted by strike action.

But de Jong, the B.C. Liberal house leader, confirmed that the scheduled session from October through November will not be held, as has become routine for the B.C. Liberal government.

“The house sat through the summer in the aftermath of the election, and the government wants to take the time to prepare for a robust spring legislative session,” de Jong told reporters Tuesday.

After a brief session to table a pre-election budget in February, the government adjourned in March to begin the campaign, then recalled the legislature in July to debate the budget and ministry spending estimates. Meeting those minimum requirements took 36 sitting days.

NDP house leader John Horgan said Premier Christy Clark apparently prefers “running the government out of a Vancouver office building,” with an agenda almost entirely devoted to liquefied natural gas exports to Asia.

Even if the government isn’t ready to present its taxation plan for LNG, there are issues such as power and water use and greenhouse gas emissions that should be debated, Horgan said.

De Jong said he hopes to have a gas export tax plan ready for public view by the end of 2013.

Barring an emergency session, the legislature will resume next February with a throne speech describing the government’s priorities and a new budget for 2013-14.

Just Posted

Kitimat opens its arms, and its hearts, to wildfire evacuees

Emergency Social Services invites volunteers to apply

Massive ship arrives in Kitimat this weekend

The 26,890-ton heavy load carrier Transshelf will offload dredging vessels

Wildfire risk level still at extreme in Kitimat

Total ban on all open burning, including campfires and backyard fires remains in effect

Forest Practices Board audits Skeena Sawmills

Review and recommendations exercise result of random selection process

Ice Demons returning to CIHL for 2018-2019 season

Central Interior Hockey League will return with five teams after shrinking last season

PHOTOS: B.C. city wakes up to darkness under wildfire smoke

The rest of the province also dealing with thick haze as smoky skies continue

Safeway union urgest rejection of mediator recommendations

Says mediator asks for too many concessions

Fire chases B.C. crews out of their own camp

Crews in Burns Lake had to leave after a wildfire reportedly overtook their sleeping quarters

To address peacock problem, B.C. city moves ahead on trapping plan

Surrey’s new bylaw focuses on ensuring people no longer feed the birds, ahead of relocation

Hospitals to see ‘delays’ in care after losing Saudi students, health group says

About 1,000 Saudi residents called back to kingdom after suspending diplomatic relations with Canada

Bernier diatribe against ‘extreme multiculturalism’ boosts Liberal coffers

Party spokesperson Braeden Caley says online donations doubled, social media engagement quadrupled

‘Disjointed’ system hinders British Columbia First Nations in wildfire fight

More than 550 wildfires were burning in B.C. and crews were bracing for wind and dry lightning

Castlegar bridge designed by architect of collapsed Italian bridge

Riccardo Morandi designed the Kinnaird Bridge, which is part of Highway 3.

Federal government announces over $115 million to Royal Canadian Navy

Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan was at Victoria’s CFB Esquimalt to announce missile system upgrades

Most Read