Speaker Steve Thomson has tricky procedural questions to consider during his first, and possibly only, week on the job. (Hansard TV)

UPDATE: B.C. Liberals question NDP’s ability to to govern

NDP’s Mike Farnworth calls Mike de Jong’s request ‘insulting’

The uniquely close result of the May election leaves the NDP-Green alliance without the ability to pass legislation under the normal rules of the legislature, B.C. Liberal house leader Mike de Jong says.

In a letter to newly elected speaker Steve Thomson, de Jong details the restrictions on the speaker to break tie votes, which he says make it all but impossible to pass legislation.

“I think it’s going to be very, very difficult,” de Jong told reporters after tabling his letter in the legislature Tuesday. “I think the workability of a reconfigured parliament with an NDP-Green government, based on the numbers, is going to be challenging.”

De Jong asks Thomson to rule on two procedural points before the vote of non-confidence in the B.C. Liberal throne speech, expected Thursday afternoon, where the government expects to be defeated and replaced by the opposition parties.

NDP house leader Mike Farnworth said he received no notice of the four-page letter, and it appears to be the latest attempt by the B.C. Liberals to avoid losing power to the NDP and Greens. He wrote his own letter to Thomson, reminding the rookie speaker that the questions raised by de Jong are up to Lt. Gov. Judith Guichon to answer.

“[de Jong] has asked you to pre-empt the Lieutenant Governor’s deliberative process by providing what amounts to constitutional legal advice to the legislature, based on the insulting proposition that members are not able to collect and process their own information on this matter,” Farnworth wrote.

Farnworth told reporters the NDP-Green alliance can manage the legislature without changing the rules of order, one of the times where de Jong says any speaker is obliged to vote against in the event of a tie. The other problem raised by de Jong is having an NDP speaker do double duty and preside over the committee stage of legislation, rather than appoint a committee chair and lose a second voting MLA to approve legislation at that stage.

De Jong said he does not intend to signal to the Lieutenant Governor that a new election should be called, but only to inform all MLAs of the situation they face.

Just Posted

Kitimat registers biggest drop in property assessments

The residential property in the north with the highest value was $2.892 million

Former mayor Ray Brady passes away

“What I can say is that he was passionate about his beliefs and he would fight for them.”

CDC’s housing section looking for new home

CDC executive director says it has until Jan. 31 to move out.

Shames Mountain named one of the world’s Top 10 ski resorts

The UK magazine listed Shames alongside Whistler and hills in Italy, Japan and Austria

Who wants to live here?

Northwest governments partner on marketing plan to attract workforce, residents

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

Vernon to host largest Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games in 2019

Games to be held Feb. 21-23, with more than 800 athletes expected to take part

Sentencing hearing begins for ex-BC Liberals employee in ‘quick wins’ scandal

Former communications director Brian Bonney pleaded guilty last October

Sunwing vacation passengers left at Abbotsford airport

YXX staffers receive praise for help to passengers; airline criticized

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag for Canada at 2018 Olympics

The pair earned a gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games

Diplomacy on agenda at North Korea summit in Vancouver

Foreign ministers from 20 countries are meeting Tuesday to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Kids chained in Calif. house of horrors; parents arrested

Authorities say an emaciated teenager led deputies to home where her 12 brothers and sisters were locked up in filthy conditions

‘Reprehensible’: Trudeau abortion policy raises ire of U.S. right

“This man is reprehensible,” tweeted former White House staffer Sebastian Gorka

Most Read