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

Port Renfrew gets $89,000 grant to build staircase, trail

Rural Dividend grant awarded by province

Island champion volleyball team heads for provincials Wednesday

What Oak Bay High lacks in volleyball experience the make up for in athleticism and competitiveness

Duncan man faces numerous charges following Sooke Rd. crash

RCMP found alcohol and a loaded hand gun at the scene

UPDATED: Humboldt bike lanes next in Victoria’s Biketoria plan

Public input sought on new designs; protected two-way, shared lanes being considered

Smouldering U-Haul snarls Pat Bay traffic

Afternoon commuters were reduced to one northbound lane after a U-Haul cube… Continue reading

Victoria Royals giving a boost to fund inspired by Tragically Hip singer

Downie Wenjack Fund recipient of funds raised starting at tonight’s WHL game vs. Seattle

BC Ferries vehicle traffic last summer was best ever

CEO says positive results reduce future pressure on fares

Dead rats on doorstep greets Summerland mayor

Two rodents have been delivered to Peter Waterman’s doorstep

False killer whale ‘Chester’ dies at Vancouver Aquarium

He was found stranded near Tofino in July 2014 and only had a 10 per cent chance of making it at the time

Panda picks Argonauts for the win

Giant panda at the Toronto Zoo picks Argos to win Grey Cup on Sunday

Black Friday fervour wanes as some consumers, retailers shun practice

Some businesses are choosing to opt out, while some shoppers are turning to buying online

Stay safe on B.C. roads this holiday season

RCMP warn drivers to plan a safe ride home or suffer the consequences this holiday season

Trudeau apologizes to excluded residential school students

PM makes statement to former students in Nfld who were left out of previous compensation, apology

Most Read