VICTORIA — The goals highlighted in the first throne speech of British Columbia’s minority New Democrat government received an added boost Friday after a Liberal member “betrayed” his party to become the Speaker in the legislature.
The surprise acclamation of Liberal Darryl Plecas as Speaker adds more breathing room to the razor-thin minority NDP government led by Premier John Horgan, who has an agreement with the Green party to combine votes for a one-seat majority in the legislature.
Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon outlined the government’s priorities to make life more affordable for British Columbians as she delivered the throne speech today.
The speech from the throne says the government will deliver on its election promises to ban corporate and union donations to political parties, set the terms for an electoral reform referendum, and change the current fixed election date from the spring to the fall every four years starting in 2021.
The speech says the government protect renters from hefty increases and offer annual bus passes to people with disabilities starting next January.
Interim Liberal leader Rich Coleman says Plecas has betrayed his own party and effectively joined the NDP in accepting the Speaker’s post.