Premier shouldn’t delay confidence vote, says MLA Doug Routley

Legislature resumed again on Thursday in Victoria

Nanaimo-North Cowichan NDP MLA Doug Routley is hoping the Liberal government won’t delay a confidence vote as the legislature resumes.

“The premier has promised to test the confidence of the house through a throne speech or a motion of confidence,” Routley said.

“What they could do is introduce the throne speech and then it could take up to six days of debate that would again delay things, which is unnecessary. Even the premier has acknowledged there is likely going to be a change in government. Why play games? Let’s get going.”

Premier Christy Clark’s Liberals were reduced to 43 seats following the May 9 election.

In the past six weeks, the NDP and Greens signed an agreement and could be in a position to form government if Clark can’t obtain the confidence of the legislature.

However, even Routley admits the timelime for how they arrived at this point has been far from conventional and who knows what to expect.

“We hope it will be quick and John [Horgan] will be the premier shortly after [June 22],” he told the Chronicle.

“The premier delaying this takes away from the next government, our government, and a lot of the planning time that we would have to do to introduce a throne speech and budget in September.”

In the almost certain event that Clark fails to achieve the confidence of the legislature it will then be up to Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon to either name Horgan as the new premier or send B.C. residents back to the polls.

“There’s very little public support for [an election],” Routley said. “[Guichon] has in front of her an agreement that both parties will support confidence for four years.”

Asked about the prospect of what role he expects to play in a minority government scenario, Routley said he would remain committed to advocating for issues impacting the local riding and province as a whole such as poverty, homelessness and wage inequality.

“We have a great opportunity to do things for people now,” he said, adding that the level of engagement in provincial politics has been extremely encouraging.

“That’s my biggest relief that people now will see that their votes really do matter and that they can make a difference by making demands on parties and governments and that it’s worthwhile.”

-files from Tom Fletcher

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