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

Métis Flag flies in Trail on Louis Riel Day

Area students, officials and public attend flag raising at Trail City Hall

Early Trail borrowed a couple of names from the U.S.

Place Names: Connection between Trail and Butte, Montana

First Past the Post is the only option

Letter to the Editor by Dieter Bogs of Trail

Acid tainted vehicles from Trail spills, held for evidence

Contaminated vehicles are evidence in ICBC’s lawsuit against “negligent parties”

Kootenay Boundary swears in 7 new directors

Regional District of Kootenay Boundary swears in 7 new directors and 6 returning directors

Winter weather hits parts of Canada

As some parts of the country brace for cold, parts of B.C. remain warmer than 10 C

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Kelly Ellard’s boyfriend has statutory release revoked

Darwin Duane Dorozan had several parole infractions that found him ‘unmanageable’

Doctor’s note shouldn’t be required to prove you’re sick: poll

70% of Canadians oppose allowing employers to make you get a sick note

German-born B.C. man warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Saskatchewan college honours memory of Humboldt Broncos coach

Darcy Haugan wore jersey No. 22 when he was a star player with the Briercrest College Clippers

Liberals to act quickly if Saturday midnight deal deadline breached: source

Oh Friday, Canadian Union of Postal Workers said it would not bring the latest offers to a vote of its members

Most Read