Premier Christy Clark greets Lt. Gov. Judith Guichon for presentation of the government’s throne speech, June 22. (B.C. government)

‘This isn’t a working legislature,’ Premier Clark says

Won’t advise an election call, but ‘won’t lie’ either

Premier Christy Clark is sticking to her position that she will not advise Lt. Gov. Judith Guichon to call an election if her government falls on Thursday.

But Clark expects to be asked if there is any viable alternative, and her answer is no.

“It’s not my intention to advise her that she should call an election,” Clark told reporters Wednesday afternoon. “That’s her decision. But in conversations between a premier and a Lieutenant Governor at moments like this, she will probably ask me some questions.

“And if she she asks me, do I think this legislature is working, or do I think that it can work, I gotta be honest. It isn’t working. There’s no effort on the part of either [opposition] party to work together.

“This isn’t a working legislature, and I haven’t seen any evidence that it could work.”

NDP leader John Horgan has demanded daily that Clark allow a vote of confidence in the B.C. legislature, which resumed with a throne speech June 22.

That speech was filled with promises that the B.C. Liberals campaigned against before the May 9 vote, including eliminating bridge tolls in Metro Vancouver and increasing temporary income assistance rates across the board. Horgan made a formal motion of non-confidence Wednesday, and it is expected to come to a vote Thursday afternoon.

To start this week, the B.C. Liberal government tabled two bills that were supported by the opposition, banning corporate and union donations to political parties and extending official party status to the three-member B.C. Green Party caucus.

Both bills were voted down by the combined NDP and Green MLAs at first reading, stopping them from even officially being considered. NDP house leader Mike Farnworth said the two votes against the B.C. Liberal legislation show that the alliance of the two opposition parties can work.

Green Party leader Andrew Weaver said he would not support any B.C. Liberal legislation, even that which provides his party with more staff and speaking time in the B.C. legislature, until a confidence vote has taken place.

The B.C. Greens and NDP signed an agreement after the election that requires the Greens to support the NDP in votes of confidence.

The tradition is for the Queen’s representative to seek advice from the first minister, which Clark continues to be until another B.C. premier is designated.