Friday, August 25, 2017

NDP Government sets September 8th as first day for new session of Legislature

A return to the debate and
discussion of the Legislature
is ahead for North Coast MLA
Jennifer Rice as the NDP call
the Legislature to Session for Septembe
The summer break for the British Columbia Legislature is about to come to an end, with the new NDP government of Premier John Horgan pegging September 8th as the first day of the new session of the people's chamber in Victoria.

As part of the political process ahead, Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon will arrive at the Legislature on that Friday, set to deliver the political blue print of John Horgan's government with the Speech from the Throne.

Once the MLA's both returning and new find their new places in the Legislature (NDP to the Governing side, Liberals to the Opposition, Greens to where-ever the holders of Legislative balance are seated) the back and forth of debate will get underway on Monday the 11th.

After a summer of government by announcement, the opportunity for discussion and debate will provide the Liberal opposition members, especially those that may be considering a run for the Liberal leadership with a chance to raise their profile and raise a number of issues.

For the governing NDP, the fall session will offer up the opportunity to follow through on the range of election promises that resonated with many voters during the May campaign.

Among the first items on the agenda will be the election of a Speaker for the Chamber, something which will perhaps provide for one of the few dramatic moments for the weeks ahead.

The work load won't be particularly onerous for our MLA's, in total they will have 37 sitting days in the Legislature through to the end of November.

They will be taking one week off at Thanksgiving, and another around Remembrance Day, with November 30th listed as the final day for the 2017 calendar year in Victoria.

A glimpse of the work days ahead for British Columbia's MLA's
as they prepare to return to the Legislature on September 8th

(click to enlarge)

The fall sitting is not expected to be quite as steeped in quite as much drama as it might have been, had former Premier Christy Clark returned to the Legislature as opposition leader.  

Barring some kind of surprise controversy or crisis, the NDP will most likely be able to get their footing with the levers of government through to the end of November.

With the BC Liberals soon to embark on their planning for a leadership selection process and the Green Party hoping to capitalize on the visibility in the Legislature as part of their support for the NDP minority government, the prospect of a push to create a confidence vote for the NDP seems unlikely to be very energetic in the short term.

As the political events ramp up in Victoria heading towards the September opening of the Legislature, you can keep track of the key items of note for the North Coast from our Legislature Archive page.

A larger overview of the provincial political scene can also be reviewed on our political portal D'Arcy McGee.

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