Friday, September 8, 2017

Premier Horgan set to reveal NDP blueprint through Throne Speech today

Places, Places people, the Legislature
prepares for today's Speech from the
Throne and the fall session

(photo from Leg twitter feed)
After sixteen years on the outside of the doors of power in BC, the NDP take their seats on the government side of the Legislature today and as they do, Lieutenant-Governor Judith Guichon will deliver Premier John Horgan's Legislative blue print offering up a glimpse of some of their plans for the months ahead.

Madam Guichon is certainly well rehearsed in the process of speaking in the Legislature by now, having read a couple of such proclamations on paths ahead this year alone.

This one however, seems to be the one we should be taking the most note of, with the post election period now somewhat settled and a sense of business moving forward now part of the Victoria narrative.

For the NDP the Throne Speech will be the first indication if campaign platforms and promises will become government policy, as Premier Horgan and his cabinet take charge of the Minority government through the fall and maybe even the winter and spring.

With the Liberals currently embarked on their path towards a new leader,  the focus for them won't be so much one of trying to topple Mr. Horgan's new status as the province's 36th Premier, but rather putting their own affairs in order for a potential electoral battle in the future.

Once the MLA's open the fall session with today's speech, they will first select  a new speaker for the House proceedings and then make plans for the first day of business of Monday.

It's John Horgan's big day as the
NDP government delivers their
blue print for the fall session 
The first major announcement from the fall session will come when Deputy Premier and Finance Minister Carole James delivers the NDP government's budget update on September 11th, it will serve as the financial holding plan until the NDP deliver their first full budget in February of 2018.

As the MLA's return to their desks in new locations of the Legislature, residents of the North Coast will be watching to see if MLA Jennifer Rice moves forward on some of the key concerns for the region.

Ms. Rice made much of the need for investment in education and in particular the need for a new middle school in Prince Rupert, the fate of that long anticipated addition to local education infrastructure will be one campaign theme she will have to find some success with.

With the once highly touted LNG industry now retreating significantly in the Prince Rupert area, the North Coast MLA will also have to outline just where she believes job creation and industrial growth will come from for the region and how the Premier and his government plan to deliver it.

Now that MLA Jennifer Rice
sits on the government side of
the House, North Coast
residents will be looking to
see some progress on key issues
Another theme that has recently returned to the front burner is that of the need for better transportation options across Northern British Columbia, something that Ms. Rice was a strong advocate for over her first term in office.

That issue has only become more important now, as Greyhound Canada seeks approval to discontinue their Northern services.

The North Coast MLA, who recently expressed her disappointment at Greyhound's plans, might want to start locally on that concern, seeking a way to bring the City Council in Prince Rupert and other regional stakeholders on board with the provinces current shuttle bus initiative, which to this point the North Coast has chose not to become a part of.

Beyond that, she will have to take the issue to the Legislature to ensure that the region's voice is heard on the need to provide for a reliable model for transportation between the communities of the region.

The Legislature wraps up their outstanding business of the summer at 10 AM this morning, the Speech from the Throne and the opening of the Fall session follows in the afternoon can be viewed through the Legislature Video Feed.

The Lieutenant Governor is scheduled to start her address at 2 PM.

A preview of what the NDP government may have in store for the province can be found from the variety of opinion pieces found in the recent news flow.

B.C. NDP to table governing blue print after 16 years in opposition
B.C.'s NDP government to unveil first throne speech
Much to prove, live down, as new-look legislature convenes
New B.C. government will reveal goals in Friday throne speech
B.C. Throne speech to provide outline of NDP government's goals
B.C.'s NDP government will outline plans and priorities in throne speech
B.C.'s NDP government to deliver throne speech at 2 PM today
NDP government to unveil its first throne speech today

More items of note related to issues of importance to the North Coast can be found on our Legislature archive page here.

A wider overview of politics both provincial and federal is also available through our political portal D'Arcy McGee.

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