Friday, November 25, 2022

Fall Session of BC Legislature comes to a close, as Premier David Eby contemplates cabinet shuffle ahead

The last week of the debate and discussion for the BC Legislature Fall Sesson came to a close yesterday in Victoria, with six pieces of legislation making it to the Third reading stage in the flurry of sessions that went late into the night this week and brought the Legislature work to a close.

Notable among them Bill 43, the Housing Supply Act which charts a new direction towards some elements of housing in the province and dips a provincial toe into some areas of municipal jurisdiction when it comes to the housing stock in the province.

The opposition Liberals made a fair bit of noise at the way that the NDP government brought closure to the debate this week on a range of topics.  

But followers of British Columbia politics might have observed for the opposition party, that for the most part the current government, was only following a blue print once used by the Liberals when in government.

Still, the flurry of announcements, promises and programs introduced by David Eby since he assumed the office one week ago, was a tad head spinning  and many of the measures were moved forward without a full overview from the opposition, or the media for that matter.

That however is now a past narrative from Victoria. 

The Session over, the members will not reconvene until sometime in 2023,  the details of the legislature calendar outlined with some final words from Mike Farnworth, the NDP House Leader.

I move, one, that the House, at its rising, do stand adjourned until it appears to the satisfaction of the Speaker after consultation with the government that the public interest requires that the House shall meet or until the Speaker may be advised by the government that it is desired to prorogue the third session of the 42nd parliament of the province of British Columbia. 

The Speaker shall give notice to all members that he is so satisfied or has been so advised, and thereupon, the House shall meet at the time stated in such notice and, as the case may be, may transact its business as if it had been duly adjourned to that time and date. 

Two, that by agreement of the Speaker and the House Leaders of each recognized caucus, the location of sittings and means of conducting sittings of this House may be altered if required due to an emergency situation or public health measures and that such agreement constitute the authorization of the House to proceed in the manner agreed to.

And while the MLA's are now free of their Legislature obligations until the return to the Chamber and the next session of 2023, they have work to do in their constituency prior to the Holiday season. 

And for the government side members,  some change to come in the make up Mr. Eby's Cabinet.

A shuffle of those assigned ministerial responsibilities is anticipated for early December, with a number of political observers already starting to pick the areas where they believe Mr. Eby may make change, or where he will keep the current ministers to their duties.

The shuffle will be of some note for North Coast residents, who will be watching to see if it heralds a shift in responsibility for MLA Jennifer Rice, who currently holds the post of Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness.

David Eby speaking to local NDP members last month in Prince Rupert

Ms. Rice was an early backer for Mr. Eby's quest for the leadership and hosted the leadership candidate as he explored a number of local issues and took part in a Prince Rupert  NDP event last month

If she has a larger role to serve with the new Premier and his caucus, or if she even has an interest in a shift in posts; is something that we'll likely hear any news toward as the next month moves forward, 

You can review more notes from Victoria through our Legislature Archive page here.

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