BC Liberals won't 'prop up' NDP government with a Speaker: De Jong

Meanwhile, Weaver said Clark is playing games by insinuating the Liberals would only keep a Speaker as long as they are in power.

New Democrat Leader John Horgan has suggested that if his party were to form a minority government with the support of the Greens, a Liberal Speaker could remain in the seat to avoid tie votes in the legislature.

He stressed, however, that there is no obligation for the MLA to stay on as Speaker if, as expected, the Liberal government loses a confidence vote on the throne speech and falls to the NDP-Green alliance, possibly as early as June 29.

Both say regardless of what the Liberals do they are going to work hard to ensure the alliance and government work, but they will not say how they will handle the issue of Speaker until it comes up in the house.

De Jong called that "bizarre commentary".

The leaders of British Columbia's New Democrats and Greens say it is not unprecedented for an Opposition member to serve as Speaker as they prepare to navigate a potentially tricky political situation in the provincial legislature.

"The practical workability of that agreement is very much in doubt", he said.

Andrew Weaver, left, and John Horgan.

If another election is called because the government fails, de Jong said it would stem from the instability created by the NDP-Green agreement.

"British Columbians are ready for a new kind of politics where parties work together to make life better for people, we're ready to do that", said Weaver.

De Jong says not one Liberal colleague has expressed an interest to serve as speaker in an NDP-controlled legislature.

"Peter Milliken, elected Speaker after five ballots under (former prime minister) Jean Chretien back in 2001, served as the Speaker through successive Conservative minority and majority governments", Weaver said Wednesday.

"If ever there was an example as to why we need a change now, it's the antics, shenanigans, delay and distraction that have gone on since the election", Weaver said.

The Liberals are determined to go through the process of reconvening the legislature, naming a speaker, giving a throne speech and having up to six days of debate on that throne speech. "It's a government desperate to hold on to power it has lost", he said.

  • Zachary Reyes