B.C. legislature likely silent until spring, says de Jong

The B.C. government is not planning to recall the legislature for a fall session, Finance Minister Mike de Jong said Tuesday.

Finance Minister Mike de Jong tables his post-election budget in June.

VICTORIA – The B.C. government is not planning to recall the legislature for a fall session, Finance Minister Mike de Jong said Tuesday.

That could change if a labour dispute shuts down public schools, with contracts expired since spring for teachers and school support staff. The government could call an emergency sitting to impose a settlement if the school year is disrupted by strike action.

But de Jong, the B.C. Liberal house leader, confirmed that the scheduled session from October through November will not be held, as has become routine for the B.C. Liberal government.

“The house sat through the summer in the aftermath of the election, and the government wants to take the time to prepare for a robust spring legislative session,” de Jong told reporters Tuesday.

After a brief session to table a pre-election budget in February, the government adjourned in March to begin the campaign, then recalled the legislature in July to debate the budget and ministry spending estimates. Meeting those minimum requirements took 36 sitting days.

NDP house leader John Horgan said Premier Christy Clark apparently prefers “running the government out of a Vancouver office building,” with an agenda almost entirely devoted to liquefied natural gas exports to Asia.

Even if the government isn’t ready to present its taxation plan for LNG, there are issues such as power and water use and greenhouse gas emissions that should be debated, Horgan said.

De Jong said he hopes to have a gas export tax plan ready for public view by the end of 2013.

Barring an emergency session, the legislature will resume next February with a throne speech describing the government’s priorities and a new budget for 2013-14.

Just Posted

Wildfire threatens weekend campers at Chehalis Lake

The fire started on the north side of Chehalis Lake Saturday

Abbotsford council OKs bus-to-SkyTrain plan

Fraser Valley Express would begin running to Lougheed Station by start of 2021

Chilliwack community group gathering to benefit youth health centre

Chilliwack Citizens for Change planning tailgate party for CHYC

PET CARE: Canada Day tips for our pet’s anxiety

Columnist Nicolette Joosting examines different ways to help your pets relax through the celebration

Fraser Valley author launches second crime novel

Seamus Heffernan releases book Ten Grand on June 27 in Abbotsford

VIDEO: Reading splashes into Agassiz’s Ferny Coombe Pool

The Agassiz Library held its annual Reading in the Pool event Friday, June 14

Top B.C. court upholds ruling that struck down indefinite solitary confinement

Feds had appealed ruling in case brought by B.C. Civil Liberties Association, John Howard Society

Two bear cubs saved near Revelstoke after mother hit by car

Conservation officers trapped the cubs and transported them to a wildlife sanctuary

Heroism medal for B.C. woman who tried to save wheelchair-bound man stuck on rail tracks

Julie Callaghan awarded Carnegie Medal from U.S.-based foundation for ‘extraordinary heroism’

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

B.C. students’ camping trip goes ahead despite tents getting stolen

Nanaimo businesses, school staff and parents ensure trip goes on

Only legal pot shop between Vancouver and Kamloops now open

Private cannabis store on Skwah land in Chilliwack is first B.C. licensee to be Indigenous owned

‘I feel free’ says mother of BC murder victim after daughter’s belongings returned

After 11 years, Rosemarie Surakka said she feels like it is 99.9 per cent over

‘Predatory’ suspect sought after exposing himself on SkyTrain

Man had been riding the trains for about an hour between Main Street and Edmonds stations

Most Read