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

Two-car collision on Springfield Road in Kelowna

Traffic was slowed for about 30 minutes at the corner of Dilworth and Springfield.

Life on Munson Pond looking pretty bright

Earth Day event in Kelowna showcases work that’s four years in the making

Rental housing proposed for Kelowna’s BC Tree Fruit site

Proposal will add 148 new rental units on old packinghouse site

Pair of quartets headline Chamber Music Kelowna’s season finale

The Pacifica Quartet and the Dover Quartet will be gracing the Mary Irwin Theatre stage.

Kelowna-based pot chain acquired by international cannabis company

Compass Cannabis Clinic acquired in multi-million dollar deal by Isodiol International Inc.

Talent show benefits African orphanage

Summerland Secondary School students organized fundraiser

Saskatchewan introduces law to allow control of oil, gas exports

The Prairie province has already said it is supporting Alberta in a dispute with B.C. over the Trans Mountain pipeline

Crown seeking jail time for Okanagan hockey fraudster Elphicke

Defence lawyer hinted at a suggestion of a suspended or conditional sentence with no time in jail

Okanagan city’s titles a contradiction: mayor

Vernon was named ninth most dangerous, 18th most romantic and a top honeymoon spot over six months

Animal testing protested in downtown Kelowna

A small but passionate crowd turned out for an AVAD demonstration on Sunday

They will rock you, Okanagan

Queen tribute set to rock band’s smash hits in Vernon May 19

As Osoyoos Indian Band flourishes, so too does Okanagan’s wine tourism

Indigenous practices have driven growth of South Okanagan’s wine history and agricultural influence

Renewed plea for answers in 40-year-old B.C. cold case

The family of Lawrence Wellington Allard is hoping a private reward will get them some closure

Most Read