Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy anxiously awaited the election results back on election night. (Chelsea Novak/file photo)

Katrine Conroy confident NDP will form government

Local MLA Katrine Conroy is confident that the BC NDP will get a chance to form government.

Local MLA Katrine Conroy is confident that the BC NDP will get a chance to form government after the BC NDP Caucus and BC Green Caucus ratified a confidence and supply agreement on Tuesday afternoon.

The agreement is entirely premised on the NDP being given the opportunity to form government by Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon, but in the event that happens, the agreement stipulates that the Greens would be a recognized party.

“The BC Green Caucus will remain its own party and will be a … recognized party. They’ll have official party status in the legislature,” explained Conroy.

The agreement also says that the NDP would not request a dissolution of the legislature, except following the defeat of a motion of confidence, and that the Greens would neither move nor vote non-confidence against the NDP in the next four years.

It also outlines the legislative and policy initiatives that the NDP agrees to advance as a condition of support by the BC Green Caucus. Those initiatives include introducing proportional representation, banning corporate and union donations and contributions from non-BC residents during elections, reforming lobbying rules, increasing the carbon tax $5 per tonne per year and employing “every tool available to the new government to stop the expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline” — among other things.

“There’s a lot of other great things that are part of the agreement,” said Conroy, after listing off a few of the above. “Recognizing that education is lifelong learning and re-looking at funding for K-12, which is going to mean that we have to look at how funding works in rural B.C., which it doesn’t.”

Conroy is also excited about ensuring that childcare is accessible to all families and developing a response to the fentanyl crisis.

Christy Clark also made an announcement Tuesday and said that she would call the legislature back in June, when the NDP and Greens are expected to vote non-confidence on the Speech from the Throne.

“We can probably guarantee that [the Speech from the Throne] — and [Clark] even said that — that it’s not going to be passed in the house,” said Conroy. “And then John Horgan will go the Lieutenant Governor and tell her that he has the ability to form government and hopefully he’ll be given that opportunity.”

Conroy doesn’t believe that Guichon will call another election.

“The reality is that if she feels there is another party that can form government and govern, then she has the responsibility to say that no, we need to give the other group a try as well.”

— With files from Katya Slepian