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

Fate of accused in Saanich couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

Local grocery store steps up to help resident after Saanich jams her stand

Pepper’s Foods will start selling jams previously sold through roadside stand

Victoria woman accesses healing Burn Fund resources 45 years after injury

Stasi Manser was burned when she was five years old and now works as an adult burn survivor advocate

Brentwood Bay fruit stand plundered on first day of season

Leeanne and Jack Guthrie dismayed to find money and fruit stolen from roadside stand

Island Health issues safer drug-use tips ahead of music festival season

Health authority aims to reduce overdose risks at festivals

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 25

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you think the penalty should be increased for tossing a burning cigarette from a vehicle?

With grasslands and forests around Vancouver Island and across B.C. reaching tinder… Continue reading

PHOTOS: North Island home gutted in fire deemed ‘suspicious’

No injuries reported; firefighters prevented blaze from spreading

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident while eating you could be penalized

Cat badly hurt in animal trap was likely stuck for days, B.C. owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

Vancouver Island woman assaulted after confronting thief

RCMP warn residents to call for police assistance

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Most Read