British Columbia

NDP Leader John Horgan confident none of his MLAs will join Liberals

NDP Leader John Horgan says he is confident his MLAs will remain loyal and none of them will leave the NDP to join the Liberals.

Greens and NDP together have narrow majority of 44 MLAs

Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver and NDP Leader John Horgan deliver signatures from 44 Green and NDP MLAs. (Richard Zussman/CBC News)

NDP Leader John Horgan says he is confident his MLAs will remain loyal and none of them will leave the NDP to join the Liberals.

"No, I'm not concerned about that at all," said Horgan when asked about the possibility.

If the Liberals can convince one Green or NDP MLA to switch parties, it would still be able to continue governing. The B.C. Greens have also said they are sticking together, with no plans for any of the MLAs to switch allegiances. 

The Liberals have promised to return to the legislature in June, put forward a Throne Speech and see if they can get enough votes to retain the confidence of the house. 

Signatures delivered to Government House

On Tuesday, B.C. Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver and Horgan, delivered signatures to Government House from the 44 Green and NDP MLAs that have agreed to work together to defeat the Liberal government.

Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon was not there, instead the two party leaders handed the signatures over to her executive assistant.

"Right now, today, was about giving the lieutenant governor an option," said Weaver. "An option to form a government with 44 MLAs."

Guichon can only negotiate with one political leader at a time and she is currently working with Clark, who has the right to test the confidence of the house. The expectation is that the B.C. Liberals will recall the legislature in the middle of June and see whether they can pass a throne speech and keep the confidence of the house.

Child care top priority 

Horgan says the NDP is anxious to get to a confidence vote and attempt to defeat the governing Liberals. One of the policy issues the party wants to get started on is a $10-a-day childcare program.

The issue was not mentioned directly in the agreement because the Greens and New Democrats differ on how to offer affordable child care. But the NDP says it plans on starting the process of implementing the program early on, if it receives a mandate.

"We believe $10-a-day child care is the way to go. We're going to implement that, and we're hopefully going to have the support of the Green Party at that time," said Horgan.

"But we couldn't reach agreement absent access to government decisions that have been made in the past, a good understanding as to how many child care spaces exist today and how many we can create in a short period of time."