Peace Region MLAs 'shocked' after Liberal bills defeated

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The BC Liberals, who are facing defeat on Thursday after 16 years in office, reversed course on political donations along with dozens of other policies in last week's throne speech, after years of resisting pressure for campaign finance reform.

Finance Minister Mike de Jong had said earlier that his bill on political finance reform came after a May 9 election in which the Liberals heard dissatisfaction from the public on the party's position against such reforms.

British Columbia's Liberal government is being accused of stalling on its expected defeat in the legislature by seeking procedural advice from the Speaker before a confidence vote.

The Liberals won 43 seats last month's election, but the NDP with 41 seats and the Greens with three seats have an agreement to defeat them and attempt to form a NDP minority government.

Horgan had said he would make a motion of non-confidence on the throne speech Monday, but after the NDP and Greens defeated proposed BC Liberal legislation to ban corporate and union donations and to grant the Greens official party status, the non-confidence vote is expected tomorrow (Thursday).

In a mark of how freaky B.C.'s political situation has become since the close May 9 election results, it's believed to be the first time in the province's history that a government bill has been defeated in the "first-reading" stage, which effectively kills it before it's ever even read in the legislature.

For the NDP, it meant voting against legislation to ban union and corporate donations - legislation the party introduced six times while in opposition - without a hint of debate.

The next day, she reiterated the point, and told PAN that while her party's issues may be similar to those raised by the opposition, "the approaches that we're taking are quite different".

"What's important is that the very first thing that we do is we test the confidence of this house, this House has not had its confidence tested", Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver said.

Horgan challenged Clark in the legislature Monday to immediately call a confidence vote, noting that it has been seven weeks since the election.

From a purely strategic perspective, I think the NDP-Green alliance has been very well put together, giving the Greens a modicum of independence while potentially allowing the NDP to govern for a decent length of time.

NDP Leader John Horgan is calling on Premier Christy Clark to support the bill.

"I guess if we're not in government, we won't be able to implement them the way we think is the best way for the province", she said.

Every single member of the House has the chance to speak about the Throne Speech for 30 minutes.

Christy Clark has set the bar high in promising less partisan, more collaborative, more compassionate government. De Jong had said, regardless, the Liberals would commit to facing a confidence vote Thursday.