MLA Darryl Plecas is escorted from legislative assembly by clerk Craig James after being elected speaker at B.C. legislature, Victoria Friday, September 8, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

B.C. MLA defies own party, named Speaker

Liberal MLA Darryl Plecas nonimated as new legislature Speaker

Abbotsford South MLA Darryl Plecas will be speaker of the B.C. legislature for the NDP government.

Interim B.C. Liberal leader Rich Coleman said Plecas has “effectively” left the BC Liberal caucus.

In June, Plecas rebuffed offers from the NDP to sit as speaker, before B.C. Liberal leader Christy Clark resigned. He told The News that while being speaker “is a very honourable job,” Plecas said he told those who offered him the position that he wouldn’t do so “without the full blessing” of his B.C. Liberal colleagues. He said to do so would be “dishonourable.”

Coleman said Plecas’s criticism of Clark did “not in any way” lead to Plecas defying the party.

“In fact the caucus talked about that in August and welcomed him to stay in the caucus,” Coleman said. “On numerous occasions he reiterated to the caucus and to me he had no intentions whatsoever of running for speaker. I took him at his word.”

But after Christy Clark attempted to try to trigger a new election, Plecas spoke out against her continued leadership.

MLAs vote by secret ballot to elect the speaker, a job made more difficult this time by the minority NDP government supported on key votes by the three B.C. Green Party MLAs elected in May.

EXCLUSIVE: BC Liberal MLA Plecas confirms that he threatened to quit party if Clark stayed leader

The resignation of Clark and the election of Plecas as speaker effectively gives the NDP-Green alliance a three-vote margin until the Kelowna West seat is filled in a by-election that must be called by early in 2018. Assuming all MLAs are present for votes of confidence that could defeat the government, it means the speaker would not have to cast a vote to break a tie.

Green Party leader Andrew Weaver congratulated Plecas.

“Darryl is known by his colleagues in the Legislature as a person of exceptional ethics and high moral standards. He will undoubtedly serve with dignity and honour as Speaker of this House.”

“Darryl’s willingness to stand for Speaker is an encouraging sign that the MLAs of all parties will be able to work together in a productive, collaborative session.’

Just Posted

Ladysmith marijuana producer bought by Aphria in $230M deal

Ontario licensed marijuana producer Aphria has reached an agreement to acquire Ladysmith-based… Continue reading

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

CVRD hikes fire protection requisition limit for rural Ladysmith by 25 per cent

Cowichan Valley Regional District is increasing the annual requisition limit for fire… Continue reading

Ladysmith runner reaches podium on new Pioneer 8K course

Meg Lewis-Schneider with CeeVacs Roadrunners Club sets event record

B.C. boy denied $19,000-per-month drug to ease ‘crippling pain’ for 3rd time

Sooke mom Jillian Lanthier says son Landen Alexa has been forgotten about by Premier John Horgan

Island passengers say Sunwing left them stranded in Abbotsford

Company says late arrival led to difficulties securing accommodation, transportation

UPDATE: City of Nanaimo senior manager dismissed

Chief operations officer Brad McRae no longer employed by the city

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag for Canada at 2018 Olympics

The pair earned a gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games

Diplomacy on agenda at North Korea summit in Vancouver

Foreign ministers from 20 countries are meeting Tuesday to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Kids chained in Calif. house of horrors; parents arrested

Authorities say an emaciated teenager led deputies to home where her 12 brothers and sisters were locked up in filthy conditions

‘Reprehensible’: Trudeau abortion policy raises ire of U.S. right

“This man is reprehensible,” tweeted former White House staffer Sebastian Gorka

‘I shouldn’t have to have a husband:’ Winnipeg woman criticizes men-only club

Jodi Moskal discovered the Winnipeg Squash Racquet Club continues to ban women as members, as it has done since opening in 1909.

Most Read