Today in the legislature I was up in question period and I wanted to take the opportunity to question the Premier as to whether or not she was going to fulfill her constitutional obligations as First Minister.
Last week, the Premier stated that she doesn’t intend to give the Lieutenant-Governor any advice when she loses the confidence vote scheduled for Thursday. But as I note in the framing of my supposed question today, she has a constitutional obligation to do so should she lose such a motion. The Premier can do one of two things: 1) resign; 2) provide advice to the Lieutenant Governor. The advice to the Lieutenant Governor would be viewed as her seeking another election. Of course, the Lieutenant Governor does not have to listen to such advice.
The Premier reiterated today in a press conference at the BC Legislature that she was not going to be providing advice but would be willing to answer the Lieutenant Governor’s questions. In my view the Premier’s behaviour is disrespectful of the Office of the Lieutenant Governor.
It’s pretty clear that the Premier is trying to trigger a summer election and to set the stage to blame the Lieutenant Governor, rather than accepting responsibility, if such an election is called. As I have reiterated many times before, the games the BC Liberals continue to play are never ending.
What was particularly disturbing about Question Period today was that I was hoping to question the Premier as to whether or not she was going to fulfill her constitutional obligation. Shortly after I rose, the Minister of Finance started calling on the Speaker to rule my question as being out of order.
As you’ll see below, my question was ruled out of order before I even asked it! You literally can’t make this stuff up.
The BC Liberals need to be put in a time out. They are clearly more interested in political calculation and the quest for power than they are in putting the interests of people front and centre. The BC NDP and the BC Greens have an accord that will ensure stability of the house and confidence in an NDP minority government.
A. Weaver: Last week, the Premier stated that she doesn’t intend to give the Lieutenant-Governor any advice when she loses the confidence vote scheduled for Thursday. Yet scholars have been very clear. The Premier has a constitutional duty to provide advice on how to proceed to the Lieutenant-Governor. It’s a long-standing tradition that the Lieutenant-Governor acts on the basis of advice from the first minister. For the Premier to refuse this advice is an abdication of her constitutional responsibility.
My question to the Premier is this.
Mr. Speaker: Member, the question is out of order. It has nothing to do with her ministerial responsibilities.
A. Weaver: The question is as follows, then. The Premier has refused to have a vote in the House on confidence. We’ve delayed after delayed after delayed. Will the Premier make public her recommendation to the Lieutenant-Governor that will be put forward shortly?
Mr. Speaker: Again, that question is out of order. It has nothing do to do with her ministerial responsibility.