Today in the Legislature the BC Government introduced Bill 5: Constitution Amendment Act. This Act makes three changes to the Constitution Act:
1: Official party status will now be given to political parties that elect two or more MLAs to the BC Legislature. Previously four members were required.
2: The fixed election date will now occur in the Fall instead of the Spring.
3: A minor change is made to the circumstances when acting ministers may be appointed from members of the Executive Council.
This act now gives the BC Green Party official party status in the BC Legislature. In addition, it ensures that a budget is actually passed prior to an election which is important for fiscal transparency.
Below is a copy of the statement that we released in association with the introduction of this bill.
B.C. Green caucus statement on Minister’s amendment to the Constitution Act
For immediate release
October 4, 2017
VICTORIA, B.C. – Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green caucus, responded to Attorney General Eby’s introduction of an amendment to the Constitution act that would change the number of seats required for official party status from 4 to 2, as well as shift the fixed election date to the Fall.
“When MLAs are elected under a shared party banner – whether they are 2 or 20 – they are a party and that should be represented in the legislature,” Weaver said.
“MLAs elected under the same party banner must be able to function as a unified caucus. Official party status provides caucuses with a seat at the table, such as meeting with the other House Leaders and Party Whips, so that we can adequately perform our legislative duties. I am glad that the Constitution Act has been amended to allow for this and that this standard that will be applied to all MLAs going forward.
“I am humbled that on May 9, 332,387 British Columbians entrusted their votes to B.C. Green candidates. And I am deeply proud that the voters of Oak Bay-Gordon Head, Saanich North and the Islands and Cowichan Valley elected the first B.C. Green caucus in our province’s history. I am delighted that this amendment will mean we will have official party status.
“I am also glad that the fixed election date will be changed to the Fall, a change only the B.C. Greens campaigned on and realized today through its provision in our Confidence and Supply Agreement. This change will ensure that politically expedient budgets are not cynically introduced simply to score points prior to an election, leaving British Columbians without a passed budget every four years.”
Jillian Oliver, Press Secretary
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