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

Six Sto:lo chiefs sign MOU agreement affirming Indigenous rights

Moving to next phase of nation-to-nation negotiation in preparation for final treaty

Chilliwack Chiefs sit atop BCHL standings

No one expected the young Chiefs to be this good this fast, but can it last?

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

On Oct. 19, gospel musician, Rob Berg, hosts first concert in Chilliwack in 25 years

Held at the Sardis Community Church, the concert celebrates his career and new album release

Outgoing Chilliwack board chair says anti-SOGI trustees won’t be allowed in schools

Candidates’ anti-LGBTQ rhetoric makes for awkward situations with students, teachers, administrators

Naked man jumping into Toronto shark tank a ‘premeditated’ stunt: official

The man swam in a tank at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

Trump: Saudi king ‘firmly denies’ any role in Khashoggi mystery

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is travelling to the Middle East to learn more about the fate of the Saudi national

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dies at 65

Allen died in Seattle from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Transport Canada to take new look at rules, research on school bus seatbelts

Canada doesn’t currently require seatbelts on school buses

Sockeye run in Shuswap expected to be close to 2014 numbers

Salute to the Sockeye on Adams River continues until Sunday, Oct. 21 at 4 p.m.

Michelle Mungall’s baby first in B.C. legislature chamber

B.C. energy minister praises support of staff, fellow MLAs

B.C. man who abducted and assaulted 11-year-old girl has parole rules tightened

Brian Abrosimo made ‘inappropriate and sexualized’ comments to female staff

Canucks: Pettersson in concussion protocol, Beagle out with broken forearm

Head coach Travis Green called the hit ‘a dirty play’

Most Read