B.C.'s premier-designate pledges to do a lot in the little time remaining in fall session

B.C. premier-designate David Eby says he will act fast to pass new legislation once he is sworn in on Nov. 18. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)
B.C. premier-designate David Eby says he will act fast to pass new legislation once he is sworn in on Nov. 18. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)

Premier-designate David Eby says he plans to hit the ground running to pass legislation despite there being only four days remaining in the fall session after his swearing-in on Nov. 18.

"There are huge, pressing issues for British Columbians which I take very seriously," he said. "We're going to have to deliver for British Columbians very quickly and part of that requires legislation."

Eby, who is set to take over from Premier John Horgan, named housing, health care and public safety as top priorities.

But there is concern elsewhere in the legislature that pushing through a large volume of new bills in a short time frame undermines the democratic process.

"I'm really concerned about this," said B.C. Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau. "I fully expect the government will invoke closure on a number of these bills and we will not have the opportunity to go through them clause by clause, to understand, to question, to propose amendments."

 

Closure is a procedure in which the government house leader brings a motion to end debate and force a vote on new legislation. With a majority, there is nothing to prevent the NDP government from invoking closure.

"It's never a question with a majority whether the legislation is going to pass or not, but it is a question of whether it is effectively scrutinized for the benefit of the public," said Furstenau.

The fall session ends Nov. 24. Eby's new cabinet is due to be sworn in Dec. 7.

Horgan, 63, announced he was stepping down in June after recovering from throat cancer.

Eby, the former attorney general and housing minister, was acclaimed as NDP leader after his only rival in the leadership race, activist Anjali Appadurai, was disqualified.