New B.C. premier Eby to be sworn in Nov. 18, with Liberals and Greens decrying delay

VICTORIA — David Eby will be sworn in as British Columbia's new premier on Nov. 18, with Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin conducting the swearing-in ceremony at Government House in Victoria.

Eby, 46, will become B.C.'s 37th premier, replacing retiring Premier John Horgan, who has held the office since 2017.

A statement Thursday from the Office of the Premier says further details about the ceremony will be released soon.

Eby became premier-designate last week after being acclaimed as leader of the New Democrats, about four months after Horgan announced his impending retirement for health reasons.

Eby ended up as the only candidate for the job, after the NDP disqualified challenger Anjali Appadurai for what it said were breaches of party membership sign-up guidelines.

The premier's office says the scheduled Nov. 7 to 11 break of the fall legislative session will be extended leading up to the swearing-in, and Eby will meet the assembly as premier in the week of Nov. 21.

Eby, a former attorney general and housing minister, has said he wants to sit as premier during the current session, which is scheduled to conclude Nov. 24.

He said he wanted to start work as soon as possible on key issues.

The Opposition BC Liberals and Greens both said Eby is taking too long to arrive at the legislature as premier.

“David Eby said he was going to ‘hit the ground running’ but instead, he’s hitting the brakes on the valuable time we could spend working to solve the major concerns of British Columbians,” Opposition Liberal house leader Todd Stone said in a statement.

“If he wanted to, David Eby could be in his seat in the legislative chamber today," Stone said. "How can people have any faith in his big promises to tackle crime, health care, housing and more when he’s not even willing to carry out the rest of the fall legislative session?”

Green house leader Adam Olsen also said Eby is taking too much time.

"He has been absent from the house and now he’s cutting a week of session, it is increasingly looking like premier-designate David Eby does not want to be asked questions or be held accountable," Olsen said in a statement.

Horgan said Eby will bring experience and a strong approach to pressing B.C. issues, including health care, affordability and housing.

"The objective for the next government, for David Eby, will be to continue to make progress on these files and I'm excited that David's understanding of the housing issue is going to be a real asset," Horgan said in an interview.

Eby said this week he couldn't say when a possible cabinet shuffle would occur but he's being briefed by the public service on major issues facing the province, the state of its economy and how the government could respond.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 27, 2022.

The Canadian Press