David Eby will become premier Nov. 18

Premier-elect David Eby speaks during a press conference at the Chan Centre at UBC, British Columbia, on Friday, October 21, 2022.  (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)
Premier-elect David Eby speaks during a press conference at the Chan Centre at UBC, British Columbia, on Friday, October 21, 2022. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)

David Eby will be sworn in as premier of British Columbia on Nov. 18.

The news comes one day after Eby met with the province's lieutenant-governor and asked the premier-designate to begin the process of forming government as John Horgan prepares to leave the role.

Horgan is stepping away from politics after undergoing treatment for throat cancer, and in an interview with CBC earlier this week, said he has "great confidence" in Eby's future.

"I'm here to help him every step of the way."

Focus on housing, health care, environment

Eby, 46, will become the 37th premier of B.C. in a ceremony at Government House, with more details to come, according to a release.

On Oct. 21, Eby laid out his priorities for his first 100 days in office: housing, access to health care and public safety in cities struggling with social issues in their downtown cores.

"What you will see is action that actually addresses the core issue that is causing so much chaos in our communities," he said.

Watch | David Eby lays out his plan to tackle homelessness and the drug poisoning crisis as premier:

He also promised action on curbing the impacts of climate change, a key part of the campaign of his one-time rival for the NDP leadership, Anjali Appadurai.

Appadurai was disqualified from running for the position earlier this month after party leadership determined she had improperly co-ordinated with third parties to encourage more people to sign up for party memberships and vote for her in the leadership race, a claim Appadurai denied.

Appadurai says she plans to stick with the party under Eby and has encouraged her supporters to continue organizing within the NDP to act on environmental issues.

Opposition accuses Eby of avoiding questions

The premiere's office says the November break of the fall legislative session, originally scheduled from Nov. 7-11, will now be extended leading up to the swearing-in, with no legislative sittings from Nov. 14-18.

The office says Eby will meet the assembly as premier the week of Nov. 21.

In separate statements, the opposition B.C. Liberals and Greens accused Eby of avoiding debates in the legislature on important topics.

"What is taking so long to get the premier up and running?" Green MLA Adam Olsen asked in a news release, pointing out Eby is already a sitting MLA and could be in the legislature immediately. "There is no reason why there should be a month-long delay in transition."

Opposition house leader Todd Stone agreed, saying Eby was putting off important conversations about problems facing the province.

"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?"