Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Clark defends cancellation of fall legislative session

B.C. Premier Christy Clark talks with construction workers in West Kelowna, July 11, 2013.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

B.C. Premier Christy Clark, under fire as her government cancelled the fall sitting of the legislature, tried Tuesday to cast the move as a populist effort to reach out to voters by escaping the provincial capital.

"There are two ways you can go about running government. One of them is to close yourself off in Victoria, figure out what legislation is going to look like and impose it on people without talking to them," she said. "I'm not going to be that kind of premier."

Ms. Clark said there was a summer session after the May provincial election, but it's now time for government MLAs to talk to voters about how they are going to fulfill their campaign promises. The Premier said the House does not have to sit for government to deal with such issues as a referendum on how to fund Lower Mainland transit development, and planned liquor law reforms, among other issues.

Story continues below advertisement

The Liberal decision means the House will not resume until February with a Throne Speech and budget.

Government House Leader Mike de Jong announced the decision on the session on Tuesday. He said the "ultimate" accountability for MLAs was provided through the spring election.

"As a legislator, I like to sit in the House but I also understand the duties of MLAs don't begin and end in the legislative chamber," he said.

However, opposition New Democrats were sharply critical of the Liberals' announcement. "I think it offends people, it certainly offends me," said NDP House Leader John Horgan.

Mr. Horgan said that when he put his name forward for office, he expected he would come to Victoria to represent the views of voters – an aspiration he assumed other MLAs shared.

"You don't do that by running government out of a Vancouver office building," he said, "and that's apparently what Ms. Clark wants to do."

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Authors
B.C. reporter

Ian Bailey is a Vancouver-based reporter for The Globe and Mail.  He covers politics and general news. Prior to arriving at The Globe and Mail, he reported from Toronto and St. John’s for The Canadian Press.  He has also covered British Columbia for CP, The National Post and The Province. More

B.C. politics reporter

Based in the press gallery of the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, Justine has followed the ups and downs of B.C. premiers since 1988. She has also worked as a business reporter and on Parliament Hill covering national politics. More

Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.