The new provincial government

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Tuesday there is real business of the province taking place. The government is sworn in, John Horgan becomes premier officially, and he introduces his cabinet.

We were fortunate at Roundhouse to interview candidates in all 11 Vancouver-area ridings in the campaign, and of the NDP nominees we talked to, eight were elected. He is likely to choose Melanie Mark, David Eby, Shane Simpson and Adrian Dix from this group, but may also bring Spencer Chandra Herbert or Mabel Elmore into the mix.

The problem, if you want to call it that, is that the NDP’s 41 MLAs are very urban-centric and, apart from a small handful, are either from the Lower Mainland or Vancouver Island. It will mean that some strong MLAs in the cities of Vancouver, Surrey, Burnaby and Victoria will be passed over to keep the cabinet proportionate in representing regions of the province.

It will be weeks later before the legislature resumes. The ministers will need briefings on their key files and the government will need to identify a speaker from its midst. But that doesn’t mean it won’t make decisions. Much of its agenda can be pursued using cabinet directives. We won’t see a budget from the new government for months and we¬†won’t see the legislature back in session until after Labour Day, almost certainly.

Expect, too, that the new government will shed several key appointments of the preceding government: some deputy ministers, heads of Crown corporations, and others appointed at the pleasure of cabinet. The party has been out of power for 16 years, so it will want to change the guard. What everyone hopes is that it will be more about installing allies than vanquishing antagonists, but it is hard to break that pattern.

We will stay on top of the incoming government on the station. Let us know what you think.