With the NDP rising to power alongside a Green coalition and the Liberal government defeated, MLAs around the province are adjusting to how their roles will play out.
According to Norm Letnick, Liberal MLA for Kelowna-Lake Country, despite their party’s defeat ‘Team Okanagan’ isn’t going anywhere.
Letnick is joined by Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson and MLA Christy Clark for Westside-Kelowna as the three Central Okanagan representatives.
Thomson resigned as the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly on Thursday, and while Clark remains the leader of the opposition, Letnick is positive she will stay put as the MLA of Westside-Kelowna.
He says his job continues whether he is on the government’s side or on the side of the opposition.
“It’s always been my priority to go through my campaign commitments that I made during the election, locally, and knock as many as I can off until the next election,” explains Letnick. “I will continue to work hard on those priorities that were given to me by my constituents.”
The Okanagan MLA claims there are some huge differences between what the NDP coalition is promising and what the Liberals’ priorities are.
“We will have to see as Horgan introduces his throne speech and starts taking action as to which promises are of key importance to my constituents, and also to the social and financial well being of the province.”
Letnick didn’t sound overly surprised by Lt. Gov. Judith Guichon’s decision to ask NDP leader John Horgan to form the B.C. government, stating she had two choices; election or forming a new government.
“We will see how the new NDP government coalition party performs and as the opposition our job is to hold the government to account and to form government should that call come to us again, and that is what we will do.”
As far as working with the NDP as the opposition, Letnick says between his eight years an MLA and his previous stint as a city councillor he has had reasonable experience with different forms of government.
“My primary job is that the priorities of my local constituents are met, and that will be my focus,” he explains. “Also, as a member of the opposition, I have a responsibility to the rest of the province to make sure the government is performing well and that they have the focus of our attention.”