VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — B.C.’s premier isn’t ruling out a fall election despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
On Thursday, John Horgan told reporters the government is mandated to hold an election in October next year, so there’s “an opportunity” to call for a vote this fall, next spring or next summer.
“When that [the election] happens, it is not necessarily clear to me today [Thursday],” Horgan said.
The New Democrats have led a razor-thin minority government through an agreement with the Green party since 2017.
The next provincial election is scheduled for Oct. 16, 2021, but it could take place earlier if the government decides to vote or lose the confidence of the legislative assembly.
Horgan’s comment was met by surprise and disappointment by interim Green leader Adam Olsen and Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson on Twitter.
I was surprised and concerned to hear Premier Horgan’s comments about there being an “opportunity” for an election this fall. #bcpoli
— Adam Olsen (@AdamPOlsen) July 23, 2020
Disappointed to hear John Horgan’s comments about his “opportunity” for a fall election. All 3 parties in the @BCLegislature have worked cooperatively to keep BC safe. An election isn’t what people need right now, they need to know they’re safe & can take care of their families.
— Andrew Wilkinson (@Wilkinson4BC) July 23, 2020
They both pointed to the co-operation of all elected parties in the face of the pandemic and the interest of British Columbians in feeling safe rather than focus on politics.
Arrangements for an election have already been made according to B.C.’s Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry with the province’s chief electoral officer.
“We know that we have a minority government both here in B.C. and federally, as well as a number of elections and other municipal elections that are scheduled in,” she said.