BC NDP leader John Horgan says government “instability” and the potential for protracted delays in the legislature led to his decision to call an early election.
“I have struggled mightily with this decision and it did not come easily,” the outgoing premier said in a press conference on Monday announcing the election.
Horgan went on to add that he would be seeking a mandate for long-term action on COVID-19, saying that the pandemic would be with the province for another year or longer.
“I firmly believe this is not a twelve month exercise…twelve months to wait for the next election is time wasted.”
He also went on to say that while his government had worked well with the BC Green Party under a Confidence and Supply Agreement (CASA) established in 2017, the change in leadership under Andrew Weaver created “instability.”
“[CASA] did extraordinary things for British Columbians,” said Horgan, but added that the document was drawn up long before anyone had ever contemplated a pandemic.
“The best way forward is to ask BC where they want to go and who they want to lead…twelve more months of partisan wrangling will not serve anyone.”
With the dissolution of the legislature, Deputy Premier Carole James, who is not seeking re-election this fall, will be handling the province’s COVID-19 response alongside Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.
Horgan said that while the election will look different under COVID-19 guidelines, candidates will be able to communicate with voters through leaflets, phone calls, and other remote methods.
Voters will also have access to mail-in voting, and the BC NDP leader said Elections BC is working in consultation with provincial health workers.