John Horgan, the Leader of the B.C. New Democratic Party will become the Premier of British Columbia in the coming months as a result of an agreement between his party and the B.C. Green Party.

In advance of the election, RCC sent questionnaires to the three major parties on a selection of issues of importance to the retail industry. The responses may foreshadow the policy direction of the new government and can be found here: http://voteretail.ca/bc/where-parties-stand.  Because of the precarious nature of the new government’s majority, the responses of the B.C. Liberals and Greens remain of interest.

Several of the critical subjects of the agreement are related to resource issues and will affect retail sales through their impact on the province’s economy. The NDP also made commitments regarding child care, urban transportation, and reform of the electoral system. The New Democrats’ platform is found here: https://www.bcndp.ca/platform.

Of more direct impact to the retail industry will be the commitment of the NDP and Green Party to raise British Columbia’s minimum wage through the establishment of a Fair Wages Commission. Both parties have made commitments to achieve a $15 per hour minimum wage before the 2021 provincial election.

Next Steps:

RCC will reach out to Ministers and officials in the new Government to ensure the best possible outcomes from our advocacy work in British Columbia. The major current files include new and expanding product stewardship obligations, new WorkSafeBC obligations for steel storage racking, and amendments to the Employment Standards Act.

Background:

British Columbia held a provincial general election on May 9, 2017. 44 seats constitute a majority in the B.C. legislature. 43 B.C. Liberals, 41 New Democrats and 3 Greens were elected. The New Democratic Party and Green Party have come to an agreement whereby the Greens will provide confidence and supply for (i.e., votes to support) a New Democratic Party government. Nonetheless, this Government will have only the barest majority and may struggle to retain the confidence of the B.C. legislature. The text of the agreement between the New Democratic Party and Green Party can be found here: https://www.bcndp.ca/latest/its-time-new-kind-government-british-columbia.

Premier Christy Clark has indicated that she will call the legislature in the coming weeks and is prepared to be defeated in a vote (likely on the Throne Speech) and sit as the Leader of the Opposition.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact: Greg Wilson, Director, Government Relations (B.C.) at 604-730-5254 or [email protected]