By Cam Fortems – Kamloops This Week
While the political backdrop remains one of political scheming and strategy, the two MLAs representing Kamloops and area were sworn in on May 8 during a ceremony in Victoria that dates back more than a century. Todd Stone was sworn in as MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson for the second time, while Peter Milobar experienced the pomp and circumstance at the legislature for the first time.
“You hear from other members who’ve been here before how it will strike you when you’re there,” said Milobar, who will resign as mayor of Kamloops at the end of the month. “It really does, with the history and what’s gone on in these chambers and the magnitude of the job you’ve taken on.”
Stone said the swearing-in remains an exciting time, even amid the backdrop of a minority government.
“The clerk opened up the swearing-in ceremony by quoting the clerk who opened the 1952 session,” Stone said.
In 1952, B.C. also faced the prospect of a minority government, led by W.A.C. Bennett and the newly popular Social Credit Party. That clerk 65 years ago mentioned an “aura of mystery” about the future.
In that early legislature, Bennett would go on to lead a minority government, but engineer its defeat in the legislature and subsequently be re-elected with a majority and rule for two decades.
This time, the B.C. Liberal government intends to bring in a throne speech and budget on June 22 and expects it to be defeated. That will likely lead to a NDP-Green pact on financial matters and a feasible minority government, with the NDP/Greens having 44 seats and the Liberals with 43 seats.
“Everyone is waiting with bated breath to see how things unfold,” Stone said. “It’s an intense and exciting time in B.C. history.”
Milobar said there is little delay in the business of the legislature, one he is keen to learn.