10/03/2011 02:51 EDT | Updated 12/03/2011 05:12 EST

House leaders hold joint scrum in B.C. legislature, pledge new tone

VICTORIA - The normally antagonistic B.C. legislature is off to one of the friendliest starts in years as house leaders of the B.C. Liberals and Opposition New Democrats held a joint news conference with reporters.

Liberal House Leader Rich Coleman and NDP House Leader John Horgan stood side by side Monday, pledging to keep the lines of communications open during the next two months.

But the house leaders also said there will be disagreements during this fall's legislative session.

"We're working together to ensure that the legislature runs smoothly," said Horgan. "That's our job. I take it seriously and so does Mr. Coleman."

But Coleman cautioned: "We do take it seriously, but there are times we don't always agree."

Horgan said he and Coleman will try to meet daily to head off possible confrontations, but there are times when the best policy is to let issues between the government and Opposition unfold naturally, and sometimes belligerently.

Coleman agreed, joking that it works well when Horgan "accepts that I'm always right and he's always wrong."

Coleman said the Liberals will push jobs, economy, families and open government during the legislative session that comes barely two months after British Columbians voted to dump the harmonized sales tax.

He said the throne speech will include references to proposed legislation relating to a 2010 report on teachers and discipline regulations. Coleman said the government will also table legislation relating to upgrading the province's freedom of information regulations.

Horgan said the New Democrats will focus on unemployment, environment and ethics throughout the fall.

Premier Christy Clark will be dividing her focus this session as she embarks on an ambitious Asian-focused job creation agenda and will lead a trade mission to China and India next month