VICTORIA — A former Liberal cabinet minister is British Columbia's new Speaker of the legislature in what is likely to be a short-term appointment.
Steve Thomson, the member of the legislature for the Kelowna Mission and a former minister of forests, lands and natural resource operations, was acclaimed Speaker today.
The province's new Liberal minority government could fall in a confidence vote next week.
The Speaker is destined to play a pivotal role in the 87-seat legislature.
The Liberals have 43 seats, one shy of a majority, but the New Democrats, with 41 seats, and the Greens with three seats have agreed to vote together to defeat the Liberals in a confidence vote.
Premier Christy Clark's Liberals table a throne speech today that outlines the government's agenda, even though their defeat is likely.
In the days before the throne speech, Clark has promised plans to raise welfare rates, ban union and corporate donations to political parties, and provide more subsidized childcare spaces.