40th Parliament of British Columbia
|40th Parliament of British Columbia|
|5 June 2013 – present|
14 March 2011 - present
|Leader of the
17 April 2011 - 4 May 2014
4 May 2014 - present
|Opposition||New Democratic Party|
|Third party||Green Party*|
|* Party does not hold official party status.|
|Speaker of the
|Members||85 MLA seats|
6 February 1952 – present
2 November 2012 – present
The 40th Parliament of British Columbia is the most recent Parliament of British Columbia and comprised the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, as elected by the general election of May 15, 2013, and The Queen represented by the Lieutenant-Governor Judith Guichon. That election unexpectedly returned the BC Liberal Party to another absolute majority government, their fourth consecutive government since 2001, this time with Christy Clark who had been premier since 2011. The BC New Democratic Party formed the official opposition under Adrian Dix and John Horgan who replaced Dix in the 2014 leadership election. The first Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) from the Green Party of BC, Andrew J. Weaver served in this parliament, along with independent Vicki Huntington. Three MLAs resigned: Jenny Kwan and Douglas Horne who resigned to stand in a federal election, as well as Ben Stewart who resigned for the purpose of providing the Premier, who had lost her seat in the general election, with another opportunity to gain a seat. The bylelections to replace the resigned members Clark won Stewart's Kelowna riding, while Melanie Mark and Jodie Wickens replaced Kwan and Horne, respectively. The only members to leave their party, Marc Dalton briefly left the BC Liberals as he unsuccessfully sought the Conservative Party nomination in the federal election, and Pat Pimm left the BC Liberal Party just prior to being arrested.
Legislative initiatives were included BC Liberal election platform priorities of major amendments to liquour laws, local government elections, and holding a plebiscite on Translink funding. The BC Liberal election priority of fostering a liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry involved creation of the Liquefied Natural Gas Income Tax Act, the Greenhouse Gas Industrial Reporting and Control Act to replace the existing cap and trade regime and exempt LNG facilities, amendments to the Protected Areas of British Columbia Act to make way for pipelines, and various amendments to the Natural Gas Development Statutes Act (formerly the Petroleum and Natural Gas Act). Other major legislation included the adoption of the Water Sustainability Act, creation of a licensing system for all-terrain vehicle and snowmobiles in the Off-Road Vehicle Act, adding electronic cigarette to the Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act, modernizing the Societies Act, amendments to the Motor Dealer Act to prohibit online sales of vehicles, creation of a new provincial park called the Ancient Forest/Chun T'oh Whudujut Park, and adoption of the Great Bear Rainforest (Forest Management) Act that limited commercial logging in the Great Bear Rainforest. Other new legislation included making discrimination based on gender identity or expression illegal, and creating a 15% property transfer tax that only applies to foreign nationals in Metro Vancouver.
Preparing for the 2017 elections, legislation was adopted to increase the number of MLAs to 87, delete pre-campaign expense limits, allow constituency associations to incur election expenses, require dissemination of the identity of those who voted in the last election, and limited the update to voter registration information.
Elections and appointments
The members of the legislative assembly were elected in the 40th general election, held on May 14, 2013. The BC Liberal Party unexpectedly elected an expanded majority, their fourth consecutive absolute majority. To accommodate party leader Christy Clark who lost her seat, Ben Stewart resigned his Westside-Kelowna seat. Clark won the Westside-Kelowna by-election on July 10. Regardless of not having a seat in the legislative assembly, Clark, as leader of the party with the most seats, was Premier. She named Rich Coleman as Deputy Premier and Minister of Natural Gas Development. In her cabinet, she kept Mike de Jong as Minister of Finance (as well as government house leader), Steve Thomson as Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, and Stephanie Cadieux as Minister of Children and Family Development. Clark shuffled Bill Bennett, Mary Polak, Shirley Bond, Don McRae, Terry Lake, and Naomi Yamamoto to different ministries while Norm Letnick, Ralph Sultan and Moira Stilwell were removed from cabinet. New members who Clark immediately appointed to her cabinet included Peter Fassbender as Minister of Education, Amrik Virk as Minister of Advanced Education, Suzanne Anton as Minister of Justice, Todd Stone as Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, Teresa Wat as Minister of International Trade, Coralee Oakes as Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, and Andrew Wilkinson as Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizen Services. Veteran members John Rustad and Pat Pimm were also added to cabinet. Premier Clark issued mandate letters to each minister outlining priorities and expectations.
The first session of the 40th Parliament began on June 26, 2013 with the Speech from the Throne delivered by Lieutenant-Governor Judith Guichon. This brief session was held only to pass a budget for the remainder of the fiscal year. The budget was largely the same as the BC Liberals had introduced in February as a pre-election budget. It increased the general corporate income tax rate from 10% to 11%, inserted a new top tax bracket applicable for the 2014 and 2015 years only, increased tax on cigarettes and tobacco, and exempted coloured fuel from the carbon tax.
The second session opened on February 11, 2014, following a six-month recess. During the session 26 bills were given royal assent, all on or before May 29. Following through on campaign promises, a plebiscite on TransLink funding was set up with the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority Funding Referenda Act, the first of several new liquor laws were passed with the Liquor Control and Licensing Amendment Act and its accompanying regulations, which among other items allowed for sales of liquor at grocery stores and farmers' markets, and recommendations of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry were implemented with the Missing Persons Act. To facilitate natural gas industry, the budget committed $29 million to the government's LNG strategy program, the Park Act and the Park Boundary Adjustment Policy were amended to allow more industrial activities within provincial parks, and the Natural Gas Development Statutes Amendment Act modernized the Petroleum and Natural Gas Act and revised the ability of land owners to appeal decisions concerning placement of wells, pipelines and facilities on their property.
The Minister of Agriculture Pat Pimm introduced the Animal Health Act updating the laws concerning agricultural biosecurity and amendments to the Agricultural Land Commission Act which controversially divided the ALR into two zones, each with different regulations and application decision-making criteria. Citing health issues, Pimm resigned from cabinet in April and was replaced by Norm Letnick who had served previously as agriculture minister in 2012-13. Michelle Stilwell was promoted to cabinet to replace Letnick's position of Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation.
The long-anticipated Water Sustainability Act modernized the laws regarding water management. The Off-Road Vehicle Act created the requirement that all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles be registered and licensed. The Provincial Capital Commission Dissolution Act closed the Provincial Capital Commission. The Local Elections Campaign Financing Act and the Local Elections Statutes Amendment Act placed new regulations on local elections, like extending the terms of mayor and councils to four years from three, establishing spending limits, and requiring registration of third-party advertisers. The Protected Areas of British Columbia Amendment Act, 2014, removed 11 ha from Indian Arm Provincial Park and 10 ha from Elk Falls Provincial Park and added 47,873 ha to four existing conservancies. The government tabled back-to-work legislation regarding a strike action at the Port of Vancouver but did not pass it as the strike ended.
A short third session was held in October–November 2014 responding to requests by proponents of the liquefied natural gas industry to fast-track legislation. The Liquefied Natural Gas Income Tax Act established the taxation regime at 1.5% of net income until capital costs have been paid, then 3.5% afterwards, significantly less than the original 7% that the government had been planning. The Greenhouse Gas Industrial Reporting and Control Act repealed the Greenhouse Gas Reduction (Cap and Trade) Act in favour of intensity level emission limits, instead total emission measures, and the act set the emission limit at 0.16 carbon dioxide equivalent tonnes for each tonne of LNG produced. The Protected Areas of British Columbia Amendment Act (No. 2), 2014, removed 63 hectares from the Nisga'a Memorial Lava Bed Park to accommodate a pipeline to one of the proposed LNG facilities.
Also, the Container Trucking Act, which created the office of the BC Container Trucking Commissioner, was adopted as a result of the negotiations in the previous session's response to the Port of Vancouver strike. The Canadian Pacific Railway (Stone and Timber) Settlement Act extinguished all of Canadian Pacific Limited's stone and timber reservations in exchange for $19 million.
Prior to the fourth session, the Premier added Mike Bernier to cabinet as Minister of Education. The former Minister of Education Peter Fassbender took over Coralee Oakes's position as Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, as well as taking over responsibility for TransLink from Todd Stone's Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. Oakes was assigned to be Minister of Small Business, Red Tape Reduction and responsible for the liquor distribution branch. Naomi Yamamoto was moved from Minister of State for Tourism and Small Business was moved over to the newly created Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness. Both Jenny Kwan and Douglas Horne resigned as MLAs in order to pursue election in the federal general election.
The fourth session ran between February and November 2015 and saw 42 bills become law. The previous session's legislation concerning LNG taxation was furthered with the Liquefied Natural Gas Income Tax Amendment Act, 2015, and the Liquefied Natural Gas Project Agreements Act exempted for 25 years LNG facilities from increases in tax and greenhouse gas regulatory changes. The Federal Port Development Act implemented a recently added provision of the Canada Marine Act that enables provincial regulations to be administered on federal port lands. In addition to allowing residential tenants to cancel a rental agreement in instances of domestic violence, the Natural Gas Development Statutes Amendment Act, 2015, expanded the list of activities that are defined as an "oil and gas activity", with the Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act, 2015, further expanding the list and extended the maximum duration of royalty agreements for extracting natural gas. The miscellaneous statutes act also created the Medal of Good Citizenship, repealed the Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters Act, and allowed the Queen's Printer to contract out its printing duties and further implemented aspects of the Liquor Policy Review. Additionally, in response to the Liquor Policy Review, there was a major update to the Liquor Control and Licensing Act.
The Red Tape Reduction Day Act recognized the second Wednesday of March as Red Tape Reduction Day. The Amendments to the Finance Statutes Act allowed ICBC to withhold issuance or renewal of driver's license to those with delinquent student loan repayments or child support payments or unpaid court fines. The Motor Vehicle Amendment Act, 2015, made driving in the left lane of a highway a ticketable offense if not using it to pass another vehicle or turning off the highway. This amendment act also now requires winter tires be stamped with a specialized (e.g. snowflake or mountain) symbol. The Guide Dog and Service Dog Act created a Registrar of guide dogs and service dogs requiring that such dogs be certified; those with certified dogs have the right, despite any 'no pet policy', to housing and to enter places where the public is invited (e.g. stores, transit). Two amendments to the Workers Compensation Act implemented the recommendations made by WorkSafeBC and the BC Coroner's Office following the 2012 sawmill explosions that killed four people.
The Tobacco Control Act was expanded to include vapour products and renamed to Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act. The Fish and Seafood Act replaced and modernized the Fisheries Act and the Fish Inspection Act. The Societies Act updated and replaced the Society Act. The Franchises Act was created based on recommendations from the BC Law Institute and the Canadian Bar Association of BC to imposes a duty of fair dealing for franchise agreements, allowing franchises to associate with other franchises, and allowing franchisees to sue for damages in event of misrepresentation by a parent company.
The Information Management Act created the position of Chief Records Officer to oversee digitizing government archives. The Provincial Immigration Programs Act created the position of Director of Provincial Immigration Programs for administering immigration agreements with the federal government. The Auditor General for Local Government Amendment Act, 2015, required the appointment of a deputy auditor general and expanded upon the provisions for suspending or removing an individual from the position of auditor general.
Revisions to the Electoral Districts Act and the Election Act increased the number of electoral districts and MLAs to 87 and deleted expense limits that applied to the pre-campaign period, now allows constituency associations to incur election expenses, only permits updates to voter registration information in conjunction with voting and only with a family member present to vouch, and requires the Chief Electoral Officer to provide each political party the list of voters in the last election with identification of who voted.
The fifth session took place between February and July 2016. Prior to the session beginning, Mike Morris was added to the cabinet under a new position titled Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. The 2016 budget created the Prosperity Fund and required any increase in general funds either be used to reduce operating debt or held in the Prosperity Fund. The budget increased the property transfer tax increase (from 2% to 3%) on homes over $2 million but increased the exemption threshold for new houses to $750,000. The budget also exempted children from paying Medical Services Premium, created a farmers' food donation tax credit, extended both the mining tax credit and the tax credit for home renovations by seniors of persons with disabilities, expanded of the film tax credit to include animation productions, mandated lower assessment values be placed on rural tourist accommodations, and made funds available to compensate property owners impacted by wildfire control.
Affecting an LNG industry, the Greenhouse Gas Industrial Reporting and Control Amendment Act, 2016, exempted new facilities from reporting emissions for the first 18 months of operations and expanded eligibility to participate in the BC carbon registry; and the Safety Standards Act was amended to move administration of safety standards in the oil and gas sector from the BC Safety Authority to the Oil and Gas Commission. Affecting pipelines, land was removed from Finn Creek Provincial Park to accommodate the Kinder Morgan Trans-Mountain Pipeline System and an amendment to the Environmental Management Act created a requirement for regulated industries, like oil pipelines, to have spill contingency plans.
New legislation included the Great Bear Rainforest (Forest Management) Act which limits commercial logging in the Great Bear Rainforest. the Profits of Criminal Notoriety Act prevents people from being paid to recount crime or profiting from crime memorabilia. The Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy Act, originally introduced by Andrew J. Weaver of the Green Party as the Post-Secondary Sexual Violence Policies Act, was adopted by the government and requires post-secondary institutions to put in place a sexual misconduct policy.
Legislative amendments included an amendment to the Motor Dealer Act which prohibits selling new vehicles using the Internet, prohibits motor dealers from employing unlicensed salespeople, and creates the Motor Dealer Consumer Advancement Fund; the Pharmacy Operations and Drug Scheduling Amendment Act, 2016, expands the jurisdiction of the College of Pharmacists of BC to include licensing of pharmacy owners; an amendment to the Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Statutes Act adds unintended actions to the definition of interference; the Community Care and Assisted Living Amendment Act, 2016, enacted some recommendations from the Office of the Seniors Advocate to allows partners not legally married but having lived together for 2 years to qualify as spouses and removes the upper limit of how many services a residence can provide to a client before the client must be referred to a complex care home; the Local Elections Campaign Financing (Election Expenses) Amendment Act, 2016, enacted the recommendations of the Special Committee on Local Elections Expense Limits to shorten the election period from 46 to 28 days and create a regulatory system for limiting and reporting campaign expenses during elections for mayor, councils, school boards, and electoral area directors; the Protected Areas of British Columbia Amendment Act, 2016 created a new 11,190-hectare park called Ancient Forest/Chun T'oh Whudujut Park; and the Miscellaneous Statutes (General) Amendment Act, 2016, created a requirement that the Agricultural Land Commission could not remove land from the ALR without property owner consent, amended the Income Tax Act to reduce film tax credits, amended the Environmental Management Act to allow the Minister of Environment to order a director to issue or amend a permit to allow for the discharging of waste into the environment within an area-based management plan (for a mining operation).
Two additional laws were introduced and passed in late July. The Human Rights Code Amendment Act, 2016 made discrimination based on gender identity or expression illegal. The Miscellaneous Statutes (Housing Priority Initiatives) Amendment Act, 2016 (Bill 28) created a 15% property transfer tax that applies only to foreign nationals buying real estate in Metro Vancouver and authorized the City of Vancouver to tax vacant residential properties.
Members of the 40th Parliament
Standings changes since the 40th general election
|Number of members
per party by date
|May 14||June 5||July 10||February 12||August 4||August 11||August 12||February 2||August 15|
|Membership changes in the 40th Assembly|
|May 14, 2013||See list of members||Election day of the 40th British Columbia general election|
|June 11, 2013||Ben Stewart||Westside-Kelowna||Liberal||Resigned to allow party leader Christy Clark to contest the seat in a by-election, following her defeat in Vancouver-Point Grey on election day.|
|July 10, 2013||Christy Clark||Westside-Kelowna||Liberal||Elected in by-election; Liberal hold.|
|February 12, 2015||Marc Dalton||Maple Ridge-Mission||Independent||Left BC Liberal caucus to seek Conservative Party of Canada nomination in Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge.|
|August 4, 2015||Jenny Kwan||Vancouver-Mount Pleasant||NDP||Resigned to run in the federal election.|
|August 11, 2015||Douglas Horne||Coquitlam-Burke Mountain||Liberal||Resigned to run in the federal election.|
|August 12, 2015||Marc Dalton||Maple Ridge-Mission||Liberal||Rejoined BC Liberal caucus after losing Conservative Party of Canada nomination in Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge.|
|February 2, 2016||Jodie Wickens||Coquitlam-Burke Mountain||NDP||Elected in by-election; NDP gain|
|February 2, 2016||Melanie Mark||Vancouver-Mount Pleasant||NDP||Elected in by-election; NDP hold.|
|August 15, 2016||Pat Pimm||Peace River North||Independent||Left BC Liberal caucus to two days before his arrest.|
- Fowlie, Jonathan (May 15, 2013). "A win for the ages; Christy Clark boosts Liberal majority in a stunning victory that gives party a fourth term". The Vancouver Sun. p. A1.
- "Christy Clark wins byelection". Penticton Western News. Penticton, BC. July 11, 2013. p. 3.
- Palmer, Vaughn (June 22, 2013). "How can Clark be premier when she lost her own seat?". The Vancouver Sun. p. A4.
- Alexander, Ken (June 12, 2013). "Premier Christy Clark and cabinet sworn in". 100 Mile House Free Press. 100 Mile House, BC. p. A6.
- "Clark government knows what it wants to accomplish". The Vancouver Sun. June 21, 2013. p. A12.
- Hutchinson, Brian (June 28, 2013). "B.C.'s promised surplus now dwindling". National Post. p. A6.
- Charelle, Evelyn (February 20, 2013). "One 'really boring' budget". Prince George Citizen. Prince George, BC. p. 1.
- Bula, Frances (March 28, 2014). "Mayors given powers over fare increases, 10-year visions for TransLink.". The Globe and Mail. p. S1.
- "Missing persons bill widens police powers. Kines, Lindsay". Times - Colonist. Victoria, BC. February 14, 2014. p. A2.
- Bailey, Ian (February 18, 2014). "Nothing in budget for training LNG workers as B.C. looks to private sector". The Globe and Mail.
- Leyne, Les (May 1, 2014). "Letnick, Bennett now sing same tune". Times - Colonist. Victoria, BC.
- Hunter, Justine; Hume, Mark (May 29, 2014). "Province set to overhaul Agricultural Land Reserve". The Globe and Mail. p. S1.
- Fumano, Dan (May 1, 2014). "New water act replaces 105- year- old law". The Province. Vancouver. p. A13.
- Leyne, Les (April 23, 2014). "Bills get processed without spotlight". Times - Colonist. Victoria, BC. p. A8.
- Gilchrist, Emma (May 4, 2014). "Spending limit delay hurts elections". Times - Colonist. Victoria, BC. p. A10.
- "Legislation boosts conservancies". North Island Gazette. Alert Bay, British Columbia. March 20, 2014. p. 1.
- Hunter, Justine; Bailey, Ian (March 27, 2014). "Clark, truckers reach labour agreement". The Globe and Mail. p. S1.
- Shaw, Rob; Hoekstra, Gord (October 7, 2014). "LNG needed to pay for core services". The Vancouver Sun. p. A1.
- Greenfield, Donald; Rautenberg, Alan; Kennedy, Claire (November 27, 2014). "Dissecting B.C.'s LNG tax". National Post. p. SR11.
- Hunter, Justine (October 23, 2014). "Liberals pull plug on key part of climate-change strategy". The Globe and Mail. p. S1.
- "Nisga'a sign pipeline deal, back LNG". The Vancouver Sun. November 21, 2014. p. D1.
- "Timeline of dispute between truckers and trucking companies". The Vancouver Sun. October 24, 2015. p. C4.
- Fletcher, Tom (October 22, 2014). "One last holdup on railway tracks". Courtenay Comox Valley Record. Courtenay, British Columbia.
- Shaw, Rob; Sinoski, Kelly (July 31, 2015). "Fassbender the fixer takes on transit morass". The Vancouver Sun. p. A4.
- Cattaneo, Claudia (July 23, 2015). "B.C. draws line on concessions to LNG sector". National Post. p. FP3.
- Hampel, Emma (February 19, 2015). "New law to regulate LNG development in federal ports". Alaska Highway News. Fort St. John, British Columbia. p. A7.
- Kines, Lindsay (March 12, 2015). "Pay debts or put your driver's licence at risk; ICBC asked to collect on student loans, court fines". Times - Colonist. Victoria, British Columbia]]. p. S5.
- Kines, Lindsay (April 2, 2015). "Transportation Minister Stone aims to clarify lane rules". Times - Colonist. Victoria, British Columbia]]. p. S2.
- Venis, Rodney (August 4, 2015). "Family of killed mill worker 'can now start to heal'". Prince George Citizen. Prince George, British Columbia. p. A1.
- Eagland, Nick (March 13, 2015). "E-cigarette retailers fuming over bill". The Province. Vancouver. p. A3.
- Johnson, Gail (April 1, 2015). ".C. Liberals claim to make seafood safer with Fish and Seafood Act". The Georgia Straight. Vancouver. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
- Wilson, Tony (November 4, 2014). "B.C. government seeks stakeholder input for proposed franchise law". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
- Leyne, Les (June 3, 2015). "Covering tracks by leaving no tracks". Times - Colonist. Victoria, British Columbia. p. A8.
- Leyne, Les (April 23, 2015). "Objections grow to providing vote data". Times - Colonist. Victoria, British Columbia. p. A10.
- Shaw, Rob (December 12, 2015). "Former senior RCMP officer named solicitor general; Morris is the first to solely hold post since early 2012". The Vancouver Sun. p. A8.
- Hunter, Justine (February 17, 2016). "Balanced B.C. budget aims to cool hot real estate market". The Globe and Mail. p. A1.
- Leyne, Les (March 2, 2016). "Great Bear deal provides certainty". Times - Colonist. Victoria, British Columbia. p. A8.
- Harnett, Cindy (June 10, 2016). "For premier, sexual violence is personal; Christy Clark reveals how her experience helped shape response to Green Party bill". Times - Colonist. Victoria, British Columbia. p. A6.
- Lindsay, Bethany (February 12, 2016). "New pharmacy rules proposed". The Vancouver Sun. p. A4.
- "Bill could upend how seniors are cared for in B.C.". The Vancouver Sun. April 15, 2016. p. A15.
- Rafferty, Baker (July 20, 2016). "Government to amend B.C. Human Rights Code to protect gender rights". CBC News. Retrieved July 29, 2016.
- "Province to tax foreign buyers of Metro Vancouver homes". CBC News. July 25, 2016. Retrieved July 29, 2016.
- McElroy, Justin (August 17, 2016). "Special prosecutor appointed following arrest of B.C. MLA Pat Pimm". CBC News. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
- "Ben Stewart steps aside in Kelowna for B.C. Premier Christy Clark". Vancouver Sun, June 5, 2013.
- "B.C. MLA Marc Dalton to seek federal Tory nomination in Fraser Valley riding". The Province, February 12, 2015.