Tuesday November 24, 2020 | VICTORIA, BC
by Mary P Brooke, editor | Island Social Trends
It took over two and half hours on this grey rainy afternoon, but all the BC NDP MLAs are now sworn in. It was a virtual ceremony (only Premier John Horgan and Clerk of the Legislative Assembly on camera in the actual assembly chamber), with MLAs on their own home turfs, signing the official oath-swearing documentation.
Given the importance of the event, it was odd that the professional news media was not specifically pre-advised of the time and link. Despite the prevalence of social media in our lives, the roll out of the entire affair seemed somehow to be missing the appropriate level of presence to the general public. Only political die-hards would have proactively tuned in.
Oddly, the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly thanked a whole host of people or departments including Hansard Broadcasting, Sergeant at Arms, Legislative Facility Services, the Legislative Technical Department, and her own Clerk’s office. But all that was internal. Reaching out, well, that ball got dropped.
After a few glitches of wording or matters of digital signing, all 57 NDP Members of the Legislative Assembly finally got sworn in. Of those, 23 are brand new to the job.
Horgan addressed the MLAs:
Now officially the Premier of BC, the re-elected John Horgan delivered a brief speech to his virtual audience (he quipped that it would have been much longer, but who knows, the day was long). For about five minutes the re-elected premier covered aspects of how following the science has helped his government make appropriate decisions for British Columbians during the pandemic.
He cited “unity and common purpose” as a key thread upon which success has been achieved in the pandemic so far. But he also acknowledged that when he meets and talks to people there is evidence of “fear and anxiety in our communities”.
He gave his new MLAs a sobering view of the next four years, that it will be a sacrifice for themselves and their families. But it will all be toward “making BC a better place”.
Over the next four years, Horgan says he wants to “fix the seniors care system, make life easier for families, and restart and recover our economy”.
He said stuff that people now pretty much take for granted, such as “no one expecting that 2020 would bring a pandemic” or that 2020 would bring an election during a pandemic (though on the the last point, that was to most ways of thinking, within his control not to call).
He was rightfully proud to note that the majority of his caucus are women. That is a first in Canada.
The re-elected NDP Premier significantly underplayed the victory of ushering in a second progressive government that will change the face of BC for decades, launching from this unique crisis-point in history, the COVID pandemic.
Posing and partying:
Horgan posed for photos ‘with’ each MLA (the latter on a live teleconference screen). The Clerk went through the verbal mechanics of documenting that each MLA had properly sworn in.
Apparently the new NDP caucus will celebrate together remotely this evening, on a Zoom call.