Liberal Steve Thomson BC's new Speaker in likely short-lived government

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The Liberal government has a minority of 43 seats in the 87-seat legislature, and it's expected to be defeated in a confidence vote by the NDP-Green alliance.

"We've had a much bigger than expected surplus this year", she explains, "what that tells me is the economy is growing even faster than any of us predicted and given that it's done that for the past three years, this is now money that we can put to work in British Columbia".

Steve Thomson said past practice has been for speakers to resign when a government falls and for the new government to identify a speaker, but declined to say what he would do.

Ahead of Thomson taking the role, Clerk Craig James reminded the legislature that the speaker's job is to act in a non-partisan way to make sure the proceedings of the house are conducted fairly. Should the Speaker come from NDP or Green ranks, it will mean he or she will need to break with the tradition of the Speaker's neutral arbiter role and cast votes on confidence motions, such as budgets, that would bring the NDP government down. "And BC New Democrats are ready to deliver it".

NDP Leader John Horgan also liked the choice, saying, "It's good to have a rugby guy in the chair", adding he's found Thomson fair with all members.

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The legislature will reconvene at 2:15 p.m. Thursday for Lt. -Gov.

The schedule for what happens next is mapped out in the legislature's standing orders, which require a minimum of four days of debate on the Throne Speech.

The B.C. Liberals have announced a number of promises that will be included in Thursday's throne speech, including $1 billion investment in childcare and early childcare development, as well as well as an increase in welfare rates and reforms to campaign financing.

The former Liberal forestry minister will reside over the house as Premier Christy Clark's minority government attempts to maintain its hold on power.

Childcare was a key plank in the New Democrat's platform in last month's election campaign.