Premier John Horgan

UPDATE: 8:20 p.m.

British Columbia has a new governing party.

Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon asked John Horgan to form the first B.C. NDP government in 16 years, after the BC Liberals lost a vote of non-confidence in the legislature earlier Thursday.

"I have met with Premier Clark and will accept her resignation," said Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon in a statement. "I have asked Mr. Horgan to form a government, he having assured me that he can form a government which will have the confidence of the Legislative Assembly."

But Horgan's government faces hurdles. Even with the support of the three Green members of the legislature, the NDP can only count on 44 votes in the 87-seat legislature, putting them in a precarious position.

No members of the legislature broke ranks in the confidence vote as the Greens backed the New Democrats' to defeat Premier Christy Clark's government, ending the Liberals 16 years in power.

The Liberals lost the vote 44-42.

Clark made an impassioned plea to members of the legislature to support her government, saying voters in May's election sent a message that they want the three parties to work together.

UPDATE: 5:30 p.m.

British Columbia's minority Liberal government has lost a non-confidence vote in the legislature, setting the stage for the NDP to govern or for an election.

No members of the legislature broke ranks as the Greens backed the New Democrat's non-confidence motion to defeat Premier Christy Clark's government.

The Liberals lost the vote 44-42.

What happens now will be up to Lt.-Gov Judith Guichon, who has to decide whether to allow NDP Leader John Horgan to try to form government or dissolve the legislature, prompting an election.

Clark, whose Liberals have held power for 16 years, made an impassioned plea to members of the legislature before the vote.

In a bid to remain in power, the Liberals adopted NDP and Green promises from last month's election in their throne speech including higher social assistance rates, banning corporate, union and third-party donations to political parties, spending more on childcare and increasing the carbon tax.

ORIGINAL: 6:30 a.m.

British Columbia's minority Liberal government is staring at defeat today in the legislature, more than seven weeks after squeaking out a minority government in a provincial election.

If the Liberals fall, Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon will have to decide whether to dissolve the legislature or allow the NDP to form a minority government with the backing of the Green party.

On Wednesday, Premier Christy Clark said she is ready to tell Guichon the legislature can't work, if the lieutenant-governor asks for her opinion.

The NDP and Greens have an agreement to defeat the Liberals in a bid to put the New Democrats in power.

But a debate over who will serve as Speaker has raised questions about how long an NDP government might survive as the Liberals have not committed to allowing one of their members to serve in the position.

If a New Democrat or Green member serves in the post, the house is deadlocked with votes likely to end in 43-43 outcomes, leaving the Speaker to decide whether to break the tie.

Last month's election left the Liberals with 43 seats, the NDP 41 and the Greens three.


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