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Independent MLAs Demand Six-Month Interim Supply Act
Submitted. We are calling on the Liberal government to depoliticize the Interim Supply Act by asking the Legislature to approve six months of supply.
We are responding to rumours and one media report that the Liberal caucus is contemplating presenting a three-month supply bill before the coming election. A three-month supply bill would necessitate the recall of the legislature before the end of June, immediately after MLAs and a new Cabinet are sworn in.
In advance of the last two spring elections, when there was not a high expectation of a change in government, interim supply was given until the end of September in 2005 and the end of August in 2009. The new Parliaments were convened on September 12th in 2005 and August 29th in 2009.
We believe that it is little more than partisan politics if the Liberal government is planning on restricting interim supply to three months in an election year rather than the previous practice of six months.
Given the high probability that there may be a change in government, a three-month supply bill can only be seen as a political ploy designed to force a new government to table a budget before it would have a reasonable chance to carefully examine the state of the government’s finances. This is no different than the partisan gamesmanship being played by the Opposition during the budget process in this election year.
Together we are asking the Liberal government to put the public interest ahead of partisan politics by presenting a six-month supply bill, in line with previous pre-election Interim Supply Acts.
We have asked for the fixed election date to be moved to the fall, starting in October 2017. Moving the fixed election date to the fall in 2017 would remove the opportunity to politicize interim supply in advance of an election.
BC’s Independent MLAs include: Vicki Huntignton, John van Dongen, Bob Simpson, and John Slater.