Tegart blasts ex-Liberal Darryl Plecas

By on September 11, 2017
Abbotsford South MLA Darryl Plecas is escorted from the B.C. legislature chamber by clerk Craig James. (Chad Hipolito/The Canadian Press/Pool photo).

 

Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart said she was extremely disappointed with former-Liberal MLA Darryl Plecas’ decision to stand as Speaker of the B.C. legislature.

Liberal MLA for Fraser-Nicola Jackie Tegart. (file photo)

Tegart is the caucus chair for the BC Liberals — a caucus that included the Abbotsford South MLA until he was unceremoniously ejected from the party this past weekend.

“He had assured us that he was not going to consider the Speaker’s seat. We know how tight the votes are in the house, and we are extremely disappointed that he put his name forward to take that seat,” Tegart told the Herald on Friday, following the announcement that Plecas had accepted the position.

Plecas’ decision to serve in the traditionally non-partisan, non-voting role means the B.C. Liberals are another seat removed from the balance of power in the legislature, which is currently controlled by an alliance between the B.C. Greens and the B.C. NDP.

MORE: Little integrity left to protect in Speaker’s chair

In the hours following his decision, the Abbotsford South B.C. Liberal Riding Association requested on behalf of local party members that the Party Executive revoke Dr. Plecas’ membership in the party — the strongest action available to us. Today, the Executive passed a Special Resolution to that effect,” stated the press release from the B.C. Liberal party on Sept. 9.

The provincial election in May saw the Liberals pick up 43 seats, while the NDP collected 41 and the BC Greens secured the remaining three. With former Liberal leader Christy Clark’s seat in Westside-Kelowna now vacant, and Plecas sitting in the Speaker’s chair, the NDP-Green alliance now owns a 44 to 41 seat majority in the legislature.

Tegart went on to state that Plecas had also defied the voters in his constituency who cast ballots for a B.C. Liberal candidate.

“He’s disappointed thousands of people in his riding,” said Tegart. “Volunteers work on your campaign, you campaign as a B.C. Liberal, everyone was aware of how close the numbers are and how important it was that people not put their name forward for Speaker.”

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