BC will have a provincial election on October 24, 2020, Premier John Horgan announced today.
Speculation around a possible election has circulated in the weeks leading up to the announcement given Horgan and the BC NDP government’s record high approval ratings during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Horgan said Lieutenant-Governor Janet Austin granted his request this morning to dissolve the legislature and hold an election.
“I have struggled with this decision and it did not come to me easily,” he said.
This election will be one of the few in the province to take place during a provincial state of emergency.
Before the announcement, BC’s 42nd provincial election was scheduled to happen on or before October 2021.
Horgan called waiting 12 months “time wasted” and said that British Columbians should address the differences they have now, and then work together to fight the pandemic.
The BC NDP currently has a minority government with support from the BC Greens.
Both the BC Liberals and Greens have criticized Horgan in weeks prior.
“To John Horgan, I say: you have a responsibility to govern, not play politics,” said Greens leader Sonia Furstenau after assuming party leadership on September 14.
“Who wants an election right now? Because I haven’t come across a single British Columbian who’s pushing for one other than John Horgan," said BC Liberals leader Andrew Wilkinson two weeks ago.
Horgan said that a minority government isn’t strong enough to provide stability throughout the pandemic response. “Unprecedented times come with unprecedented actions,” he said.