Michele Babchuk with Premier John Horgan and Clerk of the Legislature Katy Ryan-Lloyd. (BC Legislature)

Michele Babchuk with Premier John Horgan and Clerk of the Legislature Katy Ryan-Lloyd. (BC Legislature)

Babchuk sworn in to B.C.’s 42nd Legislature

Oath ceremony held with MLAs connecting through video

Members of the B.C. NDP pledged allegiance to the Queen Nov. 24 in a video-heavy swearing-in ceremony, otherwise reminiscent of a university graduation, without cheering crowds.

First-time North Island MLA Michele Babchuk swore her oath in Campbell River, while Premier John Horgan and Clerk of the Legislative Assembly Kate Ryan-Lloyd emceed from the Parliament floor in Victoria.

A television screen was set up behind the two, where each of the 56 MLAs appeared in turn to recite the oath and sign the paperwork on-screen, officially admitting them to B.C.’s 42nd Legislature. Horgan and Ryan-Lloyd paused for a photograph with each television-based MLA.

The two-hour oath ceremony that was live-streamed, was opened with remarks from Clarence “Butch” Dick, an artist, educator and elder of the Songhees First Nation in Victoria.

The NDP announced that theirs will be Canada’s first governing caucus with a majority of women — by a margin of one — and has the most Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) members of any B.C. caucus. It is also the largest NPD caucus in B.C.’s history.

All votes from the election have now been finalized. The North Island elected Babchuk with 12,467 votes (50.75 per cent). The Liberal candidate Norm Facey came in second with 5,904 votes (24.04 per cent). Green candidate Alexandra Morton was third with 4,731 (19.26 per cent), and Conservative candidate John Twigg got 1,462 votes (5.95 per cent).

Advanced and mail-in polls had the same result as the final tally. Morton won 10 individual polls along the coast and islands between Vancouver Island and the mainland; Facey won seven individual polls between Campbell River and the northwest part of the Island.

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BC politics