VICTORIA - Politicians at British Columbia’s legislature are celebrating the first pledge to the King for a newly elected member and are recognizing what’s expected to be the last session as premier for John Horgan.
The seven-week fall sitting started Monday with the swearing-in of Liberal Elenore Sturko, who was elected last month in the Surrey South byelection.
Here in Victoria with my family for the first day of the fall session and for my swearing in ceremony. I am incredibly grateful to have been selected as MLA for Surrey-South. I am proud to represent Surrey and I am ready to fight for our what we need #bcpoli pic.twitter.com/ggPCe79p9a— Elenore Sturko (@elenoresturko) October 3, 2022
Legislature clerk Kate Ryan-Lloyd told those gathered for the swearing-in ceremony that Sturko is the first elected official in Canada to pledge allegiance to King Charles since the recent death of the queen.
"As we acknowledge the passing of our former monarch, our new member of the legislative assembly will be pledging loyalty to His Majesty King Charles III, the first change of this kind in over 70 years, and I'm told is the first in Canada for a newly elected member," she said.
Horgan announced last June that because of health reasons he would leave his post as premier in December when the New Democrats choose a new party leader, and he would not run in the next provincial election expected in October 2024.
The session starts as the New Democrat government faces criticism for health-care issues, including emergency care in rural communities and a shortage of family doctors.
Former attorney general David Eby and environmental activist Anjali Appadurai are contesting the NDP leadership race.