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Rustad becomes minister of forests

He will remain as minister for as long as the B.C. Liberal government lasts

  • Jun. 28, 2017 2:00 p.m.

MLA for Nechako Lakes John Rustad has been appointed as minister of forests, lands and natural resource operations in addition to his cabinet duties as minister of aboriginal relations and reconciliation.

Rustad was re-elected to represent Nechako Lakes in 2017 and has served as minister of aboriginal relations and reconciliation since June 2013. The appointment as forests minister took place last week after former minister Steve Thomson resigned to take on a new role.

Thomson was elected as speaker of the B.C. legislature last Thursday to begin a historic session to determine whether the NDP and B.C. Green Party will take over as government or whether voters head back to the polls. Rules of the house require four days of debate before a confidence vote can begin, and the B.C. Liberals may extend that period by introducing legislation for debate.

The first likely opportunity for a vote of non-confidence in the throne speech would be Thursday, June 29.

As the house reconvened to elect Thomson to serve as speaker for as long as the B.C. Liberal government lasts, NDP leader John Horgan said he is confident the NDP can put up their own speaker and govern effectively.

He said once the B.C. Liberals lose a vote, he takes over as premier and names an NDP cabinet, it would likely be late August or early September before he can complete the transition of government and call the legislature again.

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