NDP leader John Horgan has appointed rookie MLA Jodie Wickens to promote the party’s $10-a-day child care plan, part of a realignment of his critic lineup for the upcoming legislature session and election campaign.
Wickens won Coquitlam-Burke Mountain in a by-election in February 2016, a seat formerly held by the BC Liberal Doug Horne, who quit to run as a Conservative in the November 2015 federal election. Her new critic role is women, early childhood development and child care.
Horgan also gave expanded critic roles to two Vancouver Island MLAs, in a shuffle of opposition roles announced Friday to prepare for the May election.
Victoria-Swan Lake MLA Rob Fleming expands his education critic role to include universities and colleges, formerly held by retiring Burnaby MLA Kathy Corrigan.
Saanich South MLA Lana Popham adds responsibility for small business to her agriculture and food critic roles.
North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice also has expanded responsibility, adding northern economic development to her northern and rural health critic area.
Coquitlam-Maillardville MLA Selina Robinson takes on mental health and addictions as the province grapples with homelessness and a rash of overdoses from potent new synthetic opioid drugs on the streets.
The B.C. legislature resumes sitting Feb. 14, where Premier Christy Clark will set out the government’s agenda for the year in a speech from the throne. MLAs will debate a budget set to be revealed Feb. 21, before the legislature adjourns for the start of the election campaign.