Doug Routley, MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan, will not be a minister in the new NDP government named by Premier John Horgan on July 18.
But the veteran NDP MLA said that with five MLAs from Vancouver Island picked for cabinet positions, and with the premier himself representing Langford-Juan de Fuca, the Island will be well represented in the new government.
Routley said he’s proud of the fact that Horgan chose such a diverse group of cabinet ministers for his government, which reflects the increasing diversity of people in B.C.
“I can’t wait to begin voting on issues that the NDP campaigned on,” he said.
“My role has changed somewhat in that, while I may continue to camp out at ministers’ officers to force action on local issues, I expect the ministers will be more friendly now.”
Routley said he’s particularly pleased with the appointment of North Island MLA Claire Trevena as transportation minister.
“Claire is a champion of ferries and supports reduced fares on minor routes, which is a huge issue for many of my constituents,” he said.
“There are also other transportation issues in the riding, including the need for upgrades on Crofton Road, that need to be addressed, and I’ll be bringing those issues to Claire as well.”
As for Sonia Furstenau, she said she finds the NDP’s new cabinet to be “very promising”.
Furstenau, MLA for the Cowichan Valley and one of the three Green MLAs elected in the provincial election in May, said she didn’t have her heart set on any particular NDP MLA being tapped for any specific ministry.
“But I am the Green Party’s critic for environment, education, health and children and families, so I’ll soon be reaching out to those ministers and begin working on those files,” she said.
“We are an independent caucus that is in opposition to the government, but we do want to work with them. The agreement in principle that we have with the NDP is based on ‘good faith and no surprises’ so I’m looking forward to working constructively for the people of B.C. and the Cowichan Valley with the new government.”
Furstenau said, in fact, she is looking forward to working for the people of B.C. with any MLA who will work with her, regardless of political affiliation.
“All of the MLAs were elected to serve their constituents and the people of B.C. and if we do that, it will be a lot better for everyone in the province,” she said.