Being premier of B.C. these days won’t always feel like a plum job.
But we imagine David Eby knows what he’s getting into as he prepares to become premier Nov. 18.
Eby will assume political leadership of a province dealing with a climate crisis, a housing shortage, toxic drug poisonings, a health-care system that’s unwell, and intensifying concerns about crime and public safety. With nearly a decade’s experience in the legislature, Eby knows all this well, and sought the premier’s position anyway, which says something about his resolve.
We’ll soon start seeing how he goes about balancing and prioritizing a daunting workload. Recent weeks have provided some glimpses, but British Columbians who had been hoping for a B.C. NDP leadership race got a little short-changed as Eby’s only challenger, Anjali Appadurai, was disqualified. Of note, the former minister responsible for housing put forward an affordable housing plan with potentially significant measures including a new flipping tax and province-wide legalization of secondary suites. He’s also outlined plans regarding health care, public safety and the environment.
Eby will be challenged in being the guy who comes after Premier John Horgan. We would argue that Horgan’s personal popularity lifted the B.C. NDP to greater election victories than the party’s popularity might have otherwise provided. In an electoral system where relatively small changes to the popular vote have an outsize impact on seat count, Eby will have his work cut out for him, when the next election comes, against a refreshed and potentially rebranded B.C. Liberal Party.
Until then, it’s important to all British Columbians that Eby finds success in his new role. The crises and challenges mentioned above, and others we didn’t mention, require multi-jurisdictional approaches, but the provincial government is uniquely positioned as a problem-solver we must rely on and depend upon.
There will be pressure right away on B.C.’s next premier – as there should be.
— Black Press