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B.C.'s premier-designate officially invited to form government

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David Eby met with the B.C. Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin Wednesday afternoon, bringing him one step closer to assuming the role of premier.

A date for his swearing-in has not been set, but he reiterated that his hope is to take over the job before the end of the legislative session and that he has accepted Austin's invitation for him to form government.

"I can't wait to get to work," Eby said.

"Usually a government would adjourn the legislative session for transition to take place. That's not what we've done. We have this session happening right now while the transition is also happening. So my goal and my hope is to be sworn in as premier and be able to sit in the legislature during this session to be accountable in that way. But also, I'm hopeful to be able to deliver on some key priority areas even in the short time that remains in the session."

Outgoing Premier John Horgan has tendered his official resignation, which Austin said in a statement that she has accepted.

Eby has already been assembling his core team, including a new chief of staff and a new head of the public service. The team guiding him as he takes on the province's top job includes former finance minister Carole James. 

Eby, who was the former attorney general and housing minister, was declared the head of the governing NDP last week following the abrupt end of the party’s leadership race.

On Friday, the premier-designate said his focus in his first 100 days will be launching initiatives to expand affordable housing, shift fossil fuel subsidies to clean energy, and improve the province’s struggling health-care system.

"When that that 100 days starts and I'm sworn in, the work will begin," Eby said Wednesday.

"The issues of housing, health care and public safety are issues that we need to address in a really aggressive and urgent way."

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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