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Transition to 'Premier Eby' well underway, says new B.C. NDP leader's team


David Eby will be sworn in as B.C.’s new premier before the end of November, according to the co-chair of his transition team.

Eby has 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.

"One thing you can count on is premier-elect Eby will be in the legislature before the session wraps up," she told reporters Tuesday.

Eby has also set out a 100-day plan, though critics say it lacks details.

James said those issues will guide the transition.

"You've heard him talk about housing, you've heard him talk about health-care, the importance of climate action and community safety, and those four pieces will get an emphasis as we look at how we deal with the transition," she added.

Eby was given an advantage after the only other contestant in the NDP leadership race was disqualified.

Gerald Baier, an associate professor in UBC's Political Science department pointed out new leaders will want to make their mark on government.

"He has more time to put his trademark or stamp on the budget that comes out in the spring. He has more time to shuffle the cabinet if he wants to," Baier added.

For weeks, the opposition has hammered away at Eby's record, accusing him of failing to take the issue of violent repeat offenders seriously during his time as attorney general.

On Tuesday, the BC Liberals attacked the government on health-care. Todd Stone, Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson asked about ballooning spending on administrative costs at a time the health-care system is in crisis.

"How can this health minister justify having 64 vice-presidents across the health authorities, making, on average, $400,000 each, and spending $1.3 billion more on administrative costs today than in 2017?" Stone asked.

While that question was directed to Adrian Dix, pretty soon the buck will stop with Eby. He has vowed to stay the course of the popular outgoing premier, John Horgan.

Baier pointed out it's more of a centrist position than the activism the NDP has been known for.

"He's signaling that what you liked about the NDP that brought us in in 2020 is the same kind of things that you'll be able to vote on in 2024," Baier explained.

While the transition is the more immediate concern, in politics, the next election is always top of mind. Top Stories

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