British Columbians voted for a change in government: NDP Leader John Horgan

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 19, 2017

Premier Christy Clark is still Premier of British Columbia - for now - but unless a recount in close ridings like Courtney-Comox or absentee ballots hand the BC Liberals a majority, Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver is now the most influential political in B.C.

The premier's office said Lt. -Gov.

Both Clark and Green Party leader Andrew Weaver have said they are open to working with other parties, but the precarious nature of minority governments and an alliance between the energy-friendly Liberals and the environmentalist Greens cast some doubt on the ability to get projects done.

Among the casualties of the night was prominent BC Liberal cabinet minister Peter Fassbender, the former education minister, who conceded defeat to the NDP's Jagrup Brar in Surrey-Fleetwood.

Even after the final results are announced May 24, tight finishes could trigger judicial recounts.

But Clark had a different interpretation, saying she reads the results as a plea to the major parties to work together more effectively. Asked several times if she accepts personal responsibility, Clark avoided a direct answer.

Depending on the outcome, British Columbians may be in for a new NDP government that would aim to block the Kinder Morgan pipeline twinning, and potentially unravel BC Liberal megaprojects like the Site C dam and Massey Bridge, while raising taxes on the wealthy and providing new subsidies for child care and to aid renters.

But Clark was somewhat contrite, acknowledging that her party had seen both its seat count and popular vote diminished, and that she may have to court the Greens' support.

So far the BC Liberals have stacked up about 40.9. per cent of the popular vote, to 39.9 per cent for the NDP and 16.6 per cent for the Greens.

The NDP campaign stepped up its attack on the Greens in the final days, warning voters that the NDP is the only party that could end the B.C. Liberal dynasty.

Weaver said he and Horgan agree on some key issues, such as electoral reform and a ban on corporate and union donations. "What do we want to leave for our kids that is better than we found it". "We need to reclaim democracy for the people of British Columbia".

In that riding, students picked city councillor and NDP candidate Anne Kang over Rick McGowan of the Green Party.

The final election results won't be known for at least two weeks when tens of thousands of absentee ballots are counted.

The legislative minority means the tiny Green party will hold the balance of power as Premier Christy Clark tries to push forward with pipeline expansion plans and a promise to apply a levy to thermal coal exports to the USA in retaliation for U.S. duties on softwood lumber.

"I would expect that as soon as government sits in the Legislature, there will be very soon after that legislation tabling banning big money in B.C.", he said.

If one party does not emerge with a majority of seats after an election, convention dictates the Lieutenant Governor offer that opportunity first to the person who previously held the job.

"It's easier to imagine a deal between the Greens and the NDP - not personality wise, but on substance".

Johnston said if the results remain a Liberal minority government with the Greens holding the balance of power, Weaver has to be careful.

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