Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Now what? Election puts BC into political parts unknown

Now what? Election puts BC into political parts unknown

The overwhelming majority of British Columbians voted for change - and now it's up to the New Democratic and Green parties to deliver it - by defeating the B.C. Liberals and throwing Clark out of office. The NDP garnered 41 seats, and the Greens finished with three seats, leaving Weaver to determine whether to side with the Liberals or the New Democrats in a minority government situation.

"I think British Columbians heard the message about how important it is that we fight for jobs, especially in the face of rising USA protectionism in the United States and that we keep taxes low, stay competitive, leave more money in people's pockets and that we keep up the good work that we've been doing for four years", she said.

Many swing ridings were won with small margins, so the final seat count could shift after absentee ballots are tallied and judicial recounts are conducted.

Horgan said that the NDP and the Green Party can work on that initiative in the legislature.

The NDP already endorse Weaver's two preconditions for a coalition with the Green Party.

"Site C is being constructed for an industry that does not exist, the LNG industry, and so desperate are the BC Liberals to actually land LNG that they sign contracts to subsidize LNG ... to the tune of 6 cents a kilowatt hour", said Weaver. If there are sufficient absentee votes to change the outcome in either Courtenay/Comox or Maple Ridge/Mission, the Liberals could obtain the 44 seats necessary for a majority.

Horgan told NDP supporters that the majority of British Columbians had voted for a new government and he cited positions the NDP shared with the Greens, such as banning corporate and union donations, proportional representation and action on climate change.

Throughout the campaign, Weaver was unwilling to say whether he would prefer to work with the Liberals or the NDP - and now he could choose either.

Horgan said he also looks forward to a final result by May 22, with thousands of votes still to be counted.

Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Clark deflected a question on how much she's to blame for the reduced Liberal vote into a chance to embrace the Greens.

"We have a lot of work to do and we're going to do it together", said Furstenau shortly after her victory.

Weaver confirmed that he had met with NDP leader John Horgan, and that the two leaders agreed on many issues, including education and income disparity. The NDP had only a 0.48 per cent increase in popular votes over 2013.

Though the Greens fell short of the four seats needed for official party status, Weaver wasn't concerned when he spoke to the media Wednesday. (TSX:WTE), since Clark has proposed a hefty levy on US coal shipments through the port in response to the softwood lumber dispute.

Horgan and Clark have drawn different lessons from Tuesday's results.

Environment: The expansion of Kinder Morgan Inc.'s Trans Mountain oil pipeline was a major wedge issue between the parties in this election.

"This is truly historic", she said.

It's not easy being Green on British Columbia's political scene - especially for a party facing a hard choice in who it might back in a minority government.

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