Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Clark, Horgan, Weaver all say they're willing to work with other parties


As of 11:30 p.m. election night, it is still uncertain whether B.C. will have a majority government with either the Liberals or NDP, or a minority government with the Green Party holding the balance of power.

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.

Clark said Wednesday she spoke with Lt. Governor Judith Guichon, who asked her to remain as premier while absentee ballots are counted and one or more recounts takes place.

"I think, in general, the high-profile policies in the Green platform are closer to the NDP but it's not clear that the leaders are so close, nor necessarily that their voters are", she said, noting that the popular narrative that the greens split the vote isn't supported by the results.

"There's still 176,000 seconds on the clock and I'm going to wait to see what the final outcome is", he said, referring to the number of absentee ballots still to be counted.

The NDP won one riding by only nine votes, making a recount a certainty that will determine the difference between a minority and an ultra-thin majority if it were to flip to the Liberals.

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The results from Student Vote 2017 are in and students have voted in a majority BC NDP government.

Liberal cabinet ministers who were defeated Tuesday included Peter Fassbender in Surrey-Fleetwood, Suzanne Anton in Vancouver-Fraserview, Amrik Virk in Surrey-Guildford and Naomi Yamamoto in North Vancouver-Lonsdale.

The political commentariate is ruminating over the dozens of "what if?" scenarios following Tuesday's provincial election, which resulted in a hung legislature.

While Horgan offered some hope that relief was coming, Clark simply promised more of the same.

But he says even if that's true, it's hard to argue a Green vote split cost the NDP.

The Green party needed four seats to get official party status in the legislature, which would mean more resources for the party and a greater role in the house.

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The softwood lumber dispute "really provided an opportunity for the premier to stay on her message of jobs for the resource sector", said Gerald Baier, University of British Columbia political science professor.

Many Green supporters and voters who found they had simply returned the BC Liberals to power would feel betrayed. "And they voted for an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top", Horgan said.

With three seats, the Green party holds the balance of power in the legislature - a remarkable position for Weaver after becoming the first Green elected four years ago. There will likely be recounts in close ridings (districts).

The Liberals have produced consecutive balanced budgets, the province's economy is buoyant and Clark's job-creation record is a strong one.

NDP Leader John Horgan opposes Kinder Morgan's C$7.4 billion ($5.4 billion) Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion and has also expressed reservations about the $27 billion Pacific Northwest liquefied natural gas terminal that Malaysia's Petronas wants to build.

Minority government are rare in British Columbia.

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On other issues, he added, "We are willing to negotiate".

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