VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – The BC Green Party and the BC NDP have come to an agreement to work together over the next four years, paving the way for a minority government in British Columbia.
Green Leader Andrew Weaver said the BC Greens would give the BC NDP support to form government. He said they would work together to provide “stable minority government” over the four years of the government’s term.
“We spent four sessions with the BC NDP. Many, many, many hours talking about issues of commonality, talking about differences,” Weaver said.
“In the end we had to make a difficult decision. A decision that we felt was in the best interest of British Columbia today. And that decision was for the BC Greens to work with the BC NDP to provide a stable minority government over the four-year term of this next session.”
“I am very excited about the prospect of delivering for the people of British Columbia what they voted for on May 9th, and that was change. 60 per cent of the voters that cast votes voted for change and we are going to be able to give that change as a result of the agreement reached between the BC Green caucus and the BC NDP caucus,” said NDP Leader John Horgan.
“The agreement that’s been reached demonstrates that we have the majority support of members of the Legislature,” he said.
The NDP and Green caucuses are scheduled to vote on the deal tomorrow.
Liberal Leader Christy Clark said last week she had a responsibility to form government. In response to today’s announcement, she issued a statement.
“In recent days, we have made every effort to reach a governing agreement, while standing firm on our core beliefs. It’s vitally important that British Columbians see the specific details of the agreement announced today by the BC NDP and Green Party leaders, which could have far-reaching consequences for our province’s future,” the statement says.
“As the incumbent government, and the party with the most seats in the legislature, we have a responsibility to carefully consider our next steps. I will consult on those steps with the newly elected BC Liberal caucus, and have more to say tomorrow.”
— John Ackermann (@jackermann) May 29, 2017
— Lasia Kretzel (@lkretzel) May 29, 2017
What happens now?
SFU political scientist David Moscrop says all eyes are on Christy Clark now.
“Now we wait for Clark to advise the Lieutenant Governor that either she is going to resign, or she’s going to recall the Legislature. So now we just wait on Clark. And if she recalls the Legislature, she’ll have a throne speech and a vote and either she wins that and remains the Premier, or she loses that.”
“…I would imagine (Clark) would lose a vote, and the Lieutenant Governor would ask John Horgan to form a government. Although she could technically also call an election.”
Moscrop says there’s no guarantee this deal goes ahead. A Green or NDP MLA could cross the floor, for example, giving the Liberals a majority, and allowing Clark to extend her time as Premier.
The results of the May 9 provincial election had left British Columbians anxiously waiting to find out who would form government. Final counts of absentee ballots and recounts of two ridings last week confirmed the Liberals have 43 seats, the NDP 41 seats and the Greens hold the balance of power with 3 seats. A party needs 44 seats to govern in majority.
Both Horgan and Weaver have previously said their parties share common goals, such as electoral reform, opposition to the Kinder Morgan pipeline and reforming campaign financing.