People

ELECTION 2017: Unstable minority unlikely to last

ELECTION 2017: Unstable minority unlikely to last

Premier Christy Clark spoke to the lieutenant-governor on Wednesday after the Liberals squeaked out a razor-thin victory over the NDP, leaving the province with its first minority government in 65 years, if the results don't change.

British Columbia Premier Christy Clark's Liberal Party was neck to neck with the left-leaning New Democratic Party in an election that could spell uncertainty for multibillion-dollar energy projects.

Clark also appeared to be doing her best to woo the Green Party supporters and its three members of the legislature, including leader Andrew Weaver.

"And they reminded us tonight that we are far from flawless", Clark said, adding that she was willing to work with the other parties to govern.

"If the Greens cave in on that and go along with them (the Liberals), that's not going to help Weaver all that much", said Meredith, suggesting going against his anti-pipeline voters' beliefs would not help him at the polls next time.

As of today, therefore, the "unofficial" results, have the Liberals with 43 seats, the NDP with 41, and the Greens with three.

But Clark had a different interpretation, saying she reads the results as a plea to the major parties to work together more effectively.

With B.C.'s 87 ridings, a party requires 44 seats to form a majority.

Kathryn Harrison, also a professor at UBC, says the Greens must weigh the risks of either choice but the Liberals may wait to do any negotiating until after May 24, when a final count of ballots is expected.

Andrew Watson says a recount request has been received from Jim Benninger, who received 10,049 votes to 10,058 for the NDP's Ronna-Rae Leonard.

Looking at seats the NDP picked up where the Green vote - if it went entirely Liberal - could have turned the race, the NDP gained in all but two, Burnaby North and Courtenay-Comox.

Community food drive today! Set food by your mailbox on Saturday
It's one of 10 local organizations benefiting from the 150,000-200,000 pounds of food collected during the drive. This weekend the weather was not enough for carriers to fight hunger across coastal Georgia.

Attorney General Suzanne Anton lost her Vancouver riding in one of the first upsets of the night for the Liberals as election results were still rolling in.

Even though a majority of British Columbians voted for parties that oppose the pipeline, McKenna said the federal government is sticking by its support for twinning the Trans Mountain pipeline.

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.

Not so now, however, in British Columbia.

The party commanding a majority forms the government and its leader becomes premier.

He said in both cases, the minority governments fell apart forcing a subsequent election, with the NDP losing seats in both instances while the Liberals gained majority victories.

"It is a finish that we have not seen in a very long time in British Columbia", Clark said.

While the final count won't be concluded until May 22, 2017, voter turnout is estimated at around 57 per cent, up from 55 per cent in 2013. The province has Canada's lowest unemployment rate and has led the country in economic growth two years in a row. The NDP has promised to ban the donations, while the Liberals have said they'll convene a panel to review them.

@GFJB1699 Advance votes are counted tonight.

The Green Party and NDP share similar ideas in some areas, such as opposition to Kinder Morgan's pipeline and raising carbon taxes, Bloomberg reported.

"It is a non-negotiable issue for us", said Weaver.


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