Economy

Clark acknowledges her government likely to fall

You can bet B.C. Premier Christy Clark isn't the only provincial leader concerned about the B.C. Green party throwing its support behind the NDP with the aim of forming a coalition government.

The B.C. New Democrats won 41 seats, whereas the B.C. Greens won three seats - up from one - to hold the balance of power.

British Columbia Premier Christy Clark takes part in a news conference in Ottawa on December 9, 2016.

If the Liberals can't pass a confidence vote, which is likely given the agreement between the NDP and the Greens, Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon will approach NDP Leader John Horgan to form the government.

An NDP minority government in British Columbia would be hard pressed to make good on all the plans it has laid out in an agreement with the Green party, experts say.

BC Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver on Tuesday welcomed Premier Christy Clark's willingness to work across party lines.

"There's an bad lot that can be done in British Columbia to stop the shipping of diluted bitumen in our coastal waters", Weaver said, pointing specifically to the rights of First Nations.

Cameron Muir, chief economist at the B.C. Real Estate Association, said if the BC Greens got their way, there would be a 30-per-cent tax on foreign home buyers across the province.

The agreement also says that the NDP would not request a dissolution of the legislature, except following the defeat of a motion of confidence, and that the Greens would neither move nor vote non-confidence against the NDP in the next four years. We're not all going to get what we want, but, if done right, we can all get some of what we want.

Patrick Ward, chief executive officer of Painted Pony Energy Ltd., a natural gas producer in northeastern B.C., said that, in four decades in the oil and natural gas business, he has experience working with NDP governments.

There are still more questions than answers about the future of politics here in B.C. But with all due respect to Weaver, he might have endorsed the worst possible arrangement for his party: diminished influence behind an NDP government that they have to support on the big issues, while still facing another election sooner than they'd like.

"Should the government fail the test of confidence in the house, as seems likely, I would be given the job of leader of the Opposition".

Rustad dismissed the NDP-Green's promise to have the Site C project put to a review by the B.C. Utilities Commission as going over old territory. That gave me several uninterrupted hours to think through what this historic situation could mean for public education, after struggling and straining for so many years under B.C. Liberal rule.

Elections BC announced the final results of the BC Election almost a month after the vote, and soon after, the BC NDP and Green Parties announced they would work together.

"We were always of the opinion ... that the greatest degree of commonality lay with the NDP", Chaddock-Costello said.

Horgan has said he wouldn't want to change the electoral system without a referendum.

The provincial Liberals are not related to the federal Liberal Party, which is led by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

That test will come as early as next month, she said.



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