News Worms
News Worms

Experts predict instability in the legislature after BC election

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.

Premier Christy Clark remains premier, and she'll get the first shot at forming a new government when she visits Lieutenant-Governor Judith Guichon.

Speaking to reporters the day after the vote, Weaver, whose party tripled its support earning three seats in the legislature, said he has no intention of rushing into an alliance with either the Liberals or NDP.

Horgan sought to portray Clark as out of touch with regular British Columbians who feel the economy is not working for them, while Weaver cast the Greens as political outsiders. "They want us to work together collaboratively and across partisan lines", said Clark, who was trying to win the party's fifth straight majority government.

"Elections are caught down to the last minute and British Columbia is always a coin toss, and it's going to be coin toss again this time, but I'm confident that we're going to work harder than ever before to make sure that we're going to get rid of a government that's focused on their donors, focused on the the wealthy, and get back to a government that's focused on people".

Without a 44-seat majority in the legislature, either the Liberals or NDP would have to negotiate with the Greens to form a government.

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.

But the outcome will remain unclear while 176,000 absentee ballots are counted, which could flip close ridings including Courtenay-Comox, where the NDP won by nine votes. With three seats in the legislature, two of them new, Mr. Weaver told his supporters the party was now beginning negotiations with both the BC Liberals and New Democrats on which deserves to govern the province.

Peter Fassbender, the Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development and the Minister Responsible for TransLink, has lost his seat, as has Suzanne Anton, the Minister of Justice.

Clark, for her part, has worked well in the past with Weaver.

Conversely, the NDP teaming up with the Greens would give them a fragile minority government. The NDP and Greens have promised an outright ban on corporate and union donations.

But the Liberals sowed doubts about the NDP's ability to pay for its promises, repeatedly accusing the party of a massive "crater" in its platform that could only be filled with new taxes.

But the results in several electoral districts - called ridings in Canada - were so close there will be recounts.

Liberal incumbent Jordan Sturdy held on to his West Vancouver-Sea to Sky seat, despite strong showings by both the Greens and NDP.

Clark added that the Liberal vote went down, the NDP vote stayed the same, as the Green vote went up, saying she's taking her cue from the voters. He told voters his party is the only one offering something that's different on climate change and on preparing the province for a new economy spurred by technological change.

"We won the popular vote", Clark said later, smiling wearily as her supporters chanted and applauded.

Hitting back at US plans to implement duties on Canadian softwood lumber, a key export for British Columbia, Clark said the Liberals would add a carbon levy on thermal coal exports from the province that would make them uneconomic.


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