Liberals eke out win as minority government

Frederick Owens
May 20, 2017

Christin Geall of Victoria said she was ecstatic knowing the Greens will hold the balance of power.

Clark's campaign strategy marked a return to the Liberals' winning approach in 2013, when she promoted her party as the only one that could create and protect jobs while portraying the NDP as disastrous managers of the economy.

New Democrats made inroads in key Metro Vancouver suburbs where they needed to capture Liberal seats to come close to forming government. In every case, the BC Liberals suffered significant losses, in some cases thousands of votes.

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 NDP claimed the Courtney-Comox riding by just nine votes, which will mean a recount. According to Elections BC, there were more than 50,000 valid absentee ballots in the last provincial and it's unclear how many there are this time around.

British Columbia's election hangs in the balance with thousands of votes still to be counted, kicking off weeks of speculation and backroom negotiations with the newly influential Green party.

"We've put it on record that the most important issue for us right now, the number one deal breaker, is banning big money in politics", Weaver said. Several of them attracted Premier Christy Clark's support, including a proposal to ban mandatory high heels for restaurant servers and legislation that requires post-secondary institutions to write and maintain policies to prevent sexual violence on campus.

"We inspire people to vote for something... and those people are from across the political spectrum", Weaver said. But Furstenau still comfortably won the riding by 1,500 votes over her nearest challenger from the NDP. "And I think that is what they deserve", said Horgan.

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Clark thanked her supporters, as well as those on the opposing campaigns for standing up for what they believe in. "What do we want to leave for our kids that is better than we found it".

The usually affable Horgan led an aggressive campaign to bring his party's seats within two of the Liberals, showing he is not above getting dirty in the political trenches to secure victory. (TSX:WTE), since Clark has proposed a hefty levy on USA coal shipments through the port in response to the softwood lumber dispute.

"British Columbians did tell us they want us to do things differently".

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

Weaver confirmed that he had met with NDP leader John Horgan, and that the two leaders agreed on many issues, including education and income disparity.

John Horgan spoke to the press later in the day, emphasizing that 60 per cent of British Columbians had "voted for a new government", leaving the door open to some form of NDP-Green coalition.

Meanwhile, political commentators say that Albertans should be watching the results in B.C., especially with the implications they would have on the future of pipeline projects there.

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