Vancouver – June 1, 2017 – On election night in British Columbia, no party managed to win a majority of seats in the legislature, meaning B.C. will have its first minority government in 65 years. The close election saw the B.C. Liberals winning 43 seats, the B.C. NDP 41 seats, and the Green Party picking up 3 seats for the first time in the party’s history. It was clear that a majority of British Columbians wanted change, and now it appears voters will get what they wanted.
After the election, the Green Party began negotiations with both the NDP and the Liberals to determine who they could work best with in a minority government situation. After several weeks of negotiations, the B.C. NDP and the Green Party have come to an agreement that will see B.C. NDP Leader John Horgan become the next Premier of British Columbia, ending 16 years of Liberal Party rule in the province.
The agreement between the two parties outlines a joint commitment to the values and policies that both parties share and states that the Greens will provide confidence to an NDP government for the next four years. The 10-page agreement also promises a referendum on proportional representation by the fall of 2018, as well as changes to election financing rules (including the banning of corporate and union donations and out of province donations). Under the agreement, the new government will do everything it can to stop the expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline, and will also work towards a $15 minimum wage within the next four years. There will be increased funding for health and education, and a concerted effort to provide more affordable child care spaces. These are just a few of the many positive initiatives set out in the agreement.
The NDP and Green Party deal shows that a minority government can work when our elected officials are willing to work together, listen to one another, and compromise when necessary. As John Horgan, the next Premier of B.C., said at a recent press conference: “For those British Columbians who have been waiting for 16 years to have access to a government without having to write a cheque…help is on the way.”