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Clark staying on, for now; NDP endorse pact with Greens

BC NDP leader John Horgan and Green Party leader Andrew Weaver reach deal to form government. Twitter photo

John Horgan and Andrew Weaver are going to be taking power in the province right away.

Following yesterday’s announcement that the Green Party will support the NDP to form a minority government, Liberal leader Christy Clark announced today that she will stay on as premier and try to form government. The NDP/Green pact, however, will likely mean Clark would lose the first confidence vote, which would be the Speech from the Throne.

Should that happen, Clark said she would resign as premier. It would then be up to Lt. Governor Judith Guichon whether to ask the NDP/Green alliance to form government.

Earlier today, all 44 MLAs from the B.C. New Democrat and B.C. Green caucuses ratified an agreement pledging to work together to support a New Democrat government.

“The people of B.C. spoke loud and clear on election day – they want a government that works for them, not just those at the top,” said BC NDP leader John Horgan. “With the signing of this historic agreement, we are showing that we are ready to roll up our sleeves and work together to make lives better for British Columbians.”

“The results of the election clearly demonstrated that voters wanted to put an end to the bitter, divisive and cynical politics of the past, and get on with productive governance. Today, I am very proud to stand with John Horgan and our respective caucuses to demonstrate how two distinct parties can work together for the good of all,” said Weaver.

Should they form government, the New Democrats ahve agreed to advance several legislative and policy initiatives identified as a condition of support by the B.C. Green Caucus, including:

  • Reforming the electoral system, getting the influence of big money out of politics, and reforming lobbying rules;
  • Recognizing that education is about lifelong learning and fast-tracking enhancement to K-12 education funding;
  • Protecting and promoting public health care, creating a proposal for an essential drugs program, and giving families the security of quality, affordable child care;
  • Getting people moving with better transit;
  • Giving the opioid crisis the attention it deserves;
  • Establishing an Emerging Economy Task Force and an Innovation Commission;
  • Eliminating Medical Services Premiums;
  • Implementing a basic income pilot project;
  • Fighting climate change while creating good jobs and introducing rebate cheques that will mean most people pay less while increasing the carbon tax beginning in 2018;
  • Sending the Site C project immediately to an independent review;
  • Opposing the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion project.

“This agreement establishes a relationship of ‘good faith and no surprises’ between the B.C. Green caucus and a B.C. New Democrat government,” said Weaver. “It is our hope that it becomes a model for future B.C. governments, where working across party lines is quite ordinary. I have always believed we are better off when diverse views can be represented at the table. This is a new era for politics in B.C. – one where British Columbians are truly the winners.”

“British Columbians have been waiting 16 long years for solutions to so many problems, and we want to help. A New Democrat government, with the support of Green MLAs, will make life more affordable, fix the services people count on, and build a sustainable economy that works for people. This agreement means we have the opportunity to make those changes that are so important. I’m optimistic and excited for the future,” said Horgan.

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