NDP, Greens strike deal
Leaders announce 4-year deal to form minority government
Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver said he saw a different side of NDP leader John Horgan during negotiations since May 9’s historic election.
Both intend to see a different side of the Legislature soon, swapping their opposition seats for the other side of the floor to form a minority government.
The two parties have announced they’ve struck a fouryear “confidence and supply agreement” to form British Columbia’s next government, one that will end the B.C. Liberal’s 16-year reign over the province.
The NDP’s 41 seats and the Greens’ three would represent a majority of votes in the Legislature, more than the Liberals’ 43.
Weaver has been in negotiations with both parties since election night and said he was willing to work with both as long as they met certain Green conditions, such as banning union and corporate donations in politics and moving toward a proportional representation electoral system.
The terms of agreement between the NDP and Greens won’t be released until Tuesday (the NDP caucus still needs to ratify the deal), but Weaver said it will focus on commonalities between the party platforms.
The NDP supported both campaign financing and electoral reform during the campaign.
“We were very, very close with both parties,” said Weaver, cryptically. “And there were some things that we felt were important where some values were a little more common than others.”
One big hint the Green leader did drop, however, was on opposition to Kinder Morgan’s TransMountain pipeline expansion.
“Obviously there are some things that are near and dear to my heart, to the heart of my caucus colleagues, as well as to the hearts of the BC NDP and their caucus,” he said. “One of the things I can say, the issue of Kinder Morgan is one that I have been heavily invested into. The issue of Kinder Morgan was one that was critical to (the Greens) and I think you’ll see that reflected in tomorrow’s announcement.”
Horgan, meanwhile, admitted the idea of being premier gave him an extra spring in his step Monday.
“I am very excited about the prospect of delivering to the people of British Columbia what they voted for on May 9, and that was change,” he said. “Andrew and I have worked very closely together over the last number of weeks. We’ve brought forward the issues that bring us together and highlighted the issues that separate us.
“And we’ve come to a conclusion that a government run by the BC NDP, with the support on issues around supply and budgeting (from the Greens), can in fact deliver the British Columbians a government that is focused on people.”
Asked about their sometimes fierce and adversarial personal relationship — an issue that came up during the campaign — both leaders denied there would be any problems working together.
“To be blunt: I think John and I saw a different side of each other in negotiations,” Weaver said.
Premier Christy Clark did not speak to media Monday, but released a statement calling on the NDP and Greens to make their agreement public.
“We have made every effort to reach a governing agreement, while standing firm on our core beliefs,” said the Liberal leader. “It’s vitally important that British Columbians see the specific details of the agreement announced today … which could have farreaching consequences for our province’s future.
“As the incumbent government, and the party with the most seats in the legislature, we have a responsibility to carefully consider our next steps.”
Clark promised to say more on the situation Tuesday.
She previously said the Liberals still intend to form government.
The Greens and NDP would be in a position to topple it in a vote of confidence as soon as the Liberals table a throne speech or budget, and would then ask the province’s lieutenant-governor for a chance to govern.
While less likely, it’s possible the lieutenant-governor could also call a new election if unconvinced the Greens and NDP could effectively govern the province.
B.C. Green party Leader Andrew Weaver, left, and B.C. NDP Leader John Horgan in Victoria on Monday.