BC NDP and BC Greens release agreement to form BC government

May 30 2017, 9:05 pm

The BC NDP and BC Greens have released their full Confidence and Supply Agreement, after the plan to form a BC NDP minority government was ratified by their caucuses.

The agreement, which you can read in full here, includes promises by the BC NDP to advance several policies as conditions of support from the BC Greens.

Those policies and legislative proposals include:

  • A referendum on proportional representation in fall 2018
  • A ban on corporate and union donations from non-residents of BC
  • Increasing the minimum wage to at least $15/hour
  • Implementing a basic income pilot project
  • Eliminating Medical Services Premiums
  • Fast-tracking enhancement to K-12 education funding
  • Creating a proposal for an essential drugs program
  • Providing quality, affordable child care
  • Establishing an Emerging Economy Task Force
  • Creating an Innovation Commission
  • Introducing carbon tax rebate cheques
  • Sending the Site C project to an independent review
  • Opposing the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion project

While the agreement doesn’t grant the BC Greens official party status just yet, it does agree they need access to legislative tools only available to official parties and support staff.

In a release, BC leader John Horgan said British Columbians had spoken “loud and clear.”

“They want a government that works for them, not just those at the top,” said 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.”

BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver said the agreement would put an end to “bitter, divisive and cynical politics” and he is proud to support Horgan and the BC NDP.

“This agreement establishes a relationship of ‘good faith and no surprises’ between the BC Green caucus and a BC New Democrat government,” said Weaver.

“It is our hope that it becomes a model for future BC governments, where working across party lines is quite ordinary.”

What happens now?

The two leaders have been in negotiations over the past few days, after the final BC Election count confirmed no party had won the election.

As it stands right now, the BC Liberals have 43 seats, the BC NDP 41, and the BC Greens 3, no one has a majority, and the BC legislature is hung.

A party requires 44 seats to form a majority government. That’s the magic number the BC NDP and BC Greens can reach by working together.

However, the agreement between Horgan and Weaver is just the first step in the forming of a new minority government.

The Queen’s representative in BC, Lieutenant-Governor Judith Guichon, must first accept Premier Christy Clark’s resignation–and Clark is not resigning.

The BC Liberals leader made the announcement on Tuesday, saying she had a duty to meet the house and test its confidence, and that she would do just that “in very short order.”

Given that there are more BC NDP and BC Greens MLAs than BC Liberals MLAs, Clark is not expected to win that confidence of the house, so would then be expected to resign.

This would then prompt the Lieutenant-Governor to either ask Horgan to form a new minority government, or dissolve the legislature and trigger a new election.

Clark said she would not be asking the Lieutenant-Governor to send British Columbians back to the polls in a new provincial election.

There is one other theoretical and controversial scenario–if Clark continues to cling to power, Guichon could ask her to resign.

That is incredibly unlikely however, and has rarely occurred throughout the history of parliamentary systems anywhere in the world.

See also

Daily Hive is your home throughout the BC election and the aftermath. Find all of Daily Hive’s BC Election 2017 coverage here: Battleground BC.