The leaders of the B.C. Green Party and NDP intend to form a minority government.
In an election that was too close to call on May 9, the B.C. Liberals emerged with 43 seats, the NDP with 41 and the Greens with three after absentee ballots were counted and a recount was completed in Courtenay-Comox.
Green leader Andrew Weaver and New Democrat leader John Horgan announced they have reached an agreement to work together, making a New Democrat government one step closer.
“We’re excited to see what happens next,” said Lisa Beare, NDP MLA elect in Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows.
“The people of B.C. voted to replace Christy Clark. That’s what we ran on, and that’s what we’re going to do.”
“A New Democrat government will deliver what people voted for on May 9: making life more affordable, fixing the services people count on, and building a sustainable economy that works for everyone,” said Horgan.
“We can have a legislature where all MLAs can put forward good ideas that help people, and come together to support them.”
The agreement will not require the Green Party to side with the NDP on every vote.
“We can have a stable minority government for four years with the support of B.C. Green MLAs on confidence and supply matters,” said Weaver.
“After taking the time to engage in good faith discussions with both parties, our caucus has concluded that it is in the best interests of British Columbians for new ideas and new approaches to be brought to the B.C. Legislature,” he said.
Alex Pope, who ran for the Green Party in the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows riding, said the new dynamics in the legislature could allow for more cooperation among the parties, and make it a proving ground for a new electoral system.
“There’s an opportunity to try and prove that parties in B.C. are able to cooperate, and prove that proportional representation can work,” he said, adding that electoral system typically creates more minority governments.
Pope was not surprised by the announcement on Tuesday afternoon.
“We’ve got to pick one or the other, and it’s a matter of trying to figure out where there’s the common ground.”
Maple Ridge Mayor Nicole Read commented in social media: “So pleased to see these two working together with such optimism. I think this was the very best of all possible outcomes.”
Premier Christy Clark has issued the following statement:
“In recent days, we have made every effort to reach a governing agreement, while standing firm on our core beliefs. It’s vitally important that British Columbians see the specific details of the agreement announced today by the B.C. NDP and Green Party leaders, which could have far-reaching 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. I will consult on those steps with the newly elected B.C. Liberal caucus, and have more to say tomorrow.”
The agreement will be ratified by both the Green and New Democrat caucuses tomorrow before being released in full.