Published: Wed, May 24, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Liberals leading in early BC election results


The NDP won 41 seats and the Greens have three seats, leaving Weaver to determine whether to side with the Liberals or the New Democrats in a minority government situation.

Party leader Andrew Weaver was re-elected in his Oak Bay-Gordon Head riding with more than half the votes, which led to a loud celebration at party headquarters in Victoria.

But all of it may be a moot point with more than 170,000 absentee ballots that won't even be counted until May 22, some of the razor-thin ridings may flip entirely, delivering one party or another a majority of seats in the legislature.

Weaver has proven himself to be a pragmatist who has supported Liberal budgets - something Horgan criticized him over. "But it's also our job to always remember who it is that we serve and that we need to stay focused on the things that matter to ordinary British Columbians".

The premier's office said Lt. -Gov. A small rally was held at the Sheraton Hotel in Guildford on Monday May 8, the day before the British Columbia provincial election.

"Voters really hate having the plug pulled very soon after an election and have to go back to the polls", she said. Minority governments tend to be fractious and short-lived, so it is likely, if the standings do not change, that B.C. will have another election well before the set date four years from now.

That's just short of four seats that would give the Greens official party status.

The NDP has tried to make Clark's leadership as premier the central issue of the campaign.

Liberal leader Christy Clark said she intends to form the next government.

The legislative minority means the tiny Green party will hold the balance of power as Premier Christy Clark tries to push forward with pipeline expansion plans and a promise to apply a levy to thermal coal exports to the United States in retaliation for U.S. duties on softwood lumber.

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"This notion that the economy is working for everyone is a myth that Christy Clark likes to perpetuate", said Horgan.

Absentee ballots (176,104 provincewide) won't be counted until at least May 22, according to Elections B.C.

On the eve of the election, Weaver wouldn't discuss where he would throw his support if no party wins a majority of seats.

Kinder Morgan's Canadian unit said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday it is looking to raise up to C$1.75 billion ($1.28 billion) in an initial public offering to fund Trans Mountain.

"I'm on the upside of the roller coaster right now - it's fun", he told reporters after finishing his speech, alluding to the fact that the final result could still change. He could extract a promise that the Liberals would act on some key Green policies - like limits on corporate and union campaign donations.

The NDP accused the Liberals of dragging their feet on political fundraising by failing to back bills in the legislature that would have banned donations from the corporate and labour sectors. Weaver is far closer to the New Democrats on environmental issues.

Three strong personalities - the leaders of the provincial Liberals, the NDP and the Greens - battled it out on the campaign trail but will now have to figure out who will work with whom.

Clark called for a retaliatory ban or tax on USA thermal coal exports moving through B.C. ports.

Clark was first elected to the legislature in 1996 and became deputy premier and education minister after the Liberals' landslide victory in 2001.

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