Published: Fri, June 02, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Key energy projects at risk as Greens back NDP in British Columbia

In a news conference before a copy of the agreement was released, B.C. Liberal Premier Christy Clark announced that she will not resign.

Responding to the NDP-Green alliance Tuesday, Premier Christy Clark ended speculation that she would step down immediately, saying she would continue as premier and recall the legislature this month to test the confidence of the house.

An NDP minority government in British Columbia would be hard pressed to make good on all the plans it has laid out in an agreement with the Green party, experts say.

Under the terms of the NDP-Green agreement, the next referendum would take place when municipal elections are held in the fall of the 2018 and both parties would campaign in support of the system that is put to a vote.

John Horgan spoke briefly to his caucus before it met privately to ratify the agreement, which has already been approved by the Greens.

"The decision we took on the Trans Mountain pipeline was based on facts and evidence on what is in the best interests of Canadians and indeed, all of Canada", Trudeau said Tuesday in Rome, where he was travelling.

"We want to hear from BC Hydro what it signed, how binding are these agreement and what are the consequences of proceeding", said Horgan.

Clark said she's prepared to embrace the role of opposition leader if necessary, and has no intention of requesting another election should her party lose the vote.

"We're excited to see what happens next", said Lisa Beare, NDP MLA elect in Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows.

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To some, this may be considered a form of censorship as the firm is hitting where it hurts the most - the bank balance. However, many found the rule changes - now suddenly brought to the forefront - stifling.

"I think the accord between the Greens and the NDP, there's a lot riding on this", Dance Bennick said.

"We do not support the issue of tolls", said Weaver, "but [the confidence agreement] is much bigger than just tolls".

Cariboo-Chilcotin incumbent Donna Barnett, who has served as the Minister of State for Rural Economic Development under Clark for the past two years, told the Tribune Monday she had "no comment" while Cariboo North incumbent Coralee Oakes who served as the province's Minister of Small Business, did not return calls for comment.

Rather, the NDP and Greens will operate as separate caucuses, with the Greens supporting the NDP on confidence votes.

The Liberals won 43 seats in a recent election, the NDP won 41 and the Greens won three.

"I think British Columbians, quite frankly, are sick and exhausted of being told that the 20th century economy is the economy of tomorrow", he said.

The agreement says government will work with the region to develop a long-term funding formula for transit and Horgan said road pricing was discussed in negotiations with the Greens, but nothing specific has been promised.

He said a great deal of the work he, Thomson and Clark started is now underway, including the six-laning of Highway 97 between Highway 33 and Sexsmith Road, work on John Hindle Drive, various intersection improvements and improving access to primary health care. There are different systems, but the intent is that when a party like the Greens gets 17 per cent of the votes as they did May 9, they get 17 per cent of the seats.

Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon was not there, instead the two party leaders handed the signatures over to her executive assistant.

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