Lt. Governor Judith Guichon’s role is ceremonial, except in times of minority when she may be called upon to decide if a new election is needed. (Black Press files)

ELECTION 2017: B.C. will have first minority government in 64 years

Negotiations between parties may determine if B.C. Liberals can continue

With the long-awaited final vote count indicating a fragile minority win for Premier Christy Clark in the May 9 B.C. election, talks with the three-seat B.C. Green Party take centre stage as the B.C. Liberals and B.C. NDP attempt to make a case for forming government.

More than two weeks after voting day, absentee ballots confirmed a win for NDP candidate Ronna-Rae Leonard in Courtenay-Comox, giving the NDP 41 seats in the new 87-seat B.C. legislature. The B.C. Liberals finish with 43 seats, one short of a majority.

Talks with the three-seat B.C. Green Party have taken centre stage in recent weeks, as the B.C. Liberals and B.C. NDP attempt to make a case for forming government.

As party representatives try to negotiate an agreement with Green Party leader Andrew Weaver to support one or the other major party in crucial votes, the focus shifts to B.C. Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon. Her largely ceremonial role becomes pivotal as she must invite either Clark or NDP leader John Horgan to form a new government.

History as well as numbers are on Clark’s side for now. The B.C. Liberals won the most seats and Guichon would need a clear reason to call for a change, such as the defeat of the government in a vote on its pre-election budget.

With support from the Greens, the B.C. Liberals would be expected to convene the legislature by July to present a throne speech and pass their pre-election budget. Its key provision, a 50-per-cent cut to Medical Services Plan premiums starting in January, was a similar commitment to the NDP and Green platforms.

If the B.C. Liberal government is defeated on a budget or other “confidence” vote in the early days of the new session, Guichon would be expected to offer Horgan’s NDP a chance to govern rather than call another election immediately.

The last time B.C. had a minority government was 1952, when W.A.C. Bennett’s Social Credit Party won 19 of 48 seats in a legislature that included Liberal, Conservative and CCF parties. The following year, Bennett engineered the defeat of his own government and won the first of seven straight majorities.

Courtenay Comox NDP winner Ronna Rae Leonard

Posted by Comox Valley Record Newsroom on Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Just Posted

Big news for Falkland tv show

British Columbia TV show hit 42 + million American households

Lumby ‘elves’ help kids make Christmas magical

Organizers of Elves Shelves say 2017 was their “best year yet”

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

Stapley pushes West to finals

Brett Stapley and Canada West are in Saturday’s gold medal game at the 2017 World Junior A Challenge.

Trustee to consider opening outdoor school in September

Staff recommend South Canoe School re-open with a new district program

What’s happening

Find out about the events happening in your community this weekend

Interior Health holding immunization clinic in Vernon Saturday

IH issues list of Okanagan meningococcal immunization clinics

Holiday houses popular at Village Green Hotel

Village Green Hotel gingerbread house display draws a crowd

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Pedestrian hit on Highway 97 in Vernon, across from London Drugs

Emergency vehicles attending to a pedestrian struck on Highway 97 in Vernon… Continue reading

Police issue warrant for Sicamous man

Sheldon Odd wanted for theft under $5,000

One convicted, two cleared in 2014 deaths of men in B.C.’s Cariboo

Andrew Jongbloets convicted of manslaughter in deaths of Matthew Hennigar, 23 and Kalvin Andy, 22

Enderby florist wins Best in BC

After years spent working behind the scenes, an Enderby florist is taking centre stage

Most Read