It's official: The Green Party of BC and the BC NDP have reached an agreement on managing a minority government for the next four years. For the full wording of the agreement, click this link; it covers the parties' intention with regard to several issues.
Reactions are mixed: many activists keen on protecting BC's coast from oil spills and expansion of fish farms, and on stopping the Site C dam and slowing the fracking and LNG activities in BC, are over the moon because they see a Green-NDP collaboration as the only way to accomplish those goals.
Others, even some who voted Green, are less enthusiastic. One message read as follows: "I voted Green Party NOT NDP!!! Will never vote Green again!! I feel betrayed!!"
BC Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver sent a message saying:
"Today we entered a new era for politics in BC – one of collaboration and working across party lines.
"The result of the election was clear. Voters wanted change in the way government works and did not want any party to have 100% of the power.
"I am very excited to let you know that your BC Green caucus has struck an agreement across party lines with the BC NDP.
"We will support the BC NDP in forming a stable minority government, while working with all parties on an issue-by-issue basis.
"Over the past few weeks, we have been in serious discussions with both the BC Liberals and the BC NDP to explore how we can collaborate and move forward.
"I wish to extend a warm thank you to everyone who called or wrote us to share what is most important to you as we move ahead.
"Our newly elected caucus made this decision together. We feel this agreement represents what is in the best interests of British Columbians. The agreement will cement our ability to bring forward new ideas and approaches to politics in BC. In fact, MLAs of all parties can work together to pass good public policy into law.
"With your help, we can continue to make politics in BC more collaborative, respectful and focused on people, not special interests.
"There will be more news tomorrow, when we will sign and ratify our agreement.
"For now, here are the key pieces:
· " We have agreed to support the BC NDP in forming government
· " BC Green policy areas have been incorporated into the agreement and were key for our support
· " We retain our right as a party to evaluate all policy and legislation on an issue-by-issue basis, allowing us to make evidence-based decisions, as always
· " The agreement will last the full 4-year term, to create a stable government for all British Columbians."
Our MLA, Katrine Conroy, also issued a statement; here it is:
"B.C. Greens will support a new B.C. New Democrat government that works for people.
"B.C. Green leader Andrew Weaver and B.C. New Democrat leader John Horgan announced they have reached an historic agreement making a New Democrat government one step closer, with the support of the three B.C. Green MLAs.
"“We can have a stable minority government for four years with the support of B.C. Green MLAs on confidence and supply matters,” said Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Greens. “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.
"“This is an incredible opportunity to work together to fix our broken political system. The B.C. Green Caucus' top priority will continue to be to collaborate across party lines with both other parties to advance good public policy that puts the people of British Columbia first," said Weaver.
"“People voted overwhelmingly for change, and we are ready to give them that. 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 New Democrat leader John Horgan.
""We can have a legislature where all MLAs can put forward good ideas that help people, and come together to support them. That’s the opportunity voters presented us with when they made their decision. We couldn’t be more excited to work together to get closer to making the changes we both committed to in our campaigns – and get good things done for the people of B.C.,” said Horgan."
"Weaver and Horgan announced they have reached a four-year Confidence and Supply Agreement that provides a path to forming a new government. The agreement will be ratified by both the Green and New Democrat caucuses tomorrow before being released in full."
No doubt there are groups who are appalled at the outcome of this election, but we have not received official statements from them. A sub-group of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) called "Coast Protectors" sent out an optimistic message to supporters; here are excerpts from it:
"WE DID IT! BC NDP leader John Horgan and BC Green Party leader Andrew Weaver announced a 4-year agreement to form government and send Christy Clark packing!
"What does this mean for Kinder Morgan, Site C and the host of other destructive mega projects the BC Liberals tried to get past the point of no return? We won't know the details for a while, but we will be here to hold government accountable and end BC's reliance on antiquated "fossil fool" economics.
"Coast Protectors, this is a huge moment. Thousands of you demonstrated, donated, talked to friends and family, voted, rallied, organized, campaigned and marched for a government that would stop the corporate sell-out and destruction of this province. THIS IS YOUR DAY.
"But we're not done yet. We have a lot of work ahead. In the days to come, the backlash from corporations will try to convince us that their threats are more important than our principles. Pressure from other levels of government will intensify.
"But for now, let us celebrate the end of sixteen years of Liberal rule and reaffirm our commitments: to the land, the air, the water and each other. We got this. [--]
"We look forward to a new era in British Columbia with great hope and thankfulness. [--]"
How will BC's new government handle the various hot-button issues facing it? These are interesting times.