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News

Christy Clark to Recall Legislature, Expects to Be Defeated

Liberal leader says her party has a ‘duty to meet the house and test its confidence.’

By Jeremy J. Nuttall 30 May 2017 | TheTyee.ca

Jeremy J. Nuttall is The Tyee’s reader-funded Parliament Hill reporter in Ottawa.

Christy Clark says her BC Liberals will move to test the confidence of the legislature rather than step aside and allow an NDP-Green coalition to take power in British Columbia.

Clark made the announcement Tuesday during a press conference in Vancouver, calling the situation one that “comes with responsibilities” to voters.

“We will live up to those responsibilities that we have,” a seemingly nervous Clark told a pack of reporters. “The responsibilities that voters have asked us to carry out. We have a duty to meet the house and test its confidence.”

She acknowledged her party will likely not last long, but said she would not ask B.C.’s Lieutenant-Governor Judith Guichon to send British Columbians back to the polls if the government is defeated in a confidence test.

“She will make that decision,” Clark said of Guichon.

If her party fails a confidence vote, Clark said it’s likely that Guichon would ask the New Democrats to form government given they won the second highest number of seats in the legislature.

After the final election count, the BC Liberals and BC NDP were separated by just under 1,600 votes in the popular vote.

Clark’s decision to stay on signals she intends to fight the attempt by the New Democrats and Greens to take power in the legislature.

That means British Columbians will have to wait even longer to find out what’s going to happen with their government as the third week since the election passes.

After absentee ballots were counted, the results from the May 9 election stood at 43 seats for the Liberals, 41 for the NDP and three for the Greens.

The parties have been meeting in recent weeks to negotiate potential alliances.

On Monday, NDP leader John Horgan and Green leader Andrew Weaver announced their parties would cooperate to form a “confidence and supply” government.

That essentially means the Greens will support the NDP on legislative confidence votes.

At today’s media conference, Clark characterized her party’s negotiations with the Greens as “unsuccessful.”

She spoke at the same time the B.C. legislative press gallery was in a lock-up to look at the deal inked between the NDP and Greens.  [Tyee]

Read more: Politics, BC Politics

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