“Nothing’s a given at this stage,” said B.C.’s Green Party leader Andrew Weaver, when it comes to what his party will do following last week’s provincial election.
At the end of the night, the BC Liberals had 43 seats, the BC NDP 41 and the Green Party had three, putting them potentially in a kingmaker position. Their seats, combined with those of one other party, would make up a majority of seats in the Legislature. In an interview with The West Block’s Vassy Kapelos, Weaver said that he has been in discussions with both parties.
Weaver plans to continue meeting with the Liberals and NDP next week as well.
“I’ve had a couple of phone call conversations both with the premier as well as the leader of the opposition, Mr. Horgan,” he said. “We’ve agreed to continue discussions as to how we might work together in both cases. Starting next week I’ll be holding more formal discussions with the premier and her staff and the leader of the opposition and his staff.”
His goal is simple: “The idea is to see how much of our platform we can actually get others to agree to.”
There are some “dealbreakers” though, he said.
“We want to get big money banned out of B.C. politics. We’re the Wild West out here. I think that’s one that both parties would agree to. We’d like to get official party status of course, to get us the resources to actually do the job we’ve been elected to do.”
There are other dealbreakers too, he said, though he doesn’t want to “show our cards prior to entering those negotiations.”
Before the election, Weaver told Global BC’s Keith Baldrey that neither the Liberals nor the NDP could be trusted with a majority government. “The BC NDP are no better than the BC Liberals in terms of actually putting people ahead of political calculations,” he said.
In that interview, he also noted that if he was to work with NDP leader John Horgan, Horgan would have to “control his temper.”
One issue Weaver discussed on The West Block was the Trans Mountain pipeline, which he says needs more analysis.
“We’ve never supported having diluted bitumen in our coastal waters. We want diluted bitumen out of our coastal waters. The BC NDP have also agreed to that.”
However, pushing for specific policies isn’t his primary goal, he said.
“We have been elected by British Columbians to work with other parties. We have not been elected to run an agenda,” he said.
He wants to ensure there are good policy discussions in the Legislature and that political considerations are kept out as much as possible.
Of course, the results of the election could still change. Judicial recounts have been requested in two ridings, and absentee ballots have yet to be counted, which could alter the seat counts.
“Historically absentee ballots bode very well for the BC Greens and the BC NDP,” said Weaver.
“If anything it will tighten up, in my opinion. I suspect it might even come to 42-42, with three Green.”