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What does a Liberal minority government mean for the issues that matter to B.C.?

What does a Trudeau minority government mean for the issues that matter to B.C.? Richard Zussman reports.

Justin Trudeau opened the federal election in British Columbia.

He finished in British Columbia.

Now he is expected to deliver on many of his promises to the province. With the Liberal minority government expected to work with the NDP on the issue of affordability, expect that to be one of the things the two sides will focus on first.

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“I think it is really positive,” Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps said.

“I think first of all we will see the continued investment in infrastructure in Victoria and cities across the country; the NDP will support those investments. I think things that improve the quality of life for Canadians, there is strong alignment between the NDP and Liberals.”

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The New Democrats pledged to create 500,000 units of affordable housing across Canada in the next decade. The Liberals promised to build 100,000 units.

One issue where the NDP and Liberals disagree is Trans Mountain. The Liberals purchased the existing pipeline with the plan to expand it. Singh and the NDP have pushed back against the pipeline expansion and have promised to cut subsidies to energy companies.

“I think the pipeline will sort itself out. The First Nations are taking a very active role in court,” Helps said.

“If I was the prime minister and Jagmeet Singh, it’s not the first conversation I would have. The first conversation I would have is how can we work together to deliver affordability, to deliver prosperity, to delivery climate action, to deliver those things that Canadians need to have a high quality of life.”

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UBC political scientist Kathryn Harrison said she was surprised to see the Liberals hold on to seats close to the pipeline terminal in Burnaby. This includes electoral victories in Burnaby-North Seymour, North Vancouver and West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country.

“The big questions on Trans Mountain will remain what happens in court and the potential for civil disobedience,” Harrison said.

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British Columbians also have a vested interest in what sort of infrastructure projects will be funded by Ottawa.

Prior to the election, The Mayors’ Council was concerned about what impact a Conservative government could have on the Broadway SkyTrain extension.

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There is more confidence the project will be funded by a Liberal minority government.

“Once the government is formed we are looking forward to engaging with them and turning those election promises to real commitments,” Mayors’ Council chair Jonathan Cote said.

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The Conservatives may not have any influence on government but they have substantially grown their seat count in British Columbia.

The party added seven seats, winning Cloverdale-Langley, Kelowna-Lake Country, Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon, Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge, Port Moody-Coquitlam, South Surrey-White Rock and Steveston-Richmond East.

The NDP and Liberals will also have a discussion about electoral reform.

“The New Democrat party will be constructive and will respect the choices Canadians have made,” Singh told reporters Tuesday. “The results show a broken electoral system and it’s certainly clear we need to fix it. I’ve long called for and will continue to call for true electoral reform.”

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The Liberals under Justin Trudeau eked out a minority government victory, and managed to do it with just 33 per cent of the popular vote, compared with 34 per cent for Andrew Scheer and the Conservatives.

— With files from the Canadian Press