Canadian Manufacturing

B.C. election leaves province with first minority government in 65 years

The Liberals ran a campaign during this election that focused on economic growth and job creation and positioned themselves as the antidote to U.S. protectionism

May 10, 2017  by Geordon Omand, The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER—Christy Clark says the results of British Columbia’s May 9 election that produced a minority government for the first time in 65 years is “the beginning of something very different.”

Voters have sent a clear message they want political parties to find a way to work together, said the Liberal leader after a roller-coaster evening of flip-flopping election results.

Clark, 51, told supporters she intends to remain premier despite coming one seat shy of the bare minimum 44-seat threshold needed to form a majority government.

“British Columbians did tell us tonight that they want us to do some things differently,” Clark told hundreds of supporters who had gathered in downtown Vancouver to watch the election results come in.


“They want us to work together. They want us to work across party lines. And they want us to find a way to get along so that we can all work for the province that all of us love so very, very much.”

Clark’s Liberals won 43 of the 87 seats in the legislature, while the NDP had secured 41. For the first time in provincial history, the Greens expanded their seat count from one to three, which gives the third party the balance of power.

Many swing ridings were won with small margins, so the final seat count could shift after absentee ballots are tallied and judicial recounts are conducted.

“Voters always know best. And they reminded us tonight that we are far from perfect,” Clark said, adding that she was willing to work with the other parties to govern.

“They reminded us that we need to be humble. But it’s also our job to always remember who it is that we serve and that we need to stay focused on the things that matter to ordinary British Columbians.”

A party official said Clark had spoken with Green Leader Andrew Weaver and that the two party heads have a proven track record of working together.

This election was Clark’s second as premier. She was chosen as leader of the Liberals in 2011 and staged a come-from-behind victory in 2013, the Liberals fourth consecutive majority.

Clark was first elected to the legislature in 1996 and became deputy premier and education minister after the Liberals’ landslide victory in 2001.

In 2005, she left politics to spend more time with her family, but still made a failed bid to run for Vancouver mayor the following year. She also hosted a radio talk show on Vancouver station CKNW.

The Liberals ran a campaign during this election that focused on economic growth and job creation, billing themselves as the stable hand on the tiller and the most responsible stewards of the provincial economy.