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B.C.'s ministers know first-hand how tough a minority government can be

Last Updated Oct 22, 2019 at 1:58 pm PST

(Lasia Kretzel, NEWS 1130 Photo)
Summary

The federal Liberals under Justin Trudeau eked out a minority government victory on Monday night

B.C.'s Finance Minister, Carole James, says good communication is critical to making a minority work

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The battle is done and the ballots have been counted – it’s now time for those heading to Ottawa to find a way to make a minority government work.

While it may be a challenge for some of the new members of Parliament, ministers in the British Columbia government know first-hand what it’s like to work closely with political foes.

“Good communication is critical,” says Finance Minister Carole James. She was there when the B.C. NDP and the Green Party hammered out an agreement to allow the NDP to govern after the last nail-biter of a provincial election.

“We’ve proven it can be a success, and I believe the public is keen on having parties work together,” she says. “My hope is it provides us an opportunity to see our values also reflected at the federal level.”

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

That translated into 157 seats for the Liberals and 122 for the Conservatives, leaving the New Democrats with just 24, including a near wipeout in Quebec where the resurgent Bloc grabbed 32 seats.

RELATED: NDP vows to fight TMX as Liberal minority government says it will move ahead with project

Neither Trudeau or federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh have been clear about what the coalition possibilities could be, but at a news conference the morning after the election, Singh said “everything is on the table.”

As for change regarding the Trans Mountain pipeline, which the federal Liberals bought last year, B.C. Environment Minister George Heyman isn’t optimistic.

“I don’t know that it will have any impact on TMX. I think the Liberals have made it clear they want to proceed,” he says.

What doesn’t change, Heyman adds, is B.C.’s concerns about protecting the coast.

“Insisting on the strictest possible protections, focused to protect against a catastrophic oil spill – we’ll continue to be focused on that.”

With files from the Canadian Press