B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver is flanked by new MLAs Adam Olsen and Sonia Furstenau, whom he introduced as “the first Green caucus in North America.”

B.C. Green leader begins talks with other parties

Potential minority government gives Weaver bargaining power

Taking corporate and union donations out of B.C. politics is the first priority for B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver, who may hold the balance of power in a minority government after Tuesday’s election.

“We put it on record that the most important issue for us right now, the number one deal breaker is banning big money in B.C. politics,” Weaver told reporters Wednesday. “It is a non-negotiable issue for us to support either of the parties.”

Weaver had requests to speak with B.C. Liberal leader Christy Clark and NDP leader John Horgan Wednesday after a preliminary vote count Tuesday night left Clark one seat short of a majority. With three Green MLAs joining 41 NDP and 43 B.C. Liberals, Weaver’s support could be crucial to a minority government.

Clark said Wednesday she spoke with Lt. Governor Judith Guichon, who asked her to remain as premier while absentee ballots are counted and one or more recounts takes place.

Clark noted that her party won the largest share of the popular vote as well as the most seats. On election night she said she is confident the party’s standing may improve, with a narrow decision in Courtenay-Comox that could give the B.C. Liberals a bare majority if absentee ballots favour her candidate.

Horgan said he also looks forward to a final result by May 22, with 176,000 votes still to be counted. He emphasized the NDP’s gains, taking Lower Mainland seats and knocked off three B.C. Liberal cabinet ministers, Suzanne Anton, Amrik Virk and Peter Fassbender.

“Sixty per cent of those who cast ballots yesterday voted for change,” Horgan told reporters in Vancouver.

Asked about the possibility of co-operating with the Greens, Horgan said he is interested in improving public health, education, child care and housing.

“I’m prepared to work with anyone who wants a better B.C.,” Horgan said.