British Columbia’s Liberal government was defeated on Thursday in a non-confidence vote, as expected, paving the way for the left-leaning New Democrats to rule the province for the first time in 16 years.
The prospect of such a government has unnerved investors in Canada’s third-most populous province, not least owners of oil and gas projects such as Kinder Morgan Inc’s C$7.4 billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, which the New Democrats have vowed to halt.
On Thursday, seven weeks after a knife-edge election, New Democratic Party lawmakers, backed by the Green Party, used their majority of 44 in the 87-member legislature to introduce a non-confidence amendment in the Liberal government’s Throne Speech.
British Columbia premier Christy Clark is expected to inform the province’s nominal head, Lieutenant-Governor Judith Guichon, that she will resign. Guichon is then expected to invite NDP leader John Horgan to form a government.
“British Columbians are closer than ever to getting the new leadership they voted for,” Horgan said in a statement. “And we’re ready to form a strong, stable government.”
The Greens struck an agreement in late May to back the NDP and oust the Liberals after a May 9 general election reduced Clark’s party to a minority. But with only one seat more than the Liberals, a Greens-backed NDP government is fragile and few expect it to survive the four-year term.The right-leaning British Columbia Liberals are unaffiliated with the left-leaning Liberals in power federally.