BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau said British Columbians face the choice between a “false majority government” and a “more cooperative, collaborative” form of governance as evident during the last three-and-a-half years.
Furstenau made those comments during a campaign stop in Saanich North and the Islands. British Columbia needs more “collaboration across all three parties” to address several “overlapping” emergencies facing the province, said Furstenau in making the pitch for voters to confirm the status quo prior to the dissolution of provincial legislature. New Democrats and BC Liberals each held 41 seats, with the BC Greens holding two seats, and one independent before New Democratic leader John Horgan in his capacity as premier successfully asked for the dissolution of the legislature one year ahead of the next scheduled election.
Horgan had led a minority cabinet up to that point under the terms of an agreement with the BC Greens.
Furstenau later played up the accomplishments of that government, pointing out later that pundits had given it few chances for success. It delivered “incredible outcomes” for British Columbia, she said in pointing to the Clean BC climate action plan, efforts to innovate and modernize the provincial economy, changes in resource policy, and improved child care among others.
“There is a very long list,” she said. “This is the first election in BC without corporate or union donations and in which donations are limited to $1,200.”
The previous minority government did not satisfy all interests with disappointments along the way, said Furstenau. “But that is good governance,” she said. “I look forward to there being much more good governance in this province.”
Within this context, Furstenau referenced promises by New Zealand’s recently re-elected prime minister Jacinda Arden to work collaboratively despite having won a majority during the last national election in that country, which uses a coalition-prone mixed-member proportional system.
“This is a maturity in politics and governance that we need more than ever in the world right now,” said Furstenau. “And I hope and aspire that maturity to continue in British Columbia.”
Furstenau’s appeal for the status quo prior to dissolution (with its implicit role for the BC Greens as holding the balance of power) came less than hour after Horgan’s brief 20-minute stop in Sidney for a photo-opportunity with media not allowed to ask any questions.
During his stop with local NDP candidate Zeb King, Horgan not only promised that New Democrats would ‘flip’ the riding away from incumbent BC Green Adam Olsen, but also re-confirmed his play for an outright majority, a move critics have denounced as cynical and unnecessary.
“We are a long way from getting out of this [pandemic],” said Horgan in stressing health care as a priority. “If we can put the election behind us and spend the next four years focusing on people, we will all be better off, and that is our goal.”
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