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Stone says Liberals will move forward, be it in a minority or majority government

B.C. Liberal leader Christy Clark, B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver and B.C. NDP leader John Horgan.  - BC Broadcast Consortium photo
B.C. Liberal leader Christy Clark, B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver and B.C. NDP leader John Horgan.
— image credit: BC Broadcast Consortium photo

By Cam Fortems

Kamloops This Week

No matter how the numbers play out in the coming weeks, re-elected incumbent Todd Stone is confident he’ll be part of the government.

“We’re moving forward,” he told KTW on Wednesday. “The people of B.C. have re-elected a B.C. Liberal government — it’s a question of majority or minority.”

While under the provincial ballot the Liberals are in a minority situation, Stone said there’s a strong possibility his party will win in Courtenay-Comox, where incumbent New Democrat Ronna-Rae Leonard defeated B.C. Liberal Jim Benninger by nine votes.

Still uncounted are absentee ballots for the riding with a military base.

“Our understanding is we have hundreds, if not thousands, in that riding alone . . . The vast majority tend to vote for us,” Stone said.

A flip in Courtenay-Comox would give the B.C. Liberals a majority margin of one, but Stone acknowledged it would still require support at times from another party in the legislature.

“It’s a wait-and-see,” he said.

Newly elected in Kamloops-North Thompson, Peter Milobar called it a “weird feeling” knowing his personal future, but not knowing how B.C.’s next government will work. Milobar said he will move into retiring MLA Terry Lake’s Tranquille Road office.

“There’s not many spaces [on Tranquille] to slot in,” he said. “It makes an easy transition.”

Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod watched results late into the evening Ottawa time. She said it’s become apparent there is a serious urban-rural divide in B.C. that needs to come together.

Neither the NDP nor Greens won a significant number of ridings outside the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island.

“My sense is communities in rural areas, to them pipelines are important and natural resource projects are important,” she said. “Vancouver has perhaps a different perspective.”

As for the possibility of a minority government, of which McLeod was a part under the Harper government from 2008 to 2011, she said it will restrict movement of MLAs.

“If you have something in your running — your son is graduating — there’s no flexibility,” she said. “You have to be very watchful.”

McLeod added minority governments are not able to deliver on some of their promises if they cannot find support outside.

 

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