Furstenau supports Green-NDP deal

Furstenau supports Green-NDP deal

Deal could see an NDP government supported by the Greens

Sonia Furstenau, the Green MLA for the Cowichan Valley, said she’s pleased with the agreement her party made with the NDP on Monday.

Furstenau, one of three Green Party members elected in the provincial election on May 9, said putting the Greens’ support behind the NDP will result in the “best outcome for democracy in B.C.”

Green Party leader Andrew Weaver and NDP leader John Horgan announced they have reached a four-year Confidence and Supply Agreement that provides a path to forming a new government.

The agreement will be ratified by both the Green and New Democrat caucuses on May 30 before being released in full.

“After thoroughly engaging with both the Liberals and the NDP sides in negotiations, I feel this outcome makes me the most happy,” Furstenau said.

“In a minority government, each and every MLA in the legislature will have a much stronger voice. We’ll support any MLA who comes up with good policies, regardless what party they are with.”

As for the details of the agreement, Furstenau said both the Greens and NDP decided to refrain from talking about them in depth until all members have had a chance to study it.

It’s expected the deal would see the Greens and New Democrats use their combined one-seat majority in the legislature to bring down the BC Liberals.

The Greens would then agree to support an NDP government in confidence votes, such as throne speeches or budgets, for a full four-year term.

Weaver said that after taking the time to engage in good faith discussions with both parties, his caucus concluded it is in the best interests of British Columbians for new ideas and new approaches to be brought to the legislature.

“This is an incredible opportunity to work together to fix our broken political system,” Weaver said.

“The B.C. Green caucus’ top priority will continue to be to collaborate across party lines with both other parties to advance good public policy that puts the people of British Columbia first.”

Horgan said people in B.C. voted for change on May 9, and the NDP and the Greens are ready to give them that.

“We can have a legislature where all MLAs can put forward good ideas that help people, and come together to support them,” he said.

“That’s the opportunity voters presented us with when they made their decision. We couldn’t be more excited to work together to get closer to making the changes we both committed to in our campaigns, and get good things done for the people of B.C.”

Premier Christy Clark said the Liberals have made every effort to reach a governing agreement with the Greens, while standing firm on their core beliefs.

“It’s vitally important that British Columbians see the specific details of the agreement announced today by the BC NDP and Green Party leaders, which could have far-reaching consequences for our province’s future,” she said.

“As the incumbent government, and the party with the most seats in the legislature, we have a responsibility to carefully consider our next steps. I will consult on those steps with the newly elected BC Liberal caucus, and have more to say (Tuesday).”