US & Canada

British Columbia leader Christy Clark refuses to quit

British Columbia NDP Leader John Horgan and British Columbia Premier Christy Clark at their election night rallies in Vancouver Image copyright Reuters
Image caption British Columbia NDP Leader John Horgan says he has brokered a deal with the Green Party to oust British Columbia Premier Christy Clark's party from government

British Columbia Premier Christy Clark says she won't resign, even after an attempted takeover of power from NDP Leader John Horgan.

On Monday, Mr Horgan announced that he had the support of the BC Green Party to oust Ms Clark's Liberal Party.

The Liberals won 43 seats in a recent election, the NDP won 41 and the Greens won three.

Ms Clark said she is unlikely to survive a confidence vote, but will not resign pre-emptively.

"If there is going to be a transfer of power in this province, and it certainly seems like there will be, it shouldn't happen behind closed doors," she said on Tuesday during a brief press conference.

Under Canadian law, she does not have to resign, since her party won the most seats in the legislature. She said she expects the legislature will test the confidence of the government in "short order", possibly as soon as early June.

If her party fails this vote of confidence, than it is up to to the province's lieutenant governor, who is appointed by the Queen, to either call another election or call on the NDP to lead.

Ms Clark said she would not request another election so soon after May's election, but that it is in the hands of BC Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon.

Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver said his party will support the NDP for four years in a "stable minority government". Mr Weaver was careful to stress it would not be a coalition government and the Green Party would not have any seats in cabinet.

After 16 years in power, the BC Liberal Party has struggled recently amid high-profile donation scandals and a strong environmental movement in the province that vehemently opposes the oil and gas industry.

Mr Weaver said the Liberals' support of the Kinder Morgan pipeline was one of the main reasons why he decided to back Mr Horgan instead of Ms Clark. He and Mr Horgan say they will use "every tool available" to stop the pipeline's expansion.

The provincial Liberals are not related to the federal Liberal Party, which is led by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

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