BC election results are 'beginning of something different,' Clark says

All three projected Green seats are on southern Vancouver Island, also home to Canada's sole Green MP, Elizabeth May.

Early next week, Elections B.C. plans to release how these yet-to-be counted votes might be distributed in a handful of ridings where margins between Liberal and NDP candidates were tight, at around 200: Courtenay-Comox, Maple-Ridge Mission, Coquitlam-Burke Mountain and Richmond-Queensborough.

These include various kinds of advance, absentee and special votes in races possibly too close to call without them, in an election where power could shift or at least be settled by them.

Elections BC announced on Wednesday afternoon that this time around, there are 176,104 certification envelopes that contain absentee votes.

A final tally is expected by May 24, when all absentee ballots will be counted. That is less than half the number of seats, which means that unless more seats are added through absentee vote counts and recounts, the Liberals will have a minority government. Down Easterners marked that anniversary as a former director of mine-owner Curragh Inc, 83-year-old BC Liberal Ralph Sultan, swept to his fifth straight victory in the affluent riding of West Vancouver-Capilano.

Clark noted that her party won the largest share of the popular vote as well as the most seats.

A party official said Clark had spoken with Green Leader Andrew Weaver and that the two party heads have a proven track record of working together.

But the mining-related issue that unexpectedly gained most prominence was thermal coal and its trans-shipment from the U.S.to Asia via B.C. The stuff "fouls the air".

A Liberal win threatens U.S. coal exporters that rely on British Columbia's ports to ship to Asia. "Parties might have more aggressive get out the vote campaigns, but more likely to me is it's the type of people who use this absentee thing might be quite different and might tend to favour for whatever reason the NDP".

"In the days ahead there will be plenty of discussions taking place between all parties", Weaver said. The Green Party - campaigning on a platform of bold action on climate change and making BC a leader in the low-carbon economy - holds the balance. This time around, it's also possible that the counting of these votes could just as well tip the outcome to a Liberal win. A majority is 44 seats in the 87-seat legislature.

Now considered a key pivotal riding, if the tables turn in favor of the Liberals, it could give the party majority government.

Elections B.C. has seven categories for votes that are counted after election night.

The federal government is assuring Albertans a new pipeline project will still move forward, regardless of the political situation in British Columbia.

  • Leroy Wright