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NEWS: Christy Clark wins surprise majority in British Columbia

Last evening, CTV projected that the NDP had an 87 per cent chance of winning the provincial election in British Columbia and could win up to 54 seats in the legislature. But in a stunning twist, the Liberals – which had been trailing in the polls by a margin of 20 per cent – won the election with 50 seats, up from the 45 seats they held prior to the election. The NDP actually lost 3 seats in the election and now hold 33 seats.

The loss by Dix will mean that Prime Minister Stephen Harper will not likely be challenged by the BC government on a number of key campaign issues:

1. CETA and prescription drug costs
In May 2012, Postmedia News reported, “Dix said … support for a proposed Canadian-European trade deal … could trigger higher prescription drug prices…” In August 2012, a BC NDP media release stated, “By stopping the pharmaceutical provisions of CETA, promoting best practices in prescribing, expanding access to generic drugs and protecting consumers against the rising cost of brand name drugs we can free up resources to invest in primary care, disease prevention and home support.”

2. CETA and drinking water, excluding municipalities
In June 2011, Policy Note reported, “Dix and House Leader John Horgan pressed (Premier Christy Clark) on issues such as the possible inclusion of drinking water in (CETA), a subject that has been exempted from previous trade deals. Dix also asked the Premier whether she supported the request from the Union of BC Municipalities and the B.C. School Trustees Association that they be left out of the deal. …Dix (also) asked the Premier if she would make public what BC was offering up in the discussions.”

3. Canada Health Accord
A Postmedia News report highlights that, “Dix said the (Harper) government’s “unilateral reduction in the growth of health transfers” was a problem.

4. Northern Gateway, Trans Mountain pipelines
Toronto Star columnist Tim Harper has written, “A victory for Dix would be a mandate to simply say no (to allowing Alberta’s heavy bitumen to get to British Columbia ports for export to Asia). …Dix opposes the giant Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project in the north and has said he would withdraw from the federal environmental hearing within a week of his election and do his own environmental review. …Dix would also do his own review of the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion to the West Coast — which he opposes — or any other heavy oil pipeline proposal.”

5. Supertankers on the West Coast
Harper writes, “The NDP leader has (also) promised to keep supertankers out of treacherous and narrow B.C. waters…”

6. The Prosperity mine at Fish Lake
Postmedia News has also reported, “Dix reserved his toughest words for the government’s handling of environmental reviews of two controversial natural resource projects: (the) Northern Gateway pipeline and Vancouver-based Taseko’s New Prosperity gold-copper mine.”

7. Private run-of-river hydro-dams
In 2011, Dix was critical of run-of-river power projects. CTV reported, “Dix said (BC Hydro) has to change course and abandon private power. ‘They acknowledge what’s obvious, which is what we’ve been saying for years,’ he said. ‘This is bad business that damaged BC Hydro and ratepayers are paying the price.'”

For more, please read:
CETA and prescription drug costs
CETA and drinking water, excluding municipalities
Northern Gateway, Trans Mountain pipelines
The Prosperity mine at Fish Lake
Private run-of-river hydro-dams