B.C. voters swing further to the left
British Columbia’s Green Party pulled off a rare victory on Monday in a special election for a parliamentary seat, dealing a fresh blow to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s ruling Liberals.
It was only the second time the Greens to have captured a federal seat in their 36-year history, as Green candidate Paul Manly won the constituency of Nanaimo-Ladysmith with about 38 per cent of the vote, according to Reuters.
Party leader Elizabeth May holds a seat in the same province.
The Liberals, trying to recover from a political scandal just months ahead of an October election, ran a prominent local candidate but trailed in fourth place with about 11 per cent. They had come a close second in 2015, winning 23.5 per cent.
The official opposition Conservatives and New Democrats both took about 24 per cent each.
Trudeau and the Liberals are mired in accusations of interference in a corporate corruption case that triggered the resignations of two cabinet members, the prime minister’s top adviser and the head of the federal civil service.
Nanaimo-Ladysmith became vacant after the sitting legislator from the opposition New Democrats quit.
The New Democrats, who, like the Greens, compete with the Liberals for centre-left voters, have struggled under Jagmeet Singh, the first person from an ethnic minority to lead a major political party in Canada.
The vote for the Green Party candidate could be interpreted as a message to the ruling B.C. NDP party and to Alberta’s new conservative government, expressing voter dissatisfaction with the ongoing battle over pipeline construction and access to tidewater ports, and the threats of Alberta “turning off the taps” to B.C. motorists, who are already rankled by skyrocketing prices at the gas pumps.