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Weaver uses minority muscle to pressure NDP

4 12 0

VICTORIA — As Andrew Weaver tells it, the power-sharing agreement with the New Democrats does not oblige the Greens to support every spending item in an NDP budget, just the overall budget itself.

The Green leader’s interpretation came to the fore this week after the NDP decision to leave out election promises of $10-a-day child care and a $400 renters grant from the budget update.

The exclusions were convenient for Finance Minister Carole James as she had used up all of the spending room in the budget keeping other NDP promises.

But when pressed for an explanation during the budget briefing Monday, she attributed the hold up on child care and the renters grant to ongoing talks with Weaver.

“Those are both commitments that we made during the election campaign,” she agreed. “And they’re also part of the discussion that we’re having with the Greens around the (power-sharing) agreement that’s in place.”

Next day, Weaver raised the stakes by declaring NDP campaign commitments to be irrelevant to the discussion.

“What the NDP promised in their election campaign is not really relevant to the situation today,” Weaver told reporters, “because we also promised things in our election campaign.”

Not to say differences couldn’t be sorted out. But they would have to be sorted out within the confines of the power-sharing........

© Vancouver Sun