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B.C. political turmoil could be trouble for pipelines, Notley

Last Updated May 30, 2017 at 11:45 am MDT

Premier Rachel Notley answers questions from the press after her State of the Province address in Calgary. Wednesday, October 19th, 2016. (Crystal Laderas - 660 NEWS)

A deal has been reached that paves the way for the NDP to form a minority government in British Columbia with support from the Green Party.

The respective caucuses are scheduled to vote on the deal Tuesday.

The Liberal party fell one seat short of winning a majority government in the May 9 election.

Mainstreet Research President Quito Maggi says Premier Rachel Notley and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have worked hard to get pipelines in B.C. approved, specifically the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion, so they have a lot at stake.

“Both the Green Party and the NDP (in B.C.) have said they want to kill that deal should they form government,” he said.

However, it may not come to that.

Mount Royal University political scientist Duane Bratt says an agreement doesn’t necessarily mean the Christy Clark Liberals fall.

“She could decide to delay calling back the legislature in the hopes that the co-operation between the two parties breaks down, or she could recall the legislature and force them to defeat her on a confidence vote,” he said.

Still, even he concedes Notley’s political future may rest on the pipeline expansion getting done.

“The whole political rationale that she gave for the climate change strategy and the carbon tax was social license for pipelines,” explained Bratt.

The expansion is under federal jurisdiction but the B.C. government can tie it up in court and make it difficult to get shovels in the ground.

Meanwhile, Kinder Morgan says it plans to continue its initial public offering today despite the political developments in B.C.

The share listing will be posted on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The company is hoping to raise $1.75-billion to help fund the Trans Mountain expansion which is expected to cost $7.4-billion.

Maggi says he’ll be keeping his eye on the market.

“Kinder Morgan and other stocks that are pipeline related. Shareholders are going to be a little bit nervous about what this actually means for pipelines,” he predicted.