The New Democratic Party (NDP) was sworn in as the governing party in the province of British Columbia on Tuesday. In doing so, the party formed their first government in BC since the very early parts of this century. During their last tenure, one of their major mistakes was a fast ferry fiasco, a scandal that rocked the party and played a major role in it losing credibility with the BC public. However, more than a decade and a half has passed since that time in BC politics. With the Bc Ndp taking over, Canada's far western provinces are now both ruled by the left-wing NDP party for the first time in history.

NDP are left wing

For those not familiar with Canadian political parties, the NDP is center-left. They are positioned with similar stances to social-democratic parties in Europe. In what was a shocking political upset two years ago, the NDP in Alberta won the provincial legislature for the first time in Alberta's history. Before that, Alberta's political scene was dominated by right-wing fiscal conservative parties. While the NDP have been in power in BC before and while the NDP have been in power in Alberta for about two years, July 18th marks the first time that the NDP are in power in both Alberta and BC simultaneously.

NDP had to make a deal for power

While the NDP won convincingly in Alberta, in British Columbia's most recent election the matter was close.

The New Democrats lost the springtime election in British Columbia in terms of outright seats in parliament. They had two fewer seats than the Liberal Party. However, BC's Green Party won three seats and that gave them the balance of power. The two parties made a deal that effectively gave them a minority government.

The BC government takes over at the helm at a time when there is a growing wildfire crisis in the interior of the province.

Furthermore, the effects of the wildfires are spreading to other parts of the province. Last week, an air-quality warning was issued for people that lived outside of the wildfire areas but in the greater area. Now, as of Tuesday, the smoke from the wildfires in the British Columbian interior is reportedly reaching Vancouver, situated on the southwestern coast of the province's mainland.

According to an article from CBC on July 18th, "Air Quality advisories now in effect for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley" (Bethany Lindsay).

That the BC NDP are taking over at a time of crisis will put them on the proverbial "hot seat" quickly. They will need to step out of the memories of the past and govern effectively immediately or else they could be open to widespread criticism -- even before the end of the current month. With tens of thousands already evacuated, looting, rental scams, air-quality advisories, and other maladies plaguing the province due to the fires, the NDP shouldn't expect a honeymoon period. As major transportation companies have their itineraries affected, the NDP will be put to the test to erase the bad memories of the last time they governed, without delay.