Parties promise jobs, public investments at dawn of BC election campaign

Nick Mcbride
April 15, 2017

Liberal Leader Christy Clark was smiling as she emerged from a meeting with Lt. -Gov.

Weaver campaigned Tuesday in Vancouver's Olympic Village on his party's housing policy that he says aims to cool the overheated real estate market by, among other things, improving the supply of homes through capital spending to build about 4,000 new units a year.

The theme of the BC Liberals' election platform may as well be "steady as she goes" as it mostly consists of the party's economic track record in government, with a few shiny bells and whistles added for good measure.

But she quickly zeroed in on her opponents, warning that the NDP's free-spending ways would drive the province into deficit. She announced plans to teach coding starting in Grade 6, establish an "innovation hub" in Vancouver's Robson Square featuring a new University of British Columbia data science centre, and create 1,000 new post-secondary spaces in science, technology, engineering and math. "We don't want to throw this all away". The platform describes it as "a middle class tax cut".

Campaign finances: With no set limits on corporate, union or individual contributions to political parties, fundraising in B.C. has become known as the wild West. The B.C. Liberals forecast this will cost $2.5 million a year.

Linda Hepner says the proposals could have big ramifications for local planning. "It's not working if it's all part-time jobs and temporary jobs".

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Horgan, his party's former energy critic, says in the tweet below that rate increases aren't necessary.

Mr. Weaver has done an impressive job since taking over the helm of his party in 2015 and giving it a forceful voice in the B.C. legislature. Translation: NDP-governed Alberta. "Now, more than ever, it is important we stick to our plan".

The first campaign stop by Clark was a noon hour rally at the Victoria City Rowing Club on Elk Lake. "We can't afford not to do this", NDP Leader John Horgan has argued. That includes the voter-rich region of Surrey, where two cabinet ministers are in tough fights for re-election, and Delta South, where the Liberals hope to pick up a seat with the retirement of independent MLA Vicki Huntington.

The NDP is pointing to years of turmoil, while the Liberals say they have brought stability to classrooms.

The mayors' council has sent a questionnaire to each party, asking them to specify their commitments to six priorities including if they'll match invest into SkyTrain and HandyDart upgrades, replace the Pattullo Bridge and authorize a development cost charge for transit.So far, only the Liberals have responded, Cote said. "The feedback that I'm getting from people is that it's a bit of a slap in the face and it seems like an unfair way for government to act".

"I believe we need accessible, affordable childcare for everybody".

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