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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:40 am    Post subject: BC provincial election to be held May 9th Reply with quote

Parties promise jobs, public investments at dawn of B.C. election campaign

British Columbia NDP Leader John Horgan
British Columbia NDP Leader John Horgan poses for a photo with BC NDP candidate Ravi Kahlon in North Delta, B.C, Monday, April, 10, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, April 11, 2017 4:26AM EDT

VANCOUVER -- British Columbians have faced an onslaught of government announcements, party ads and political finger pointing over the last few months.

It was all a prelude to the provincial election campaign, which will officially begin today when Liberal Leader Christy Clark asks the lieutenant governor to dissolve her government.

Which party can generate the most jobs appears to be an early campaign theme for the May 9 vote.

Clark unveiled her party's platform yesterday, promising to freeze income taxes, deliver balance budgets and create jobs in the technology and resource sectors.

New Democrat Leader John Horgan has also offered voters a peek at his platform, saying his party will create jobs in every corner of the province by making public investments to attract more private-sector investment.

The Greens captured a single seat in the legislature last election, but Leader Andrew Weaver is predicting a breakthrough for his party when British Columbians head to the polls in four weeks.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

B.C. political parties talk pocketbook issues on eve of provincial election

Laura Kane, The Canadian Press
Published Monday, April 10, 2017 4:41PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, April 10, 2017 7:11PM EDT

VANCOUVER - British Columbia's two leading political parties targeted voters' wallets with duelling promises on bridge tolls, tax cuts and rate freezes on the eve of a provincial election campaign.

Liberal Leader Christy Clark unveiled her party's platform on Monday, pledging $157 million in new spending over three years. She promised to freeze income taxes, double a renovation tax credit for those caring for seniors or loved ones with disabilities and provide a tax credit to BC Ferries users in ferry-dependent communities.

"British Columbians care passionately about their own ability to look after the people they love. People care about being able to have a job," said Clark, whose party has been in power since 2001. "People care about having more money in their pocket.

B.C. NDP supporters
NDP supporters wait for British Columbia NDP Leader John Horgan to arrive on his election campaign bus for its unveiling in Burnaby, B.C., on Tuesday April 4, 2017. (Darryl Dyck / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

"Those things really matter to people, and there is only one party that has a plan to deliver tax cuts, to keep government small and to make sure that we are creating jobs for ordinary working British Columbians."

The Liberals and NDP also zeroed in on the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges in a bid to attract voters in key Surrey and Delta ridings. The Liberals would cap annual tolls at $500, but the NDP upped the ante with a promise to eliminate tolls entirely on the bridges connecting the suburban cities to Vancouver.

Clark dismissed the NDP promise as a costly "scheme" that would ultimately result in tax hikes. Her party's promise would cost about $30 million annually.

Both bridges are still in the red, years after being built. This year's provincial budget projected the Port Mann Bridge would lose $88 million in 2016-17 and $90 million in 2017-18. The Golden Ears Bridge lost $45.2 million in 2015.

NDP Leader John Horgan said he would release the cost of his plan to eliminate tolls on Thursday when his party unveils its platform. He said the fees unfairly penalize commuters south of the Fraser River and pushed them to the toll-free Pattullo and Alex Fraser bridges, worsening congestion.

"For Christy Clark, the person who imposed those tolls on people, it's laughable that she would say that it's a 'scheme,' " he said in an interview. "The B.C. Liberals have been putting costs on the backs of people and then claiming that they're leaving more money in people's pockets."

Horgan is also promising to freeze BC Hydro rates, a pledge that comes barely a week after rates jumped by 3.5 per cent, following a BC Hydro warning in November that rates would climb another 16.5 per cent over the next four years.

Although the election campaign officially begins Tuesday, Horgan kicked off the NDP's campaign in Surrey on Sunday and visited North Delta on Monday. The region is likely to be a key focus for both the Liberals and NDP, with one extra riding up for grabs in Surrey after redistribution.

Clark delivered her party's platform at Mobify, a Vancouver-based software company. 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're going to create a new Silicon Valley right here in Canada's Pacific Gateway," she said.

Clark campaigned in 2013 on eliminating the province's debt through revenue from a liquefied natural gas industry, but her goals on Monday were more modest - aiming for three LNG plants "moving to construction" by 2020.

The Liberal platform also promised to cut the small business tax to two per cent, phase out provincial sales tax on electricity for all businesses and commit to four more balanced budgets. It touted previous promises including eliminating unpopular medical services premiums over the long term.

The Green party has already unveiled several planks in its platform, including a climate change plan that would more than double the carbon tax over four years while spending $275 million to create clean technology jobs.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

b.c. election 2017

B.C. Premier Christy Clark, left; NDP Leader John Horgan, middle; and B.C. Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver.

Jimmy Jeong, Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press

B.C.’s election campaign begins: What you need to know

The four-week campaign is expected to be dominated by debates about housing, the economy — and attacks on the leaders, reports James Keller

James Keller

The Globe and Mail
Last updated: Tuesday, Apr. 11, 2017 2:07AM EDT

British Columbia’s premier will visit the province’s lieutenant-governor on Tuesday to officially launch the campaign for the May 9 vote, setting off a four-week fight in which messages about affordability and the economy will compete with what are expected to be nasty attacks between party leaders.

Here’s what you need to know about the campaign, who’s running, and what issues are likely to factor into the outcome:

The campaign

B.C.’s fixed election dates mean the timing of the vote is no surprise, and the two main parties have been in campaign mode for quite a while. Both parties have been running ads for months, including sharp attacks on each other’s leaders, and the Liberals, NDP and third-place Greens all launched their campaign buses and began rolling out platform promises in the week leading up to the writ drop.

What is a writ drop?

A “writ” is the piece of paper ordering returning officers in every riding to hold an election for the local member of Parliament. “Drop” is a corruption of “draw up.”

What changes on Tuesday is that campaign spending limits and other rules about election advertising take effect. Parties can spend a maximum of $4.4-million, while individual candidates are capped at $70,000.

When it comes to reaching those limits, the Liberals are in considerably better shape than the NDP. The Liberals raised $13.1-million in 2016, mostly from corporations and other business donors, and have already raised more than $4-million in 2017 alone. The New Democrats, in contrast, raised $6.2-million last year.

Another difference this year is that the electoral map has been redrawn since the last election, with two new ridings bringing the total number to 87. An analysis of the 2013 results transposed onto the new boundaries doesn’t change the landscape much, with the Liberals and the NDP ending up with an extra seat each.

The same analysis identifies 14 ridings with margins of victory of less than five per cent, mostly in the Vancouver region.

The parties

Legislature standings at dissolution











The BC Liberal Party, a centre-right coalition that is not affiliated with the federal Liberals, has been in power since 2001, with Christy Clark as premier and leader for the past six years.

In her first campaign as leader in 2013, Ms. Clark pulled off a remarkable upset, holding onto power despite numerous polls that predicted an NDP landslide.

Back then, Ms. Clark was a fresh face who was able to distance herself from the perceived failings of her predecessor, Gordon Campbell, while also promising a rich future built on liquefied natural gas. In the years since, the LNG industry has yet to materialize and Ms. Clark’s government has accumulated its own share of scandals and controversies. Those include the mass firing of health researchers, including one who killed himself; several high profile cases of children dying in government care; welfare rates that have not increased in a decade; allegations bureaucrats were deleting records to shield them from public view; a breach of trust charge against a government communications staffer; skyrocketing real estate prices that have fuelled a housing crisis; and a refusal to rein in the influence of corporate money in politics, among others.

The New Democrats are campaigning with their third leader in as many elections. John Horgan had been in the legislature for nearly a decade when he was elected party leader in 2014, though many British Columbians likely do not know much about him. The party will spend much of the campaign introducing Mr. Horgan to voters while fending off Liberal attacks (which have already begun) that Mr. Horgan is a weak, inconsistent leader who can’t be trusted with the province’s economy.

The NDP would need to win an additional 10 seats to win a majority, and while their support has grown since the rout of 2001, the party has not won the popular vote in 26 years (the NDP won the 1996 election even though the Liberals had more votes).

The third-place Green Party is seeking to add to its lone member in the legislature – Leader Andrew Weaver – and could serve as a potential spoiler for the NDP. The party’s support has sat just over at about eight per cent in the past two elections, though it has been falling slightly rather than growing. The Greens have bolstered their campaign machinery this year, staging a traditional bus tour for the first time – using a biodiesel vehicle, of course – and are also running internal polling to identify key ridings.

The BC Conservatives were seen as a threat to the Liberals in 2013, when poll numbers suggested a possible breakthrough, but the party earned less than five per cent of the vote. It enters this year’s campaign without a leader, shut out of the television debate, and with just seven candidates in place.

The issues


Skyrocketing housing costs have sent the Vancouver region’s housing market into crisis, with sale prices increasing by more 40 per cent in a single year and detached houses now out of reach for a wide section of the population. For those who can’t buy, rental rates have also climbed significantly in a region where vacancy rates sit at less than one per cent.

The government has spent the past year introducing a series of policies designed to calm the housing market, including a tax on foreign buyers in the Vancouver region; legislation to allow cities to tax vacant homes, which the City of Vancouver has done; and a loan program for first-time buyers. Critics have said the measures are too late, and have blamed the Liberals for watching idly as housing prices spiralled out of control.

The New Democrats have yet to release their full platform, but have called for a tax that focuses on speculation, rather than citizenship, and have promised to build more rental housing.


Expect the Liberals to point to economic statistics that show the province leading the country in employment and economic growth. For example, March employment figures show B.C. had employment growth of 3.8 per cent compared with a year earlier – the highest among the provinces. The Liberals will also warn that an NDP government would put that at risk and revive claims that the province’s economy performed poorly under the New Democrats in the 1990s.

That economic growth, however, has not been evenly distributed. The unemployment rate was as high as 9.7 per cent in northern areas of the province last year, and most regions outside Vancouver and Vancouver Island lost jobs last year compared with 2015.

For the NDP, one of the big economic questions will be how the party plans to pay for expensive promises that include $10 per day daycare, along with eliminating tolls on two Vancouver-area bridges and freezing electricity rates. The party has suggested it will increase taxes on the richest British Columbians.

Education and child care

The province’s education system is about to undergo a massive overhaul due to a Supreme Court of Canada decision last year over bargaining that will force whoever wins the election to hire thousands of teachers and support staff.

The NDP have long criticized the Liberal government for short-changing students and starving the school system of resources. The Liberals will also have to fend off attacks from the B.C. Teachers’ Federation, which put out an ad in March urging voters to elect a government “we can trust with our kids’ education.”

One of the NDP’s central promises will be $10-per-day daycare, similar to the system already in place in Quebec. There is currently no timeline for when it would be up and running, and many of the specifics have yet to be announced. The Liberals are also promising to create thousands of new child-care spaces, but argue the NDP plan would be unaffordable.

Campaign finance

British Columbia has earned a reputation as the “wild west” of campaign finance – a place that imposes almost no limits on the influence of money in politics. The province has no caps on donations, nor does the law place any restrictions on whether corporations, unions, or foreign donors can give. The BC Liberals have been criticized for holding private cash-for-access events in which donors pay thousands of dollars to dine with the premier or other cabinet ministers.

As well, a recent Globe and Mail investigation found lobbyists made donations in their own names using money from the companies they represent. Such indirect donations are prohibited under the law, and the RCMP is now investigating the fundraising practices of the province’s political parties.

The New Democrats have pledged to ban corporate and union donations while condemning the Liberals as “bought and paid for.” Still, the NDP has actively solicited such donations and held its own fundraising events featuring its leader.

Ms. Clark recently promised to appoint a panel to review campaign finance laws. While she opened the door to the possibility of donation limits, she did not say what sort of reforms, if any, she would prefer. She did, however, say that any new system must not rely on public subsidies.


The federal government approved the Trans Mountain pipeline project, which would expand Kinder Morgan’s existing line between Alberta’s oil sands and the Vancouver region, last year and the B.C. government gave its own approval in January.

Ms. Clark will argue that her government successfully fought for better oil spill protection and economic benefits for the province, while the New Democrats, who have pledged to kill the project, say the risks are too great.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

B.C. Liberals deliver standpat election platform

Rob Shaw
More from Rob Shaw

Published on: April 10, 2017 | Last Updated: April 10, 2017 5:58 PM PDT

VICTORIA — Premier Christy Clark delivered a standpat election platform Monday that repackaged most of the economic themes she used to successfully engineer a surprise come-from-behind victory in the last election.

The 129-page B.C. Liberal document Strong B.C., Bright Future devoted as much space to trumpeting 16 years of Liberal government as it did to 2017 election promises, of which there were few.

Its tone mirrored the party’s 2013 platform Strong Economy, Secure Tomorrow, including in its lengthy passages in which it attacked the B.C. NDP’s record of government in the 1990s.

“This election is about which party has a plan to do three things: create jobs, control government spending, and cut taxes for the middle class,” said Clark.

“Those are important. Most importantly, though, is creating jobs. Because a good job is how we look after the people we love.”

Job creation was also the driving force behind Clark’s 2013 campaign, but instead of linking those jobs to the development of a much-touted liquefied natural gas industry (which has failed to emerge in the subsequent four years), in 2017 Clark has hitched her economic promises to B.C.’s high-tech sector.

“We’re going to create a new Silicon Valley right here,” she proclaimed.

The 28-day B.C. election campaign begins Tuesday, and voters go to the polls May 9.

B.C. election 2017: Click here to read the latest news

The Liberal platform features modest spending of $157 million. That includes a handful of new tax credits, such as doubling the home renovation tax credit for seniors to $20,000; a respite care tax credit of $2,500; a car-sharing tax credit; tax credit for ferry dependent communities; and a post-secondary tax credit for veterans.

The relatively small spending is partly because Clark’s ministers and MLAs have been criss-crossing the province in recent weeks making hundreds of other funding announcements, including for big ticket items like $2.2 billion to match federal funding for Metro Vancouver transit projects. There was also cash promised for priority items like education and child welfare in February’s $50 billion provincial budget, that the Liberals also intend to campaign on.

There was no increase to the welfare rate, which has been frozen now for 10 years, nor any increase to the disability rate beyond the $50 jump in the February budget.

The platform’s marquee item was a $500 annual cap on Metro Vancouver bridge tolls, which the party had already announced on the weekend.

That led to duelling proposals Sunday, after the NDP countered with a promise to scrap bridge tolls altogether. The Liberals said their proposal will cost $30 million a year, beginning in 2018. The NDP offered no financial details, although documents for the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges show eliminating tolls would cost approximately $200 million annually.

Finance Minister Mike de Jong, who is running for re-election in Abbotsford West, warned the NDP’s expensive campaign promises would imperil B.C.’s AAA credit rating.

“The decision to forgo all of the tolls revenue in the way the NDP have announced will, in my view … guarantee a credit downgrade for B.C.,” he said.

“It’s another example, and I think we are going to see a lot more of this, of a fundamental difference between the approach the NDP are taking, and the one we are taking,” de Jong added.

NDP leader John Horgan said he’d announce more financial details about his platform Thursday.

“I’m going to talk to people about her (Christy Clark’s) record,” Horgan said.

“I’m going to talk about the social deficit that’s been created while she’s clawing back bus passes for people with disabilities, while she’s keeping people on income assistance well, well below what is a reasonable level to live on, and I’m going to talk about how we need to invest in our seniors’ care, in our health care and our public infrastructure.”

Both parties are fighting for votes in the suburbs and commuter ridings of Metro Vancouver, including the key battleground of Surrey.

“We wanted it to be a little fairer for people south of the Fraser,” Clark said about her bridge toll plan.

She said an average Surrey family could save up to $2,500 a year when you package toll savings and a proposed 50 per cent cut to Medical Services Plan premiums first announced in February’s budget.

“I believe lower taxes and controlling spending are what allow us to create more jobs for people,” said Clark.

“That’s what our plan is focused on. It’s responsible, it’s costed, it’s affordable, it’s all here in black and white.”


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This election should prove interesting.

If the Green Support is real;
It could allow for Liberals to come down the middle in ridings that have historically been NDP;

Even if the NDP has a strong popular vote.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

B.C. premier Christy Clark calls provincial election for May 9

The Canadian Press

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

The B.C. election campaign begins as Premier Christy Clark arrives at Government House to meet with Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon, in Victoria, B.C., on Tuesday, April 11, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

VANCOUVER – British Columbia Premier Christy Clark arrived today at the lieutenant-governor’s residence in Victoria where she was expected to formally ask for the dissolution of the legislature, beginning the Liberal party’s bid for a fifth straight election victory.

The election campaign has been underway unofficially for weeks with the Liberals, NDP and Greens releasing platform details for an election that polls suggest will be a tight battle.

Clark has tried to make NDP Leader John Horgan’s judgment an issue, accusing the New Democrats of siding with fringe advocates over mainstream interests that drive job creation in a province that has led the country in economic growth.

Horgan has attacked Clark on social policies, arguing too many people have been left behind by a Liberal government that is out-of-touch after 16 years in power as he promises a $10-a-day daycare program and a minimum wage that would be significantly increased to $15 an hour.

Green Leader Andrew Weaver, the first member of his party to win a seat in a provincial legislature, is asking voters who are tired of the status quo to give his party a chance, promising a revamped economic plan that encourages growth in emerging business sectors while protecting the environment.

Job creation has been an early theme in the unofficial campaign for the May 9 vote.

At dissolution, the Liberals held 47 seats in the legislature, the NDP 35, and there were three Independents, which includes Weaver.

There are two new ridings in this election, bringing the total to 87 seats.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cosmostein wrote:
This election should prove interesting.

If the Green Support is real;
It could allow for Liberals to come down the middle in ridings that have historically been NDP;

Even if the NDP has a strong popular vote.

I don't live in BC so I obviously don't see all the issues but the governments of Gordon Campbell and Christy Clark have been pretty solid. Clark appeared to struggle at first but she has come around and has done a good job, some of that might be due to her 2013 victory.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jobs, jabs take centre stage on first day of B.C. election campaign

British Columbia Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver
British Columbia Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver speaks about the party's affordable housing strategy during a campaign stop in Vancouver, B.C., on Tuesday April 11, 2017. A provincial election will be held on May 9. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, April 12, 2017 4:54AM EDT

VANCOUVER -- B.C.'s political parties wasted little time taking potshots at one another on the first official day of the election campaign ahead of the provincial vote on May 9.

Liberal Leader Christy Clark spoke to supporters and candidates in Vancouver last night, saying her party has a plan to keep money in British Columbians' pockets, while the other parties will hike taxes.

Clark has promised to freeze taxes and create jobs and says her opponents will undo the progress her government has made in growing the economy.

But NDP Leader John Horgan said the jobs Clark's government has created are temporary and part-time, and don't work for everyone.

The New Democrats are scheduled to release their platform on Thursday, and Horgan has said the party will create new opportunities by making public investments to attract more private-sector investment.

Green Leader Andrew Weaver says both the Liberals and NDP have had a chance to prove themselves and now it's time for change, and he's promising voters an economic plan that encourages growth in emerging business sectors while protecting the environment.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Politics Briefing

B.C. election campaign officially under way

The Globe and Mail

Published Wednesday, Apr. 12, 2017 8:14AM EDT


B.C.’s election campaign is officially under way after the lieutenant-governor dissolved the legislature, and the two main party leaders are reaching back into the 1990s. Liberal Leader Christy Clark has repeatedly pointed to the NDP’s time in power, from 1991 to 2001, to warn that a return to those policies would bankrupt the province and cause businesses and jobs to flee. NDP Leader John Horgan is echoing his party’s message from 1996, when a “class war” campaign portrayed the Liberals as elites while promising that the New Democrats would stand up for the working class. It was a message that worked in 1996; it hasn’t worked since.

Today, Mr. Horgan is taking his campaign to North Vancouver-Lonsdale, one of several close ridings the NDP would likely need to win to form government. The riding has been Liberal since the early 1990s, but the margin of victory was just 4.9 percentage points in 2013. Ms. Clark is also in the Lower Mainland but the Liberals have not publicly released her itinerary.

And Gary Mason says the odds are stacked against the NDP, even if the polls (which were spectacularly wrong during the 2013 campaign) appear to give them an edge: “As a rule, the only time the NDP has a chance of winning in British Columbia is when the coalition cracks and fractures enough (generally it’s been the party’s right flank that has been upset enough to leave) to allow the province’s left-wing party to win. There is certainly no sense that Ms. Clark has done anything to cause conservatives to abandon her; she has run one of the most conservative administrations in the country.”

Ms. Clark spent her first news conference of the campaign responding to the sister of Roderick MacIsaac, a government health researcher who killed himself after he and seven of his colleagues were falsely accused of wrongdoing. The province’s ombudsperson released a scathing report last week that concluded the government misled the public when, in 2012, it announced the workers had been fired due to a data breach – and incorrectly said the RCMP was investigating. The head of the civil service apologized last week, but Mr. MacIsaac’s sister, Linda Kayfish, said Ms. Clark’s reaction has been “callous and cynical.”


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cosmostein wrote:
This election should prove interesting.

If the Green Support is real;
It could allow for Liberals to come down the middle in ridings that have historically been NDP;

Even if the NDP has a strong popular vote.

the green party seems to be the party who's support never materialises to the extent of the polls . with the exception of a couple ridings every now and then where they have an incredible run . we saw this in Ontario a couple of times , the nearly successful campaign in Grey Bruce Owen Sound in 2007 has been mostly forgotten and liberals have returned to second place there

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

B.C. Election 2017: Greens unveil promises on income security

Derrick Penner Derrick Penner
More from Derrick Penner

Published on: April 12, 2017 | Last Updated: April 12, 2017 11:38 AM PDT

B.C. Green party leader Andrew Weaver unveiled an income-security strategy he promised would be a revamp of the social safety net for the modern economy.

British Columbia Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver, front left, walks to a news conference after unveiling his new election campaign bus in Vancouver, B.C., on Thursday April 6, 2017. A provincial election will be held on May 9. DARRYL DYCK / THE CANADIAN PRESS

B.C. Green party leader Andrew Weaver, on Wednesday, promised to raise welfare rates and provide a basic income support for youth aging out of government care in unveiling his party’s platform strategy on income security.

Standing with a group of Green candidates at a gallery in the middle of Chinatown, characterized the strategy, titled “covering the basics,” as an effort to create “liveable incomes for everyone.”

Measures in the strategy includes raising social assistance and disability rates 10 per cent this October and 50 per cent over today’s rates by 2020, a promise to strike a fair-wage commission to set B.C.’s minimum wage and a promise to work with the federal government to set a benefit of up to $205 million per month for B.C.’s low-income families.

Weaver also promised basic income for youth aged 18 to 24 who are transitioning out of foster care, with an estimated cost of $60 million per year, and to roll MSP premiums into a payroll deduction, rather than separately paid premium, which he estimated would save “hundreds of millions of dollars” in administration costs.

“We have a mounting problem of inequality in this province,” said Weaver. “Much of the wealth increase over the past few years has gone to the already-wealthy, while many struggle to make ends meet. We have seen a rise in child poverty and in the use of food banks.”

Weaver also named his spokesperson on the issue, Bradley Shende, the Green’s candidate for Vancouver-False Creek, who is running against incumbent B.C. Liberal MLA Sam Sullivan and the NDP’s Morgane Oger.

Shende is a co-founder of the environmentally focused business group Conversations for Responsible Economic Development, a teacher and entrepreneur.

“As a single dad of three kids trying to run a tech business, I have experienced firsthand how difficult it is to afford to live in Vancouver, raise a family, find help with childcare and still contribute to my community,” Shende said.

“Between the high cost of living and the lack of affordable housing, I’ve watched too many talented people and families being forced to move away from Vancouver and pursue careers elsewhere. If we can’t make life affordable here for a diverse array of people, then we have no chance of building resilient communities.”

More to come.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clark lays out simple election theme - economy - as B.C. campaign starts

Justine Hunter and Ian Bailey

VANCOUVER — The Globe and Mail

Published Tuesday, Apr. 11, 2017 1:36PM EDT

BC Liberal Leader Christy Clark has launched the 41st general election in British Columbia, laying out a simple campaign theme that she is counting on voters to favour on May 9 – that only her party will keep the province’s economy strong and job opportunities growing.

But New Democratic Party Leader John Horgan set out a different menu, saying Ms. Clark has broken the public’s trust, and it will take an NDP government to make life more affordable for British Columbians who have not prospered under 16 years of Liberal rule.

In addition to those two competing messages, voters also will be looking at a third choice that could play an upset role in the election: the BC Greens. Party leader Andrew Weaver used the first day of the campaign to outline an affordable-housing plan – just one plank in an ambitious agenda to expand his caucus of one.

But his main theme is to “do politics differently,” an appeal aimed at voters who feel disenchanted with both of the province’s main political parties.

Ms. Clark formally started the campaign on Tuesday morning with the traditional visit to Government House, where she asked Lieutenant-Governor Judith Guichon to dissolve Parliament.

She then briefly met reporters outside to deliver her core message: The Liberals have given B.C. a healthy economy but need another term in office to keep it on track.

Her platform promises to continue to control government spending, balance the budget and promote economic development.

“British Columbia is just getting on a roll,” she said. “Let’s stay strong.”

It’s a similar message to the one that she delivered every single day in the last campaign, and with B.C. posting relatively strong economic growth this year and leading the country in job creation, she will say at every campaign stop that her jobs plan is working.

The Liberals have won the past four elections in B.C. and Ms. Clark’s first campaign stop was a rally on southern Vancouver Island where the New Democrats have traditionally held most seats.

There, surrounded by her local candidates and with picturesque Elk Lake in the background, she touched on her primary attack on the NDP as a party that is opposed to resource development including the Kinder Morgan oil-pipeline expansion and her own megaproject, the Site C dam, that is under construction in the northeast corner of the province.

Voters “want a party that cares about jobs,” she said. “Let’s make sure we create jobs because you know this: You don’t create jobs by saying no to everything.”

Mr. Horgan began the campaign reminding voters of his commitment to cut fees and restore public services if voters elect his party to power for the first time since 1996.

In that 1996 election, the NDP successfully crafted a “class war” campaign that cast the Liberals as the party of the elites, and the NDP as the champions of the working class.

In this campaign, Mr. Horgan appears to be aiming for a similar dynamic. The wealthy, he says, have had their premier in Ms. Clark.

“It is time we had a premier that was working for you.”

The NDP promises include a program of $10-a-day daycare modelled to some degree on a program in Quebec, the elimination of Medical Services Plan premiums, a freeze on hydro rates and the elimination of tolls on two key bridges in the Lower Mainland.

He is promising to consult more closely with Lower Mainland mayors to improve transit in the most populous region of British Columbia.

There were no details Tuesday on how an NDP government would pay for such commitments, and whether it would run deficits to pay for them.

Mr. Horgan said the details will come in a platform announcement on Thursday and that will help set the tone for the rest of the campaign.

For now, Ms. Clark freely states that the NDP’s spending promises would lead to tax hikes that “would push B.C. families to the brink.”

At his first campaign stop, Mr. Horgan was positioned like a talk-show host, among an audience of NDP candidates and members of the public who asked him about various issues. Mr. Horgan, wearing a suit and dress shirt but no tie, spoke without notes, cheerfully interacting with toddlers and babies held by their parents. “Christy Clark’s choices have added costs to you, and reduced services for you,” he told the crowd.

Although Ms. Clark will take credit for the growing economy, the expansion could help the New Democrats by allowing more room for spending promises.

Economist Bryan Yu of Central 1 Credit Union said Tuesday the fundamentals of B.C.’s economy are favourable.

He expects growth this year of 2.3 per cent, which is less than last year, but some of the regional imbalances have eased in recent months.

“There is diverse growth in the economy,” he noted.

Although the employment picture is strong, he added, residents in large urban centres are feeling the pressure of a housing market that has made both rental and home ownership unaffordable for many.


A brief look at the three party leaders

B.C.’s election campaign will largely focus on two front runners: Liberal Leader Christy Clark, who is seeking a fifth term for her party, and NDP Leader John Horgan, who will be searching for at least 10 new seats to return the New Democrats to power after 16 years. The third-place Greens will be seeking to add to their lone seat in the legislature – currently held by Leader Andrew Weaver – and could bleed support from the other parties, notably the New Democrats.

Here is a brief look at the three party leaders:

Christy Clark

Age: 51

Born: Oct. 29, 1965, in Burnaby, B.C.

Education: Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and Universite de la Sorbonne in Paris.

Family: She is separated from ex-husband Mark Marissen, a former senior strategist for the Liberal Party of Canada.

Her son, Hamish Marissen-Clark, is 15 years old. They have a female cat named Kevin.

Political career: Ms. Clark was first elected in 1996 and was named both deputy premier and education minister in 2001. She became Premier in 2011.

Personal career: While on hiatus from politics, Clark hosted a radio talk show on CKNW between 2007 and 2010.

Riding: Westside-Kelowna

Andrew Weaver

Age: 56

Born: Nov. 16, 1961, in Victoria

Education: Bachelor of science in mathematics and physics from the University of Victoria in 1983, a masters in advanced studies in mathematics from Cambridge University in 1984, and a PhD in applied mathematics from the University of British Columbia in 1987.

Academic career: Weaver was a lead author on four scientific assessments by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the body that shared a Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore in 2007.

He has been a University of Victoria professor for 20 years and has authored or co-authored over 200 peer-reviewed papers.

Political career: Mr. Weaver says former party leader Jane Sterk asked him to run three times before he agreed.

In 2013, he became the first Green elected to B.C.’s legislature and in 2015 he won the leadership.

Current riding: Oak Bay-Gordon Head

John Horgan

Born: Victoria

Age: 57

Family: Married wife Ellie in 1984; two grown sons, Nate and Evan.

Career: A former backroom NDP strategist from southern Vancouver Island. He was acclaimed party leader on May 1, 2014.

Riding: Juan de Fuca

Lives in: Langford


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Strike 2 for BC Liberals

The Canadian Press - Apr 12, 2017 / 3:26 pm | Story: 194380

Photo: Flickr/BC NDP

British Columbia's privacy commissioner has rejected a second complaint lodged against the New Democrats about alleged wrongdoing in provincial politics.

Drew McArthur was investigating another allegation made by the B.C. Liberals complaining of a breach of the Personal Information Protection Act.

The original complaint alleged the NDP breached information protection laws by sharing supporter lists with politically friendly groups, including Vision Vancouver, which is led by Mayor Gregor Robertson.

The commissioner says neither of the complaints meet the threshold for an investigation by his office.

McArthur dismissed the first complaint on Monday, and the Liberals launched a second, alleging the B.C. New Democrats breached the act by attempting to use a voter support list collected by the federal NDP in the 2015 federal election.

The Personal Information Protection Act describes how private-sector organizations must handle the personal information of their employees and the public, and includes rules about collecting, using and disclosing personal information.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

B.C. Election 2017

Kinder Morgan Pipeline looms large in B.C. election

Justine Hunter

BURNABY — The Globe and Mail

Published Wednesday, Apr. 12, 2017 10:02PM EDT

BC Liberal Leader Christy Clark visited Burnaby’s election battlegrounds on Wednesday to talk about clean-energy jobs, but sidestepped the contentious Kinder Morgan oil pipeline expansion debate that is expected to influence voters who live in the shadow of the company’s marine terminal.

The BC Liberals have said “yes” to the pipeline project that will result in 34 oil tankers leaving the Burnaby docks on Burrard Inlet each month – a seven-fold increase over current traffic – while the rival New Democratic Party and the BC Greens both oppose the project which is scheduled to begin construction later this year.

Promoting resource development is a central plank in Ms. Clark’s re-election plan, a point underscored by the matching ball caps worn by her campaign workers that urge B.C. to “Get to yes.”

The fate of Kinder Morgan was seen as a deciding factor in the 2013 campaign, when the NDP flip-flopped and came out against the proposal, and the party is again pledging to kill it if elected.

Just seven kilometres from the Kinder Morgan terminal, Ms. Clark toured a high-tech startup, General Fusion, where she touted the clean-energy potential of the company’s development of components for a fusion power plant.

Standing in front of a magnetized target fusion generator, she told reporters the Liberals want to build Silicon Valley North in B.C. “What you see behind me has the potential to really change the world because of the way they produce energy.”

But Ms. Clark was reluctant to talk about the jobs that will come to Burnaby with the oil-pipeline expansion. “The Trudeau government approved Kinder Morgan, it was their job to approve it,” she said when asked about the impact her support for the project will have on Burnaby voters. “My job, knowing it would likely get approved by the federal government, was to fight for what British Columbia deserved.”

The BC Liberal government agreed in January to support Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion project after the federal government promised enhanced marine oil-spill response investments, and the company pledged to make annual payments that could be worth as much as $1-billion over the life of the 20-year deal.

George Heyman, the NDP’s environment critic, said on Wednesday a New Democrat government would use every legal tool at its disposal to toss a wrench in the works. But he acknowledged there is no guarantee the province would be able to kill the project at this stage, now that Ottawa has given the project a green light.

“I can’t promise a result, I will promise we will do everything we can,” Mr. Heyman said in an interview. If the NDP form government on May 9, he said the first call that a premier-elect John Horgan would make would be to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, to inform Ottawa that B.C. does not consent to the pipeline construction.

That would create tension between B.C. and Ottawa, but it would also strain relations with Alberta’s NDP government as well.

Although NDP staff frequently help out in campaigns in other provinces, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has told her staff they cannot work for her and also help Mr. Horgan’s team because of their irreconcilable differences over the pipeline. The Alberta government has vowed to get Alberta oil to tidewater, and it has promised to seek intervenor status on any legal challenges to the Trans Mountain expansion project. That could, if the NDP win in B.C., pit the two governments against each other in court.

But first, the New Democrats would have to win the election, and voters in the four swing ridings in Burnaby can expect to be showered with attention by all three parties in this campaign.

Burnaby has been at the epicentre of protests against the project, and the BC Liberals could face a backlash here for supporting the project. However, if opponents of Kinder Morgan split their votes between the NDP and Green candidates, that may benefit the Liberals.

Liberal candidate Steve Darling, who is courting voters in the Burnaby-Lougheed riding that includes the Westbridge Marine Terminal, acknowledged the pipeline debate is alive when he is canvassing for votes.

“It doesn’t come up as often as people would think,” he said. “But people are concerned about it. I think there is a lot of misinformation out there. … What I have said on all the doorsteps is, Justin Trudeau approved it, the Premier came up with a plan to protect it and now my job, as potentially the MLA for Burnaby-Lougheed, is to make sure they abide by everything they’ve agreed to.”


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( in a surprising move , Notley has barred alberta ndp people in her government from helping out in the BC election , it shows her true loyalties are to the alberta ndp and don't seem to be there for federal or provincial wings )

Braid: Notley bars staff from backing B.C. New Democrats

Don Braid, Calgary Herald Don Braid, Calgary Herald
More from Don Braid, Calgary Herald

Published on: April 13, 2017 | Last Updated: April 13, 2017 6:24 PM MDT

Don Braid: Why BC election is Alberta's big political story

The crucial political battle of Premier Rachel Notley’s career just started. It’s the B.C. election campaign.

Notley said Friday that she’s forbidden her political staff to cross the mountains and help the B.C. NDP, which has vowed to kill the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion.

In the NDP world, this is dramatic. The party’s operatives typically flock across the West like geese when any election is at hand. Notley herself has done it.

Her stop order has been flagged several times since John Horgan, the B.C. NDP leader, refused to mute his pipeline opposition after Notley met him in Vancouver last Dec. 6.

But on Thursday, with the campaign for the May 9 B.C. vote under way, Notley was very specific:

“People who work for our government should be here working for our government,” she said. “That is the general message that has been delivered.”

“Certainly, it’s difficult for them to be working for our government, and then also supporting candidates who would be opposed to the successful construction of the Kinder Morgan pipeline.

“We see that as being critical to our economic prosperity and growth in this province. And so, that is the message that has been delivered and I trust that people will follow it.”

It is also the only possible message. Danielle Smith, the former Wildrose leader, joked on the radio that Wildrose would send pickets to the border to snag any NDP carpetbagger trying to cross.

Horgan would love to have people like John Heaney, Notley’s chief of staff, and Jim Rutkowski, her principal secretary.

They both have long experience at top levels of B.C. campaigning. Indeed, Heaney was Horgan’s chief of staff before he became Notley’s.

This time, it’s been made clear that the only way to campaign in B.C. is to quit the Alberta job. That’s tough when it pays $287,000 a year.

Notley’s enthusiasm for the pipeline, however, won’t extend to visiting B.C. and arguing for Kinder Morgan as she did right after the federal approval last year. “We just aren’t going to be involved in that election campaign,” says Cheryl Oates, her communications boss.

Given the recent precedents and the stakes (you know, Alberta’s economy) maybe she should.

Christy Clark, the B.C. Liberal premier, has come to Calgary both to raise money and announce stern conditions for accepting Kinder Morgan. At the start of this campaign she said “Alberta is going broke,” using Notley to dismiss Horgan’s spending promises.

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall has personally tried to snatch head offices from Calgary. His ministers routinely attack Notley and the NDP.

The old convention of cross-border gentility is gone. For the first time ever, an Alberta premier faces vocal conservative opposition across three western provinces. To top that, a fellow New Democrat wants to kill her central economic project.

Horgan didn’t mention the pipeline in the full platform he released Thursday. Some B.C. observers feel that he might be trying to mute his Dr. No image. Many British Columbians want the pipeline, especially those in the Interior, where the NDP is weakest.

But there’s no doubt about Horgan’s intention. On Wednesday, his finance critic, George Heyman, said that if Horgan wins on May 9, his first call as premier would be to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, telling him that B.C. formally withdraws approval for the pipeline.

Andrew Weaver, leader of the surprisingly strong Green Party, takes exactly the same position. He and Horgan would use provincial powers to stall and obstruct the project — “everything short of martial law,” one wit said.

Ominously for Notley, the B.C. NDP and Greens together command 58 per cent public support.

Clark’s ruling Liberals have 35 per cent, the NDP 39 per cent and the Greens 19 per cent, according to the latest Mainstreet Research tracking poll.

A lot can change by May 9, of course. Clark overcame a 20-point deficit to win in 2013. But at this point there’s a very real prospect of a minority government in B.C.

It would likely be headed by NDP and supported by the Greens, both in fierce opposition to Kinder Morgan. The pipeline would stall for months or even years while Ottawa worked up the nerve to act.

This is a dangerous scenario for Notley. She might as well fight with everything she’s got. Why not, when everybody else is so happy to fight her?

Don Braid’s column appears regularly in the Herald

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BC provincial election to be held May 9th

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