B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks to Union of B.C. Municipalities delegates by video conference, Victoria, Sept. 23, 2020. (UBCM)

People ‘disgusted’ by COVID-19 election call, B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson speaks to municipal leaders from Victoria

After all-party support for the effort to battle COVID-19, the B.C. NDP held back their $1.5 billion economic recovery fund for three months so they could run taxpayer-paid advertising to build political support for a surprise election, B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson told local government leaders at their annual convention.

Speaking to an online version of the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention Sept. 23, Wilkinson said NDP leader John Horgan has picked the worst possible time to stall provincial government initiatives, with the worst of the pandemic likely about to arrive.

“We know about the $13 billion deficit,” Wilkinson said. “We know the economy is shrinking by five per cent or more. Business investment is down 11 per cent, and we expect it to go down further. And there’a big lump coming seven days from now, on Sept. 30, when $6.2 billion of deferred taxes come due, everything from employer health tax to carbon tax to sales tax, and this is going to be a very large obstacle for many businesses and small businesses in B.C. to meet.”

The annual convention’s main focus has also been derailed by the snap election call. While B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau and Premier John Horgan are still scheduled to make their own speeches to delegates Thursday, the hundreds of meetings with cabinet ministers to discuss local concerns are scrubbed so MLAs can campaign for the Oct. 24 vote.

Horgan campaigned in Surrey on Wednesday, one of the hotly contested areas where he will spend much of his time before the election. While promoting the NDP’s improvements to health care delivery, he blamed the B.C. Green Party for having an election a year early, despite Furstenau’s pledge that she would continue to honour the minority government agreement that called for no early election or vote to defeat the NDP government.

RELATED: Horgan blames B.C. Greens for snap election

RELATED: Carole James heads ‘caretaker’ B.C. government

With an expected surge in mail voting likely to delay the election result, B.C. is going two months with only “caretaker” government at a time when leadership is needed most, Wilkinson said.

Wilkinson promised to release details of the B.C. Liberal platform shortly, including a housing plan. The NDP promised 114,000 new housing units in the 2017 election, and after three and a half years there are 2,963 completed, mostly temporary modular structures, he said.

Another B.C. Liberal promise is to take mining and other resource project permitting entirely online, part of what he described as “provocative environmental policies” in the party platform.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC politicsBC Votes 2020UBCM

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Dupras family has been regulars at the Babine River and have seen plentiful grizzlies over the years. (Jay Dupras photo/Lakes District News)
A family’s close encounter with a grizzly on Babine River bridge

Photo-enthusiasts let the bear access the bridge for photos putting others at risk

Stikine provincial election candidates (clockwise from top left): Nathan Cullen, NDP; Darcy Repen, Rural BC Party; Rod Taylor, Christian Heritage; and Gordon Sebastian, BC Liberals.
‘Where is Annita McPhee?’: Cullen under fire from opening salvo of all-candidates forum

Four Stikine candidates spar during online debate from Prestige Hudson Bay Lodge in Smithers

(Wet'suwet'en Access Point on Gidimt'en Territory Facebook screenshot)
Ceremony a right at proposed CGL pipeline drill site: BC Union of Indian Chiefs

Indigenous land defenders cannot be criminalized and targeted, argues UBCIC

(File graphic)
Man dies in Gitlaxt’aamiks (New Aiyansh) after being taken into police custody

IIO and BC Corners Service conducting independent investigations

Dan Stuart (Christian Heritage Party - BC photo)
Strong values underpin Christian Heritage Party candidate

He’s also suspicious of the COVID-19 pandemic

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of decades-old plane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of Sts’ailes Community School students helped discover the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

The official search to locate Jordan Naterer was suspended Saturday Oct. 17. Photo courtesy of VPD.
‘I am not leaving without my son,’ says mother of missing Manning Park hiker

Family and friends continue to search for Jordan Naterer, after official efforts suspended

A bear similar to this black bear is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bear kills llama on Vancouver Island, prompting concerns over livestock

Officers could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Bernard Trest and his son Max, 10, are concerned about B.C.’s plan for students in the classroom. He was one of two fathers who filed a court application in August to prevent schools from reopening if stricter COVID-19 protections weren’t in place. That application was dismissed last week. (Contributed photo)
B.C. dad pledges to appeal quashed call for mandatory masks, distancing in schools

Bernard Trest and Gary Shuster challenged health, education ministries’ return-to-school plan

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
RCMP cleared in fatal shooting of armed Lytton man in distress, police watchdog finds

IIO spoke to seven civillian witnesses and 11 police officers in coming to its decision

A 34-year-old man was treated for a gunshot wound in Williams Lake Monday, Oct 19, 2020. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake man treated for gunshot wound after accidental shooting: RCMP

Police are reminding residents to ensure firearms are not loaded when handling them

Most Read