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

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

Just Posted

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

teaser
Dynamic drives and pitiful putting helped even the score

Another Ladies’ Night has come and gone. This season is passing by… Continue reading

Tim Schewe
Drivesmart column: Traffic cop humour

He demands to know what sort of device had been used to measure his speed

(L-r) Cody Lee with six-year-old daughter Paisley, and Joshua Burleigh with his seven-year-old son Noah are extremely thankfull to Heffley Creek residents and First Responders for the help they received after their canoe capsized in rapids on the North Thompson River on Sunday, June 13. (Facebook photo)(L-r) Cody Lee with six-year-old daughter Paisley, and Joshua Burleigh with his seven-year-old son Noah are extremely thankfull to Heffley Creek residents and First Responders for the help they received after their canoe capsized in rapids on the North Thompson River on Sunday, June 13. (Facebook photo)
North Thompson River canoe trip almost ends in disaster

‘Only way I managed to get us to shore was the thought of not letting my boy drown’

A for sale sign is shown in by new homes in Beckwith, Ont., just outside Ottawa, on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Thompson-Okanagan population grew despite COVID-19: report

The Chartered Professional Accountants of BC said there are 8,462 new residents in the region

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Phil McLachlan/(Black Press Media
Man shot at Kamloops shopping centre

The man is believed to be in stable condition

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Most Read