B.C. NDP begin year-long election campaign in Merritt

By Jill Sperling / Adam Donnelly
May 9, 2016 - 5:32pm Updated: May 9, 2016 - 6:17pm

MERRITT, B.C. — The provincial NDP wrapped up a two day regional conference in Merritt Saturday aimed at discussing issues specific to rural B.C. 

B.C. NDP leader John Horgan said the conference was also a chance to begin putting together a campaign strategy for next year's election. 

WATCH: Full report by Adam Donnelly 

"This is the kick off for the 2017 election campaign," Horgan said. "A year from now will be the last weekend of the election campaign. We're starting off here in Merritt bringing people from the South Interior together to talk about how we develop our platform to convince voters in the interior that the B.C. NDP is on track and ready to form the next government."

Horgan said he has been hearing concerns about affordability, the economy and jobs. 

He said even though B.C. had the lowest unemployment rate in Canada in April, jobs are not being created in rural B.C. 

"The last election campaign the B.C. Liberals ran on a promise of liquefied natural gas, 100,000 jobs, and a mining sector that was going to be expanding," Horgan said. "Well, the mining sector is contracting. We've seen mines close, not open, over the past couple of years. There are fewer people working in forestry now than ever before and LNG just didn't materialize."

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