VANCOUVER — A look at some key developments from Day One of the B.C. election campaign for each of the parties:
— Liberal Leader Christy Clark touted her government’s economic record and urged voters not to throw away the momentum.
— Linda Kayfish, the sister of a health researcher who was fired by the province in 2012 and later killed himself, accused Clark at a news conference of being “callous and cynical” in her government’s response to a recent report by British Columbia’s Office of the Ombudsperson about the firings. Clark said she would be happy to repeat the apologies the government made, if it would give Kayfish some closure.
— The Liberals accused the NDP of collecting $672,576 in donations from the United Steelworkers in one year, which the party says is the largest single-year donation in B.C. history.
— NDP Leader John Horgan campaigned in downtown Vancouver and promoted his “three commitments” to voters: make life more affordable, fix the services people count on and create sustainable jobs.
— He repeated his promises of $10-a-day child care and removing tolls on the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges, which connect Surrey and Langley to Vancouver-area cities.
— A line of Liberal supporters stood outside Horgan’s campaign event holding large black-and-white signs with the figure $672,576 printed on them. Horgan said it was “absolutely rich” for the Liberals to point fingers when it comes to big money in politics. The Liberals raised $13 million last year including corporate and union donations.
— He repeated his promise to ban corporate and union donations if elected. Clark has promised to set up a panel that would make non-binding recommendations to the legislature on campaign finance reform.
— Green Leader Andrew Weaver unveiled his party’s housing strategy in Vancouver’s Olympic Village, accusing Clark’s government of leaving people stuck in an affordability crisis.
— The strategy includes a plan to increase the 15-per-cent foreign buyers tax to 30 per cent and expand it across B.C., while ensuring that foreigners who pay income tax in the province are not affected.
— The party would also shift from homeowner grants, which help homeowners pay their property taxes, to a system of income-based grants, starting in 2019.
— Weaver criticized the Liberals for promising to cap annual tolls on the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges at $500 and the NDP’s promise to eliminate tolls entirely, saying people across B.C. shouldn’t pay for bridges they will never use.
— He accused both of the parties of trying to “buy votes” in historically close ridings south of the Fraser River, but he said voters in that region are “smarter than that” and know the focus should be on building more and better public transportation.
The Canadian Press
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