Highlights and U-turns in the B.C. Liberals’ speech from the throne

By The Canadian Press
June 22, 2017 - 6:32pm

VANCOUVER — British Columbia Premier Christy Clark has introduced what could be her final throne speech. In many ways it is a drastic about-face from the platform her Liberal party ran on during last month’s provincial election. Here is a look at some of the major promises in the speech, and where the parties stood during the campaign:

Throne speech: Ban corporate, union and third-party donations to political parties.

Liberal platform: Create an independent panel that would report to the legislature on political fundraising.

NDP: Ban corporate and union donations, and set limits on individual contributions.

Greens: Allow only B.C. residents to donate to political parties, and impose donation limits.

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Throne speech: Hold a referendum on electoral reform.

Liberal platform: No promise.

NDP: Hold a referendum on adopting a system of proportional representation.

Greens: Introduce proportional representation for the next election, then hold a referendum on whether to keep the new electoral system.

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Throne speech: Spend $1 billion to create 60,000 new childcare and early-childhood education spaces, in addition to 13,000 spaces already promised.

Liberal platform: Create 5,000 new childcare spaces in 2017, with a goal of up to 13,000 spaces by 2020.

NDP: Introduce $10-per-day childcare. Also create 22,000 new childcare spaces within three years, growing to 66,000 spaces in five years.

Greens: Boost funding for early-childhood education from $495 million in 2017-18 to $1.38 billion in 2020-21, focusing first on expanding childcare spaces.

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Throne speech: Create a new minister of state for mental health, addiction and recovery.

Liberal platform: Confirm $165 million for youth mental-health needs and substance-abuse issues.

NDP: Create a Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions.

Greens: Establish a ministry responsible for mental health and addictions.

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Throne speech: Eliminate tolls on the Port Mann Bridge and work to eliminate tolls on the Golden Ears Bridge.

Liberal platform: Cap bridge tolls at $500 annually for commuters.

NDP: Eliminate tolls on both bridges.

Greens: Develop a tolling system to manage traffic.

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Throne speech: Increase social-assistance rates by $100 per month.

Liberal platform: No change to welfare rates.

NDP: Raise all income assistance and disability rates by $100 per month.

Greens: Increase welfare rates by an unspecified amount.

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Throne speech: Raise the existing $30 per tonne carbon tax by $5 per tonne per year, starting in 2019, up to a total of $50 per tonne by 2022.

Liberal platform: Maintain a freeze on the carbon tax.

NDP: Phase in the federally mandated $50 per tonne carbon price by 2022 over three years, starting in 2020.

Greens: Progressively increase the carbon tax by $10 per year for four years beginning Jan. 1, 2018.

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Throne speech: Create a new provincewide poverty-reduction strategy, with a particular focus on children.

Liberal platform: No promise.

NDP: Introduce a poverty reduction plan with legislated targets and timelines.

Greens: Develop an anti-poverty strategy that includes specific actions to address poverty affecting First Nations children and families.

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Throne speech: Increase legal-aid funding by 25 per cent.

Liberal platform: Spend an additional $2 million per year for single-parent, legal-aid assistance for women.

NDP: Improve legal aid.

Greens: No promise.

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Throne speech: Work to fully eliminate medical services plan premiums for B.C. families.

Liberal platform: Immediately reduce medical fees by 50 per cent for two million people then explore further options to eliminate premiums completely.

NDP: Eliminate medical premiums within four years.

Greens: Roll medical premiums into payroll tax and personal income tax.

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Geordon Omand, The Canadian Press

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