Lake, Hines feel promise for no tolls unfair for Interior residents

By Chad Klassen
June 23, 2017 - 5:24pm

KAMLOOPS — In the span of a few days, Christy Clark has changed her tune. Some would say to work together with the other parties, while others would say it's simply a desperate attempt to keep power. 

In the throne speech were 30 promises she hadn't considered during the election. 

"Some really good policies, things that I have been advocating for for a number years," said former Kamloops MLA Terry Lake. "Including bringing up the carbon tax, slowly but surely, looking at income assistance increases for people on welfare, disability increases."

The Liberals argue a bigger surplus than expected now makes the promises affordable. Lake agrees with the policies that lend to more social services, but he said issues like no tolls will hurt people in the B.C. Interior. 

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"There are some things there that some B.C. Liberals are going to have problems with, particularly in the Interior," said Lake. "When you're looking at taking off tolls from the Port Mann bridge, is that fair to residents of the Interior of B.C. when we paid the Coquihalla toll for so many years?"

Dan Hines, a Green Party candidate in Kamloops-North Thompson for May's election, shares Lake's sentiments in terms of no tolls in the Lower Mainland. 

But Hines says the throne speech, while a 180 degree turn from the Liberals' election platform, validated Green Party policies.

"There is an element here for sure that the B.C. Liberals have recognized they were out-of-step," said Hines, who said he would run for the Green Party again if another election is called soon. "They really missed it when it came to banning corporate and union donations. This should've happened a long time ago."

Hines added, "I think there's a recognition now, you see it in the throne speech, of all the Liberals have taken about different things, whether that was early childhood education, whether that was reforming the electoral."

The Liberals have now promised $1 billion for child care when the party said during the campaign that it was unaffordable. 

For the NDP and its supporters, spending big money like this reeks of a desperate attempt to win the confidence of the legislature and keep power. 

"It's been 16 years of a Liberal government that not only ignored these issues but actually created a lot of the issues," said Barb Nederpel, the former NDP candidate in Kamloops-North Thompson. "So for Christy Clark to come out five weeks after an election and do such a abrupt about-face is shocking, not just to us that are already cynical but to even her own supporters."

The NDP is expected to put forward a confidence motion on Monday before an official vote on Thursday. 

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