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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP cruisers outside a Newton townhouse Tuesday night. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
UPDATE: Toddler in hospital, woman dead following stabbings at Surrey townhouse

Police say two-year-old was among victims found at townhouse complex in the 12700-block of 66 Avenue

Surrey provincial court. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
OUR VIEW: Lenient courts aren’t helping

It’s hard to fault the palpable frustration of Metro Vancouver Transit Police

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Diamond School in Surrey reporting COVID-19 exposure

INTERACTIVE TABLE: Search for schools, organize by exposure dates

Renee
Bigger for 2020, online Surrey conference clicks with writers from around the world

Registrants from 17 countries for ‘SiWC At Home’ edition of the annual event

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

Brody Peterson said he intends to dispute tickets issued by Grand Forks RCMP at his backyard “house warming” Saturday, Oct. 10. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Brody Peterson told The Gazette he intends to dispute tickets issued by Grand Forks RCMP at his backyard “house warming” Saturday, Oct. 10. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Grand Forks RCMP recommend criminal charges after weekend party

Homeowner Brody Peterson said he’ll dispute tickets for refusing police instructions, alleged COVID violations

A glimpse of some of the 480 (approx) cars written off as a result of the acid spills along the Trail highway in 2018. Photo: Trail Times
Kootenay Ford dealer’s frustration grows with ICBC

Trail AM Ford owner Dan Ashman says he just wants fair compensation from ICBC

Mail-in ballot from Elections BC (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
At least 26% of eligible voters have already cast a ballot, Elections BC says

Voters can cast a ballot until 8 p.m PST on Election Day

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

RCMP were called to an assault in the 23700-block of 110 Ave in Maple Ridge Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020. (Curtis Kreklau/Special to The News)
PHOTOS: Assault in Maple Ridge sends three men to hospital

RCMP were called to a residence Tuesday night

A 2018 decision to fly a rainbow flag ended up costing the City of Langley $62,000 in legal fees (Langley Advance Times file)
Human rights win in rainbow flag fight cost B.C. city $62,000

“Lengthy and involved” process provoked by complaint

A black bear targets a bird feeder by the Rotary Trail along the Vedder River in Chilliwack on Oct. 7, 2020. (William Snow photo)
Public safety of residents cited as young bear euthanized in Chilliwack

Human-habituated bear was hanging around residential areas and bird feeders near the Vedder River

Most Read