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Surrey Liberals, NDP pitch pandemic promises

Cadieux, Sims on who is better for the job

Which political party do you think would have a better grip on steering B.C. through the pandemic, if it were to form government?

Surrey South incumbent and Liberal MLA candidate Stephanie Cadieux says B.C. has been well-served by Dr. Henry in providing guidance to the province.

“She was hired under our time in government,” Cadieux pointed out.

“The difference between an NDP and Liberal government, in terms of managing the pandemic, is about how we manage the broader issue,” Cadieux said. “The pandemic not only has health implications, it also has economic implications. We have to be focused on the economic implications for people.”

Cadieux said the provincial government has to make sure businesses can stay open and keep their employees employed. “We have to make sure that we can drive our economy back to a place where it’s thriving and growing.”

The Liberals would eliminate the PST for one year and continue with a “reduction” the following year, Cadieux said, “to make sure that every person in British Columbia is given a bit of a boost financially to help move forward immediately.”It’s a big commitment, but one that we think will affect every family in British Columbia, provide them extra money in their pockets at a time when they need it most.”

Jinny Sims, NDP incumbent and MLA candidate for Surrey-Panorama, shudders to think of what a Liberal government’s response to the pandemic would be.

“It scares me,” she said. “The pandemic is a horrible thing and I think the focus needs to be on people, and supporting people, and supporting our business community. But they have a history of only supporting the very top layer. And I also worry that their haste in wanting to do things quickly could get us into some big trouble.

“But for me, I trust Dr. Bonnie Henry,” Sims said. “And I trust our premier, that he allows the health officials to be the drivers.”

READ ALSO: $991K in fed COVID-relief grants given by SurreyCares, with more now available

READ ALSO: COVID-19 vaccine still months away but review team working to speed approvals

On Sept. 26, the BC Liberals committed, if elected to government on Oct. 24, to free flu vaccines for all British Columbians.

“COVID-19 cases have been rising in B.C. and flu season is on the way. It’s vital that we do all we can to prevent a flu season from overwhelming our healthcare workers and further endangering immune-compromised British Columbians,” BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson stated in a campaign press released. “As a trained physician, I know how important it is that we commit to provide annual flu vaccines for free to all British Columbians to help reduce the burden on our medical system and help save lives.”

Wilkinson forecast that as B.C. enters the second wave of the pandemic, its health care system “risks being further burdened by increased pressure from ‘lookalike’ COVID-19 symptoms that come with flu season.”

On Oct. 5, BC NDP leader John Horgan committed, if his party is re-elected to government, to provide a free COVID-19 vaccine – once one is approved and available – to anyone who wants it.

“We have worked hard to keep people healthy and safe through the pandemic,” Horgan said in a press release. “The difficult times are not over yet, because the virus will be with us for the foreseeable future. But once there is a safe and approved vaccine, we will ensure every British Columbian can get one.”

READ ALSO: Surrey school district reports 50th COVID-19 exposure

READ ALSO: COVID-19 pandemic accelerating digital privacy risks, federal watchdog warns

Horgan said this commitment builds on the BC NDP’s $1.6 billion pandemic preparedness plan that would also see thousands of health care workers hired to work in long term care, “giving new opportunities and training to people who lost their jobs due to COVID-19.”

“If this challenging year has shown us anything, it’s the positive strides our province can take when we all work together,” Horgan said. “The last thing we should do now is go back to a government that puts the wealthy and well-connected before the needs of people. Putting people first has been at the heart of our pandemic response and it will continue to be if our team is re-elected.”

The NDP also promises to make two million doses of flu vaccine doses available for this influenza season and 45,000 “high-dose” influenza immunizations available to all long-term care and assisted living residents.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

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